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Raison D'Être - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Raison D'ÊtreRaison D'Être

Educational use only; do not reuse.

4,204 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,204
Reviews: 1,770
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 15.07%
Wants: 88
Gots: 342 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-09-2001

A deep mahogany, Belgian-style brown ale brewed with beet sugar, raisins and Belgian-style yeast.

25 IBU
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: 4,204 | Reviews: 1,770 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brett606
5/5  rDev +37%

Photo of buffs9
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of ElijahRivera
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of Auracom
3.03/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had a 12 oz. bottle of Raison at Three Aces in Chicago. In a pint glass on April 2nd, 2011.

A - Deep brown/mahogany coloring with a two-finger, offwhite (or extremely light brown) head. So-so retention.

S - A muted, generally sweet nose with caramel, honey, slight dark fruit, and slight spices. Thought I pulled a very slight banana out of there as well.

T - Quite malty, more of the same flavors as shown in the aroma. Not too dry but has a great aftertaste that honestly I preferred to the drink. Taste is pretty even with smell but not quite as muted.

M - Medium body, carbonation is poor, not particularly smooth feel which I feel would've been appropriate.

D - Meh. It's okay. I have to complement DFH's ability to hide the ABV in this one; didn't look at the bottle until I finished and was really surprised to see the 8% on there. Feels more like 4-5%.

Photo of FirstBrewsoon
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of CasanovaCummins
2.77/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a bizarre creature. I'm thinking in my mind that this is a watered down lambic or a whiskey sour.

It has a smooth, watery entry that lightly hints at alcohol and wheated raisins. It seems almost too smooth, though, and lacks any heaviness in the body.

I'm not sure whether I like it or loath it. It is just so bloody different from anything I've tasted before. Props on going out on a limb, but maybe too far out.

Photo of amstokesdb9
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of BrooklynPanch
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of cj8311
3.25/5  rDev -11%

Photo of CBlack85
2.48/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a New Belgium globe glass.

Pours a clear dark mahogany with a more reddish than copper hue. Not much head, even with a fairly aggressive pour. Beer seems very still, and leaves no lacing.

The aroma is of dark fruit and seems overly sweet. The belgian yeast is the only thing that seems pleasing to the nose.

The taste is not much better than the nose. There is something off putting about the raisins (really more like prunes). The alcohol is hot and rubbing alcoholesque. Although its not all bad, there are notes of caramel, toffee, and candy sugar. Finishes dry, and is medium bodied and under carbinated.

The beer seems to get much better as it warms, the alcohol seems to mellow a bit and the off putting raisin/prune seem to meld with the rest of the flavors. Unfortunately they don't meld enough to save this beer for me. I really wanted to like this beer, but it didn't quite get there for me.

Photo of sacfly
4.08/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, brownish red. Brown/tan head with small to medium bubbles. Smell is of raisons and some type of spice. Cinnamon? Nutmeg maybe? In the background.

Taste mimics the aroma with mild alcohol notes reminiscent of rum. Great mouthfeel. Finishes dry. Don’t expect any hops in this one. At most, the dryness in the aftertaste may contain some mild hop bitterness.

Overall, a very good easy drinking beer even at 8%. Maybe not my reason for living, but I will buy this again.

Photo of myuncle
3/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of grayburn
2.84/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The beer pours a dark mahogony, nice creamy cap on top that laces very well.

The smell and taste both contain an unpleasant mixture of bell pepper like fresh flavor and dark ripe fruit. They both kind of fight for power, never blending together.

The mouthfeel is nice, medium bodied with just the right amount of carbonation.

This beer would be pretty drinkable, the alcohol is hidden well, the mouthfeel is very nice...but the taste and smell really just keep me from enjoying the experience as a whole. Odd, because I love the D'extra. I cannot complain at all though, it's their creativity that keeps me coming back.

Photo of jaluria
3.72/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A burgundy colored brew that remains somewhat translucent and has a nice head that leaves behind a bit of lacing. Aromas of plums, raisins, alcohol, and burnt sugar seem to come out nicely. The raisins were a bit unexpected for this style, but a welcome discovery. The taste is mild for this style with the interplay between fruity bitterness and specialized candy sweetness not as well as could be. The raisins definitely dominate the brew as it warms to such an extent, it detracts from the overall taste and texture. Though the alcohol was well concealed, when mixed with the raisins, it created a sour taste in my throat, hence the reduction in drinkability. Worthy of trying for it's unique take on this style.

Photo of Mike099
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of mcrawford
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of xungmound98
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of mpyle
3.41/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

Photo of Portertime
3.82/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I love the names of Dogfish Head's brews. I enjoyed this one chilled in my Duvel bubbler. Poued a fine, clear amber color. Smells if dried raisons and mild cancied sugars. Tastes of sweet green raison with a tad alcohol dryness. This was a pretty decent brew.

Photo of KolbMarley
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of depechemode1983
2.56/5  rDev -29.9%
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.

Photo of BamaBeerBuff
3.38/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

Photo of ATXRyan
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of WMEugene
3.26/5  rDev -10.7%
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.

Photo of pep
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Raison D'Être from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 4,204 ratings.