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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.
very good

818 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 818
Reviews: 575
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 15.54%
Wants: 95
Gots: 151 | FT: 8
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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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: 818 | Reviews: 575 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0


3.9/5  rDev -2.3%

This came from a bottle that someone had sitting in their closet for a long time. Not sure exactly how old it was. The beer was a little murky but had a nice brownish color to it. There was a small amount of head but that died off and left no lacing behind. The aroma was sweet and malty and of course a little of raisin. The flavor was similar but very intense. Very sweet, the raisins came out here a lot. I really enjoyed drinking the few ounces that I got to try of this beer. The alcohol is not noticeable in the smell or the taste.

01-15-2008 21:14:13 | More by t0rin0
Photo of djrn2

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

01-05-2012 18:38:37 | More by djrn2
Photo of Thorpe429


3.65/5  rDev -8.5%

Bottle picked up at Sal's in Illinois way, way back when. Served in a Russian River "TION" glass with Amyliz4 and Huhzubendah.

Pours a reddish-brown color with no real head, lacing, collar, etc. Cloudy. Nose brings quite a bit of sugar and dark fruits with a bit of alcohol. Cherries stand out. Really good chemistry. Flavor is a bit muddled with some alcohol, though certainly not the level it is really at. Lots of sugar. Brown sugar. Medium body and low carbonation. Good enough, but not something I'd grab another bottle of.

08-13-2011 02:43:28 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98

New York

4.1/5  rDev +2.8%

A: It pours dark reddish brown in color with minimal head.
S; Aromas of dark fruits (raisins, prunes and plums) and sugars dominate the smell.
T: Flavors of sweet, dark raisins stand out in the taste and the alcohol is barely perceptible. The underlying malt does a nice job at keeping the raisins and sweetness from completely overpowering the taste.
M: The beer feels very strong on the palate and is a bit syrupy.
D: I couldn't believe how well the alcohol is masked, but this is one beer that definitely needs to be sipped.

04-11-2010 12:53:44 | More by metter98
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +11%

Appearance: Pours a caramel color with a short-lived head that settles into a film without leaving much of a trace - not unexpected at this ABV level

Smell: Very sweet, rum-soaked raisin bouquet; just a ton of fusel alcohol on the nose

Taste: Sweet rum-roaked raisins, brown sugar and figs assault the tongue only to be supplanted by the tremendous blast of fusel alcohol; a bit of medicinal bitterness complements the sweet finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied; not much carbonation, but plenty of warmth in the gullet

Drinkability: Sipability is more like it; this one will blast you away before you finish your 12 oz. To think they used to sell it in 750ML bottles - unconscionable! I have tasted it young and with a few years of age and it definitely needs time

Thanks to mdaschaf, my Secret Bunny 2012, I had the pleasure of tasting the 3/15/07 bottling with five years of cellaring and it is extraordinary; the fusel alcohol has dissipated and, while the beer still leaves some warmth in the gullet, it explodes with malty dark fruit flavors like a fine brandy - bumping up the smell and taste scores by .5 and the overall by 1.0

11-04-2005 03:29:15 | More by brentk56
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +0.3%

Picked up this bottle a while back and decided to throw it down with a select few DFH beers the other night. Served at cellar temp and poured into a snifter.

The pour was nice with a rich light brown color coming forward. Decent amount of light tan head rising up from the bottom and coming to a top around one inch in height. The aroma was super sweet, hints of raisins and alcohol were sharp and very well noticeable. Some touches of toffee and caramel coming through as I take the first sip. Remarkably smooth for being soo strong. Rich raisin and spices coming through, with the alcohol prickly on the tongue. Very full with a moderate level of carbonation made this quite enjoyable, though it needed to be shared.

Overall for how strong it was, it was very nicely done. I really did not find this one really overwhleming and I would actually like to try this one again.

12-19-2008 02:52:47 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of BEERchitect


4.13/5  rDev +3.5%

it's about as Brandy-like as a beer gets. Sweet alcohols makes it's presence known immediately. A sugary, sticky film shows legs on the side of the glass. Little head retention forms after the viscous pour. Thin and sweet alcohols emit the aroma from the glass and becomming intimidating. Fruits of raison, prunes, pears, peaches, appricots, mangos, and dates swirl around a syrupy malt base. My attention is divided between the sweetness and the alcoholic power. Well melded and aged. Feels thick, syrupy and prickly hot to the entire mouth. Finishes very sweet and dry from the fire-breathing alcohols. The beer remains firm while showing no graininess, phenolic, and little fussals. Practically no flaws in such an aggressive beer.

