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Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series) - Smuttynose Brewing Company

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

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518 Ratings

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Ratings: 518
Reviews: 293
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 15.98%
Wants: 30
Gots: 46 | 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: 518 | Reviews: 293 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

Photo of cpetrone84
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours a dark red, almost brown liquid with a slight haze. The head is two full fingers, somewhat thick and has solid retention. The lace is pretty thick and holds very strong.

S-the nose is pretty huge but not what I was expecting. Faint notes of toasted bread with a ton of caramel and slightly burnt brown sugar. Dark fruits of raisin and fig are faint and light towards the back. There is also a fair hop profile with resignous pine and some citric hops.

T-the taste is also big and resembles a barleywine moreso than a quad. Tons of sweet caramel up front with notes of brown sugar. Extreme malt sweetness with additions of sticky dark fruits, raisins and figs. Notes of chocolate and molasses in the middle with just a touch of hops in the back

M-this is medium, smooth, creamy, and syrupy. It coats the mouth and is quite wet and oily throughout. The carbonation is low and keeping it smooth.

D-this is a pretty big beer with very solid flavors and a nice complexity. It isn't really like a quad that much as but still a very tasty and smooth drinking beer

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A buddy brought this over tonight before he headed back to suburbia.. Thanks Marc!! I think I've had this before.. but I don't remember.

bottle foamed over ... descent head dies really quickly with no real lacing.. the brew is very clear deep mahogany with purple highlites..

Nose is pretty thick .. more caramel and toffee than deep malts .. very raisiny..

flavor again holds huge amounts of raisins.. still plenty of caramel.. but it shows more as sweetness than maltiness.. lite dark fruit esters remind me of cherries, but are almost blown out by the sticky raisins.. just so separated on each sip.. there is alot going on here, but it doesn't seem too integrated.

Too much raisin in this one to be appreciated by me.

Big thick body and pretty big carbonation.

Okay... needs to be dialed in.


Photo of SLeffler27
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fills a tulip glass with clear deep ruby red beer and an off white frothy head that drops from three fingers to about a 1/4", leaving plenty of patch lace along the way.

The aroma begins with a sweet cherry and light horse blanket, progressing to cough syrup. Additionally there is a fair level of alcohol fumes to contend with.

The tartness is tremendous, and overpowers the opening and middle of this beer. As the late to finish qualities present, the cherry and juicy flavors are discernable. This one improves greatly with warmth.

Gravitation is a medium to full bodied beer with a silky texture and lively carbonation. The alcohol is lightly warming, despite the level of fumes in the nose.

This is a fine beer, but lack of complexity in a Quad is holding it back. Additionally, the tartness is out of control, again beyond the range of a quad. Regardless, if you sit back, and let it mellow out with warmth, it is an enjoyable sipper.

3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A full frothy two inch biscuity brown head is easily achieved with a strong pour. Body is a very deep dark woodsy brown tone. The nose gives you tones of vanilla, banana bread and an alcoholic twinge, very sweet. The taste follows the nose almost to a T with big but mellow and creamy malty sweetness. The banana bread and real vanilla tones really comes through. This really is super sweet bordering on to much. Mouthfeel is slightly thick and very sweet. Could use a bit of a spice profile and some more carbonation. Drinkability is slightly hurt by the big cloying sweetness.

Photo of sholland119
4.2/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a murky brown with a purple tinge. No real head and little lacing.

S-Very nice. Sweet malt, caramel, raisins and brown sugar.

T-Nicely sweet on the front. Good caramel, brown sugar, candi sugar, nice sweet finish with a hint of fig.

M-Medium to a bit heavy bodied with carbonation a bit on the light side.

D-Very nicely drinkable. I had a bottle of this last year when it was too young and bland. This is more like it. Age has been good to this one.


Photo of ElGallo
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I think the marketing folks at Smuttynose got a bit too carried away in calling this a "quad" but I'm not one to dwell on style-matching, so...

I'm not sure if they were trying to emulate DFH Raison D'etre, but the heavy amount of raison puree was an intersting choice. The dark/dried fruit in the nose is strong but not overwhleming.

Overall I think this is a decent beer, but due to its sweetness is a bomber you're better off sharing with a friend. For some reason my wife loves this beer, so I picked up as much as I could before the next round of Big Beers rolled in. Happy wife = fewer scowls when thy beer budget runneth over. Glad to see Smutty is bringing this one back in 2010.

Photo of Drew966
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smuttynose Gravitation pours a brown color with an off white head from a brown twenty two ounce bottle. The aroma isn't very impressive, just a bit of fruit. The flavor has a pretty good amount of dark fruit. Perhaps a bit one dimensional, no real Belgian yeast flavors. Overall, I quite enjoyed this one.

