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Raison D'Être - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Raison D'ÊtreRaison D'Être

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4,079 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,079
Reviews: 1,767
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 15.3%
Wants: 73
Gots: 277 | 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: 4,079 | Reviews: 1,767 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of david18
2.25/5  rDev -38.5%

david18, Feb 08, 2014
Photo of gonemicrophishing
2.25/5  rDev -38.5%

gonemicrophishing, Oct 16, 2012
Photo of Drecher
2.25/5  rDev -38.5%

Drecher, Apr 12, 2013
Photo of Slashytits
2.25/5  rDev -38.5%

Slashytits, Jul 06, 2014
Photo of Kempski
2.25/5  rDev -38.5%

Kempski, Jun 23, 2013
Photo of sjbarleywine
2.25/5  rDev -38.5%

sjbarleywine, Jun 20, 2014
Photo of Das_Reh
2.25/5  rDev -38.5%

Das_Reh, Nov 06, 2013
Photo of Jeremy0682
2.25/5  rDev -38.5%

Jeremy0682, Jul 04, 2014
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2.25/5  rDev -38.5%

westcoastbeerlvr, Aug 13, 2014
Photo of jjanega08
2.25/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A= pours a very dark brown almost black color with a thin head that falls fast leaving no lacing.
S= belgian spice and grape peels. Very plain kinda. Caramel malts are there and sort of smells overly sweet.
T= like I nocticed in the smell it was overly sweet and the belgian yeast doesn't quite fit.
M= lower carbonation and sort of covering
D= not too great. I really don't find this beer to be good. Ill finish it but never think about buying it again for a very long time.

jjanega08, May 13, 2009
Photo of tommyguz
2.25/5  rDev -38.5%

tommyguz, May 08, 2013
Photo of troutmask96
2.25/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

No go here. I was anxious to try this brew after it came highly recommended at my local bottle shop. Poured prettily enough, but as soon as I smelled it I knew I was headed for trouble. Very strong rubbing alcohol, and the taste was no better. Very, very syrupy sweet, and heavy alcohol taste. Bleeeech. I barely finished the bottle...

troutmask96, Jun 11, 2005
Photo of yelterdow
2.28/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

This bottle was produced on 11/06/06, so we've got a fresh example here. Served at a few degrees under cellar tempearture in a Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Gorgeous color... ruby bordering on purple, as crystal clear as any beer I've ever seen. The head barely reaches an inch, then it reduces to a thin outside border along the iinside of the glass. Sporadic spots of lacing here and there. Aside from the nice color, it's just OK.

Smell- The smoky, tinny, metallic, undesirable nose hurts my eyes... it really isn't pleasant at all. I've never smelled Belgian beet sugar, but something about this aroma makes me cough and squint. Burnt insects.

Taste- The same interesting, yet off-putting character is right here on the palate just as it was in the aroma. Not to mention the alcohol... it's starting to become more noticable too. The ingredients used in this brew dominate in a heavy-handed way, with the Belgian sugar content way too much for my personal taste. Alone, this beer is extremely difficult to sit back and even sip.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- In the mouth, the texture is extraordinary. Right away, it rolls and swirls with ease and grace... laughing in the face of everything harsh and undesirable about the beer thus far. I give DFH credit where it's due... always pushing the limits of what's possible, and staying true to its mission and purpose. I just am really having a hard time with this beer. I finished it though...

yelterdow, Dec 16, 2006
Photo of kpoole25
2.3/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I didn't care for this beer, and I like most of what DFH makes. I only drank about 6 oz before pouring the rest out. I'd say this is the first beer where I really tasted the alcohol, and it wasn't the warm, sweet kind, it was the medicine cabinet type. The appearance was fine, a nice dark brown. Aromas had a little zing, almost tangy, I was thinking this might be a bit sour. Then the taste, initally sugary sweet that turned just gross. Pass on this one.

kpoole25, Nov 10, 2009
Photo of sls0210
2.3/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Dark mahogany color, creamy head. Smell the raisins, brown sugar, molasses, definitely getting the alcohol too. Really sweet, too much so - raisins, caramel, burnt sugar, the alcohol is ever present. Mouthfeel was flat, carbonation not good at all. First DFH beer and none too impressed. Definitely unlike any quality Belgian beer I've ever had, in a bad way. Have some DFH 60 minute and a brown IPA waiting in the fridge, hoping for a better product from this brewery with those.

sls0210, Jun 08, 2009
Photo of PriorateOden
2.3/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Why did this burn/tickle my tongue? Not at all distasteful, but sorta plain-jane. I thought it was bland on the nose and taste really seemed limited and narrow. No complex aromas no shifting flavors, just mild and... pleasant but weak. It was super tingle-ie and bubbly in the mouth. I love me some Dogfish Head,, but not this one.

PriorateOden, Jun 01, 2009
Photo of Boilermaker88
2.33/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Presented in a 12oz. brown bottle as depicted. Poured a very dark brown color with a compact ¼" vanilla hued head that quickly dwindled down to a thin ring and left no lace.
The smell was of brown sugar, bready malts, some dark fruit and an almost overpowering alcohol aroma. The aroma of medicinal alcohol came off the glass in waves and kept interfering with attempts to decipher any other other smells. The taste was quite sweet up front; lots of sugar and raisins with an earthy malt base. The sweetness crowded out any other flavors except for a strong astringent alcohol flavor that just overran the palate like a horde of barbarians laying waste to a medieval village. The feel was medium-bodied, rather crisp and puckering and dry.
Overall, this just wasn't one of Dogfish Head's better brews, IMO. There was no effort to disguise the alcohol content. If anything, it seemed to be amplified. That alone was enough for me to not want to try this brew more than once. A brew that's too off balance to be very appealing.

