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Raison D'Extra - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Raison D'ExtraRaison D'Extra

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1,219 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,219
Reviews: 676
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 13.86%
Wants: 154
Gots: 432 | FT: 38
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: 1,219 | Reviews: 676
Photo of kbutler1
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Pours a deep reddish/brown color with very little head, which I believe is typical for a high alcohol beer. The aroma is very much like raisins and prunes with dark fruits. The taste is very sweet along with a slight taste of toasted bread. Heavy mouthfeel. At 18.5% the alcohol is apparent but not as much as I expected. A sipper for sure.

Photo of vkv822
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle into snifter.
bottled on: 03/15/07

The appearance is an extremely cloudy, dark brown with orange hues and caramel colored edges. There is a thin toffee colored head that dissipates fairly quickly.
The aroma is very boozy with some dark fruit and leather notes. I also pick up faint, sweet honey notes as well. I quite enjoyed the aroma, though the booziness is a challenge to work through.
The flavor follows the aroma almost exactly, the flavors are mostly of raisins and dark fruit, with leathery, oak and honey notes all blending together for the backing. With of course the hot booze notes.
The mouthfeel is fairly thin, though there is a slight syrupy character to the finish and light carbonation, as well as a boozy warming in the throat and stomach.
The flavors that are present in this quite well done. Though the alcohol presence did make this strictly a beer to sip on, and was a bit over-whelming during the first few sips.
I always enjoy trying an aged beer, though unfortunately this beer is no longer brewed so I was unable to try it fresh.

Photo of Strix
3.67/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

2007 vintage.

Hazy dark orange, minimal head. I can tell they used raisins because there are actual raisin stems in the bottom of my glass.

Smells boozy, raisins and other dark fruits are present.

Alcohol is definitely felt in this one. Sweet dark fruits also present, but the alcohol pretty much obliterates any other flavors that are going on.

Mouthfeel slick - near evaporative.

An interesting experience. Not bad, but the alcohol keeps this a sipper. I split the bottle, and my half glass was plenty. Worth a try, but I felt the WWS was a much better beer.

Photo of dbossman
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Brown and cloudy with no head; thick and hazy; a touch of a ruby hue

S: Quite sweet; raisins and white grape juice; alcohol is very prevalent; a nice malty backbone resonates beneath everything else

T: Really sweet; alcohol is biting but helps balance the sweetness; raisins/grape presence is strong

F: Decent mouth feel

D: Decent for the strength of alcohol but sweetness is wearing--incredibly wearing actually; I only had 4 oz and that was quite enough; interesting beer and good for what it is but sip this in small doses

Photo of Casey10
3.41/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 03/15/2007 a 3 year old bottle lets see how it does.

Wow this is a stong brew it has some carbination but not much. It is stong and lots of rasion taste and that's okay it is what the brew was going for.

I can't recommend it though unless you want a boozy type beer. If a person was to have a couple of these quickly the results would most likely be unfavorable.

This is a strong alcoholic beer, it is dark with lots of raison tastes. If this is what you are looking for it is a must try. If not stay away, this is a very strong beer !!!

Photo of Spider889
3.86/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Purchased at the brewery with a bottled on date of: 9/26/06

Review taken from my notes of a tasting we did in May, 2010.

Due to the rarity of the beer (and the fact it was discontinued) I was unable to do a vertical tasting of a fresher date as I would have wished. I did compare with a fresh bottle of Raison D'Etre. However, this beer, though touted as the extreme version of D'Etre, bore little to no real resemblance.

The beer was a red-orange/ruby color. It had a fair amount of small carbonation bubbles in a ring at the top but no head and it left no lacing.

The smell was very sweet - I detected oak, honey, and dark fruits - maybe fig, a small amount of orange, and alcohol.

The beer tested very sweet, and predominately of black raisins. I also picked up a little of the oak and honey flavor. The alcohol definitely left a decent burn in the throat, but was not unpleasant.

Mouthfeel was lacking sufficient carbonation and was syrupy.

