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Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series) - Smuttynose Brewing Company

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

497 Ratings
THE BROS
75
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 497
Reviews: 288
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 16.25%
Wants: 24
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series) Alström Bros
Ratings: 497 | Reviews: 288 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mhatters
4/5  rDev +10.2%
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

mhatters, Sep 17, 2009
Photo of bort11
4.4/5  rDev +21.2%
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.

bort11, Sep 06, 2009
Photo of beerthulhu
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

beerthulhu, Aug 31, 2009
Photo of joepais
2.9/5  rDev -20.1%
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.

joepais, Aug 30, 2009
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
2.78/5  rDev -23.4%
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.

LilBeerDoctor, Aug 27, 2009
Photo of cokes
2.63/5  rDev -27.5%
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.

cokes, Aug 17, 2009
Photo of Reagan1984
3.03/5  rDev -16.5%
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.

Reagan1984, Aug 06, 2009
Photo of AndyAvalanche
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

AndyAvalanche, Aug 03, 2009
Photo of Bitterbill
3.38/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

Bitterbill, Aug 01, 2009
Photo of stephens101
3.93/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

stephens101, Jul 28, 2009
Photo of russpowell
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
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

russpowell, Jul 25, 2009
Photo of bilyboy65
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
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.

bilyboy65, Jul 10, 2009
Photo of Keith238
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

Keith238, Jul 04, 2009
Photo of Bighuge
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

Bighuge, Jun 23, 2009
Photo of brewcrew76
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

brewcrew76, Jun 18, 2009
Photo of johntangus
3.63/5  rDev 0%
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.

johntangus, Jun 15, 2009
Photo of Gosox8787
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

Gosox8787, Jun 15, 2009
Photo of grub
4.2/5  rDev +15.7%
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.

grub, Jun 12, 2009
Photo of Viggo
2.78/5  rDev -23.4%
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!

Viggo, Jun 12, 2009
Photo of blackie
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
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

blackie, Jun 10, 2009
Photo of jpro
3.45/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at dd Peckers -

Wow, this brew looks pretty nice in the glass: deep mahogany with a light tan / off-white head. Looks pretty delicious -

Aroma was not quite as full as I was expecting. Some light touches of sweet malts, raisiny, figs, sweet!

Taste was very complex, but from what I could glean: dark fruits, black cherry, raisins; finish was molasses and maybe a touch of maple syrup in the long-lasting, sweet finish.

Mouthfeel was pretty full-bodied, mouth coating and sweet (see maple syrup finish above!)

Probably not something to drink a lot of in one sitting, but definitely a nice and interesting change of pace. Very pleasing -

jpro, Jun 08, 2009
Photo of saintwarrick
4.13/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brownish rust red with a sawdust yellow head. Nice aroma on this one, some rum raisin and dark fruits, very pungent and sweet with brown-sugar covered dates and figs. Taste follows that, sweeter for the style but not cloying, a little booze is detected, but nothing over the top as this is a very drinkable brew for a quad, some maple syrup in the taste as well. I like the sweetness here as this gives the brew a little character and separates it from other less worth brews.

This is a fine crafted quad, drinkable but strong while bringing something different to the table.

saintwarrick, Jun 07, 2009
Photo of almychristopher
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

this beer pours a nice clear mahogany color with a tan head that recedes to a ring of lace rather quickly. the aroma brings a lost of roasted character with a bit of the promised yeast. the taste brings the yeast through and through. the roasted character takes kind of a back seat. the full mouthfeel and the warmth make the mouthfeel quite nice, not a bad big beer.

almychristopher, Jun 06, 2009
Photo of WesWes
3.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a translucent dark brown color with a 1/2" tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a nice roasted character with some rainsy aroma. It's dry with some warming in the nose. The taste is decent as well. It has a rich, roasted character with some Belgian yeast esters in the finish. It's not like most quads on the market. It's borderline imperial stout/barleywine. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with some prickly carbonation. This is a drinkable beer, but I'm not too high on the malt bill.

WesWes, Jun 06, 2009
Photo of Metalmonk
4.45/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Looks like a winner. Color is a deep caramel brown with a reddish shade, and the head is a thick crackly light brown monster, though it halves quickly and then hangs around as a thin skim, but not before throwing a bunch of lace on the glass.

Aroma melds dark fruit (raisins, figs, dates) and an obvious Belgian yeast strain, while offering sweeter, brighter fruit aromas (cherry), chocolate chips and something recalling fresh-baked cinnamon rolls.

Tastes as wonderful as the appearance and smell hint it will. Take all the noted impressions noted above in the aroma and then add a warming but hardly cloying alcohol to all of that. The yeast is incredibly well-incorporated. It's pretty much the make-or-break factor in the character of the flavor here (it "makes" it, no doubt), while the dark fruits, chocolate and sweet fresh dough have a killer all-night bash on top of the yeast. Late arrival brown sugar also makes it presence known. Raisins, young and plump, ride through in the finish. Delicious.

Mouth is tingly and airy, a nice complement to the high-ish alcohol content and dark color, as well as the lightly tart finish. Thankfully not over-carbonated despite plenty of bubbles, which, in this case, works toward the beer's flavor rather than against it.

Rich but balanced, well-made and quite a treat. I never read reviews of beers I'm reviewing until after I've reviewed myself, but looking at the composite "B" before I headed in and comparing that with what I'm tasting, I'm wondering if this is just a particularly outstanding batch, if it's aged just the right amount of time (although this is fairly young, bottle-conditioned just this year) or if that whole "everybody's palate is different" thing is truly the bottom line for interpreting Gravitation. As far as I'm concerned, it's yet another great beer in the Smuttynose Big Beer Series. Don't skip it!

Metalmonk, Jun 03, 2009
Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 497 ratings.