Sam Adams Cincinnati Taproom Releases Rare 28% ABV Barrel-Aged Utopias Brew to Celebrate One-Year Anniversary

On Nov. 15, the beer, which is illegal in 15 states, will be available on tap for the first time ever

Oct 15, 2019 at 9:02 am
click to enlarge Exterior of Over-the-Rhine's Samuel Adams Taproom - Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Exterior of Over-the-Rhine's Samuel Adams Taproom

The Samuel Adams Cincinnati Taproom is celebrating its one-year anniversary in a big, boozy way. 

The brewery will release its 11th-biennial barrel-aged Utopias in select locations on Oct. 15 and on draft for the first time in the Cincy taproom on Nov. 15. But this isn't just any regular beer release — Utopias is one of the most expensive, exclusive and extreme beers on the market. 

With an ABV of 28 percent, the top-shelf beer is illegal in 15 states across the nation. 

According to a press release from Sam Adams, the rich, barrel-aged brew has a flavor profile reminiscent of a fine sherry or vintage port. This year's edition was aged in cognac and Madeira finishing barrels, offering an enhanced take on the beer.

"This sought-after beer requires a time-intensive, multiyear brewing, aging and blending process, using only the world’s finest ingredients. Like its predecessors, 2019 Utopias is a blend of earlier batches of Samuel Adams’ extreme beers, a catalog dating back over 25 years, which have been aging in wooden bourbon casks from Buffalo Trace Distillery," the press release explains.

This year, the brewery invited members from Dogfish Head Brewery to join in on the process. 

“Since it was first brewed, Sam Adams Utopias has been nothing short of a labor of love. As brewers we take pride in everything we make, but there’s something special about putting such a unique, extreme beer in the hands of not only the craft beer community but our coworkers. Involving new members of our team from Dogfish Head in the bottling process this year signified collaboration, progress and inspired future innovations that we can’t wait to share,” said founder and brewer Jim Koch in the same press release. 

For the first time ever, the exclusive beer will be available on tap at the Cincinnati taproom, beginning Nov. 15 at Sam Adams' one-year anniversary party. The celebration is free to enjoy, but in order to participate in the special Utopias tasting, which includes a one-ounce pour and commemorative glass, you must purchase a $20 ticket.

The brewery will also release Barley-topias at the event, a barleywine-aged anniversary beer which is aged in Utopias barrels. Barley-topias will be available on tap and in bottles. There will also be barbecue from the Beerded Pig and live music.

This year, Samuel Adams brewed only 77 wooden casks of Utopias, making it a tough find in the wild. The beer is custom bottled to resemble an iconic brew kettle in a 25.4-ounce ceramic decanter and the suggested retail price is $210 per bottle, though availability and price may vary depending on beer or liquor store. 

Samuel Adams One-Year Anniversary Party, 6-11 p.m. Nov. 15. The Samuel Adams Cincinnati Taproom is located at 1727 Logan St., Over-the-Rhine.