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Raison D'Extra - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Raison D'ExtraRaison D'Extra

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

864 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 864
Reviews: 581
rAvg: 4
pDev: 15.25%
Wants: 110
Gots: 189 | FT: 12
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: 864 | Reviews: 581 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by coldmeat23:
Photo of coldmeat23
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees
BOTTLED ON: 08-15-2007

Pours a deep ruby, almost burgundy color. One-finger head of loose golden foam. Retention is minimal. Lacing, also, is minimal.

You can definitely get raisins, in the nose. Also, a rich butteriness. Good booziness, though not as overpowering as expected. Huge dark fruit presence. Smells truly sweet. Large notes of brown sugar. Slight hint of vanilla. Nice malt presence. The yeast helps this smell, almost, like bread pudding.
Smells rich and decadent, and not much like beer, in the traditional sense.

Mmmmm, big beautiful raisin presence. Caramel and brown sugar. Dark fruit explosion. Nice, big, malty backbone. Slight hint of smoke. The alcohol presence is definitely big, but not so big as to overpower all of the other taste components.

This is not as thick and syrupy as I expected. A good body, but not nearly as full as you'd think. Slightly oily and somewhat creamy.

An excellent dessert brew, or cold winter time brew. Sweet and nicely warming. This one fills you and warms you, from the inside out.
Probably couldn't drink more than one, in a sitting, but that one goes down nice and smooth.
At a year and a half of age, I think this could cellar for quite a few more years, and continue to get better.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have sampled this a few times in the past this was the first time drinking a whole bottle in itself.Poured a deep chesnut brown with some reddish/orange tint thruout a well formed but quick to fade 1/2 finger head atop.,dark fruit and more dark fruit in the nose hence the name of the beer I suppose,hints of orange essence and warming alcohol.The "big" alcohol is not as "big" as some would think it would be hereit stays underneath the layers of flavors for the most part at least until it becomes room temp.Raisin flavors packed to the hilt along with prune an underlying nutty terrine-like character seems to always be there,notes of brown sugar and caramel round out the flavor profile.A great nightcap brew and it wont bite you to hard,very nicely done by DFH.

Photo of RoyalT
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Brownish-orange in color with a decent head and some tiny carbonation.

Smell – The yeast is very dark, almost coffee-like, and the raisins add to this aroma. The chocolate cookie dough is subtle but laced with alcohol.

Taste – The dark yeast comes out nicely at the tongue, especially as the ale warms. The fruits, laden with raisins as promised on the label, are very well blended. The finish is sweet but light melon with more of the yeast.

Mouthfeel – Surprisingly thin. It may be medium-bodied at best. It’s very smooth though and goes down more like a juice than a BSDA.

Drinkability – This went down well considering the package. It went down much easier than the 120 Minute which has the same ABV. Don’t drink this at a friend’s then try to drive home though. When the chart says that you can have three beers a night and still be legally sober, they’re talking Bud not DFH.

Update – Popped a small bottle 2005 in Jan ’06. This is a real heavy-hitter. I enjoyed the Mouthfeel a little more this time around – big alcohol but not stingy – so upped the rating by 0.5.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
2.9/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Nice bottle with a freshness date and honest description of the beer.

Pours a beautiful deep brown but with a very disappointing and short-lived head.

The smell and taste are both overwhelmingly dominated by raison, brown sugar, and mahogany (almost hickory like) smoke.

I believe that the brewers of this beer were trying to do something very unique and interesting here but for my tastes they fell short. I usually like smoky beers but this one made me feel like I was chewing on millet rather than sipping a refreshing brew.

The mahogany and raison really covers up any other things that are going on in this beer. It was also a little too sweet and alcoholy making it undrinkable as a session beer.

I am being very critical and I don’t want to sell this beer too short. It’s not all bad but in this style it faces some tough competition and just doesn’t stand up. It lacks the complexity that makes other Belgian strong darks interesting and it’s forward sugary alcohol taste does nothing to contain the high ABV deeming it undrinkable.

I feel fare in my mostly negative review of this beer because I drank it with two other fans of strong Belgians who couldn’t even finish their goblets. They would have rated it much lower.

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

A: Reddish amber with a very small head that leaves minimal lacings.

