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Raison D'Extra - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Raison D'ExtraRaison D'Extra

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,055 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,055
Reviews: 632
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 14.64%
Wants: 133
Gots: 338 | FT: 24
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-22-2002

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,055 | Reviews: 632 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jondeelee
4.83/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Raison d'Extra is currently listed as "on hiatus" (in terms of brewing) on Dogfish Head's webpage, so finding a bottle could be a task. I stumbled across mine in an out-of-the-way liquor store, after several weeks of searching. Judging by the aroma wafting from the open mouth, it was worth the search: even from six inches away, the aroma is spilling over with heady caramelized brown sugars, dates and raisins, and cognac. Think of kissing a beautiful girl/guy who's just had a mouthful of cognac after chomping on an extra-gooey raisin/chocolate chip muffin, and you're getting close to the picture.

On the tongue, the brew is so immediately overwhelming with sugars, raisins, and extra-strong cognac that my eyes closed involuntarily. The flavors are massive, as if Dogfish Head had brewed ten beers and boiled them down into one concentrated twelve-ounce powerhouse. Vanilla, orange liqueur, banana, anise, and black pepper crash against the teeth in jaw-shocking waves, and just at the end, a huge roll of chocolate malt breaks over the soft palate. The aftertaste is a slow liturgy of cognac and brown sugar, which does peel back to evidence one of the brew's few weaknesses: a massive vodka-sting alcohol hit--but at 18% ABV, I'm fairly sure this can't be helped.

Overall, I'm of the opinion that this is one of the more incredible beers I've ever tasted, and it only adds to my deepest respect for Dogfish Head's abilities. I can see how some people would be overwhelmed by the brew's potency--after all, there is more flavor in one bottle of this than in an entire Anheuser-Busch brewery--but I'm, quite frankly, in love.

Photo of Krakistophales
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours dark ruby with a bit of pink head that dissipates quickly, but leaves pretty good carbonation considering the high ABV

S: Raisin, plum, cherry, rum soaked sponge cake, grapes, and a slightly creamy sweetness that's hard to name.

T: At first, a huge blast of raisins and cherries hits you right away, which then switches to a sort of cinnamon and vanilla spice in the middle, and finishes with the ultra high booze flavored rum soaked sponge cake flavor, sort of a mix between bready, creamy malt and high alcohol flavor. Very complex and amazing.

O: A very tasty brew from DFH, a shame they discontinued it. This and WWS are some of the best high gravity beers I've ever tasted.

Photo of Janderson91
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to jhughes23 for hooking me up with this bottle. 2007 vintage. Enjoyed on 07/22/11.

A - A slight hiss comes from the bottle upon popping. A very aggressive pour into a goblet yields a small head which was surprising. This recedes quickly and a small ring of bubble remain around the edge. It's a just slightly cloudy deep red/purple color. Great legs. After 4.5 years, the fact that I was able to generate any head out of this is amazing.

S - This is my third of the ultra-high-grav DFH series after I loved WWS and 120. When you first smell all of them, your first thought is nail polish remover because of the huge alcohol content. But after a few minutes, you become accustomed to this and can pick up all their subtle nuances. As expected, this one is fruity and incredibly sweet. Raisins (obviously), plums, grapes, apples, cinnamon, maple syrup. Great stuff.

T - Very sweet and fruity like the aroma. Big raisin and grape notes. Also the cinnamon and even some oaky vanilla comes in. Plums, cherries, and of course, some alcohol are also present. This is very rich and complex.

M - The mouthfeel is just where it needs to be for this beer. Huge, thick and with minimal carbonation. This is obviously a sipper because of the alcohol but also because it's so complex.

O - Overall, another great one from DFH. A seriously innovative and unique beer. Please make this again, Sam!

Photo of t420o
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

HUGE thanks goes out to Schmoopsbeer for giving me this one as an EXTRA in a trade! Great guy and great trader

Bottled: 3/15/07

A- poured aggressive just produces some fizzing that quickly goes away leaving a still looking beer. To be expected after almost 4.5 years. Beer is a deep brown with ruby hues when held up to light.

S- Like bread pudding with a lot of raisins in it. Earthy, molasses, cinnamon, slight hint of bourbon type alcohol scent. Very pleasurable.

