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 elNopalero
4.3/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in 2011 and enjoyed in June, 2012.

This pours a cloudy tan-amber color with cottony, cloudy bubbles sitting atop it.

There are notes of caramel and raisins on the aroma, along with a boozy rum scent. I get hints of sweet cherries and candi syrup. It’s a rich aroma, full and forward.

The flavor comes through with notes of dark plums, almost like a thick, syrupy prune juice. The beer is full bodied, and it needs to be to stand up to everything going on. Flavor coats the mouth with the obvious raisin puree flavors and an evident booziness that is mellow (although I can imagine this running hot while young) and just to the side of sweet. Held up exceptionally well.

There’s a warming effect, especially as the beer opens up and is allowed to linger on the palate. It’s a wonderful, wonderfully complex brew, even if it dares defy styles.

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Photo of XicanoBeerRun
3.97/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to El Nopalero for sharing this one.

Orange amber, slightly hazy. It is not as dark as most quadruples.

Low carbonation but big bubbles.

Smells like alcohol, raisons and cherry.

There was a lot going on with the taste: cherries, rum punch, notes of chocolate, Asian plum sauce, chocolaty graham cracker aftertaste, slight metallic finish.

I’ll have another.

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Photo of Barrelista
4.42/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A & S are appropriate indicators of the beer's dessert, chocolate-and-caramel taste. Dark syrup in color with a light, pastry-like lace. Scent is deliciously sweet. M is heavy, and reminiscent of a quality milk and coffee drink.

Overall this is a cohesive and approachable beer, with a few surprises that are easily appreciated.

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Photo of stercomm
3.03/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber

A - hazy dark copper almost brown, very slight off-white head that stayed around for maybe a second, thin layer around the glass no lacing.

S - Wow, very rich; raisins, candied fruits, slight maltiness.

T - Too syrupy for me, very heavy, lots of candied fruit, alcohol is well hidden but you know it is there.

M - Heavy

O - Too rich for my taste

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Gravitation (Big Beer Series)
Smuttynose Brewing Company
Style: Quadrupel (Quad)
ABV: 12.00 %

LOOK: Clear dark brown colored brew, off white head.

SMELL: Dark fruits, Belgian ale yeast, lofty alcohol, hops.

TASTE: Raisin, fig, date notes all over the place. Malts are like a raisin ginger bread profile. Spicy alcohol, nice fruit notes, low bitterness.

FEEL: Full bodied, good level of carbonation, dark fruits in the semi dry finish.

OVERALL: The flavor of this beer is quite nice. Hits the dark fruit belgian dark flavor very nicely. A more than acceptable Quad.

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Photo of jtierney89
1/5  rDev -72.6%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Pours a hazy deep amber almost brown. Thin yellow/greenish lace of head. Big offensive nose right off the bat. I feel bad for everyone else in the restaurant. Massive rum raisin nose with detectable alcohol. Prune juice like sweetness on the nose as well. Some nail polish. Other dark fruits in the mix most noticeably plums.

Slight effervescence. Sticky fruit juice like mouthfeel. Thinner than you think it would be. Raisin and caramel sweetness up front. Rides into sweet plums and other dark fruits. The malt body gives up near the back of the tongue and alcohol burn takes over. Lots of heat on his one. The alcohol cuts some of the sweetness on the plus side but still very cloying. Just picked up a slight Belgian candy taste.

Very sweet, very little balance in the form of alcohol. Disgustingly out of balance. The flavors would be good and could work well together if it could be a bit more subtle like an actual belgian quad, but this beer has some serious balance issues and body problems. Also it tastes more like a port than a beer. And a really bad and cheap port at that.

This thing comes nowhere near being in style with a Belgian quad. It should be called Belgian style nail polish due to abundance of detectable alcohol. Overly cloying, tongue slapping, and a step away from being a malt liquor with grape flavoring.

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Photo of HalfFull
2.98/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Standard American bomber opens with a light pop. Poured into a tulip glass, the Gravitation pours a slightly muddled burnished copper with a half inch of off white cap. Head settles to and maintains a light ring.

