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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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492 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 492
Reviews: 288
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 16.25%
Wants: 23
Gots: 36 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 492 | Reviews: 288 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SawDog505

New Hampshire

3.6/5  rDev -0.8%

Poured into my Duvel VIJF 20 oz large tulip. Very attractive dark ruby, with a half inch of mellow off white head, minimal lacing. Crazy banana, clover, dark fruits, raisin mostly, hard candy, and some booze. Taste is all that and very pungent. Not a huge fan of style, but this is a solid version for my taste. I like this beer, but not easy drinking at all.

09-27-2011 01:26:26 | More by SawDog505
Photo of DirtyPenny


3.83/5  rDev +5.5%

Thanks to my sister-in-law and her boyfriend for sharing this 22 oz bottle.

A: Ruby red with mahogany or cherry wood highlights and an off-white head.

S: Is that... bubble gum? Sweet with notes of floral hops and cherry.

T: Still getting a modest hit of bubble gum flavor on the initial taste. Light rum qualities intermingled with raisin. This 2011 bottle has an ABV of 12.5%, and while it's not that prevalent when cold, it REALLY kicks into high gear as this brew warms. Slight floral hoppiness gets overwhelmed as room temperature approaches.

M: Heavy and syrupy. You could practically spread this one on a sandwich. Carbonation is moderate and feels a little much for the style.

O: Only my second quad. I liked it, but wouldn't want more than 4-6 oz at a time in the future, and the only other quad I've ever had (Brewery Ommegang's) was better. Definitely share this one with friends. Way too much to have on your own, especially given that it's only available in bombers.

09-26-2011 03:48:47 | More by DirtyPenny
Photo of morebeergood


3.95/5  rDev +8.8%

I have a 2009 vintage bottle in my cellar, and since Sat night was a special occasion and a hurricane rolled into one, I decided to open it. Still a ton of carbonation left. Popped the cap, and the foam slowly crept to the top and just dribbled over the top. Poured into the chalice glass very slowly to avoid overflow. Crisp bubbly carbonation, like soda. Dark garnet ruby color. Good head and nice amount of lacing. The aroma just fills your nose with cherry. The taste was quite sweet. Flavors of dark fruit were striking - cherry, fig, plum, and raisins. Very sugary also, which took away from the mouthfeel a bit. It was thick and somewhat cloying on the palate. But overall I liked this beer. I remember when this beer first came out, people were saying this beer was too hot with the abv and needed some aging. After two years, it certainly mellowed out a bit without losing any flavor. This was a nice beer on a rainy night paired with a chocolate dessert.

08-28-2011 18:43:09 | More by morebeergood
Photo of mdfb79

New York

4.1/5  rDev +12.9%

Had on tap tonight at Rustico in Arlington, VA at their Smuttynose Rare Beer event. Poured into a snifter. 2009 vintage.

a - Pours a deep darkreddish brown color with one inch of light tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of cherries, malts, bready malts, and dark fruits. Little bit tart and a little bit sour.

t - Tastes of slightly sour cherries and dark fruits, as well as light bread. Really enjoying the sour notes that have come in the taste.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

o - Overall a very good beer. Very tart cherry now, especially in the taste. Not sure how it is fresh, but this batch is tasting awesome. Had 2 glasses of it and would like to try it again.

07-28-2011 01:49:45 | More by mdfb79
Photo of Brenden


3.9/5  rDev +7.4%

This beer is a rosy red-brown, garnet-hued, really, with not just red but a bit of fiery orange swirling around in the highlights. A nice, frothy head forms on top with good hold and stick, leaving a bit of itself behind as it falls.
The aroma is as sweet and candied as I would expect a quad to be, though not as complex as the greats. The dark fruits, caramel, and candied sugars elements are all here with the alcohol, but a quad is typically stronger. There's also a touch of cocoa. What I'm interestingly not picking up quite as much of is the Belgian yeast. There's a touch of spiciness that does add to the Belgian character.
The taste follows suit, though a bit more complexity pulls through, with all the sweetness well complemented by the light spiciness and a bit more roastiness. After a bit, caramel and cocoa fall off and the fruits element dominates, raisin and plum being huge in this one. Alcohol hangs on the whole way through.
The mouthfeel is about what I'd expect, though a bit heavy. This is a sipper for sure. Otherwise, it starts nice and crisp and, with moderate carbonation, leads to a billowy smoothness toward the finish.
Obviously, at 12% this is a bit much to chug, but it's a nice slow sipper. I love Smuttynose and have loved the Big Beer series thus far. This isn't one of the all-time great quads, but it's still very good.

