Would You Pay $190 For Old Beer?
Like Beluga caviar and truffles, Sam Adams Utopia is very expensive, rare and leaves us wondering why it so damn expensive? Yes these products are unique but caviar is fishy, truffles taste like dirt and Sam Adams Utopia is essentially a flat beer. So let’s figure out if Utopia is really worth the price tag or if Utopia is the snake oil of the beer snob crowd.
Sam Adams’ website describes Utopia as “truly the epitome of brewing's two thousand year evolution, Samuel Adams Utopias® offers a flavor not just unlike any other beer but unlike any other beverage in the world.” Sam Adams seems to have a firm grip on reality as well as a firm grip on that western style "handy" they are giving themselves when describing Utopia. We don’t expect much modesty but Sam Adams is the Kanye of breweries with that description.
We are going to have to stick with the facts to figure out if this beer is worth the $190 price tag: Utopia is aged for up to 10 years in bourbon, sherry, brandy and cognac casks. Aging beer in liquor casks imparts the flavor of the liquor that previously resided in the cask. Many breweries use this technique but most breweries decide on one type of cask, not four. Think about it, this beer is going to have hints of bourbon, scotch, sherry and cognac. Have you ever wanted a shot with those four liquors mixed together? No, because you’re not 15 and raiding your parents liquor cabinet.
What do we know, though? We're just some cheap jerks who hate making it rain at our local beer store. What do the beer nerds and hop heads at the Beer Advocate website think of it? Overall, they seem to really think Sam Adams Utopia is something special. The average user rating for Utopia is 4.36 out of 5. Although this is an extremely favorable rating, we have to question the people who are rating this beer. These nerds rate beer to the hundredth decimal. Who does that? If you were with a group of your friends and they point out some chick and say “On a scale of 1-10, how hot is that girl?” and your answer to them is 8.73, they are most likely going to punch you in the crotch, because that is an answer that deserves a crotch-punch. So even though Utopia was highly regarded by this knowledgeable group, screw them.
So should you buy Sam Adams Utopia? If you want to be king of the beer nerds for a night, yeah, go ahead and shell out $190 for a bottle. If you wish to transport yourself back to your parents basement sipping on a cocktail of bourbon, sherry, brandy and cognac and NOT getting laid, then by all means.
Our advice? Save your money.