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Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series) - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series)Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

549 Ratings
THE BROS
75
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 549
Reviews: 298
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 15.66%
Wants: 32
Gots: 49 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Oxymoron on 01-01-2009

This big, dark ale is brewed using a variety of Belgian specialty malts along with 200 pounds of raisin puree per batch. The resulting flavor is a viscous mix of dark fruit, rum, toffee and raisins balanced with aromatic fruitiness of the Belgian yeast.

25 IBU

2009 - 6.6%
2010 - 12.0%
2011 - 12.5%
2012 - 12.0%
2013 - 11.5%
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 549 | Reviews: 298
Photo of kojevergas
2.08/5  rDev -42.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.75

"This is what blowing it looks like." - Will McAvoy, The Newsroom

Quadrupel - one of my favourite styles, if not my favourite style when properly executed.

I nabbed this 650ml bottle at an Austin, TX grocery store; I believe it's a 2014 vintage. Reviewed live as a quadrupel per the label. Expectations are above average given the brewery.

12.3% ABV.

Served cold into a goblet and allowed to warm over the course of consumption.

HEAD: ~.5 fingers wide at best. White colour. Plump and soft-looking, with sufficient creaminess and thickness. Leaves light lacing as it recedes. Retention is average - ~2 minutes.

BODY: Oddly, it's a dark copper with orange and gold hues. Translucent; nontransparent. The colour is just plain wrong for the style...

It's not a good-looking quadrupel by any means. Lacks the long-lasting delicate soft head and the darker plum colour of the best beers in the style. I'm skeptical already.

AROMA: Yeast attenuation is completely off; this is way too sweet judging by the aroma. Booze, prune, raisin, grape, caramelized date...this is at best an overly sweet, syrupy approximation of the style. I'm anticipating a sticky cloying brew with no delicate or subtle notes whatsoever.

Aromatic intensity is high...too high for the style. Where's the subtlety?

At least there're no overt hop notes or off-flavours.

TASTE/TEXTURE: Boozy, sure. Has a weird grape emphasis with subsidiary notes of boozy rum-soaked dates, prunes, and raisins. Lacks the delicate fig and plum you'd expect in a good example of the style. The alcohol presence is obnoxious, and it's way too sugary and sweet, with a strange copper malt emphasis and an odd lack of any discernable Belgian character...did they even use Trappist yeast? The attenuation is way too low, and the heavy candi sugar presence doesn't help at all.

There's no subtlety to the flavour profile whatsoever; it's plain and straightforward, with a shallowness unbecoming of a good quadrupel. Lacks any delicate spicing or fragile dark fruit. It's a bit jammy in its presentation of fruit flavour, an unfortunate characteristic amplified by its sticky sweet feel on the palate.

It's not fragile or delicate in its texture at all, and instead offers only off-putting thickness and overcarbonation. This suffers from far too much thickness, heft, and weight on the palate, coming off overbearing. Has a figlike chewiness, to its detriment. Too full-bodied. Syrupy, even. Its viscosity is an even bigger problem than its lackluster flavour profile.

In addition to its painful lack of any intricacy or nuance whatsoever, it lacks a harmony of texture to taste. In fact, the mouthfeel distracts from the taste.

OVERALL: An overcaramelized simple grape-bomb with few redeeming characteristics, Gravitation is a (purported) quadrupel that just shouldn't have made it to market. The discerning drinker will find it off-putting, and finishing the whole bottle will be a trying experience. Perhaps the worst beer I've had from Smuttynose to date, and a flat failure of an attempt at a quadrupel. Boozy to the point that it's difficult to drink; hell, if you told me this was rum barrel aged for a couple months I might believe you. I haven't had a quadrupel this bad in quite some time.

Not a bad way to murder a diabetic...

D (2.08)

Photo of probert
4.75/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Very good Belgian quad ale

Photo of AndrewMichael
4.05/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle conditioned, poured into a pint glass. Great bananas aroma, very smooth 12+% abv and nice Belgian quad, thoroughly enjoyed.

Photo of rangerred
3.41/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I love quads so therefore I was eager to try this beer. Unfortunately, it is a bit of a let down as it just lacks the sophistication of most Belgian quads. The head is lacking and while the aroma is good, the beer is way too sweet. Very nice dried fruit and clove characteristics with alcohol becoming more prominent as the beer warms. If the sweetness could be dialed back a bit it would do wonders for the beer.