05-05-2011 15:18:28 | More by Brenden
Photo of prototypic


3.03/5  rDev -16.5%

Gravitation pours an interesting crimson stained brown color. It's a little hazy, but has really nice burgundy highlights when held to light. A light tan mass of bubbles collects on the surface, but rises no higher. It disappears quickly, and leaves very little evidence of its existence behind. At least the color is nice.

The nose is rather weak and could really use more strength. Caramel malts hit the nose first. They smell a little sweet. There's a hint of light spices and perhaps a little dark fruit. Smells like a little plum and raisin. That's about it. Not good for a Quad. I'm not getting any Belgian yeast. Alcohol seems to be blended pretty well for a 12% beer. Eh...it doesn't smell awful, but it doesn't smell like a good Quad.

The flavor is a little better, but it is average at best. Especially for the style. Caramel malts seem to be the buys. They do taste a little sweet, and do a credible job of holding things together. A reasonably strong raisin flavor emerges. It works fairly well with the caramel flavor. Light spices and cherry are secondary. I'm not getting any Belgian yeast. Big miss there. Alcohol is also quite strong in flavor. It's a little warming, but the sheer flavor is just too much. Finishes boozy with a tangy dark fruit flavor.

Gravitation has a medium body that leans full with warming. Carbonation is very light. It feels quite smooth. Mouthfeel is easily its best feature. Nonetheless, it's boozy and goes down slow. A bomber is real challenge.

I've become a big fan of Smuttynose Brewing Company. Unfortunately, Gravitation is not one of Smuttynose's finer moments. In fact, it's their worst beer that I've encountered. The biggest problems here are the complete lack of Belgian yeast and the overbearing alcohol. Those aren't small mistakes when it comes to brewing a Belgian Quad. As a result, this is a very average take on the style. This one needs a bit of work.

04-10-2011 02:51:26 | More by prototypic
Photo of ryan1788a5


2.48/5  rDev -31.7%

22oz bomber poured into a Chimay goblet.

A: Deep, clear red-brown. Very thin off-white head sputters out almost immediately. Wouldn't expect this from a bottle conditioned Belgian. Light patchy lacing.

S: Plum, cherry, and blackberry jam. Vinous grapes and alcohol. Extremely faint hint of Belgian yeast and spices.

T: Cherry and jam sweetness opens. Belgian yeast follows up with faint hints of cinnamon, spices, and earthiness. Sweetness builds again and becomes cloying. Plum esters, an overpowering taste of vinous grapes, and a hefty dose of alcohol destroy the mid-palate. Finishes very sweet with vinous tastes and a touch of chocolate.

M: Medium bodied, syrupy. Under carbonated. Harsh alcohol burn.

O: Did not care for this one. Finishing it was an almost masochistic ordeal.

Notes: I've had this beer before, and I could swear it was totally different this time around (and this was after the recipe change and hike-up to 12% abv). This is an under- carbonated, cloying, boozy mess. And that's after about 8 months of cellar time too. The first time I had it I probably would have rated it a solid B+. I don't know if I got an off bottle or what, but this was pretty terrible. I might have to re-visit it, but I'm kind of dreading that prospect. This is the first beer by Smuttynose that I did not enjoy.

04-02-2011 20:11:32 | More by ryan1788a5
Photo of angrybabboon

New Hampshire

2.28/5  rDev -37.2%

Review adapted from notes taken 5/21/10

Appearance: Reddish brown with a nice little head and some lacing

Smell: Lots of sugar, grapes and raisins, caramel malts and some alcohol

Taste: I must preface my comments by noting that I had this beer at a BA event months prior to this bottle. I thought it was bad, but I attributed my inability to taste anything but sugar to the possibility that my taste buds were off because I had too much to drink. So I bought a bomber. And the scary thing is that I wasn't far off. Gravitation is insanely sweet. It is disgustingly sweet. More than anything else, this beer tastes like grape jelly that was blended into sugar water. There are some malts, and there are even some herbal hops in the background, but mostly this just tastes like bad jelly.

