Raison D'Extra - Dogfish Head Brewery
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Ratings: 818 | Reviews: 575 | Display Reviews Only:
4.2/5 rDev +5.3%
This beer pours a pale amber, which thickens to a ruby when it's gathered in the glass. White head that fades almost instantly (no big surprise with the ABV), and is a very thin ring around the edge.
This smells very much like a merlot. There's some oak and malt in there as well, but a very strong wine smell.
Taste is very much like a strong wine. Raisins and malts hit, very sweet, and then just an explosion of warming alcohol. Melts the back of your head. Almost a rum-like finish. Definitely makes me curious to try some raisins in my next homebrew.
The up-front is extremely sweet and syrupy, and then the body just disappears as the alcohol and raisins rinse it all away. Extremely tasty, but unlike any other beer I've had.
The ABV makes this *very* much a sipping beer, but it's so tasty and such an unusual experience, it's hard to resist.
With a few years on it, this beer will be outstanding.
Many thanks to lackenhauser for hooking me up!
10-27-2005 01:14:58 | More by waldowin
4/5 rDev +0.3%
(Served in a chalice)
A- This beer pours a deep mahogany with a reddish hint. The body is crystal clear with no real carbonation visible. The head is a thin film around the rim that is light tan.
S- this beer has a warm sweet malty nose with some hints of oak and wine. There is a faint cherry blossom sweetness in the finish.
T- This beer has a bold caramel and toasted malt with a slight dark red wine hint. The finish has an alcohol warmth mixed with some hop bitterness and a slight sweetness that gives it a hint of cough medicine flavor but in a good way if that is possible.
M- Medium-light mouthfeel with some alcohol warmth that runs down the throat. There is no astringency but did I mention the alcohol warmth?
D- This beer is better and bigger than its younger sibling. It has good complexity and depth along with an alcohol strength that dominates the finish. It might be more smooth and blended after a long rest.
10-25-2005 22:15:07 | More by rhoadsrage
3.85/5 rDev -3.5%
A - Pours a very clear and thin red color. No lace, no head at all. An odd color for a Strong Dark Ale, but then again, does Dogfish abide by any rules?
S - Lots of fruits, namely light raisins and grapes, cherry perhaps as well as malt. Made to be a very sweet smell.
T - Similar, lots of light fruits, with cherries also perhaps. The alcohol plays a huge role also.
M - Very syrupy, it was called cough syrup, and in the mouth it feels like it. A bit uncomfortable to drink.
D - At 20%, the odd mouthfeel, and taste unlike others, it keeps it down a bit. I would still reccomend you try.
10-24-2005 02:16:05 | More by Bumpon10s
3.68/5 rDev -7.8%
The beer is a rich, clear ruby red color. It pours with a pale, almost non-existent head despite being pretty well carbonated. The aroma smells quite a bit like brandy; intense, concentrated fruit (fig, prune, dried cranberries, raisins), and alcohol. The taste is quite sweet, yet still fairly light on the palate, though it is certainly a bit syrup like. The beer has quite a fruity taste to it, with lots of notes of concentrated grape (almost has notes of a desert wine), a bit of candied orange peel. This beer is still fairly drinkable, despite the high alcohol; it is definitely a sipper, but it does not become too much beer after a couple of ounces like the 120 min. This is pretty simplistic in its straight forward sweet fruit character, which drowns out pretty much everything except perhaps the alcohol.
10-22-2005 04:52:53 | More by Gueuzedude
4.43/5 rDev +11%
Pours an amber color with a tiny head that falls fast and doesn't leave any lacing on the glass, as expected with this high of alcohol. The aroma has some fruit with a touch of raisin and has a lot of sugary sweetness, but not too much. The flavor doesn't have near the raisin intensity that I expected. Very intense flavor. Molasses sweetness and lots of crystal malt with a very well hidden sting of alcohol. The mouthfeel is very thick and the drinkability is deadly smooth for the alcohol level.
10-20-2005 15:25:12 | More by clvand0
4.3/5 rDev +7.8%
Pours a deep amber color, crystal cleer, with just a light hint of head that leaves just a small ring around the top. Nose is not nearly as strong as I expected. I get deep raison and fig soaked in rum, deep brown-sugary sweetness. I really expected this to kick my ass more. Flavor is really smooth. Lots of sweetness, brown sugar and caramel, with raison and just a touch of alcohol. Wow. Very nice. Feel is syrupy and thick with minimal carbonation. I get a nice warming in my stomach. I'm very very surprised at the drinkability of this one. I was expecting something that would be hard to finish, but I'm finding myself having to slow down a little. I'm definately sipping, but going back sooner than other beers of this magnitude. This is a really nice beer. I will enjoy a few more of these before too long.
