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Raison D'Extra - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Raison D'ExtraRaison D'Extra

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1,077 Ratings
no score

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Ratings: 1,077
Reviews: 638
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 14.39%
Wants: 135
Gots: 342 | FT: 26
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: 1,077 | Reviews: 638 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of champ103
3.28/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a cloudy and dark amber/brown color. On a heavy pour, a two finger head forms fast, but recedes just as fast. Light lace is left behind.
S: Sweet malt. Honey, raisins and lots of alcohol.
T: Lots of sweet malt. Again, a big honey and raisin flavor. This is a bit too sweet though, almost cloying. Warming alcohol as well.
M/D: Rich, thick, and syrupy. Low on the carbonation end. This has an insane amount of alcohol, which makes for a very slow sipper.

This really seems more like an English Barleywine than a BSDA. Not a lot of Belgian yeast flavors that I can pick out and overpowering alcohol. Though not as bad a some of their other huge alcohol beers (WWS and 120 come to mind).

Photo of Douglas88
3.6/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle drank at the Clark Street Ale House in Chicago. Pours a deep amber color with a very small whte head. A very enticing aroma; nuts, raisins, tons of alcohol and sweet fruits. The taste was surprisingly smooth; a very sweet concoction of raisins, brown sugar, some light hops, and a ton of warmth. A sipper for sure. Very enjoyable.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.89/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a goblet. This is a beer I've been wanting to try for some time now. I figured what better day to pop it open than when Obama is elected to be the next president.

4.0 A: Hazy amber brown, but very uniform throughout. Half finger of head (which even that impresses me considering the ABV) but does not retain too well. Slim lacings present.

5.0 S: Strong brown sugar and molasses. Raisins and roasted malts. Incredible smell. Strangely, alcohol doesn't poke through much.

3.5 T: Looks like I found that alcohol I've been looking for. Big warming taking place. Dark malts and raisins are main flavors. Next is caramel and molasses (taste just like it smells in this regard). Dark fruits make an apparent with the boozy finish. Very sweet, perhaps too sweet.

3.5 M: Thick and syrupy, like dandylion wine or brandy. Little carbonation. Not the beer's best attribute.

3.5 D: I can deal with the alcohol content just fine, but not the sweetness. If it were less sweet or more hopped, I think I would enjoy it more.

Photo of elniko
3.99/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into snifter.

A: Rich deep amber coloring, very little head. Thick looking brew which is to be expected with the ABV.

S: Goodness gracious what a strong smelling brew. The alcohol is highly apparent with a tinge of sweetness as well. Really nice, interesting smelling brew.

T & M: The alcohol is definitely apparent. Smooth tasting, carbonation is nice in the mouthfeel too. Sweet and malty but not to the extent of being cloying.

D: This is a sipping beer. I am glad I had it but wouldn't want to have more than one in a sitting.

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

Bottled on date is 3/15/07. Kept cool and dark since I bought it. Seems like a fun one for breakfast...

A - Rich, dark mahogony with a light tan head that starts at two fingers, but just leaves a thin ring.

S - Brown sugar, coffee, cinammon, grape sweetness, alcohol burn, all mix together nicely to lend the beer a very nice spice cake like quality.

T - Very rich flavors here from start to finish. Dense combonations of flavors that I will again describe as spice cake-esque. Alcohol does burn (duh), but in a warming, enjoyable way. Just a big, complex way to end one's day...

M - Big and surupy.

D - This another big offering from Dogfish Head that is a treat, but not quite sure if it's worth the $10 it's going for nowadays. Would be a great way for a couple fo friends to end the day though.

Photo of midnite2sixman
3.47/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks like a you took a bunch of raisins and threw them in a blender add added just a dash of cream and blended it all up.

Smells like the lady from the California Raisins box. Also smells like syrup and sugar and more raisins.

Taste: Overly strong belgian taste mixed with prunes and other dried fruits such as raisins obviously. Syrupy sweet with a figgy taste as well. Almost wine like.

Mouthfeel is mildly sweet with a bite. Meant to be enjoyed slowly, for me at least.

Drinkability: This beer might be for you, if you want a big big wine-like beer. Almost like a port.

Photo of NittanyBeerFan
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Hazy rust-colored pour from the bottle with little to no head.

S: I can smell this beer from across the bar. Raisins, plums, apricot, and a heavy scent of booze.

T: If you have the opportunity, let this one age. I had this one a couple years ago and it was downright ROUGH to drink. This was a 2006 vintage after 2 years of aging. Tastes of dark fruits and malts with a strong taste of brown sugar. Very evident warming alcohol, though the taste of the alcohol is much subdued as compared to the fresh new brew I tried a couple years back. It doesn't taste like 20% that's for sure.

