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Raison D'Extra - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Raison D'ExtraRaison D'Extra

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868 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 868
Reviews: 584
rAvg: 4
pDev: 15.25%
Wants: 110
Gots: 195 | FT: 13
Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  18.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
A bigger, bolder version of our Raison Raison D'Être.

This is a bulbous, brown ale brewed with a bunch of malt, brown sugar and raisins.

40 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-22-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 868 | Reviews: 584 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cjgiant
3.8/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Preliminary review, on tap (have bottle at home to complete review):
Pours auburn brown with some haziness of substance, but almost opaque from color. Nice to-the-top pour left little head, but some streaked the surface, and a thin rim on the edges sustained. Some alcohol legs.

The pour was at a decent temp (not too cold) from the start. The nose was weak at the restaurant, but light raisin to maybe even grape, along with a faint but distinct alcohol smell (borderline nail polish side in some deep whiffs).

Taste is fairly sweet, in a dark sweet-cake-bread kind of way. This gives way to a raisin bread flavor, the sweetness fading to a grain bread flavor. At the same time the raisin flavors come on, but they bring the alcohol along. Not sure if there is any spice or if the alcohol and brown sugar combine to an impression of ginger or spiced cinnamon. There isn't a lot of surprise here given the brewery description. For feel, there is the alcohol burn, behind it a limited carbonation, but a medium body, lightened I am thinking by the alcohol.

A decent beer. I didn't like the beer at its base too much. This is definitely better. It's a slow sipper, as one would expect. For that and other reasons, one is enough in a night.

Photo of GoingPrimal
4.44/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured at Dogfish Head Alehouse in Gaithersburg, MD. Raison d'Extra, the Raison D'Etre, but with a little extra. Clocking in at 18 abv. Will have to chill after this one as I just had the DFH World Wide Stout.

A - Pours a dark, rich maroon red. I'll say whales blood red. Small eggshell white head, a few bubbles escaping to the surface.

N - Nose is malts, raisin, some alcohol obviously. Slight Belgian yeast.

T - Taste is crazy. Very complex, raisins, red beets. Think they used Belgian yeasts. Something slightly sour. Mouthfeel is very rich, very complex, the sweetness is cut by the higher carbonation. It's very complex. Not sure what other flavors I can pull out of this one, Belgian yeasts is noticeable as well as a slightly fruity, slightly sour, smooth sweet medley of flavors. No one flavor really takes center stage after the yeast and fruit notes. Alcohol is not very noticeable for an 18er.

O - Overall a very smooth, drinkable, complex yet balanced beer. Like a fruity, stiff Belgian quad. Would buy more if I could get my grubby little hands on it.

Photo of braican
4.54/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of JamieDuncan
4.96/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Had this one on tap at the Dogfish head in Gaithersburg. Blown away. I am a fan of the Strong Dark Belgian to begin with so there was a good chance I would like it. Blew me away, outstanding taste and drinkability and it just did not come across as strong as it is listed. I hope to have this beer again many times.

Photo of VTCombi
4.69/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of njtmayhem
4.68/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

(2014 bottle - poured at ~55 F into a Chouffe tulip)

L: black cherry red, clear... foam on pour, settles to a not-so-thin collar and top coat... some streaks of lace, and the foam eventually vanishes nearly altogether

S: crusty banana bread, brown sugar, raisins soaked in brandy... malt and candi syrup - similar to how some strong, brown English ales can be... really not much in the way of hot or bright alcohol, though a smidge solvent-y... overall, has a lovely foundation but perhaps lacks carrying power because of how they need to pace the yeast? - I'd like to smell it with half the alcohol

T: satiny vinous esters and silky, crystal-draped malt through the first half... herbal tonic just past midway, touch of toast... plum skin/flesh and a hint of hard candy in the finish... nice, but lacking the raw depth that I remember

F: not as thick as I remember... little bit of tickle at the front, fades away slick like dull marble, with an initial whoosh of warmth to which the body quickly adjusts... notably light but hardly parching-dry

O: been waiting since '07 to try another one of these... probably like a fool, I wouldn't pay like $17-18 at the brewpub a few years back for an '07, though $13 at the bottle shop around the corner is a little if-y too (it was maybe 2-3 years ago when I saw bottles of WWS around for $8-9 - how fast times have changed!)... not too shabby fresh, but I would certainly let a bottle of this sit for a year or two... so easy to drink regardless - remarkable that it doesn't taste much stronger than a good quad

Photo of bubseymour
4.94/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best made big beers I've ever had. Sampled at DFH Alehouse in Gaithersburg MD on tap. Very sweet and smooth and rich. Minimal boosiness and no burn for an 18% brew. This beer hovers somwehere in a hybrid state between an English Barleywine and Big Belgian Quad/Strong Dark Ale. Lots of dark fruit flavor (raisin/fig etc). Classification is irrelevant. This may be the best DFH beer ever made.

Photo of tb4475
4.01/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BobMessina
4.11/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

Photo of PVMT
4.36/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Kraty1
3.41/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of skaboom420
3.94/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of bshemansky
4.14/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Definitely a lot of dark fruit flavor and sweetness. Boozy character helps balance the sweetness though. Slight Belgian yeast flavor comes through. Definitely worth checking out if you can get some. Pick up at least two as this beer will age well

Photo of Zekenyce
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of gr0g
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

Fresh 12 oz. bottle, not even four weeks past bottling date. Mahogany color with good clarity. Not much of a head. Very sweet and fruit-forward aroma. Tons of brown sugar and candied fruit. Surprisingly little alcohol presence, impressive for an ale of this strength.

As expected, the flavor profile is super-sweet. It treads close to becoming cloyingly sweet but manages to stay out of that territory. Not really any traces of Belgian yeast character. Instead, the overall flavor profile is straight up English Barleywine to me - very high residual sugars and dark, ripe fruits dominating. Super-ripe raisins and dates, finishing with plenty of alcohol warmth. Carbonation is a bit harsh.

This really should sit for at least a year (or two) before consuming, but it's really drinking surprisingly well while fresh. I've had better beers with a similar flavor profile, but they were generally Bourbon barrel-aged. Share a bottle with a friend and you're in for good times.

Photo of tedho21
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of cwelsh55
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of IdrinkGas
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

Photo of EuphonicHops
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%

Photo of slay
4/5  rDev 0%

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Raison D'Extra from Dogfish Head Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 868 ratings.