10-19-2005 01:06:10 | More by kmpitz2
4/5 rDev +0.3%
Given out at the DFH bocce tournament 2005.
Pours a clear, brown. Little to no head, very light carbonation. Smells of grapes and plums.
First taste is syrupy sweet. The raisons are evident. Overripe fruit sweetness. Long, lingering sweetness in the aftertaste. Very light alcohol apparent for being 20%ABV.
Very nice and easy to drink now. I can see this being phenomenal in a year or two. Even now it is very enjoyable.
10-14-2005 22:15:46 | More by sacfly
4.22/5 rDev +5.8%
The beer pours a dark amber/brown color with a thin offwhite head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a warm and rich crystal malt and molasses scent with a mild raisin aroma to boot. It is sweet with an alcohol bang. The taste is intense. It has a rich crystal malt and raisin flavor with the residual sweetness of the molasses. It goes down slow and warm. It's flavor is quite complex and so flavorful. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn tastey brew, but to be honest, I'll probably never buy this again. It's one of those, I had to try it; I liked it, but it's too damned over the top to drink too often.
10-08-2005 03:03:27 | More by WesWes
4.45/5 rDev +11.5%
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!
10-07-2005 01:18:42 | More by warriorsoul
4.3/5 rDev +7.8%
12 ounce brown glass bottle poured into a DFH oversized wine glass.
A - Poured a gorgeous dark amber color that has a tiny reddish hue. Extremely thin layer of off white head that thinned out to nearly nothing immediately. Minimal, if any, lacing.
S - Fruit and alcohol to say the least. A wine like aroma with the way the alcohol blends with the fruit. I see that in all the high alc DFH's I've tried. Mainly the raisins with some backing by cherries. A little spice in there as well. Very nice on the nose.
T - Hhmmm, very nice and very sweet. I'm getting some cinamon raisin bread in there and the cherry flavor comes through, almost a marashino cherry type sweetness. A nice alcohol tinge toward the end kicks it up a notch, a very nice sipper.
M - Very smooth, although a little syrupy. One of those beers where more carbonation (which it lacks for the most part) just might not work. I'm not crazy about the syrupy nature but that nice alcohol warming makes it worthwhile.
D - As always with such a high alcohol content the "obviously a sipper" disclaimer applies, but in all honesty I found this very drinkable. Not crisp and refreshing, but warm and soothing. A beer that goes down smooth and gives a little burn down to the belly, but in a good way. All in all very drinkable for its high volume.
Notes: Pleasantly surprising. I actually wasn't too big a fan of Raison d'etre so I wasn't sure if I'd like its amped up version. However, despite the high ABV I found it both a more balanced flavor and an easier drinking beer. Go figure. Good thing I can't buy a 6 pack of these or I might be in trouble.
10-06-2005 00:23:37 | More by EStreet20
3.88/5 rDev -2.8%
12 oz'er with the Western guy sitting with an acoustic guitar on the label similar to Burton Baton.
Sneaks out of the browner with an innocuous pellucid amber brown hued pour topped with a scant skim thin khaki collar ring around the glass.
Wafting scents of brown sugar, waffles and cotton candy. Fruity aroma of melon and some spicy nutmeg. Beleive it or not, there are not a lot of awl-kee-hawl esters in the nose, amazingly.
First swigs: Intriguing toasted rye bread. Sticky sweet sugary rum with a gullet warming feel. I keep sipping this looking for more flavors but this revolves around 7-Up and rum. After giving this a 4 for flavoer, I am tempted to give it a 5 for clean smoothness.
Feel is medium bodied with muted "phoned it in" carbonation. Sugary aspects are pronounced but not cloying. Sweet sipper.
Last swigs: Rummy turbinado cola tea ease. Avery Beast can give this a run for the money, but DFH is just smooth. What is amazing is how smooth, delicate and crafty this big beer is. Never does a boozy warmth overcome the sweet rasin sugary characteristic. Incredible! Quite honestly, a masterpiece in that it is a hooch-beer that is delicate. I was in awe (insert: drunken awe) when I visited the brewpub this past summer and drank La Forte. Amazing! D'Extra just isnt overly drinkable for obvious reasons. While I am in beer confession mode, forgive a 3.5 DR since this is a bottle battle. This was a $10 a 12 oz'er 2005 edition treat snaggletoothed at the Beverage Castle in Tampa Bay, FL.
Beer is good. Happy beering.
10-04-2005 03:48:12 | More by blitheringidiot
2.53/5 rDev -36.6%
Started reading about this brew a week or so ago. On a sojourn to Town and Country in West Springfield I was very surprised to see it on their shelves. I was even more surprised at the price tag 8.95 for a 12 oz. bottle! This was one beer I couldnt pass up.
