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Raison D'Être - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Raison D'ÊtreRaison D'Être

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4,186 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,186
Reviews: 1,768
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 15.03%
Wants: 78
Gots: 311 | 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: 4,186 | Reviews: 1,768 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beefytee
4.28/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a Potrsmouth Brewery snifter.
dark dark amber, beautiful looking beer, a puffy head that receded to reveal little to no lacing.

The first smell was of triamenic which I have to say, made me a little bit nervous. I let it breathe while I ate dinner, I didn't think it would blend well with Subway's Chicken Parm sub.

The first sip was wonderful. Not too much in the hops depertment, but just enough to JUST underbalance the beautiful sweetness of this beer. Any more and this sweetness may have been masked.

The aroma is nice, about what I would expect. The taste is really great. Sweet, reminded of belgium with this one. The alcohol is definitely warming and the finsh is great...like an overcooked, but not burned cookie. A bit of a medicine in the aftertaste, all characteristics I enjoy very much. The rasins are there, but they don't beat you over the head with them.

Great body, soft and almost pillowy in my mouth, the carbonation could not be better, light and tight, it pricks the tongue and soft palatte.

Drinkability? One is very drinkable, maybe two, but at 8% and being that it is, by comparison very sweet, 3 may be pushing it.

5 minutes later, a pleasant bitter feeling (not really aftertaste) still haunts the mouth. Great beer, looking forward to the Raison D'Extra

Photo of thinkfull
4.15/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm writing this as I drink the beer, actually. This one seems quite good. It is a beautiful drink to behold, dark red with a cream- colored head. Decent lacing has been present till now, about two-thirds of the way through. The nose has a lot of figs and pecan pie, but you have to really dig your nose in the glass to find out. Taste starts of with the figs, along with some raisins, leather, and cigars; then moves to a very delicate oaky scotch with a pruney finish. Light carbonation helps this brew out signifigantly. I will be picking this one up again, mostly because I like the flavor combinations, rather than a particular complexity.

Photo of kaboose72
4.75/5  rDev +29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dogfish, in my opinion one of the top 3 breweries in the US. Raison D'etre is to me their greatest year round brew. so unique and tasty. Definitley a must try if you have not had one yet. pours well, strong nose and full of flavor. with just the right amount of abv

Photo of blazin5050
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's a good beer, will definitely buy again, unless I find a new Raison ale to try. A reddish amber in color, or mahogany as they call it, with a eggnog colored head. A lot of pit fruit going on as you could imagine. Very malty, a nice well balanced Belgian style ale.

Photo of Teeter
4.47/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 12oz. bottle into a La Fin Du Monde tulip glass.

A-After a brisk pour a small and quick to disapate head apeared. Aside from the lackluster head the color is beautiful amber/ruby.

S-The aroma of seasoned grape and well fermented I might add has my mouth watering.

T-This is in a taste catagory all it's own. Although definately beer it has an almost burgandy or port wine flavor but without that tart dry thing that most wine seems to have.

M-Unexpectedly creamy in spite of the carbonation. It seems to find away of touching every part of my mouth.

D-I find it verry drinkable. Not so much for session.

I've been told this is excellent as a steak marinade. Although I havn't used it myself as of yet I can see how it could work.

My only negative comment on this product would be the lacking head and there is no lacing to speak of.

Photo of slickmick22
4.13/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pint glass. Red/copper color with minimal head and lacing.

Smell is faint fruit and malt. Definitely a little raisin as well as alcohol.

Lightly sweet with fruit, raisin and a little alcohol (8%). Very tasty and full bodied with average carbonation.

Alcohol is well hidden.

Enjoyed this beer and will have again.

Serving type: bottle

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.

Photo of philippehb
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My First Saison...

A - Dark brown, with almost a gem-like opacity. The head is medium.

S - A Sweet smell. Brown Candi Sugar? no hops, and there is more I can't identify.

T - Now the Brown sugar flavor really jumps out. An almost wine-like quality too. Dark Fruits? Wow this is complex ! Very interesting !

M - Smooth, in it's own way. Good carbonation

D - So different! Not sure if I like it, But I want another, its so interesting its hard to resist.

