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Old 11-16-2012, 01:10 PM   #21
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My wife got me a bottle for my 50th B-day. It was a '10, and was quite different, but enjoyable. At that time I was in the process of brewing my own version of Utopia. I read all the posts in the few threads on the forum, and compiled my own recipe from all the data there. After running into the same issues with a brew starting at this crazy high SG, I had to do a few other things to get it to finish fermenting. My version has ended up as a high gravity barley wine. The last time we tasted it, we compared to the SA Utopia. To be perfectly honest, the SA had a real hot jet fuel burn, where mine didn't, but the flavor was fairly close in comparison. I guess it's time for another comparison.

I would have probably not ever purchased the SA Utopia, but that was the deciding factor to move ahead and create a recipe and brew my own version. On paper I could brew 5 gallons for the price of the '08 Utopia ($150), so that is what I did. Would I buy another one, probably not. Would I try and brew another batch, hell yeah. That is what this hobby is all about.

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Old 11-17-2012, 06:12 AM   #22
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Question about utopias: does it keep like whiskey or like beer? I mean, once opened do you need t drink quickly or will it last months/years?

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Old 11-17-2012, 09:15 AM   #23
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Thats what I was wondering also a_hard. I would pay 240 for a bottle of Scotch if I had the extra cash at the time.

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Old 11-17-2012, 12:41 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a_hard View Post
Question about utopias: does it keep like whiskey or like beer? I mean, once opened do you need t drink quickly or will it last months/years?
I opened my '10 bottle a few days after I got it (around this time in '10), and did not like it at all, way too hot, boozy and maple for my taste. I shot a blanket of argon into the bottle (I keep argon around to preserve wine), put it back into my beer cooler and let it sit at 50 degrees fahrenheit.

Opened it up about 6 weeks ago when my brother-in-law was visiting, and the taste had much improved.

So I'd say that as long as you keep oxygen away from it, and store it at cellar temperatures, it should last for quite a while.

Plus, if you read about the Utopias at the Sam Adams site, you'll note that they are still blending in some of the original high ABV beer (Millenium) into the Utopias. They also mention that they'll soon have 20 years of Utopias to use in the blending process.
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:49 PM   #25
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It depends on your level of sophistication. If there are 25 other famous beers you could buy for $5 a bottle that you haven't had yet. Or if there are styles of beers you haven't tried yet, where you can get bottles for a reasonable price. Then there is no reasonable excuse to acquire Utopias except for vanity or prestige.

It's like shooting heroin. If you need the next high... and everything else is old-hat... and you need to go bigger... well then there's SA Utopias waiting for you. Just reach out and grab it! But, if you haven't had sours, haven't tried many $20 bottles of beer, haven't scoured the beer aisles for the unusual offerings, etc... then why spend that much cash when there are less treacherous unknown waters to be charted?

I get the feeling that when people say there's a beer for connoisseurs, every half-wit dim bulb with $200 burning a hole in his pocket rushes out and buys a bottle because "it's special" and tasting it is a symbol of status. But if you don't really know the difference, all you're really getting for it is a buzz. Hey, if money is not an object to you, go and have your buzz. Idiots, and people with money to burn, do that. It's fine. Connoisseurs do it too... but a poor connoisseur will likely invite 10 other people with and organize a tasting.... people with good palates, even if they can't afford a bottle themselves.

In summary, rich people will drink it by the bottle. People of modest means will look for the opportunity to acquire a bottle and arrange a tasting amongst like-minded people for the shear joy of it. And connoisseurs will exhaust other avenues of exploration before bothering to spend such a ridiculous sum. Utopias is a milestone for connoisseurs... but a billboard for nitwits.
There is no "excuse" necessary, nor the need for any condesention regarding the purchase.

The bottom line is really simple. If one wants to try it more power to you. Like with most things "Is it worth it?" is only a question each can answer for themself after trying it.
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Old 11-17-2012, 02:03 PM   #26
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There is no "excuse" necessary, nor the need for any condesention regarding the purchase.
What I said is only condescending if you instinctively identify yourself with the latter group. I stand by my statement and think that plenty of other people can read it without feeling the need to get defensive. I encouraged and endorsed people of modest means finding less expensive means to expand their horizons, and flatly stated that at some point, acquiring a bottle is a rather reasonable thing to do. And since I personally don't judge people like that as I seldom know them well enough to do so.... I'm sorry to say that's just your own self-perception that's making you feel a little uncomfortable there. I suggest you work on yourself rather than lashing out at others.

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"Is it worth it?" is only a question each can answer for themself after trying it.
So you're saying that someone who might wind up feeling ripped off needs to actually feel ripped off before they can say that they think it might not be worth it? Someone who's never tried it can't look at the simple facts and say, "Clearly my money is better spent elsewhere"? I'm not saying it's a ripoff. I don't think it is. But you don't have to try something to realize that it won't suit your needs. I don't have to buy a Ferrari to know that I can't afford a Ferrari. I don't have to buy an RV to confidently state, with full knowledge and experience, that I don't need an RV.


