Raison D'Être - Dogfish Head Brewery
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Ratings: 3,995 | Reviews: 1,766 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by ngandhi:
3.55/5 rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5
Raison D'etre has no reason for being a Belgian strong dark ale. While styles can run into each other, I identified this as a doppelbock before I checked BA. The amber/mahogany beer is medium-bodied. Though a touch overfizzed in the mouthfeel, the head is still pathetic and subsides very quickly to a splotchy ring with some lacing.
As I bring the pint glass to my mouth, I take in very alcoholic fruits. The smell of alcohol -- straight, grain alcohol -- begins to overwhelm. Yet, when the beer is brought to the lips, those green raisins (or is it just the power of suggestion?) sideswipe the phenols and leave me with a Belgian meets doppelbock palette. The heavy brown sugar flavor (I'm guessing this is the beet) suggests malty doppelbock. Tons of pear. Considering Trois Pistoles is about as good as this style gets (even though it's made in Canada), DFH falls embarassingly short. Compared to Salvator, however, it holds ground. What's a BA to do?
The ultimate taste of this beer, though confused, is in the Belgian Strong Dark family -- the strong phenols, less than robust malt, gritty yeast, and bittering demand it; Raison d'Etre is a bastard child.
I like what the raisins do here, and I appreciate the use of natural sugars. Over the course of a glass, this beer grows on me (perhaps it's the alcohol talking). Nevertheless, it seems quite lost; drinking it is chaos, like the world's greatest clam chowder to a man lost in the Sahara.
As it warms, it mellows significantly -- I start to think dark Belgian. A lot of the hop bite and carbonated sting dissipates. Dark fruits flash their sweet, rich bodies and each sip finishes dry but fruity, almost like boxed red wine. Not bad. Not beer of the year.
Serving type: bottle
09-04-2003 22:45:30 | More by ngandhi
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 3,995 ratings.