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 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.

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Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.23/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

picked up a couple of these to check out the latest from one of my favorite breweries. Unfortunately what poured as a nice looking mahogany brew turned into a brow sugar overly sweet experience. I'll try again next year if they bring this back, but I'm all set for this year.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle at 52 degress.

Pours hazy mahogany with a ruby tinge. A half inch head of beige rose up in the goblet before receding to a partial skim coat on the surface. A few errant dots of lacework throughout the glass.

Aromatics lead off with candied figs, dried plums, rum-drizzeled grape jam, and sugar-dusted raisins. Malt-laced cotton candy and a hint of roast follows through.

Medium bodied with a slightly chewy, tacky mouthfeel. Creamy and velvety.

Sweet malt, caramelized sugars, dark fruits, and grape jam start the palate. Fresh figs, date flesh, and sugared raisins follow through.

Finishes with sweet, dark fruits, malt-drizzeled bubblegum, and candied cherries.

Plenty of quad character here. The carbonation is low for style and the brew needs to dry up quite a bit.
Big hopes for cellarabilty though.

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Photo of mrandypandy
3.13/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle from the Foodery (North), in Philadephia.

A- Pours a deep mahogany with a light tan head. Decent carbonation is present and the head leaves minimal lacing on the side of my glass.
S- Aroma is OK. I get some muddled fruits mixed with some solvents and alcohol.
T- Not quite what I was expecting. The booze really peaks through and overshadows the fruits and dark belgian candy sugar. A bit sweeter than I would have liked.
M - Medium to heavy body, decent carbonation.
D- Honestly, I had trouble finishing off this bottle. The high ABV and boozy sweetness made it a struggle.

Overall, a very underwhelming Quad and by no means one of my favorite Smuttynose offerings.

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Photo of Gavage
4.15/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a brown color with some softer mahagony highlights.Short 1/4" head lingers a bit.

Smell: caramel, brown sugar, and soft alcohol tones are easily detectable.

Taste: follows the nose as brown sugar, caramel, raisins, prunes, and warming alcohol are up front. A hint of chocolate shows up late in the finish. Bitterness balances out the sweetness.

Mouthfeel: heavy in body. Smooth from start to finish. Aftertaste is surprisingly short.

Drinkability: nice for the style but the one bomber bottle is enough for a session. Better to share this one with a friend. Great flavor - try this one.

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Photo of eberkman
3.2/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Pours a deep reddish-brown. Lots of clarity. Small tan head that vanishes instantly.

Smells typically Belgian -- yeasty and spicy with traces of alcohol. Taste is similar. Dark fruits, candy sugar, toffee, roasty malts, tinge of booziness. Nothing particularly memorable or complex.

Mouthfeel is the real loser here. Watery, thin and shockingly flat. Bad bottle perhaps? Disappointing. I may not finish this one -- the mouthfeel kills it for me. I wonder if others have experienced the same thing.

This won't replace any real Belgian quads. A disappointment from one of my favorite brewers.

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Photo of LOCAL
3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2008 22oz bottle

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with reddish hues and a small tan head.

Aroma: Sweet malt, raisins, Perhaps a hint of apple.

Taste: Caramel, raisins and other dark fruit, golden delicious apple, brown sugar, sweet malts.

Mouthfeel: Thick and oily.

Overall: Not too bad, though it's certainly not holding a candle to any actual belgian quad as others have stated. I do find it a bit too sweet for my liking, perhaps it will settle down with age.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.47/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This sucker only has a small head that disappears immediately and doesn't leave behind much (if any lacing). The body is a mahoganey hue with tints of ruby and amber in the light. At first I really didn't think I was served the correct beer because of the head, but after sampling it I knew that no mistake was made.

Smell is pretty sweet. Lots of dark fruit going on here: raisins, plum, some cherry, maybe even some grape. All backed up by a slight biscuity aroma.

Not surprisingly, this is definitely on the sweet side of quads. The dark fruit once again dominates with accents of raisin, plum and cherry. There is also a sweetness that tastes like candied sugar to me. The biscuity malt that backed up the sweetness in the smell is stronger in the flavor, which is a good thing because it helps balance out the flavor nicely. Sweet, but not a bad quad.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to low carbonation. Nothing exceptional, but once again, not bad.

