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Raison D'Être - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Raison D'ÊtreRaison D'Être

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4,111 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,111
Reviews: 1,767
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 15.3%
Wants: 72
Gots: 288 | 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
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Ratings: 4,111 | Reviews: 1,767 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AudioGilz
4.15/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The aroma of this beer hit my nose even before I poured it out of the bottle; and a pleasant aroma it was. The color is of a darker iced tea and pretty much no head at all.
Initial taste is very sweet and caramelized. Then it's toasty, raisin sweetness of course, and a hint of chocolate as well. Alcohol is noticeable but not bothersome. The finish is dry and just slightly bitter, leading to a long and enjoyable sweet aftertaste. A six pack of this beer could last me a week or longer because I didn't find it too easy to drink one right after the other. The richness is fulfilled in my stomach after one, as well as 8% ABV taking effect. Overall, it's a very tasty beer that I will buy again as a dessert beer.

AudioGilz, Feb 06, 2003
Photo of devilben02
3.28/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours a rich mahogany color with dense, creamy medium-tan colored head. The aroma definitely features raisins, and there is also some brown sugar, caramel, and even some white wine as the beer warms. The flavor has a muddled blend of molasses, raisins, plums, a spicy combination of hops and alcohol, and even a little chocolate. The fine, selzer-like carbonation, assertive booziness, and the drying finish all distract from the flavor profile, however. Overall, this one is not quite so "off-centered," as it actually seems mostly on-style, but the off-putting mouthfeel and alcohol presence really drags it down.

devilben02, Aug 11, 2011
Photo of TheBierBand
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the 12 oz brown bottle into my pint glass to produce a 1" light LIGHT tan head that dissipated quite readily to a thin cap. The liquid was a hazy amber.... hazy...hmmmm.... I like!

The aroma was sweet, like brown sugar alittle weak... but nice from what I could smell.

The TASTE: I like this stuff! Quite sweet (a bit like toffee) with a touch of ever-so-slight sour/bitter at the end. RIGHT ON for a Belgian Strong Ale. Bready and Biscuity tastes round this complex beer out.

Mouthfeel: Just a bit fizzy carbonation for my taste... but typical for beers of this type. Tingles after a while.... and leaves a nice coating/aftertaste.

Drinkability: The only detraction of this beer is the over-abundance of carbonation (IMO). Otherwise this is highly drinkable.... I would say.... GREAT for winter-time/Holiday consumption.... I would like to pair this with a bold appetizer like a spicy crab dip or something.... but far be it from me to suggest food pairings.... I'm still a rookie!

TheBierBand, Jul 25, 2007
Photo of smithmd4
3/5  rDev -18%

smithmd4, Dec 22, 2011
Photo of brett606
5/5  rDev +36.6%

brett606, Jul 04, 2013
Photo of markaberrant
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in an oversized, stemless red wine glass.

Appearance - clear grape juice, a very nice purplish hue. Nothing but a ring for head. No lacing.

Smell - out of the bottle, it's almost like grape juice. Once poured in the glass, it's got a lot more boozy caramel, toffee malt, with some dark fruitiness. Quite strong. Good.

Taste - Nice spicy complexity. Hop bitterness really rounds out the sweet malt profile. The overall combination is fantastic.

Mouthfeel - Not a lot of carbonation. Full bodied and smooth. Soothing alcohol warmth. When I poured it, I was dissapointed with the low carbonation, but it seems to work well.

Drinkability - I am quite enjoying this, but I'm not sure I could drink too many at a time due to the sweetness and alcohol.

Overall - This was my first taste of Dogfish Head, and I am very impressed. I wasn't sure what to expect, this seems to be a love or hate kind of beer... and I am on the love side.

