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Raison D'Être - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Raison D'ÊtreRaison D'Être

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,077 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,077
Reviews: 1,766
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 15.3%
Wants: 71
Gots: 275 | FT: 6
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: 4,077 | Reviews: 1,766 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cetae
3.23/5  rDev -11.7%

A - Poured a nice dark mahogany with a head that settles to around 1/2 inch.

S - Sugary smell, but not a sweet sugary smell. As well as a slight alcohol scent

T - Can immediately taste the green raisin then a slight amount of alcohol, though not over powering at all, followed by a slightly bitter dark chocolate / malty taste. I have never tasted a beer like this before.

M - Medium bodied, airy and very smooth

D - This beer is drinkable, however I wouldn't want to drink more than 1 to 3 in one sitting. When I drank the first one I didn't lik it very much, but that night I had a few various other beers before trying this. I decided to try it again the next night and I had a different opinion. I have a whole case of this stuff (bought in PA) and it will probably last a while. I definitely wouldn't buy an entire case again, but I would pick up six-pack down the road.

cetae, Oct 15, 2007
Photo of sloopy
4.35/5  rDev +18.9%

Poured a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Nice amber color with a nice off white head. When held up to the light it reminded me of a dark southern iced tea. In my opinion it resembled the way an ale would look if you told someone to picture an ale in their head.

Smell: Couldn't pick up too much of an odor (anyone who hasn't read my profile, that's more on me than the beer).

Taste: Tasted like your standard ale, but left a sweet raisin after taste.

Mouthfeel: I could tell I was drinking a beer that had a decent ABV, but it went down smooth. The alcohol wasn't over powering and went down as if though I was drinking an ale with less alcohol.

Drinkability: I could drink more of this. It's high in alcohol, but not harsh or terrible tasting.

Bonus: I ate a Hungry Man fried chicken dinner (fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn and a brownie) and let me say that this beer washed everything down perfectly.

sloopy, Jan 17, 2011
Photo of Scott414
4.2/5  rDev +14.8%

Beer was much darker than I anticipated however, not overwhelming malt characteristics. I could not really detect any of the green raisin flavor. Overall, it was a beer that I tried on a whim and I really enjoyed it. Dogfish always manages to make unique styles that I am always willing to indulge in.

Scott414, Nov 02, 2010
Photo of Brynn
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%

Beautiful color when poured, a wonderful garnet--it immediately filled my room with the scent of delicious beer.

Smell was very interesting; very similar to an Irish Red, but with a hint of something cold and quiet behind it all. The flavor itself mimics the smell, not overpowering, but present and unique. Pleasantly made a path down to the stomach, leaving a nice glow behind. I can't really taste the raisins, but it's more of a feel of raisins than an actual flavor.

Brynn, May 14, 2010
Photo of SeanOswald
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

SeanOswald, Feb 03, 2012
Photo of Kidvicious
2/5  rDev -45.4%

Kidvicious, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of mbiros
4/5  rDev +9.3%

mbiros, Jan 01, 2012
Photo of KKotewicz
4/5  rDev +9.3%

KKotewicz, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of squidsansgoat
4.5/5  rDev +23%

squidsansgoat, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of scott1963
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%

scott1963, Sep 08, 2012
Photo of StephN
5/5  rDev +36.6%

StephN, Mar 15, 2013
Photo of neiljude
4/5  rDev +9.3%

neiljude, Mar 16, 2013
Photo of srs232
4/5  rDev +9.3%

srs232, Apr 17, 2014
Photo of zvir21
3.56/5  rDev -2.7%

This is a really great beer to drink by itself. If I just want to sit down and have a beer this is a goto of mine. The beer is tasty and has a complex flavor to it. It can be enjoyed like you would enjoy a good wine. It pairs will with steak. I haven't had it on tap yet, but look forward to when I will.

zvir21, Oct 13, 2013
Photo of Upstate_Dunadan
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Upstate_Dunadan, Dec 27, 2013
Photo of sixpaxrcool
4.5/5  rDev +23%

sixpaxrcool, Jan 27, 2013
Photo of pittsburghfw
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%

Have been experimenting with Dogfish Head and, liking their IPAs, figured I'd try this.

Looks really beautiful in the glass, an amber color, like buckwheat honey, only brighter.

It's sweet and bitter and alcoholic. As others have noted, there's a honey flavor--it's the most noticable grace note to me.