Mouthfeel: Heavy and sticky with some carbonation - would be good if the taste weren't so bad

Overall: Despite the bad taste and the high ABV, I've definitely had more undrinkable beers

This beer was a big disappointment for me. After all, I love Smutty, and I never could have expected that they could produce something bad. But this is not a good beer. It's not a good representation of the quad style, and it just tastes like nasty grape jelly. Still, it's better than drinking a Corona.

03-09-2011 23:54:47 | More by angrybabboon
Photo of metter98

New York

3.88/5  rDev +6.9%

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.

02-23-2011 04:33:32 | More by metter98
Photo of UnionMade

New York

3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Picked this up on my last trip back to CT to visit family.
Pours a clear, ruby red, topped with a quickly evaporating puff of foam. Just a tiny island of foam remains. Nice color, though. No head at all after a few sips.
Putting the glass to my nose, I'm immediately greeted with fruit, the kind of artificial fruit I associate with candy. Cherry, strawberry and banana, with creamy malt and a trace of roastiness. I understand they brewed this with raisins, though it comes off more like cherry candy. Maybe the yeast. Who can say? A whiff of alcohol comes through way up in the sinuses. I don't think I can light this on fire, so that's good.
The first sip comes off heavy and rich. Very dense for a beer, even of this strength. Tons of sweetness, the fruit immediate and dominating. The carbonation does a decent job of plowing though. Sludgy. Syrupy malt, a fruitiness almost like that red syrup they have at IHOP, that you pour on their pancakes. Don't get me wrong, that stuff is delicious. Name a red or purple fruit, and you can probably taste it in here. Plums, blueberries, you name it. Some spiciness from the yeast coming through and making an attempt at balancing the finish. I'm not really getting anything from the hops aside from a light floral note. The alcohol is mostly buried beneath the fruity sweetness. A nice beer, if a little one dimensional. I think this may have been better without the addition of raisins.
Exactly what I wanted when I cracked this bottle. Rich, thick and decadent. I wasn't prepared for such a syrupy brew, but I managed. What it lacks in dimension, it makes up for in satisfaction.

02-18-2011 13:14:33 | More by UnionMade
Photo of Gehrig


4.35/5  rDev +19.8%

Enjoyed on tap at the brilliant Blind Pig, on a very cold night after working a radio show.

One finger of off-white foam topped a rather cloudy reddish-amber body; moderate duration and modest lacing make this rather average, especially for a Quad. The nose is much better, rather vinous, but also with orange peel, bready malt, some dark chocolate, and dashes of ginger and pepper.

Excellent taste--full and complex without overwhelming. It's not a brash Quad, but is instead lively. Rather fruity and especially rife with grape, which adds a distinct and enjoyable sweet-and-sour dynamic. Some citrus emerges as well, with a bit of caramel and chocolate. The alcohol certainly protrudes in the second half, rendering this a bit of a sipper near the finish. Yet Gravitation is highly enjoyable, maintaining a good, steady effervescence combined with a smooth, malty texture, with more than ample flavor.

Terrific Quad, Gravitation is packed with flavor and enough complexity to impress. Well worth a go, it more than holds its own as a fine representative of the style. One of the best offerings from Smuttynose.

02-09-2011 07:31:51 | More by Gehrig
Photo of breweryaprntc13


3.63/5  rDev 0%

Dark muddy, reddish bronze with a thin light tan head.

Alcohol smell, yeast aromas, dark fruits, plumbs, caramel malts, some graininess.

Complex, sour leads to sweet, mixes of sugary and caramel malts, alcohol notes, citrus hops, fruity finish.

Medium body, low carbonation, wet and rich.

Exciting mix of flavors, absolutely delicious, but too strong for regular consumption.

01-31-2011 03:30:03 | More by breweryaprntc13
Photo of Thorpe429


3.7/5  rDev +1.9%

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.

01-20-2011 02:22:41 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of DmanGTR


4.25/5  rDev +17.1%

Bottled in 2009 as per the bottle.

Poured a deep amber/brown in my St. Bernardus goblet, a brief beige head topped the liquid with no lace. Swirled and poured the sediment in as well, but it was quite clear before that. Aroma is very nice. Hint of cocoa, lots of caramel and deep dark fruit. Fairly complex, with notes of toffee, dates, and figs. Nice alcohol to balance the flavor and aromas. Beautifully carbonated, mellow and smooth. A medium bodied beer that leaves a light coating over the palate. Sweet finish that brings out the caramel. Hint of warmth from the alcohol. Very well made and it has aged gracefully.

