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Raison D'Être - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Raison D'ÊtreRaison D'Être

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4,158 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,158
Reviews: 1,767
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 15.07%
Wants: 77
Gots: 301 | FT: 5
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: 4,158 | Reviews: 1,767 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Quafftastic
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Quafftastic, Sep 17, 2014
Photo of zacky_U
3/5  rDev -17.8%

zacky_U, Dec 17, 2013
Photo of KolbMarley
4/5  rDev +9.6%

KolbMarley, Dec 08, 2013
Photo of mpyle
3.35/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Rich amber color, brilliantly clear. Pours a fairly large, tan colored head. Creamy and with good retention.

Bit of a toffee, plum kind of aroma. Sweet, but with a little extra. Liquorice.

Rich tasting and sweet. Big malt with some malt complexity, a bit of spiciness (pepper), turns slightly bitter and much drier in the finish. Flavors of the finish are somewhat unpleasant, with an out of place bitterness

MF - Medium body and carbonation, no astringency. Some alcohol warming. A bit drying on the tongue.

Overall - has some nice elements, but the flavors lingering in the finish detract.

mpyle, Aug 11, 2013
Photo of depechemode1983
2.55/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours out dark reddish brown in color. Has a one finger off-white head with little retention.

S - Smells sweet and very boozy. Definitely picking up raisins along with bread and sour white wine. Kind of a funky smell.

T - Whoa this beer is hot. Even for 8% abv. Very alcoholic taste up front. Raisins are hidden by a medicinal flavor but still faintly there. Towards the end it sweetens up a bit with a syrup and candy sugar notes along with some sourness. Alcohol stays with this beer all the way to then end. In a bad way.

M - Mouth feel is medium bodied and with high carbonation .

O - This has to be the worst Belgian Strong Dark Ale I have had to date. Smells funky. Flavors are off and carbonation is too high. I wonder if I bought a bad bottle. Glad I just purchased the single bottle.

depechemode1983, Jun 17, 2011
Photo of BamaBeerBuff
3.35/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The bottle describes it as "mahogany" and I can't think of a better word. A creamy, small head forms and eventually falls to a small frothy covering and some spots and rings of lace. DFH beers usually look great, and this one is no exception.

S: Very sweet, with notes of caramel, candi sugar, and dark fruit. A slightly herbal/vegetative smell is present, as well, but I can't describe it any better than that. It's not too bold or complex, but still of decent quality...

T&M: A curt, sweet caramel flavor with a vegetative element. A hint of spice flavor--a hint of cinnamon perhaps. Body is medium/light for the style with an aggressive and zesty carbonation.

D: An interesting brew, but not especially noteworthy. It's got a good base, but not much else. I think this beer might be more apt for a meal than as a stand-alone sipper. I could see it going well with grilled red meat, but it doesn't cut it now when I'm just sipping.

BamaBeerBuff, Oct 24, 2010
Photo of ElijahRivera
4/5  rDev +9.6%

ElijahRivera, Jun 25, 2013
Photo of ATXRyan
4/5  rDev +9.6%

ATXRyan, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of WMEugene
3.28/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a reddish brown color with an off-white head and some lacing.

S - Notes of brown sugars, yeast, and other dark fruit flavors. A bit of alcohol notes as well.

T - Dark fruit flavors, some spicyness and a sort of boozy alcohol flavor. Definitely has that dark Belgian flavor.

M - Medium bodied, low carbonation - smooth drinking at first, but quite boozy and eventually a little harsh.

O - Raison D'Etre is an interesting, but ultimately a little disappointing and it doesn't live up to its potential. It ends up being a bit of a boozy mess. Not half bad, but not what I would reach for in the DFH repertoire.

WMEugene, Apr 12, 2012
Photo of Brian700
4.05/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a clear reddish color with a small white head. If you were to just pour a little bit of this beer in your glass it would appear to be an orange color but when you have a full glass it appears to be red or mahogany like the label would read.

The aroma is of raisins, a touch of green apple, candi sugar sweetness, alcohol, and some sweet malt.

The flavor basically follows the nose. There is some sweet malt with some sugar sweetness. There is a presence of raisins for sure. Usually when I pick up on a raisin flavor it is more of a vague dark fruit flavor but this is a bit more specific. The green raisins really leave there mark on this one. There seems to be a decent hop presence that kicks in right after the raisin flavor that lightens the whole mouthfeel and makes this more of a refreshing beer than it would be. There is a definate fork in the road where this beer could have been more of a barley wine style beer or a refreshing drinkable beer and it chose refreshing drinkable. Nothing against Barley Wines...there my favorite style.