Photo of Johnd8
4.43/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Loved this on draft. It was slightly out of style, but thats part of why I liked it so much.

Photo of dpgoblejr
4.75/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A golden reddish brown brew clocking in a 12.3% abv. It's very well hidden and quite a delight to drink. Dark fruit aroma dominates the nose and the palate and is coated nicely. I don't/never have claimed to be a fan/pro of belgian quads but I found Smuttynoses' take on this style to be very impressive. I could/would recommend this offering!

Photo of badgustav
4.17/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I'm quite impressed with Smuttynose's venture into the world of Quads. The color is redish-brown and has a lovely fruity nose. The flavor is very sweet for a quad, with a silky mouthfeel. I'm curious to spree what 6 months to a year do to this beer.

Photo of superspak
3.94/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into chalice, 2015 vintage bottling. Pours slightly hazy deep orange/copper color with a 1 finger dense off white head with poor retention, that reduces to a thin ring pretty quickly. Minimal lacing on the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of golden raisin, plum, fig, pear, apple, grape, light banana, pepper, clove, caramel, toasted bread, candi sugar, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast and bready/candi sugar malt notes; with good strength. Taste of golden raisin, plum, pear, apple, grape, light banana, pepper, clove, caramel, candi sugar, toasted bread, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Good amount of yeast spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of golden raisin, plum, fig, pear, apple, grape, light banana, pepper, clove, caramel, candi sugar, toasted bread, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity and robustness of fruity/spicy yeast and bready/candi sugar malt flavors; with a great malt/yeast balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth and slightly slick/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice pale Quadrupel style! All around good balance, robustness, and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast and bready/candi sugar malt flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the huge ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

Photo of JebBeerFish
3/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I haven't been drinking a lot of quads, this one seems slightly sweeter than average to me, but a very average brew.

Photo of scottbrew4u
3.37/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Very sweet and needs a bit more time to mellow. Enjoyed a few sips then it was too cloying.

Photo of Blackpond
3.96/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Deep red ale. All of 12% lovely drinker out if a tulip. Simply enjoy.

Photo of Kendo
3.52/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2011 bottle. Consumed on June 15, 2014. Reviewed from notes.

A: Poured into a Piraat tulip/snifter-type glass. Body is reddish-brown with a half-finger khaki head on top that settles quickly and leaves no lace.

S: Dried fruits - figs, dates and raisins - and alcohol. Noticeable alcohol right away gives a medicinal scent to this one.

T: Follows the nose, with mainly dried fruits (prunes & raisins), ripe fruits (apples, grapes and plums), some brown sugar and a big wollop of boozy heat at the finish. Not well integrated, and not at all like a good Belgian quad.

M: Nearly full-bodied, with some slickness. Carbonation is low, but then this bottle has been in my cellar for 2+ years.

O: Nothing to write home about, though it will certainly get you drunk.

Photo of SportsandJorts
4.09/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Let me start this off by saying that I know this is not a classic quad. My review is of an experimental quad, which I know that it is due to the description by smuttynose.

Appearance: deep reddish orange color. a half finger of an off white head that fades pretty quickly and leaves a weak lacing. pretty hazy and near opaque.

Smell: the two things that stand out the most are raisins and a booziness, possible other dark fruits and some belgian yeast. fairly sweet overall

Taste: opens up with raisins, and just about as juicy as raisins get at that, some additional dark fruits such as plums, a definite booziness that is never astringent. belgian yeast and sweetness work its way through at some points

Mouthfeel: not overly heavy, medium in body. sweet and juicy feeling throughout followed by a slightly dry ending.

Overall: This beer is no traditional quad, but I did enjoy it quite a bit. I rate experimental ipas as such so why not a quad too? I'd say this is a tasty beer and worthwhile to anyone who is open to an experimental quad. the boozy and raisin aspects combine perfectly to for a tasty big brew.

