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Raison D'Être - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Raison D'ÊtreRaison D'Être

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4,076 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,076
Reviews: 1,766
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 15.3%
Wants: 71
Gots: 275 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
A deep mahogany, Belgian-style brown ale brewed with beet sugar, raisins and Belgian-style yeast.

25 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-09-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Raison D'Être Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,076 | Reviews: 1,766 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of arnoldosu1
3.76/5  rDev +2.7%

This is my first official review, not only here on beer advocate but in general as well! This is however not my first time enjoying this "deep mahogany ale" as dogfish states right on the bottle, nor is this my first Belgian dark ale, far from it in fact. So this is my cup of tea (or beer in this case). Now, on to the review!

Appearance: Poured from a 12 oz. bottle (45-50 degrees) into a tulip glass; Raison D'Etre impresses with a rich mahogany color. It is alive with a fair amount of carbonation, which stays consistent throughout the experience. On initial pour the head is brought to the top of the tulip. It dissipates rather quickly though, leaving behind a nice ring in its wake, with minimal lacing.

Smell: The aroma is of sweet Belgian deliciousness with maybe a hint of raisin. So yes the Belgian beet sugars and green raisons seem to be in play! Though the aromas are not overwhelmingly present, it does excite the senses and is rather inviting!

Taste: With the first drink, I am delighted with not only a fruity booziness, but to my surprise the taste of what?...Raisins! This is a true Belgian dark, so no disappointment in that respect. In time the raisins seemingly give way to the taste of booziness and Belgian beet sugars, though it is enjoyable through each sip.

Mouth feel: Once again it IS a true Belgian dark, and don't let the alcohol percentage of eight fool you. It feels heavier than eight percent, which is not meant as a negative or a positive. Carbonation is not an issue, with a good amount present. It has a full bodied, fruity and heart warming boozy feel that does not disappoint and sits fairly heavily on, but does not overwhelm the palate.

Many beers draw you in with exciting ingredients, of which often turn out to be more or less marketing. I am happy to say with Dogfish Head's Raison D'Etre, this is not the case. Dogfish has a reputation for brewing some very interesting beers and raison d is no exception. 'Raison D'Etre' is a French phrase meaning 'reason for existence'. While this may not be MY reason for existence, I did enjoy and would recommend giving it a taste!

arnoldosu1, Mar 25, 2013
Photo of sprestridge
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

sprestridge, Dec 06, 2013
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3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

JacobMutberg, Oct 09, 2012
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3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

danthehopslamman, Aug 13, 2012
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3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

csmartin6, Jun 01, 2012
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3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

DWolf, Mar 12, 2012
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3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

JC333, Feb 19, 2014
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3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

alienlifeforcecube, Dec 06, 2013
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3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

sgn4779, Jul 05, 2014
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3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

bpfrush, Nov 14, 2011
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3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

amstokesdb9, Aug 05, 2012
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3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

SPRichard, Jun 25, 2012
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3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Beer21, Dec 21, 2012
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3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Zachb4au, Mar 17, 2012
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3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Fuzzycuffs, Dec 25, 2012
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3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

johnyb, Jul 10, 2014
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3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

mustangjoe, Nov 03, 2013
Photo of wander4
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

wander4, Feb 09, 2014
Photo of caddybuyer
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A-Utterly beautiful. Warm garnet with filtered clarity. A puffy, creamy eggshell head that laces nicely. This is how I like my beer to look.

S-Rather subdued nose. Yeast hits first, and maybe I'm detecting a bit of fruit in the background, but the yeast is overwhelming.

T-Sweet caramel malts blend with the Belgian yeast and are carried across the palate in a creamy smooth way with a hint of dark fruits and yes, raisin in the back end before a light balancing hop note kicks in. This is very nice. I am not detecting any alcohol burn in this at all.

M-Smooth, creamy, and on the heavier side of medium. Carbonation is light, but that is not a bad thing.

D-I very much like this beer. It is extremely well balanced, notwithstanding the unimpressive nose. I wonder about the consistancy, though, as reviews of this are all over the board. Barleywineish? Hoppy? Not at all...just a smooth creamy DFH take on Belgian goodness.

caddybuyer, May 09, 2010
Photo of AScrambledEgg
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

AScrambledEgg, Dec 04, 2013
Photo of gtown_operator
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

gtown_operator, May 09, 2012
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3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Andragos, Jul 17, 2013
Photo of AnthonyG
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

AnthonyG, Apr 25, 2012
Photo of asabreed
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

12 oz. bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: A dark amber, some touches of brown in the light, and a nice head once it warms to stay thicker at the edges, leaving nice hints of round lacing throughout along with a lot of bubbles floating to the top.

Smell: Sugary bubblegum, hints of molasses, raisins, bread crust, sweet chocolate, and a bit of sour earthiness.

Taste: Very sweet, but not overly sweet, and when the finish hits it becomes complex and some of the flavors seem to certainly come out a bit more. Flavors of raisins, molasses, bubblegum, sour phenolic mustiness, grapes, dark chocolate and dart fruit come out the most. Not overbearing and pretty complex overall.

Mouthfeel: I wish there was more of a carbonation presence, as this seems a bit syrupy, though not as cloying as I thought initially. Still, I also feel that the coating nature allows the flavors to come out as well as they do when the finish happens during tasting.

Drinkability: Certainly an American take on the style, and a pretty singular one at that. It still doesn't match the intensity of a true Belgian, as this has the sugars but lacks the phenolic qualities and interesting funkiness and complexity that could be brought along with it. That said, a tasty beer and one I like to sample every now and again.

asabreed, Apr 07, 2007
Photo of twowheelssoar
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

twowheelssoar, Nov 15, 2011
Raison D'Être from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 4,076 ratings.