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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: 35 | 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: 492 | Reviews: 288 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of EPseja

New Jersey

2.88/5  rDev -20.7%

Had this one on hand, but it didn't make the field of eight in the Blind Double Elimination Quad tasting I just did with BAs yelterdow and bootz.

Served from a 22oz bottle in a Chimay chalice at just below cellar temperature.

A - Dark, reddish brown; clear, with a decent 1/2 inch head that sinks to a thin mat after just about a minute. Lacing is very sparse.

S - Massive overripe bananas with some alcohol soaked figs. Is that a hint of ginger? Notes of sweetened soy and raisins as well.

T - Very syrupy sweet with brown-sugar malts and a bananas foster toastiness. Alcohol peeks in at the halfway mark, along with a pinch of yeast. Medium dry hoppiness in the end, with a warming but ambiguous aftertaste and some cloying.

M - A bit watery going in, but tingly. Rises to a big mouthful of rolling seafoam, with a slightly gassy and belly filling swallow.

D - Very forward, overt sweetness keeps this beer from ever developing the subtleties that make a superb Quad into a work of art. Never really breaks out of average in any aspect. Would have fared just about as well as the other American Quads did in the tasting I had.

03-01-2009 02:20:54 | More by EPseja
Photo of currysage1


4.13/5  rDev +13.8%

Into a pint sized snifter.

Pours a deep dark garnet red topped with a khaki, crackly head, slowly disperses down to a slight covering.

Smell is of warm caramel, fresh figs, slight alcohol twinge,

Taste has alot going on, decent amount of residual sweetness, some cocoa, the caramel, again with the slight alcohol, but very well hidden, raisin, definate sucking on a penny flavor.

Feel could be a bit thicker, but not too off base, carbonation keeps the sweetness at bay. Drinkability is very good, not sure if I would want another in one night, but I'm enjoying the hell out of this one.

02-28-2009 07:05:54 | More by currysage1
Photo of Jwale73

Rhode Island

3.85/5  rDev +6.1%

Had this at Track 84. Served in a tulip ($4 pour). Appearance was similar to grape cola, with a quarter inch off-white head that dissipated into a thin, fairly consistent slick. Nose was dark fruit - fairly subdued. Taste revealed dark fruit and cocoa. Mouthfeel was medium-bodied and very effervescent, which placed it a little off-style in my opinion. This is a very flavorful quad. Perhaps lacking in some of the complexity associated with the style, but I applaud Smuttynose for the fact that they consistently put out great offerings. Well worth your time.

02-22-2009 15:45:43 | More by Jwale73
Photo of Brad007


4.38/5  rDev +20.7%

Pours a dark red color with a one-finger head into my pint glass. I've allowed the beer to warm up to room temperature.

Aroma is sweet and malty with the familiar hint of raisin in the nose. A bit of spice is present as well.

Taste is strong and malty upfront with a nice amount of raisin and caramel on the tongue and only a bit of alcohol warmth. Very easy to drink.

Mouthfeel is left with raisin and caramel at the back of the throat. A bit warm due to the alcohol.

This is quite easy to drink for the style and an excellent beer for the value. Smooth, delicious and dangerously drinkable.

02-22-2009 02:41:57 | More by Brad007
Photo of 51mmz0rz

New Jersey

3.93/5  rDev +8.3%

Poured into a 0.5L Duvel tulip.

A: Perfectly clear garnet red body with a loose tan head. Good lacing.

S: Very fruity, likely the grape puree coming through. Slightly yeasty as well.

T: Sweet and yeasty. Fruity again from the grapes. Slight bitterness (little light there) Might be a little sweet, but still damn tasty.

M: Carbonation seems appropriate, lower than normal. Mouthfeel is close to being sticky but not quite there.

D: Good, but big, a little sweet.

