Beer Man: Sam Adams' Utopias is worth hefty price – USA TODAY

Samuel Adams Utopias 2017, from Boston Beer Co. in Boston, is 28% ABV.(Photo: Todd Haefer, The (Appleton, Wis.) Post-Crescent)

Beer Man is a weekly profile of beers from across the country and around the world.

This week: Samuel Adams Utopias 2017

Boston Beer Co., Boston

The wonder that is Samuel AdamsUtopias has just made its biennial appearance.

As I do every time I write about it, it must be reiterated that it is not beer as you know it. Aged in different liquor and wine casks, being 56 proof and having no head or carbonation, it really is more like a liqueur such as Benedictine, Grand Marnier or Drambuie.

The main question I’m asked about Utopias is whether it is really worth $199 for a 750ml bottle?

More:Sam Adams has a beer that’s illegal in 12 states. It costs how much??!

I would have to say yes. You are not just paying for a bottle of beer when you buy Utopias — you are paying for at least a couple of decades of aging in various casks, in a way that no one in the world is doing. The price is in line with many 20- to 30-year-old single-malt Scotch whiskeys.

What you get with Utopias is a beer that has been aged, for various times, in sherry, port, bourbon, white Carcavelos wine and, in the case of the 2017 edition, additional aging in Aquavit and Muscat casks. There also is some use of maple syrup.

The base beer is made of 24-year-old Triple Bock and 17-year-old Millennium, as well as previous Utopias vintages. Several yeast strains are used, with the main one a secret strain that can withstand the high alcohol content (28% ABV) without dying off. Champagne yeast and wild yeast

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