T- Taste is exactly what I was expecting from the nose, bread pudding with raisins. Alcohol is right there to greet you leaving a warming over your mouth and body that makes me with I had saved this for the winter instead of a 80 degree summer night. There is also some cinnamon, a slight spicyness, tobacco, wood, cherries, pruins, and apple cider. This beer is very complex and is excellent.

M- actually quite pleasurable despite being basically flat. Slightly syrupy and no carbonation but the viscous nature of this beer causes it to coat the mouth for a second allowing the flavors to linger and being able to appreciate them another couple seconds longer.

O- I absolutely love this beer. It is perfect for what it is in my opinion. This is a slow sipper that needs to be savored. I highly recommend this beer. Ive never had it fresh, but I'm sure the age did some nice things to this one. WOuld love to get a 2006 vintage. Hell I'd love to just have 1 of these a month and I'd be a very happy man. It would be like Christmas every month! Great job Dogfish Head!

Photo of smakawhat
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into an official Dogfish head large snifter. Bottle dated March 15th 2007 F.

Straight down the middle pour provides a barleywine appearance like body of caramel brown, fruit punch consistency, and murky character. Head is a light tan but does not stick around and leaves not a single bit of lacing. Exceptional probably not but hey its old, and it still looks good!

Bouquet on this is just flat out fantastic. Barleywine "like" smelling at first, but gives way to a nice heat and dryness, like a very good Spanish sherry. Almost into Tawny port character but not quite. Tolerable heat, more noticeable as the beer warms up. Sweet dark fruits (from raisin) in sense. Quick whisps of chocolate, anisette, licorice. An amazing complex nose.

Taste is a real fireplace sipper. Heat and sherry dry fruit bent. Figs and dates, with caramel sweetness and toffee. Hint of fizz on the palate, but a bit dry finishing just like sherry. Anisette in the finish matching the parching palate dryness a little. Tight tasting, bold, robust, big but tolerable and one to grab on to.

Overall incredibly impressive, nothing like I remember it when I first had it. A great an example of a beer that ages incredibly well. Just fantastic drink to be had.

Photo of Nashvillain
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - SRM in the 10-12 range, a rusty brown body. Small amounts of light pierce the murky lake water when held up to the light, a small ring of bubbles lines the very outside of the glass. This thing gives about as much head as Betty White. Seriously though, it reminds me of lake water... in a good way.

S - Alcohol, first and foremost, with a light backdrop of raisins. Not boozy, Evan Williams alcohol, more like a nice amaretto.

T - Alcohol, but in a good way, almost fulfilling the amaretto-sweetness promised in the smell. The heat comes in the middle of the palate and flows down into the esophagus (I've been watching a lot of House lately). There's the promised raisin-like sweetness, with slight tastes of other dark fruits as well. Unique, nothing like it.

M - Never did really understand this category. It feels like a liquid in my mouth. It's hot, medium bodied, and goes down easy. I have not a single problem drinking every sip of this 18% barely-tamed Cerberus.

O - A good beer if you want something that tastes good and gets you drunk. There's another thing that does that, it's called liquor. If you're too much of a sissy to drink liquor (you know who you are) or drink so much liquor you'd like to mix it up (me) then this is probably a good place to start. Too bad this one won't be around again, I can definitely see it's appeal, especially when it's almost old enough to start Kindergarten.

Afterthought: I'm not really sure what makes this Belgian. Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't get anything Belgian off of this one. I feel American Strong Ale is a better classification, but I guess others made the decision long ago.

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.43/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to AleWatcher for this one. I've had this a couple years back, but don't remember much about it.

I think it says Bottled on: 2/1/07 F At least the year is the most clear part. Poured into a Mikkeller flute.

A short, sandy head fades quicker than you can say "carbonation". Only a fine pinstripe of a collar exists at this point. The beer is a murky, muddy rusty brown. The beer does look thick, with strong legs that slowly slide back down the glass. Not that much of a looker, but I expected the alcohol to kill the appearance just like it does with all of the other DFH green caps.

This is obviously a beer that needs to warm slightly before becoming fully appreciable. Once it hits about 60 degrees the nose opens up fairly nicely. Alcohol is very strong. Big notes of acetone and fingernail polish. This beer's undercurrents are raisiny and vegetal. I'm picking out things that remind me of lima beans and cauliflower. There is noticeable oxidation, but its buried beneath most of the other aromas.