Aroma is sweet with dark cherry holding up some rich dried fruit. Raisin, plum, dates and prunes even. Alcohol notes are pretty volatile. Bit of brown sugar spice. Belgian yeast notes are light beyond the dark fruit presence but unique and slightly intriguing.

Taste follows along the same lines. Lots of dark fruit and brown sugar. A bit thick and oily, somewhat sweet and syrupy as for the feel. ABV is noted in the smell but rather subdued in the flavor department. A testament I would say to the residual sweetness of this beer. The alcohol does hit you swiftly however, and not a surprise at a robust 12%.

Feel again is a bit rich for the style as I prefer a better attenuated Quad. Complexity is also a bit lacking on the finish. On the flip side this beer does gain strength as it warms into the 60's I would guess but I'm not sure it's worth the calories.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.35/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: deep ruby brown with thin tan head

S: dark fruits and sugar

T: at first, my thoughts of raisins prejudiced my tastes, for there is a strong dark fruitiness to this beer, but as I drank it I really appreciated the tastes of fruit and alcohol: sweet, rich; notes of raisin, peach, banana (?)

M: I want to use the word "chewy" - this is a delicious beer with a non-syrupy but solid feel to it; the carbonation and sweetness meet in the middle for a real nice mouthfeel

O: this beer was recommended to me at the distributor since I enjoy Belgian quads, but when I read somewhere about raisin puree being used, I was a little put off - however, as I drank the 22 oz bomber, boy, was I happy - really strong, really sweet, really soft, and really tasty - a true treat, and not what I have usually had in a quad (not that I've had that many, and I get that there are many different styles within the category) - I would definitely have this again - I know this sounds weird, but this is a yummy beer

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Photo of CharlieMurphy
3.63/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2010 batch

A: Merlot. No head to speak of. Looks flat, stoic, and solid.

S: Cherries, syrup, cognac, oak, aged american barleywine, chcolate cordials, and a lil booze.

T: This is a lot like a port wine: flat, even flavor, of rich dark fruits, warmth and spices. Otherwise - cherries, figs, wet temperate forest in the fall, followed by booze which starts to pierce over time

M: Flattish but holds up well. Carbonation is very low but still holds this beer up and is appropriate for this style

O: Not as vibrant as the aged on tap experiences I've had. I still love old malt bombs like this though, but BA has hardened my once happy go-lucky beer raving about common treats like this. From now on I'm waxing all of these as soon as I get them.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a chalice)

A- This beer pours a dense glowing auburn body with a yellowish-tan head that bubbles away even with the support of a slow motion sea of microbubbles.

S- The woody banana ester aroma finishes with a big circus peanut finish that grows into a hair perm aroma as the beer opens up.

T- The dry toffee, honey malt and woody yeast esters have a circus peanut note and dried fruity flavor in the finish with a bitter and some what brassy character that lingers. There is a fusel alcohol that really grows as the beer opens.

M- The medium-full mouthfeel has an alcohol warmth that is full and lingers at each sip.

O- This beer has a big yeast character and some nice malt support with a full alcohol heat that is not harsh but dominates.

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Photo of rapidsequence
3.77/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle. I think it was $6.99 from Total Wine. 2011 vintage.

Appearance: Pours reddish brown with some haze. Light tan colored head with brief retention. Some spotty lacing.

Smell: Very raisiny with a sticky sweet malty aroma. Bready Belgian yeast. Good smelling, but very much on the sweet side, and not much complexity.

Taste: Boozy, sweet, and raisiny. A hefty malt backbone. Nice yeasty flavor lends a bit of spice.

Mouthfeel: Pretty big feel. Medium to high carbonation lends some creaminess. Bit of stickiness at the end.

