Strong brew, 29 ABV, at $6.66 an ounce
on 10/09/12 at 10:24 amBeer
The 2012 edition of Samuel Adams Utopias will ship in October, according to Boston Beer chairman Jim Koch. The latest batch measures “28-ish, toward 29 percent” alcohol,” he estimates. The beer is blended from dozens and dozens of barrels — some of which are fermented as high as 33 percent.
“We blended down because this is not about reaching the highest possible alcohol content, but producing the most interest, complex, best-tasting beer,” he says. The original Utopias was released in 2002 and measured a then-record-setting 24 percent alcohol. Subsequent versions in 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011 inched slowly upward in strength, with last year’s vintage reaching 27 percent.
A few breweries have claimed even more alcoholic beers, notably BrewDog in Fraserburgh, Scotland, whose End of History reportedly clocked in at 55 percent alcohol. But those beers are produced through freeze distillation, while Utopias attains its proof from fermentation alone.