Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Raison D'Extra - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Raison D'ExtraRaison D'Extra

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

683 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 683
Hads: 1,381
Avg: 3.99
pDev: 19.05%
Wants: 164
Gots: 530 | FT: 47
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 683 | Hads: 1,381
Photo of Px2GrafX
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

much lighter than i expected. caramel brown with a thin ring of slightly off-white head. aroma is sweet candied sugar with dark fruits. plums and prunes first, and then maybe a hint of raisins all entertwined with a fairly apparent alcohol aroma. tons of flavor. sweet dark candied fruit. dates, prunes and raisins. brown sugar and syrup. vanilla with almost a woody bourbon flavor. super sweet with a nice alcohol warming in the finish. thick and chewy mouthfeel with surprisingly nice high carbonation. slow drinker, but the 20% is well hidden. very nice dessert beer. should be amazing with a year or five in the cellar.

 623 characters

Photo of Boto
4.55/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. 2005 bottle: I’m still holding off on tasting my 2002 bottle, but I figured I’d give the new version a shot. It pours a hazy mahogany color, with no head whatsoever, even though it it opened with a good pfffft. Pretty potent aroma. Some alcohol poking its head through, but it is mainly caramel malt and raisins. The beer has a nice, silky feel on the tongue. Caramel and raisins are the predominate part of the taste, but it is still complex with more in there. Unique and enjoyable.

 493 characters

Photo of MSchae1017
3.77/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer was tasted in my Raison D'Etra Gobelt from the 12oz bottle head to head with a Raison D'Etra...wow what a head rush!

This beer pours a hazy brownsih amber with a very cola like head that fizzes and dissipates immediatley no doubt due to the alcohol content. The color is certainly hazier than that of the Raison D'Etra. The smell is so sweet that its almost sticky itself. The candied sugars and the raisins definetly come through on the aroma. If you get your nose deep into the beer you can actually feel the alcohol burn. Lets see if the taste reflects that. The taste...well yes it is HOT. I am glad I got to try this fresh but man it could really use 4-5 years. It is also very sweet. It does maintain that belgian ale like flavor but wow is it sweet. The mouthfeel is more than full bodied. It sticks to your mouth. It is almost syrupy. The carbonation is in there; noticable and lively...not too bad. Overall, well its not the most drinkable beer, but there is certainly nothing offensive about it. I could really see myself saving some and enjoying it once or twice a year when the temperature really drops but it certainly is not a daily beer or even a weekly or monthy one for that matter. Hats off to DFH though for making yet another bold and interesting beer and not being afraid to push our mental limits of what beer is.

 1,348 characters

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.17/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the tap at the Ale House to a 12 oz snifter. The liquid is a orangish amber with good carbonation. The head one finger light tan and left a slight bit of lace.

The smell is sugared dark fruit, plums, raisins, figs, and dates. Some alcohol but well covered by the sweet malt.

The taste was very good, follows the nose well very malty on the sweetened dried fruit side.

The mouth feel is good full body and nice carbonation. DFH always does these big beers so well.

The drinkability is good, very good for a 18-20% ABV brew. Very enjoyable. Prosit MK

 574 characters

Photo of Byeast
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
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!

 1,102 characters

Photo of Dizzy
4.14/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours transparent red with tan head which quickly recedes to a film over the top of the beer. (Understandable for the ABV). Aroma is sweet malts, dark fruits and the alcohol is evident. Very sweet, with wine like characteristics. Mouthfeel is kind of sticky with light carbonation. Alcohol burn is noticeable but not as strong as you might expect for a beer this strong. This is a nice beer to sip, but I certainly wouldn't want more than one.

 443 characters

Photo of blackie
4.19/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

appearance: The fizzy head created when pouring almost immediately disappears. The retention is greatly lacking, but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt at 20% ABV. The beer is a rich, slighly hazy medium-dark brown in color.

smell: As expected, huge notes of plump raisins and dark sugars that have been attacked by an army of yeast. Raisin guts bursting all over the place. Sweet malts. The hop aroma is hard to gauge under all the sugar, and there's a considerable ethanol note found.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is on the higher side of the low range, and the body full and somewhat slick.

taste: Big, fat, fermented raisins upfront with a strong malt sweetness. Huge notes of dark fruit sugars. Brandylike notes of ethanol. Light to moderate hop flavor, with a light bitterness barely cleaning up the sugars. The sweet, malty finish carries notes of fermened dark fruits well into the aftertaste. 4.0 for flavor, 4.5 for craziness.

drinkability: Very interesting, but very limited in drinkability. Quickly intoxicating.

single bottle from BeerBeing in No BS BiF. No bottling date.