S: A very powerful smell of sweet malts, caramel, brown sugar, alcoholic fumes and most of all raisins in abundance. The smell is quite reminiscent of fine spirits.

T: The taste is very sweet with malts, caramel and raisins everywhere. Notes of cocoa, leather and wood. The finish is mildly bitter with more sweetness and more raisins to it. The alcohol is present already in the mouth and becomes really strong in the finish - like a warming sweet liqueur or a cognac.

M: Full-bodied with a gentle carbonation.

D: A strange, yet intriguing beer. The amount of sweetness and raisin flavors in this one are off the chart. I didn't think it was overly complex since the character is so reliant on sweet boozy raisins, but I really enjoyed it nonetheless. Stating that it's a sipper is probably superfluous - this one drinks as a fine cognac. My sample consisted of about a third of a bottle, and that was almost more than enough. I don't think I would want to drink a whole bottle of it on my own.

Photo of npala86
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Photo of kaimcm
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at Publik House 9/24/05. Right on for having it guys!

A: Beautiful tawny copper color. No head at all, none, but not a surprise with ABV 20%. Nice and clear.

S: The nose was interesting and complex, but not overwhelming. Notes of raisons and caramel, not really any alcohol.

T: Just delicious. Strong rasin quality, very vinous. Very reminiscent of an Oloross sherry. Sweet but not too much. Big malt profile, the alcohol is almost unnoticeable. A touch of honey. Really a brilliant balance in this beer, everything works together.

M: Quite syrupy, with just a hint of carbonation. Just enough to keep it lively. Great wieght.

D: Very high alcohol, but its balanced very well. Could get you in trouble real fast if you werent careful. As Ive mentioned before, I dont know how to handle this category. It was "exceptionally drinkable" so it gets a 5.

Just awesome. DFH has done it again. I feel like their real genious is evident in the balance of most of their beers, espicially the huge ones like this. Cheers!

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been looking forward to this one for awhile. 2005 vintage with bright yellow cap. Pours from the 12oz bottle a deep garnet read with only a small ring of bubbles around the the glass. At this ABV I wasn't expecting any lasting head. Aromas of sweet burnt brown sugar colliding with a wall of raisins. Notes of caramel and some spice, slightly vinous. Quite nice overall.

First sip brings a quite sweet caramel/brown sugar maltiness accentuated by a upfront distinct raisin flavor. Slightly syrupy with vanilla, cherry and more dark fruity notes. Maybe a hint of molasses as well. Alcohol is amazingly well hidden, however the warming on the throat reminds me it is there in force. A huge, sweet, rasiny ale that is a tasty sipper and most definetly a unqiue creation.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and slightly syrupy slick. Goes down smooth with very mellow carbonation. A very nice late night sipper for me. The 12oz bottle should do perfectly. I have a few more of these that I plan to sit on for awhile and see where they go. Give it a shot. Thanks to goodbyeohio for tossing this my way.

Photo of Marc33
1/5  rDev -75%

Photo of chOAKbarrell
3.48/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Available now on tap at Max's On Broadway in Fells Point, Baltimore, which is where I tried it.

This beer arrived in a small flute glass - probably only 6 ounces. Possibly less. But then, as this beer was listed on the menu at 21%, 6oz is all you need.

As you already know, everything about this beer is strong, dark, and handsome. The only other beer i've had as strong as this is Samuel Adams Triple Bock. Unlike that beer, though, the Raison D'Extra is palatable. For being so strong in alcohol content, it is really quite smooth in the finish. The alcohol is very present, of course, but it blends well with all the spices in the beer.

The mouthfeel? Its as if you could chew this beer. Very thick and complex.

Unfortunately, or maybe just obviously, this beer has a low drinkability level. I'm surprised it comes in 12oz bottles. That seems like too much at once. 6oz was enough for me, and i split it with 2 friends!

Photo of JasonA
4.7/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks for letting me know it was available Oliver!!

Pours a deep mahogany carmel. It just looks thick with light carbonation, haf finger of weirdly thick white head. Yummy.

oh my. Deep rum-raison. Lightly hopped that is quite nice and subtle at the same time. I could sit and smell this all night.

boom. Smack of sweet, rum soaked raison, medium malt thick and yummy. No bite considering. Right up the nose, barely warming, but you know the ABV is present.

