Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series) | Smuttynose Brewing Company

306 Reviews
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Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series)Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series)

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.50%

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%
2015 - 12.3%

Added by Oxymoron on 01-01-2009

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Reviews: 306 | Ratings: 607
Photo of angelogarcia3
4.85/5  rDev +32.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Smuttynose Gravitation Quadrupel is a fantastic beer with a noticeable raisin aroma. Served at Tap & Mallet of Rochester in a 8.5 oz glass had a very thin head and a deep burgundy color. On the nose the first aromas are of raisins, and molasses. At 12% ABV the first taste warns you that this is a high alcohol beer. Soon afterwards, the flavors of raisins, molasses, and a hint of honey lull you into a false sense that the alcohol is not that high. This beer in the mouth gives you a slight effervensce and syruppiness. I really love this beer!

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Photo of nrpellegrini
4.83/5  rDev +32.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

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Photo of dpgoblejr
4.75/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A golden reddish brown brew clocking in a 12.3% abv. It's very well hidden and quite a delight to drink. Dark fruit aroma dominates the nose and the palate and is coated nicely. I don't/never have claimed to be a fan/pro of belgian quads but I found Smuttynoses' take on this style to be very impressive. I could/would recommend this offering!

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.72/5  rDev +29.3%
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!

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Photo of WickedBeer
4.53/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

For a while this Belgian quad topped my list of favorite beers. It still does, with its deep Amber color and smooth feel. I will say it's a much different experience sipping from a bottle (as may seem obvious), so if possible find a draft keg of this superb quad, or at least make sure you sip it from a stemmed chalice or some sort of wide-bottomed flute glass! Highly recommended.

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Photo of admiralcrunch
4.5/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

$5.49 + deposit from Trader Joe's, also the last bottle on the shelf. Maybe they have more?

Poured a little faster than I normally would, since the carbonation seemed low. The thick, brownish head formed perfectly which then slowly dissipated. The body is dark dark dark, I can barely see through it. There is some nice lacing as the glass is tipped (Duvel tulip). The smell reminds me of V-Twelve, but perhaps with more dark fruits. Taste is some fruit first, with bits of chocolate quickly popping through. There isn't much of an aftertaste, which leads to more frequent sipping. That's not a bad thing though! Absolutely delicious.

Smuttynose's website lists this beer as 8.5%. I just finished the bottle, and I'm not nearly as intoxicated as I would be after drinking other quads. Absolutely a plus, as the flavor clearly hasn't suffered.

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Photo of weeare138
4.49/5  rDev +23%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Goodnight Irene's...
Appears a hazy opaque dark russett with a small white head. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of brown sugar, prunes, figs, vanilla, ripe bananas, caramel, raisins, and merlot wine.
Taste is of the aromas with flavorful punches of caramel, ripe fruit, plums, raisin bread, and a fortified wine. This one is seriously the beer equivalent of a port. Great stuff.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, sticky, juicy, sugary, and syrup like in the swallow. A bit of booze found in this one. I could only imagine what an aged sample would complex in 5, 10, even 15 years. Grandiose!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.48/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap 2/27/09 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of roasted malts, dark fruit, Belgian yeast and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is malty very nicely balanced with sweet flavors of dark fruit, brown sugar and Belgian yeast. There's a mild but complementary hops presence and a touch of smokiness. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, good kick, very good representation of style, this is an excellent strong and flavorful Belgian beer to drink for a whole evening and yet another great beer in the Smuttynose Big Beer Series.

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Photo of generallee
4.47/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 1 pint 6oz bottle into a chalice. The label gives a nice description of the beer and the year it was bottle-conditioned in (2009) but there is no mention of its ABV%.

Appearance: Its body has a deep warm reddish color with a small light tan head on top. This slowly fades to thick ring with a wispy thin island of foam in the middle. This makes some slick lacing on the glass.

Smell: There are lots of fruity and yeasty notes that offer hints of raison, dried apricot, caramelized malt and alcohol.

Taste/Palate: Its big full body has full smooth texture with lots of dark dried fruit notes, apricot, musty and bready yeast as well as dark caramelized almost chocolaty malts. There is an overall sweetness like Belgian sugar with a low hop presence.

Notes: Belgian Strong Dark Ales and Quadrupels are two of my favorite styles and this one did not disappoint.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
4.46/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Paired with the movie "No Country for Old Men."

Dark amethyst with eggplant highlights. No lace but persistent archipelago collar retention that hangs around for most of the movie (I'm a slow drinker).

This is a fruit-centric quad. Reeks of ripe fruit and candi sugar. Raisin and grape hard candy with licorice hints and boozey sophistication. Taste is similarly ripe fruit with again plums, and grapey candi sugar taking the lead. As Smuttynose adds 200 pounds of raisin puree per batch I'm assuming that's where all this grape-fest is coming from. Mild molasses and caramel baked brownie for added depth. Creamy silk mouthfeel-- like a quadsicle. Smuttynose states it was brewed with a "special Belgian yeast." I'm guessing it's Rochefort.

I gush with Smuttynose love.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.45/5  rDev +21.9%
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!

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Photo of Barrelista
4.42/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A & S are appropriate indicators of the beer's dessert, chocolate-and-caramel taste. Dark syrup in color with a light, pastry-like lace. Scent is deliciously sweet. M is heavy, and reminiscent of a quality milk and coffee drink.