Overall: Its a decent, but not real interesting quad. A little one sided with sweet, raisiny, booze. Pretty good value, but bettter quads to be had for sure.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber, poured reddish-brown with a foamy, tan head that dissipated quickly as expected for the ABV. Aromas are sweet and boozy with caramel and toffee, not much Belgian. Tastes are sweet and boozy once again. Complex notes of toffee, candi sugar, caramel, brown sugar, and raisin. Reminds me of liquid butter toffee? Not as much Belgian influence as I'd hoped for. Mouth-feel is buttery and smooth, full-boded and syrupy. Finishes sweet with a slight prickle on the palate from the alcohol, which is relatively well concealed given the massive ABV. Overall, I really enjoyed this, but it seemed to lack the Belgian qualities I was expecting for a quad. It seemed to be a great American Strong Ale at best. It is still worth the try if you can find it, as I really did enjoy it....again, just not what I expected.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.92/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Deep ruby red with a one finger head.

S-Dark fruits, plums, clove

T-Dark fruits, clove and banana.

M-Medium bodied but lacking in carbonation.

O-One of the few Quads I've had with banana flavors. The dark fruits I normally associate were there as well but this one had a nice touch of banana.

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Photo of Vonerichs
3.6/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Oswego Taphouse.

Cloudy copper body with a respectable off-white head.

Smells heavily of raisins, dates, and toffee.

The flavor has a ton of raisin and dates. It gets a bit messy and abrasive in the middle and is boozy.

Mouthfeel is syrupy and astringent.

Overall, just ok. It's a bit rough at times.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.89/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Gravitation pours a dark amber color, with a small head that dispated quickly. There was a strong sweet, grape like smell. The taste was heavy, a bit warm, and on the sweeter side. The raisins can easily be picked up. It was deffently more of a sipping beer. Overall Gravitation is a good beer, close to a barley wine in flavor, but still very enjoyable.

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Photo of WhiteOak
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Deep antique copper color, with a dark tan head that settles quickly.

S- Aromas of dark fruits (fig, date, raisin) and chocolate covered banana. Toffee, leather. cherries.

T- Rich, thick malt flavor, chocolate, dark fruits. A touch of salt.

M- Medium CO2, a touch of stickiness.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.97/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a bottle at my local Giant Eagle for $5.99

A - Slight sediment even with a 10oz pour with a deep mahogany brown and a finger of head that turns to a mild yet sticky lace ring.

S - In your face raisins and dried plums with a bit of spicy yeast and noticeable alcohol smell.

T - Starts off with sweet dark fruits then a touch of Belgium candied sugars, with a bit of chalky yeast flavor which really isn't as dry as others described. ABV is incredibly well hidden.
As it warms though the alcohol is not as masked.

M - Thick, creamy, and ABV is well hidden but very warming so it's indeed a sipper.

Overall this is the best beer I encountered from the big beer series. Massive ABV, smooth taste, and great flavor for under 6 bucks. Almost beats out Victory - V12 but I enjoy that beer in it's own right. Will have to give a bottle to my brother since he like Quads. Definitely consider getting it again. Drink it cold if you can!

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Photo of Ratman197
4.12/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber from Half Time poured a clear reddish amber with a lasting amber head. Aromas of carmel, toffee, plum, raisin, pear, banana and light spice. Palate was medium to full bodied and smooth with a dry finish. Flavors of toffe, carmel, dark fruit and light spice with a smooth dry warming lingering toffee finish.

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Photo of Jawn
3.42/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5


Poured into a chimay goblet. There's a pork and pickle sandwich next to it too, yum. It's murky, amber, and has a tiny head dissipating into a broken ring. I smell a bunch of sweet fruits and heavy booze. Everyone else is saying they used raisin puree in this beer and I have an easy time believing this. It's also obvious with every sip that this is 12%abv. Sometimes my sip tastes like jam on toast, but sometimes it tastes like paint. If I swish it around in my mouth it feels like I took a hit of some pop rocks, which I guess is sort of cool. Overall I don't regret picking this up, but I'm not very stoked about it. I don't think it does belgian quads justice, but at least it tastes good with my hot pork.

