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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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BA SCORE
82
good

536 Ratings
THE BROS
75
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 536
Reviews: 296
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 15.66%
Wants: 32
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: 536 | Reviews: 296
Photo of Chico1985
2.06/5  rDev -43.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

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.

Photo of TommyW
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep purples and brown body with no head present.

S- Faint dark fruit aroma, not much else there.

T- Dark fruit and brown sugar balanced nicely with lots of medicinal flavors and yeast notes. Dry finish with a touch of lingering sweetness.

M- Medium to full body with a almost syrupy feel.

D- The appearance and nose were a little off for me, but the taste was really impressive; very well balanced and enjoyable.

Photo of pdoran10
2.89/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

from bomber into tulip very dark brown almost black. little to no head. smell is plum, spice, and bready. taste is a letdown. i get plum and spice immediately replaced by pretty harsh alcohol burn. great flavors are there but alcohol dominates.

mouthfeel is fine but feels a bit thin and flat compared to some of my other favorite quads. drinkability is a real big issue here as even having a full pint is a real struggle with the alcohol dominating.

Photo of silver0rlead
3.92/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a deep brown with ruby highlights, and a thin tan head that retains as well as you could expect from a 12% beer. The aroma kicks it up a notch with big dark fruits upfront (notes of blackberry, cherry, grape and plum), along with cane and candy sugar, toasted bread, funky esters, a little white peppercorn, and a little alcohol. The flavor starts out with dark fruits as well, with notes of strawberry jam, raspberry, grape, and blueberry, along with a massive sugary sweetness, along with some funky esters, honey wheat bread, and a big alcohol wallop. The mouthfeel is velvety and drinkability is bordering on bad. This is a decent quad, but it's a little under-attenuated (even at 12%) and thus too sweet and one dimensional.

Photo of atsprings
3.97/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a Smuttynose Big Beer Series tulip glass pours a crisp dark copper with a decent khaki head that slowly diminishes to a ring and leaves a small amount of lacing on the glass. Aroma is dried fruits, molasses and mild booze. The taste is a nice amount of dried fruits, extremely burnt caramel and molasses with a lingering dried fruit finish. The beer is certainly a heavy sipper, but it's still quite enjoyable. This is a very enjoyable Quad, one I'd love to have again.

Photo of yesyouam
4.02/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Smuttynose Gravitation is a cloudy red-brown ale with a dense, pale yellow head that dissipates. It has a fruity aroma with notes of pear, apple, clove and raisin. It's full bodied and smooth with a light, dry finish. It's a little sweet and a little bitter. It tastes resiny and spicy, fruity, raisiny and, most of all, wooden. It has a bitter, resiny aftertaste. This is not for chugging. It's reasonably complex and satisfying.

Photo of TK5150
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

2009 bottle.

A- Pours a nice ruby red/brown with a beige head.

S - The smell is mostly dominated by raisins and caramel, but I'm also unexpectedly picking up on some vanilla as well.

T - Taste is raisins and caramel, some vanilla and a little bread and spice on the back end. There might be a little cherry in there as well. Not a terribly complex beer, but fairly tasty. A little too sweet for my liking though...it's pretty hard to finish a bomber by yourself.

M - Decent mouthfeel, medium bodied.

D- Hurt due to sweetness, but is not very hard to put back...has the right amount of carbonation.

Even though this is not very quad like, I do have to say I like this better than Rochefort 10 and St. Bernardus 12. I'm not a big fan of the style. Most of the time they are too sweet and have wayyy too many fusels, esthers, and other higher alcohols in the taste. They're like bad homebrews that have been fermented at too high of a temperature and have insufficient yeast pitching rates. This one is at least clean. Overall though, a decent enough beer.

2009 Score: 3.65

EDIT: Now rating the 2010 edition.

This beer was re-done this time around and is now a 12% alc. beast.

Pours a murky amber with little head. The aroma is mostly apple, sweet crystal malt, and alcohol. The alcohol is reminiscent of bourbon, and if someone told me this was barrel-aged, I would not disagree with them (it's that strong).

The taste follows suit, with the addition of vanilla and a yeasty spiciness. I am generally a huge fan of apple in my big beers, and this is probably the only thing saving this one. Unbelievably sweet, probably more so than last years. Glad this bottle was split with a buddy.

Syrupy mouthfeel.

Alcohol becomes more and more prominent the more I drink. I do not see this getting better with age, it is already too sweet. I think Smutty needs to axe this one, and get a better style to fit in the rotation of the Big Beer Series.

Photo of avalon07
3.92/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had a ruby color and a slightly cloudy texture. There was a thin amount of foamy head that quickly dissipated. Almost no lacing.

S: A strong smell of various types of fruit, phenols and malt.

T: Tasted of apples, raisins, malt, and yeast. Very sharp and acidic, but not unpleasantly so.

