Both Samuel Adams and Harpoon have beers returning this fall, and they are some of the best beers either of the breweries produce.
First up is the return of the Samuel Adams Utopias. This is the 10th Anniversary batch, and things have been kicked up a notch. This version of the Utopias is 29 percent alcohol by volume, which equals 58 proof.
Utopias is a blend of several different liquids, some of which have been aged in wood barrels for 19 years, including some of the original Triple Bock.
The barrels used include single-use bourbon casks from the Buffalo Trace Distillery, Tawny Port casks, vintage Ruby Port casks and rum barrels.
I had a small glass of the 10th Anniversary Utopias the other night, and loved it. It’s a bit sweet – you get a lot of honey and caramel in the flavor – but it also tastes like a fine liquor. It’s not carbonated and it is very smooth, shocking for 58 proof.
The bottles are retailing locally for about $250 a bottle, so it is an investment if you decide to buy it.
Also soon to hit stores is the return of Harpoon’s Grateful Harvest Ale.
The Grateful Harvest ale is a New England cranberry ale. I wasn’t excited to try this beer because I’m not a cranberry fan, but I found myself enjoying it immensely.
The beer is available in six packs, and for every six-pack purchased, the brewery will donate $1 to local food banks as part of the Harpoon Helps program.
In 2011 and 2012, Harpoon has donated more than $49,500 to local food banks through the sales of Grateful Harvest.
Drinking a good beer that helps people makes it taste all that much better.