Photo of ShadesOfGray
2.41/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

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.

Photo of saccro
2.34/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

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?

Photo of donkeyrunner
4.46/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Paired with the movie "No Country for Old Men."

Dark amethyst with eggplant highlights. No lace but persistent archipelago collar retention that hangs around for most of the movie (I'm a slow drinker).

This is a fruit-centric quad. Reeks of ripe fruit and candi sugar. Raisin and grape hard candy with licorice hints and boozey sophistication. Taste is similarly ripe fruit with again plums, and grapey candi sugar taking the lead. As Smuttynose adds 200 pounds of raisin puree per batch I'm assuming that's where all this grape-fest is coming from. Mild molasses and caramel baked brownie for added depth. Creamy silk mouthfeel-- like a quadsicle. Smuttynose states it was brewed with a "special Belgian yeast." I'm guessing it's Rochefort.

I gush with Smuttynose love.

Photo of scootny
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A mahogany brown with garnet highlights. A tan head that is tightly beaded and creamy but fades just a bit too quickly to a light covering and a ring. Not much lace but some. A rich malty aroma with raisiny fruitiness. Light Belgian yeast. Just not quite big enough for a "Big Beer". Taste however erases most of the olfactory shortcomings. Sweet malt and dark fruits. Some carmel and cocoa powder. A chocolate dipped banana. Fruitcake with a light rum touch ( this is where the alcohol is hiding ). This is a very nice tasting beer. Finish shows some earthiness in the hops with an herbal edge as it lingers with graham and molasses. Feel is super creamy and just short of perfect. I mean JUST SHORT. Carbonation is so delightful you just hold the beer on you tongue for pleasure. This goes down like a nut brown ale. Maybe the somewhat lower abv contributes to the exceptional drinkability but for me it's all about taste not buzz so this is an asset. I

'll be keeping several of these in the cellar for when I am in the mood for a quad and don't feel like dropping ten bucks or more on the table. The price make this such a great value that this beer is a wonderful find.

Photo of ericj551
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Smuttynose Gravitation pours a dark red/brown with a nice light brown head. The aroma is dark fruit, heavy herbal hops, and sweet, chocolatey malt. The flavor is slightly bitter and shart upfront with some nice yeasty esters. It then quickly turns into rich, sweet and chocolatey flavor. The herbal and earthy hops are there, but dominated by the sweetness. I wouldn't have guessed raisins, it really tastes like sweet, creamy chocolate. Definitely a good start, but I would prefer it a little drier (I'm guessing that was their intention).

Photo of jdhilt
4.15/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a three finger light tan head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Deep ruby, almost black color. Medium carbonation and heavy bodied. Dark fruit nose. Flavor is sweet dark fruit, hops way in background. Brown sugar finish. Sweeter than the typical quad. $5.49 for a 22oz bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT.

Photo of unclejimbay
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series)
Smuttynose Brewing Company
Style: Quadrupel (Quad)
ABV: 8.50 %
reviewed 10/31/09 @ the JamMin Bar with friends.
22oz bomber courtesy of Jules...
snifter glass

4.0 across all categories
A solid example of the Quad style with the dark fruit notes to set it apart from an Imperial Stout. Full bodied and appropriatte to style.

Appearance is a a dark amber/coffe color with a satisfactory head and collar.
Smell is dark toffee, dark fruit, and subtle boozy-ness in aromas.
Tastes as it smells, with some hints of raisans, maple syrup and malt roasty-ness.
Mouthfeel is full body with medium-light carbonation.
Drinkability - hides the hig abv well, I appreciatte the Belgian dark fruit notes...

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

"Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love."

--Isaac Newton

Roasted pecan brown with generous orange highlights... that becomes sun-fired scarlet when the glass is held up to the bright afternoon outside my front window. A thick chunk of sandstone colored froth rests atop the beer, while thick streamers of sudsy lace melt too quickly for my liking.

The nose is pleasant, but that's as far as it goes. Quadrupel would not have been among my first several guesses, largely due to a lack of power and distinctiveness. Caramel malt and a medium-dark fruitiness are noted. Almost no appreciable alcohol is a good thing... and almost no Belgian yeastiness is a bad thing.

The bottom line is that Smuttynose Gravitation is not a very good Belgian-style quadrupel. Like the nose, the flavor doesn't have the power, personality and complexity that the best versions have in spades. With more than two months to go before its first birthday, age shouldn't have taken much of a toll. So why does it taste like it has?

I have no idea if 200 lbs of raisins per batch is a lot of raisins or not. That said, this is far from the raisiniest beer that I've ever had. They do add a sticky sweetness, which could also be coming from dark candi sugar. Other flavors include cherries and figs soaked in dark rum and toffee sauce. A serious shortage of Belgian yeast esters is unfortunate.

