1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

488 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 488
Reviews: 288
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 16.25%
Wants: 23
Gots: 33 | 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)
View: Beers (55) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series) Alström Bros
Ratings: 488 | Reviews: 288 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of stephens101


3.93/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The dark brown pour would almost be black if it weren't for some diffuse shades of subtle red. A smallish tan head quickly fades and leaves a couple of spots of lace as evidence. Smells of dark fruits, sweet bread, phenols and some earthiness underneath it all. A bit of sourness is evident upon closer inspection. Tastes of sour dark fruits, grain, and more sweet bread. A nice alcohol heat warms the ending and some spices emerge later on. Fairly smooth going down, and I would say it's medium to heavy, but doesn't have a lot of weight on the stomach. A little hop bite would add dimensions to this brew, but I have no major complaints.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2009 22:14:05 | More by stephens101
Photo of russpowell


3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours brown hued mahogany with a pinky of tan head. Average lacing & head retention

S: Oakyness, figs & brown sugar

T: Figs, raisins, jammyness & persimmons up front along with some dryness. A bit of booze sneaks in as this warms, a fig bushel, along with brown sugar dryness, leafy hops & a touch of singed caramel apple. Finishes with a hint of smokeyness, a bit of bubblegum, warming booze, oakyness

MF: Meduim bodied, smooth, dry & becomes chewy/warming as it warms

Drinks alright, the dryness does slow me down though, along with too much figgyness. Not a bad effort, just didn't floor me

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2009 05:05:56 | More by russpowell
Photo of bilyboy65


3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 22oz bomber into a goblet glass.

A: Dark amber color with a minimal light brown head. The head didn't last to long, but there is plenty of film left on the glass from each swirl and sip.

S: There are 2 very powerful and distinct noses pertruding from this glass. That of all the raisins and then of all the malts that are used. They both offer a sweet scent to the nose, but seem to conflict in being the dominant smell. Have a heavy sugar scent from the malts and a heavy fruity scent from the raisins. If there were some roasted malts in this I would think the attempt was to mimic chocolate covered raisins, but as it is it seems like the raisins were only coated with sugar.

T: Conflicted as the nose. Leaves a delightful after taste that makes you want to quickly take another pull.

M: Medium bodied with little trace of it ever being in there.

D: Will easily fit as a desert or with a meal beer. Multiple options with drinking this one.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2009 02:40:39 | More by bilyboy65
Photo of Keith238

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber, bottle conditioned 2009, poured a deep amber with thick tan head. Raisins are very evident here and are likely the sweetest part of this brew. Dare I say it's too sweet. My lips are actually sticky from drinking it. The flavor is very nice but I was looking for more from the malt and even the yeast since it's a Belgian style. Not a bad beer by any stretch but it didn't meet my expectations overall. Hints of plums and raisins in the smell and flavor and that's about all I'm getting. I just don't find it to be very well balanced.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2009 03:24:23 | More by Keith238
Photo of Bighuge


3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear body of auburn. Thin beige head. Lacing is sporadic and spotty. This beer really smells good. Thick, doughy, bready malt base. Cinnamon and ginger accents. Just a real full nose. Solid flavor. Bread pudding malt base. Again, I get ginger and cinnamon spicing. Plum, raisin, fig. Alcohol is held in check. Solid quad, but nothing real special. Mouthfeel is a bit syrupy and overall impression too sweet for a quad.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2009 04:10:08 | More by Bighuge
Photo of brewcrew76


3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Ruby brown with a thin tan head a ring of foam left behind.

S - Sweet with dark fruits, caramel, toffee and toasted grains.

T - Sugary sweet with ripe dark fruits, toasted grains, brown sugar, honey and a touch of belgian yeast.

M - Medium body with good carbonation and a lingering sweetness.

D - A little too sweet for my tastes but some nice ripe fruit flavors come out as it warms up. Much more roasty when it is cold.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2009 00:05:31 | More by brewcrew76
Photo of johntangus

South Carolina

3.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this beer very much sitting oceanfront watching the tourists frolic in the surf.

Appearance: dark amber with a tan head

Taste: blueberries, raisins, very very sweet

Mouth: a little thin for such a big beer, but i had also tasted a Grand Cru before this one. I think anything would be a little thin after that.

Smelled like blueberries.

