Raison D'Être - Dogfish Head Brewery
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Ratings: 4,004 | Reviews: 1,766 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Caj1:
3.75/5 rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
I had been wanting to try something from Dogfish Head for a while, and, not in the mood for a bitter IPA at the time, I went ahead and got a six-pack of these brews, party because I wanted a brown ale and partly because I was lured in by the claim on the package which said it was the American beer of the year for the year 2000. My experience below.
Poured from a bottle into a snifter, I ended up with about a finger of off-white head which foamed up and then dissipated in the span of about thirty seconds. What's left is some thin but persistent lacing. The beer itself is a nice dark copper/amber that is crystal clear with minimal carbonation. When held to the light it looks almost like strongly brewed iced tea.
With smelling I got an immediate whiff of grapes, somewhat reminiscent of a wine, which makes some sense since this is brewed with raisins. I also get some caramel and butterscotch and a little bit of malt, and the ghost of an earthy smell. The smell translates quite well to the palate; raisins are the first thing I taste, and after holding the beer in my mouth for a little bit I can taste alcohol just a bit, since this is a relatively high alcohol beer (8% ABV, wowzers.) After swallowing the flavor becomes more complex, leaving a nice caramel and just a tiny bit of chocolate, and also a nice hint of earth and bitterness from the hops. This beer definitely prefers to overpower the palate at first and then slowly reveal its character. Mouthfeel is nice, smooth and clean immediately, but after a few moments it foams up and becomes less smooth, while also burning a little bit from the alcohol and carbonation.
Overall this is a pretty nice beer, but I feel like they could have toned down the abject sweetness just a tad and it would have worked a little better; that raisin flavor is just too much to handle when it smacks you in mouth, but this beer is also a grower. I was very off-put on my first bottle, but after subsequent drinks I've come to like this a little more. I would drink it if offered, but probably won't be buying again. That said, I appreciate what the guys at Dogfish Head were trying to do; I just feel like they could have executed a little bit better.
Serving type: bottle
07-02-2013 02:28:34 | More by Caj1
More User Reviews:
3.7/5 rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Can't believe I've never reviewed this. Should be interesting, as it's almost 4 years old.
Pours a murky medium brown with copper highlights and a frothy khaki head that lingers as a thin layer of foam.
Raisins, prunes, and plums leap from the glass, along with brown sugar sweetness. Almost has a Belgian yeast nose to it.
Flavor is much less sweet, with slightly tart raisins and prunes underlying a lightly toasted, bready malt character. The finish reveals prunes and slightly earthy and bitter notes. The sour character is somewhat disappointing. Belgian yeast notes emerge late.
Body is on the full side, with moderate carbonation and noted alcohol warmth.
This one held up well. There's a touch of oxidation in the form of cardboard, but that was minute. Wish the flavor matched the aroma more. That tangy character is just too present.
Serving type: bottle
07-19-2014 03:29:11 | More by barczar
Raison D'Être from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 4,004 ratings.