This looks like an amazing, and extravagant, Christmas gift!
Meant to be savored and sipped at room temperature, Samuel Adams Utopias ($150) is only for the most daring of beer connoisseurs. The 2009 batch is the strongest yet, with a staggering 27% alcohol by volume rating (a standard beer is about 5%). The rich, dark, uncarbonated (and world’s strongest) beer is brewed in small batches, blended, and aged in the Barrel Room at the Samuel Adams Boston Brewery, where you’ll find only 53 barrels of the stuff. The limited-edition 2009 batch of Utopias is bottled in numbered, ceramic brew kettle-shaped decanters.
Further details straight from the horse’s mouth:
Samuel Adams Utopias is brewed with several different strains of yeast, including a variety typically reserved for champagne. A blend of two-row Caramel and Munich malts gives the beer its rich ruby-black color and the blend of three kinds of Noble hops; Spalt Spalter, Hallertau Mittelfrueh, and Tettnang Tettnanger give the beer its floral character and spicy note. The 2009 batch of Samuel Adams Utopias is a blend of liquids, some of which have been aged in a variety of woods, including Scotch whiskey barrels in the Barrel Room at the Boston Brewery for up to 16 years. This longer aging gives the 2009 batch of Utopias a level of complexity not seen in earlier releases. A portion of the beer was also aged in hand-selected, single-use bourbon casks from the Buffalo Trace Distillery. The extended aging process enhances the distinct cinnamon, vanilla, and maple notes in the beer’s flavor. This year’s batch was finished in sherry casks from Spain and muscatel and port casks from Portugal. The sherry casks add nutty, oak, and honey notes, while the muscatel and port casks contribute slightly more elegant, dark fruit aromas and flavors.