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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

502 Ratings
THE BROS
75
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 502
Reviews: 288
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 16.3%
Wants: 26
Gots: 37 | 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 (54) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | 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: 502 | Reviews: 288 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thick and brown, but this is not the best representative of my favourite style. A certain richness from the raisins, but not overly complex. Still good drinkability.Maybe this is unfair, but men should not consume raisins as it is not easy to get rid of the iron.

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of acjohnst. Served in a tulip.

Pours a somewhat-strange purplish-red color with a bit of muddiness in there. Bit of a creamy head with some moderate lacing. The nose is actually quite nice with a good amount of sweetness, booze, and dark fruits. A bit of molasses there as well. The taste falls back a bit from here and doesn't offer all that much. A bit of alcohol. The body is fairly full with low-ish levels of carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good. Nothing really stands out in this one, though there aren't any glaring defects either.

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of Texasfan549
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is hazy garnet in color and has a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin ring of beige bubbles around the edge of the glass. A close inspection of the surface reveals very delicate lacy patterns of bubbles.
S: The nose has aromas of raisins and notes of plums along with some hints of alcohol.
T: The taste has a light to moderate amount of sweetness. Flavors of raisins stand out however these are not overpowering because they balanced by the underlying malts. Some hints of alcohol are perceptible in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a light amount of carbonation. No stickiness is noticeable, although the beer feels slightly thicker as it warms up. Warming sensations from the alcohol are present in the finish.
D: Surprisingly, this beer is very drinkable for the style and its high amount of alcohol content--the body isn't very heavy and the alcohol is well masked from the taste.

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of brentk56
3.65/5  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 Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep copper color ale with a huge light brown foamy head with good retention and good lacing. Aroma of dry fruit (figs and raisins) with some rum notes and some candi sugar. Taste is a well balance mix between some candi sugar, some dry fruits and some rum notes with a great malt backbone. Body is little bit hint for the style with good carbonation and no hints of alcohol. Very well done but I thought the candu sugar was a little bit too upfront and some additional body would have brought this to classic level.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
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 ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.18/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this one as an extra in a trade recently. One of the new big ones I had a chance to try. I had heard mixed things about this one but wanted to make my own opinion of it to be honest. Served at cellar temp and poured into a goblet, this one was enjoyed on 04/28/2009.
 
The pour was by far the best part here. Deep, dark, garnet in color with a nearly opaque consistency to it. Rich looking head on here, maybe two inches in total height that would just not budge for anything. This thing hung around almost the entire session, and when it did drop down it left soo much side glass lacing it was just insane. Rich, caramel malt led aroma was very sweet, almost akin to a wee heavy for me to be honest. It was very interesting how this one was put together. Some dark fruits, figs, prunes to be sure coming up as it warms, and some light and delicate spices work their way up toward the surface. Seriously nice touches here of earthy tones as I take the first sip. Very rich and smooth with a tremendous amount of sweetness and caramel malts. Great feel, very full with a nearly perfect carbonation level to it and the ABV all but off the map.
 
Overall I thought this was outstanding. Easily one of the smoothest and most drinkable I have run across in the style. I guess when taken into context it is a bit off from some of the big Quads out there, but I really feel that this was very, very well done.

Photo of Knapp85
3/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a near opaque, reddish-brown body with a thinnish, beige head.

Smell: Sweet-smelling, fruity nose of complimentary fruit trays, toasted sugar-coated bread, and dark caramel. Slight hints of good, clean alcohol.

Taste: Richly sweet, bready upfront maltiness quickly followed by a veritable blast of fruity flavors: raisins, dates (you eat'm!), cherries, and even a little bit of banana. Very tiny pinch of mulling spices. There's a recovery of malts with tastes of caramel and brown sugar. Mild transitional bitterness. A bit more candy. Warming, fruity finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Whaddya know, that's pretty good. A lovely, sweet, fruity beer from the fine folks over at Smuttynose.

Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a chalice. Deep reddish auburn color, fading into orange around the lower meniscus of the glass. A thin layer of light tan foam forms on the surface, leaving spotty bits of lace strewn about the sides. Foam dissipates soon, leaving a glassy surface with a thinly broken veil across it.