Not very syrupy considering. Sits extremely well considering ABV

I want more. I would love to have a case of this aging.

Photo of lordofthewiens
2.38/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This beer was an amber color with a very small, almost nonexistent, tan head and a tiny amount of lacing. It had a strong sweet fruit odor. The taste was all fruit, and way, way too sweet. It was fairly smooth, but to me not too drinkable. Maybe it should be a dessert wine??

Photo of warnerry
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of marvin213
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thick mahogany, this cloudy concoction foams and fizzes beautifully for a three-year-old vintage (3/15/07). The foam cap doesn't linger long, but it dissipates in a swirl. Even after it has seemingly vanished, new bubbles swirl from the depths like a galaxy. It looks as if alive!

Smells like a boatload o' raisins--who knew, right? It's got some alcohol now...and combined with that rich color, I must admit I got a lil' furniture/furniture polish sorta vibe. Not exactly like a candle, but it's gotta bring some heat at 18%!

This is a monster. The initial sip is like wow--delicious, but you have to hold it and feel it because you're scared to swallow. It's like...gulp! Big, bad-ass brew right chere! Like some of the other big-boy, dotted-bottle cap Dogfish Head offerings, it's a novelty. Even three years mellowed, it's on me. Like cognac, it burns.

The initial tongue-touch is misleading--raisiny, almost wine-like, and the feel is surprisingly light. But you know when it heads down you're gonna fill it. It's got that whole "fun to be scared" vibe to it, like as if going to a haunted house to get your socks scared off.

As for drinkability, it's too damn menacing to be "good." You aren't breaking this one out often. It's a tough-guy opportunity in a moonshine sorta way. Some people actually like moonshine--and it's not that tough because it is actually a beer, but sipping thru 12 ounces'll put hair on your nuts. Gotta love DFH for bringin' it.

Photo of megamass
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Photo of merlin48
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 9/29/06 according to the stamp on the neck of the bottle. Pours a hazy, burnished copper body with a small beige head that quickly falls to a film. Lack of lacing is no surprise given the octane of this puppy. Aroma opens with a fusel bubblegum note I've noticed in some of the other big DFH brews. There's a strong raisin presence, obviously, as well as plum and caramel notes. Mouthfeel is medium full with low carbonation. Taste is very fruity sweet. Raisins, plums, and berries make a strong impression, with some caramel and toffee underneath. It's impossible to cover up the enormous alcohol here, but it's actually not that obtrusive as a slow sipper. Another very interesting big beer from the good folks at DFH.

Photo of Billolick
4.43/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle, experienced at room temperature...way too expensive, oh well its all beer research to me...pours dark honey amber, pretty clear, dull orange highlights, light tan mini head with tiny bubble continuing to rise to the top. Nose of dull sugary raisins. This is a strong and flavorful sipping beer. Thick and gooey, with notes of smokey dried apricots and sweet pears marinated in whiskey. Warming and delicious. More world quality- over the top- brew from DFH.

Photo of warriorsoul
4.45/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Compliments of the fine folks at DFH for playing bocce...what a deal.
Pours a bright amber color w/ almost no head...almost impossible to tell the color it disappears so rapidly.
The aroma is delightful...huge scents of figs, raisins, cherries, citrus with a slight alcohol twinge if you linger the nose.
Flavor is great...grapes, raisins and a hefty dose of malt sweetness. Alcohol is apparent, but not distracting if your are respecting (sipping) this one...carbonation is high and assists in making this offering thick, yet not too cloying.
Slightly bitter and dry in the finish and so wonderfully kind on the pallet...could think of no better way to finish off an evening.
Drinkability's score is based on me polishing off the 12oz. w/ very little effort...not that I could drink any more of this beyond the one serving. Most beer bars where I've see it on tap were offering just 4oz. glasses or so...not a bad idea.
Thanks to Dogfish for this one...great job!

Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of frenchblood21
3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a wine glass. Brewed on 03/15/2007.

Appearance- Amber brown...Almost no head at all, very little lacing in the glass.

Smell- Raisons and fig jump right out. Toffee, caramel and alcohol are also very pronounced. Smells similair to a great port.

Taste- Weird, but it taste like a Fig Newton smoothie. Butterscotch and alcohol are present. And of course raisons. You can definetely tell this beer is 5 years old.