This isn't as boozy tasting as I expected, which is a nice surprise. It has a very sweet core of rum raisin, caramel apple and very rich toffee. Alcohol adds a nice spiciness rather than aggressively stripping the palate with the oh-so-common clinical, chemical alcohol astringency. It finishes quite similar to a brandy, with lots of warmth and lots and dense, aged fruitiness.

I always did like the body on these huge DFH offerings. This one makes it a flush. Toned back carbonation and a syrupy body.

Pretty good stuff. Its an enjoyable sipper, but its certainly not one to keep on hand all the time.

Photo of Sender
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First Beer Review
Purchased at Casanova's Liquor Store in Hudson, WI
Bottled 03/15/2007
12oz Bottle poured into a Tulip

A - Pours a deep reddish brown, with a nice but fine off-white head that subsides after awhile. It leaves a beautiful lacing on the glass.

S - It smells sweetly of raisins and there is definitely a detectable note of boozyness. Overall a decent smelling beer

T - An enjoyable taste of raisins with a slight beer of the alcohol upfront, where as the back end of the taste brings a mix between dark chocolate and coffee. There is a sweet taste of raisin present throughout, bit is not always at the forefront of the taste of the beer.

M - Decent mouthfeel, an appropriate amount of carbonation.

O - Overall a very tasty beer, I wanted to have a special beer for my 100th different quality beer, and it turned into a first review. I thoroughly enjoyed the beer from start to finish, a nice raisiny flavor is present without being overpowering, with a nice coffee/chocolatey finish

Photo of mjpolzin
3.45/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 2007 bottle poured into a pint glass and drank in front of a fire in my pit in the backyard, listening to Jackson Browne...

The appearance wowed me right away. I could see chunks floating in the glass and swirls forming as well. To me, the look was almost like blood. It looked really neat with the light of the fire bouncing of off the glass.

The first thing that hit me when I tasted it was the raisins and the booze. At first I was a little leery of drinking the whole thing but it grew on me as I went. I eventually got around to tasting brown sugar after the initial surge of raisins and alcohol; a very sweet beer.

I would probably buy this again just for special occasions but it will be tough to find in Wisconsin since they don't distribute it here anymore!

Photo of Gosox8787
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 2007 vintage poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my new Dogfish Head snifter. Served at room temperature.

Appearance: Pours a decent head, one finger and fizzy. Not a lot of retention but the carbonation seems to be lively considering this beer is almost four years old. Medium brown and clear in color.

Aroma: Caramel, raisins, and some really strong booze. Even as this warms, the booze is not at all well hidden in the nose and almost resembles a shot of vodka being added to the glass. The brown sugar and caramel sweetness is very pleasant though and is nicely tempered with some smoky peat malt.

Taste: The alcohol is way toned down here as compared to the aroma. Molasses and brown sugar notes are dominant with some nice peat malt notes intertwined to keep this from being cloyingly sweet. The raisins are definitely noticeable and provide some nice raisin notes along with an almost red wine quality. Nicely balanced and warming, ideal qualities for a sipper.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and warming. Plenty of carbonation.

Overall, a really pleasant surprise and an enjoyable sipper. Big flavors and big alcohol, but the age on this bottle has really tempered the ABV. Drinking really nicely right now and I can imagine it can still improve with more age. Definitely a unique experience.

Photo of cbeer88
4.9/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz, bottled on 8/30/05. Huge thanks to the overly generous Plenum for tossing this in as an 'extra'.

Appearance: Strong pour into a Duvel tulip yields absolutely no head. Extremely dark reddish orange, almost to the point of solid brown.

Smell: Alcohol, raisins, sweet fruit, and port. Very enticing, can't wait to sip this guy.

Taste: Sublime. The raisins are heavy as one would expect, but there is also a very sweet caramel flavor to balance it out. The alcohol is absolutely there, and it's still a little hot, but you would never guess this guy to be 18%! Bit of caramelized sugar at the end, much like the tasty top of a creme brulee.

Mouthfeel: Low carb, full bodied, very syrupy. But syrupy in a good way, like a desert wine.

Drinkability: Well, you certainly don't want more than one, but for what it is, the drinkability is extremely high. Shockingly smooth thanks to the age, I happily sipped this guy for over 2 hours. Drinks somewhere between a beer and a liquor, not unlike a port. (Particularly as it warmed up to room temp.)

