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Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series) - Smuttynose Brewing Company

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

492 Ratings
THE BROS
70
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 492
Reviews: 288
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 16.25%
Wants: 23
Gots: 35 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  11.50% ABV

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%

(Beer added by: Oxymoron on 01-01-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series) Alström Bros
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Ratings: 492 | Reviews: 288 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jtierney89
jtierney89

New Jersey

1/5  rDev -72.5%

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.

04-19-2012 03:50:45 | More by jtierney89
Photo of dgeebs07
dgeebs07

New York

1/5  rDev -72.5%

02-02-2012 15:15:18 | More by dgeebs07
Photo of Hawkeye1113
Hawkeye1113

Oregon

1/5  rDev -72.5%

01-11-2012 10:16:10 | More by Hawkeye1113
Photo of AwYeh
AwYeh

Ohio

1.25/5  rDev -65.6%

2010 vintage, poured into snifter

A: Pours an opaque, purplish-brown color, with just the faintest lacing of head which dissipates almost immediately.

S: Rum raisin dominates the aroma, which otherwise consists almost entirely of dark fruits. I get just a bit of white grape. Alcohol makes itself known as well.

T: Sweetness and booze are nearly all that I get out of this beer. It's so hot that it's harder to have a mouthful of this than it is a large sip of rough whiskey, and the flavors that I do get are almost only those of raisins and sugar.

M: Medium-bodied without any kind of carbonation, with considerable heat showing through. May be the hottest beer I've ever had.

O: I'm finding it extremely hard to enjoy this beer, which brings to mind Smuttynose's wheat wine, which similarly tasted of alcohol and sugar. Putting the raisin flavors aside, this tastes and feels more like a flat rum and coke than a beer.

09-18-2012 07:37:25 | More by AwYeh
Photo of deeznuts420
deeznuts420

Pennsylvania

1.84/5  rDev -49.3%

another american quad that falls short on all levels. the appearance was very light colored for a quad. looked like a watered down barleywine brownish red with no head at all. smell was very sweet cherry like that i knew right away was gonna be cloyingly sweet with some booze. taste and mouthfeel was cloyingly sweet, cherry like alittle raisiny and thin mouthfeel. the only thing i find good about this beer was the high alcohol. sort of a weak ass troegs mad elf

03-23-2013 11:15:11 | More by deeznuts420
Photo of nathanjohnson
nathanjohnson

Vermont

2/5  rDev -44.9%

11-18-2011 12:31:01 | More by nathanjohnson
Photo of chrispoint
chrispoint

Connecticut

2/5  rDev -44.9%

02-20-2012 18:20:22 | More by chrispoint
Photo of Polasiuss
Polasiuss

Ireland

2/5  rDev -44.9%

01-27-2012 20:27:36 | More by Polasiuss
Photo of DeFaz
DeFaz

Ohio

2.05/5  rDev -43.5%

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.

11-16-2013 23:19:37 | More by DeFaz
Photo of Chico1985
Chico1985

Massachusetts

2.05/5  rDev -43.5%

Thanks to atremains for sharing this.

I'll keep it short and sweet because I didn't write down a full review at all. Smelled and tasted of fruit punch that had been spiked at a high school prom. Highly medicinal, tart dark fruit. Boozy and not very enjoyable, missing the excellent balance and complexities of the Belgian quads. Mouthfeel is way too thin for the style as well. The price is low at least. Smuttynose is usually stellar and I know quad must be a tough style to brew. I did have this right after Speedway Stout, I would give it another shot.

07-03-2010 16:12:51 | More by Chico1985
Photo of Willibomb
Willibomb

South Carolina

2.13/5  rDev -41.3%

A- At this point I was optimistic, as this beer has a very interesting color with hints of amber and purple.

S- It has a clear raisen smell, which is not great, since raisens stink and smell a bit sweet for a beer. This was the dominant scent, with no hop freshness. Even for a Quad, it is loaded with a sweet aroma right up front. This beer is certainly not trying to blur the catagory.

T- Right from the start, it gives you a boozey hit of excess malt/raisen flavor, which turns to a adjunct-like alcohol finish which did not impress me. It can be noted that there were no hop flavor at all, not just diminished or overshadowed, but completely not present. This is the first QUAD that has made me physically cringe from the transition to the after-taste.

