Boston Beer Co., maker of the Samuel Adams line of beers, is again conducting its Beer Lover’s Choice competition, in which customers select which of two beers the company should add to its lineup.

The two choices this year are an Oaked Ale and a Maple Pecan Porter. I have yet to taste either offering, but the Oak Ale is described as being a deep red, medium-bodied beer with a subtle hops earthiness, notes of oak and a lingering sweetness. The Maple Pecan Porter has a reddish-black hue with notes of coffee and chocolate, and balanced with maple syrup and pecan.

The only Beer Lover’s Choice tasting coming up in Maine will be Sept. 24 at the Maine Lakes Brew Fest at Point Sebago Resort, although one was held last week at Bootleggers in Topsham.

When it was announced earlier this week that Samuel Adams, along with Narragansett, had been added to the Portland Brew Festival (Sept. 3-4), I was hoping it would include the Beer Lover’s Choice, but that is not the case. You can, however, vote at the Samuel Adams brewery at 30 Germania St. in Boston.

Previous winners of the contest were a Revolutionary Rye in 2010, Noble Pils from 2009, Blackberry Witbier from 2008, Irish Red from 2007, Honey Porter from 2006 and Brown Ale from 2005. 

A COUPLE of months ago, I reported on Samuel Adams Utopias, a 27 percent alcohol brew that is more like a cognac than a beer. It costs about $150 for a 22-ounce bottle.

At the initial tasting by five beer drinkers, no one actually liked it. We respected it and realized it was a complex beer, but not one would want to drink again. So I put the beer away — like cognac, it can be kept for a while.

In the weeks since, four other people have tried Utopias, and all of them like it a lot. One couple even said they would like to buy a bottle for a special occasion like Christmas. And they finished our bottle Sunday night.

So, as I expected, the fact that none of the first sample of Utopias tasters cared for it was an aberration.

Tom Atwell can be contacted at 791-6362 or at:

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