 1,101 characters

Photo of EPICAC
3.46/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I noticed that they had singles of this at Downtown Wine & Spirits, so I picked one up. This was bottled on 29 September 2006. I let it warm to around 50º F and served it in one of my Ommegang chalices.

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazy brown with a thin beige head that fades to a persistent film, leaving patchy lace clinging to the side of the glass.

Smell: Very sweet and fruity. Aromas of raisins dominate. There's a hint of graininess and alcohol (though nothing to hint at it's alcohol content). The raisins are overpowering.

Taste: Very, very sweet. Tart raisins are present and dominant throughout. There's a bit of spiciness and a very subtle bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and syrupy (though not unpleasant), low but tingly carbonation, with a strong warming sensation.

Drinkability: The high alcohol is well hidden, but it's still there. The beer is also very sweet.

Overall: I didn't realize that this was such a strong beer when I started drinking it. The alcohol was so well hidden that I didn't realize this was so strong until I checked beer advocate halfway through. It would make a nice dessert beer, and reminds me a little of port in that respect.

 1,207 characters

Photo of Estarrio
3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear dark, copper brown with some amber notes. Small head without much retention and nearly non-existent lacings.

The aroma consists of a light alcohol presence that mixes with subtle caramel, roasted malt and wood notes. Once the raison takes over, sniffing this brew is the equivalent to poking your nose in an empty raison box.

Huge, sweet raison taste and very, very sweet. It’s hard to pick up the other flavors through the purposely-overpowering raison taste. Very subtle roasted malt, burned sugar, caramel, vanilla and plum mingled with a bit of tartness. I’m very surprised by how well the high alcohol content is masked. That said, the potent warming is unmistakable throughout.

The mouthfeel is appropriately viscous and syrupy. The drinkability is hindered by the sweetness and high alcohol content. This is one that you will certainly want to sip.

I tried this to see what a Dogfish Belgian might taste like and for the novelty of the alcohol content. I’m not sure it really fits into the style but it is an interesting concoction nonetheless.

 1,082 characters

Photo of mpyle
3.55/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aroma a mix of raisiny sweetness and rubbing alcohol. Nice ruby red color with minimal head.

Very fruity and sweet, with hoppiness well hidden. As with many of DFH's stronger beers, the alcohol is surprisingly well hidden, although it does jump out occasionally.

Carbonation is subdued, there is definite warming from the alcohol, and the mouthfeel is big as one would expect.

Such a unique creation that it is hard to put it into context. For a super high alcohol beer, it is smooth and drinkable, but when compared to more normal beers, it can't be considered to be highly drinkable. A session beer it is not!

 621 characters

Photo of Toddv29424
4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a brown-red hazy color, which has an interesting layering pattern when observed through light. Smell is terrific, with a certain kind of malt that I dont think i've ever had. A bit like maple syrup with a hint of berries, and an overall sweetness. The taste is huge, which is to be expected with a 20% beer. Lost of sweet malts and candied fruits, which makes it almost like a quad. The second set of taste is more of the same fruits, and a delightful bit of carbonation that lets the sweet taste dance on your tongue, then cruely takes it away. Ends with a pleasant wash of more of the same. Highly recommened.

 627 characters

Photo of phisig137
4.07/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Bottled on 9/29/2006... first time I've had a fresh bottle that wasn't aged. Pours a hazy brown/amber color, with bright gold highlights. Tiny head appears and disappears very quickly, leaving nothing behind, aside from a little lace. Has an incredible range of different colors when held in a tulip up to the light... like nothing I've ever seen. Kinda like a tequila sunrise.

Aroma is all sugar and alcohol. obviously, raison are present, but perhaps soaked in rum and everclear. malt, caramel, toffee, figs, and also a prune like aroma are present. Burnt sugar shows up too.

Flavor is oddly much like a standard Raison d'etre, but without the slightly roasted character. All the usual suspects of caramel, raisons, honey, and toffee are present, along with a strong alcohol presence. Incredibly sweet on the finish, and you can almost feel the cavities developing as you drink it. Despite that, this beer is quite complex, and only gets better as it warms up from cellar temp. Mouthfeel is incredibly thick, like drinking warm syrup. Drinkability is a little low due to the alcohol, sweetness,and heaviness. This is a sipper for sure. Then again, you alway want another sip.

Another solid winner from DFH, and well worth the $8.19 I paid for the 12 oz. But I think that I will continue to only drink aged bottles from now on. When fresh, this is quite sweet and alcoholic, but when aged, the flavors blend beautifully. I'll review again in a few months when I pull that 04 bottle from the cellar.

