Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series) - Smuttynose Brewing Company

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Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series)Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series)

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502 Ratings

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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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 502 | Reviews: 288 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of younger35
3.13/5  rDev -13.5%
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 +6.4%
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
4.08/5  rDev +12.7%
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
3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
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
4.33/5  rDev +19.6%
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 +10.5%
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 +21.5%
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
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
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
2.9/5  rDev -19.9%
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.

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
2.78/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle. Pours a dark reddish brown with a small light tan head. Aroma of raisin, sweet malt, sweet dark fruits (plum, prune) and vegetal notes. Ick. Flavor is very very sweet with raisin and dark fruits. Sticky palate and rather carbonated. The flavor is not as bad as the aroma but still. This really is an awful quad though, with no similarities at all to the top Belgian quads.

Photo of cokes
2.63/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Dark and seemingly clear crimson purple with a tall stack of tan head that recedes gradually to a collar.
Big prune aroma, with equally sweet notions of molasses, brown sugar, with a dusting of carob and toasted grain to provide token dryness. No yeast-derived esters, or anything especially "Belgian" about the nose. Sniffed blindly, I'd almost certainly guess it was a dopplebock.
And I doubt the taste would change my guess.
Wave after wave of prune jelly, caramel nougat, and molasses lap across the tongue. This is colossally sweet. Once the mouth is generally desensitized to the gooey maple syrup and dark raisiny fruits, some carob and toast notions materialize, but so do raspberries, and blackberries, but more emphatically, adding to the malt maelstrom. It lingers and cloys, ever sweet and syrupy, with no notable hop contributions, and a likeminded Sherry alcohol bloom on the swallow.
Grippy, sticky, tacky, and cloying. This is all kinds of sweet. And while it is off-balance, a bit of dexterous carbonation could help offset it flaws. Alas, aid never arrives. CO2 is nearly flatlined.
One could almost create this at home with equal parts prune juice and Log Cabin Syrup and a couple ounces of fortified wine. Then muddle in a box or two of raisins.

I usually adore Smutty's Big Beers. This is an aberration.

Photo of Reagan1984
3.03/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

As a Smuttynose fan, I have to say that I was disappointed in this effort.

Off white fizzy head that vanishes rather quickly. No lacing at all. Purple/Amber color that is very deep.

Aroma is of sweet grains, with slight alcohol. Some dark fruits. Dates, Raisins.

Flavor is smooth and malty sweet. Not much depth or spice here. Pretty straight forward and one dimensional. Straight malt sweetness with some plum flavors.

Sticky sweet and smooth.

A bit too sweet to be drinkable.

Photo of AndyAvalanche
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured this into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass (well more like two of them). Poured a dark brown with hints of red on the edges. Looked like there was some clarity to it when you hold it up to the light, but the color makes it tough to tell. Had about a 1/2" head with many sized bubbles that was an off white color. There was some slight lacing but it doesn't last very long, trickles it's way down to the drink itself. I'm a little inexperienced with this type of beer, but I was pleasantly surprised with the aroma of this beer. Had a fruity aroma to it, particularly dark fruits, definitely raisins maybe figs or dates, finished by some malts at the end. The taste was very good. Could barely taste the alcohol in it at all. Mouthfeel was good, not too much of a carbonation bite to it. Started to drink it pretty cold and finished it in about 40 minutes, good cold and when it warmed up as well. Drinkablilty was good. All in all I enjoyed this, I may re-review this beer in the future or if I ever try it on tap.

Photo of Bitterbill
3.38/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of jwc215. Thanks Joe!

It pours a dark reddish brown with a 1 finger head of offwhite foam. Lots of nice lacing.

The smell is very sweet with loads of caramel malt in your nose. There's a bit of a chocolate sweetness character here as well. I'll let it warm up a bit and see if anything else springs up.

The taste starts off with a really sweet caramel maltiness followed by some weird tasting fruitiness that seems to clash with the malt to me. It also has some earthy and grainy tones and some very sweet chocolate. Man, this is so different from what I'm used to for the style that I'm caught completely off guard. The sweetness, to me, almost tastes milk shake like.