02-21-2009 05:33:38 | More by 51mmz0rz
Photo of BeerNinja007

New Hampshire

3.8/5  rDev +4.7%

Serving: 22oz bomber poured into a chilled pint glass.

A: Tan head of small bubbles, 1-2 fingers in height, quickly settles down to a single thin layer of foam. Color is an attractive deep strawberry red when held to the light.

S: Sweet, thick, esters. Not much depth.

T: Brown sugar, banana esters, maybe some apricot esters. something floral.

M: Thick and heavy but not unpleasant. Not nearly as slick or syrupy as I would expect for something this sweet. Crisp carbonation, alcohol well-hidden.

D: Really drinkable at first, I'm surprised how quickly the first glass went down on all accounts. Second glass is catching up with me in a hurry though. *Belch* Very flling. Make this the end of your evening.

So I guess this is what 200lbs of raisins tastes like. I guess I can see that in hindsight. I wish the Sun Maid girl was here to help me finish it (she's kinda cute). Not a typical quad. Call it a desert beer or digestif. Sweet.

02-21-2009 03:03:10 | More by BeerNinja007
Photo of Kraken


3.35/5  rDev -7.7%

Reviewed February 19th

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a 16 oz pint glass. Firm pour results in a 1/4 inch of off-white/tan head. Head fades quickly and leaves a spotty lace. Color a deep robust, but clear red.

Nose- Sweet raisins and figs. Some grape and apples come through. Lots of dark fruit.

Palate- Whoa lots of raisins. Very sweet. Smooth. Lots of interesting coco, some candied apples. Floral qualities, tones of vanilla. Slightly cloying.

Mouthfeel- Sticky, mildly cloying. Smooth.

Drinkability- Good, however one is more then enough

02-20-2009 02:14:44 | More by Kraken
Photo of meatyard


3.8/5  rDev +4.7%

A-Is a clear, dark ruby/mahogany with a short, quickly disappearing head that leaves no lacing. Gave a really hard pour from the 2nd half of the bottle to get a 2 finger head that leaves OK lacing but it still dissapates quickly.

S-A light amount of sweetish, dark fruit. Some alcohol

T-Is a bit of alcohol, dark fig and sugar sweetness plus some malt.

M-Is medium in body.

D-It's a pretty easy drinking Quad but a little sweet. One 22 ouncer is enough.

Not bad at all but not nearly my favorite Quad. It doesn't fit the style all that well.

02-19-2009 02:19:17 | More by meatyard
Photo of Foxman

New Jersey

3.55/5  rDev -2.2%

It pours a rather clear cola mahogany. A half finger of sparse orange-tan head dissolves in a flash to spectral wisps of pips. Lacing is a non-entity.

The aroma starts with roasted malt and caramel with a toffee kicker. Raisins and a distant spiciness merge smoothly with a steamy seam of alcohol.

Upon sipping, the tide is briefly dark malt sweet before candy sugar comes a-cloying. Dark cherry, dried dark fruit, and caramel stiffen in the face of a muted, reedy crisp bitterness. The alcohol is sneaky and airy. Residual biscuit grain is syrupy before a more capably dry bitterness crisps the finish a wee bit. Malty and sweet, it's a quad, if a bit jerky in spots.

Between medium and full bodied, it's sticky, lip-clinging, palate-enrobing, and quite cloying.

It's a toasty malt beast, a bomb of grain sugar, with a glycemic index that stares down and cows the most potent insulin. This is what happens when you deregulate maltose and dried fruit. And yet, the ABV manages to shine through as well. So it could be better, and it could be worse, and I'm hoping for more from Smutty next time, if only for more complexity and dimension in a big beer.

02-17-2009 18:10:07 | More by Foxman
Photo of nrpellegrini


4.85/5  rDev +33.6%

Pours a deep dark brown color with a thin tan head that stays until the end and laces nicely. Smells really sweet, sugar-y like candy and caramel flavors. Tastes of lots of sweet malts, smooth alcohol flavors and great belgian spices that don't stand out to much to bite your tongue. Just a great combination and blend of flavors. It goes down so well, and drinks unbelievable.