01-18-2011 04:08:33 | More by DmanGTR
Photo of corby112


2.73/5  rDev -24.8%

From notes:

Pours a deep, dark ruby red/chestnut brown color with mahogany edges and a two finger frothy, yellowish beige head. Decent retention, slowly fading into a thin ring. Minimal spots of lacing left behind.

Malty aroma with a very prominent dark fruit presence. Slightly tart with hints of raisin, date, plum and dark cherry.

Medium bodied with soft carbonation up front and an overly sweet, estery dark fruit flavor that is a bit cloying. Slightly earthy with sublte hops and spice as well as hints of raisin, grape and dark cherry. There's a prominent malt backbone that provides decent balance but this beer kind of reminds me of grape soda.

01-14-2011 06:55:24 | More by corby112
Photo of elgiacomo


3.35/5  rDev -7.7%

22oz bottle, 2010 batch. Served at cellar temp.

Pours deep red/brown with a small light tan head that quickly fades to a wispy cap and ring. Eventually just to just a tiny ring.

Aroma is dark fruits, mostly raisins and cherries with some plums and figs thrown in, belgian yeast, some alcohol, caramel, brown sugar, and toffee. Moderate strength.

Flavor is quite rich with strong dark fruits, a lot of raisins, cherries, plums and figs, a touch of chocolate, good caramel and toffee, molasses, brown sugar, candi sugar, yeast, pretty sweet but does have a rum-like finish with some alcohol heat...in fact more alcohol than I expected for an 8.5% brew, tastes like 11% or more. Starts to become a bit medicinal.

Mouthfeel is on the thin side of medium bodied, oily, sticky, low carbonation.

Far from my favorite Smuttynose brew, and I've had many better Quads. But, for $5.50 a bottle it's still a solid beer.

12-31-2010 03:33:11 | More by elgiacomo
Photo of JizackFH

New York

4/5  rDev +10.2%

A - This beer pours a dark ruby-brown color. It has a small 1/2-finger off-white head. The head left no lacing on the glass.

S - The smell is sweet and malty. I am getting notes of raisins and other dark fruits. There is definitely some caramel here, and a strong alcohol presence as well.

T - The taste plays a lot off of the nose. There are a lot of raisins and other dark fruits present. There is also a lot of caramel sweetness present, as well as an alcohol bite. The finish is sweet and boozy.

M - This has a full body and low carbonation. It has a chewy quality to it. It also has some alcohol warmth.

D - This has pretty good drinkability. It is a slow sipper for sure, but I think it's pretty easy going. I like this more than I thought I would after reading some of the reviews on here. I am glad I picked this one up, and I recommend trying it.

12-21-2010 08:45:31 | More by JizackFH
Photo of AgentZero


2.58/5  rDev -28.9%

Shared with MasterSki over dinner with our significant others.

A - This beer looked blood red in the light at times, with some tinges of brown at others. No real head to speak of, dissipated to nothing and left the sides clean.

S - Raisins, dark fruits (different than raisins), a little burnt sugar and some candied sugar. Tons of alcohol, not sure if they are not trying to hide this or if they just screwed up, but there's lots of it.

T - Very, very boozy, it really dominates. There is a raisin taste, but not nearly as strong as it should be as it is overpowered by alcohol. Pretty sweet, with a little candied taste. I don't care much for this.

M - Almost full bodied, with low carbonation, not sure if that is helping or hurting the beer.

D - Told Alex to finish it off, I got through about half of one glass. Too hot, too bad tasting, just not a good beer. The search for the great American quad continues.

11-24-2010 04:47:55 | More by AgentZero
Photo of MasterSki

Ontario (Canada)

2.63/5  rDev -27.5%

Thanks to AgentZero for sharing. 2010 vintage, served in a Westvleteren chalice.

A - Pours with a quick-dissolving dime of foam that leaves an incomplete ring and a few bubbles. Initially a semi-transparent cherry red color, although later pours get progressively hazier.

S - Booze! I'm usually immune, but this has fairly present fusel alcohol and solvent notes. Once you get past that, there is fruity and spicy yeast characters, as well as some candi sugar, dark fruits, apples, and medicinal brandy.