Poured a pale cinnamon hue. I know that term is commonly used, but it applies here. Very little head retention a no lacing. A mildly odorous offering, chocolate and clove dominate here.
Brewed with raisins, yeah, theyre there, but they are not its most defining characteristic. Remember those cinnamon toothpicks the some dude used to make when you were in sixth grade!?!?!!?! Tastes just like that.
Within two sips I could feel the alcohol. Its a hot beer, spicy and warm. An interesting beer that I appreciate for its uniqueness, but not very good.
10-04-2005 01:45:18 | More by FLAbeergutinMASS
3.48/5 rDev -12.8%
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!
09-26-2005 20:22:29 | More by chOAKbarrell
4.5/5 rDev +12.8%
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!
09-24-2005 23:17:43 | More by kaimcm
4.45/5 rDev +11.5%
I was quite surprised to find a row of 12oz at Sam's in Chicago. $8.99/bottle. No bottling date or ABV on the label. 2005.
An almost overwhelming scent dissipated from the vessle upon uncapping a perfectly carbonated bottle. Poured into my favorite "Piraat" snifter (a gift from PaleAleHater on one of his less bitter days).
Smell: Intimidating... alllmost fusel, but not quite.
Taste: Delicious. I don't know how they do it, but this is one of the first > 15% beers that I've had where there isnt the slighest hint of fusel alcohol (maybe I was tainted by The Beast). Malty with raisins. Very minimal hop profile. A treat, indeed.
Split the 12oz with the girlfriend...and I'm already feeling this. Be careful with this brew. It'll catch up to you quickly.
09-23-2005 01:47:33 | More by oldcrustacean
3.73/5 rDev -6.5%
Undated 12oz poured into a tulip. The label has a guy decked out like Hank Williams Sr holding a guitar. I'm assuming its from this year's release.
Deep, almost ruby amber with no head. Not surprising given the abv which is listed on the website as 21%!!!!
The nose is raisins soaked in port or sherry. Sugary with a hint of malt and solvent alcohol. Intimidating, but I like it.
The taste follows along the same lines as the nose. Lots of raisins with sugar and alcohol, but the booze is not excessive. No heinous burning, but I can feel it in my belly after the second sip, and I can feel my booze breath. The mouth is a bit syrupy, but not sticky. Its hard to give this one high marks in light of the abv and price tag of $8.99+ a bottle, but it is a pleasure to sip slowly.
09-19-2005 05:51:37 | More by ypsifly
4.45/5 rDev +11.5%
Had this on tap in Richmond. Great aroma as with the normal Raison but you can definately detect the alcohol being at 20 percent. I woudnt say this is a Belgian Strong, more like a barley wine. Think sherry. Oranges and raisins but not as much as the regular stuff. The hops were present but not overpowering. Cant go wrong with Dogfish.
09-14-2005 13:37:52 | More by nriech
2.45/5 rDev -38.6%
2002 750mL. Orangey copper. No head. Sambucca and various herbs hit the nose with an oily alcohol punch. Soaked grapes, sherry and figs, plus an earthy vegetal oil bring on coniferous flavours and a rather complex perfumey profile. Plenty of residual sugar still, makes you wonder how much cane sugar, corn syrup, molasses etc they had to throw into every bottle. Long aggressive palate. It really does remind me or vegetal oil alcohol soaked. Interesting green olives complexities, apples, grapes, apricot lingering sweetness. Overwhelming ethanol finish. Long long aftertaste, hoppy and somehow yeasty. Softly carbonated, rather thin-bodied.
09-13-2005 15:39:28 | More by Rastacouere
2.9/5 rDev -27.3%
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 dont want to sell this beer too short. Its not all bad but in this style it faces some tough competition and just doesnt stand up. It lacks the complexity that makes other Belgian strong darks interesting and its 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 couldnt even finish their goblets. They would have rated it much lower.
09-12-2005 16:53:49 | More by DaPeculierDane
4.38/5 rDev +9.8%
The beer poured into the chalice slight hazy deep amber brown with a light off-white head which took quite some time to form and fell like a rock to the edges of the surface, but did last to lace the glass.
The aroma was deep dark caramel maltiness with a large dark fruit aroma of prunes, plums and raisins, most notably raisins. The higher alcohol level led to some spicy phenolics which did not overtake the aroma, but enhanced it. Sherrylike aromas emerged as the beer warmed.
The flavor was deep dark caramel maltiness with huge dark fruit flavors of raisins followed up by prunes and plums. The alcohol level in the flavor was definitely present. Sherry flavors emerged as the beer warmed.
