Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series) | Smuttynose Brewing Company

610 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 610 |  Reviews: 307
Photo of angrybabboon
2.38/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Review adapted from notes taken 5/21/10

Appearance: Reddish brown with a nice little head and some lacing

Smell: Lots of sugar, grapes and raisins, caramel malts and some alcohol

Taste: I must preface my comments by noting that I had this beer at a BA event months prior to this bottle. I thought it was bad, but I attributed my inability to taste anything but sugar to the possibility that my taste buds were off because I had too much to drink. So I bought a bomber. And the scary thing is that I wasn't far off. Gravitation is insanely sweet. It is disgustingly sweet. More than anything else, this beer tastes like grape jelly that was blended into sugar water. There are some malts, and there are even some herbal hops in the background, but mostly this just tastes like bad jelly.

Mouthfeel: Heavy and sticky with some carbonation - would be good if the taste weren't so bad

Overall: Despite the bad taste and the high ABV, I've definitely had more undrinkable beers

This beer was a big disappointment for me. After all, I love Smutty, and I never could have expected that they could produce something bad. But this is not a good beer. It's not a good representation of the quad style, and it just tastes like nasty grape jelly. Still, it's better than drinking a Corona.

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Photo of metter98
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
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 UnionMade
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up on my last trip back to CT to visit family.
Pours a clear, ruby red, topped with a quickly evaporating puff of foam. Just a tiny island of foam remains. Nice color, though. No head at all after a few sips.
Putting the glass to my nose, I'm immediately greeted with fruit, the kind of artificial fruit I associate with candy. Cherry, strawberry and banana, with creamy malt and a trace of roastiness. I understand they brewed this with raisins, though it comes off more like cherry candy. Maybe the yeast. Who can say? A whiff of alcohol comes through way up in the sinuses. I don't think I can light this on fire, so that's good.
The first sip comes off heavy and rich. Very dense for a beer, even of this strength. Tons of sweetness, the fruit immediate and dominating. The carbonation does a decent job of plowing though. Sludgy. Syrupy malt, a fruitiness almost like that red syrup they have at IHOP, that you pour on their pancakes. Don't get me wrong, that stuff is delicious. Name a red or purple fruit, and you can probably taste it in here. Plums, blueberries, you name it. Some spiciness from the yeast coming through and making an attempt at balancing the finish. I'm not really getting anything from the hops aside from a light floral note. The alcohol is mostly buried beneath the fruity sweetness. A nice beer, if a little one dimensional. I think this may have been better without the addition of raisins.
Exactly what I wanted when I cracked this bottle. Rich, thick and decadent. I wasn't prepared for such a syrupy brew, but I managed. What it lacks in dimension, it makes up for in satisfaction.

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Photo of Gehrig
4.32/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at the brilliant Blind Pig, on a very cold night after working a radio show.

One finger of off-white foam topped a rather cloudy reddish-amber body; moderate duration and modest lacing make this rather average, especially for a Quad. The nose is much better, rather vinous, but also with orange peel, bready malt, some dark chocolate, and dashes of ginger and pepper.

Excellent taste--full and complex without overwhelming. It's not a brash Quad, but is instead lively. Rather fruity and especially rife with grape, which adds a distinct and enjoyable sweet-and-sour dynamic. Some citrus emerges as well, with a bit of caramel and chocolate. The alcohol certainly protrudes in the second half, rendering this a bit of a sipper near the finish. Yet Gravitation is highly enjoyable, maintaining a good, steady effervescence combined with a smooth, malty texture, with more than ample flavor.

Terrific Quad, Gravitation is packed with flavor and enough complexity to impress. Well worth a go, it more than holds its own as a fine representative of the style. One of the best offerings from Smuttynose.

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Photo of breweryaprntc13
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark muddy, reddish bronze with a thin light tan head.

Alcohol smell, yeast aromas, dark fruits, plumbs, caramel malts, some graininess.

Complex, sour leads to sweet, mixes of sugary and caramel malts, alcohol notes, citrus hops, fruity finish.

Medium body, low carbonation, wet and rich.

Exciting mix of flavors, absolutely delicious, but too strong for regular consumption.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.72/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of acjohnst. Served in a tulip.