02-08-2006 02:37:14 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of acurtis

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

02-10-2013 22:04:28 | More by acurtis
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

4/5  rDev +0.3%

Bottle courtesy of Adrian910ss: Poured a murky dark brown color ale with a small foamy head with limited retention. Aroma of dry sweet fruits (figs, plums) and some warming alcohol. Taste is also very sweet with load of dry sweet fruits but it never gets overwhelming. Texture is a bit oily with fuller body then expected (probably due to medium filtration) and some warming alcohol but again nothing too invasive. Another interesting experience by the Dogfish brewer and something I wouldn’t mind sampling again.

01-16-2007 19:36:53 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of womencantsail


3.48/5  rDev -12.8%

Pours a cloudy dark amber that looks to be flat. No head to speak of. Nose of brown sugar, raisins, plums, red grapes, and cherries. Some caramel malt in there and definitely a fair amount of alcohol. Hints of spice and just a really nice caramelization to it. The taste is certainly a bit cloying. Intense sugar and caramel flavors, overripe dark fruits, tons of raisin, grape, and plum. Moderate alcohol flavor and head. I loved the aroma of this, but it's just too much to drink.

08-16-2012 21:01:14 | More by womencantsail
Photo of kjkinsey


4/5  rDev +0.3%

04-26-2012 02:01:05 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of zestar


3.75/5  rDev -6%

08-13-2014 08:22:31 | More by zestar
Photo of Texasfan549


4/5  rDev +0.3%

04-26-2012 01:59:09 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of ygtbsm94


4/5  rDev +0.3%

12-30-2011 08:53:56 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of spycow


3.9/5  rDev -2.3%

Raison D'Extra
Poured into a Duvel Tulip. 12oz bottled version that about a year old

A: A light pour that was a orange-brown color with a light head with minimal carbonation.

S: Smelled of raisins, figs and plums could tell that it had a high alcohol content but as overwhelming as I expected.

T: The flavor starts out sweet. You could taste the heavy use of raisins but the flavors of fig and plums were noticeable. Initially, you could taste the strong alcohol taste but quickly subsided after a couple of sips. Stayed sweet throughout but did mellow some as you took in more. Better than what I expected from a beer with such a strong alcoholic content. A little sweet for me on a regular basis but having drank two to three of these it keeps getting better.

M: Feels like a light brandy, a little oily yet pleasant.

D: This is one of those beers you treat yourself to one at a time. Not one to drink multiple in a sitting. Again, the overall sweetness can be overwhelming for some along with the 20% alcoholic content. Great for an apertif and one to be savored.

Recommend trying this especially those who like the sweeter ales and those who are fans of Utopia. Pricey but worth the spend.

01-11-2009 23:32:16 | More by spycow
Photo of ChainGangGuy


2.75/5  rDev -31.1%

Bottled on: 03/15/07.

Appearance: Pours out a modestly hazed, deep amber-hued body with a very, very thin, near white head.

Smell: This one smells of liberally spiced, fruity-scented raisin puree, bready malts, dark brown sugar, and some nostril-stinging, eye-watering alcohol.

Taste: Distinctly sweet, sugary upfront with an expected follow-through of the fruity raisiny taste, brown sugar, and bready malts yielding some toastiness. But, very soon, that altogether piercing alcohol creeps in, searing the tongue and throat and warming your innards on the way down. Trivial oxidative notes in the background. Sweet breadiness, raisins, and straight-up moonshine on the flat, hot finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Lightly carbonated.

Overall: There's not much going on beyond sugar, raisins, and plenty of alcohol heat. I'm totally fine with this one being put out to pasture.

06-07-2012 22:35:48 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of jaydoc


3.75/5  rDev -6%

11-14-2013 04:17:32 | More by jaydoc
Photo of GRG1313


4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

11-27-2011 02:27:46 | More by GRG1313
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

4.22/5  rDev +5.8%

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.

01-13-2007 13:42:25 | More by oberon
Photo of TMoney2591


3.65/5  rDev -8.5%

Served in a DFH Alehouse house snifter.

A 3-year-old bottle from the Falls Church Alehouse. From notes (man, these are my most boring reviews...sorry): Pours an amber ruby/garnet (it's dark red, okay?) with a decided lack of real head. The nose holds bourbon, raisins (I know, surprise surprise on that one, right?), wood, walnuts, and a definitely perceptible amount of alcohol. The taste follows pretty closely, with notes of raisins, figs, oak, whiskey, cran-cherry, and, again, a healthy alcoholic burn. The body is a very heavy medium, with very light carbonation and a rather thick feel, though the coating does fade fairly quickly. A bit much for regular drinking, but tasty nonetheless (especially at this vintage).

