Sam Adams Utopias, out Oct. 11, a 28% ABV beast

Samuel Adams beer maker Boston Beer Co. is ready to release its potent Utopias beer, which weighs in at 28% alcohol by volume – a strength that makes it illegal in 15 states.

Those lucky enough to get a bottle of the extremely limited – and pricey at $240 – beerwill get an additional taste treat from the 2,000 pounds of cherries it was finished on. Boston Beer releases Sam Adams Utopias every other year. Beginning Oct. 11, it will be available at select specialty beer, wine and liquor stores, where laws allow.

Often compared to a complex port or cognac – and sipped from a snifter at room temperature – Sam Adams Utopias is described as an “extreme” beer by the brewery. Some of the liquid has been aged nearly three decades in wooden bourbon casks, the brewery says.

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After multiple batches are blended, they are aged in a total of 86 different barrels that previously held Madeira, port and sherry. For the first time, this year’s Utopias had some of the blend aged in Sauternes French oak wine casks, which the brewery says adds “subtle notes of honeyed apricot and caramel.”

Among the cherries used were Michigan Balaton cherries, which helped “create a rich flavor of black cherry and dark fruits,” in the beer.

““Since the introduction of Utopias in 2002, brewers have explored uncharted territory with each brew, experimenting with different kinds of aging barrels, new flavors, and different blending techniques,” said Jim Koch, founder and brewer of Samuel Adams, in a statement announcing the beer. “The result is always special, spirited, and worth waiting for.”

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Utopias is illegal  in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont and West Virginia.

Follow Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.


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