02-16-2009 05:59:11 | More by nrpellegrini
Photo of far333


3.9/5  rDev +7.4%

Slightly hazy, ruby copper colored with a thick and frothy inch high head that settles out slowly.

Aroma of sweet malt, brown sugar, toffee and ripe fruits.

Flavor is rich and sweetish, just shy of cloying, full of overripe pear and apple, some banana and marshmallow, followed by light brown sugar and plum. Slight metallic tinge in the finish, notes of Belgian yeast, followed by a light alcohol warmth.

Moderate carbonation, even mouthfeel, fairly full. Fairly drinkable, but very rich.

02-14-2009 23:42:04 | More by far333
Photo of UncleJimbo


3.23/5  rDev -11%

Sampled from a 22 oz bottle. I had looked forward to this beer, but was disappointed.

The beer pours a clear, brown color with some light brown foam, but not a large head. The smell was malty with a light sweetness and a touch of something fruity-sweet or herbal. The flavor was malty, but it had a strong, off-putting flavor that I could not put my finger on. I thought it might be from their yeast since I recall this same flavor in the Winter Ale (Dubbel), but it was not as pronounced or unpleasant there. Someone told me that it is from raisins that are used in the recipe. The mouthfeel was good: smooth, creamy, medium-full body. The strange flavor takes points off the drinkability.

02-14-2009 21:19:24 | More by UncleJimbo
Photo of barleywinebrewer

New Hampshire

3.2/5  rDev -11.8%

picked up a couple of these to check out the latest from one of my favorite breweries. Unfortunately what poured as a nice looking mahogany brew turned into a brow sugar overly sweet experience. I'll try again next year if they bring this back, but I'm all set for this year.

02-13-2009 23:18:00 | More by barleywinebrewer
Photo of brewandbbq

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +10.2%

22oz bottle at 52 degress.

Pours hazy mahogany with a ruby tinge. A half inch head of beige rose up in the goblet before receding to a partial skim coat on the surface. A few errant dots of lacework throughout the glass.

Aromatics lead off with candied figs, dried plums, rum-drizzeled grape jam, and sugar-dusted raisins. Malt-laced cotton candy and a hint of roast follows through.

Medium bodied with a slightly chewy, tacky mouthfeel. Creamy and velvety.

Sweet malt, caramelized sugars, dark fruits, and grape jam start the palate. Fresh figs, date flesh, and sugared raisins follow through.

Finishes with sweet, dark fruits, malt-drizzeled bubblegum, and candied cherries.

Plenty of quad character here. The carbonation is low for style and the brew needs to dry up quite a bit.
Big hopes for cellarabilty though.

02-13-2009 14:26:01 | More by brewandbbq
Photo of mrandypandy


3.1/5  rDev -14.6%

22oz bottle from the Foodery (North), in Philadephia.

A- Pours a deep mahogany with a light tan head. Decent carbonation is present and the head leaves minimal lacing on the side of my glass.
S- Aroma is OK. I get some muddled fruits mixed with some solvents and alcohol.
T- Not quite what I was expecting. The booze really peaks through and overshadows the fruits and dark belgian candy sugar. A bit sweeter than I would have liked.
M - Medium to heavy body, decent carbonation.
D- Honestly, I had trouble finishing off this bottle. The high ABV and boozy sweetness made it a struggle.

Overall, a very underwhelming Quad and by no means one of my favorite Smuttynose offerings.

02-12-2009 04:48:00 | More by mrandypandy
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4.18/5  rDev +15.2%

Appearance: pours a brown color with some softer mahagony highlights.Short 1/4" head lingers a bit.

Smell: caramel, brown sugar, and soft alcohol tones are easily detectable.

