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 kculrich
4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 2.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 22oz bottle, bottle conditioned 2013, served in a tulip.

Pours a reddish-yellowish-amber, sort of like fig preserves or maybe pee the morning after you get sucker-punched in the kidneys. There is no head, so nothing to talk about there. Lots of busy-busy, big-bubbled carbonation which suddenly stops, leaving the glass looking like a Jello shot. Shit, I'm scared.

Smells nice, though. Plums, acorns and tobacco. Here's one I haven't used before: sexy crotch. It smells like those jeans you're wondering whether to put in the laundry and you remember you got laid last week and drove back from Rhode Island wearing them. So, a little like dried spunk, sweat, and a woman other than your wife. Or, at any rate, how I imagine that would smell. Jesus. Moving right along...

Actually, it tastes really nice. Maybe I'm just super-suggestible but it tastes like the fig preserves I said it looked like and the plums I said it smelled like. Lots of nice warm fruits, the figs and plums, cherries, walnuts, dried leaf-tobacco and caramel creams. I think I'm going to add points here just because I was expecting it to taste like crap and, in fact, it's really, really good! No trace of the faint copper I detected in the nose and then forgot to write about when I got started about the dirty jeans. Super clean finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, no more than medium-bodied and, while there's not much carbonation left after the (apparently) overly-enthusiastic pour I subjected it to, there's still enough to keep it easy-drinking. There's no abv stated on the bottle and, I think, that's just about right because I can't actually taste any alcohol.

Overall, this was an excellent quad! And one of the things that made it so excellent was that I thought it was going to suck! Point of clarification: I don't think this is the same raisin-purée-mess that Todd subjected himself to back in 2010 or, at least, there's no mention of raisins on the label today. It just says that it's abbey style that they've 'tinkered' with and 'tweaked,' whatever the fuck that may mean. It's too bad because I bought this bottle for somebody and then decided to drink it myself after I saw the ratings and it turned out to be fucking awesome. By the way, I drank the whole bottle while I was writing the review, in case you couldn't tell.

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Photo of mynie
2.79/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours bright orange and kind of flat with no head to speak of.

Smells like a high octane quad. Big ripe fruit and then sharp fruity alcohol that's bordering on that of a bad mead.

Tastes, unfortunately, more like the booze than like the fruit. It's like they were going for a BIG quad but then just let the BIGness totally overwhelm the quadness. Sharp, unpleasant alcohol starts things off, very incredibly sharp, and then ending on some pleasant enough spice and fruit. It's not horrid. I've had worse. But this is still a beer to forget.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.69/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Purple-red, with a tan ring.

Aromas of grape and prune both.

Raspberry or maybe dried cranberry flavor coats the mouth with a really frothy body and tons of flavor. A bit tart as well, with cherry in the background.

This is the second quad I've had that is this sweet. At first I thought it was off, but after having Gulden Draak I'm not sure what to think about quads going forward.

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Photo of GreatStoutman
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22oz bomber dated 2015.

Pours somewhat murky dark copper color with no head and the faintest of off-white rings.

Smells of Belgian yeast, dark fruits and sweetness.

Taste is dominated by the sweetness and yeast, decent malt and surprisingly high bitterness.

Feel is medium body with long sticky feel.

Overall, I like smuttynose and this is the cheapest 12.3% Belgian I've ever purchased, but it missed the mark for me. Nothing to get excited about here.

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Photo of PorterLambic
3.6/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich, golden color with a bright, white head. Retention isn't a strong suit, dropping to a wispy film with a minute.
Smell has notes of apples, grapes, rum, nail polish, and some grain.
Taste is apples & grapes again with a very sweet maltiness. Rum and some light spice are in there as well.
Nearly full bodied, very faint carbonation. Sweet and cloying, especially in the aftertaste. Not their best effort.

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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 Chickenhawk9932
4.11/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a nice Amber with a slight white bubbly head that quickly dissipates.

Smells of spice, clove and cardamom, sour yeast, bread, and dark fruit :raisin, fig, plum.

Taste fellows the nose some spice bitterness with notes of clove and cardamom. Then, a slightly breads malt middle gives way to rich, dark fruit notes : fig, raisin, plum. It finishes dry and crisp, very drinkable and delicious.

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Photo of madelfonatree
3.86/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

2013 vintage enjoyed October 1 in a Hopslam tulip/snifter.

I did not have high expectations for this beer as I bought it with other "expired" Big Beer Series beers for pennies on the dollar. Keep in that in mind when I rate this beer higher than others. Why is the rating so low?!

Look - Bright red, almost pink when held to the light. See through. The head was slim to none and didn't stick around long. It had think bubbles and was a little off white. There is no lacing to speak of because of this.

Smell - Booze on the rum side of things. Grape. Raisin. Caramel. Low rating due to alcohol strength.

Taste - Booze doesn't come on strong until the finish. Very sweet. Grape and raisin. Caramel. Spicy. I can only assume based on the reviews this beer has mellowed with age.

