Latest Utopias a 'beer' with many differences

Non-carbonated. Resealable bottle. Aged in used sherry or bourbon barrels.

Is this stuff still beer, or is it somewhere in the cognac universe?

There is more to Samuel Adams' newest product than the container.

Yes, Utopias is bottled in a replica of one of the Boston brewery's brew kettles, and its makers are suggesting it be served at room temperature as an after-dinner drink in a glass specifically designed for it by Riedel. But what is causing the biggest stir is that Utopias has five times the alcoholic strength of the average beer.

At 27% alcohol by volume, or 54 proof, Utopias is a powerful brew. However, it can be saved because of its resealable bottle, so consumers used to lower-proof beers can pace themselves when drinking this non-carbonated brew.

This is just the latest version of Utopias, which was introduced to the market in 2002, then released again in 2003 and 2005. This release is blended with some batches that have been aged 13 years in different wood barrels. Some of the Utopias have been aged in Madeira barrels and sherry casks. Some is aged in used bourbon casks. It is brewed with a variety of malts and hops and several yeasts, including champagne yeast.

The company has limited production to 12,000 bottles. The holiday gift box package of Utopias and a Riedel glass will retail for a suggested price of $150.

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