For obvious reasons the drinkability is low. The beer was very interesting, one I'd welcome in the future, but the alcohol and sweetness made for a brew you couldn't possibly desire to drink more than one of. I was lucky to split this bottle between four friends, otherwise I'd have been sipping the 12oz bottle for a couple hours.

Photo of jmdrpi
4.64/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

bottled on 3/15/07. poured into a goblet.

A-brown to deep mahogany in color, minimal head clings around the ring. cloudy.
S - big sweet fruit smell - true to the name - raisons
T - can definitely taste the raisons. sugary, warm finish
M - mouthfeel is typical of brown ale or strong ale. the high alcohol is extemely well hidden.
D - the nearly 3.5 years in the bottle has done this brew extremely well. for an 18% beer, right now it is drinking more like 8%

Photo of EliotW
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass

A - Has very dark reddish-brown color and poured with virtually no head. It is also quite foggy or hazy in appearance, hardly translucent.

S - Hence the name, sweet raisons clearly come through upon the first whiff. Upon further inspection I also get some caramel and toffee smell while the smell of alcohol remains relatively well hidden.

T - One word...Raisons! The sweet taste of plump fruity raisons and even some plum comes through very apparently. The high alcohol content is hardly noticeable in contrast to the sweet flavors exuded by this beer. This beer finishes with a slight caramel or brown sugar flavor to it, very enjoyable.

M - This beer is moderately carbonated, not too light, but certainly not too bubbly. The sweetness of this beer gives it a slightly syrupy feel on the palette.

D - Having had the Raison D'Etre many times and thoroughly enjoying it, the D'Extra is a perfect 'big brother' in that the flavor and sweetness (especially regarding the taste of raisons) is more intensified. Despite the high abv, I found this to be a very nice beer.


Photo of steve8robin
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried an '07 at a local beer bar before and loved it. I found an '07 on the shelf at a local beer store and decided to give this baby a review. Bottled 03/15/07...

A: Looks like a super dark apple cider. Murky and translucent brown with a small off white head that quickly fades to nothing. Very Good.

S: Awesome smell. Heavy woody alcohol upfront blended with sweet malt and raisin. Caramel, toffee, and figs blended in the middle with some apples on the backend. Very good.

T: Super sweet toffee and caramel upfront blended with raisin. Sugar malts and apples in the middle with a nice hot finish. Wow, I really like this one. Very good.

M: A little thicker and more dry than I would have liked. Good.

D: It's definitely hot, hence the ABV, but is hidden a lot better than you would expect. It definitely makes it's presence very known, but is not overpowering. Good.

All in all, this is a very good brew. I'm glad my first try was not a fluke. The second try brings out even more characters than I anticipated. The '07 is drinking beautifully right now. I will definitely need to stock up on some of these. You gotta try this one!

Photo of specksnreds
4.72/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was a three year-old bottle (03/2007). It's all about the age. A much smoother and complex beer compared to the fresh version. Stunningly complex in the nose and taste. Flan notes in the nose with little apparent alcohol. Taste is of Heath bar, roasted nuts, raisins and again little alcohol. Much less burn than the early ones I had.

I have one left and will try to score another. I wasn't a big fan of this beer early on, but it's morphed into something else entirely....in a good way.

Photo of sm0key
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

Photo of russellaaron69
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I loved this beer. Poured a nice dark red w/ minimal head and almost no lacing. Smell is super sweet...like dark fruit (raisins, dates & plums) with a hint of alcohol. Taste was the same. Very sweet from the raisins and other dark fruit with a slight alcohol warmness on the back end. I also picked up a faint hint of caramel. Mouthfeel was full and a little on the sticky side. Drinkability was great. I would never have imagined that it was 18%. I'll definitely be picking up another bottle to let sit for awhile.

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

12oz bottle, split and served in mini Chimay chalices...2007 vintage

A - pours with a thin layer of creamy tan colored foam. the beer is very thick and hazy, dark amber in color.

S - super sweet, tons of dark fruits including (obviously) raisins, figs, and plums. very aggressive caramel and brown sugar malts, toffee, and alcohol.