As I noted, there are perfectly valid reasons for a connoisseur of modest means to justify the acquisition of such a bottle. And there are also foolish reasons to do the same. Only you can decide for yourself which side of the spectrum you fall on. And if you're feeling defensive about what I said, well then, that says more about you than it does about my viewpoint, which I stand by as being a pretty rational approach to what some folks (myself included) might consider to be a rather substantial investment in beer education. Why take that route if you are still at the point that you can try a half dozen other styles you've never had before for considerably less money? It just doesn't make sense on the basis of one's beer edification.

What if someone still learning about styles asked: What's a better investment in beer education: A bottle of Utopias, or my first Rauchbier, my first Oud Bruin, my first Flander's red, my first gose, my first Sahti, and a bottle of Dark Lord? Which would you endorse as being a better choice for someone wanting to learn about beer, who's never had any of those beers before? IMNSHO "grab Utopias because it's expensive and rare" will provide considerably less experience for your dollar. But, if you've already tried all of those.. then Utopia starts to become a pretty reasonable investment. That's all I was saying.
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Old 11-17-2012, 02:50 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Sir Humpsalot View Post
What I said is only condescending if you instinctively identify yourself with the latter group. I stand by my statement and think that plenty of other people can read it without feeling the need to get defensive. I encouraged and endorsed people of modest means finding less expensive means to expand their horizons, and flatly stated that at some point, acquiring a bottle is a rather reasonable thing to do. And since I personally don't judge people like that as I seldom know them well enough to do so.... I'm sorry to say that's just your own self-perception that's making you feel a little uncomfortable there. I suggest you work on yourself rather than lashing out at others.



So you're saying that someone who might wind up feeling ripped off needs to actually feel ripped off before they can say that they think it might not be worth it? Someone who's never tried it can't look at the simple facts and say, "Clearly my money is better spent elsewhere"? I'm not saying it's a ripoff. I don't think it is. But you don't have to try something to realize that it won't suit your needs. I don't have to buy a Ferrari to know that I can't afford a Ferrari. I don't have to buy an RV to confidently state, with full knowledge and experience, that I don't need an RV.


As I noted, there are perfectly valid reasons for a connoisseur of modest means to justify the acquisition of such a bottle. And there are also foolish reasons to do the same. Only you can decide for yourself which side of the spectrum you fall on. And if you're feeling defensive about what I said, well then, that says more about you than it does about my viewpoint, which I stand by as being a pretty rational approach to what some folks (myself included) might consider to be a rather substantial investment in beer education. Why take that route if you are still at the point that you can try a half dozen other styles you've never had before for considerably less money? It just doesn't make sense on the basis of one's beer edification.

What if someone still learning about styles asked: What's a better investment in beer education: A bottle of Utopias, or my first Rauchbier, my first Oud Bruin, my first Flander's red, my first gose, my first Sahti, and a bottle of Dark Lord? Which would you endorse as being a better choice for someone wanting to learn about beer, who's never had any of those beers before? IMNSHO "grab Utopias because it's expensive and rare" will provide considerably less experience for your dollar. But, if you've already tried all of those.. then Utopia starts to become a pretty reasonable investment. That's all I was saying.
That's a mighty grand retort for something you don't think you're guilty of, eh?

Buy what you want. Don't buy what you think or know to be a ripoff. It's really that simple, without any need for pontification.
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Old 11-17-2012, 03:11 PM   #28
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That's a mighty grand retort for something you don't think you're guilty of, eh?
When did I imply that I didn't think I was guilty of it? I was just sharing my experience for the edification of others. Will Rogers once said, "Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment".

Just because I've made some purchases in my life that seem pretty dumb in retrospect doesn't mean I'm going to avoid talking about them or not encourage other people to do better than I did. Learn from others' mistakes. Life is too short to make all of them yourself.

Apparently you're the only one having trouble recognizing the "guilt" (a silly word... "regret" might be a better choice. Either way...) I see mine clear as day... and am warning people away from the same. But I'm still willing to acknowledge that, for a beer enthusiast, a ridiculously expensive bottle of Utopias might be a pretty reasonable expenditure. The only difference I can tell between you and I is that you think the purchase shouldn't be questioned, whereas I wonder if someone could possibly get more education/wisdom/knowledge for less money elsewhere.
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Old 11-17-2012, 03:18 PM   #29
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Since we are on a hombrew site I have to ask why not brew yourself some?

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Old 11-17-2012, 03:21 PM   #30
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my father and I have drank 3 bottles of this AMAZEING brew

worth every penny

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