M- Aside from the taste, it has a decent mouthfeel, but there again, I barely remember it after the taste. This beer has a body that makes it very smooth in your mouth for a high gravity beer. This is in fact a very BIG beer as far as malt (8.5% not too high gravity)

D- This beer has NO drinkability. I might enjoy it as a gimmick or in a taster, however a 64 oz growler to split between 2 is completely rediculous. We were covered in sticky malt, and frowns as we couldn't handle the sugar shock for more than about 2 pints.

In summary, a QUAD should have a lot of malt, but the key is to balance that power with flavor and complexity. Aside from tasting like prune juice, this beer is NOT complex. While I appreciate the extreme take on a beer, and the daring attempt to make raisens cool again, I just did not like it at all. It reminds me of my friend who tried to homebrew with berries, and he did not cut back on the malt... it just tasted defective.

05-20-2009 19:37:05 | More by Willibomb
Photo of angrybabboon
angrybabboon

New Hampshire

2.28/5  rDev -37.2%

Review adapted from notes taken 5/21/10

Appearance: Reddish brown with a nice little head and some lacing

Smell: Lots of sugar, grapes and raisins, caramel malts and some alcohol

Taste: I must preface my comments by noting that I had this beer at a BA event months prior to this bottle. I thought it was bad, but I attributed my inability to taste anything but sugar to the possibility that my taste buds were off because I had too much to drink. So I bought a bomber. And the scary thing is that I wasn't far off. Gravitation is insanely sweet. It is disgustingly sweet. More than anything else, this beer tastes like grape jelly that was blended into sugar water. There are some malts, and there are even some herbal hops in the background, but mostly this just tastes like bad jelly.

Mouthfeel: Heavy and sticky with some carbonation - would be good if the taste weren't so bad

Overall: Despite the bad taste and the high ABV, I've definitely had more undrinkable beers

This beer was a big disappointment for me. After all, I love Smutty, and I never could have expected that they could produce something bad. But this is not a good beer. It's not a good representation of the quad style, and it just tastes like nasty grape jelly. Still, it's better than drinking a Corona.

03-09-2011 23:54:47 | More by angrybabboon
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
ThreeWiseMen

California

2.28/5  rDev -37.2%

Wiseman Zach brought this back from his trip to Boston last month.

2009 vintage poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Body is brownish red (mahogany), bright, and clear (need to hold it to light). A ring of khaki-colored foam sits on top and drags a bit of lacing. I'd actually like to see something a bit murkier/more mysterious, but it looks pretty nice overall.

Smell: Big-time fig, accompanied by molasses, honey, brown sugar, and other sweet aromas. This is cloyingly sweet. Echh.

Taste: Fig, brown sugar, and raisin come through the strongest. Flowery esters and earth come through in the finish. Not sweet enough to be called cloying, but it's close. I'm not liking this one too much.

Mouthfeel: Syrupy ("greasy," says Jorge), full, super malty and sweet... just a mess. If it weren't for the low carbonation, this would feel just like a dessert wine. Aftertaste is sweet, yet oddly bitter - just unpleasant. Boo.

Drinkability: I was able to finish my 6oz. serving, but I didn't want anymore. This is the worst quad I've come across so far.

04-29-2010 03:58:50 | More by ThreeWiseMen
Photo of saccro
saccro

Pennsylvania

2.3/5  rDev -36.6%

This beer has that old soy saucy type flavor from being around too long, so I can't do a serious review of it. There's a touch of spice in the taste, but overall the beer is just WAY too sugary sweet and not very complex. Pretty bad. Oh man, I just tried it again. It's so cloyingly sweet. The mouthfeel is pretty in par with quads, but suddenly you're hit with the overwhelming sweetness. Did I mention it was too sweet?

01-03-2010 00:41:04 | More by saccro
Photo of PDXHops
PDXHops

South Carolina

2.33/5  rDev -35.8%

Bomber poured into a LaChouffe tulip. 2010 bottling, says the notch on the label (Why don't they always notch out the labels?).

Pours out a murky dark amber with a smallish head that quickly reduces into a small collar of foam. No lacing.

Very sweet nose. Plenty of dark fruit, raisin, apple and some cloves, but lots of general sweetness as well. The first wave of flavor is nothing but sweetness. It's followed up by the fruit again and a little tobacco, but the sweetness dominates to a degree that limits enjoyability. Not too much in the way of "Belgian" flavors. Mouthfeel is rather smooth and oily- a bump in carbonation might be a welcome addition here.