A very nice big beer, didn't notice a huge alcohol presence. I and my fellow drinkers could not get away from the blueberry taste, but that may be our inexperienced palate. Although it didn't make the beer any less enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2009 18:41:01 | More by johntangus
Photo of Gosox8787

New Hampshire

3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I split a bomber of this with a friend the other day. I picked it up at the store and gave it a try. Served colder, probably at around 40 degrees, but I drank over a span of half an hour so it warmed significantly.

The appearance was dark, dark, red. There was a beige, pillowy head that measured about two fingers. The nose was strong caramel notes with some dark fruits, plums and raisins, backing. The taste taste hit upfront with tart apple and grape notes, before the caramel and dark fruit backdrop was noticable. The caramel was much lighter than in the nose. Could have been more balalnce present. The mouthfeel was syrupy without much carbonation noticable, although there was some there. Drinkability was low due to the intense tartness and the high ABV, although the alcohol was pretty well hidden.

Overall, a good quad, but by no means the best I have ever had. Lots of flavor but lacking in balance.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2009 18:40:14 | More by Gosox8787
Photo of grub

Ontario (Canada)

4.2/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, purchased on a recent trip to buffalo. sampled june 11/09.

pours slightly hazy deep dark red, showing some great garnet hues when held to the light. a small dense dark tan head forms, dropping fairly quickly to a thin layer on top of the beer and leaving spotty lace behind.

aroma is great. loads of dark fruit - date, prune, raisin, plum. caramel and toffee. bit of belgian yeasty character. lightly toasted whole wheat bread. bit of cracker. light alcohol.

taste is pretty sweet. hint of roast. toasted multi-grain bread. bit of biscuit and cracker. caramel and toffee. bit of honey. sweet ripe dark fruit - date, fig, plum, raisin. just a hint of alcohol. low bitterness level. bit of chocolate. bit of belgian spice. at times it takes on an almost bock-like character, but this much sweetness would be out of place in most styles. still, it manages to stay just a shade to the good side of cloying, and certainly helps to keep the alcohol in check.

mouthfeel is good. fairly big body. just over medium carbonation level.

drinkability is pretty good. while a bit on the sweet side, it's fairly well balanced and hides its alcohol well. even approaching room temperature i'm not having any trouble finishing it. if they dialed back on the sweetness just a little it'd be really great.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2009 02:23:26 | More by grub
Photo of Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

2.78/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22 oz bottle, big thanks to grub for sharing!

Pours a clear dark ruby red, almost brown away from the light, thin light tan head forms, quickly settles to a thing ring around the glass, a few lace spots sticks, looks alright. Smell is neat, more like a bock than a quad, raisins, some caramel/brown sugar, biscuits, very bready, lots of dark fruit, something kind of citrusy and floral, not what I think of when I think of quad, just doesn't have that character. Taste is very sweet, lots of raisins, iron, brown sugar/caramel, iced tea, almost cloying, lots of fruit juice, some alcohol, dates, biscuity and dry in the finish, almost feels like my teeth are rotting. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation, alcohol is hidden relatively well, but just insanely sweet and cloying. Very sugary finish, just doesn't seem like much of a quad, and too sweet to be very enjoyable regardless of adherence to style. Thanks Russ!

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2009 02:17:59 | More by Viggo
Photo of blackie


3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a modest cream colored head over a deep garnet beer, carbonation eventually dies back to a thin ring

s: rich tree fruit aroma - pulpy plum and cherry most apparent with some toasty malts lurking underneath, a bit on the sweeter side with the fruit and raw sugars, pleasant aromatics but lacking the delicacy of a finer quad

m: carbonation on the light side of medium with a slick, medium-full body

t: loads of fruit flavor in the cherry and plum malt body, raw sugars with a light toasty malt coming out towards the finish, sweet but not distractingly so, subtly hopped, same deal as the aroma - nice flavors but lacking the balance of a fine Belgian

d: just fine

bomber from Whole Foods Reston a few months ago

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2009 03:44:39 | More by blackie
Photo of jpro

South Carolina

3.45/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at dd Peckers -

Wow, this brew looks pretty nice in the glass: deep mahogany with a light tan / off-white head. Looks pretty delicious -

Aroma was not quite as full as I was expecting. Some light touches of sweet malts, raisiny, figs, sweet!

