Boston Beer Co., maker of the famous Samuel Adams Lager, has issued a new beer which costs 199$ a bottle and is illegal in 15 U.S. states. The brew, which is the 10th release of Samuel Adams Utopias, has 28% alcohol by volume (ABV), which is well above the ABV limit in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, and West Virginia.
With only 68 wooden casks of Utopias created in 2017, only roughly 13,000 bottles will hit shelves nationwide at a retail price of $199.
According to a brewery’s anouncement, the “brew is reminiscent of a rich vintage Port, old Cognac, or fine Sherry with notes of dark fruit, subtle sweetness, and a deep rich malty smoothness.”
It is produced by a special blend of two-row pale malt combined with Munich and Caramel 60 malts that impart a rich, ruby color. Three varieties of German Noble hops – Spalt Spalter, Hallertau Mittelfrueh, and Tettnang Tettnanger – are added to balance the sweetness of the malt.
After the beer is brewed, the first proprietary brewing method begins – adding special yeast strains. The brewers utilized several yeast strains during fermentation, including one typically reserved for champagne and a “ninja yeast,” created for its ability to survive and continue fermenting in an environment that has such a high alcohol level.
A portion of this freshly brewed beer is then aged in hand-selected, single-use bourbon casks from the award-winning Buffalo Trace Distillery while the rest is aged in a variety of barrels including Bourbon, White Carcavelos, and Ruby Port. New this year, Utopias aged in Aquavit barrels, a Scandinavian spirit with distinct flavor from spices and herbs, primarily caraway or dill.
The brewers created the final 2017 blend by sampling and blending barrel-aged beer including 24-year-old Triple Bock and 17-year-old Millennium, we well as previous Utopias vintages, Kosmic Mother Funk, and a variety of barrel-aged blends.
After the blend was finalized, the brewers finished some of the 2017 Utopias in Moscat barrels, a wine known for its slightly smoky character.
The first bottles of Utopias bottles can be found in the hands of Samuel Adams employees. Since Utopias was first released, each bottle number corresponds with when each employee was hired, making Founder and Brewer Jim Koch number 1 and Brewer Dean Gianocostas number 2.
Addiional remark dated 7.11.2017:
In an earlier version of this news it was said that Samuel Adams Utopias was illegal in 12 U.S. states including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont and Washington. This list of states, which was also cited by innumerable U.S. magazines, local TV news affiliates and large regional newspapers, was wrong, as Good Beer Hunting found out.
Because of its high alcohol content the beer is in fact banned in 15 U.S. states including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, and West Virginia.
Tennesee and Washington are not part of the list any more as originally stated, Although Tennesee does, in fact, limit beer to 10.1% ABV, meaning Utopias is nearly three times stronger than the legal limit, Utopias is being sold in Tennessee because it falls under a different alcohol beverage category.