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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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506 Ratings

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Ratings: 506
Reviews: 289
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 15.98%
Wants: 29
Gots: 41 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 506 | Reviews: 289 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bung
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. Dark ruby/amber pour. Fairly large off white head, but does disappear fairly quickly to a ring. Does stick to the glass a bit. Lots of brown sugar and malt in the aroma. Taste is almost cloyingly sweet at first. Brown sugar, raisin, candied plum or dark fruit of some sort. Some biscuity body. As it warms up the candied sweetness fades and is more malty/molasses sweet. Lively enough mouthfeel. Not really any hop presence in this throughout. Not my fave, but certainly above the average and drinkable on a descently warm spring night.

Photo of talkinghatrack
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On draft at Ginger Man, from notes.

a - This one arrived right after a discussion of how my group generally liked strong belgians but the really dark ones tend to lead to hangovers. And go figure - this one is pitch black! No head.

s - light raisin with some light alcohol.

t - honey, molasses, raisin. Very sweet. Some coffee bitterness.

d - ABV only hits at the end. Good masking overall but a heavy beer to session. Kinda harsh on the finish until you adjust to it.

Photo of Proteus93
3.47/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours so dark that it is basically opaque... deep, deep red. A khaki head tops it, but needs a bit of assertiveness to really build into anything. It doesn't last too long once it's there.

S: Yeasty, concord grape, and a malty backbone - it's not quite like any other quad I've had before.

T: Things get a little unusual on the palate... it's very, very raisiny - almost syrupy, and has the grape quality to it that makes it have a flavour like grape juice. It's almost a little too sweet and sugary, but not all that bad.

M + D: It's got just the lightest sparkle, and a bit of a slippery, slightly sticky feel. A little bigger bodied, but not really big or rich. It's a decent sipper, but it continues to be quite sweet and doesn't really mellow as it warms or anything, so it's a slow goer. Not a bad beer overall, but something doesn't seem quite right.

Photo of aubuc1
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber poured in to a chimay goblet.

Pours a clear dark amber brown with a clingy beige thinning head.

Smell is malty, yeasty, and slightly sour. No fruity smell typical in dark belgians.

Taste is a light, carbonated, yeasty roasted malt. Some spice. Different, but pretty good. Quite enjoyable, good balance. The sweetness is more of a cooked candy than fruity sweetness. Caramel.

Good mouthfeel and drinkability.

Very good beer. Not as good as many quads, but a good drinking beer none the less.

Photo of charlesw
2.85/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Cloudy brown, little head. Smells... Yeah. That's a problem, isn't it? Smells a little musty. Like oxidized homebrew or something. Hints of brown sugar, molasses.

The big part of the taste is the musty/homebrew/oxidation thing. Bleh. Plenty of brown sugar, molasses and licorice root but none of those with any sweetness. Might taste a touch of chocolate, too.

Edit: and on reading other reviews, no, I'm a bit surprised. I mean, it's like they weren't drinking the same beer I was! What's up with that?

Photo of KeefD
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Rochefort10nh for the trade!

Pours a nice dark amber brown color with a small that's gone quickly leaving very sparse lacing that barely clings to the side of the glass. Smell is dark and sugary, toasty malts, chocolate, yeast, and light dab of alcohol. Taste is very sweet upfront, lots of chocolate and candied fruits, apples, brown sugar, and a nice breadiness backed up by a nice Belgian yeast strain and a warming dry alcohol finish. Mouthfeel smooth, while alcohol is detectable it isn't overpowering. Nice sipping beer. I enjoyed this bomber to myself and drank the whole the thing over the course of an hour or two and loved every drop. Nice quad from an impressive East Coast brewery. Thanks again Keith!

Photo of Liverpool08
3.18/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark pepsi colored brown. Very small off brown head that goes away quickly. Aroma of malts and raisins but not overly sweet smelling.
Taste goes with the aroma. Very malty with that sweet raisin flavor. Also a hint of the alchohol.
But the alchohol doesn't intrude, its just peeping thru. Overall a little to sweet for me. Never a big fan of raisins, so I think thats what puts me off this one a little.

Photo of hoppyhobby
3.92/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours to a dark clear cola color with an average tan head. The head dissipates pretty quickly. Sparse lacing.

