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Raison D'Être - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Raison D'ÊtreRaison D'Être

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4,185 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,185
Reviews: 1,768
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 15.03%
Wants: 78
Gots: 309 | 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:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Raison D'Être Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,185 | Reviews: 1,768 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Brian700
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

Photo of ThaBobfather
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

Photo of mater
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of RWACKO
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of Arborescence
4/5  rDev +9.3%
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!

Photo of Vengeance526
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Photo of jivex5k
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%

Photo of ThirdEyePA
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of amstokesdb9
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of Jason_Quad
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of Erice78
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of ndekke39
4.33/5  rDev +18.3%
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.

Photo of hdofu
3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
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).

Photo of 9InchNails
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

Photo of bkrbdan
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of C-Dog
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of PTEdelman
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of packetknife
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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.

Photo of mklinger
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

Photo of erushing
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of Augustiner719
3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

Photo of chickenflea
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

Photo of Dweedlebug
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of jbdpsu82
2.5/5  rDev -31.7%

Raison D'Être from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 4,185 ratings.