Raison D'Être - Dogfish Head Brewery
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Ratings: 4,042 | Reviews: 1,766 | Display Reviews Only:
2.85/5 rDev -22.1%
12oz bottle into a Dogfish pint glass. Pretty fresh at 2 months old.
A- Raison D'Etre pours a medium brown color with red highlights while up towards light. A very clean brew as there is not much, if any sediment. A 1/2 inch head comes through then disappears leaving a slice of off-white head. A whole lot of rising bubbles.
S- A good smell consisting of a lot of sugars (including brown) and caramel. Roasted malts with some syrups maybe. Under that the raisin shows up with a layer of yeast also creating an earthy scent.
T- The raisin is apparent and sugars are up front creating a sweet assault on the mouth before leaving. After that some smoky qualities arise while some dark fruits and a dash of coffee and even less chocolate. The caramel and roasted malt stays throughout each swig with some alcohol presence. Overall, this really isn't my thing with the set of ingredients chosen, leaning towards the yeast.
M- Reminds me of a smooth bock. Not as thick on the mouth as some DFH offerings but leaves it's mark. A nice bit of carb going for this as well. A bit of a hassle to get through. Not a pleasing aftertaste.
D- Not my favorite DFH offering honestly & i love their experimentation but not this one.. I had trouble with even this 12oz serving. Maybe this would be better in a cask, but i don't see myself having that in the future. I will look out for this on tap and compare.
I am going to try the D'Extra but if it's double the taste of this then forget about it.
01-23-2009 05:59:17 | More by BARFLYB
3.9/5 rDev +6.6%
12 ounce bottle into tulip, bottled 12/13/2011. Pours slightly cloudy red orange color with a nice 2 finger fairly dense khaki head with great retention that reduces to nice cap that lingers. Some spotty thick lacing on the glass. Aromas of big molasses, raisin, candi sugar, plum, caramel, herbal spiciness, chocolate, toasted malt, biscuit, yeast spices, and a touch of alcohol. Nice and well balanced aromas with some good complexity. Taste of big molasses, caramel, herbal spice, chocolate, raisin, candi sugar, biscuit, toasted malt, and yeast spices. Lingering notes of caramel, biscuit, dark fruit, molasses, toasted malt, and spiciness on the finish for a bit. Nice balance of flavors with good malt balance without being cloying. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a fairly creamy and slick mouthfeel. Alcohol is well hidden with only a warming on the finish present. Smooth drinking for the alcohol level, but is still a sipper. Overall this is a very nice Belgian dark ale; with nice complexity and good flavor balance. Really enjoyed this one.
03-03-2012 07:42:53 | More by superspak
4.13/5 rDev +12.8%
Appearance: Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Chimay chalice. A ruby colored beer when held to light. A well constructed pour yeilds a small head that recedes to a ring and leaces spotted lacing.
Smell: Over ripe fruit, malt, alcohol.
Taste: Raisen obviously, but also getting alot of malts. Caramel and roasted malts giving off chocolatey/sugary goodness. Liquid Raisenets. Belgian yeast tries to fight through it all. No real hop presence just enough to keep it from cloying sweetness. As it warms some alcohol makes itself known, but its not detracting from the other flavors.
Mouthfeel: Full bodied yet very carbonated.
Drinkability: Very tasty, somewhat strong. I purchased a whole case of this fine Dogfish Head brew and its nearly gone. Lovely stuff.
07-24-2010 02:49:35 | More by Stinkypuss
District of Columbia
3.09/5 rDev -15.6%
The beer is auburn hued. Autumnal colors of ruby, crimson, russet. Small off white head that fades pretty quickly to a thin, wispy layer atop the beer. The aroma offers sweet malt, toffee, raisins, brown sugar, clove, a touch of holiday spice. Really sweet throughout. Bitter kick in the finish. Sweet raisins soaked in the booze. Fun to try, but best in small quantities. Too sweet. I don't consider this in the Belgian style at all. Where is the yeast and bread character that is so appreciated and associated with a Belgian strong dark ale? I appreciate the fact that Sam brews interesting beers, but I won't return to this one.
02-02-2013 03:10:48 | More by Huhzubendah
3.65/5 rDev -0.3%
This is my second time re-reviewing this beer and my impressions, notes and appreciation seem to change each time. My initial observation was a dark and flat mahogany coloured beer, something that strongly resembled coca-cola. My second bottle was full of carbonation and boast a thick, fluffy head.
The appearance in this one is somewhat grimy; its body is speckled with a murky toffee colouring and its slushy complexion makes it entirely intransparent. The light sparks small spatters of rose and orange. Its surface is barren, absent of any head.