Taste was very complex, but from what I could glean: dark fruits, black cherry, raisins; finish was molasses and maybe a touch of maple syrup in the long-lasting, sweet finish.

Mouthfeel was pretty full-bodied, mouth coating and sweet (see maple syrup finish above!)

Probably not something to drink a lot of in one sitting, but definitely a nice and interesting change of pace. Very pleasing -

Serving type: on-tap

06-08-2009 04:55:27 | More by jpro
Photo of saintwarrick

South Carolina

4.13/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brownish rust red with a sawdust yellow head. Nice aroma on this one, some rum raisin and dark fruits, very pungent and sweet with brown-sugar covered dates and figs. Taste follows that, sweeter for the style but not cloying, a little booze is detected, but nothing over the top as this is a very drinkable brew for a quad, some maple syrup in the taste as well. I like the sweetness here as this gives the brew a little character and separates it from other less worth brews.

This is a fine crafted quad, drinkable but strong while bringing something different to the table.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2009 08:04:49 | More by saintwarrick
Photo of almychristopher

New York

3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

this beer pours a nice clear mahogany color with a tan head that recedes to a ring of lace rather quickly. the aroma brings a lost of roasted character with a bit of the promised yeast. the taste brings the yeast through and through. the roasted character takes kind of a back seat. the full mouthfeel and the warmth make the mouthfeel quite nice, not a bad big beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2009 22:47:01 | More by almychristopher
Photo of WesWes

New York

3.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a translucent dark brown color with a 1/2" tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a nice roasted character with some rainsy aroma. It's dry with some warming in the nose. The taste is decent as well. It has a rich, roasted character with some Belgian yeast esters in the finish. It's not like most quads on the market. It's borderline imperial stout/barleywine. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with some prickly carbonation. This is a drinkable beer, but I'm not too high on the malt bill.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2009 22:40:46 | More by WesWes
Photo of Metalmonk

North Carolina

4.45/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Looks like a winner. Color is a deep caramel brown with a reddish shade, and the head is a thick crackly light brown monster, though it halves quickly and then hangs around as a thin skim, but not before throwing a bunch of lace on the glass.

Aroma melds dark fruit (raisins, figs, dates) and an obvious Belgian yeast strain, while offering sweeter, brighter fruit aromas (cherry), chocolate chips and something recalling fresh-baked cinnamon rolls.

Tastes as wonderful as the appearance and smell hint it will. Take all the noted impressions noted above in the aroma and then add a warming but hardly cloying alcohol to all of that. The yeast is incredibly well-incorporated. It's pretty much the make-or-break factor in the character of the flavor here (it "makes" it, no doubt), while the dark fruits, chocolate and sweet fresh dough have a killer all-night bash on top of the yeast. Late arrival brown sugar also makes it presence known. Raisins, young and plump, ride through in the finish. Delicious.

Mouth is tingly and airy, a nice complement to the high-ish alcohol content and dark color, as well as the lightly tart finish. Thankfully not over-carbonated despite plenty of bubbles, which, in this case, works toward the beer's flavor rather than against it.

Rich but balanced, well-made and quite a treat. I never read reviews of beers I'm reviewing until after I've reviewed myself, but looking at the composite "B" before I headed in and comparing that with what I'm tasting, I'm wondering if this is just a particularly outstanding batch, if it's aged just the right amount of time (although this is fairly young, bottle-conditioned just this year) or if that whole "everybody's palate is different" thing is truly the bottom line for interpreting Gravitation. As far as I'm concerned, it's yet another great beer in the Smuttynose Big Beer Series. Don't skip it!

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2009 23:18:08 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of mltobin


3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap at Monster B`s in Stamford, Connecticut.

The color is a dark red and brown mix with a one finger head.
The smell is sugary, with some different spices, like cinnamon.
Taste is brown sugar, malts, raisins. Mouthfeel is rich with a lot of flavors on my palate, abv does show itself on the aftertaste, this is a sipper. This is a good beer overall, glad that I tried it.

Serving type: on-tap

05-30-2009 01:01:04 | More by mltobin
Photo of Patrick999


3.15/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My first Smuttynose. Thanks for coming to Florida. I like these Smuttynose labels....clean font, cool pictures.

A - Poured into a Chimay chalice. Decent thumbnail head, quickly settles. Has that turbid, murky brown body typical of a quad, but not as muddy as some I've seen.

