baja - This weekend. Reminders that life is magical: 3 p.m. : I was handed a shot of mezcal and boarded a giant tour bus in Tijuana. On a tour with Club Tengo Ham...
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Sam Adams,Utopias:Extreme Pleasure, 2000 Years In The Making
Bert Boyce has been the master brewer at Samuel Adams for the past two years, and seems rather young and at ease for someone who's worked at four different breweries and two wineries before Sam Adams.He made it all sound so easy, but what they're doing these days at Sam Adams is serious business.I attended a blogger event at Animal on November 17th to unveil the Samuel Adams Utopias, at 27% ABV, the strongest beer in the world.While this is a tremendous technical achievement not lost on me, at all, the end result is pure deliciousness without need for explanation.
Utopias are a beer unlike any you've ever tasted. Many commented that it reminded them of a sherry or a brandy, but it has its own signature flavor.
Utopias are aged in various casks:sherry, port, muscatel,bourbon and scotch.Bert couldn't reveal all of their secrets, but he did share some of the trials that led to sleepless nights to produce this fine beer. The yeasts are fed and then die in regular beer making process, but instead of feeding them all at once, they are given a ration of food and oxygen to keep the yeasts alive to achieve the 27% ABV. Bert described the Utopias result as a product of perfect fermentation.
In the glass, it's a marriage of malts, wood, and sweet essence, a "spirited" expression of beer.
I came late from another event and walked into a hushed crowd at Animal, while Bert talked about beer making and Samuel Adam's selection of beers.
Bert and the Animal staff got me up to speed, and although I missed the food pairings, the beer selections from the seasonal brews to Utopias was impressive.
The Triple Bock, a predecessor to Utopias, and a component, was another revelation. It's maple syrup, chocolate, and soy sauce notes with lush mouthfeel makes a brilliant apertif.
Coming as the rest were going I made short order fo the seasonal beers available to taste. Sam Adam's Coastal Wheat(wheat ale) was made for summer. Its crisp, refreshing manner and sharp lemon peel flavor really hot the spot in this extended summer weather. This is the kind of every day drinker I plan to stock up on in the Spring. Ceviche and other Mexican seafoods would pair nicely with the Coastal Wheat.
I also sample the famous Boston lager, no surprise here, as I've been drinking this since my early 20's. It tastes as great as ever, one of the most balanced beers I've ever known. The perfect beer for sitting at the bar and checking out some Blues or Soul.
The Cranberry Lambic(lambic),Old Fezziweg(ale), and Holiday Porter(porter) are all well crafted beers. All of the beers at Sam Adams are brewed with greatness in mind, and there is something here for all palates.
Utopias are available in a limited release every two years. You can find them at your local Bevmo's.
This beer is an achievement rooted in Revolutionary ideals, the culmination of 2000 years of brewing technology and artisanship.With Bert Boyce as master brewer, Samuel Adams promises to remain a formidable producer for years to come. This is the holiday gift you're going to want to get for yourself this year.
I'd like to thank Tina Clabber form Devries PR for the invitation to this event, and the fine staff at Animal.
More on Samuel Adams