 1,509 characters

Photo of oelergud
4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful translucent cloudy copper orange body with low carbonation. Low tan head that collapses without leaving much lace.
Obviously lots of raison in the smell. Strong and sweet without a hint at the high abv. Marzipan, dark sweet bread and vanilla.
Burning sweet raisons at first sip. Slight hint at the abv. Mellow flavors swirling around the raisons. Almonds, strong malt, vanilla and brown sugar. The aftertaste is abit more alcoholic but mostly sweet and very pleasant.
Full body and good coating present. Abit dry in the finish but not much.
Very drinkable and well crafted. I had my reservations at how good this could be due to the high abv but I was pleasantly surprised.


 700 characters

Photo of terrabyte
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy dark ruby color with no head.

Smells like port or brandy. Sweet raisons and dark fruits, heavy on the alcohol. Smells just like the St. Bernardus 12 I just had.

Flavor is very sweet with dark fruits, raisons, and liquorish. Crazy thing is, this flavor and the expected burn of alcohol in the aftertaste drops dead on the dry finish. I don't know how they did it.

Mouthful is thick like syrup, and very dry.

Drinkability is lowered due to sweetness. However, for a 20% alcohol content, it's extremely drinkable.

 535 characters

Photo of drotski
3.94/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured with almost no head. Deep honey color.

Nice aroma, of raisons, molasses, and syrup. You can definitely smell the high alcohol content.

Very sweet taste, as I had expected. Raisons, apple, cinnamon, and a hint of maple syrup.

Sort of thick and syrupy in the mouth. Somewhat low carbonation.

As far as taste goes, very drinkable. However, the alcohol will catch up really quick, so be careful.

 410 characters

Photo of IntriqKen
4.45/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark clear amber with lots of red tones. Practically non-existent head.
Aroma is definately raisins...lots of dark candied raisins and dark candied fruit with just a hint of the alcohol in this brew.
Taste is MASSIVELY sweet raisin and complex candied fruits finishing to an alcohol taste and alcohol warmth going down.
Aftertaste is sweet and again, lots of dark raisin...not really cloying....nice. This is a great lingering desert brew.
I had no idea the ABV was 20% while drinking it...strong?, yes...20%?...no way. It is really well hidden.
I love a beer that takes an hour to finish a glass.
This is one of those.
Ok...beers that take an hour and a half to finish.

 729 characters

Photo of Freshie
3.29/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The appearance is a cloudy burgundy color with little to head. Seems to be very flat in carbonation.

The smell is pleasantly sweet, with rich fruit, caramel malt, and very present phenol alochol aroma. Stings the nostrils.

The taste knocks you in the mouth. The alcohol bites at your palate and then warms slightly. The sweetness is good and not overpowering, but this is absolutely a sipping brew. Very powerful.

Interesting to have, but not something I would have a lot. Wow. My mouth is still catching up.

 517 characters

Photo of cjgator3
2.83/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle, pours a copperish brown color. A lot of alcohol in the nose along with some raisins. Very sweet aroma that is quite rum-like. Taste is dominated by a strong alcohol presence that is sweet with malt and some dark fruit. Overall, I did not find this brew very drinkable at all. It shows off the high ABV far too much. The alcohol seems to dominate both the smell and taste.

 384 characters

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

This has a good appearance, with a gorgeous amber with absolutely no head on it. The smell is all raisin and alcohol, almost like a very fruity wine. The first thing that struck me wasn't the taste, but the mouthfeel. It's very full, with almost an oatmeal-like texture (as in oatmeal stout). It's pleasant, but then, I'm not sure what I was expecthing out of this beer. The flavor roughly matches the aroma, with an alcohol upfront and then an oak-vanilla-raisin hint under. It's a very clean beer with no lingering aftertaste. I woudn't think that this is 20% alcohol. But, keeping the alcohol content in mind, I'm not sure i this is a real drinker, unless you're planning on calling it an early night.

 704 characters

Photo of hoppymeal
4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 8/31/05. Pours a dark amber to copper around the edges, slightly hazy, and a very small cream colored head appears and just as quickly fades away. Initial aroma shows a little bit of prunes and raisins along with a big helping of grain alcohol. There is also a red wine like tart cherry sweetness mixed in with the big alcohol aroma. The alcohol in the aroma subsides or I become numb to it further in allowing a floral-perfumy cherry sweetness and more of the rich sugariness but still just a little bit of raisins. Taste is where the raisins come thru, a big, rich sugary raisin flavor along with some caramel. The alcohol is also more evident at first in the taste as a nice spicy burn, but eventually mellows to a warmth in the throat. Not overly thick for its strength. This beer while it may not rate as high for me in aroma or appearance is incredible where taste is concerned. It is like a nice dessert port or sherry, very rich, and very well balanced for its strength, always showing the right amount of alcohol. This is one of my favorites to slowly sip at and savor each of those sips.