Pretty good drinkability. Overall, a decent beer that I could see being better in about 6 months.

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Photo of jim102864
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased recently at MWL. Nice bomber bottle and falling angel design. The appearance is reddish with a copper hue in my Trois Pistoles goblet. No head whatsoever and no carbonation which isn't earth shattering for a quad.

The nose is vinious and mildy sugary as is the taste. Not syrupy sweet. Not cloying. A nice balance between candy sugar and sweet friut like strawberries. The alcohol is well hidden. This is an enjoyable brew that's reasonably priced ffor a quad. Cinnamon taste as it warms.

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Photo of damienblack
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish amber, with a frothy peach colored head. Some decent lacing left around the glass. An ear to the glass tells me this is a pretty well carbonated beer. Smells of peach, nectarine, citrus fruits. Something tells me this is going to be a big sweet malt bomb.

This beer is big on sweet and big on fruity flavors. Tastes of plum, raisin, and some sort of tropical flavor, almost like the strawberry-kiwi juice blends you can buy in the store. Just a hint of hop kick at the end helps ground the flavor, so that the sweetness doesn't become unbearable. The big malt presence just lingers in the throat and on the tongue after, but the fairly high carbonation keeps it feeling fresh. It's actually a pretty light body for the style, much lighter than I'm used to. It's not the highest in alcohol for a beer like this, but still, what it carries is almost undetectable. This is a dangerously drinkable beer, and another solid offering from Smutty. To me, it doesn't really go beyond solid, it's good but not great. It just lacks those extra layers of complexity a great Quad should bear. For a Quad-lite, it is a great introduction to the style.

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Photo of NEhophead
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22 fl oz brown bottle; served in a snifter.

Deep maple with burgundy in highlights. Densely, creamy lightly tanned head that sits up at a half an inch for quite some time. Spotted lacing that fades to condensed lacing with decent strength.

Sweet, Belgian candied sugars with notes of caramelized brown sugar and nutmeg. Musty yeasts that imparts pepper and corriander spices. Notes of dried, aged vinous fruit: cherry, plum, grape. Nothing that intensely grabs my attention above the hefty musty character.

Sweet, rich molasses and caramel up front with notes of creamy vanilla and brown sugar. The musty aromatics translate to a dry yeast-filled, phenolic flavor. Raisin, plum, aged cherry, red apple combine with a young, somewhat top-heavy alcohol presence prior to mid-sip. A creamy finish allows for vanilla, rounded bourbon, and light tropical fruit in the aftertaste.

Full in body; creamy throughout with a dynamic range of flavors. Very balanced and stable enough to stand up to the alcohol content.

A very solid Smutty offering. Not many flaws; however, nothing flavor-wise that would assert this as a staple of the style. In comparison to my favorite Quadrupel: Scaldis Noel; unfortunately, 'Gravitation' doesn't come close.

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Photo of Bierman9
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gots me a 22oz bomber at my local Shaws for $4.99... let's go!!

I poured the Grav into a DT tulip... Color is a deep, rubyish hue...dense and opaque yet clear, with garnet tinges. Head was thin and light beige in color, mostly congregating around the rim. There's some lace, but it's restrained. Nose has some sweetness, and some rich fruitiness. Has a solid body, with a fairly smooth passage over the palate.

Flavor is also on the sweet side... lots of dark fruit, raisiny, maybe some plum, almost grapey... sugary but not entirely cloying. Maybe that sweetness will ebb a tad in time. Right now? Pretty good; I won't turn this one away..


look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | drink: 4


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Photo of chinabeergeek
3.13/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber. notching on the label says it was "bottle conditioned in: 2009"

poured into tulip

somewhat dark, brownish red, but not opaque. almost bright ruby red under the light. light tan head doesn't have very good retention, and the lacing is pretty sparse too.

aroma of plus, dates and molasses, with very weak hint of nutmeg. very faint grassiness. whiffs of alcohol and trace of phenols.

flavor has sweet prune and raisin fruitiness with molasses and caramel, meeting with a very mild hop bitterness. hint of resins. faint alcohol and phenols. moment of acidity before the sweet finish, with more of that very weak hopping.

relatively smooth, but quite a bit thinner than hoped. twinge of astringency in the finish. moderate carbonation.

reasonably priced, but quite underwhelming. i don't see this getting much better with age, but who knows?

