Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series) - Smuttynose Brewing Company

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

297 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 297
Hads: 574
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 15.98%
Wants: 33
Gots: 55 | 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:
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series) Alström Bros
Reviews: 297 | Hads: 574
Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.72/5  rDev +30%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22oz bomber from Shaw's. Pours a translucent dark copper body with a thin film of quickly dissipating tan head. Raisin, date, nut, brown sugar, with a touch of pith and citrus in the aroma. Raisin, date, chocolate, caramel, brown sugar, toffee and coffee toward the finish. Medium in body with ample carbonation. Very drinkable for the style, abv, and complexity. A very good quad, tasty, balanced, complex, and drinkable for the style. Another slam-dunk from Smuttynose! (471 characters)

Photo of tpd975
3.48/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to Deepak at Kingdom for the share.

A: Pours a nice amberish blackish hue with a nice creamy off white head. Little retention and no lace, but proper glassware was not used.

S: Nice aromas of roasted malt, dark fruit, yeast, and a touch of booze.

T: Very sweet with lots of dark fruit up front. Light yeasty notes can be picked up along with a nice roast. It finishes very sweet, too sweet to be honest. The more I drank the sweeter it seemed to get. The last few gulps were like granulated brown sugar mixed with prune juice.

M: Medium to full in body, smooth with good carbonation.

D: Not the most drinkable. I had around 7 ounces and by the end it was just too much sweetness. (691 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.48/5  rDev +23.4%
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. (828 characters)

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

22oz bottle into 25oz snifter.

Nearly opaque red, except when held up to the light, where it exhibits a ruby glow. A two finger tan head slowly settles to a thick cap.

Dark fruit is up front, along with an almost porter-like roastiness. Some brown sugar is in there as well.

Another hit of dark fruit - plum, dark sugars. A little bit of the roastiness returns. The overall flavor is very very sweet. The phenols are non-existent. The alcohol is well hidden, almost undetected. Full bodied.

Very sweet, low on the bitterness. A very drinkable Quad, definitely an American version. Though not as strong, the amount of malts are just as high. This one could probably be enjoyed from a pint glass. Recommended. (713 characters)

Photo of auxiliary
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance - Brownish color with a small head.

smell - Some caramel and alcohol smells here.

taste - Some caramel and brown sugar, followed by some bitterness.

mouthfeel - Medium-full body.

drinkability - Not bad beer, worth a try, didn't wow me in any way. (264 characters)

Photo of EPseja
2.87/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had this one on hand, but it didn't make the field of eight in the Blind Double Elimination Quad tasting I just did with BAs yelterdow and bootz.

Served from a 22oz bottle in a Chimay chalice at just below cellar temperature.

A - Dark, reddish brown; clear, with a decent 1/2 inch head that sinks to a thin mat after just about a minute. Lacing is very sparse.

S - Massive overripe bananas with some alcohol soaked figs. Is that a hint of ginger? Notes of sweetened soy and raisins as well.

T - Very syrupy sweet with brown-sugar malts and a bananas foster toastiness. Alcohol peeks in at the halfway mark, along with a pinch of yeast. Medium dry hoppiness in the end, with a warming but ambiguous aftertaste and some cloying.

M - A bit watery going in, but tingly. Rises to a big mouthful of rolling seafoam, with a slightly gassy and belly filling swallow.

D - Very forward, overt sweetness keeps this beer from ever developing the subtleties that make a superb Quad into a work of art. Never really breaks out of average in any aspect. Would have fared just about as well as the other American Quads did in the tasting I had. (1,134 characters)

Photo of currysage1
4.11/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Into a pint sized snifter.

Pours a deep dark garnet red topped with a khaki, crackly head, slowly disperses down to a slight covering.

Smell is of warm caramel, fresh figs, slight alcohol twinge,

Taste has alot going on, decent amount of residual sweetness, some cocoa, the caramel, again with the slight alcohol, but very well hidden, raisin, definate sucking on a penny flavor.