The finish was dark carmel, in no way dry with lasting dark fruits and slight spices long into the aftertaste. The body was full to just a bit less than full and almost viscous due to the low carbonation level. With a few more years this would have become an old ale. The alcohol in this beer was warming and hot. The warmer the beer became the more alcohol presence emerged.
750 ml bottle, corked and bailed. Bottled on Dec 19 2002. I would not have opened it if I realized it was 20% ABV. $16.99 at Wine Warehouse in Charlottesville, VA in either 2003, or 2004. Be careful, this beast packs a powerful punch. This should not be bottled in 750 ml, rather in 22 ounce or 12 ounce. 750 ml by yourself may be too much of a good thing.
04-05-2005 23:31:23 | More by GCBrewingCo
4.65/5 rDev +16.5%
Reviewed from notes.
Enjoyed as a 2oz sample at the Belgian Beer Fest 2004. Exceptionally balanced for a beer of this magnitude. Pours a clear golden color, cider-like with a light head. Smell is unsurprisingly strongly alcoholic. Taste is euphoric - a whirlwind tour of raisins, brown sugar and hops. Very satisfying, and drinkability is amazing. Truly excellent!
03-26-2005 20:32:53 | More by RocketWidget
3.4/5 rDev -14.8%
Appearence: Pours a dark copper with absolutly no head at all. Clarity is minamal.
Smell: The smell is incredibly alcoholic. That's about all there is. A few caramelized malts, and some roasted notes, but mostly high alcohol.
Taste and Mouthfeel: The taste is much of a brandy than a beer. It's incredibly malty, with huge, sticky sweet notes that resemble the way a brandy clings. the alcohol is out of control. It's suprisingly balanced, and is highly complex and interesting. The mouthfeel is thick and chewy.
Drinkability and Overall: Holy Jesus. This is not a beer for the weak of heart or soul. This is one powerful bastard that is unlike anything else you'll come by. Ridiculously potent, but still an enjoyable beer. I gotta kill a 750 of this now. Gooodnight.
03-18-2005 03:36:53 | More by santoslhalper
3.6/5 rDev -9.8%
Pours bright red and brown with no discernible head. Alcoholic tannins evident on the side of the glass.
Aroma of hot liquor, sour mash whiskey with Belgian yeasties and a hint of caramel.
Flavor of sweet caramel with just a hint of chocolate hidden behind a massive grainy alcholic and charcoal notes.
Mouthfeel is sweet, peaty charcoal and liquor-filled. Close to a liquer.
Drinkabiliyt is OK given the high ABV buy my god this is a powerful beer. I think my IQ dropped about 10 points after this one. too strong, too much heavy alcohol.
02-05-2005 18:15:30 | More by CRJMellor
4.15/5 rDev +4%
Ive been sitting on this bottle for two years. It seemed appropriate to welcome a new year and to celebrate my 500th review with this one. Presentation: A corked 750 ml bottle with a dog-faced, bowler wearing ruffian on the label. Stamped onto the bottle is the date Dec 19, 2002. No audible pop from the removal of the cork. Pours a murkey russet color with a thin, wispy head. I find the head remarkable, considering the ABV. The aroma is malt and alcohol, in interchangeable order .I found it more reminiscent of a barleywine than a Belgian ale. Underneath the alcohol and malt are aromas of raisins, plums, sugar, cherries, and fresh-cut wood. Taste is dominated by the alcohol, but malt and yeast and sugar shine through as well. Its surprisingly drinkable for such an alcohol monster .and not really harsh at all. Its not exactly complex the alcohol gives it a one dimentional feel, and the aromas fade away in the taste. Full bodied, and moderate to light carbonation (surprisingly). Id love to try one when its five or ten years old this was smooth and enjoyable. Its perfect on a dreary early January day. Its not a world-class beer, by any means, but for what it is, its remarkably good.
01-03-2005 20:07:13 | More by Suds
4/5 rDev +0.3%
Served at the 2004 Belgian Beer Festival, so I'm not sure about the vintage.
Poors with a deep, dark body with little head, color between a dark brown and a ruby red. Slight lacing. Heavy sweet aromas, somewhere between a port wine and a mild rum, with a bit of smokiness around the edges. The taste is a little less fruity than the aroma, with more maltiness and yeast flavors rounding out the fruitiness. Very complex and flavorful for such a high-ABV beer. Mouthfeel is heavy, and clingy, without being overly syrupy. Similar to a good dessert wine. Very pleasant and drinkable.
11-07-2004 20:29:52 | More by kaszeta
Raison D'Extra from Dogfish Head Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 818 ratings.