Pours a somewhat-strange purplish-red color with a bit of muddiness in there. Bit of a creamy head with some moderate lacing. The nose is actually quite nice with a good amount of sweetness, booze, and dark fruits. A bit of molasses there as well. The taste falls back a bit from here and doesn't offer all that much. A bit of alcohol. The body is fairly full with low-ish levels of carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good. Nothing really stands out in this one, though there aren't any glaring defects either.

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Photo of DmanGTR
4.27/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in 2009 as per the bottle.

Poured a deep amber/brown in my St. Bernardus goblet, a brief beige head topped the liquid with no lace. Swirled and poured the sediment in as well, but it was quite clear before that. Aroma is very nice. Hint of cocoa, lots of caramel and deep dark fruit. Fairly complex, with notes of toffee, dates, and figs. Nice alcohol to balance the flavor and aromas. Beautifully carbonated, mellow and smooth. A medium bodied beer that leaves a light coating over the palate. Sweet finish that brings out the caramel. Hint of warmth from the alcohol. Very well made and it has aged gracefully.

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Photo of corby112
2.74/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From notes:

Pours a deep, dark ruby red/chestnut brown color with mahogany edges and a two finger frothy, yellowish beige head. Decent retention, slowly fading into a thin ring. Minimal spots of lacing left behind.

Malty aroma with a very prominent dark fruit presence. Slightly tart with hints of raisin, date, plum and dark cherry.

Medium bodied with soft carbonation up front and an overly sweet, estery dark fruit flavor that is a bit cloying. Slightly earthy with sublte hops and spice as well as hints of raisin, grape and dark cherry. There's a prominent malt backbone that provides decent balance but this beer kind of reminds me of grape soda.

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Photo of elgiacomo
3.32/5  rDev -9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, 2010 batch. Served at cellar temp.

Pours deep red/brown with a small light tan head that quickly fades to a wispy cap and ring. Eventually just to just a tiny ring.

Aroma is dark fruits, mostly raisins and cherries with some plums and figs thrown in, belgian yeast, some alcohol, caramel, brown sugar, and toffee. Moderate strength.

Flavor is quite rich with strong dark fruits, a lot of raisins, cherries, plums and figs, a touch of chocolate, good caramel and toffee, molasses, brown sugar, candi sugar, yeast, pretty sweet but does have a rum-like finish with some alcohol fact more alcohol than I expected for an 8.5% brew, tastes like 11% or more. Starts to become a bit medicinal.

Mouthfeel is on the thin side of medium bodied, oily, sticky, low carbonation.

Far from my favorite Smuttynose brew, and I've had many better Quads. But, for $5.50 a bottle it's still a solid beer.

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

A - This beer pours a dark ruby-brown color. It has a small 1/2-finger off-white head. The head left no lacing on the glass.

S - The smell is sweet and malty. I am getting notes of raisins and other dark fruits. There is definitely some caramel here, and a strong alcohol presence as well.

T - The taste plays a lot off of the nose. There are a lot of raisins and other dark fruits present. There is also a lot of caramel sweetness present, as well as an alcohol bite. The finish is sweet and boozy.

M - This has a full body and low carbonation. It has a chewy quality to it. It also has some alcohol warmth.

D - This has pretty good drinkability. It is a slow sipper for sure, but I think it's pretty easy going. I like this more than I thought I would after reading some of the reviews on here. I am glad I picked this one up, and I recommend trying it.

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Photo of AgentZero
2.6/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Shared with MasterSki over dinner with our significant others.

A - This beer looked blood red in the light at times, with some tinges of brown at others. No real head to speak of, dissipated to nothing and left the sides clean.

S - Raisins, dark fruits (different than raisins), a little burnt sugar and some candied sugar. Tons of alcohol, not sure if they are not trying to hide this or if they just screwed up, but there's lots of it.

T - Very, very boozy, it really dominates. There is a raisin taste, but not nearly as strong as it should be as it is overpowered by alcohol. Pretty sweet, with a little candied taste. I don't care much for this.

M - Almost full bodied, with low carbonation, not sure if that is helping or hurting the beer.

D - Told Alex to finish it off, I got through about half of one glass. Too hot, too bad tasting, just not a good beer. The search for the great American quad continues.

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Photo of MasterSki
2.65/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Thanks to AgentZero for sharing. 2010 vintage, served in a Westvleteren chalice.

A - Pours with a quick-dissolving dime of foam that leaves an incomplete ring and a few bubbles. Initially a semi-transparent cherry red color, although later pours get progressively hazier.