Overall this is a cohesive and approachable beer, with a few surprises that are easily appreciated.

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Photo of bort11
4.4/5  rDev +20.5%
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.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.35/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: deep ruby brown with thin tan head

S: dark fruits and sugar

T: at first, my thoughts of raisins prejudiced my tastes, for there is a strong dark fruitiness to this beer, but as I drank it I really appreciated the tastes of fruit and alcohol: sweet, rich; notes of raisin, peach, banana (?)

M: I want to use the word "chewy" - this is a delicious beer with a non-syrupy but solid feel to it; the carbonation and sweetness meet in the middle for a real nice mouthfeel

O: this beer was recommended to me at the distributor since I enjoy Belgian quads, but when I read somewhere about raisin puree being used, I was a little put off - however, as I drank the 22 oz bomber, boy, was I happy - really strong, really sweet, really soft, and really tasty - a true treat, and not what I have usually had in a quad (not that I've had that many, and I get that there are many different styles within the category) - I would definitely have this again - I know this sounds weird, but this is a yummy beer

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Photo of Brad007
4.35/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.32/5  rDev +18.4%
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!

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Photo of Gehrig
4.32/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at the brilliant Blind Pig, on a very cold night after working a radio show.

One finger of off-white foam topped a rather cloudy reddish-amber body; moderate duration and modest lacing make this rather average, especially for a Quad. The nose is much better, rather vinous, but also with orange peel, bready malt, some dark chocolate, and dashes of ginger and pepper.

Excellent taste--full and complex without overwhelming. It's not a brash Quad, but is instead lively. Rather fruity and especially rife with grape, which adds a distinct and enjoyable sweet-and-sour dynamic. Some citrus emerges as well, with a bit of caramel and chocolate. The alcohol certainly protrudes in the second half, rendering this a bit of a sipper near the finish. Yet Gravitation is highly enjoyable, maintaining a good, steady effervescence combined with a smooth, malty texture, with more than ample flavor.

Terrific Quad, Gravitation is packed with flavor and enough complexity to impress. Well worth a go, it more than holds its own as a fine representative of the style. One of the best offerings from Smuttynose.

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Photo of MattBrooks
4.32/5  rDev +18.4%
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

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.32/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark mahogany brown with a fairly thick pale tan head. Strong aroma has fruity, caramel, butterscotch and woody notes with hints of molasses and licorice. Whoa, that is one strong flavor, jumping on the taste buds with banana, apple, caramel and malt notes plus hints of wood, butterscotch, horehound and wood. It is fairly sweet, but not cloying, and has quite a strong alcohol bite. Lively, edgy texture has near-full body and leaves a sweet, fruity, slightly candy-like finish. Let this beer's gravitational field draw you in! ;)

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Photo of Wasatch
4.3/5  rDev +17.8%
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.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.3/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in 2011 and enjoyed in June, 2012.

This pours a cloudy tan-amber color with cottony, cloudy bubbles sitting atop it.

There are notes of caramel and raisins on the aroma, along with a boozy rum scent. I get hints of sweet cherries and candi syrup. It’s a rich aroma, full and forward.

The flavor comes through with notes of dark plums, almost like a thick, syrupy prune juice. The beer is full bodied, and it needs to be to stand up to everything going on. Flavor coats the mouth with the obvious raisin puree flavors and an evident booziness that is mellow (although I can imagine this running hot while young) and just to the side of sweet. Held up exceptionally well.

There’s a warming effect, especially as the beer opens up and is allowed to linger on the palate. It’s a wonderful, wonderfully complex brew, even if it dares defy styles.

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Photo of goblet
4.3/5  rDev +17.8%
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 .

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Photo of ClavisAurea
4.29/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2015 bottle served at cellar Temps.

This was the lightest colored quad I've ever had. It was like a dark honey color with a nice team head that sank to a rim of foam. Delicious Dark fruits and malty sweetness. Belgian yeasty character led to a nice lingering finish off Dark fruits and malts. Wonderful brew. There was some alcohol but it was 12.3% so it's to be expected. I'd buy this again. It was in my cellar for about 6 months and I have no doubts it would be beat for years. I'll have to but more next year.

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Photo of DmanGTR
4.27/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in 2009 as per the bottle.

Poured a deep amber/brown in my St. Bernardus goblet, a brief beige head topped the liquid with no lace. Swirled and poured the sediment in as well, but it was quite clear before that. Aroma is very nice. Hint of cocoa, lots of caramel and deep dark fruit. Fairly complex, with notes of toffee, dates, and figs. Nice alcohol to balance the flavor and aromas. Beautifully carbonated, mellow and smooth. A medium bodied beer that leaves a light coating over the palate. Sweet finish that brings out the caramel. Hint of warmth from the alcohol. Very well made and it has aged gracefully.

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Photo of Rangermonk
4.25/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle, poured into an Imperial pint glass.

A- A very clear, dark red. Minimal head, with light lacing.
S - An alcohol background, warm. Rich fruits, brandy.
T - Fruit, burnt sugar. Slight alcohol warmth when you swallow.
M - It's thick. But it says it will be, in the description. I'm not sure you'd want a thinner version.
D - This is a sipping beer, after dinner. I couldn't see drinking more than a glass of it. But at ~12%, would you want to?

This is a nice beer. Definitely something to drink in a snifter, though, after dinner with a friend. An excellent dessert.

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Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
3.65 out of 5 based on 607 ratings.
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