Overall: Excellent beer that is drinking phenomenally right now. I never had the 2005 fresh, so I can't compare it directly, but this is way better than the other batches that I have tried fresh. Unfortunate that they stopped making this beer - probably the finest thing from DFH that I have ever had the pleasure of drinking. If you've never had it, seek one out before it's all gone, and don't be afraid to let it sit for a while.

Photo of SirSketch
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on 8/15/2007. Thanks to chrizzle for this awesome 'extra' in a recent trade.

A - Reddish orange color wit some gold accents in the light. Still a light brown head after a few years. Very thick legs when stirred.

S - Big, enormous, mammoth, punch-you-in-the-face aroma! Raisins, brown sugar, vanilla extract, sherry, banana and even milk chocolate chip aromas can be found in this beer. Plus, a large dose of alcohol.

T - Sweet, fruity taste with raisins taking center stage. Other flavors include maple syrup, caramel and a tannic red wine character. Again, heavy on the booze and very warming with each sip.

M - Starts sweet and tannic, but smooths out towards the end. Medium to full body.

O - Fantastic aroma, but a bit unrefined in flavor. Still a really enjoyable beer that was fun to taste after 3 1/2 years of aging.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes. Split a bottle with a friend at The Pickled Pig Pub. 2007 Vintage.

A: The beer poured a dark ruby/brown, quite murky. No head whatsoever and no lacing, but a few bubbles here and there on top. A good bit of sediment left in the bottle.

S: Tons of dark fruits, raisins and figs dominate the aroma. There is a heavy malt backbone, mostly dough, some caramelized sugar, and a slight oxidized aroma. The booze smell isn't as strong as expected, but still present.

T: Very rich, raisins are the dominate flavor with brown sugar, caramel, and other dart fruits. There is a little bit of alcohol, but not overwhelming. Reminds me of a sherry almost.

M: Slightly oily, medium to full bodied with low carbonation. Slight alcohol heat.

O: A nice treat, and better than raison detre. A nice beer to end the night on, especially when you are only having 6oz or so.

Photo of schmoopsbeer
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to njbeernerd for throwing this in in our first trade. Cheers!

served cold into snifter

2007 vintage

Color: Hazy brown, Definitely no lacing and hardly any head. Some carbonation.

Nose: Plenty of sugar and heavy raisin. Some light malty scents in the background with some light yeast as well.

Palate: Drinks hot! the alcohol is well masked, you get hints of it, but not in a bad way. Definitely a full bodied beer that packs a punch. You get some sweetness from the sugar on your entire tounge.

Finish: Long and warm. not to complex or layered. malty and fruity.

Photo of mavbrew
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 9/29/09, reviewed on 4/30/11

A: The color is a caramel reddish color with minimal head that leaves a thin lace atop the beer.

S: The scent is very boozy, there is some candied sugar present with sweet malts and a pretty strong raisin scent to it as well.

T: The upfront taste is very sweet with raisins and a bit of a fruit flavor. Caramel malts are also present with the candied sugar flavor coming through. The finish is is sweet and also spicy.

M: Light to medium bodied with very little carbonation. The feel is raisin and sweet malts.

D: I had this beer when I first started drinking good beer so I'm not sure what the aging did to it, but it was a very good beer. Very sweet and sugary and also a bit spicy but it works, too bad it's retired....

Photo of divineaudio
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

bottled on 9/29/06

a - pours a murky, deep carmel color and formed a thin cap of head that faded right away, forgiven due to the high abv. some spotty lacing. looks dense and oily sitting in the glass.

s- molasses, vanilla, very musty and woody, slight booziness.

t - taste is exceptionally smooth and, well, raisiny. toasty and bready malt character rolls over the tongue first only to be slowly subdued by a sugary, vinuous quality. notes of raisin, date, fig, molasses and vanilla all make an appearance. very little trace of alcohol in the flavor and no discernible hop character.

m - thick and gooey with adequate carbonation and a very subtle alcohol warming.

d - at just over 4 years old, this bottle has aged extremely well. smooth and delicious, though certainly a slow sipper. get one bottle and share it with a friend. i imagine it would pair well with apple pie or vanilla ice cream drizzled in caramel.

Photo of psumjl269
5/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Update: I've been looking for this beer since Dogfish inexplicably stopped brewing it in 08/09. It's back and it is dominating. This is a huge, huge beer, but you can't taste the booze at all. All you taste is rich raisons, dates, figs, and other wonderful flavors. My favorite beer of all time, no doubt.