Warming brings just enough flavor amplification to allow the next highest taste score to be granted. Don't get me wrong, though. The beer still needs a major overhaul. One highlight is that this Big Beer Series beer has a Big Beer mouthfeel. It's at least medium-full and has the understated carbonation that I prefer.

The good thing about first efforts is that changes can be made. This January 2009 brew was an okay jumping off point, but the brewers need to do a little Belgian-style brewing homework before they pass the quadrupel test with flying colors. Here's hoping that Smuttynose recognizes Gravitation's shortcomings and makes the necessary tweaks. Thanks to biegaman for the bomber.

Photo of younger35
3.2/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Received this brew as an extra from the ever generous BeerTruth. Haven't had a Smuttynose brew in quite some time. Quads are not my favorite but I can definitely appreciate the style and done well they can be tasty. Drank from my The Lost Abbey goblet.

Appearance- Uggghhh... We got a gusher here, even when very cold. Pours a chill hazed dark crimson brown with a fairly small one finger light tan head considering it was a gusher. A small cap and big thick collar remains leaving a tiny bit of lacing.
Smell- Big bold nose that is super fruity and sweet smelling. Loads of dark luscious fruits that smells a lot like concentrated prune juice. Some dark overly ripened black cherries and chocolate covered cranberries. Somewhat yeasty and Belgium like but this thing smells hella sweet. Some dark burnt bread crust and a touch of caramel as well.
Taste- Yep, super duper sweet. Tons of dark fruits such as prunes, raisins and figs. Reminds me a lot of a Barleywine. Not overly hoppy but a slight bitterness tries to cut through all that sweetness. Some bready malts are present along with quite a bit of caramel and some light cocoa. So sweet and cloying though. The yeast is more noticeable in the nose but there is a small amount and it's lightly spicy. Finishes with some slight alcohol and way more cloying raisin sweetness.
Mouthfeel- Medium body that is surprisingly smaller than I was expecting. The carbonation is nice and crisp though with a great scrubbing feel.
Drinkability- Well... It's obviously WAY too sweet to sit back and enjoy thoroughly. Maybe with a bit of time it'll settle a bit but by then the bottles might be bombs. I think the flavor is okay and it's on the right track but until the sweetness subsides, stay away from. Thanks for sharing Adam!

Photo of srandycarter
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Reddish brown, off white head that leaves to ring. Not much lace.

S - Smells like a stout. Or maybe a barley wine.

T- Tastes emulates smell. Very much like a classic barley wine or stout. I don't get the quad feel at all. Good, but just not what I expected.

M - Cream coating, carb a little low for me, a little cloying.

D - One is enough.

Photo of biegaman
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer's colour will gravitate towards various tones of red, brown and purple depending on the angle at which it's observed. Hold it right into the light and a beaming, alarming shade of ruby emerges. After swirling, thin strands of head circle one another in the center of the glass, their motion is hypnotic, like a voodoo tribal dance that circles a fire. Its poor strength is absolved by the fact that its lace tears like running streaks of mascara.

As of the first moment I smelt this beer my mind turned to one thing and one thing only: this beer. Specifically, to the dark fruits, the caramelized brown sugar, the vanilla bean, the clove-like spice, well-worn oak barrels, the dark caramel - all the wonderful things that comprise this aroma. I get remnants of a whole host of liqueurs, Grand Marnier, port and brandy chief amongst them. This smell is timeless.

But if my nose (and now my tongue) can be trusted with geography then this was inspired more by England's strong ales than Belgium's. The candied cherries, the port-like sweetness, the sticky toffee pudding taste, the splash of sherry-like alcohol, the graceful warming come room temperature - this all points to the UK in my mind. Greene King and Fullers came to mind sooner than St. Bernardus or Rochefort.

That's not say there isn't a little taste of Belgium, too. Although this yeast is untypically modest there are still some earthy, clove-like spices that make their way through. The taste of dark fruits (plums, raisins) and sweet malts could be argued either which way as far as style guidelines are concerned. The alcohol (listed as 6.6% in some places and 8.5% in others) gives an added complexity but drinkability is unusually quaffable for a Quad.

Apart from the flavours the brewery has already stated to be expected - dark fruit, rum, toffee and raisins - I would also add a few others: rhubarb and pumpkin pie, dark caramel, hearty root vegetables, vanilla-bean mochachino, distilled wine grapes, port and calvados soaked wood. The 200 pounds of raisin puree becomes especially noted in the aftertaste which lingers with a slight metallic tinge and remarkable likeness to prune juice.