Overall impression: Cellar-worthy? I'm not too optimistic. It doesn't taste "raw", just really sweet. I'm not tasting lots of potential here. Still, I may tuck aside a bottle or 2 to see if I can prove myself wrong (review to be updated if that's the case).

06-14-2010 23:14:24 | More by PDXHops
Photo of ShadesOfGray
ShadesOfGray

Pennsylvania

2.35/5  rDev -35.3%

Poured from a 22oz bomber into my Westvleteren chalice. Pours a very solid/cloudy dark brown color with a small and light creamy head.

Aroma is very stong of raisins. Extremely sweet smell along with some booze.

Flavor is close to the verge of raisin overkill. Reminds me of Founders Bad Habit Quad. Candi sweetness, boozy...and just overall sweet. Mild complexity and smooth.

01-11-2010 04:22:32 | More by ShadesOfGray
Photo of drseamus
drseamus

New York

2.35/5  rDev -35.3%

A: Dark garnet body with a nice white head.

S: It smells a touch sweet. Good amount of dark fruit. Nice malt.

T: Woah momma. Sweet just begins to describe this. There are some fruits but it is way too sweet.

M: Medium bodied and possibly the only redeemable quality.

D: I can't drink this.

04-10-2009 00:04:49 | More by drseamus
Photo of Paymygasbill77
Paymygasbill77

Pennsylvania

2.4/5  rDev -33.9%

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.

11-23-2013 21:08:32 | More by Paymygasbill77
Photo of SaCkErZ9
SaCkErZ9

Florida

2.4/5  rDev -33.9%

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a La Fin Du Monde tulip glass. Beer emerges a dark fig color with no head to speak of. Looks like prune juice mixed with tea.

Aroma is sickly sweet and raisiny and really quite figgy. Dark fruits, alcohol, sugar, caramel malts, molasses. Very medicinal, like rubbing alcohol or that stuff that kills warts.

Sickly sweet flavor profile. More of the figs and a sort of plum jam feeling and taste. Cloying. I feel like I have received a cavity from this beer due to its sweetness.

A 22oz bottle is impossible to finish: I doubt I could even finish a 12oz'er. Sweet, cloying, sticky, chewy; like a liquefied jam. Not enjoyable and not acceptable. I need to see my dentist, STAT.

10-23-2010 14:47:11 | More by SaCkErZ9
Photo of ryan1788a5
ryan1788a5

Massachusetts

2.48/5  rDev -31.7%

22oz bomber poured into a Chimay goblet.

A: Deep, clear red-brown. Very thin off-white head sputters out almost immediately. Wouldn't expect this from a bottle conditioned Belgian. Light patchy lacing.

S: Plum, cherry, and blackberry jam. Vinous grapes and alcohol. Extremely faint hint of Belgian yeast and spices.

T: Cherry and jam sweetness opens. Belgian yeast follows up with faint hints of cinnamon, spices, and earthiness. Sweetness builds again and becomes cloying. Plum esters, an overpowering taste of vinous grapes, and a hefty dose of alcohol destroy the mid-palate. Finishes very sweet with vinous tastes and a touch of chocolate.

M: Medium bodied, syrupy. Under carbonated. Harsh alcohol burn.

O: Did not care for this one. Finishing it was an almost masochistic ordeal.

Notes: I've had this beer before, and I could swear it was totally different this time around (and this was after the recipe change and hike-up to 12% abv). This is an under- carbonated, cloying, boozy mess. And that's after about 8 months of cellar time too. The first time I had it I probably would have rated it a solid B+. I don't know if I got an off bottle or what, but this was pretty terrible. I might have to re-visit it, but I'm kind of dreading that prospect. This is the first beer by Smuttynose that I did not enjoy.

04-02-2011 20:11:32 | More by ryan1788a5
Photo of BillDon
BillDon

Massachusetts

2.5/5  rDev -31.1%

12-23-2011 21:45:23 | More by BillDon
Photo of bburghart
bburghart

Virginia

2.5/5  rDev -31.1%

08-24-2013 02:44:50 | More by bburghart
Photo of jmsedgwick
jmsedgwick

Mississippi

2.5/5  rDev -31.1%

01-24-2014 12:29:30 | More by jmsedgwick
Photo of RRC03
RRC03

New Hampshire

2.5/5  rDev -31.1%

11-20-2013 23:06:56 | More by RRC03
Photo of jfcaa193
jfcaa193

Connecticut

2.5/5  rDev -31.1%

02-01-2012 02:55:58 | More by jfcaa193
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Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 492 ratings.