Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

The Ultimate Beer!?


Okbrewer
 Share

Recommended Posts

Several of my beer drinking buddies/brewers got together to sample a variety of beers last night. None of us quite prepared for what one member of our group brought to share. Sam Adams Utopias! He works at a liquor store and got a deal on the stores last remaining bottle, so he figured he’d share with us! We all anted up $10 each for about a 2.5 oz sample.

Sam Adams Utopias 2003, with an alleged alcohol content of 48 proof or about 25% alcohol by volume, claims to be the strongest beer in the world. Only 8000 bottles were produced. It is a brew with a unique and complex flavor. It retails for about $120 a bottle!

Utopias is packaged in a special collectible brew kettle-shaped bottle reminiscent of larger copper kettles used by brew masters for hundreds of years.

If you have had experience with Triple Bock, you know that the bottles tended to leak. The very first thing that was apparent was that Sam Adams did a much better job of sealing this beer than they did with the Triple Bocks. The copper cap that once accented the copper finished brew kettle decanter of the Utopias easily twisted off revealing an additional tightly sealed pop-off cap, indicating that this beer was intended to be stored and aged for decades. There was no loose cork to be found.

This flavorful, slightly fruity brew has a sweet, malty flavor that smacks more of the Cognac, Scotch and Port barrels it has been resting in than any beer you've ever drunk. The maple syrup is immediately evident on the nose along with a wallop of alcohol. The maple follows through to the tongue, where it is joined by an entwining of Port and sherry with the slightest hint of hops. Bourbon-like flavors of vanilla and oak meld into caramel and dark fruit flavors reminiscent of the Triple Bock, but not as syrupy and cloying. The alcohol is also evident, but it is warming and not as harsh as the nose might indicate. The finish is all walnut.

This is the ultimate sipping beer! At 25% alcohol by volume, this deceptively strong beer is better compared to a premium Brandy or exquisite Sherry as opposed to any beer that I have every known. Everything about the Utopias equated to balance and perfect harmony.

I was intrigued by all the hype that surrounded this beer, especially regarding the price! After tasting Utopias, I join the ranks of the beer aficionados who rightly call this a very remarkable beer. At $120a pop, this will be a tasting experience that will not be soon repeated! But I am glad that I had this opportunity.

Bob R in OKC

Home Brewer, Beer & Food Lover!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Beer is beer because of the ingredients and the process. The malting and mashing of grains, extracting the sweet wort, adding hops, cooling it and pitching yeast to allow them to eat the sugar to create alcohol, makes beer.

Even though whisk(e)y starts out with a similar process, you have to distill the 'beer' to make that product. And with beer you don't squash any grapes. Beer also involves a brewer/brewster to make the desired product, grapes will eventually turn to 'wine' on their own! So obviously, beer is a more labor intensive, refined product! :wink:

Many beers have high alcohol levels that approach those of wines or spirits, hence the appellation 'barley wine.'

Bob R in OKC

Home Brewer, Beer & Food Lover!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, back when I took a tour of the Jack Daniels distillery (around 1985), we were shown one room where the tour guide told us "This would be Jack Daniels beer".

Except for the hops. :cool:

As for actually distilling beer, I've not heard of it. I know Dogfish Head does some distilling, and so does a West Coast brewer (Anchor?).

Would be interesting to try, yes?

Rust

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cool, so has anybody ever distilled beer?

Yes they call it whisky!!. Well whisky is distilled from beer without the hops. Then there is bierschnaps which is distilled from beer with hops. Sierre Nevada makes one apparently. Never tried it myself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cool, so has anybody ever distilled beer?

Yes they call it whisky!!. Well whisky is distilled from beer without the hops. Then there is bierschnaps which is distilled from beer with hops. Sierre Nevada makes one apparently. Never tried it myself.

Sounds like something invented on a dare, doesn't it?

To wax pedantic for a moment, the equivalent of bierschnapps is brandy (Brandwein = burnt wine). Brandy is distilled from wine -- usually really lousy wine. I don't know the details, but I'm told that the kind of wine that tastes good doesn't distill well, and vice versa. Can an errant wine expert help us out with this? If it's just a simple chemical principle of alcohol, sugar content, etc., then it might be that homebrewers would need to make (intentionally!) a crappy beer, then distill that into schnapps.

I find the whole idea rather frightening.

Dan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...