S - Booze! I'm usually immune, but this has fairly present fusel alcohol and solvent notes. Once you get past that, there is fruity and spicy yeast characters, as well as some candi sugar, dark fruits, apples, and medicinal brandy.

T - Taste is a little more raisin-oriented, which shouldn't be surprising considering the volume of raisins added. There's some light mineral qualities, followed by a boozy solvent finish. Not as complex as the aroma.

M - Alcohol warmth galore. Low carbonation verging on syrupy, smooth medium body that seems a little undersized for 12%.

D - It was a struggle for Mike and I to finish this, although I eventually manned up and got the job done. Not something I would have again, although there is a serious dearth of good American quads.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.79/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

review from notes taken at the time of tasting

A - Pours a clearish ruby reddish brown with no head at all. Nice, even carbonation.
S - Very nice smelling quad. Cherry, nutmeg. Sweet and complex.
T - YUM!!! I LOVE quads and this one is great. Not nearly as thick and rich as others I've had, but a nice balanced flavor. Alc is there, but works well with the flavor which follows the nose.
M - Tingly and vibrant. Cooling aftervibe. A bit thinner than some other quads.
D - Really good quad. Alc isn't that well hidden, but it works. Really enjoyable and easy to drink.

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Photo of rtepiak
2.85/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

an amber beer with the gravity that is visible in the way the bottles are trying to work there way to the surface. about 5 seconds delayed of about three finger nails worth. nose of booze and apple brown sugar. palate of raisin and metal that fades over time... apple and burnt clove. hurts the teeth so much sugar and poor body. nothing worth trying from a otherwise pretty successful lineup.

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Photo of Boitnott
2.73/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Amber colored, light red hue to it. The head is almost non existent. Its pretty much not even there at all.

S: The smell is a strong apple smell. You can smell some hops though too. It literally smells like apple juice or cider.

T: The nose has a light citrus taste to it, not much hops or anything else. The finish tastes almost exactly like a lighter apple cider. This beer tastes like I would imagine an apple lambic would taste like. There is also some slight hoppiness to the finish, but not enough to negate the intense sweetness; it needs something to counteract the apple juice after taste.

M: Light bodied, and no head. For a 12% this beer is pretty light. I did really notice the high ABV until I was done...

D: All in all I could not drink too many of these. The sweetness is just overpowering. With nothing to balance the sweetness, it the beer tastes too much like apple. I would not recommend it.

Served from 22 oz. bottle into Chimay Goblet

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Photo of jrstamp
3.1/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22oz into a tulip

Very small, thin head, gone in a flash and even a vigorous swirl doesn't get you much back.

Alot of sweetness on the nose with some type of fruit I could not figure out at first. The raisin puree from the notes makes alot of sense.

It tasted alot like I thought it would, really sweet and sticky. Definitely see where they were trying to go with the quad and you feel the alcohol after the first 12oz.

Not something I could drink a whole lot of, but is something that could be split and sipped on for a while. Too sweet for my liking and that says alot.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
2.4/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a La Fin Du Monde tulip glass. Beer emerges a dark fig color with no head to speak of. Looks like prune juice mixed with tea.

Aroma is sickly sweet and raisiny and really quite figgy. Dark fruits, alcohol, sugar, caramel malts, molasses. Very medicinal, like rubbing alcohol or that stuff that kills warts.

Sickly sweet flavor profile. More of the figs and a sort of plum jam feeling and taste. Cloying. I feel like I have received a cavity from this beer due to its sweetness.

A 22oz bottle is impossible to finish: I doubt I could even finish a 12oz'er. Sweet, cloying, sticky, chewy; like a liquefied jam. Not enjoyable and not acceptable. I need to see my dentist, STAT.

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

Appearance- brown with no head to speak of

Smell- sweet and high alcohol you know what's coming up

Taste- sweet and strong but what else do you expect from a quad?

Mouthfeel- very pleasant

Drinkability- very easy to drink but don't plan on drinking more than one of these

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Photo of gtn80
2.75/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

Aroma is rum raisin, brown sugar and tons of alcohol.

Appearance is a chocolate brown w/ ruby highlights, fluffy white head that dissipated quickly.

Taste is tons of burnt brown sugar up front, sticky sweet, huge alcohol burn at the backend, rum raisin everywhere. Alcohol pervades and is what sticks with you on aftertaste.

Mouthfeel thick, sticky, not alot of carbonation, very viscous.