 1,105 characters

Photo of murrayswine
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is courtesy of my good friend, and fellow Marine, Troy, the owner of Warehouse Liquor in Madison.

It pours a ruddy amber/brown with no source of head.

The smell is sugar, plum, brandy, caramel, nuts, and grapes. BE WARNED- do not stick oyur nose directly into the glass, the large alcohol content will anestisize your whole olefactory sense system. Hold the glass a few inches away.

The taste is like malty brandy, which, well, I happen to love. It finishes like a congac, strong and sweet with a lot of heat.

The moutfeel is okay, but far too limp, it makes it like grain alcohol.

All in all this is a great beer that I highly recommend, but the alcohol content a limp mouthfeel bring it down a bit as a whole.

 737 characters

Photo of NolateM
4.59/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass. I poured it straight down, yet the head dissipated to a small ring, which did linger the whole time. There was no lacing. The beer was completely opaque, with a rich mahogany color.

The aroma was quite impressive. I could smell the alcohol of course, and it also had a sort of fruity, sweet, dessert wine kind of a smell to it.

The alcohol was also detected in the flavor OBVIOUSLY, as well as sweet caramel malts, and a slight Belgian-esque yeastiness to it, but it wasn't overbearing. Raisins and cherries were definitely there in the flavor, as well as other fruit flavors I had trouble identifying. It wasn't too bitter at all.

This was relatively easy to drink despite the alcohol flavor, moreso than the World Wide Stout that I had tried last week. It had a wonderful warming character, and a creamy/syrupy mouthfeel (yet it was still well-carbonated). I definitely recommend this beer - and you may still be wondering why I gave it such high points for drinkability. I believe one must enjoy and review a 'beer' like this as if it were a fine port wine.

$9 per 12 oz. bottle

 1,120 characters

Photo of DogFood11
2.73/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

On my wife's latest trip to the east coast I had her stop by a couple beer related stores near copely square and she managed to russle up 9 bottles of stuff I can't get on the west coast. This was on my list although I was thinking can a belgian strong dark get past the 20% abv. Well, in short it does manage but with mixed results.

Poured into a tulip it actually forms a decent head but the alcohol takes care of that quickly and also retention and lace are gonzo. Copper in color, almost like you'd find in darker IPA.

A nice fruitiness stabs its way out front. Body is rather lathering and syrupy. Carbonation rears its head through the body and manages to crispen it up a bit. Don't get me wrong its chewy and malted to the max but the carbonation helps. It has an underlying dark fruitiness for the style and cloying at times but once again its smacked down quickly by the drying alcohol steamer Jones.

Notes: I think its pretty clear that the abv doesn't help this brew and I like beers close to this range sometimes but this is a fricking turbine engine type of heat. Pushing the envelope on categories is great. I applaud dogfish head and look forward to the other products that made their way back in the carry on....whats that no liquid's in the carry on luggage anymore....bummer but neccessary.

 1,318 characters

Photo of cbl2
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11/19/2005 $8.99 12 oz. 20.00% No best by date, but with such a high ABV, the bottle even states that it ages with the best of them.


Pours a still, syrupy thick amber-brown that idles in the glass.


A dab of alcohol, smothered by a heaping dose of raisins, and sweetened condensed milk/caramel.


Viscous in the mouth, flavors are in your face sweetness that is reminiscent of caramel & honey with a touch of bottrysized muscat grapes. As it warms a sherry-like nuttiness creeps into the backgroung. Another superb offering from DFH. 20% ABV is surprisingly well masked. With its subtle chocolate/nut/dark fruit characteristics, this would make an excellent aperitif.

 721 characters

Photo of BeerRun13
3.79/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy reddish brown, Virtually no head at all.
Malty. Strong Raisins and a touch of grapes in the nose. Mucho Alcohol.
Damn fine tasting. Strong on the raisons as well as the alcohol. A touch of bitterness shows.
Full bodied. Low carbonation. Syruppy and a bit chewy.
Good beer. Drinkable to the sipping extent. The raison quality is something I'm really starting to enjoy in a beer.

 403 characters

Raison D'Extra from Dogfish Head Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 683 ratings.