M/D: Smooth and heavy texture. The high booze factor and texture of this beer make it damn near impossible to finish a single bottle by yourself and even think about having another one.

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

The Raison D'extra poured a cloudy amber color with a 1 finger foam head and not much in the way of retention or lacing. I wouldn't expect it with this type of brew.

The smell was eye burning as you caught your first whiff of the 20 percent. It rang true sweet with a caramel dominated aroma.
The taste was again sweet, super sweet with that high abv coming to the forefront which burned initially. Then you got the oak, fig, raisin, caramel and spices.

It did give a burning on the back of the throat and was Strong in the category. Overall it was worth the price.

Photo of pwsoldier
3.72/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a very cloudy mahogany with a mediocre head that quickly dissipates into a ring of bubbles. Not much lacing.

S - Raisins, grapes, alcohol, and maybe a touch of plum.

T - Raisins and other dark fruits dominate along with the alcohol, which isn't very well hidden initially. However, the alcohol eventually gives way to more sweet raisin/grape/plum flavors as it warms.

M - Very brandy-like. The alcohol bites, but not too hard. The body is full and a little syrupy. Carbonation is low, which is to be expected in a beer of this strength.

D - A good beer, but the alcohol definitely makes it's presence known. Definitely a sipper, and I think it'd be difficult to have more than one.

Photo of itcomesnpints
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clean amber with a sizable head that fades, more retention than expected for a brew with this high of an abv. Pungent fragrance of raisins, whiskey, molasses and wine. Taste is amazingly complex. Sweet, dark fruits, molasses, bread, cognac.

I let the room (mostly filled with non-beer drinking ladies) try this without telling them the abv. They quickly agreed that they liked the interesting and sweet beer. This says something about the unprecedented, smooth, thick mouthfeel that skillfully conceals the alcohol.

Call me crazy, but I am normally not a huge fan of Dogfish Head brews like the rest of the world seems to be. Maybe it's the large malt character of their ales, who knows. However, when it comes to their big beers like this one and 120 IPA, I am truly blown away. Dogfish Head's mastery shines through the brightest when they go BIG.

Photo of NoahSYGG
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is like no beer i have ever experienced. This is like drinking a port rather than a beer. Little to no carbonation. It appears to be unfiltered. the appearance is like a syrup with legs on the snifter like a port. The aroma is like sweet raisin juice. a strong alcohol smell is present, but a sweet fermented raisin aroma is there. The first flavor is sweeett with an alcohol flavor. apon a 2nd and 3rd taste, it is like the most complex flavored beer i have ever experienced. it had my body feeling warm like i drank liquor. its a shame that they will never make it again. the mouthfeel was like drinking a syrup. and i couldnt drink more than 1 or 2.

Photo of sccala
2.01/5  rDev -50.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

OK, I did review this beer with a large measure of objectivity. "Respect Beer", right? So, Here Goes...Poured out of a brown 12 oz. bottle with a picture of an old western cowboy on it into a 16 oz. pint glass...

A- Weird start...no head at all...almost like pouring juice into a glass. Color is a murky rust brown/dark orange.

S- A slight estery scent. Very sugary sweet fruity smell. The smell almost starts to clean out your nasal passages.

T- Grape cough medicine....then when you swallow, the ethers invade your nasal passages via your esophagus. Am I drinking beer or grain alcohol?

M- Most painful part to rate. I want this beer out of my mouth, so keeping it in there and swashing it around wasn't fun. Again, very artificial grape cough medicine flavor, then the alcohol starts to scrape at your tongue and back of your mouth. When I swallow, I make the same face and head shake that I make when I swallow a shot of tequila.

D- Based on the review...you tell me. Glad I tried it, but I will not buy this beer again, nor drink one for free.

Photo of Floydster
3.33/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottle acquired in a trade and another one purchased from Liquid Solutions, had both a 2005 and 2007 vintage, took the older bottle to LA BA Gathering, poured the 2007 into a tulip glass and chose to review that one, split with three friends a few nights ago, reviewed from notes

A-Color is a mix between amber and a ruddy medium brown, small 1/4 inch bubbly off white head that went away quickly, not much retention or lacing
S-Raisins, figs, overwhelmingly strong malts, lots of booze, vanilla, sugar, stale fruits, toffee, and caramel
T-Starts off with a huge in your face alcohol flavor, lots of malt and raisins in the middle, finish is also full of booze and also has some sweet caramel that does not really hold up, gets sweeter as time goes by, which makes this even more of a sipper, needs some dry accents or less alcohol to make this able to go down, not much complexity, just a lot of sweetness and strength
M-Sticky, hot, and sweet mouthfeel, low level of carbonation, pretty thick body, taste lingers way too long for my liking
D-Could not drink this bottle by myself, that is for sure, it is equivalent to six shots of bourbon alcohol wise, not smooth, booze are not hidden, heavy on the stomach, hard to drink