I get cinnamon and cloves and maybe peppermint. Very strange in a "beer."

There are similarities to the experience I have had drinking the fruity Belgians.

The alcohol is strong. Not likely to want to drive after even one bottle at least not for an hour.

I prefer the hoppier IPAs and the Imperial Stouts, so this one stretches me a little. Won't buy it again any time soon, but it's a good beer.

pittsburghfw, Apr 04, 2009
Photo of themaxx76
4/5  rDev +9.3%

I like Dogfish's IPA's so I decided to give this a try. Has a nice mahogany color, a deep malty taste but a decent mouth feel. It's even a bit sweet. It goes down really good and does not bite back, I really enjoyed it and I would get it again. Give it a try.

themaxx76, Jan 05, 2009
Photo of steck34
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%

Purchased this Raison D'Etre at Wilburs Total Beverage in Fort Collins. I've had this beer a number of times, but this time I am drinking it with two friends who haven't had the pleasure.

The color is a burnt amber with little head retention and light carbonation. It smells sweet and alcoholish as my friend has so elegantly described. The mouthfeel is flirting with a light creamy texture , combined with malty sweetness and an underlining hint of alcohol warmth. The overall taste of the beer was complex, but very easy to drink.

steck34, Mar 23, 2010
Photo of Ricky1964
2.83/5  rDev -22.7%

Amber with some copper hues. Head disappates quickly, some residual laciness across surface and and edges.

Smell is quite sweet; Carmel, toasted marshmallow, dried fruits, graham cracker, toasted malt, slight mocha note in background.

Enters palate rather flat. Takes a dip at the end of the midpalate, then finishes a bit dull and dry.

Probably won't be a repeat buyer of this...

Ricky1964, Nov 27, 2010
Photo of vicks22
4.53/5  rDev +23.8%

a- ruby like in color thin head not long lasting still looks great

s- smells sweet and malty expected the california raisins to pop out.

t- dried fruits sugar and hops with a slight cinnamon twist its just a great combination that grows with each taste

m- feels a little lighter than i thought it would not watery though pure flavor good amount of hops

d- its very drinkable something i could pour into glass everyday very happy i came across this one

vicks22, Oct 04, 2010
Photo of AudreyH
4.15/5  rDev +13.4%

The color of perfectly brewed iced tea. Not cloudy, but not transparent, either. Would prefer a little more head. And I'm not even a guy.

A fragrant, caramel-ey, almost chocolately scent, which was surprising because I was expecting a fruitier, perhaps more wine-like, fragrance. Something reminded me of grandma's bread baking in the oven. Also unexpected.

It tasted like it smelled. Yummy.

Pleasantly tingly on the tongue. Mmm.

Why, yes! I'll have another! Thanks!

AudreyH, Oct 04, 2010
Photo of clefoodandbrews
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%

This beer poured a very dark brown with a thicker creamy head that left significant lacing for the first half of the drink.

The smell was full of sweet scents...Caramel Malt and Yeast mainly dominated the smell. This had me a little worried!

The initial flavors to hit you are sweet too. Dark sweet fruits, toffee and raisins coat your palate at first and continue during the drink. They are well balanced and not too overpowering as the nose might have suggested. The aftertaste is what surprised me. A slight hint of citrus hops came through to add a little bitterness that totally changed my opinion of this beer. Without this ending this beer would have been too sweet from start to finish for my taste, but with the added bitterness it made this a very well balanced and drinkable brew.
Mouthfeel was light as was carbonation.
I found this beer to be quiet drinkable. I could have seen myself easily sitting back and enjoying a few of these!

clefoodandbrews, Dec 21, 2010
Photo of peakoil101
4.4/5  rDev +20.2%

I enjoyed this beer from the bottle. It's best characteristic is it's taste. Such a complex taste! Best part of the beer it trying to figure out all the different flavors.

It smells a bit musty, which holds this beer back, but it's deep and complex enough not to be offensive. It looks decent. Natural looking with a slight haze and brownish/red color. It feels smooth with some penetrating carbonation and an overall pleasant tone.

Overall it was fine to drink and goes pretty dang easy for a strong 8% ABV beer.

peakoil101, May 03, 2011
Photo of
5/5  rDev +36.6%

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, Apr 04, 2012
Raison D'Être from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 4,077 ratings.