Feel - Sticky. Heavy. No alcohol. Syrup. Alcohol burn.

Overall - Very disconnected ratings on this one. Two years must have done this beer well. Very sweet but strong flavor to go with it.

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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 cindyjeffsmith
4.25/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

look: Handsome clear copper. Modest head.
smell: Dark fruit. some yeast, pretty rich nose.
taste: Sweet raisins with a strong but tame boozy taste. Quite good. I guess I'm weird or maybe my palate sucks as this is quite good to me though the ratings here (82 for overall and 70 for the Brothers as I write this) aren't so great.

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Photo of pat61
4.21/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours cloudy chestnut under a 1” cream to tan foam collar. S: Rich dark malts, traces of banana and anise. T: Caramel and dark dried fruit, sweet, prune and plums, raisins, F: Medium to medium high carbonation, fine textured bubbles, creamy full body, not syrupy. O: A good, fruity quad.

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Photo of RickS95
3.37/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a relatively par for the course peachy orange color with little to no head. Its high ABV keeps the bubbles at bay and even a swirl does little to liven it. Slight haze with some floaties. Practically no lace.

Lovely smell with lots of boozy and fruity and that burnt sugar Belgian yeast. Caramel and brown sugar. I'm sure hops are in there somewhere but they're a bit player at best as this beer is built on and shows off its malt and yeast base.

The yeast dominates providing a white pepper and green apple punch. Boozy and medicinal flavors. Faint floral hops.

It's a very strong beer at 12.3% ABV and it feels every bit of it and then some. Extremely warming. After just a couple sips my tongue threw in the white flag and my throat was hot.

A very average beer that's mostly rough around the edges. Probably some cellar time would do this beer some good. It's got nice traits, they just don't come together well.

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Photo of mattcrill
4.24/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Aroma: Dark berry and raisin fruit esters pop out of the glass. Slight pepper phenols that are appropriate and Belgian yeast driven.

Appearance: Hazy amber pour with a low white head. Head retention is fair.

Flavor: Big fruity esters with white pepper like Belgian phenols. Earthy hop bitterness. Balance is to the earthy bitterness. Slight sweet maple syrup asserts as the beer warms up. Finish is clean and dry. Aftertaste is quick with peppery spiciness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium-high carbonation. Slight carbonic bite and a touch of alcohol heat. No astringency noted.

Overall impression: A unique, fruity slant on a Belgian Dark Strong Ale. Not sure why all the debate and consternation. This beer delivers as advertised. Worth a shot.

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Photo of Jimlikesbeer
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Poured with a nice head that disappeared within the first minute. Really nice flavor but lacked finish. Taste did not linger. As a quadruple, I would give it a medium overall rating. But for the price 8.99 for 22oz bottle, not bad at all.

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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.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.08/5  rDev -43%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.75

"This is what blowing it looks like." - Will McAvoy, The Newsroom

Quadrupel - one of my favourite styles, if not my favourite style when properly executed.

I nabbed this 650ml bottle at an Austin, TX grocery store; I believe it's a 2014 vintage. Reviewed live as a quadrupel per the label. Expectations are above average given the brewery.

12.3% ABV.

Served cold into a goblet and allowed to warm over the course of consumption.

HEAD: ~.5 fingers wide at best. White colour. Plump and soft-looking, with sufficient creaminess and thickness. Leaves light lacing as it recedes. Retention is average - ~2 minutes.

BODY: Oddly, it's a dark copper with orange and gold hues. Translucent; nontransparent. The colour is just plain wrong for the style...

It's not a good-looking quadrupel by any means. Lacks the long-lasting delicate soft head and the darker plum colour of the best beers in the style. I'm skeptical already.

AROMA: Yeast attenuation is completely off; this is way too sweet judging by the aroma. Booze, prune, raisin, grape, caramelized date...this is at best an overly sweet, syrupy approximation of the style. I'm anticipating a sticky cloying brew with no delicate or subtle notes whatsoever.

Aromatic intensity is high...too high for the style. Where's the subtlety?

At least there're no overt hop notes or off-flavours.

TASTE/TEXTURE: Boozy, sure. Has a weird grape emphasis with subsidiary notes of boozy rum-soaked dates, prunes, and raisins. Lacks the delicate fig and plum you'd expect in a good example of the style. The alcohol presence is obnoxious, and it's way too sugary and sweet, with a strange copper malt emphasis and an odd lack of any discernable Belgian character...did they even use Trappist yeast? The attenuation is way too low, and the heavy candi sugar presence doesn't help at all.

There's no subtlety to the flavour profile whatsoever; it's plain and straightforward, with a shallowness unbecoming of a good quadrupel. Lacks any delicate spicing or fragile dark fruit. It's a bit jammy in its presentation of fruit flavour, an unfortunate characteristic amplified by its sticky sweet feel on the palate.

