Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series) | Smuttynose Brewing Company

Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series)Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series)
613 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 613 |  Reviews: 308
Photo of jmsedgwick
2.5/5  rDev -31.9%

Photo of RRC03
2.5/5  rDev -31.9%

Photo of jfcaa193
2.5/5  rDev -31.9%

Photo of codewarrior
2.55/5  rDev -30.5%
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.

 814 characters

Photo of DeutschesBier
2.56/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

I was definitely let down by this beer. I am not sure how it would age, but the alcohol burn of this beer was just too much to take. I love other Smuttynose offerings (especially the IPA), but this did not work for me. At first I enjoyed it, but then the harsh alcohol burn took control of the beer and ruined it for me. I am not sure if this is a bad batch or what, but I won't be seeking this beer out again.

 410 characters

Photo of AgentZero
2.6/5  rDev -29.2%
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.

 919 characters

Photo of MasterSki
2.65/5  rDev -27.8%
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.

 1,047 characters

Photo of mentor
2.67/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I'm assuming this is the 2013 vintage. Thickly pours a thin light tan head over a cloudy dark copper liquid. Smells hay, belgian phenolic spicy, candi-sugar, fig, green raisin, green apple, oregano, pancake batter.

Tastes potently belgian yeast spicy, herbal, apricot & tropical fruity, with some light caramel. Ends with a peppery zip. Clean alcohol sting is drying and digs a small amount into the overly sweet malt. It's not cloying, due to the spicy and alcohol, but it's not far from it. Medium thick in the mouth with modest carbonation. Too much for this to be an abbey ale, perhaps a trippel in the malt profile?

 621 characters

Photo of shizzdog
2.67/5  rDev -27.2%
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.

 266 characters

Photo of cokes
2.68/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Dark and seemingly clear crimson purple with a tall stack of tan head that recedes gradually to a collar.
Big prune aroma, with equally sweet notions of molasses, brown sugar, with a dusting of carob and toasted grain to provide token dryness. No yeast-derived esters, or anything especially "Belgian" about the nose. Sniffed blindly, I'd almost certainly guess it was a dopplebock.
And I doubt the taste would change my guess.
Wave after wave of prune jelly, caramel nougat, and molasses lap across the tongue. This is colossally sweet. Once the mouth is generally desensitized to the gooey maple syrup and dark raisiny fruits, some carob and toast notions materialize, but so do raspberries, and blackberries, but more emphatically, adding to the malt maelstrom. It lingers and cloys, ever sweet and syrupy, with no notable hop contributions, and a likeminded Sherry alcohol bloom on the swallow.
Grippy, sticky, tacky, and cloying. This is all kinds of sweet. And while it is off-balance, a bit of dexterous carbonation could help offset it flaws. Alas, aid never arrives. CO2 is nearly flatlined.
One could almost create this at home with equal parts prune juice and Log Cabin Syrup and a couple ounces of fortified wine. Then muddle in a box or two of raisins.

I usually adore Smutty's Big Beers. This is an aberration.

 1,327 characters

Photo of Boitnott
2.73/5  rDev -25.6%
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

 966 characters

Photo of corby112
2.74/5  rDev -25.3%
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.

 655 characters

Photo of bigred89
2.75/5  rDev -25.1%

Photo of brez8791
2.75/5  rDev -25.1%

Photo of gtn80
2.75/5  rDev -25.1%
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.

 623 characters

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
2.76/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle. Pours a dark reddish brown with a small light tan head. Aroma of raisin, sweet malt, sweet dark fruits (plum, prune) and vegetal notes. Ick. Flavor is very very sweet with raisin and dark fruits. Sticky palate and rather carbonated. The flavor is not as bad as the aroma but still. This really is an awful quad though, with no similarities at all to the top Belgian quads.

 380 characters

Photo of mynie
2.79/5  rDev -24%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours bright orange and kind of flat with no head to speak of.

Smells like a high octane quad. Big ripe fruit and then sharp fruity alcohol that's bordering on that of a bad mead.

