Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series) | Smuttynose Brewing Company

305 Reviews
Read the review
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 305 | Ratings: 605
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

 280 characters

Photo of jonziefle
3.66/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From notes:

Appearance: Poured a deep crimson read, clear, and with carbonation present. One finger light tan bubbly/foamy head, which reduced to a thin layer. Some lacing present.

Smell: Sweet (but with a hint of sourness) malts, slightly bready and yeasty. Alcohol nose comes right through. Very crisp, with light but sharp hops.

Taste: Sweet and oily hops come through. Tastes of dark fruit (grape/raisin) and brown sugar, with some pineyness. Didn't get too much of the malts though, taste seemed to be the reverse of the nose.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and "tingly" in the mouth. Somewhat oily feeling.

Drinkability: Very good. An excellent sippin' beer. While its on the sweet side and not overall balanced, it still is very appealing. Interesting mouth feel.

 767 characters

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.93/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber color with good dark ruby highlights when held up to the light, smallish head that fades fast, doesn't leave any lacing.

Smell is a fairly typical Belgian, strong malt aroma with hints of banana and dark fruits

Taste is very creamy and slick, very very slick and buttery, good maltiness with a strong banana presence, strong carbonation prickles the mouth in a good way, pretty sweet and candied.

 417 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A pretty beer in a goblet. Reddish/brown color with a modest size white head. An aroma of raisin bread, fruity, and a whiff of alcohol. A taste of dark fruit, and bready, making it a fairly chewy beer. A little too much on the sweet side, but still a nice beer.

 261 characters

Photo of HeyItsChili
4.02/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours dark brown with a khaki head that dissolves to a viscous film.

S - Dark caramel, toffee, dark fruits, really nice and complex. Roasted malt, raw sugars. Nicccce.

T - Brown sugar, ripe figs, raisins, Belgian yeast. Reminds me a bit of a Corsendonk brown ale that isn't quite there yet, which isn't a knock on the beer. Few brews can hope to achieve the level of the Donk.

M - Really substantial. Chewy, full bodied.

Notes - The drinkability take a little hit because there's an aspect of the sweetness I don't really care for, and for the thickness of the brew.

 575 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle - poured into SN Big Series glass, 2009 bottling:

Pours dark garnet witha promising head that soon falls to hardly a wisp. Virtually no lacing sticks. Nice color, though.

The smell is of dark fruits covered by alcohol. A bit of dark bread is there.

The taste is dark fruits, esp. raisins (no surprise, as raisin puree has been added. Very sweet - almost in that "artificial fruit" sense. Booze is certainly hot and in the front - I would have guessed higher than 8.5%. Chocolate comes through as it progresses. Sweetness balanced (barely) by a touch of medicinal herb.

It is thick and sticky, yet it does have carbonation, giving some creaminess. Sticky sweetness and alcohol numb the tongue. Oddly, it seems to have less of a body as it progresses, but doesn't fall lower than full side of medium. Not too happy with lingering fruity cough medicine aftertaste.

I would have been happy splitting this one with a friend. It's not bad - interesting - I think the "interesting" part keeps it going, because it is just doesn't "do it" for me. It is raisiny and boozy, but not in the "Raison d'Extra" way - though it wasn't going for that. It does seem, by the indication on the bottle, to go for a Belgian quad style. Not really catching that, either, though.

I can see "mixed opinions" here. So, I would recommend splitting with a friend before going it alone. Also, aging might take some of the raw heat off, which would probably be helpful.

 1,461 characters

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.

 415 characters

Photo of roscoehnj
2.83/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Whenever I see a new Smuttynose Big Beer series I pick one up because I've never been dissapointed. Unfortunately this one breaks the streak.

Looks good, smells like a good quad - there could be a lot going on here.

Taste - whoa, whats with all the residual sugar? This is the sweetest quad I've had and that's not a good thing. The overpowering sweetness overshadows whatever complexities reside in this beer. There may be a lot there but I just can't get past the sweetness and can't finish the bomber. It might not take more than a few tweaks to make this good and I hope the folks at Smuttynose rethink this one.

 620 characters

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!

 471 characters

Photo of tpd975
3.48/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to Deepak at Kingdom for the share.

A: Pours a nice amberish blackish hue with a nice creamy off white head. Little retention and no lace, but proper glassware was not used.

S: Nice aromas of roasted malt, dark fruit, yeast, and a touch of booze.

T: Very sweet with lots of dark fruit up front. Light yeasty notes can be picked up along with a nice roast. It finishes very sweet, too sweet to be honest. The more I drank the sweeter it seemed to get. The last few gulps were like granulated brown sugar mixed with prune juice.

M: Medium to full in body, smooth with good carbonation.

D: Not the most drinkable. I had around 7 ounces and by the end it was just too much sweetness.

 691 characters

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.

 828 characters

Photo of BeerSox
4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into 25oz snifter.

Nearly opaque red, except when held up to the light, where it exhibits a ruby glow. A two finger tan head slowly settles to a thick cap.

Dark fruit is up front, along with an almost porter-like roastiness. Some brown sugar is in there as well.

Another hit of dark fruit - plum, dark sugars. A little bit of the roastiness returns. The overall flavor is very very sweet. The phenols are non-existent. The alcohol is well hidden, almost undetected. Full bodied.

Very sweet, low on the bitterness. A very drinkable Quad, definitely an American version. Though not as strong, the amount of malts are just as high. This one could probably be enjoyed from a pint glass. Recommended.

 713 characters

Photo of auxiliary
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance - Brownish color with a small head.

smell - Some caramel and alcohol smells here.

taste - Some caramel and brown sugar, followed by some bitterness.

mouthfeel - Medium-full body.

drinkability - Not bad beer, worth a try, didn't wow me in any way.

 264 characters

Photo of EPseja
2.87/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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.

 1,134 characters

Photo of currysage1
4.11/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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.

 593 characters

Photo of Jwale73
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

 561 characters

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.

 598 characters

Photo of 51mmz0rz
3.93/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

 467 characters

Photo of BeerNinja007
3.78/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

 943 characters

Photo of Kraken
3.35/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

 549 characters

Photo of meatyard
3.78/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

 546 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 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.

 377 characters

Photo of far333
3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

 492 characters

Photo of UncleJimbo
3.25/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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.

 691 characters

Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
3.65 out of 5 based on 605 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.