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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)
BA SCORE
3.67/5
Good
613 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#32,487
Reviews:
308
Ratings:
613
pDev:
14.99%
Bros Score:
3
 
 
Wants:
35
Gots:
63
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 613 |  Reviews: 308
Photo of Sammy
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
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 Texasfan549
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
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 GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of Knapp85
3/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%

Photo of metter98
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is hazy garnet in color and has a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin ring of beige bubbles around the edge of the glass. A close inspection of the surface reveals very delicate lacy patterns of bubbles.
S: The nose has aromas of raisins and notes of plums along with some hints of alcohol.
T: The taste has a light to moderate amount of sweetness. Flavors of raisins stand out however these are not overpowering because they balanced by the underlying malts. Some hints of alcohol are perceptible in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a light amount of carbonation. No stickiness is noticeable, although the beer feels slightly thicker as it warms up. Warming sensations from the alcohol are present in the finish.
D: Surprisingly, this beer is very drinkable for the style and its high amount of alcohol content--the body isn't very heavy and the alcohol is well masked from the taste.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.08/5  rDev -43.3%
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 Taphouse_Traveler
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of emerge077
4.02/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a chalice. Deep reddish auburn color, fading into orange around the lower meniscus of the glass. A thin layer of light tan foam forms on the surface, leaving spotty bits of lace strewn about the sides. Foam dissipates soon, leaving a glassy surface with a thinly broken veil across it.

Rich aromas of moist banana bread, walnuts and pecans, dates. Wow, this is really something... need to let it warm up to fully appreciate.

Equally rich flavors, some velvety maltiness and dried fruits like dates, banana, sultanas. Nutty almond, walnut, and pecan flavors too. Feel is rich, medium bodied with lower carbonation. Dry finish with lingering toffee and raisin/sultana flavors. Not at all cloying. Alcohol does creep up a bit, leaving a warming sting. This eventually limits drinkability, but it's likely best shared anyway. $7 bomber is a deal.

 877 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of brentk56
3.67/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 bottling

Appearance: Pours a cloudy mahogany with an unimpressive head (for a Belgian style); spots of lace

Smell: Jammy combination of cherry, raisin and plum with undertones of caramel and candi sugar

Taste: Sweet, raisin and cherry tones dominate up front (with the 200 pounds of raisin puree coming through); the other fruit and caramel flavors burst through, as well, though the flavors are rather jammy; after the swallow, the complexity fails to develop - just the sweet, jammy flavors that persist into the finish

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Not really a quad and a bit too sweet and jammy to be really enjoyable; some recipe tweaking would be in order

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +9%
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.

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Photo of superspak
3.94/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

 1,529 characters

Photo of Boone757
3.92/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Kurmaraja
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of mothman
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours 1/4 of beige head. Decent retention with some lace. Color is a burnt ruby hued red/brown.

Aroma: Grapes, plums, caramel malts, apricots, sweet toffee, dark fruits raisins, and a big oak flavor.

Taste: Big , sweet, rich, and malty. Tons of dark dried fruits, cherries, raisins, plums, vanilla, licorice. Some booze shines through here. Toasted malts, caramel, and toffee.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, and warm. Medium to full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends malty with some heat.

Overall, a pretty decent quad. Good price on the bomber. Lots of solid traits coming from this one. Why a bomber though? Split it and you'll be fine, but a bomber solo on this one is way too much.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.32/5  rDev +17.7%
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!

 2,483 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.48/5  rDev +22.1%
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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Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.67 out of 5 with 613 ratings
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