S - You can just tell this is a massive malt bomb. Raisin, lots of raisin...an atomic raisin bomb, even.

T - Just a big-assed malt bomb and no lie. Sweet and raisiny, with a deep bready underpinning. Has a good taste but really lacks the complexity of a true quad or Belgian Strong Dark from a Belgian brewer. Lacks the spicy yeast character and comes off as too sweet, even for a quad.

F - Sticky, very full-bodied. Sometimes I have a tough time with beers that feel like this. The fact that I do like the underlying taste helps.

D - A sipper in any respect. It would be better to share the bomber, maybe even 3-5 ways in very small glasses, but I am going to finish it.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2009 22:55:47 | More by Patrick999
Photo of JayQue


3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Good tasting Quad. Poured into a Chimay goblet with a dark mahogany color and lots of red highlights coming through. Small white head, quick fading with no lacing.

Good smell, dark fruit and malts.

Taste. I made the mistake of starting this one too cold. The first couple of sips were a combo RIS/Double Stout and Belgian. The malty, stout tendencies were pronounced. As the beer warmed. The malty taste fell into a better balance. Predominant tastes were dark fruits - raisins and plums, some spices, and some Belgian candi sweetness. Very nice.

Mouthfeel is rich and complex. Drinkability is ok for such a strong and sweet tasting beer. I split the bomber and that was just enough for one session.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2009 02:02:43 | More by JayQue
Photo of lilbug09


4.22/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

it poured thick and heavy. You knew that it would taste that way too. The head was tan and dispersed quickly - there was no lacing. Coloring was dark ruby brown.

The smell was malty, yeasty, and dark with lots of fruit no spice. Almost a slightly smokiness.

It was a smooth full feeling in your mouth. Some carbonation but not overwhelming.

I felt the booziness almost immediately. It was a good quad. I recommend it.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2009 00:31:28 | More by lilbug09
Photo of Willibomb

South Carolina

2.13/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

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.

Serving type: growler

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


4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Amber brown color...

S-Nice rich aroma that is heavy on the dark fruits (Black cherries, plums, red berries, black berries, grapes)...

T-Taste brings in a chocolate element....actually more of a sweet cocoa element....first thing that hits my mind when I drink this is chocolate covered cherries but that isn't quite right....more like black cherries dusted with sweet cocoa...also a pretty big red grape flavor....some brown sugar mixed in there as well

M-No heat or booziness...almost wish there was a little to add some spiciness...no real spicy feel at all...

D-This is quite enjoyable....borders on being a little too sweet but I like it..

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2009 06:36:25 | More by ZAP
Photo of Yesac


3.18/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Very dark ruby color. no head, just a ring around the edges.

S- Dark grapes and raisins ...lots of caramel and some yeast.

T- Right along with smell. Dark grapes and fruits with a big punch of toasty malts and yeast at the end. Malt taste lingers.

M- Thin/Medium bodied. Weak coating on the palate.

D- If you're into grapes and raisins, this is the brew for you. I see the description says this is made with 200lb's of raisin and it sure resembles that.Tastes like a fruit mash. Not enjoyable, I couldn't finish this. Smuttynose hasn't impressed me.. I think I'll stay clear of them after this.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2009 01:07:12 | More by Yesac
Photo of jmz62565


3.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy dark amber mahogany with a medium tan head with no lacing. Good color,but the heads alittle small. The smell is light with some dark fruit and alcohol. The taste is rich with creamy roasted malt,bread yeast,dark fruit,and alcohol. The m/f is heavy and all the flavors mix pretty well. This is a quality beer from one of my favorite New England breweries.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2009 23:56:12 | More by jmz62565
Photo of SirSketch


3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Blood red and murky colored with a husky head that sticks.

S - Loads of dark fruits, including raisin. Heavy bread dough, too. Alcohol is very apparent.

T - There is a real roller coaster ride of flavors! The raisin suggested in the aroma is there but not overpowering, along with a fruity sweetness similar to cherries. Slightly sour taste at times. The flavors masks the alcohol better than the aroma did.

M/D - Very sticky mouth feel after each sip welcomes the next one! The only downside is that it is so filling it is hard to finish.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2009 00:49:41 | More by SirSketch
Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 488 ratings.