Feel could be a bit thicker, but not too off base, carbonation keeps the sweetness at bay. Drinkability is very good, not sure if I would want another in one night, but I'm enjoying the hell out of this one. (593 characters)

Photo of Jwale73
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this at Track 84. Served in a tulip ($4 pour). Appearance was similar to grape cola, with a quarter inch off-white head that dissipated into a thin, fairly consistent slick. Nose was dark fruit - fairly subdued. Taste revealed dark fruit and cocoa. Mouthfeel was medium-bodied and very effervescent, which placed it a little off-style in my opinion. This is a very flavorful quad. Perhaps lacking in some of the complexity associated with the style, but I applaud Smuttynose for the fact that they consistently put out great offerings. Well worth your time. (561 characters)

Photo of Brad007
4.35/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark red color with a one-finger head into my pint glass. I've allowed the beer to warm up to room temperature.

Aroma is sweet and malty with the familiar hint of raisin in the nose. A bit of spice is present as well.

Taste is strong and malty upfront with a nice amount of raisin and caramel on the tongue and only a bit of alcohol warmth. Very easy to drink.

Mouthfeel is left with raisin and caramel at the back of the throat. A bit warm due to the alcohol.

This is quite easy to drink for the style and an excellent beer for the value. Smooth, delicious and dangerously drinkable. (598 characters)

Photo of 51mmz0rz
3.93/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a 0.5L Duvel tulip.

A: Perfectly clear garnet red body with a loose tan head. Good lacing.

S: Very fruity, likely the grape puree coming through. Slightly yeasty as well.

T: Sweet and yeasty. Fruity again from the grapes. Slight bitterness (little light there) Might be a little sweet, but still damn tasty.

M: Carbonation seems appropriate, lower than normal. Mouthfeel is close to being sticky but not quite there.

D: Good, but big, a little sweet. (467 characters)

Photo of BeerNinja007
3.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving: 22oz bomber poured into a chilled pint glass.

A: Tan head of small bubbles, 1-2 fingers in height, quickly settles down to a single thin layer of foam. Color is an attractive deep strawberry red when held to the light.

S: Sweet, thick, esters. Not much depth.

T: Brown sugar, banana esters, maybe some apricot esters. something floral.

M: Thick and heavy but not unpleasant. Not nearly as slick or syrupy as I would expect for something this sweet. Crisp carbonation, alcohol well-hidden.

D: Really drinkable at first, I'm surprised how quickly the first glass went down on all accounts. Second glass is catching up with me in a hurry though. *Belch* Very flling. Make this the end of your evening.

So I guess this is what 200lbs of raisins tastes like. I guess I can see that in hindsight. I wish the Sun Maid girl was here to help me finish it (she's kinda cute). Not a typical quad. Call it a desert beer or digestif. Sweet. (943 characters)

Photo of Kraken
3.35/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed February 19th

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a 16 oz pint glass. Firm pour results in a 1/4 inch of off-white/tan head. Head fades quickly and leaves a spotty lace. Color a deep robust, but clear red.

Nose- Sweet raisins and figs. Some grape and apples come through. Lots of dark fruit.

Palate- Whoa lots of raisins. Very sweet. Smooth. Lots of interesting coco, some candied apples. Floral qualities, tones of vanilla. Slightly cloying.

Mouthfeel- Sticky, mildly cloying. Smooth.

Drinkability- Good, however one is more then enough (549 characters)

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

A-Is a clear, dark ruby/mahogany with a short, quickly disappearing head that leaves no lacing. Gave a really hard pour from the 2nd half of the bottle to get a 2 finger head that leaves OK lacing but it still dissapates quickly.

S-A light amount of sweetish, dark fruit. Some alcohol

T-Is a bit of alcohol, dark fig and sugar sweetness plus some malt.

M-Is medium in body.

D-It's a pretty easy drinking Quad but a little sweet. One 22 ouncer is enough.

