Wow! That’s Some Kind of Hate

Thanks to Mr. McC for alerting me after the fact of Josh Rubin’s column in the Toronto Star last week, announcing what has long been rumoured in Ontario beer circles, namely that the LCBO will soon be bringing in 40 bottles of the Boston Beer Company’s Utopias, priced at $115 per 26 ounce bottle.

That people would react strongly to a beer of 27% alcohol priced at over one hundred bucks a bottle is no surprise, but oh, the hatred that appears on the comments section of Josh’s story.

  • $115 for a new beer is just dumb. Its (sic) almost as dumb as voting Liberal!!!!!!!
  • It probably tastes like crap. All strong beers do and maple syrup probably doesn’t help. A beer should be smooth and light on alcohol, so you can drink lots of it should there be a good occasion for it.
  • Boo!! LCBO bothers to import THIS craptastic, overpriced stuff, but can’t manage to get their hands on more beers from both regional/national & international craft breweries?

Now how many of these and the other erudite beer philosophers on the Star’s commentary page do you suppose have actually tasted Utopias, or are aware that this exact vintage of the beer retailed for $150 or more Stateside when it was released? Hands up for none!

For the record, here’s what I noted in the pages of Nation’s Restaurant News when the beer was first released:

For each of the last three editions of the 27% alcohol Utopias, I have advised readers to cellar this boisterous and youthful brew until it has managed to mature out its rough edges. For the 2009 issue, however, the sage minds at the Boston Beer Company have blended in several older brews, including some aged in used bourbon, Scotch whisky, port, sherry and muscatel barrels for up to sixteen years, which has served to create a far more complex and glass-ready brew.

Expect orange peel and fig, chocolate and cinnamon in the nose and caramel and vanilla alongside more fruit and spice in the body, all culminating in a warming, spirituous finish. I would recommend serving this pricy brew at room temperature in one to two ounce portions, since it may be kept on the bar without spoilage for weeks after opening.

The very same bottle I used to compose the above tasting notes, incidentally, still sits upon my desk with beer inside, awaiting an experimental one year anniversary sampling. It has been exposed to all the heat and temperature changes my condo can throw at it, not to mention almost a full twelve months worth of oxidization. Tune in next month to see if it survived.

7 Replies to “Wow! That’s Some Kind of Hate”

  1. My only regret is that the LCBO did not import the wee 2 oz bottles that seem to have been around at least at one point. I would have certainly tried one of those at, say, an $8.95 – $9.95 price point by the fire.

  2. I am curious to see what the results are of the Utopias next month. I have a 2003 and 2005 that i have not opened yet. About a year ago i had a party at my house and the next day i noticed that the cap on the 03 looked like it was crooked like someone had maybe opened it. I didn’t remember it looking that way before. If in fact it has been opened I hope that it is still good!

  3. Really looking forward to see how the Utopias held up over the past year, though I can only dream of getting a bottle for myself without trading or traveling with Georgia’s 14% ABV cap on beer. One day, though. One day…

  4. It was only 6% in West Virginia until last year. It doesnt make any sense because you used to be able to buy grain alcohol. They finally raised it to 12%. But i still normally buy most if my high gravity beer in Baltimore because Maryland does not have a law on alcohol content in beer.

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