I had a bottle at the DFH restaurant in Falls Church VA in early 2011 that was from 2008. The bartender told me the fermenting process continued in the bottle, adding an extra 2% ABV per year. Not sure if this was true or just a reason to justify the price ($24 per bottle), but this is a total ass kicker. I couldn't drink two of these and be out in public. Very strong, but very tasty. Suitable for a snifter and probably best shared between two.

The beer pours a reddish brown color, but not as red as the DFH Barley Wine. I don't recall much head associated with this beer. The smell is not completely overpowering. I'd say it is slightly malty with undertones of raisons.

This beer tastes outstanding. I am a huge fan of the raison taste. There is a lot of sugar in this beer also, so much so that it will leave your lips stickey. It's very similar to DFH 120 IPA in that regard. If you are looking for something to chug, this is not for you. You know you are drinking a BIG beer and you can taste the booze. However, I found this to go down just fine in small sips, which is how I think all big beers are intended to be consumed.

I think the best thing about this beer, apart from the taste, is how it feels going down. I love the slight alcohol burn going down my throat when it is associated with a cold beer. It is very smooth and not hugely fizzy.

I like DFH very much and have pounced on this beer the last few times I've seen it (twice at DFH in Falls Church and once at Capital Ale House in Richmond). It is a fantastic beer to get the night started, but beware, this could also finish you off. It is probably the strongest beer I've had, but the strength does not impinge on the taste. I'd get it again in a heartbeat despite the high price (over $20 each time I've gotten it for a 12 oz. bottle).

Photo of ferrari29
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer poured from bottle into Goblet style glass
Bottled on 3/15/07

A - Beer poured with a dark red, almost brownish color; barely any head formed and what ever was there dissipated pretty quickly; well carbonated; kind of syrupy in appearance, but no sticky lacing formed on the glass; beer leaves lots and lots of sediment behind

S - Raisin and fig; deep and pleasant scents of dark fruits with a nice sweet twist at the end to it; tiny malty backbone; some caramel notes are hidden in there too and don't really come up unless you take a nice deep whiff

T - Raisin and figs hit the palate really quickly; roasted malts hit the back of the palate; high sugar content hides the high volume of alcohol behind a caramel taste; bit rough; a very unique blend of dark fruits and malt, combined with an aging process, kicks the sugars into high gear to create a nice tasty beer

M - Beer finishes with a lingering dark fruit taste; not dry, almost kind of oily, chewy and sticky in consistency; slight burning down the hatch

D - I like this beer, too bad they aren't making it anymore; it will be sorely missed; if you find it consider yourself lucky!

Photo of jrenihan
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled March 15, 2007

Beer is a dark maroon/light brown in colour. Absolutely no head at all- some froth develops as it pours, but disappears immediately. Looks fine, but not a lot to say about it.

Smell has lots of raisin and burnt toffee, and the alcohol is noticeable as well. Smells somewhat like a port.

The taste begins very nicely- dark dried fruit, raisin and plum, with toffee. A lot like the nose. However, it is not long before the alcohol takes over, and takes over almost completely, which is not surprising. given the 18% abv. Makes this a very hot drink, and detracts from the taste. I do find that the alcohol is less obtrusive as I go on- whether my taste buds are getting dull or I am getting drunk, I can't say!

Mouthfeel is good. A nice medium bodied beer with minimal carbonation.

Overall, this is a very good beer that is too strong to be great. I like strong brews, but this one goes a little far for me. To say it is a 'sipper' would be an understatement.

Photo of surprenant1138
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle aged 5 years poured into my DFH snifter. No head at all. No lacing. Appears to look like swamp water. Very hazy, murky brown. Aroma is super boozy, very sweet; raisins, cherries, hint of vanilla. Taste is very boozy, very sweet, dry. I taste vanilla, oak, some raisin, cherries, banana. Mouthfeel is dry, bold. Not great. Not bad.

Photo of wyattshotmaker
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

06 bottle.

poured into a dfh chalice, hazy brown. not much head. not great, not bad.

nose really reminds me of madeira, nutty, raisiny, and boozy with a touch of oxidized fruitiness.

taste is slight sweet, boozy. nutty, raisiny,caramel with some oxidized fruit and a hint of paper. slight medicinal phenolic note. probably wouldnt guess this is 18 percent, but it's pretty mellow now.

mouthfeel is alright, fairly medium bodied.

i dunno, not crazy about this beer. not bad, not great.