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

Poured into a Chimay glass. I like the color. a nice amber/brown. The head disappeared a bit too quickly. The taste was sweet and raisiney with the hops comming in just after. Still very balanced. This is one of my favorites of recent. Not a session beer, but I could have two 22oz bottles in a row! A really nice Smuttynose offering!

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Photo of johnnnniee
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear deep red with a bubbly creamy off white head that sticks around for a while. Smells of dark fruits, molasses, very sweet and malty. A bit of yeast character pokes its head out as this one warms. Taste is sweet and fruity with an alcohol bite with some phenols mixed in there. A bit of spicy Belgian yeast with a dry finish that leaves sweet and phenols on the palette. Body is thick, mouthfeel is creamy/syrupy, carbonation is medium to high. Decent quad but a bit high on the alcohol and phenols for me, maybe a bit of age would help this one. See you again in a year Gravitation.

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Photo of beersolicitor
3.27/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Extremely dark mahogany with some hints of amber. Tons of tiny bubbles coat the side of the tulip, but fade quickly along with the already minimal head. With a careful swirl, some lacing remains, but it too fades disappointingly fast.

Mouthfeel was thick and syrupy (and not in a good way). Rather than the smooth, rich, complex sweetness of the best Quads, this was more akin to a fountain Coke that hadn't been properly watered down.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.45/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Another new winter Big Beer!! last February was the Baltic Porter, which is the king of Baltic Porter's IMO. The lable is nice with classical, biblical scene of an Angel floating downward, perhaps he's decending from heaven?

22 oz. Bomber

This is a deep, dark mahogony color with a amber glow in direct light. Spazy, tiny bubbles are tough to see, but there there. A moderate sized head, creamy but very active and it doesn't hang around long. This Quad is totally missing that wonderfully fluffy, Belgian Head with ultimate retention qualitites. The yeast; it seems is just not holding up it's end. The head becomes very spread out and which makes it look a bit flat.

The nose has a boozy heat right off with really sweet fruits like dates, raisins, blueberries, and then throw in some brown sugar. The malt smells heavy and sweet, but not very complex and a bit dull on the nose.

This is a big, sweet malt bomb. Hands down, it's not very complex, most of the flavor's are big, juicy sweeet dark fruits, very grapey. The malty body is heavy, cloying and slick, it's totally missing that refreshing Belgian snap. The yeast should deliver balance and mucho flavor, but in the end, this yeast just does not cut it. It can't even compete with a true Belgian Quad yeast strain. The hops are also very mundane and hidden by the big malty sweetness. This Quad needs more balance.

I'm a bit dissapointed in this Quad, and that's only because it's a "style" that has soo many amazing versions, usually ultra-complex but only a few American Quads even come close to the real deal Quad's of Belgium.

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Photo of tempest
3.98/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bomber at Abe's Cold Beer for $7.50. This is a uniquely American quad. It's a world away from St. Bernardus or Westvletern, but somewhat similar to Avery's the Reverend. Like the Smuttynose Saison, there's a thick, powerful kick of phenols that borders on medicinal, but is largely clove. The fruit flavor are interesting, with a mix of strawberry juice, dates, and blackberries. Once the punch subsided, a clean, dry cocoa flavor kicks in that's unusal, but not unwelcome. Good points for drinkability too. Worth a try if you're an open-minded drinker.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a mahogany brown, with lots of red hue. Any head from the pour is gone in an instant. No lacing.

Smells of fermented or dried stone fruit - as well as raisin/date elements. A little earthiness in there, but overshadowed by the fruit.

