Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series) | Smuttynose Brewing Company

BA SCORE
83
good
610 Ratings
THE BROS
70
okay
Read the review
Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series)Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States
smuttynose.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
610
Reviews:
307
Avg:
3.65
pDev:
15.07%
 
 
Wants:
35
Gots:
65
For Trade:
2
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 610 |  Reviews: 307
Photo of Sammy
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thick and brown, but this is not the best representative of my favourite style. A certain richness from the raisins, but not overly complex. Still good drinkability.Maybe this is unfair, but men should not consume raisins as it is not easy to get rid of the iron.

 263 characters

Photo of alovesupreme
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Split a bottle with drnknmnky and schroederm
Excellent head that sticks around for a long time with excellent lacing. Very red color for a quad, garnet hues that are unexpected but very pleasant.

Lots of cherries, with a woody oaky character.

Once again, lots of cherries, subtle alcohol notes and oak. Beer is a little to sweet but has a pleasant malty finish.

Very syrupy mouthfeel, thick and viscous for a quad. Carbonation was a little to prominant but a good mouthfeel overall.

All in all a good interpretation of a quad by a great brewery.Seems almost like a belgians interpretation of a double- bock. A little to sweet to drink a bomber alone but a good beer.

 673 characters

Photo of puboflyons
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From the Big Beer series - 2010 batch. Sampled on July 3, 2010. The color of the pour is mainly amber brown but if you hold it to the light you get a purplish hue, which I found to be fascinating. The head is about a half-inch thick, silky, and beige. It does not last long. The aroma has a bit of yeast, breads, and thin malts. I was a little disappointed that I did not get the fruitiness that is so often associated with Belgian style ales. The mouthfeel is heavy and oily. The taste tends to lean bitter with a faint yeasty background. But the alcohol zips into my sinuses and burns its way down my throat. I can feel it move downward in there. It is easy to drink but given it's higher ABV, it is also easy to lighten your head by.

 736 characters

Photo of akorsak
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

 925 characters

Photo of nick76
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

 272 characters

Photo of RobTheKnob
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of SLeffler27
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fills a tulip glass with clear deep ruby red beer and an off white frothy head that drops from three fingers to about a 1/4", leaving plenty of patch lace along the way.

The aroma begins with a sweet cherry and light horse blanket, progressing to cough syrup. Additionally there is a fair level of alcohol fumes to contend with.

The tartness is tremendous, and overpowers the opening and middle of this beer. As the late to finish qualities present, the cherry and juicy flavors are discernable. This one improves greatly with warmth.

Gravitation is a medium to full bodied beer with a silky texture and lively carbonation. The alcohol is lightly warming, despite the level of fumes in the nose.

This is a fine beer, but lack of complexity in a Quad is holding it back. Additionally, the tartness is out of control, again beyond the range of a quad. Regardless, if you sit back, and let it mellow out with warmth, it is an enjoyable sipper.

 944 characters

Photo of ppoitras
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

 545 characters

Photo of Foxman
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

 1,160 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

"Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love."

--Isaac Newton

Roasted pecan brown with generous orange highlights... that becomes sun-fired scarlet when the glass is held up to the bright afternoon outside my front window. A thick chunk of sandstone colored froth rests atop the beer, while thick streamers of sudsy lace melt too quickly for my liking.

The nose is pleasant, but that's as far as it goes. Quadrupel would not have been among my first several guesses, largely due to a lack of power and distinctiveness. Caramel malt and a medium-dark fruitiness are noted. Almost no appreciable alcohol is a good thing... and almost no Belgian yeastiness is a bad thing.

The bottom line is that Smuttynose Gravitation is not a very good Belgian-style quadrupel. Like the nose, the flavor doesn't have the power, personality and complexity that the best versions have in spades. With more than two months to go before its first birthday, age shouldn't have taken much of a toll. So why does it taste like it has?