The aroma is enticing and showcases both of the two ingredients boasted on its label: raisins and sugar. There is a soft but savory note of caramelizing brown sugar. The raisins seem accompanied by other dark fruits. The malt bill is quite befitting to integrate these two.
The mouthfeel and makeup is not all that akin to a Belgian strong dark ale, although its flavour profile is strikingly similar. Whether from the malts, the sugar, the raisins or some combination of the above the taste is chalk full of fruity esters, light phenols, plums, dates, and bready butterscotch. It all tastes pretty darn good.
This bottle, like some I've had previously, is under carbonated and runs a little close to being syrupy and drinks as a sort of phenolic, fruity nectar. Each time I try the beer I seem to enjoy this sugary, phenolic, bready, caramel laced tipple more and more. I've also found aging can have interesting (and beneficial) results.
Like most all of Dogfish Head beers this one is more "off centered" sounding than it is tasting. As far as strong dark ales go this wouldn't hold a candle to Belgium's best but it does make for an enjoyable drink, and I think that's enough 'raison d'etre' to keep buying and drinking it.
08-26-2008 02:38:22 | More by biegaman
4.4/5 rDev +20.2%
It's been a long road. It's time to revist this beer from such a long time ago. Dated October 28th 2011, poured into an official Dogfish Head Raison D'etre goblet. Loved this so much back in the day I bought the glasses for it.
Not much head produced barley a finger through a center punch, what is there is a faint caramel/tan that falls and leaves a good collar and slight puck. What a gorgeous body color this is though, red amber and clear with these brown edges. It really looks like a ruby.
Nose is slighty raisin, but it smells like baked fresh fruitcake. Cherries, carmalized sugars, fresh baked bread. Topped with powdered sugar and cinnamon. Real impressive.
I am going to knock my taste and mouthfeel score down slightly here. Slightly wetter palate than most Belgian Strong Dark Ales, but misses the viscosity angle. Bready tasty action in the fore front, but not much of the sweetness or fruit character comes through. Finish is a little citrus like, with a little carbonation prickly sting and raisin, it's still quite neat as I remember it.
Overal I still really like this, I think my enthusiasm for this beer though has gone down having tried more of this style from other producers in Belgium. However, I still really enjoy it, strangely I use to be able to get it more often but I rarely see it around as much. Too bad.
Old Review (Feb 6th 2010)
Hands down my go to beer, Raison D'etre is a perfectly bodied, complicated aroma of raisin and somewhat dark bread bouquet. Has a thick mouthfeel and has a wonderful lingering finish as well.
Had on tap and in bottles and both manage to be downright refreshing when well.
I say well, because the beer does have a SHORT shelf life and it's very easy to get a bad one, or have one from a tap that has been sitting too long. When you do, it becomes extremely sour tasting and the bouquet is dead.
Even still I absolutely love this beer. (4,4,5,4.5,4.5)
01-19-2012 20:23:55 | More by smakawhat
4/5 rDev +9.3%
A: Poured a dark ruby-amber with a slight, foamy beige head that went quickly and quietly.
S: filled with dried fruit (prunes, raisins) and some sweet dried molasses.
T: much the same with a noticeable raisiny essence, prunes and some dark brown sugar sweetness. The palate is overall malty with some dried fruit juice sweetness. There is some alcohol and dates as well detected in the finish.
M: full, thick, syrupy, and viscose with some raisiny grist left behind.
D: A touch sweet with a considerable abv of 8.00% will limit this to a one trick pony drinkability wise, but its not to say you shouldn't try it as it provides an unique flavor and experience.
10-16-2008 23:25:25 | More by beerthulhu
3.55/5 rDev -3%
Poured from a bottle, a kind of dark orangy red colour with absolutely no head. Smells interesting, caramel and raisin type smells. Has a sweet taste, buttery with some caramel and fruit. Burns a bit on the way down. Mouthfeel is pretty thick and creamy. Decent beer, kind of disappointed by it though, had been waiting a while and it let me down. But give it a try.
12-01-2004 23:22:26 | More by Viggo
3.23/5 rDev -11.7%
A: Beer was presented in a pint glass, dark brown in color, small off white head that dissipates quickly, leaving a ring of white around the beer. Not much lacing.
S: Very sweet and sugary. The grape aroma is obvious.
T: Dominated by grapes and the malt bill. There is a sugary/sweetness to the flavor profile as well. A little bit of hops and a hint of alcohol.
M: Medium bodied, not a lot of carbonation, but slick and sweet.
O: Not my favorite, overly grapey and sweet. Glad there are plenty of other DFH brews I can get instead.