S - Malty and beady sourdough aroma.

T - Has some sweetness with some bubble gum overtones that is typical of most Belgium styles.

M - Good body that leaves an oily or thick mouth feel. Has a syrupy sweetness.

D- I'm enjoying this beer as it satisfies the desire to find something different in a craft beer. It has a unique flavor and it's not overpowering. The alcohol is there but there is no burn or bite.

Photo of bonbini26
4.12/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ the Ginger Man 4-10-09

A: dark ruby red/brown color, a little cloudy with a small white head and intermediate lacing

S: Sweet, sugary, raisin with some belgian yeast

T: Dominated by sweet, sugary burnt raisins, with a spicy Belgian yeast at the end with other spices such as licorice and clove

M: Smooth and rich, very nicely balanced

D: Pretty easy drinking given the alcohol content, I think I actually like this one better than Dogfish Rasion D'etre

Photo of nick76
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The nose is too sweet, it's got fruit (raisins, figs, dark fruit in general), syrup, malt, yeast, and toffee. The appearance is deep amber with a nice head. The flavor is like the aroma. The palate is a tad thin but OK. Overall it's a very decent beer but cloyingly sweet.

Photo of drseamus
2.39/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A: Dark garnet body with a nice white head.

S: It smells a touch sweet. Good amount of dark fruit. Nice malt.

T: Woah momma. Sweet just begins to describe this. There are some fruits but it is way too sweet.

M: Medium bodied and possibly the only redeemable quality.

D: I can't drink this.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of cjgator3
4.2/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle
2009 Vintage

A- 22oz bottle poured into a chalice. Pours a dark brown color with a light tan head that turns into a thin ring of lace around the glass.

S- The aroma is sweet malt, raisins and alcohol soaked fruits.

T- The taste is a lot of sweet malt and dark fruits with some alcohol in the finish. There is a surprising amount of smoothness for a beer of this strength.

M- The mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- I'm enjoying this beer quite a bit. The alcohol is definitely there in the taste, but the beer is surprisingly smooth. Gravitation is a beer that I would definitely purchase again. Recommended.

Photo of Murchmac
3.03/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My non BA friend from NYC shipped this to me. Thanks Deputy.

Pours a dark reddish copper, clear, with a big head that settles down to ring around the collar, it might have the power of greyskull though.

Smells of some raisins, dried dark fruits, alcohol. Like skeletor farted after drinking plum wine. That guy needs to eat a cheeseburger.

Tastes hot, sticky sweet, from my head to my feet. Did Orko have legs, or what was under that sheet?

Read the reviews, they're all right. Split this beer with Man at Arms or Teela. I had Castle Greyskull as a Kid, but not sure this beer can hold aloft the mighty sword.

No matter what you think going into the beer, clear out an hour, it's a sipper.

Photo of ppoitras
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" tan head over the clear reddish copper brew. Head lasts quite well, with leggy slow-falling lace. Aroma is sweet, fruity, heavy on the booze. Taste follows the nose, with the alcohol close a bit harsh. Mouthfeel is a little rough, and drinkability is limited by all of the above. This one's harsher than I would have expected from Smutty, made me think of The Beast. Seems way stronger than 8.5%abv. Your mileage may vary.

Photo of grayburn
4.18/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First off let me say that I consider this beer a belgian barley wine, this is not completely true to the quad style, but the belgian characteristics are strongly intact.
She pours a dark garnet with a minimal head that laces to the glass like nobody's business.
The smell and taste start with raisins and continue until they reach a malty crescendo that finishes with just a slight bitterness to prevent being cloying.
The mouthfeel is excellent, this is an after dinner sipping beer to pair with a fine cigar. Like I said before, this is a belgian barleywine, I could sip on this for quite a while.

Photo of Gmann
3.21/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a ruby brown color with an average khaki colored head that settles into a light head. The aroma is pretty non-existant for a Quad, not much aroma at all. The taste is of grape juice, kind of sugary but not really, I dunno. Does not have the complexity of a good quad, not even close. The body is thin, no real dark fruit flavors or malt complexity. It doesn't taste bad, not at all, but just doesn't taste like a quad or belgian brew. Not sure if a belgian yeast strain was used or any candi sugar. Moderate feel, with fizzy carbonation; finishes sweet. If you are looking for a sweet old ale with fizzy carbonation, this might be for you. Doesn't really remind me of a belgian beer at all, just a sweet beer. I guess this is the first BIG BEER Serier beer that I am disappointed in, though, again, it doesn't taste bad.