As far as the alcohol goes, again Smuttynose has done a great job of hiding it but I'm not overly thrilled with the taste of this Quadrupel.

The mouthfeel and carbonation are both medium and fine by me and the lacing just never quits.

Drinkability? It is easy enough to drink as the abv doesn't show up much at all but...I am just not that fond of the taste and, to me, the taste here for the style, is not at all representative.
I'm glad I got a chance to try it but it isn't something that I would actively seek out.

Photo of stephens101
3.93/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The dark brown pour would almost be black if it weren't for some diffuse shades of subtle red. A smallish tan head quickly fades and leaves a couple of spots of lace as evidence. Smells of dark fruits, sweet bread, phenols and some earthiness underneath it all. A bit of sourness is evident upon closer inspection. Tastes of sour dark fruits, grain, and more sweet bread. A nice alcohol heat warms the ending and some spices emerge later on. Fairly smooth going down, and I would say it's medium to heavy, but doesn't have a lot of weight on the stomach. A little hop bite would add dimensions to this brew, but I have no major complaints.

Photo of russpowell
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours brown hued mahogany with a pinky of tan head. Average lacing & head retention

S: Oakyness, figs & brown sugar

T: Figs, raisins, jammyness & persimmons up front along with some dryness. A bit of booze sneaks in as this warms, a fig bushel, along with brown sugar dryness, leafy hops & a touch of singed caramel apple. Finishes with a hint of smokeyness, a bit of bubblegum, warming booze, oakyness

MF: Meduim bodied, smooth, dry & becomes chewy/warming as it warms

Drinks alright, the dryness does slow me down though, along with too much figgyness. Not a bad effort, just didn't floor me

Photo of bilyboy65
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 22oz bomber into a goblet glass.

A: Dark amber color with a minimal light brown head. The head didn't last to long, but there is plenty of film left on the glass from each swirl and sip.

S: There are 2 very powerful and distinct noses pertruding from this glass. That of all the raisins and then of all the malts that are used. They both offer a sweet scent to the nose, but seem to conflict in being the dominant smell. Have a heavy sugar scent from the malts and a heavy fruity scent from the raisins. If there were some roasted malts in this I would think the attempt was to mimic chocolate covered raisins, but as it is it seems like the raisins were only coated with sugar.

T: Conflicted as the nose. Leaves a delightful after taste that makes you want to quickly take another pull.

M: Medium bodied with little trace of it ever being in there.

D: Will easily fit as a desert or with a meal beer. Multiple options with drinking this one.

Photo of Keith238
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber, bottle conditioned 2009, poured a deep amber with thick tan head. Raisins are very evident here and are likely the sweetest part of this brew. Dare I say it's too sweet. My lips are actually sticky from drinking it. The flavor is very nice but I was looking for more from the malt and even the yeast since it's a Belgian style. Not a bad beer by any stretch but it didn't meet my expectations overall. Hints of plums and raisins in the smell and flavor and that's about all I'm getting. I just don't find it to be very well balanced.

Photo of Bighuge
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear body of auburn. Thin beige head. Lacing is sporadic and spotty. This beer really smells good. Thick, doughy, bready malt base. Cinnamon and ginger accents. Just a real full nose. Solid flavor. Bread pudding malt base. Again, I get ginger and cinnamon spicing. Plum, raisin, fig. Alcohol is held in check. Solid quad, but nothing real special. Mouthfeel is a bit syrupy and overall impression too sweet for a quad.

Photo of brewcrew76
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Ruby brown with a thin tan head a ring of foam left behind.

S - Sweet with dark fruits, caramel, toffee and toasted grains.

T - Sugary sweet with ripe dark fruits, toasted grains, brown sugar, honey and a touch of belgian yeast.

M - Medium body with good carbonation and a lingering sweetness.

D - A little too sweet for my tastes but some nice ripe fruit flavors come out as it warms up. Much more roasty when it is cold.

Photo of johntangus
3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this beer very much sitting oceanfront watching the tourists frolic in the surf.