T - Taste is a little more raisin-oriented, which shouldn't be surprising considering the volume of raisins added. There's some light mineral qualities, followed by a boozy solvent finish. Not as complex as the aroma.

M - Alcohol warmth galore. Low carbonation verging on syrupy, smooth medium body that seems a little undersized for 12%.

D - It was a struggle for Mike and I to finish this, although I eventually manned up and got the job done. Not something I would have again, although there is a serious dearth of good American quads.

11-24-2010 03:10:34 | More by MasterSki
Photo of cosmicevan

New York

3.8/5  rDev +4.7%

review from notes taken at the time of tasting

A - Pours a clearish ruby reddish brown with no head at all. Nice, even carbonation.
S - Very nice smelling quad. Cherry, nutmeg. Sweet and complex.
T - YUM!!! I LOVE quads and this one is great. Not nearly as thick and rich as others I've had, but a nice balanced flavor. Alc is there, but works well with the flavor which follows the nose.
M - Tingly and vibrant. Cooling aftervibe. A bit thinner than some other quads.
D - Really good quad. Alc isn't that well hidden, but it works. Really enjoyable and easy to drink.

11-22-2010 02:30:27 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of rtepiak


2.85/5  rDev -21.5%

an amber beer with the gravity that is visible in the way the bottles are trying to work there way to the surface. about 5 seconds delayed of about three finger nails worth. nose of booze and apple brown sugar. palate of raisin and metal that fades over time... apple and burnt clove. hurts the teeth so much sugar and poor body. nothing worth trying from a otherwise pretty successful lineup.

11-07-2010 05:40:51 | More by rtepiak
Photo of Boitnott

North Carolina

2.7/5  rDev -25.6%

A: Amber colored, light red hue to it. The head is almost non existent. Its pretty much not even there at all.

S: The smell is a strong apple smell. You can smell some hops though too. It literally smells like apple juice or cider.

T: The nose has a light citrus taste to it, not much hops or anything else. The finish tastes almost exactly like a lighter apple cider. This beer tastes like I would imagine an apple lambic would taste like. There is also some slight hoppiness to the finish, but not enough to negate the intense sweetness; it needs something to counteract the apple juice after taste.

M: Light bodied, and no head. For a 12% this beer is pretty light. I did really notice the high ABV until I was done...

D: All in all I could not drink too many of these. The sweetness is just overpowering. With nothing to balance the sweetness, it the beer tastes too much like apple. I would not recommend it.

Served from 22 oz. bottle into Chimay Goblet

10-30-2010 02:29:11 | More by Boitnott
Photo of jrstamp


3.13/5  rDev -13.8%

22oz into a tulip

Very small, thin head, gone in a flash and even a vigorous swirl doesn't get you much back.

Alot of sweetness on the nose with some type of fruit I could not figure out at first. The raisin puree from the notes makes alot of sense.

It tasted alot like I thought it would, really sweet and sticky. Definitely see where they were trying to go with the quad and you feel the alcohol after the first 12oz.

Not something I could drink a whole lot of, but is something that could be split and sipped on for a while. Too sweet for my liking and that says alot.

10-28-2010 01:20:47 | More by jrstamp
Photo of SaCkErZ9


2.4/5  rDev -33.9%

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a La Fin Du Monde tulip glass. Beer emerges a dark fig color with no head to speak of. Looks like prune juice mixed with tea.

Aroma is sickly sweet and raisiny and really quite figgy. Dark fruits, alcohol, sugar, caramel malts, molasses. Very medicinal, like rubbing alcohol or that stuff that kills warts.

Sickly sweet flavor profile. More of the figs and a sort of plum jam feeling and taste. Cloying. I feel like I have received a cavity from this beer due to its sweetness.

A 22oz bottle is impossible to finish: I doubt I could even finish a 12oz'er. Sweet, cloying, sticky, chewy; like a liquefied jam. Not enjoyable and not acceptable. I need to see my dentist, STAT.

10-23-2010 14:47:11 | More by SaCkErZ9
Photo of ejimhof


4/5  rDev +10.2%

Appearance- brown with no head to speak of

Smell- sweet and high alcohol you know what's coming up

Taste- sweet and strong but what else do you expect from a quad?

Mouthfeel- very pleasant

Drinkability- very easy to drink but don't plan on drinking more than one of these

10-21-2010 02:21:20 | More by ejimhof
Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 492 ratings.