It's not fragile or delicate in its texture at all, and instead offers only off-putting thickness and overcarbonation. This suffers from far too much thickness, heft, and weight on the palate, coming off overbearing. Has a figlike chewiness, to its detriment. Too full-bodied. Syrupy, even. Its viscosity is an even bigger problem than its lackluster flavour profile.

In addition to its painful lack of any intricacy or nuance whatsoever, it lacks a harmony of texture to taste. In fact, the mouthfeel distracts from the taste.

OVERALL: An overcaramelized simple grape-bomb with few redeeming characteristics, Gravitation is a (purported) quadrupel that just shouldn't have made it to market. The discerning drinker will find it off-putting, and finishing the whole bottle will be a trying experience. Perhaps the worst beer I've had from Smuttynose to date, and a flat failure of an attempt at a quadrupel. Boozy to the point that it's difficult to drink; hell, if you told me this was rum barrel aged for a couple months I might believe you. I haven't had a quadrupel this bad in quite some time.

Not a bad way to murder a diabetic...

D (2.08)

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Photo of rangerred
3.41/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I love quads so therefore I was eager to try this beer. Unfortunately, it is a bit of a let down as it just lacks the sophistication of most Belgian quads. The head is lacking and while the aroma is good, the beer is way too sweet. Very nice dried fruit and clove characteristics with alcohol becoming more prominent as the beer warms. If the sweetness could be dialed back a bit it would do wonders for the beer.

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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 badgustav
4.17/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I'm quite impressed with Smuttynose's venture into the world of Quads. The color is redish-brown and has a lovely fruity nose. The flavor is very sweet for a quad, with a silky mouthfeel. I'm curious to spree what 6 months to a year do to this beer.

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Photo of superspak
3.94/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into chalice, 2015 vintage bottling. Pours slightly hazy deep orange/copper color with a 1 finger dense off white head with poor retention, that reduces to a thin ring pretty quickly. Minimal lacing on the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of golden raisin, plum, fig, pear, apple, grape, light banana, pepper, clove, caramel, toasted bread, candi sugar, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast and bready/candi sugar malt notes; with good strength. Taste of golden raisin, plum, pear, apple, grape, light banana, pepper, clove, caramel, candi sugar, toasted bread, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Good amount of yeast spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of golden raisin, plum, fig, pear, apple, grape, light banana, pepper, clove, caramel, candi sugar, toasted bread, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity and robustness of fruity/spicy yeast and bready/candi sugar malt flavors; with a great malt/yeast balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth and slightly slick/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice pale Quadrupel style! All around good balance, robustness, and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast and bready/candi sugar malt flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the huge ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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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.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
4.09/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Let me start this off by saying that I know this is not a classic quad. My review is of an experimental quad, which I know that it is due to the description by smuttynose.

Appearance: deep reddish orange color. a half finger of an off white head that fades pretty quickly and leaves a weak lacing. pretty hazy and near opaque.

Smell: the two things that stand out the most are raisins and a booziness, possible other dark fruits and some belgian yeast. fairly sweet overall

Taste: opens up with raisins, and just about as juicy as raisins get at that, some additional dark fruits such as plums, a definite booziness that is never astringent. belgian yeast and sweetness work its way through at some points

Mouthfeel: not overly heavy, medium in body. sweet and juicy feeling throughout followed by a slightly dry ending.

Overall: This beer is no traditional quad, but I did enjoy it quite a bit. I rate experimental ipas as such so why not a quad too? I'd say this is a tasty beer and worthwhile to anyone who is open to an experimental quad. the boozy and raisin aspects combine perfectly to for a tasty big brew.

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Photo of Suds
3.98/5  rDev +9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This is an amber colored brew...a bit hazy with some 'floaties' and a very thin head. The alcohol is immediately has a boozy, malt-intense smell. There is some yeast and hop scent in the aroma as well, along with a huge fruit profile. I got peach and apricot at first, but then a multi-layered, spice-backed complexity came forth. Intense. The taste is equally big and powerful. Serious bitterness and lots of alcohol warmth. The alcohol could be folded in a bit more subtlely, but the brew is still very well made. Full in body, but the alcohol warmth is distracting from the mouthfeel. A nice big brew.

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Photo of bushbeer75
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22 oz brown bottle - label notched 2011

Smuttynose Gravitation Belgian Quad filled my snifter with a dark rust color and produced a small 1/4 finger tan head that dissipated quickly. Spotty lacing was present as the ale was consumed. The nose was dominated by dark fruit and raisins. The taste was malt dominated with raisins, and toffee in the forefront followed by a little fruitiness from the yeast. A pleasant alcohol warming is present at the finish. Mouth feel is smooth, fuller bodied with low-medium carbonation.

Gravitation is a good American quad - it is a sipper for sure.

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

22oz bomber: This one pours a darker caramel color. There was almost no head or lacing on it. Nice nose. Yeast, spices, caramel, dark fruits. The taste is very good. Some sweet caramel malt, raisin, bready, and a hint of roast and chocolate. Smooth. A very nice beer.

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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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