Thanks to demcorhip for the bottle!

markaberrant, May 18, 2007
Photo of uustal
3.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a redish brown. Aroma isn't too pleasant. Dominated by the scent of alcohol with a whiffs of chocolate and sweet candy as well. Low carbonation and medium body. Dark fruits start off the flavor profile. Plums, dates and a bit of raisins shine through. Not enough raisins to justify the name. Sweet chocolate creates an enjoyable finish. Alcohol is a little strong and unpleasant for an 8% ABV, really shines through as the beer warms. I actually prefer this one colder than suggested.

uustal, Jun 24, 2010
Photo of olympicgatorade
4.5/5  rDev +23%

olympicgatorade, Feb 20, 2012
Photo of mquinn919
4.5/5  rDev +23%

mquinn919, Jan 01, 2014
Photo of jurbanik
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

jurbanik, Aug 31, 2012
Photo of DioS
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

DioS, Aug 28, 2012
Photo of twenteone
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

twenteone, Feb 24, 2013
Photo of Svendozen
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Svendozen, Sep 30, 2013
Photo of GreatPondBrewer
3.28/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Strange brew, but none the less a intriguing one to try. Cloudy orange in appearence with some white head and a fair amount of lacing as well. It smelled very deep with hints of currant and rum. The taste was green raisons as the bottle purported, but I think the green I tasted was an unripe one. The beer was also particularly syrupy. Cannot say that this beer is my reason for being, but I think that maybe all beer is.

GreatPondBrewer, Mar 15, 2003
Photo of RWACKO
4/5  rDev +9.3%

RWACKO, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of Yoda22
3.2/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a clear deep amber with 1 finger head that dissipates fairly quick. Lots of tiny bubbles floating to the surface.

S- Sweet smelling, a hint of the alcohol. There might be a little raisin in there as the label suggests but the sugary smell comes through the most.

T- Very sweet up front, it just attacks your tongue. Then a quick blast of booze (definitely an 8% beer as advertised! Then it fades away to a more roasty coffee-like flavor. The coffee taste lingers long past the gulp. This isn't quite what I was expecting and i'm not a huge fan but that's also because of my personal dislike of most roasty/coffee like beers so I won't penalize it heavily for that.

M- Medium creamy body, medium/appropriate carbonation. Very smooth.

O- This is definitely an off centered ale for off centered people. Very extreme on the sweetness and alcohol content but not in a bad way. Wish the coffee aftertaste wasn't there. It's not for me but it's a pretty good beer.

Yoda22, Feb 17, 2012
Photo of DrGonzoDDS
4.5/5  rDev +23%

DrGonzoDDS, May 19, 2012
Photo of deac83
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

deac83, Mar 02, 2013
Photo of josefnewsong
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark amber brown, almost opaque, with very little tannish head
S - raisins, prunes, alcohol, yeast, sweet malts
T - raisins and prunes with some alcohol warmth and belgian yeast flavors, molasses and maybe some brown sugar as well, tasty but not very cohesive or balanced
M - medium bodied and sticky, could be a little smoother but it's nice especially as it warms. a little watery.
D - definitely drinkable just slightly underwhelming overall

josefnewsong, Feb 25, 2010
Photo of BeerNemesis
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy shade of maroon with about a one finger head. Retention is decent, but not great. It smells earthy. There are notes of dark fruit, molasses, and spices. Malt and dark fruit taste. It becomes more complex with 6 months of aging. It's medium bodied, with medium to low carbonation. The mouthfeel is not great, a little oily. It's not the most drinkable beer out there, and I would stick to no more than 2 or so a night.

BeerNemesis, Jan 26, 2010
Photo of Stumpy29er
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Stumpy29er, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of Swaino
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Swaino, Feb 12, 2014
Photo of MJR
3.23/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear, garnet/mahogany color with a small tan head that, like all of Dogfish Head's beers, disappears quickly.

Smell: Brown sugar, caramel, and a wierd sweetness I can't put my finger on.

Taste: A mixture of alcohol, brown sugar, caramel, sweet fruit, and malt. Not much in the way of hops. Finishes with a strong alcoholic bite.

Mouthfeel: Fairly light body with a dry finish. Strong alcohol presence from start to finish.

Drinkability: Well...it's not a bad beer. The flavor is certainly interesting, but I don't see myself coming back to this one. To me, this is one of those 'try it once and move on' beers.

MJR, Dec 11, 2002
Photo of jbdpsu82
2.5/5  rDev -31.7%

jbdpsu82, Feb 20, 2013
Photo of jaemeno3
4/5  rDev +9.3%

jaemeno3, Dec 24, 2013
Raison D'Être from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 4,111 ratings.