Friday, January 27, 2012

Smuttynose Gravitation Quadrupel Ale

The Smuttynose BIG BEER Series, Gravitation, a Belgian-style quadruple ale. Odd that they chose an illustration for the label that appears to depict the opposite of gravity. Is it Icarus falling to Earth, or some freshly plucked angel?

Dark, rich, burgundy hue. Slim, dark dotted head.

Aroma: Alcohol and ripe fruit. Banana and cherry. Pomegranate. Leather and cognac. Oh, and alcohol. 

Taste: More of the same, on board the palate. Burnished malt, hot and fiery. Gigantic and enormous. Starts fierce and floods the mouth, lightens a bit in body as it slides down the throat, ends with a long, balanced finish.

Rich, fat, and boozy. What's the ABV? I can't see it anywhere on the label. Has to be 10% or higher. the label does tell us "Gravitation is a huge, deep-red ale brewed with a traditional Belgian yeast to achieve flavor, complexity & character of audacious proportions." Sounds good, but I feel some complexity is hidden under all the heat. Sweetness is large in this, and only somewhat held in check by bitterness. All in all, it's the alcohol that rules.

I'm having this as a nightcap, getting ready to turn in for the evening. It's tasty, to an extent, but I feel, for me, that it trades too heavily in alcoholic heat and malty sweet at the expense of subtlety and sophistication.

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