This is a huge beer and it should probably be aged ten years before drinking, one of the hotter beers I have ever had, you might as well put it in a shot glass the way it tastes fresh, even more alcohol presence than 120 Minute IPA if you can believe that, with three years of age it was still incredibly boozy, I do not need to drink this beer ever again but glad I sampled it, worth trying

Photo of Albinoh
4.66/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy brown color, white head, settles to a tiny lace, that clings a little. Strong aroma, quite inviting in my opinion. Smells sweet, you can even feel you taste the beer by just smelling it. I could even tell that this is one of the best smelling beers I've faced. Full body, smooth as silk. You can feel those raisins in the front, follow by a strong sweet malty taste. The alcohol takes a quick but strong bite at the end. Very Very warm mouthfeel, specially after a couple of sips. Its very strong, but yet inviting. For the alcohol level on this beer I think this beer holds its ground very nicely, the alcohol blends in with the sweetness of the beer to produce a good balance.

This is definitely not a common beer, but must be tasted by any beer lover.

Photo of zeff80
3.99/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a nice red, orange, and nice brown. With a giant head that was slightly off white. Excellent excellent lacing. This head is quite impressive for a beer with such a high alcohol content.

S: Raisins, apples, booze, lots of spices, hard to place, sorta smells like paint as well. Very interesting, cranberry juice. Cinnamon rolls. There's a lot of different things going on. And Alcohol isn't the most prevalent one either. I'm impressed thus far.

T: Raisins, sweet,and there are some definite alcohol flavors as well, cognac, cherries, the yeast profile is pretty pronounced as well. Many different things going on. This is just what i tasted initially. Leaves some coated flavors that really last. Cinnammon really standing out. I can't say enough about this beer. Very complex and delicious.

M: Relatively thick and malty, but there is an underlying thin, balance as well. Leaves the mouth slightly coated as if biting into cinnammon toast, with extra cinnammon. Nice dry finish. A little hop bite that keeps the bitterness in the mouth.

D: This is delicious, but like a whiskey in moderation. This is a huge complex, dessert beer. There are tons of things going on, and being able to drink more than one would be an entire waste. I hate to knock the overall rating on this but, it lacks the drinkability.

Photo of Buebie
4.77/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to JoeCeez for this nice extra!

Poured from a brown 12oz bottle. Into an oversized merlot glass. Hazy ppale brown in color with copper highlights when held to light.
Cola like 1 finger head that quickly disappears. No lace, but some very minimal retention around the edges. Leaving a white film over the top surface.

Smell on this is gorgeous! A red wine character with a hint of chocolate in there. Sweet raisins, plums, strawberries. No alcahol fumes, which I find incredible at 20% abv.
Very rich and malty.

Big sweet thick juicy flavor, wow this is good!
Very sweet up front with a flavor that reminds me alot of chocolate dipped strawberries. Some carbonation up front that quickly melts away leaving a thick creamy mouthfeel.
Through the middle and into the swallow the alcahol is mildly detectable, but again at 20% it is not revealing its true alcahol content at all.
Finish is tangy with citric acids, sweet sweet fruity finish. Lingering with some piney hops and more fruit.

This beer is a must have. Well balanced with all its attributes and ingredients.
Well done DFH!!

Photo of gkatsoris
4.52/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pretty clear oaky brown in color. No head what so ever.

S: Sweet malts, and nice hops. Also the raisins they are talking about.

T: Sweet, sweet, sweet. Wow, sugary!! And just a hint of chocolate. Raisinettes.

M: Perfect.

D: I don't think I drink more than one, BUT I really want too. LOL.

Photo of flexabull
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this bottle from jasonm a year and a half ago... thanks again! According to the marking of 9/29/06 on the neck, this bottle is almost 2 years old.

Pours a dark amber color with a nice off white head.

Aromas are sweet, slightly boozy, and with a stewed fruit note as well.

Taste starts of kind of soft, with a creamy and sweet malt flavor. Beer then settles into a boozy alcohol soaked stewed raisin notes, slightly spicy with some oak as well. Finish is warm, but is fairly subtle and smooth. Wow... while this is a powerhouse, it is flavorful, but still quite easy to drink. I would have never guess that this is pushing 20% ABV, it tastes like it is about half that...

