When it comes to Belgian quads, Smuttynose Gravitation gives you the most bang for your buck. A 22-ounce bottle costs about $6 or $7, which is about what you'd pay for an 11.2-ounce bottle of Rocheofrt 10.
Brewed with Belgian candi syrups, Gravitation is beautiful -- mahogany with a tiny head. The aroma seems to shift with each sniff: prunes and figs, cherries and raspberries, and dark sugars. It's almost nasal-clearing, like the vapors of a cherry cough drop.
There's a lot of alcohol in the taste, which you'd expect from a beer that is 12.5 percent alcohol by volume. For all the sweetness in the aroma, though, the beer is slightly bitter upfront and even tart on the swallow.
Gravitation is not typical of the premiere Belgian quads -- no one will confuse this with St. Bernardus Abt 12 or Rochefort 10, two of Belgium's best -- but it's an excellent take on the style nonetheless. Smuttynose Brewing Co. releases Gravitation roughly once a year, and I find myself tracking it down every time it comes out.