Mouthfeel- This beers falls somewhere b/t a beer and a thick port wine. It drinks a bit syruppy, but in a good way.

Overall- I have been wanting to try this beer for about 4 years now, so I am super excited I got the opportunity. I have one more in the cellar, and it's gonna get to my mouth in the next few weeks. Totally worth a trade if you can find it.

Photo of mattster
3.4/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured 12oz bottle dated 03/15/07 into a Snifter. Head is non-existent with slight lacing across top and around sides of glass. Color is aged mahogany color, very opaque.Bubbles are very light - almost non-existent.

Smell gives of raisin and dark fruit notes. Some what Amarone in smell. A lot less aroma than I had expected for a big beer.

The first taste was overwhelmingly hot. Not bad hot, just hot on the palate. Tends to lighten up on second and subsequent taste.Nice fruit/raisin taste, but would have rated higher if alcohol was not so present in taste.

Mouth feel is nice and coating - almost port like.. The beer itself is quite filling and I don't know how to rate drinkability. This is best as a dessert beer poured in small portions. or should be consumed with heavy meals. I'm getting some sharp cheddar enjoy the rest of this snifter before calling it a night.

Photo of Byeast
4.4/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: a very deep and translucent ruby/ aburn brown color , very nice to look at really , the head was of good size at pour , then quickly faded to some large bubbles and some off white foam with lots of lacing left.

Smell: a wonderful and deeply complex nose on this brew. Lots of dark fruity aromas coming at you , raisin , plum , winey scents , grape , deep malt and some surpriseingly well hidden alcohol , it makes its presence much more known as it warms.

Taste: The taste starts of with a big malty sweetness , brown sugar , then dark fruits , much raisin , wine like flavors flash all over the tongue , some bitter notes , some almost honey roasted peanut flavor, slight spice , raisin bread thickness to the whole thing , and the alcohol hides itself very very well... until a second or two after you swallow!

Mouthfeel: a hefty , chewy , powerful feel.

Drinkability: while its alcohol does restrict it's drinkability , the flavors are all really well intwined into the beer. They can be almost over the top , but then they change , wonderfully complex. Go try this beer now!

Photo of sm0key
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Great beer. Very sweet, and som e heat on the mouth... I love the raisin taste. Watch out, the abv will sneak up on you. it doesn't seem like a 18% beer, but will knock you down if you're not ready.

Again, it is very sweet, and remains on the pallet for a while. it has a deep brown hue that actually tastes darker than it looks.

very very nice brew, but certainly not a session-able brew

Photo of jakester
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I got this as a single at Union Jack's on the Manatawny. I drank it in a goblet. No date on the bottle, but this one might keep forever.

Pours a hazy reddish brown/orange, and, after a stiff pour, got a 1/2 finger head of tan colored bubbles, which instantly disipated. Carbonation appears slow.

Aroma is very fruity and warm, with notes of raisins, prunes, and dates, and a big smell of bourbon. Alcohol is there, but at 20%, it's fairly well hidden. Smells like this one is going to hurt.

First flavor is HUGE caramel malt, followed by fruits like raisins, dates and prunes. Not much Belgian stuff going on here. Definite taste of bourbon whiskey. Very sweet, but not too cloying, IMO. Hop character is extremely low. Aftertaste is very long sweet and heat, with caramel malt clinging til the end.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and oily, with gentle carbonation. Lips stick together from sweetness, and the back of my mouth is hot from alcohol. Finish is sweet and warm.

I've been sipping this for 15 minutes, and I can feel it already. Hope I'm still awake for the Eagles game today at 4. This, to me at least, is a try it once beer. I wouldn't drink 2 or 3 of these. It is fairly cloying, expensive, and strong as hell. It's more like a novelty beer. I can't believe they sell a lot of this. Still, it's well made, fairly complex, and it definitely works. Recommended, with reservations.

Photo of SkinnyElvis
3.38/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Purchased about a year ago. Pours with a thick head that settles quickly. Nice lacing. Dark amber in color. Smell is boozy but sweet. Taste is extremely sweet. Mouthfeel is OK but there is a big alcohol burn. A slow sipper due to the booze. I have another bottle which I will put in the hole for a while to see if this calms down.


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Raison D'Extra from Dogfish Head Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 864 ratings.