Can't wait to brew one and try other brewery's interpretations of this style.

Photo of Rick187
3.3/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a beer fest snifter

Brown/red, very small white head

Raison, brown sugar and slight booze.

Malt, raison and booze.

Medium body, decent carbonation.

I could keep a 6 pack in the fridge and not get sick of it. Overall a good beer.

Photo of SarahTheAbsurd
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of aSASn
2/5  rDev -45.4%

Photo of MrMegaton09
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured in Tall Pilsner to serve.

I had purchased this beer from a local craft brew shop after trying to track this particular brew for quite some time now locally.

First pour you can immediately notice a beautiful dark amber/slight red hue from this beer, very good looking beer. Aroma is very interesting and you can immediately pick up on the sweetness.

Medium to above average quality lacing. Head reduces fairly quickly.

For taste, kind of hard to draw an opinion on the first few sips, but after a while you can start to pick up on the beet sugars and a little bit on the raisins as well. Very smooth finish, no bitterness and finishes sweet.

Overall a very good extremely drinkable blend that was well worth the wait for me. If you see this brew around anywhere do not be afraid to give it a try.


Photo of JohannesRaatz
4.5/5  rDev +23%

Photo of ddeck85
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%

Photo of JamisonS
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of Anino
4.75/5  rDev +29.8%

Photo of Hcsponge
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of Geraldine
4.75/5  rDev +29.8%

Photo of KMBradyJr
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of erikjon
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful brownish-red color with a thin, bubbly head. Has a very appealing sweet malty smell to it. It drinks very easily and has a great malted mouthfeel. The head disappears quickly, and there was virtually no lacing on the glass. The finish is a little sweeter than I normally like, but it has good substance behind it that helps it stand up on its own. I will definitely seek this one out again, and I would recommend you do the same!

Photo of keaston
3.1/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: poured a very nice dark amber/ruby color with a cream-tan head that reduced to a thin lace very quickly. Appearance is easily this beer's strong point.

S: sweet and rich. This smells like a dopplebock brewed with raisins... I guess that must be the Belgian beet sugars. Interesting but a little bit overpowering.

T/M: This beer feels very heavy, almost syrupy. Raisins and an unusual sweetness that is not malt are the first and most prominent flavors(once again probably those beet sugars), followed by a harsh alcohol bite. Pleasant warming from the 8% ABV

D: This beer is a unique mishmash of uncommon flavors.... could be really good with some refinement, or possibly toned down a bit, but the heaviness of the mouthfeel is a bit much. For me, this probably works best as a dessert beer after a big meal. One is definitely enough.

Photo of 18tony
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of toutaboutstout
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Straight brown with an orange glow around the edge. The thead started out a mear 1/4 inch and did not last long. No lacing.

Smell: Fruity, and earthy. One can tell this will be a sweet beer after the first aroma is sensed.

Taste: Well, the raison is there, but only enough to make it interresting. friuty and sweet form start to finish. Very malty. Could have used a little more hops to balance it out, but all and all a good beer.

Drinkability: Very drinkable at the start but the finish becomes more pungent as it warms.

Photo of roar1345
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

dark wood color which is beautiful. small head which disappears with a few minutes leaving a small ring.
at first sniff its almost nothing but there is a hint of toffee flavor in there which is hardly noticeable.
This tastes really great slightly raisony a little toffee and other dark notes. I'm a fan of darker beers and this is a perfect medium, i could drink this stuff all night. This is my favorite dogfish head beer i've had out of 4 or 5, the problems with most of their beers is they are much too hoppy for me, the finish is usually bitter and is slightly too carbonated. But they really did a great job with this beer good job dogfish head.

Photo of WilliamLee
2.23/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A dark tea color. No head.
Aroma: Raisin, chocolate, and malt.
Taste: Green fruit-black pepper-grassy funk-burnt malt. The sweetness up front is blasted away by the green fruit, black pepper, burnt malt taste that dominates the flavor. Fairly complex flavors but there isn't much that I enjoy. If you like these flavors then it could be enjoyable. For me, it could have been worse but this a borderline bad beer. Blech!

Raison D'Être from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 4,186 ratings.