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Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series) | Smuttynose Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
82
good
305 Reviews
THE BROS
70
okay
Read the review
BEER STATS
Reviews:
305
Ratings:
597
Avg:
3.64
pDev:
21.43%
 
 
Wants:
34
Gots:
61
For Trade:
2
Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series)Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States | website

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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%
2015 - 12.3%

Added by Oxymoron on 01-01-2009

User Reviews
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Reviews: 305 | Ratings: 597
Reviews by DeFaz:
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.

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More User Reviews:
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)

 3,306 characters

Photo of jtierney89
1/5  rDev -72.5%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Pours a hazy deep amber almost brown. Thin yellow/greenish lace of head. Big offensive nose right off the bat. I feel bad for everyone else in the restaurant. Massive rum raisin nose with detectable alcohol. Prune juice like sweetness on the nose as well. Some nail polish. Other dark fruits in the mix most noticeably plums.

Slight effervescence. Sticky fruit juice like mouthfeel. Thinner than you think it would be. Raisin and caramel sweetness up front. Rides into sweet plums and other dark fruits. The malt body gives up near the back of the tongue and alcohol burn takes over. Lots of heat on his one. The alcohol cuts some of the sweetness on the plus side but still very cloying. Just picked up a slight Belgian candy taste.

Very sweet, very little balance in the form of alcohol. Disgustingly out of balance. The flavors would be good and could work well together if it could be a bit more subtle like an actual belgian quad, but this beer has some serious balance issues and body problems. Also it tastes more like a port than a beer. And a really bad and cheap port at that.

This thing comes nowhere near being in style with a Belgian quad. It should be called Belgian style nail polish due to abundance of detectable alcohol. Overly cloying, tongue slapping, and a step away from being a malt liquor with grape flavoring.

 1,337 characters

Photo of aszatk01
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of ricksrealm
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of wrycon
4/5  rDev +9.9%

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

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume III, Issue II:

A new Quad from the Smuttynose Big Beer Series of rotating strong beers. This one is brewed with 200 pounds of raisin purée per batch--WTF.

Rich mahogany with ruby hues and a beige head that fizzes (you can hear it) down to barely a ringed lace. Major fruity esters, boozy, strawberry-rhubarb jam, ripe plum, raisin and underlying malty tones in the nose with a hint of earthy root vegetables. Thick on the palate; vicious, chewy, slick and silky mouthfeel. Slight creaminess from a spritz of fine carbonation. Massive sweetness up front, cloying, with rich toffee, a ton of toastiness (perhaps a bit too much specialty malt?) and some dry chocolate. This is all overpowered by intense fruity esters and a massive raisin presence that gets real jammy at times. Spicy. Slight warmth. Medicinal too, which just tastes too much like cough syrup. At this stage, it's hard to finish, but we did and things due mellow as the beer warms.

We're major Smutty fans across the board, so it pains us deeply to criticize, but this is nowhere near a Belgian Quad. Unfortunately, everyone will compare this to a Quad, as that's what they call it on the label and they failed to mention the most unique ingredient used in the beer--raisin purée! That said, kudos for creating something innovative.

 1,335 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A pretty beer in a goblet. Reddish/brown color with a modest size white head. An aroma of raisin bread, fruity, and a whiff of alcohol. A taste of dark fruit, and bready, making it a fairly chewy beer. A little too much on the sweet side, but still a nice beer.

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Photo of dieBlume
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of generallee
4.47/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 1 pint 6oz bottle into a chalice. The label gives a nice description of the beer and the year it was bottle-conditioned in (2009) but there is no mention of its ABV%.

Appearance: Its body has a deep warm reddish color with a small light tan head on top. This slowly fades to thick ring with a wispy thin island of foam in the middle. This makes some slick lacing on the glass.

Smell: There are lots of fruity and yeasty notes that offer hints of raison, dried apricot, caramelized malt and alcohol.

Taste/Palate: Its big full body has full smooth texture with lots of dark dried fruit notes, apricot, musty and bready yeast as well as dark caramelized almost chocolaty malts. There is an overall sweetness like Belgian sugar with a low hop presence.

Notes: Belgian Strong Dark Ales and Quadrupels are two of my favorite styles and this one did not disappoint.

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Photo of Doomcifer
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Jason
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Billolick
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber bottle, 2009 notched on the label. Pours very dark mahogany with a fairly quickly departing medium khaki head. A gentle swirl reveals strands of stringy lace. Nose is of ripe fruits. One sip reveals the oncoming problem with this beer...its sickly sweet, yikes...notes of sweet jam, and sugary malts. Usually a fan of the style but this lacks the interest and balance of the all stars of the style. The fact that I tried some Southampton Abbot 12 this afternoon did not bode well for this selection. Another sip confirms my feelings, too sweet for my liking. Doubt I would give this one another try

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Photo of reitzbrewing
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of uratowel
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for jwc215 for sending this bottle to me.

The beer pours reddish-brown with a tan head. The aroma is brown sugar, dark fruit and caramel malt. The flavor is heavy on the raisins and is very sweet. There is also a lot of vanilla in the flavor. Other dark fruit is apparent as well. The beer is very sweet overall but doesn't really have any of the Belgian character you expect from a quadrupel. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A pretty good beer, but not really a classic quadrupel.

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Photo of jiffymon
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Kraken
3.35/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed February 19th

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a 16 oz pint glass. Firm pour results in a 1/4 inch of off-white/tan head. Head fades quickly and leaves a spotty lace. Color a deep robust, but clear red.

Nose- Sweet raisins and figs. Some grape and apples come through. Lots of dark fruit.

Palate- Whoa lots of raisins. Very sweet. Smooth. Lots of interesting coco, some candied apples. Floral qualities, tones of vanilla. Slightly cloying.

Mouthfeel- Sticky, mildly cloying. Smooth.

Drinkability- Good, however one is more then enough

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Photo of pat61
4.21/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours cloudy chestnut under a 1” cream to tan foam collar. S: Rich dark malts, traces of banana and anise. T: Caramel and dark dried fruit, sweet, prune and plums, raisins, F: Medium to medium high carbonation, fine textured bubbles, creamy full body, not syrupy. O: A good, fruity quad.

 292 characters

Photo of bpfrush
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of Hairrrrrrrr
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of far333
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Slightly hazy, ruby copper colored with a thick and frothy inch high head that settles out slowly.

Aroma of sweet malt, brown sugar, toffee and ripe fruits.

Flavor is rich and sweetish, just shy of cloying, full of overripe pear and apple, some banana and marshmallow, followed by light brown sugar and plum. Slight metallic tinge in the finish, notes of Belgian yeast, followed by a light alcohol warmth.

Moderate carbonation, even mouthfeel, fairly full. Fairly drinkable, but very rich.

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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.

 1,296 characters

Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Leon's Full Service in Atlanta.

Pours a slightly hazy dark brown color with a half-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of dark malts with good amounts of sugar-coated dark fruits - raisins, prunes, and figs. Also present are hints of toasted malts with even lighter hints of grainy cocoa powder.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sweet dark malt flavors with hints of grainy toastiness kick things and are joined quickly by large amounts of dark fruit flavors - raisins, prunes, and figs, as in the aroma. Near the end of the sip very slight hints of chocolate flavors work their way into things before fading out into a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without any problems and could have another.

Overall this isn't quite up there with the big boys as far as the style goes but it's a solid take. Worth a shot.

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Photo of OBIrish24
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

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Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 305 ratings.