05-20-2010 07:29:03 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of JAHMUR


3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

12-20-2011 05:48:47 | More by JAHMUR
Photo of zeff80


3.98/5  rDev -0.3%

A - Poured out a cloudy, dark amber color with a small, foamy, off-white head. Not much for lacing.

S - It smelled of raisin, molasses, bourbon, vanilla and some earthy notes.

T - Tasted of raisin, very sweet malt, black licorice. Very hot spice, too.

M - It was soft and creamy with an alcohol heat. A full-bodied beer.

D - This a powerful beer. One is more than enough.

09-29-2008 03:30:38 | More by zeff80
Photo of biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.8/5  rDev -4.8%

This beer pours a clear auburn hue, with very little thin, wispy off-white head, which leaves no lace in its short existence. It smells of stewed raisins, caramel, and warming alcohol. The taste is strong caramel malt, brown sugar, sweet sultana raisins, and a surprisingly mild alcohol edge, given the ABV specs on this monster. The carbonation is quite low. the body warm, smooth, slick, and oily, and it finishes sweet and boozy, the fruitiness of the raisins backstopping it all.

For its strength, this is a decent mild sipper, but a sipper nonetheless.

01-31-2010 03:54:18 | More by biboergosum
Photo of NeroFiddled


4.63/5  rDev +16%

From the basement of Brian "Little Guy" Selders (well, I don't know he actually had it in the basement.. in fact, I'm not even sure he has a basement!).

750 ml bottle, corked and caged. There's no date on the bottle, but it was packaged in Milton between '01 and '05.

Out of an Imperial pint glass - Hell, yeah!

Any yeast in the bottle has settled, and carefully decanted it pours a clear stream of deep golden-amber liquid that becomes a ruby-accented mahogany in the glass. Gleaming orange highlights at the base give it character and a friendly, approachable appearance. The very tiny bubbles rising slowly to build a head indicate that it's got some viscosity to it. The head forms slowly, requiring a bit of coaxing before it becomes a thin cap of ivory across the top. Almost at the same speed, it drops back to a thin collar... lacing is obviously limited.

The nose, however, is far from limited. It's loaded with lush fruit, caramel, alcohol, cocoa, light spice, herbal hops, and darkly caramelized sugars... plum, raisin, prune, other tropical fruits - even coconut. There's a slight bit of oxidation to it, but it appears as the skin of some dark fruit and herbs, adding depth. It's complex and rich, and the notes come and go as it warms, giving it great depth. More than once or twice I was reminded of the alcohol from some sweet and fruity cordial (Kirsch, Cherry Brandy, Pimm's). There's even a touch of leather to it. It's at least as good as, and possibly better than, some of the world's best barleywines in the nose. I could easily sniff this for hours in front of a soothing, warming fire with a good book (I'm thinking Dumas, but perhaps some Dostoevsky, or even Kafka.... perhaps even Joyce or Hemingway... Paul Bowles?). Absolutely world class!

The flavor is easily as complex and rich as the nose, and perhaps more so. Raisin dominates, followed by dark sugar. A backing of cocoa softens it, and then the alcohol ushers in a crowd of fruits and other flavors with it in the finish... coconut, pineapple, fig, prune, herbs, leather, wood. It finishes spicy and gently woody with a bit of dryness. The alcohol is there, evaporating, but it's not harsh on the palate. For its size, it slouches quite smoothly towards Bethlehem.

This is one of my favorite Dogfish Head beers, and I've never had it aged, so this was a special treat. I've had it on tap, but it wasn't quite as rounded. That was probably the very first batch though, so a bit of refinement has probably helped quite a bit. If you can find this, please do so! At the very least, it's one of the most unique beers on earth!!!

02-28-2007 03:16:52 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of RblWthACoz


3.85/5  rDev -3.5%

Pours a clear, but very dark ruby with a smaller tan head. Nose is heavy with raisins. I can smell them as I open the bottle, let alone taking a serious whiff. Besides that (which seems to calm down as time goes on), you get a slight yeast and a lot of alcohol. But the presence of the raisin skins seems to be sticking around a good bit. Flavor is extremely sweet...I mean way sweet. Too much so I think. Almost tastes like straight sugar water (or simple syrup for the mixologists out there) was mixed in with it. Feel is thick and syrup like. Personally I think it is a bit too far beyond what it should be. This is drinkable, yes. A very nice, different brew. But with the high alcohol combined with the very high price, I doubt I would go for it again.

12-30-2007 21:38:29 | More by RblWthACoz
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Raison D'Extra from Dogfish Head Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 818 ratings.