Photo of Suds
3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This is an amber colored brew...a bit hazy with some 'floaties' and a very thin head. The alcohol is immediately evident....it has a boozy, malt-intense smell. There is some yeast and hop scent in the aroma as well, along with a huge fruit profile. I got peach and apricot at first, but then a multi-layered, spice-backed complexity came forth. Intense. The taste is equally big and powerful. Serious bitterness and lots of alcohol warmth. The alcohol could be folded in a bit more subtlely, but the brew is still very well made. Full in body, but the alcohol warmth is distracting from the mouthfeel. A nice big brew.

Photo of bushbeer75
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22 oz brown bottle - label notched 2011

Smuttynose Gravitation Belgian Quad filled my snifter with a dark rust color and produced a small 1/4 finger tan head that dissipated quickly. Spotty lacing was present as the ale was consumed. The nose was dominated by dark fruit and raisins. The taste was malt dominated with raisins, and toffee in the forefront followed by a little fruitiness from the yeast. A pleasant alcohol warming is present at the finish. Mouth feel is smooth, fuller bodied with low-medium carbonation.

Gravitation is a good American quad - it is a sipper for sure.

Photo of Boto
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bomber: This one pours a darker caramel color. There was almost no head or lacing on it. Nice nose. Yeast, spices, caramel, dark fruits. The taste is very good. Some sweet caramel malt, raisin, bready, and a hint of roast and chocolate. Smooth. A very nice beer.

Photo of bnes09
3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Deep caramel color. Hazy with a few yeast flakes. Thin, creamy head leaves a ring around the glass. Small lines of lace.

Fruity, yeasty aroma. Slightly acidic. Caramel and brown sugar.

Rich, sweet malt character. Caramel and molasses. Figs and raisins. Acidic apple cider. Leafy, herbal, oily hop character. Finishes with high ester levels.

Full bodied. Dense, yeasty texture. Low carbonation.

Descent quad. A little high on the acid and ester qualities but overall, pretty solid.

Photo of Paymygasbill77
2.45/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

A- Poured from bomber that was bottle-conditioned in 2013. I poured the beer into a short yard glass. It pours a caramel brown with lots of carbonation. The head dissipates quickly.

S- straight raisins and alcohol. Nothing else.

T - Yuck! Raisins and alcohol with a bit of salt? Over time it does mellow out and allows some dark fruit to come through.

m- Chewy and thick with a slickness on the tongue. Some mild carbonation allows the beer to cut some of the thickness.

O- This isn't that great. I bet that it would mellow out and allow the flavors to marry after a year or so. If you decide to get this bottle, make sure you sit on it for a while before you drink it.

Photo of DeFaz
2.11/5  rDev -42%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.75

Appearance: Pours a light brown color with a medium head. Fair retention and decent lacing.

Smell: Alcohol (and a lot of it), raisins, figs, random fruit. Very (too) sweet smelling.

Taste: I'm new to quads, but this is simply disgusting. I appreciate the effort to make such a big beer, but the raisins go too far, the alcohol is 12% and tastes like 12%, and nothing is there to balance the over the top sweetness.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is pretty good, as the beer is somewhat sticky but avoids being too much so given the unchecked sweetness. Thickness is medium and carbonation is low/medium.

Overall: This is one of few beers that I simply have to dump out. As others have said, it is a mess. A 12% ABV beer can work only if there is balance, and the effort here to conceal the alcohol with the super sweet raisin and fig flavors creates an unpleasant experience. There are 80 proof liquors that don't taste this alcoholic.

Photo of mentor
2.67/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I'm assuming this is the 2013 vintage. Thickly pours a thin light tan head over a cloudy dark copper liquid. Smells hay, belgian phenolic spicy, candi-sugar, fig, green raisin, green apple, oregano, pancake batter.

Tastes potently belgian yeast spicy, herbal, apricot & tropical fruity, with some light caramel. Ends with a peppery zip. Clean alcohol sting is drying and digs a small amount into the overly sweet malt. It's not cloying, due to the spicy and alcohol, but it's not far from it. Medium thick in the mouth with modest carbonation. Too much for this to be an abbey ale, perhaps a trippel in the malt profile?

