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Raison D'Être - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Raison D'ÊtreRaison D'Être

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4,157 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,157
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: 4,157 | Reviews: 1,767 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bkrbdan
4/5  rDev +9.6%

bkrbdan, Mar 01, 2012
Photo of C-Dog
4/5  rDev +9.6%

C-Dog, Nov 27, 2012
Photo of PTEdelman
3.25/5  rDev -11%

PTEdelman, Jul 05, 2014
Photo of packetknife
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brown-red with solid crimson/blood highlights in decent light. Dense thin head, light-brown, laced well. Smelled like an old yellow raisen and vodka 'home remedy' my granny used to make. The taste is a bit unusual to me, good but weird. I get twinges of pomegranite and cherry, a lot of sharp sweetness that instantly dissapears into a better balance. It's an odd beer and I'm rating it higher than I usually would but after an odd week it seemed fitting. Very drinkable for the ABV.

packetknife, Aug 13, 2005
Photo of cj8311
3.25/5  rDev -11%

cj8311, Nov 05, 2014
Photo of devilben02
3.28/5  rDev -10.1%
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 mklinger
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this at the Dogfish Head Alehouse in Fairfax, VA.

A rich brown/amber color with a tan head that quickly dissipated. Nicely carbonated.

Aroma was complex and interesting. The raisins were certainly detectable along with some clove spice and yeasty character.

Taste was similar though there was a balance missing. The beer was fairly dry and the malt and spice-like characteristics didn't really seem married in their flavor. It seemed like there were multiple flavors here that just didn't go together well.

This was an extremely easy to drink beer for an 8% abv beer, one I might order again to give it another try, but one that I wasn't super excited about drinking.

mklinger, Jan 05, 2010
Photo of Stagga_Lee
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Stagga_Lee, Jul 22, 2014
Photo of Augustiner719
3.93/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at LionHeart Blues cafe in Albany NY

Appearance: Dark clear brown color with a nice 1 finger head that recedes to nothing.

Smell: Smells like sweet raisons and a nice hoppy beer. Good combination.

Taste: Tastes like raisons as well. Nice rich brown malty flavors melded with raisons and caramel. Not overpowering and the alcohol was hidden as well.

Mouthfeel: Nice carbonation. A bit cloyingly sweet and sticky on the palate. Noth a good beer to have inbetween a session.

Drinkability: Pretty good high abv session beer. Really flavorful and easy to go down. High abv limits a lot of these though.

Augustiner719, Jan 05, 2010
Photo of chickenflea
3.98/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark mahogany brown, almost opaque, with a small creamy head. Not much lacing here.

Rich aromas. Prune and yeast are the predominant ones. Some alcohol also.

Very sweet with heavy malts. A little licorice and prune juice. Cohesive and forceful.

A full-bodied brew that is sticky, but very smooth.

Be careful with food pairings. Goes good with stronger tastes like wings. But with lighter fair like steamed vegetables, it is unbearably sweet.

A pleasant cold-weather brew.

chickenflea, Feb 28, 2010
Photo of hyuga
3/5  rDev -17.8%

hyuga, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of AudioGilz
4.15/5  rDev +13.7%
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 brett606
5/5  rDev +37%

brett606, Jul 04, 2013
Photo of TheBierBand
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
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 -17.8%

smithmd4, Dec 22, 2011
Photo of amstokesdb9
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

amstokesdb9, Aug 05, 2012
Photo of markaberrant
4.05/5  rDev +11%
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%
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 +23.3%

olympicgatorade, Feb 20, 2012
Photo of jurbanik
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

jurbanik, Aug 31, 2012
Photo of DioS
3.25/5  rDev -11%

DioS, Aug 28, 2012
Photo of Yoda22
3.2/5  rDev -12.3%
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 pep
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

pep, Dec 21, 2013
Photo of jhlosito75
4/5  rDev +9.6%

jhlosito75, Jul 28, 2013
Photo of mcrawford
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

mcrawford, Aug 14, 2013
Raison D'Être from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 4,157 ratings.