Photo of roadhouse
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle (3/15/07) into a snifter.

Appears a murky brown with a half inch head initially that goes away and only leaves a ring. Not the best looking brew but what can you do.

Aroma is excellent reminiscent of an English Barleywine with the same amount of age on it. Tons of raisins of course with explosive caramel and toffee notes and a bunch of figs and dates. Very slight alcoholic whiff but not overwhelming in the least.

Taste is not a let down either - all of the notes from the aroma are transposed in the flavor. Starts out being sweet in the mouth and as I swallow there is a huge blast of raisins, dates, and figs with burnt sugar and caramel notes appearing towards the end before a light cacao and alcohol finish. A little bit of heat lingers in the throat. Excellent.

The mouthfeel was what really surprised me most. For such a strong and heavy beer the mouthfeel is surprisingly light. It doesn't seem all that carbonated either, but somehow manages this creamy feel almost like a Belgian ale.

I think I had this a couple years ago, probably from the same batch and was slightly underwhelmed. However this has developed wonderfully and I am going to have to try and get a couple more bottles before it's gone forever.

Photo of TheHoppiest
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured half from a 12 oz bottle into a small chalice. I've been saving this bottle for over a year, when a good friend gave it to me as a birthday gift. The bottle bears a date stamp of March 15, 2007. Let's see how it has aged.

Pours a brilliant amber brown, with glints of ruby and burnt orange. What was that crayola color, burnt umber? Minimal head completely disappears, with little more than a bubble or two sticking to the sides as you swirl the glass.

Sells like scotch. No, seriously, smells like scotch. Toasted caramel, biscuity malt, old yeast, mild peat, and a hint of dark dried fruit. Could it be the raisins advertised in the label?

Whoa, this is definitely a sipper. Vinous, tannic, and heavy on alcohol, malt with some sour hops and a definite woodiness. Sweetening as more is sipped, this will without a doubt be the beer that ends the evening for me. Begins to almost become cloyingly sweet. Prior reviewers described it as a port; I'm thinking more like a sherry.

Tangy, medium bodied, and full flavored, this warms as you consume.

I am so, so glad I had the opportunity to try this rarity. While I am slowly enjoying it, this is a beast that must be respected. I'll wait a while before reviewing it's cousin, the 120 minute IPA.

Photo of axeman9182
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, bottled on 3/15/07, allowed to warm and poured into my Duvel tulip.

The beer pours a somewhat unappealing murky plum. The beige colored head rises to just over two fingers in height, but fades quickly and without leaving a shred of lacing. There's also a small mound of solid chunks gathered at the bottom of my glass... lovely The nose is heavy on toffee and caramelized brown sugar, with a prominent raisin component as well. The flavor profile steps up the dark fruits, taking what was present in the nose and adding layers of date and fig. Unfortunately oxidation is creeping in a bit too heavy at this point, with a wet cardboard taste. I'm quite impressed with how middling the body is for a beer this size. It's not as well attenuated as many Belgian styles, but it's not nearly as heavy as I was expecting for a beer this high in alcohol. The carbonation is also still pretty solid, though a bit more liveliness would really top things off nicely. This bottle of '07 Raison D'extra was pretty good, but I think at just over 4 years old it might be past its peak.

Photo of wagenvolks
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle (filled 03/15/2007) split three ways. Looking forward to seeing how this beer has done with almost exactly 4 years under its belt.

Pours with a murky amber body and a thin fizz of foam that vanishes after a few minutes. The best part of the appearance? Raison D'extra has LEGS. Each swirl drapes sturdy legs of boozy goodness along the inside of the glass. Lacing? Who cares. The flavor wafts a massive fog of sweet raisin interspersed with port-like alcohol notes, toffee, browned apple flesh and hints of leather. Intoxicating aroma...

The flavor adds a drying note of Baker's chocolate up front to the plethora of dark fruit and raisin booziness that hits mid-palate. Lots of sweetness, but it's refined and in no way cloying. Mouthfeel is vinous and full bodied with a minuscule carbonation level. Still not sure if this is a beer or a port wine that Dogfish Head somehow snuck into the bottle. Either way, tasty stuff.

Raison D'Extra from Dogfish Head Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 1,055 ratings.