M: A decent amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: Although not my favorite quad, this is still a drinkable example of the style.

Photo of berpwillie
3.42/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a ruby brown redish color with spare to no head, spare to no lacing and soft flat carbonation. spiceness and fruity hints apparent in smell and taste. very tart with a sour bitter chalky finish. medium bodied with a thin slick texture. decent brew.

Photo of ebby82
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass. The head is minimal, and the color is a deep brown tinged with red. The smell is fruity, with definite notes of Belgian yeast. The taste is sweet, powerful, with a slightly fruity taste and a highly alcoholic body. The mouthfeel is average; it's not terribly heavy, slightly syrupy, but not overly so. The drinkability is average; it certainly does not encourage quick drinking. Overall, I like this beer, although it might be a little too much. Definitely interesting, and worth trying. I haven't had many quads before, so I don't really have anything to compare it to, but I like it.

Photo of thepeter
3.77/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky dark Mahogany, reddish when held to the light. A decent little head but dissipatedly far too quickly. Smeel and taste were quite similar. Biscuits (sweet) fruitcake, candy sugar, dark fruit. This was a bit too sweet for me though as I found it almost Cloyingly sweet. Very decent mouthfeel, and if I was to have this as a night cap I could drink more as even with the sweetness it went down easy.

Photo of PDXHops
2.37/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

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).

Photo of brentk56
3.67/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 bottling

Appearance: Pours a cloudy mahogany with an unimpressive head (for a Belgian style); spots of lace

Smell: Jammy combination of cherry, raisin and plum with undertones of caramel and candi sugar

Taste: Sweet, raisin and cherry tones dominate up front (with the 200 pounds of raisin puree coming through); the other fruit and caramel flavors burst through, as well, though the flavors are rather jammy; after the swallow, the complexity fails to develop - just the sweet, jammy flavors that persist into the finish

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Not really a quad and a bit too sweet and jammy to be really enjoyable; some recipe tweaking would be in order

Photo of drewba
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Bevdaddy for throwing this in with a trade!

A - Pours a beautiful, thick burgundy with a few bubbles which completely dissappear almost immediately.

S - very sweet, a touch boozy. Heavy molasses and raisin.

T - Lightly toasted malts, molasses, raisin, figs. Noticeable hop presence, very sweet and dry.

M - oily, creamy. Light carbonation. Highly drinkable.

I'm new to belgian style quadrupels, I generally shy away from the style, but this was an incredibly enjoyable brew, enough to keep me interested to try more quads in the future.

Photo of jeddsp
3.59/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer poured dark and hazy with ample head. The smell of the beer was figs all the way to me. Almost has the smell of a port wine. The taste came off much sweeter than I anticipated at first, but leveled off as I drank the beer. would I drink this beer again...yeah I would...is it on my list to pick up next week...no...too sweet. Felt like I should be drinking it with a cigar and some cheese.

Photo of Buebie
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up this 2009 vintage in NYC last summer.

Poured from the bomber into an oversized snifter. head is about an inch of off white. Fizzling away to leave a thin cap and thicker collar of retention. color is a darker brown with redish hues when held to light.

Aroma contains plenty of dark fruit, figs come to mind mostly, not able to pinpoint the raisins, but what do pureed raisins really smell like? So Figs and dark fruit it is...its probably the raisins.
Its mostly malt with a bready aroma and some buttered burnt caramel. Not picking up the typical belgian aromas, but this still smells great, mildly wine like.

Mouthfeel is slick, moderate carbonation

Sweet upfront with a bit more wine like flavors, fermented raisins more pronounced now. A touch of funk, hops still live, herbal bitters, hint of leaf/ mint.
Just a little herbal tea. Quite malty though, bock like in the large amount of toffee and burnt caramel.
lingering earthy bitters across the finish, semi sweet malt lingering.

Interesting flavors here, true to the style visual's, taste and feel. Not my favorite style, but glad I picked this up.

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
2.27/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 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.

Photo of keithmurray
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ML bottle poured into a chalice

Appearance - beer pours a brown colour with nice tan head

Aroma - I'm picking up red wine, grapes, plums, raisins, currants, brown sugar

Taste - similar to the aroma, grapes, plums, raisins, currants, brown sugar, black licorice, finish isnt as refined as other representations of this style

mouthfeel - medium bodied beverage, good carbonation on this one, a tad sweet

Drinkability - at 8.5% abv, the booze is barely detectable, which makes for good drinking on a chilly night.

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.

Photo of cpetrone84
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
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 -6.6%
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.

3/3/3.5/4/3.5

Photo of SLeffler27
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

Photo of SPLITGRIN
3.53/5  rDev -3%
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 +15.4%
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.

HV

Photo of ElGallo
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

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Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 536 ratings.