Taste: follows the nose as brown sugar, caramel, raisins, prunes, and warming alcohol are up front. A hint of chocolate shows up late in the finish. Bitterness balances out the sweetness.

Mouthfeel: heavy in body. Smooth from start to finish. Aftertaste is surprisingly short.

Drinkability: nice for the style but the one bomber bottle is enough for a session. Better to share this one with a friend. Great flavor - try this one.

02-11-2009 14:25:17 | More by Gavage
Photo of eberkman


3.23/5  rDev -11%

Pours a deep reddish-brown. Lots of clarity. Small tan head that vanishes instantly.

Smells typically Belgian -- yeasty and spicy with traces of alcohol. Taste is similar. Dark fruits, candy sugar, toffee, roasty malts, tinge of booziness. Nothing particularly memorable or complex.

Mouthfeel is the real loser here. Watery, thin and shockingly flat. Bad bottle perhaps? Disappointing. I may not finish this one -- the mouthfeel kills it for me. I wonder if others have experienced the same thing.

This won't replace any real Belgian quads. A disappointment from one of my favorite brewers.

02-11-2009 04:44:04 | More by eberkman
Photo of LOCAL

New Hampshire

3.15/5  rDev -13.2%

2008 22oz bottle

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with reddish hues and a small tan head.

Aroma: Sweet malt, raisins, Perhaps a hint of apple.

Taste: Caramel, raisins and other dark fruit, golden delicious apple, brown sugar, sweet malts.

Mouthfeel: Thick and oily.

Overall: Not too bad, though it's certainly not holding a candle to any actual belgian quad as others have stated. I do find it a bit too sweet for my liking, perhaps it will settle down with age.

02-09-2009 23:51:28 | More by LOCAL
Photo of Hojaminbag


3.48/5  rDev -4.1%

This sucker only has a small head that disappears immediately and doesn't leave behind much (if any lacing). The body is a mahoganey hue with tints of ruby and amber in the light. At first I really didn't think I was served the correct beer because of the head, but after sampling it I knew that no mistake was made.

Smell is pretty sweet. Lots of dark fruit going on here: raisins, plum, some cherry, maybe even some grape. All backed up by a slight biscuity aroma.

Not surprisingly, this is definitely on the sweet side of quads. The dark fruit once again dominates with accents of raisin, plum and cherry. There is also a sweetness that tastes like candied sugar to me. The biscuity malt that backed up the sweetness in the smell is stronger in the flavor, which is a good thing because it helps balance out the flavor nicely. Sweet, but not a bad quad.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to low carbonation. Nothing exceptional, but once again, not bad.

Pretty good drinkability. Overall, a decent beer that I could see being better in about 6 months.

02-08-2009 15:59:40 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of jim102864


4/5  rDev +10.2%

Purchased recently at MWL. Nice bomber bottle and falling angel design. The appearance is reddish with a copper hue in my Trois Pistoles goblet. No head whatsoever and no carbonation which isn't earth shattering for a quad.

The nose is vinious and mildy sugary as is the taste. Not syrupy sweet. Not cloying. A nice balance between candy sugar and sweet friut like strawberries. The alcohol is well hidden. This is an enjoyable brew that's reasonably priced ffor a quad. Cinnamon taste as it warms.

02-08-2009 14:13:21 | More by jim102864
Photo of damienblack


4/5  rDev +10.2%

Pours a reddish amber, with a frothy peach colored head. Some decent lacing left around the glass. An ear to the glass tells me this is a pretty well carbonated beer. Smells of peach, nectarine, citrus fruits. Something tells me this is going to be a big sweet malt bomb.