I have no idea if 200 lbs of raisins per batch is a lot of raisins or not. That said, this is far from the raisiniest beer that I've ever had. They do add a sticky sweetness, which could also be coming from dark candi sugar. Other flavors include cherries and figs soaked in dark rum and toffee sauce. A serious shortage of Belgian yeast esters is unfortunate.

Warming brings just enough flavor amplification to allow the next highest taste score to be granted. Don't get me wrong, though. The beer still needs a major overhaul. One highlight is that this Big Beer Series beer has a Big Beer mouthfeel. It's at least medium-full and has the understated carbonation that I prefer.

The good thing about first efforts is that changes can be made. This January 2009 brew was an okay jumping off point, but the brewers need to do a little Belgian-style brewing homework before they pass the quadrupel test with flying colors. Here's hoping that Smuttynose recognizes Gravitation's shortcomings and makes the necessary tweaks. Thanks to biegaman for the bomber.

 2,087 characters

Photo of kmos27
3.54/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of SPLITGRIN
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A full frothy two inch biscuity brown head is easily achieved with a strong pour. Body is a very deep dark woodsy brown tone. The nose gives you tones of vanilla, banana bread and an alcoholic twinge, very sweet. The taste follows the nose almost to a T with big but mellow and creamy malty sweetness. The banana bread and real vanilla tones really comes through. This really is super sweet bordering on to much. Mouthfeel is slightly thick and very sweet. Could use a bit of a spice profile and some more carbonation. Drinkability is slightly hurt by the big cloying sweetness.

 578 characters

Photo of jkane101
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2015 vintage. 12.3% ABV per the label.

Pours a murky dark orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. No lacing on the drink down. Tiny particles of sediment are seen floating around in the beer after the pour. Smell is of toasted malt, dark fruit, earth, yeast, and spice aromas. Taste is much the same with dark fruit, caramel, toast, earth, spice, and slight metallic flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and syrupy mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with nice aromas, but the slight metallic flavor diminishes the drinkability a bit for me.

Serving type: bottle.

 740 characters

Photo of maximum12
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Always happy to see Smutty bombers show up just across the border in Wisconsin, I grow more fond of this brewery with each new beer I try. Lots of good stuff & a few real standouts. Notch in the label notes this one was bottled sometime in 2009. Split with my wife.

Pours the darkest red I've seen outside a glass of port wine, it could nuzzle up to brown & be a kissing cousin. Smell is chewy raisins & sweet malt mixed with sugar cane.

Graviation dials up the raisin factor for sure. The raisin taste mixes up with the candied sugar to create a...contrast. Strong vanilla washes down in the wake of these two impressions, along with a slap of peppery alcohol. Really a pretty simple, quiet beer for the ABV. It does a number on my tonsils, coating them liberally & refusing to let go. I can taste this brew all the way into my palms. Dead flat after a few minutes, still as lake water in the mouth.

Good enough beer, but there are a lot of quads I'd reach for first, & plenty of Smutty brews, too.

 1,005 characters

Photo of whatname
3.52/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of cdwil
3.52/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Dan269605
3.52/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Kendo
3.52/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2011 bottle. Consumed on June 15, 2014. Reviewed from notes.

A: Poured into a Piraat tulip/snifter-type glass. Body is reddish-brown with a half-finger khaki head on top that settles quickly and leaves no lace.

S: Dried fruits - figs, dates and raisins - and alcohol. Noticeable alcohol right away gives a medicinal scent to this one.

T: Follows the nose, with mainly dried fruits (prunes & raisins), ripe fruits (apples, grapes and plums), some brown sugar and a big wollop of boozy heat at the finish. Not well integrated, and not at all like a good Belgian quad.

M: Nearly full-bodied, with some slickness. Carbonation is low, but then this bottle has been in my cellar for 2+ years.

O: Nothing to write home about, though it will certainly get you drunk.

 764 characters

Photo of ricksrealm
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Doomcifer
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Jason
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of jiffymon
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Hairrrrrrrr
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
3.65 out of 5 based on 610 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.