Sweet beer, with a syrupy consistency with a mingling of sweetness, tartness, and a slight bitterness right at the finish, which is quite pleasant. A little brown/raisin toast in there for good measure. Flavors blend well together, so I guess you could say this is smooth. My only knock is that there is nothing flavor-wise that jumps out and distinctively grabs you. If you are looking for a fault, there it is. Minor at best.

Mouthcoating goodness here. Nice for a cold day, and not overpowering enough to make this hard to drink. One big-assed bomber was enough -- not like anyone is going to keep hitting this, nor should they. Prior to this, I was a quad virgin, so I need to compare to another to get a real feel for this brew and style. That said, this a a real open-minded review. Worth a try.

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Photo of IBUnit63
4.02/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First crack at a new offering from the Smutty crew. 22 oz. into the trusty Ommegang chalice.

Excellent gingerbread/molasses body color but the head is very thin and takes off pretty quickly. Next pour doesn't show a lot of improvement to the faint ginger topping. Slight cloudiness at first blush.

Very mild - lots of molasses, slight bourbon booziness...even a little chocolate. Not a huge amount of hoppiness - just a trace of pine. Quiet yeast electricity.

This is a solid and straightforward Quad. The usual suspects are there. Sweet, mildly syrupy booziness layeredc with raisins, dates and the omnipotent molasses. Mild clovish spice puts a little spring in its step. Carbonation is present but subtle.

Velvety thickness, and this one is quite smooth. Coats the palate with warming sweetness (not overdone, though). Long, powerful finish.

Good for a sipper on a cold winter day indoors. Nightcap material through and through. Smutty really hasn't disappointed me yet. Keep up the great work.

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Photo of indiapaleale
4.18/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful dark amber color with an off white almost yellow head thats thin and leaves a nice lacing.

Smells of dark fruit, baked apples, cider along with some alcohol notes.

Taste is very complex and altogether delicious. Lots of sweet dark fruit, strong alcohol notes, cider, caramel and a great many other subtle flavors.

Very smooth and easy drinking. Excellent Quad from Smutty.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
3.62/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a St. Bernardus chalice

A deep ruby red body with some stray bubbles pushing their way through the body and up to a thin, tan head. Head stuck around for a very short while and settled to form some small islands across the top of the beer. Not as murky and purple as most belgian examples.

Nose is super sweet. Loads of bing cherries, figs, and red grapes with a raisin bread malt backbone. Also get hints of vanilla, lending a rather creamy, sweet nose.

Cloyingly sweet. Cherries and red grapes dominate a bready malt base. Hmmm. I gotta think that they weren't aiming for it to be this sweet. It's almost like drinking juice.

Syrupy and viscous mouthfeel. Really coats the mouth like a cherry cough syrup.

A really sweet offering that I had some troubles with up front, but my tastebuds adjusted and I was able to enjoy it more towards the end.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.07/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured from 22 oz big beer series btttle. Pours deep reddish brown with immediate high foam that settles down quickly.

Very aromatic - floral, citrus, fruity - hints of sour cherries. Very noticeable.

Taste is a fruity start with a malty finish that lingers. I pciked up an unusual taste that was harder to pin down - not quite a medicine-iny taste, but it remind me of that. Overall thick and chewy.

Overall it surprised me at first, grew on me a bit, but by the end of the 22oz., I was ready to be finished. Not the best quad I've ever had.

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Photo of shizzdog
2.67/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Dark Brown with thin head

Smell: Extra sweet malt with raisins

Taste: Cane Sugar, very sweet, raisins

Mouthfeel: Thin, Watery, hard to swallow

Drinkability: Moving on to the Rochefort 10, possibly spoiled by drinking quality beers on a regular basis.

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Photo of schroederm
4.05/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

In a chalice:

Excellent head retention, especially considering the glass I was using was quite wide. Garnet hues. Cherry and oak in the nose, neither of which I really expected to find. Cherry in the taste as well with a bit of citrus. Good carb (on par with Quads) and well bodied. Just a little too sweet/fruity to be highly drinkable, but still quite enjoyable.

Overall: this beer was a little too young when I drank it. I'd imagine that in a month or so the sweetness will mellow a little bit and bring up my opinion even more.

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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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