Monday, September 12, 2011
2011 Smuttynose Big Beer Series Release #6
Belgium is known around the world for its six unique abbey breweries. Inside the monastery walls, Trappist monks oversee production of rich, fully flavored beers that range from light in body and alcohol to strong, rich and dark. These sacred beers are known by the names enkel or single, dubbel and tripel. Singles are the lightest in both color and alcohol and can be seen as analogues to triples, which are also light bodied and colored but can be quite sweet and as strong as 10%. Dubbels can be simply described as Belgian brown ales; they exhibit a rich, malty flavors, spicy yeast notes and typically range from 7%-9%. Dubbels haven’t had a stronger counterpart until the relatively recent arrival of Quadrupels, or “Quads.”
With alcohol contents as high as 12%, “Quads” are the richest of the rich and the boldest of the bold and Smuttynose Gravitation is no exception. Deep chestnut colored, with rich toffee and caramel malt flavors, Gravitation isn’t just sweet and boozy. The use of special, imported Belgian malts and raisin paste contribute unifying fruitiness that brings harmony to the other two flavor groups. The prominent malt character makes Belgian-style quads an excellent candidate for aging, as long as you store your bottles upright in a cool, dark space.
Gravitation is a hearty and hefty beer, so it’ll pair well with foods that are intensely flavored and heavy. Earthy foods like wild game and bleu cheeses stand up to Gravitation’s intensity by playing against the sweet malty character. If earthy isn’t your thing, seek out dishes that are fatty, tart or a combination of the two; foods like pork belly, mushroom ragout or rabbit with kriek, a classic dish of Belgian beer gastronomy.
Starting Extract: 24.9 Finishing Extract: 3.0
Malts: North American 2-Row, Cara-Red, Aromatic, Special B, C-60, Wheat
Special Guests: Demerara Sugar, Amber Belgian Candi Syrup, Dark Belgian Candi Syrup, Raisin Paste
Yeast: White Labs WLP-500 Trappist Ale
Production Size: 150 barrels (4650 gallons)
2011 Gravitation will begin shipping during the week of September 19, 2011.