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Super sweet chewy beer, let it age. That's the short review. Appears a deep amber highlighted golden hue with khaki head forming thick head clings evenly to the sides of the glass. Aroma has deep fruit, think ripened apricot, figs, and in this beer's case loads of pureed raisin. A bit of alcohol on the nose, brightens things up a bit let's you know what your dealing with a big ass Belgian style Quad...to balance out the sweetness I'm smoking a RoMa Craft Anthropology, Nicaraguan rolled big ass cigar to bring some earthy spice, black pepper, and leather into the mix it really let's the beer shine the contrast between dark earthy tobacco leaves and these dark fruit elements I speak of. Flavor of the quad is super sweet it just sits on the sides of the tongue, it's big chewy and flavorful in the back end be ready for some alcohol to add to the depth. This bottle I bought for $6.50 needs to be laid down for a year at least, it's still a bit hot and I believe the overwhelming layers of sweetness will mellow out. Body is big bodacious and heavily filled with residual sugars on the palate, it's big and definitely burns and warms your chest with each sip. Overall I suggest getting some 2013 now and sitting on it for future use, great beer now will only get better with some mellowing.

Photo of utopiajane
3.24/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This poured a murky reddish amber with a thin head that fell fast to a thin ring, shimmering wet lace and alcohol legs. Little yeast floating on top. Very light in color for a quad looks more like a barleywine. Nose is raisin, dark fruits, plum, date, caramel malt, candy sugar, a quick glimpse of bread but really more cake like malt and alcohol. Has a very high abv. Taste follows the nose all the way. Raisin, butter and rum. Reminds one of fruitcake. It’s a little out of balance with no bitter at all and lots of booze. It’s immediately warming, medicinal and has just a bit of spice. Mouthfeel is thin and has a sticky fruit juice quality to it. This is a big sweet beer with not a lot of carbonation that finishes dry from all the booze. It was not unpleasant but I would call it an interpretation on the belgian quad.

Photo of Axnjxn
4.01/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Sam's in Durham. Poured into a pint glass.

Pours a cloudy amber color with a slight head. Not at all what i was expecting a quad to look like. Smell is traditional quad... dark fruits, not too huge but complexity is apparent. Taste follows suit, dark fruit - plums, grapes. No alcohol present, extremely impressive for 11.5%. I quite dig this one. Feel is appropriate, medium bodied with medium-low carbonation. No problem drinking this one.

Overall a very good quad that is taste appropriate. If youre in the mood for a complex belgian style, this one wont disappoint.

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.41/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

2013. Poured in a tulip, the beer is an opaque, bright, orange-amber coloring with a thin, frothy, big bubbled, off-white head that settles into a filmy coating. Aromas of booze, toffee, and biscuit, with some rich berry and old world fruit highlights. Flavors are bold and rich, with a date and raisin sweetness that overpowers most of the spicing. Only hints of all spice sneak through, and barely. The booze overpowers all of the flavors, and deadens some of the palate. Slick and smooth in mouth, the beer comes off a bit muddled, both with flavors and feel. The aftertaste is richly sweet and slightly warming, with a smooth, mid-lingering finish. Not bad.

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a snifter

Appearance – Pours a brownish amber color with a small cream colored head. The head fades relatively quickly to leave a light level of lace on the sides of the glass

Smell – The aroma of the brew is heaviest of a toasted grain and malty smell with a good dose of darker fruits of raisin, fig and plum. Along with these aromas are notes of yeast and candied sugars and a moderate amount of orange and clove, which all all are mixed with a boozy smell produce a sweet and warming aroma overall.

Taste – The taste begins with a big lightly toasted malt flavor and a good showing of lighter sweet flavors of raisin, plum and cherry along with a rather strong flavor of a sweet tangerine. As the flavor advances notes of some buttery toffee, yeast, as well as some flavors of alcohol start creeping their way into the taste profile. The yeast bring with it some flavors of spice as well as a banana flavor bringing the more characteristic Belgian character to the brew. The maltiness fades slightly more toward the end (but still overall remains rather strong) with the boozy flavor becoming more intense and taking on an almost rum like flavor.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is thick and creamy with a carbonation level that is on the slightly lower to average side. The combination of thick and creamy body as well as lower carbonation suit this big, sweet, malty and boy brew quite well.

Overall – Quite a potently sweet and big beer. Rather tasty, but nothing too exceptional.

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Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 549 ratings.