The mouthfeel on this one is medium bodied with medium carbonation

This is a very drinkable beer. I've been waiting for this beer to hit my local beer store forever now and low and behold its here...finally. Buy it.

Brian700, Aug 18, 2006
Photo of ThaBobfather
3.98/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

*Notes from DFH Tasting @ Jungle Jims*

Pours a deep copper/ruby color with a solid lacing of tannish head.
Smell has dark fruit and malt on the aroma.
Taste is highly complex-some dark fruits-plum/grape flavor mixed well with a sweet caramel malt flavor.
Finish is wet with sweet, sugary taste.
Drinks pretty smoothly-a solid version of a Belgian Strong Dark.

ThaBobfather, Feb 12, 2010
Photo of mater
3/5  rDev -17.8%

mater, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of RWACKO
4/5  rDev +9.6%

RWACKO, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of Arborescence
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Medium dark copper/amber. Pours a medium, fairly creamy head.

Aroma: Hoppy and fuirty, but with a malty background. Yeast, apricots, and raisins.

Taste: Rich and complex, with malty sweetness and fruit. Belgian Ale type yeast. Lingering aftertaste of dried fruit.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, some carbonation present. Quite smooth.

Overall: I like it. The strong ABV disappears completely and instead you get an intricate mixture of aromas and flavours. Perhaps there is a lack of some more dominant characteristic, as now it's a bit of a mess of things, but a good mess anyway!

Arborescence, Mar 29, 2012
Photo of Satsuma
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Satsuma, Jun 09, 2013
Photo of Vengeance526
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color with a small tan head that lasts just a little while before completely dissipating.

Lots of dark fruit upfront in the aroma with a touch of caramel sweetness in the back.

Taste starts off with notes of caramel and raisins upfront, with hints of brown sugar, candi sugar and bread coming in towards the middle and lasting into the finish.

Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Interesting take on the style, but not enough balance for me to want this on a more regular basis.

Vengeance526, Aug 17, 2011
Photo of jivex5k
4.25/5  rDev +16.4%

jivex5k, Sep 11, 2012
Photo of ThirdEyePA
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

ThirdEyePA, Dec 05, 2011
Photo of Jason_Quad
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Jason_Quad, Jul 06, 2012
Photo of Erice78
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Erice78, Jul 22, 2013
Photo of ndekke39
4.33/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle with no bottling date.

A: Reddish-amber and clear. Small white head. Decent lacing/retention. Small rising bubbles.

S & T: Burnt caramel. Toffee? Some dark fruit like cherries and raisins (duh). Rich, malty character.

M: Above-average thickness, although nothing near a stout. Great complement to the flavors.

D: A very rich session beer. Nice, bold flavors. Great character. Will definitely return to this one.

ndekke39, Sep 26, 2007
Photo of hdofu
3.38/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The color is dark like grape juice thats passed it prime by a year or two, reddish brown. Head was not noticeable a thick mocha suds. Smell is alcohol and like warmed wine with spices.The taste is like Belgian meets with raisin, and it isn't the greatness partnership of flavors. In some ways the blend almost makes me think peanut butter sandwich. Tastes, malty, sweet and rusty with a tiny hint of raisin Heavy alcohol burn to the tongue accompanied by slight bubbles. Overall not a bad beer, but not one I'd call a great beer, particularly from the standpoint of it being by dogfish head (I guess I have high expectations for their beer).

hdofu, May 30, 2008
Photo of 9InchNails
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Light khaki head that looks incredibly smooth. Copper color body that looks really bubbly. At the bottom of the glass slow moving tiny bubbles begin to rush to the top midway; on the way to top the bubbles get bigger. Very nice lacing on the glass.

In the bottle the smell of molasses was noticeable. While in the glass, some dark malts, cherry, vanilla and raisins. Smells pretty nice. A touch of metalic and booze aroma but not annoying in anyway.

Raisins, toffee, caramel, grapes, molasses at first taste. Towards the end some dark hops with a sweet and slight bitter finale. Booze is only slightly noticeable when swallowed.

Thin to medium body. Feels pretty nice in the mouth. Alcohol warms as it goes down. Leaves the lips slightly sticky.

Drink ability is above decent. This seems to be more of a sipper. It does seem to get a little heavy in the belly. It's very sweet and the alcohol is a little high. I just hope it's not gonna be a headache in a bottle.

Overall, definitely, a well above average brew, just a little too sweet and not enough bitter.

9InchNails, Jan 05, 2011
Photo of jcb7472
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

jcb7472, Apr 12, 2013
Photo of mquinn919
4.5/5  rDev +23.3%

mquinn919, Jan 01, 2014
Raison D'Être from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 4,158 ratings.