Drinkability is not good at all. A couple ounces of this beer is plenty, 22 oz is way too much unless you are drinking with a group. Tons of alcohol in the flavor, doesn't hide it at all.

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Photo of codewarrior
2.55/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

22oz Bomber (label indicated that it was bottle conditioned in 2010) into a Balloon.

Picked this up at Finger Lakes Beverage Center, and was quite excited to do so. My mistake. This beer is a quad that hits like a Donker.

L: Dark dark brown. Somewhat clearish for a quad. Little head, disspiates with no lacing.

S: Single-mindedly sweet. Seriously nothing else going on in the nose outside of its sweetness.

T: Very, very sweet and warm. Finish burns (more than 12% should ... this thing burns more than the Avery Demon Ales), cherry hints in the far back.

F: Way, way too thin for a quad. Doesn't feel like a quad.

D: Not all that enjoyable. Way too sweet, impossible to finish a glass. Drinks like the Sarafijn Donker from Bruwerij Achilles, or a super-sweet nut-brown ... neither of those are compliments.

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Photo of Stunner97
3.67/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

appearance- dark brown with thin white head off pour fadin fast, no carbonation what so ever,

smell- off nose very malty and sweet, raisons and rummy alcohol smell, rather sweet nose but not bad

Taste- off first sip my first impression was just loads of malty sweetness, little bit of dryness comes on back end to balance it a bit, definite boozyness at this stage that i dont mind but some might bit,

Mouthfeel- smooth low carbonation and bit heavy

Drinkability- i actually really enjoy some aspects of this flavor profile though its definitely got a bit of heat and bit boozy at this stage, but the malt flavor to me up front is quite enjoyable, i do like this beer but its very strong and far from fast drinker, a good beer not great at this point but decent

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Photo of Rangermonk
4.25/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle, poured into an Imperial pint glass.

A- A very clear, dark red. Minimal head, with light lacing.
S - An alcohol background, warm. Rich fruits, brandy.
T - Fruit, burnt sugar. Slight alcohol warmth when you swallow.
M - It's thick. But it says it will be, in the description. I'm not sure you'd want a thinner version.
D - This is a sipping beer, after dinner. I couldn't see drinking more than a glass of it. But at ~12%, would you want to?

This is a nice beer. Definitely something to drink in a snifter, though, after dinner with a friend. An excellent dessert.

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Photo of Beerenauslese
3/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear reddish amber, which is unusually light colored for a Belgian Quadrupel. Low head retention, just a fine ring of bubbles around the perimeter.

Smells malty sweet and boozy, with a little spice.

Tastes very sweet (cloyingly so) and boozy. It tastes like a (not very exceptional) port wine, maybe that is due to the raisin puree that is added. A tinge of hoppy bitterness in the finish.

Body is light, with little carbonation, gives this a flat mouthfeel.

Drinkability is low, due to the ABV of 12% and little else flavorwise going on. I'd have to say it does not live up to a Belgian quadrupel in flavor; only in the alcohol blitz which, unlike Belgian quads, is not matched by a diversity of interestingly complex flavors. Maybe it would be better for Smuttynose to just say it is a raisin beer, like Dogfish Head's Raisin D'extra--but that would not garner any extra points either. It begs the question: Why do people not like raisin beers? Are raisins too foreign an adjunct to beer?

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Photo of MbpBugeye
3.29/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Having just spilled this all over my bedroom and after finishing cleaning the place up, I poured this into my Chimay goblet.

A- The beer is much lighter than many quads. Its purpley mahogany. The head (which was foaming out of the bottle right after I dropped it) dissipated before I knew it. Im left with a pretty stagnant looking beer.

S- Well, my room smells pretty good right now. But in the glass this beer is pretty weak. Its g

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Photo of LordAdmNelson
3.15/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I wasn't super impressed with this one, which is a shame because I typically have really enjoyed the Smutty Big Beer Series. This one whiffs though at the style. Pours a murky dark brown with very little head that recedes to a small ring around the glass. Fruity aroma, big on the grape/raisin/date aromas, some sticky malt to back it up. Taste is a one note raisin flavor, largely unsupported by other elements. Where's the character? Sweet, sticky, one-note. Not exactly my expectation of a Quad, undercarbonated as well. This one should be pillowy, but it falls flat, just being sticky in the mouth. Ok drinkability, though it is very sweet, and ultimately not very interesting. I love the Smutty BBS, but this one misses.

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