T - begins very sweet with some over-ripened figs and plums, caramel and toffe malts in the middle, and finishes with a few boxes of raisins. nothing graceful or shy about the sweetness here. alcohol is noticeable but not at all what it should be at 18%.

M - medium to thick body, carbonation is present and moderate. sticky due to sweetness.

D - well, i enjoyed this a bit more than I expected. glad we shared the 12oz bottle but this ABV is incredibly well hidden and dangerous after only 3 or so years. drinks like a robust barleywine, and a good one at that.

Photo of KAP1356
3.77/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle dated 3/15/2007 into my DFH Signature snifter...

A - A dark, murky caramel color. Almost a slight reddish tint to it as well. No head whatsoever. A very very fine off white colored lacing around the edges. *Edit*: After 30 minutes of slowly sipping, the murky dark brown has turned into one of the more gorgeous ruby red colors I have seen on a beer.

S - Sugary, fruity, with just the slightest hint of alcohol. The cellaring has defnitely helped in that respect. The raisins are prominent, but I also detect dates and some more darker fruits.

T - Bold and very very sugary. This was obviously made with a ton of raisins. It is actually a really nice Belgian Dark Strong Ale for sure; a statement I did not make when I had this fresh three years ago. The alcohol is there but not as overwhelming as it was 3 years ago. You can tell its a big beer, just not how big.

M - Nice and smooth but just a little bit sugary and noticeable.

D - Not so much. This one fresh was close to 21%, so even with a few years, it still took quite a while for me to get through this raisn-y monster.

I still have two from the same bottling date that I plan on aging even further to see what else happens to this one.

Photo of ckeegan04
3.48/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From a bottle dated March of 2009 I believe. It is a little smeared and hard to read.

A - Clear amber/reddish color with a thin off-white head. Head quickly fades to almost nothing.

S - Strong aroma of straight alcohol, almost rubbing alcohol, mixed with an aroma of dark fruits. Raisin is certainly noticeable but I wouldnt say it is the strongest of the fruit aromas.

T - Boozy and sweet. Sweet bread with a touch of brown sugar. Dark fruits are very strong as well. Did I mention a bit boozy? Cant imagine what it would be like fresh.

M/D - Medium bodied and very slick in the mouth. Certainly an interesting beer, as usual from DFH.

Photo of jlenik
4.97/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

bottled on: 9/23/06

A: The foam was very short lived after pouring into my Dogfish Head signature glass but what I saw was beautiful. I have never seen a beer with a golden head. Stunning. The look is not completely opaque and has a dark amber color that resonates in the light.

S: Raisins and caramel. Alcohol was barely noticeable.

T: Very sweet and very delicious. Raisiny sweetness is the first thing to strike me followed by a caramel malty spike. I barely taste any alcohol in this.

M: Surprisingly thin for such a huge beer. This is very similar to the World Wide Stout since they both stand out as beers while being so "big".

D: Very high. This was a bottle from 2006 so I think that has something to do with it. My suggestion is to let this one sit for a while if you can find it. I don't know why this is discontinued, I like it just as much as the World Wide Stout and this is much more balanced compared to the 120 Minute.

Summary: Drink it and enjoy.

Photo of perrymarcus
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured into st. bernardus chalice.

A: pours a hazy reddish/brown color. very small head, a lot of sediment.

S: sweetish. fruity and malty. boozy.

T: very sweet indeed. you taste the raisins right off the bat, followed by the booze. almost something to pour on waffles, but i like it.

M: light carbonation, syrupy.

D: as with any beer of this magnitude, a sipper. i would have again, but probably not until a chilly autumn night.

Photo of kirkpjr
3.99/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From notes - 5/30/10.

Bottle dated 3/15/07.

Poured into a tulip.

A: Pours an opaque, thin, muddy brown color. Some red and caramel highlights. One finger of fizzy head that dissipates quickly. Lots of sediment and no lacing.

S: Dark fruits and caramel. The raisins are definitely pungent here. For being 18% ABV, I really can't detect much heat in the smell. Very balanced; reminiscent of a Rochefort in smell.