This beer is big on sweet and big on fruity flavors. Tastes of plum, raisin, and some sort of tropical flavor, almost like the strawberry-kiwi juice blends you can buy in the store. Just a hint of hop kick at the end helps ground the flavor, so that the sweetness doesn't become unbearable. The big malt presence just lingers in the throat and on the tongue after, but the fairly high carbonation keeps it feeling fresh. It's actually a pretty light body for the style, much lighter than I'm used to. It's not the highest in alcohol for a beer like this, but still, what it carries is almost undetectable. This is a dangerously drinkable beer, and another solid offering from Smutty. To me, it doesn't really go beyond solid, it's good but not great. It just lacks those extra layers of complexity a great Quad should bear. For a Quad-lite, it is a great introduction to the style.

02-08-2009 07:26:39 | More by damienblack
Photo of NEhophead


3.85/5  rDev +6.1%

22 fl oz brown bottle; served in a snifter.

Deep maple with burgundy in highlights. Densely, creamy lightly tanned head that sits up at a half an inch for quite some time. Spotted lacing that fades to condensed lacing with decent strength.

Sweet, Belgian candied sugars with notes of caramelized brown sugar and nutmeg. Musty yeasts that imparts pepper and corriander spices. Notes of dried, aged vinous fruit: cherry, plum, grape. Nothing that intensely grabs my attention above the hefty musty character.

Sweet, rich molasses and caramel up front with notes of creamy vanilla and brown sugar. The musty aromatics translate to a dry yeast-filled, phenolic flavor. Raisin, plum, aged cherry, red apple combine with a young, somewhat top-heavy alcohol presence prior to mid-sip. A creamy finish allows for vanilla, rounded bourbon, and light tropical fruit in the aftertaste.

Full in body; creamy throughout with a dynamic range of flavors. Very balanced and stable enough to stand up to the alcohol content.

A very solid Smutty offering. Not many flaws; however, nothing flavor-wise that would assert this as a staple of the style. In comparison to my favorite Quadrupel: Scaldis Noel; unfortunately, 'Gravitation' doesn't come close.

02-08-2009 02:49:30 | More by NEhophead
Photo of Bierman9

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +10.2%

Gots me a 22oz bomber at my local Shaws for $4.99... let's go!!

I poured the Grav into a DT tulip... Color is a deep, rubyish hue...dense and opaque yet clear, with garnet tinges. Head was thin and light beige in color, mostly congregating around the rim. There's some lace, but it's restrained. Nose has some sweetness, and some rich fruitiness. Has a solid body, with a fairly smooth passage over the palate.

Flavor is also on the sweet side... lots of dark fruit, raisiny, maybe some plum, almost grapey... sugary but not entirely cloying. Maybe that sweetness will ebb a tad in time. Right now? Pretty good; I won't turn this one away..


look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | drink: 4


02-07-2009 20:55:32 | More by Bierman9
Photo of tai4ji2x


3.13/5  rDev -13.8%

22oz bomber. notching on the label says it was "bottle conditioned in: 2009"

poured into tulip

somewhat dark, brownish red, but not opaque. almost bright ruby red under the light. light tan head doesn't have very good retention, and the lacing is pretty sparse too.

aroma of plus, dates and molasses, with very weak hint of nutmeg. very faint grassiness. whiffs of alcohol and trace of phenols.

flavor has sweet prune and raisin fruitiness with molasses and caramel, meeting with a very mild hop bitterness. hint of resins. faint alcohol and phenols. moment of acidity before the sweet finish, with more of that very weak hopping.

relatively smooth, but quite a bit thinner than hoped. twinge of astringency in the finish. moderate carbonation.

reasonably priced, but quite underwhelming. i don't see this getting much better with age, but who knows?

02-07-2009 03:24:32 | More by tai4ji2x
Photo of cookester


4.28/5  rDev +17.9%

Poured into a Chimay glass. I like the color. a nice amber/brown. The head disappeared a bit too quickly. The taste was sweet and raisiney with the hops comming in just after. Still very balanced. This is one of my favorites of recent. Not a session beer, but I could have two 22oz bottles in a row! A really nice Smuttynose offering!

02-07-2009 02:03:50 | More by cookester
Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 492 ratings.