Not bad at all but not nearly my favorite Quad. It doesn't fit the style all that well. (546 characters)

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

It pours a rather clear cola mahogany. A half finger of sparse orange-tan head dissolves in a flash to spectral wisps of pips. Lacing is a non-entity.

The aroma starts with roasted malt and caramel with a toffee kicker. Raisins and a distant spiciness merge smoothly with a steamy seam of alcohol.

Upon sipping, the tide is briefly dark malt sweet before candy sugar comes a-cloying. Dark cherry, dried dark fruit, and caramel stiffen in the face of a muted, reedy crisp bitterness. The alcohol is sneaky and airy. Residual biscuit grain is syrupy before a more capably dry bitterness crisps the finish a wee bit. Malty and sweet, it's a quad, if a bit jerky in spots.

Between medium and full bodied, it's sticky, lip-clinging, palate-enrobing, and quite cloying.

It's a toasty malt beast, a bomb of grain sugar, with a glycemic index that stares down and cows the most potent insulin. This is what happens when you deregulate maltose and dried fruit. And yet, the ABV manages to shine through as well. So it could be better, and it could be worse, and I'm hoping for more from Smutty next time, if only for more complexity and dimension in a big beer. (1,160 characters)

Photo of nrpellegrini
4.83/5  rDev +33.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep dark brown color with a thin tan head that stays until the end and laces nicely. Smells really sweet, sugar-y like candy and caramel flavors. Tastes of lots of sweet malts, smooth alcohol flavors and great belgian spices that don't stand out to much to bite your tongue. Just a great combination and blend of flavors. It goes down so well, and drinks unbelievable. (377 characters)

Photo of far333
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Slightly hazy, ruby copper colored with a thick and frothy inch high head that settles out slowly.

Aroma of sweet malt, brown sugar, toffee and ripe fruits.

Flavor is rich and sweetish, just shy of cloying, full of overripe pear and apple, some banana and marshmallow, followed by light brown sugar and plum. Slight metallic tinge in the finish, notes of Belgian yeast, followed by a light alcohol warmth.

Moderate carbonation, even mouthfeel, fairly full. Fairly drinkable, but very rich. (492 characters)

Photo of UncleJimbo
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Sampled from a 22 oz bottle. I had looked forward to this beer, but was disappointed.

The beer pours a clear, brown color with some light brown foam, but not a large head. The smell was malty with a light sweetness and a touch of something fruity-sweet or herbal. The flavor was malty, but it had a strong, off-putting flavor that I could not put my finger on. I thought it might be from their yeast since I recall this same flavor in the Winter Ale (Dubbel), but it was not as pronounced or unpleasant there. Someone told me that it is from raisins that are used in the recipe. The mouthfeel was good: smooth, creamy, medium-full body. The strange flavor takes points off the drinkability. (691 characters)

Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.23/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

picked up a couple of these to check out the latest from one of my favorite breweries. Unfortunately what poured as a nice looking mahogany brew turned into a brow sugar overly sweet experience. I'll try again next year if they bring this back, but I'm all set for this year. (275 characters)

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

22oz bottle at 52 degress.

Pours hazy mahogany with a ruby tinge. A half inch head of beige rose up in the goblet before receding to a partial skim coat on the surface. A few errant dots of lacework throughout the glass.

Aromatics lead off with candied figs, dried plums, rum-drizzeled grape jam, and sugar-dusted raisins. Malt-laced cotton candy and a hint of roast follows through.

Medium bodied with a slightly chewy, tacky mouthfeel. Creamy and velvety.

Sweet malt, caramelized sugars, dark fruits, and grape jam start the palate. Fresh figs, date flesh, and sugared raisins follow through.

Finishes with sweet, dark fruits, malt-drizzeled bubblegum, and candied cherries.

