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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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520 Ratings

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Ratings: 520
Reviews: 293
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 15.7%
Wants: 30
Gots: 46 | FT: 3
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: 520 | Reviews: 293 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of LuckySevens82
3.92/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber bought at Big C Liquors

Pours a deep reddish brown with about a half finger of off-white head. Lacing is okay.

Smell is toasted malts, loads of ripe fruits, some belgian candi sugar, a little bit of a hop aroma. It's pretty inviting.

Taste highlights pretty basic belgian. Loads of plum and fig flavors, a bit of that toasty flavor that I mentioned as well. Not normal for a belgian, but it works really well with this beer's big flavors. Some spice: cinnamon, clove, a bit of coriander.

Mouthfeel is a bit slick for my liking. I prefer my quads to be a bit more carbonated, but overall a good drinking beer and another great offering from Smuttynose. So glad that they've finally made it to Florida!

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

Pours with a brownish red color and a fairly insignificant head. Some caramel and spice notes come through on the aromas. It weighs heavy in the mouth with classic belgian flavors and a hint of coriander; but goes down clean and smooth. A great find. Now I gotta go find some more

Photo of jonziefle
3.66/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From notes:

Appearance: Poured a deep crimson read, clear, and with carbonation present. One finger light tan bubbly/foamy head, which reduced to a thin layer. Some lacing present.

Smell: Sweet (but with a hint of sourness) malts, slightly bready and yeasty. Alcohol nose comes right through. Very crisp, with light but sharp hops.

Taste: Sweet and oily hops come through. Tastes of dark fruit (grape/raisin) and brown sugar, with some pineyness. Didn't get too much of the malts though, taste seemed to be the reverse of the nose.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and "tingly" in the mouth. Somewhat oily feeling.

Drinkability: Very good. An excellent sippin' beer. While its on the sweet side and not overall balanced, it still is very appealing. Interesting mouth feel.

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

Pours a dark amber color with good dark ruby highlights when held up to the light, smallish head that fades fast, doesn't leave any lacing.

Smell is a fairly typical Belgian, strong malt aroma with hints of banana and dark fruits

Taste is very creamy and slick, very very slick and buttery, good maltiness with a strong banana presence, strong carbonation prickles the mouth in a good way, pretty sweet and candied.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A pretty beer in a goblet. Reddish/brown color with a modest size white head. An aroma of raisin bread, fruity, and a whiff of alcohol. A taste of dark fruit, and bready, making it a fairly chewy beer. A little too much on the sweet side, but still a nice beer.

Photo of HeyItsChili
4.02/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours dark brown with a khaki head that dissolves to a viscous film.

S - Dark caramel, toffee, dark fruits, really nice and complex. Roasted malt, raw sugars. Nicccce.

T - Brown sugar, ripe figs, raisins, Belgian yeast. Reminds me a bit of a Corsendonk brown ale that isn't quite there yet, which isn't a knock on the beer. Few brews can hope to achieve the level of the Donk.

M - Really substantial. Chewy, full bodied.

Notes - The drinkability take a little hit because there's an aspect of the sweetness I don't really care for, and for the thickness of the brew.

Photo of jwc215
3.4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle - poured into SN Big Series glass, 2009 bottling:

Pours dark garnet witha promising head that soon falls to hardly a wisp. Virtually no lacing sticks. Nice color, though.

The smell is of dark fruits covered by alcohol. A bit of dark bread is there.

The taste is dark fruits, esp. raisins (no surprise, as raisin puree has been added. Very sweet - almost in that "artificial fruit" sense. Booze is certainly hot and in the front - I would have guessed higher than 8.5%. Chocolate comes through as it progresses. Sweetness balanced (barely) by a touch of medicinal herb.

It is thick and sticky, yet it does have carbonation, giving some creaminess. Sticky sweetness and alcohol numb the tongue. Oddly, it seems to have less of a body as it progresses, but doesn't fall lower than full side of medium. Not too happy with lingering fruity cough medicine aftertaste.

I would have been happy splitting this one with a friend. It's not bad - interesting - I think the "interesting" part keeps it going, because it is just doesn't "do it" for me. It is raisiny and boozy, but not in the "Raison d'Extra" way - though it wasn't going for that. It does seem, by the indication on the bottle, to go for a Belgian quad style. Not really catching that, either, though.

I can see "mixed opinions" here. So, I would recommend splitting with a friend before going it alone. Also, aging might take some of the raw heat off, which would probably be helpful.

Photo of Wasatch
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to mixylplik3 for this brew.

Bottled Conditioned 2009

Pours a very nice brown color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy tan head, with some nice sticky lacing to follow. The nose is malty, with some dark fruits, slight yeast/spice. The taste is very nice of malts, figs, raisins, prunes, nice sweetness, very slight spice. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is a very tasty brew, thanks Matt.

Photo of roscoehnj
2.83/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Whenever I see a new Smuttynose Big Beer series I pick one up because I've never been dissapointed. Unfortunately this one breaks the streak.

Looks good, smells like a good quad - there could be a lot going on here.

Taste - whoa, whats with all the residual sugar? This is the sweetest quad I've had and that's not a good thing. The overpowering sweetness overshadows whatever complexities reside in this beer. There may be a lot there but I just can't get past the sweetness and can't finish the bomber. It might not take more than a few tweaks to make this good and I hope the folks at Smuttynose rethink this one.

Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.72/5  rDev +30%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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

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

Thanks to Deepak at Kingdom for the share.

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

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

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

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

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

Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 520 ratings.