04-03-2011 19:23:42 | More by mdaschaf
3.28/5 rDev -10.4%
Pours a rich reddish amber with one finger of head that quickly dissipates to a thin lacing. There are carbonation bubbles rising to the top. Smell is sweet with the beet sugar coming through quite pungently; there is a slight yeastiness to it as well. Taste is rich and sweet. The beet sugar dominates here, I can't really detect the green raisins over the beets' sweetness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied but highly carbonated with bubbles breaking across the palate.
Overall, it's a nice change of pace from your typical Belgian beer, but DFH has better to offer.
07-23-2011 18:21:21 | More by tdm168
4.33/5 rDev +18.3%
This brew pours pretty dark. Dark Ruby. Has a thin laced tan head that laces nicely. Interesting aroma. Like brown sugar and rock candy. Some malt tones too. Nice. This beer has some definite sweet tones mixed in with alcohol. It's a nice taste. Rock candy comes to mind again. An undenying sweet flavor. Some lingering alcohol and bitterness on the tongue. Body is medium to full. Nice brew here.
05-08-2002 21:06:01 | More by Bighuge
2.81/5 rDev -23.2%
Dark brown, hints or amber color underneath. Smells like a mess. Another collection of DFH hodgepodge ingredients. Not really my favorite style, nor brewery, lots of sugar, but at least not overly sweet, just a bunch of strange adjuncts to give the impression of being "complex".
Not a desireable taste left, and a struggle to keep drinking it to the end. Try this one with friends, that way you don't end up drinking all 12 oz. by yourself.
01-07-2010 18:59:43 | More by Beerandraiderfan
3.7/5 rDev +1.1%
Appearance: Clear, red beer topped by a white head that thinned to lace rather quickly. The bottle claims it's mahogany... I'll buy that.
Smell: A combination of roasted barley and rich fruitiness, almost raisin-like. Light alcohol aroma is also present.
Taste: Starts very sweet with a strong mix of dried fruits (raisin, plum/prune) and a light alcohol taste. A light bitterness appears towards the end, but is still overpowered by the sweetness.
Mouthfeel: Medium/low carbonation that becomes evident on the tongue about halfway through. Medium/full, slightly viscous, syrupy body. Light alcohol warming on the palate.
Drinkability: The sweetness is quite prominent, and without some hop balance I wouldn't want to drink much in a single sitting. Also, the roasted aroma doesn't seem to blend that well with the sweet flavour. However, I'd definitly try it again.
12 oz. brown bottle with packaged on date clearly marked on the label.
11-21-2004 03:00:05 | More by DrJay
3.48/5 rDev -4.9%
Pours a caramel brown color with a slight red tint. Poured with a small white head that disappeared quickly only to leave a little lacing.
Aroma is malty and sweet with some fruit characteristics. Also detect some wood aromas.
Taste is sweet and malty with some fruit flavors. Slightly tangy and bitter with a little spiciness.
Mouthfeel is medium bodies with moderate carbonation.
Drinkability is average. I could enjoy one of these but not something I want to have much more of.
12-07-2009 02:02:29 | More by billab914
3.45/5 rDev -5.7%
undated 12oz bottle served in a pint glass.
I just altered my BA profile last night to conclude that Belgian Strong Dark Ale deserves listing as my favorite style not so much because several of my favorites are this style but because every beer in this style I had reviewed had received a high A- or better) rating. Well, less than 24 hours later I'll need to revise my profile thanks to this Dogfish Head.
The DH gets off to a good start, with a lovely reddish amber color and a lasting, creamy looking light tan head. The liquid is clear and the head is multi-density.
The aroma is pleasant but rather mild and lacks depth and complexity being mainly the aroma of various ripe and dark fruits with some alcohol esters, grape bubblegum and a just hint of hops. The alcohol aromas become more pronounced with warming, leading me to lower my rating of this aspect.
This is an exceptionally fruity beer, with a flavor profile dominated by prunes, plums, raisins and generic sour fruits. The tartness nicely contrasts with the sweetness of the aroma. The ABV is not only apparent, it actually seems higher than 8%, as if someone sprinkles some light rum in my beer (no, I'm home alone at the moment).
M - medium body; smooth, but with a tad too little carbonation.
O - Well, I can still say I haven't had a Belgian Strong Dark Ale I disliked. This one departs from the admittedly highly variable flavor profile of this beer style. Where's the malt? It is still a moderately enjoyable if disappointing offering from DH. I'll buy another bottle but try aging it first.
08-03-2011 22:08:37 | More by chinchill
Raison D'Être from Dogfish Head Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 4,042 ratings.