Plenty of quad character here. The carbonation is low for style and the brew needs to dry up quite a bit.
Big hopes for cellarabilty though. (824 characters)

Photo of mrandypandy
3.13/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle from the Foodery (North), in Philadephia.

A- Pours a deep mahogany with a light tan head. Decent carbonation is present and the head leaves minimal lacing on the side of my glass.
S- Aroma is OK. I get some muddled fruits mixed with some solvents and alcohol.
T- Not quite what I was expecting. The booze really peaks through and overshadows the fruits and dark belgian candy sugar. A bit sweeter than I would have liked.
M - Medium to heavy body, decent carbonation.
D- Honestly, I had trouble finishing off this bottle. The high ABV and boozy sweetness made it a struggle.

Overall, a very underwhelming Quad and by no means one of my favorite Smuttynose offerings. (680 characters)

Photo of Gavage
4.15/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a brown color with some softer mahagony highlights.Short 1/4" head lingers a bit.

Smell: caramel, brown sugar, and soft alcohol tones are easily detectable.

Taste: follows the nose as brown sugar, caramel, raisins, prunes, and warming alcohol are up front. A hint of chocolate shows up late in the finish. Bitterness balances out the sweetness.

Mouthfeel: heavy in body. Smooth from start to finish. Aftertaste is surprisingly short.

Drinkability: nice for the style but the one bomber bottle is enough for a session. Better to share this one with a friend. Great flavor - try this one. (608 characters)

Photo of eberkman
3.2/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Pours a deep reddish-brown. Lots of clarity. Small tan head that vanishes instantly.

Smells typically Belgian -- yeasty and spicy with traces of alcohol. Taste is similar. Dark fruits, candy sugar, toffee, roasty malts, tinge of booziness. Nothing particularly memorable or complex.

Mouthfeel is the real loser here. Watery, thin and shockingly flat. Bad bottle perhaps? Disappointing. I may not finish this one -- the mouthfeel kills it for me. I wonder if others have experienced the same thing.

This won't replace any real Belgian quads. A disappointment from one of my favorite brewers. (593 characters)

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

2008 22oz bottle

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with reddish hues and a small tan head.

Aroma: Sweet malt, raisins, Perhaps a hint of apple.

Taste: Caramel, raisins and other dark fruit, golden delicious apple, brown sugar, sweet malts.

Mouthfeel: Thick and oily.

Overall: Not too bad, though it's certainly not holding a candle to any actual belgian quad as others have stated. I do find it a bit too sweet for my liking, perhaps it will settle down with age. (465 characters)

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.47/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This sucker only has a small head that disappears immediately and doesn't leave behind much (if any lacing). The body is a mahoganey hue with tints of ruby and amber in the light. At first I really didn't think I was served the correct beer because of the head, but after sampling it I knew that no mistake was made.

Smell is pretty sweet. Lots of dark fruit going on here: raisins, plum, some cherry, maybe even some grape. All backed up by a slight biscuity aroma.

Not surprisingly, this is definitely on the sweet side of quads. The dark fruit once again dominates with accents of raisin, plum and cherry. There is also a sweetness that tastes like candied sugar to me. The biscuity malt that backed up the sweetness in the smell is stronger in the flavor, which is a good thing because it helps balance out the flavor nicely. Sweet, but not a bad quad.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to low carbonation. Nothing exceptional, but once again, not bad.

Pretty good drinkability. Overall, a decent beer that I could see being better in about 6 months. (1,063 characters)

Photo of jim102864
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased recently at MWL. Nice bomber bottle and falling angel design. The appearance is reddish with a copper hue in my Trois Pistoles goblet. No head whatsoever and no carbonation which isn't earth shattering for a quad.

The nose is vinious and mildy sugary as is the taste. Not syrupy sweet. Not cloying. A nice balance between candy sugar and sweet friut like strawberries. The alcohol is well hidden. This is an enjoyable brew that's reasonably priced ffor a quad. Cinnamon taste as it warms. (499 characters)

Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 297 ratings.