Photo of akorsak
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to tai4ji2x for this bomber bottle.

A: The quad is a dark brown color, murky and forboding. When I hold the glass up to a light, deep red colors become evident. The head was small on pour and is a stagnant thin band atop the beer.

S: The ale is very sweet, practically raisin juice with some booze. The sweetness masks the yeast profile and thick malts nicely.

T: Man, this is sweet. The raisins dominate the taste with a burnt sugar sweetness. Under the raisins, a thick malt base and Belgian yeast linger. Brown sugar and cloves are evident, along with boozy warmth. As the quad warms, additional spices emerge, with a touch of vanilla, licorice and candi sugar.

M: The mouthfeel is tainted by the raisins. They are sweet, soooey! The spice profile takes a little while to emerge but it compliments the raisins.

D: I'll be lucky to finish off the bomber. The sweetness coupled with the booze is almost too much.

Photo of Billolick
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber bottle, 2009 notched on the label. Pours very dark mahogany with a fairly quickly departing medium khaki head. A gentle swirl reveals strands of stringy lace. Nose is of ripe fruits. One sip reveals the oncoming problem with this beer...its sickly sweet, yikes...notes of sweet jam, and sugary malts. Usually a fan of the style but this lacks the interest and balance of the all stars of the style. The fact that I tried some Southampton Abbot 12 this afternoon did not bode well for this selection. Another sip confirms my feelings, too sweet for my liking. Doubt I would give this one another try

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

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

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

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

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation.

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

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.32/5  rDev +19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a dark brown color with good head retentiona and lacing. On the nose, I get quite a bit brown suggar and molasses, with a hint of vanilla and underlying spice. On the palate, this beer is pretty rich and sweet, with chocolate, cherry, vanilla and a touch of coffee. Mouthfeel is rich, long, soft and creamy. Alcohol is pretty well disguised, though you can tell it's up there a bit. However, the excessive sweetness hurt this beer's drinkability just a bit.

Still, all things considered, this is a pretty tasty beer from Smuttynose. Not bad at all.

Photo of horshack7
2.83/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Out of a 22 ounce bomber comes a very dark burgandy with a light fomay head. That thins out to about half a finger worths.

Aroma: Scents of plums raisins mild hints of rum and other dried fruits. Delicate notes of roasted malts and little bits of hop notes.

Taste: Out of the gate it starts out smooth. Only little hints of figs and raisins with the slightest bits of hop bitterness. Not as hearty as I thought it might be but it's not too shaby.

Notes: It is not as big as my first impression of it was but it's decently drinkable. Cheers

Photo of jnn4v
3.82/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Reddish brown, burgundy / mahogany color. No haze or sediment. Tan color head.

S: Cherries, molasses and raisins greet you to the overall sweet bouquet. Copper and more generic grainy malt follows.

T: Lots of malts come to the front. Syrupy sweet but not a front of the tongue sugar sweetness or even a fruit sweetness. This is a molasses / brown sugar / dark malt sweetness. Some candied fruits buried in there. Possibly currant or plum.

M: Full bodied, very fine carbonation. Not nearly as carbonated as a true Belgian quad would have been. Somewhat syrupy.

D: Thick, heavy, somewhat syrupy, and with a flavor that isn't entirely appealing enough to make me desire an entire 22oz. Although I'm enjoying it, I'm glad I'm splitting this with my wife.

Photo of JayNH
3.33/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a deep clear burgundy with a large foamy head. Solid retention and lacing.

S- Mild alcohol warmth. Dark sweet malt, fruit notes of plums, figs and raisins.

T- Sweet candy sugar, too much, it really overwhelmes everything else. A grassy hoppiness in the finish.

M- Sweet, slick and heavy. Way undercarbonated, almost flat.

D- Ok, a very mild brew.. It goes down easy but definitely a disappointment for a quad. This is like an overly sweetened dubbel.

Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 506 ratings.