Tastes, unfortunately, more like the booze than like the fruit. It's like they were going for a BIG quad but then just let the BIGness totally overwhelm the quadness. Sharp, unpleasant alcohol starts things off, very incredibly sharp, and then ending on some pleasant enough spice and fruit. It's not horrid. I've had worse. But this is still a beer to forget.

 550 characters

Photo of Viggo
2.83/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22 oz bottle, big thanks to grub for sharing!

Pours a clear dark ruby red, almost brown away from the light, thin light tan head forms, quickly settles to a thing ring around the glass, a few lace spots sticks, looks alright. Smell is neat, more like a bock than a quad, raisins, some caramel/brown sugar, biscuits, very bready, lots of dark fruit, something kind of citrusy and floral, not what I think of when I think of quad, just doesn't have that character. Taste is very sweet, lots of raisins, iron, brown sugar/caramel, iced tea, almost cloying, lots of fruit juice, some alcohol, dates, biscuity and dry in the finish, almost feels like my teeth are rotting. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation, alcohol is hidden relatively well, but just insanely sweet and cloying. Very sugary finish, just doesn't seem like much of a quad, and too sweet to be very enjoyable regardless of adherence to style. Thanks Russ!

 933 characters

Photo of roscoehnj
2.83/5  rDev -22.9%
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 horshack7
2.83/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Out of a 22 ounce bomber comes a very dark burgandy with a light fomay head. That thins out to about half a finger worths.

Aroma: Scents of plums raisins mild hints of rum and other dried fruits. Delicate notes of roasted malts and little bits of hop notes.

Taste: Out of the gate it starts out smooth. Only little hints of figs and raisins with the slightest bits of hop bitterness. Not as hearty as I thought it might be but it's not too shaby.

Notes: It is not as big as my first impression of it was but it's decently drinkable. Cheers

 554 characters

Photo of Satchboogie
2.83/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes: 2011 vintage

A: Pours dark muddy brown/red with 2 fingers of tan head, fairly tight bubbles, decent retention, leaves just a little lacing.

S: Prunes, raisins, banana, lots of alcohol, brown sugar.

T: Lots of banana, prunes, raisins, and a little apple upfront with a somewhat subdued malt body, light to moderate brown sugar. Alcohol absolutely takes over quickly throwing out a ton of phenols and solvent-like qualities. Very rough and boozy finish that tastes more like a cleaning solution than a beer. Not all that malty, no complexity or depth, and not very tasty.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation, harsh alcohol and plenty of burn. Not smooth at all.

O: Maybe a couple of years on this bottle would work wonders, but as is, it's a mess. I wouldn't suggest this to anyone, especially not as an introduction to Quads. I wouldn't want anyone thinking this is what a Belgian quad should taste like.

 934 characters

Photo of charlesw
2.85/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Cloudy brown, little head. Smells... Yeah. That's a problem, isn't it? Smells a little musty. Like oxidized homebrew or something. Hints of brown sugar, molasses.

The big part of the taste is the musty/homebrew/oxidation thing. Bleh. Plenty of brown sugar, molasses and licorice root but none of those with any sweetness. Might taste a touch of chocolate, too.

Edit: and on reading other reviews, no, I'm a bit surprised. I mean, it's like they weren't drinking the same beer I was! What's up with that?

 505 characters

Photo of rtepiak
2.85/5  rDev -22.3%
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.

 393 characters

Photo of EPseja
2.87/5  rDev -21.8%
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 pdoran10
2.89/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

from bomber into tulip very dark brown almost black. little to no head. smell is plum, spice, and bready. taste is a letdown. i get plum and spice immediately replaced by pretty harsh alcohol burn. great flavors are there but alcohol dominates.

mouthfeel is fine but feels a bit thin and flat compared to some of my other favorite quads. drinkability is a real big issue here as even having a full pint is a real struggle with the alcohol dominating.

 451 characters

Smuttynose Gravitation (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.67 out of 5 with 613 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.