Boilermaker88, Jan 14, 2004
Photo of litheum94
2.33/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle. Bottled on 6/8/11. Reviewed 9/6/11.

Clear bronze body, light brown head with lots of active bubbles. Fizzes out loudly, leaving a thin cover.

Caramel coated apple. Belgian candi and yeast. Cloves and alcohol bite. Dark, fruits. A touch of floral hops.

Roasted barley husks and caramel malts. Earthy middle with a metallic twinge. Light floral hopping. Slightly vinous.

The metallic taste leaves a horrible feeling in my mouth. I'm sure it's from the alcohol, but it tasted terrible. I couldn't finish this beer. Huge disappointment.

litheum94, Sep 16, 2011
Photo of cjgator3
2.35/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass. Pours a dark mahogany brown with an off-white head. The aroma consists of malt, some dark fruits, rum soaked raisens and alcohol. The taste is very imbalanced and is overly boozy which greatly hinders both the taste and drinkability. I definately won't be going back to this one.

cjgator3, May 28, 2007
Photo of DogFood11
2.35/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a tulip it forms an off white head that falls to a thin cover in little time. Light brown body with hardly any visisble carbonation. Not all that inviting.

Wow, this is an oddball thats for sure. I really didn't get what they were trying for here as its all over the map. First pull and my initial thoughts were powdered medicine mixed with water. Yes, there is alot more to it than that but that was my first impression. Syrupy and sweet. Slightly woody in the nose but doesn't translate to the palate. The finish is dirty and leaves a thick coating that nevery really leaves until the next pull.

Notes: While not horrible this is a mystery brew of sorts. There was a nice spiced segement but it becomes an afterthought as this medicinal theme and the covered palate that takes over and bungles it up.

DogFood11, Jan 16, 2007
Photo of swhite11
2.35/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

[Appearance] - Pours dark amber with a mahogony hue. Head is bubbly and off white. Pours 1 finger and retains/laces average at best.

[Aroma] - Tons of cloying caramel malt sweetness followed up by slight notes of roast.
sublte notes of rum and dark fruits.

[Taste] - This beer is a mess. Very sweet upfont, cloying. Hop bitterness follows but is weak and grossly insufficient. Fusel alcohol and metallic astringincy follow and linger preventing any other impressions on taste to develop.

[Mouthfeel] - Excessively cloying upfront followed by overly thinning alcohol solvency and metallic astringincy.

[Drinkability] - 1 is more than enough. This beer is a bit chaotic.

[Overall] - Avoid this one. Dogfish stikes again with another overrated, if not, outright bad beer. A Belgain inspired beer that is out of balance.

swhite11, Jan 04, 2010
Photo of jujubeast6000
2.35/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed 6/13/2007 (12oz bottle):

Pours an amber red colored body, clear, not very fizzy. Has a small tan head, diminishing. An aroma of dark fruit, and raisins maybe. Strong sugary malty. Malty salty taste, dark roasted malt aftertaste. Sweet carmelized taste.

jujubeast6000, Feb 14, 2009
Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.35/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

$1.99 single at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a clear, red body with a thinning, off-white head.

Smell: While not overly fragrant, there aroma still holds plenty of sweet-smelling candy, dehydrated fruits, and Belgian-ish yeast.

Taste: Starts with a fruity, sweet (even winey) flavor that isn't acutely raisiny, but moreso sugary and vague vegetal with some alcohol notes. The finish is all at once tart, roasty, and syrupy. Did I miss something?

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Velvety mouthfeel. Ample carbonation.

Drinkability: I find it fortuitous that I was allowed to purchase a mere single bottle of this.

ChainGangGuy, Jul 05, 2007
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
2.35/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Reviewed on 8/4/08. Bottle. Pours a dark orange/light brown with a thick light tan head. Aroma and flavor are the same and rather odd. Roasted malt, bitter coffee grounds, and an odd sweetness (not quite raisiny, maybe it's the beet sugar?). The odd sweetness and odd bitter coffee grounds do not work well together for me. This beer was downright undrinkable and ended up being a drain pour. Another disappointing beer from DFH.
5/4/5/3/10 (2.7/5)

LilBeerDoctor, Dec 23, 2008
Photo of kurtissellen
2.38/5  rDev -35%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured into an oversized wine glass which produced a small ½ finger head that immediately disappeared. Nice reddish brown color with some carbonation. It had a strange aroma that smelled a little like bacon not too impressive. The taste was similar with hints of bacon, decomposing leaves, and campfire smoke. I really didn't care for this one at all and came close to just dumping it out. I'm not sure if I just got a bad batch of this or what because I have enjoyed all the other Dogfish Head beers I've tried. I'll have to try this one again in the future to see if something was wrong with the bottle I tried.

kurtissellen, Apr 14, 2008
Raison D'Être from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 4,079 ratings.