Although this is labeled a Belgian Quadrupel it reminded me (and arguably might more accurately fit the description) of a well-aged English Old Ale. Regardless of what the label says, whatever the brewery was aiming for they couldn't have missed their mark. A savory, fruity, flavourful, lip-lickingly sweet mid-range strength beer this certainly is - and that sits mighty fine with me whatever style it's considered. I'd buy it again.

Photo of wyattshotmaker
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a snifter.deep brown with hues of red,almost like a deep ruby brown.pretty nice looking.dark fruit and a bit of alcohol in the nose,slight bit of chocolate.

pretty nice beer,nice dark fruit/raisin flavor,slight sweetness,with a bit of bitter chocolate in the finish.reminds me of raisnettes,in a good way.not very much alcohol.

i dunno if this is really a quad.i feel like it should be labeled under belgian dark strong ale.either way,this is a nice beer to sip on.somewhat sweet,but it has enough going on to keep it interesting.

Photo of goblet
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

popped the cap and poured into a pint glass from a 1 pint 6 fl oz bottle .

a deep reddish brown hue with a big frothy tan head the does vanish mostly into a thin layer and sits there for the duration of the drink.

dark robust aroma ,dark fruits like plum,raisins and dry red grapes along with sweet cotton candy belgian yeast and brown sugar.

rich malt,deep sweetness and dark fruits are just the tip of the flavor iceberg with this brew, it taste somewhere between a double and triple twisted together.

a full bodied dark malty ,rich sweetness feel on the palette with a similar feel in the after taste.

a very drinkable all around good brew not a traditional style quadrupel it's just twisted a little .

Photo of mhatters
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Diuvel glass

Poured a chestnut brown, hazy, almost ruby colored when helo up to the light, a thin off-white head sits on top

Lots of raisin and dark fruit in the nose, yeasty, with a hint of cooked chocolate.

Warm, inviting flavor. Very deep, the fruit and chocolate notes marry well. A bit caramel, but not too sweet at all.

The sharp carbonation with very small bubbles was very enjoyable. Light and refreshing, easily drinkable, I could hit this all day

Photo of bort11
4.4/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this in a trade with SMason. Thanks dude!

22 0z bottle poured into a Boulevard Smokestack chalice. Great head for a quad. Thick and fluffy, and has a light tan color. Body color is a dark blood red that only lets light bend around the edges of the glass.

Smell is fruity and sweet. Lots of burnt raisins, but there is also some tropical fruit. Mangoes I think. It's pretty boozy, but not in a harsh alcohol way. More like a sweet rum. Taste has pretty much the same characteristics as the smell. I do get some chocolate character in the finish.

Mouthfeel is slick and soft. Bit of a dry powdery finish. This is another winner from the Big Beer Series. I have yet to be disappointed.

Blipped "Do you wanna get Heavy" by Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.87/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a dark cranberry color with a thick 2 finger foamy tan head with light cherry tints. The head was well lasting and left a spongey coating upon its demise while visible effervesce was very active.

S: The nose was boozy with dark caramelized malts and dark fruit (plums fresh raisins). There is warm apples and pears as well with an overall medium strength. The aroma finishes out with some boozy rum raisin notes.

T: The flavor was boozy and spicy, much more so then its advertised 8.0%abv, with a strong backing of caramelized malt and raisins along with fresh plums. There is as well ripe apples and pears contributed by the yeast as well a honey sweetness. Along with the creamy full malting was a semi-dry sweetness and a fizzy fruitiness of melons and pears. There is a definite warm and boozy feeling here with the full rich creamy malt body definitely taking center stage.

M: medium-full, leaving a creamy maltiness coating the tongue that was sticky and dry. Theres a slight fizzy nature from the active carbonation while the swallow finds a warming sensation of boozy rum raisin puree.

D: Decent drinkability, though drinks much bigger then advertised and is quite boozy and warming. A wonderfully creamy malting gives this an enjoyable feel going down though it took me a good hour to finish.

Photo of joepais
2.93/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a snifter produced a finger worth of off white head that changed to a thin lace. The color of the body was a burgandy to purple and slightly hazy.

I had a ton of fresh dark fruit aromas rising from the glass. Raisins were most definitely the most predominant smell in the bunch. The flavor was dark fruit forward as well. Very sweet, not to much in the way of bitter spices. Almost to coy in my book for a Quad. The alcohol was well hidden, but I think a little more heat might have helped the flavor. Medium feel in my mouth with good carbonation.

I like sweet brews but this one was a little to much for me. I finished the bottle, but not looking for another. There are much better American Quads out there. Smutty dropped the ball on this one. To bad I really wanted to like this one but it just wasn't up to par in my book.

Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 518 ratings.