Appearance: dark amber with a tan head

Taste: blueberries, raisins, very very sweet

Mouth: a little thin for such a big beer, but i had also tasted a Grand Cru before this one. I think anything would be a little thin after that.

Smelled like blueberries.

A very nice big beer, didn't notice a huge alcohol presence. I and my fellow drinkers could not get away from the blueberry taste, but that may be our inexperienced palate. Although it didn't make the beer any less enjoyable.

Photo of Gosox8787
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I split a bomber of this with a friend the other day. I picked it up at the store and gave it a try. Served colder, probably at around 40 degrees, but I drank over a span of half an hour so it warmed significantly.

The appearance was dark, dark, red. There was a beige, pillowy head that measured about two fingers. The nose was strong caramel notes with some dark fruits, plums and raisins, backing. The taste taste hit upfront with tart apple and grape notes, before the caramel and dark fruit backdrop was noticable. The caramel was much lighter than in the nose. Could have been more balalnce present. The mouthfeel was syrupy without much carbonation noticable, although there was some there. Drinkability was low due to the intense tartness and the high ABV, although the alcohol was pretty well hidden.

Overall, a good quad, but by no means the best I have ever had. Lots of flavor but lacking in balance.

Photo of grub
4.2/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, purchased on a recent trip to buffalo. sampled june 11/09.

pours slightly hazy deep dark red, showing some great garnet hues when held to the light. a small dense dark tan head forms, dropping fairly quickly to a thin layer on top of the beer and leaving spotty lace behind.

aroma is great. loads of dark fruit - date, prune, raisin, plum. caramel and toffee. bit of belgian yeasty character. lightly toasted whole wheat bread. bit of cracker. light alcohol.

taste is pretty sweet. hint of roast. toasted multi-grain bread. bit of biscuit and cracker. caramel and toffee. bit of honey. sweet ripe dark fruit - date, fig, plum, raisin. just a hint of alcohol. low bitterness level. bit of chocolate. bit of belgian spice. at times it takes on an almost bock-like character, but this much sweetness would be out of place in most styles. still, it manages to stay just a shade to the good side of cloying, and certainly helps to keep the alcohol in check.

mouthfeel is good. fairly big body. just over medium carbonation level.

drinkability is pretty good. while a bit on the sweet side, it's fairly well balanced and hides its alcohol well. even approaching room temperature i'm not having any trouble finishing it. if they dialed back on the sweetness just a little it'd be really great.

Photo of Viggo
2.78/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22 oz bottle, big thanks to grub for sharing!

Pours a clear dark ruby red, almost brown away from the light, thin light tan head forms, quickly settles to a thing ring around the glass, a few lace spots sticks, looks alright. Smell is neat, more like a bock than a quad, raisins, some caramel/brown sugar, biscuits, very bready, lots of dark fruit, something kind of citrusy and floral, not what I think of when I think of quad, just doesn't have that character. Taste is very sweet, lots of raisins, iron, brown sugar/caramel, iced tea, almost cloying, lots of fruit juice, some alcohol, dates, biscuity and dry in the finish, almost feels like my teeth are rotting. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation, alcohol is hidden relatively well, but just insanely sweet and cloying. Very sugary finish, just doesn't seem like much of a quad, and too sweet to be very enjoyable regardless of adherence to style. Thanks Russ!

Photo of blackie
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a modest cream colored head over a deep garnet beer, carbonation eventually dies back to a thin ring

s: rich tree fruit aroma - pulpy plum and cherry most apparent with some toasty malts lurking underneath, a bit on the sweeter side with the fruit and raw sugars, pleasant aromatics but lacking the delicacy of a finer quad

m: carbonation on the light side of medium with a slick, medium-full body

t: loads of fruit flavor in the cherry and plum malt body, raw sugars with a light toasty malt coming out towards the finish, sweet but not distractingly so, subtly hopped, same deal as the aroma - nice flavors but lacking the balance of a fine Belgian

d: just fine

bomber from Whole Foods Reston a few months ago

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