T: Very sweet, almost port-like initially. The raisins and dark fruits hit the palette immediately. Now here in lies the alcohol! Each swallow gives you a strong kick of booze, Brandy maybe? Sweet malts and dark fruit with a "boatload" of raisins" dominate the taste. Halfway through I thought the beer was getting easier to drink, but I think that's only because it was kicking my ass.

M: Low carbonation, as expected somewhat with its age. Medium to full body. Syrupy and coating flavors stick to the mouth.

D: A sipper, and nothing but a sipper. Would love to have more of these for cold winter nights. But this is pretty much a one and done beer.

Photo of jjanega08
3.87/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A= The pour reveils a nice slightly hazy red beer with a small cap on it that is just a thin skin and falls fast to a ring around the glass. Lots of active bubbles coming out from the neucleation point in my SFH signature glass.

S= Hot but not as hot as I expected. I found the WWS to be over the top beyond all limits hot. The head in this one is covered nicely by rasins. Sort of a heavy malty barlywine like sweetness hidden behind the rasins. There is a good belgian sugar sweetness to it. The age of this beer is unknown because the paint is smudged. I bought it a few months ago in WI however and haven't seen it there before.

T= Much Much Much less heat than I expected! There is a heavy rasin flavor to it. The Belgian sugar is evident for sure in this beer as well. The heat is evident in this beer but not nearly as much as the WWS or near anything that I expect. I hated Raison D'ete but this one is different.

M= Dry as hell with little carbonation in it. Decent mouth but not the best. What can you really do with such a big beer however.

D= I hated Raison D'ete and I hated WWS but this beer works somehow. I'm not really even that big into Belgians. This beer just works somehow. I will prolly buy some bottles again to toss in the cellar

Photo of marvin213
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of berpwillie
4.69/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a cloudy murky brown color with spare white head and spare lacing and flat carbonation. very very strong raisin smell, taste is much the same. slight burnt toasted flavor, with some caramel nutty hints. heavy sweet finish that is slightly bitter. alcohol well hidden by the overwhelming flavor of raisins. medium body and thick texture. EXTREMELY delicious! lightweights BEWARE.

Photo of pastradul
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to plenum for this bottle.

2007 vintage

pours supper murky with the slightest amount of bubbles.

The nose is lots of malt raisons with a little bit of alcohol in the back.

The mouthfeel is very thick.

The taste is raisons and more raisons with a little bit of heat.

A good sipper, a good beer to share.

look forward to opening the 2005 I have sometime.

Photo of ZX6Chris
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled a 2007 thanks to pastradul.

A-Dark brown, hazy, no head. Really sticks to the glass though.

A-Sweet, carmel, brown sugar, dark fruits. Lots of good smells.

T-Sweet. The alcohol has mellowed but is still there. Raisins and alcohol in the end.

M-Full bodied. Low carbonation. Abviously it's gonna be thick and syrupy.

D-This is like a dessert in a glass. Definitely a sipper

Photo of aasher
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

I tried this two years after its bottle date.

Appearance: Very cloudy and full of sediment and grape seeds. Poured an amber on the verge of a subtle purple. Medium creme colored head. Great looking beer, appearing similar to a Dark Belgian.

Smell: Smelled very alcoholic and sweet. Smelled very much like raisins and sugars, almost like a molasses. Was very aromatic and appealingly so.

Taste: Extremely boozy. The raisin was subtle. It was very sweet and very alcoholic. Being 18% it was a little much. Definitely left the taste of strong alcohol in your mouth.

Mouthfeel: As stated, this bottle had been aged for two years. It was very smooth and creamy. It did feature a decent amount of grape seeds and sediment, giving the beer a multifaceted mouthfeel.

Drinkability: The 18% is a turn off for this beer. It tastes stronger than other high alcohol content beers. It is overly sweet. It may take awhile to get through this beer.

Overall I'd say I was disappointed with this one. Like Dogfish's other specialty beers it is strong on the alcohol and is aimed at aging. I don't know if I'd recommend this one but for anyone willing to wait five years or so on a bottle, this could turn into a bottle to open on a special occasion.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.67/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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).

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Raison D'Extra from Dogfish Head Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 1,219 ratings.