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

Yup, this is the real deal. A quadrupel through and trhough. If you expect a quad to be super heavy - loads of malt and alcohol, then this one delivers.

It has that belgian fruity malty yeasty thing going but good. Not much is disguised or subtle. It works better than some other recent tastes, which leads me to wonder what it would be like if I set a couple of these aside for a year, which I think I will do.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.06/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Label says bottled in 2011.

A- From a heavy pour comes a one finger head on top of a deep, dark brown colored body. The head eventually rests at about an 1/8 inch with some lacing.

S- Complex aromas of raisins, dates, figs and black cherries. Not as many alcohol fumes as I would expect from a brew of such high ABV.

T- Strong, malty tones upfront with a solid dose of alcohol kick that's not as apparent as was expected. Also, the aforementioned fruit flavors make a solid appearance and work well with the pronounced malt characteristics. Pretty well-balanced, all things considered, but not as lively and enjoyable as other quads I've had.

M- Medium carbonation sets this aside from other traditional quads but doesn't detract from the more wine-like sensibilities associated with the style.

O- Does the job well, but could use a little more personality.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.42/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2010 Vintage.

A: Pours a dark ruby color with a very small head that dissipates quickly and no lacing at all.

S: Lots of dark fruit, mostly raisins, some bready malt, and a bit of alcohol.

T: Heavy on the dark fruit, especially raisins again, which makes sense since raisin puree was added. It is rather sweetm but also is still rather hot, with a slight burn as it goes down. There is a little brown sugar, a little spice, and some bread.

M: Full bodied with low carbonation. Very sweet and still hot. I feel like the alcohol is coming out the longer I drink it, warming my stomach. Drinkability quite low.

O: It was ok, the alcohol presence made it very difficult to drink, and got worse as it warmed. The flavors were ok, the raisin puree overpowered a lot of it I think though.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.97/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark ruby color and minimal too quick head. No residual foam. This beer has a slight, syrupy consistancy to it. Really like the color, classic Quad.

Lots of syrupy fruit and dark toasted malt. Raisins and a toasted pound cake with a little heat from the abv. to let you know this beer has a kick to it.

Rich syrupy palate enhances the raisin and pruney fruits flavors of this beer. The middle to finish brings out that fruity pound cake, toasted malt flavor along with a well integrated alcoholic heat on the finish. Great nightcap sipper.

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Photo of Nordstrand
2.9/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I'd like to say this beer tastes like cherry since this is my virginal review. Zing!

It's a beautiful color and has a strong fruity scent but is overwhelmingly boozy and taste too strong of alcohol. A bit too complex and strong for this hop seeker.

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Photo of TTAmod
3.34/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The artwork on the bottle actually caught my attention, then I noticed it was a Quad...score! Sorry, but I'll be comparing this one mostly to The Reverend, which I had the other night. I haven't had Rochefort, etc, for a while, so I can't fairly compare this to Trappist Quads.

Bomber poured into Chimay chalice.

A: Pours an odd hazy brown (much akin to apple cider.) Very little head. What's left of the head leaves a decent lacing.

S: Smells like dark fruits (cherry? raisin?) and heavy alcohol.

T: Starts decent enough with a smack of dark fruits, bready yeast, and a nice malt base, but it gives way to pure alcohol. My palate is fairly insensitive to alcohol in beer, but this one has a very heavy medicinal, sterile alcohol on the back end. It's a bit too much. A shame, especially since it's promising in the beginning. I won't hurt it TOO much, however, since it's hard to be subtle with the alcohol at 12%. I've definitely had more abrasive beers in the 12% range.

There is a slight raisin overtone, but don't let the 200 lbs per batch scare doesn't really show through.

M: Not too bad. On the lighter side of medium. Just a TAD too light for a quad.

O: Definitely worse than The Reverend, but it's still pretty decent. Like stated before, it's an interesting experiment. It's not really a great example of a quad, but I'm glad I tried it. Not for the faint of heart, but at $6 per bottle, there really isn't any reason not to try it if you haven't before.

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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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