Rich aromas of moist banana bread, walnuts and pecans, dates. Wow, this is really something... need to let it warm up to fully appreciate.

Equally rich flavors, some velvety maltiness and dried fruits like dates, banana, sultanas. Nutty almond, walnut, and pecan flavors too. Feel is rich, medium bodied with lower carbonation. Dry finish with lingering toffee and raisin/sultana flavors. Not at all cloying. Alcohol does creep up a bit, leaving a warming sting. This eventually limits drinkability, but it's likely best shared anyway. $7 bomber is a deal.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a St. Bernardus goblet.

Poor Icharus. This beer pours a foggy blood-amber topped by...well, there's not really a head here, more a mere rump congregation of disparate bubbles. And things begin not with a bang, but a whimper... The nose comprises raisins, figs, nutmeg, rye bread, and a pinch of brown sugar. If these smells were more pronounced, things would be better, but at least we're moving in the right direction now. These elements are all there on the tongue, as well, joined by a healthy booziness and some light cranberries. It's like biting into a slighty toasted Fig Newton that's been dipped in some schnapps. It's good, but not all that much in the grand scheme of quads. The body is a very heavy medium, bordering on a light heavy, with a light carbonation and a fairly chewy feel. Overall, a decent quad, but not very high above average at all. A disappointment, to be sure.

Photo of JAHMUR
3/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.35/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a large tulip-shaped glass, Gravitation is almost black in color beneath a short head of densely creamy tan. When held to the light it reveals clear highlights of ruby and dark mahogany. The head retention is limited, as is the lacing. Normally, at 8.5% a little leeway would be given, but there's more than enough sugary malt here to keep it aloft, and to leave the walls of the glass coated in sticky lace. One factor that may be contributing, however, is its delicate carbonation. It's soft and smooth, probably below 2.5 volumes, and combined with the full body it's really nice. So there's at least that trade off. Appearance is probably the least important aspect of a beer anyway.

The nose is slightly limited as well, given its girth, but it expresses dark fruit, a hint of wine, milk chocolate, and delicate spice mixed with powdered cocoa.

The flavor is much fuller than the aroma lets on, and it's quite dense. The flavors are really supple, and far from over-done. They combine really nicely, and although that somewhat cuts down on the complexity wherein different flavors appear at different times in the mouth, this still works. You just have to pay attention because they're not just handed right to you. It's not bombastic, but still rich. It's mainly sweet and somewhat bready with brown sugar, gentle caramel, and hints of soft chocolate or cocoa. But it's also fruity with plum, juicy apple, raisin, some tropical fruit (suggestions of orange, mango, coconut) and some dark skinned bitterness. Delicate spices (very subtle clove, black cardamom, white pepper, and cinnamon - maybe even a caraway seed or two) balance it. Leafy and somewhat floral hops lay in the background (they sometimes appear herbal, but I think they just appear that way in conjunction with the malt and yeast). The alcohol is not at all noticeable; and the bitterness lays beneath the surface with just enough presence to keep everything taut.

As to drinkability, it's certainly impressive. It's readily accessible, if a little bit sweet at first, but then again, it is a kind of a sipper as well, and that sweetness IS balanced. The strength is present but not overwhelming; and it's rich enough and complex enough to keep you coming back to it time and time again. They could have easily gone overboard with this one, but instead they kept everything reigned in and focused, and that seems to be something that's kind of out-the-door with U.S. brewers these days. Superb!

Photo of Jason
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.74/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.5/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap 2/27/09 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of roasted malts, dark fruit, Belgian yeast and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is malty very nicely balanced with sweet flavors of dark fruit, brown sugar and Belgian yeast. There's a mild but complementary hops presence and a touch of smokiness. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, good kick, very good representation of style, this is an excellent strong and flavorful Belgian beer to drink for a whole evening and yet another great beer in the Smuttynose Big Beer Series.

Photo of Kegatron
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

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Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 502 ratings.