We tried the $210 beer that's banned in 15 states, and the polarizing drink was like nothing we'd ever tasted before
Irene Jiang / Business Insider
- Sam Adams sells a $210 beer that's banned in 15 states: the barrel-aged Utopias.
- Utopias has an ABV of 28% and is made using a time-intensive brewing process that combines aged extreme beers in wooden port, Cognac, and Madeira barrels.
- We tasted Utopias, and we were starkly divided into two camps: love and hate. But we all agreed that Utopias tasted like nothing we'd had before.
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It's that special time of year again: when Sam Adams releases Utopias, its barrel-aged beer that's banned in 15 states.Utopias is no ordinary beer. This year, only 77 wooden casks were brewed and a single bottle has a suggested retail price of $210, according to a press release. That's because brewing Utopias is a time and labor-intensive process that takes several years.Advertisement
The non-carbonated beer is made by blending extreme beers from Sam Adams' more than 25-year catalog. The extreme beers, which have been aging in wooden bourbon casks, are combined in Aquavid, Carcavelos, and ruby port barrels, then brewers add their own special touches unique to each year. This year's Utopias was finished in Cognac and Madeira barrels and blended with a small amount of tart Kosmic Mother Funk wild ale.
The result is a beer that has the highest natural alcohol content - 28% - of any beer. That alcohol content makes it illegal to sell in 15 states. And even though Utopias is "reminiscent of a rich vintage Port or fine Sherry," according to the company, it's still technically a beer.In true holiday spirit, we gathered around the conference table and poured out a few glasses of Utopias. But even though we thought we knew what was coming, none of us were truly prepared.