Mouthfeel is excellent. Very full feeling, nicely carbonated, soft and smooth, but still with a long finish.

Drinkability is good. As mentioned before, it's a big tasting beer, but it is smooth, and goes down surprisingly easy. Good stuff!

Photo of cannabanaceae
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

WOW, Poured with a fizz that sounds like a freshly poured soda from a fountain. Head died away to a tiny ring around snifter. Looked cloudy with reddish tints.

Smell was complex. Stong notes of raisins, sweet sugar, cheery, blood ornge. then a malt profile in end of smell.

Taste was smoked wood, a punch of bourbon. The belgium yeast comes in play with a malt content to knock your sox off and the alcohol 20% punch. The aftertaste remined me of beef jerky. As it warms up more raisin, wine flavors come to play. The mouthfell was slippery and velvety.

This was a beer ive been meaning to try but always found other ways to spend $14 on beer. Iam very glad I did, this was worth it. After half a bottle you start felling this drink warm you up. This beer has its place, such as a after dinner dessert drink(or breakfast). Nice beer I drank at 5 months old, but think it would taste better sat down a year or more in the cellar.

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

This was bottled in '06 and apparently it did very well in those two years. The alcohol, although clearly present, was very subtle and didn't have any unpleasant characteristics.

A- Pours a hazy, reddish-amber with almost no head at all.

S- It smells very fruity initially. Raisins and figs hit the nose pretty hard, followed by a surprising yeastiness. Notes of dry white wine or maybe sake come through as well.

T- The taste is slightly more complex than the smell. Yes, raisins and dark fruit are there, but the sweetness is almost perplexing. The sweetness of the alcohol resembles a cognac.

M- A little sticky, but very smooth and little to no alcohol burn in the mouth or throat.

D- I can't believe a 20% abv beer can go down so easily. I was expecting this to almost be a task to finish half the bottle, but it was quite a pleasant experience.

Photo of GatorBeerNerd
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours the color of clear coated cherry wood. An absolutely beautiful color. It loses points for retention since the small head at pour disappears almost immediately. The tiny coating of bubbles does leave good lacing on the glass as it is consumed. There are a considerable amount of floaties, but that is my fault for not knowing to pour this one slowly.

S: Sweet dark fruit aroma meets the nose well before it reaches the glass. There is a heavy spice aroma as well. You can also pick up the high alcohol content in the smell as well. It is pleasing but not outstanding.

T: All the components of the aroma are present in the smell. Raisins and other dark fruits create a very sweet taste. The alcohol is well hidden until it is swallowed. Then the alcohol really hits you hard on the first swallow. Burning might be more appropriate than warming with this one. Luckily it calms down after a few sips. As it has a chance to warm up it calms down quite a bit and becomes more enjoyable.

M: A medium body brew that has a creamy mouthfeel due to the excellent in mouth carbonation level. It warms the mouth as you roll it on the tongue creating an enjoyable experience.

D: This one is a good brew, but I wouldn't call it very drinkable due to the heavy alcohol taste.

Photo of steelcutoats
4.52/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Raison D'Extra review

I bought this bottle a few months ago and had it sitting in my parent's fridge waiting for a special occasion. Well I'm not celebrating anything, but figured it was time to pour this brew and write something special. I poured it into my tasting snifter, forgetting to leave a bit out with the sediment. There a small head that slowly dissolved, but still left a good bit of foam around the inside rim of the glass. The color of the beer was deep, rust tinged orange. The smell was full of raisins and figs, along with hops and a small amount of yeast. The taste was wonderful, very sweet, lots of fruit and very little alcohol. This beer boasts an 18% ABV so be very careful with it.

Photo of jeremyd365
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Alright folks, this one was a doosie, and quite a pricey bar-price haha. It poured a very hazy, dark brown and smelled strongly of raison and perhaps some brown sugar. The taste was bomb of malt and raison. It was super strong but the alcohol didn't seem too apparent while drinking, but I definitely felt that puppy. It was really drinkable for such a high ABV, but pretty expensive to have at the bar again--will just have to pick up from the store.

Photo of grs8313
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: 120z bottle that was bottled on 3/15/07. Pours a cherry color into a tulip with a reddish head that starts to die down instantly. The beer keeps bubbling due to the etched D in the Duvel tulip.

Smell: Alcohol, and dried fruit. A very potent and aromatic scent. The smell reminds me exactly of some Belgian beers I have tasted.

Taste: Fruit, spice, sweet malt and heat from the alcohol. The fruits I picked up were prunes, raisins, plums and apples. The tastes is exactly what is expected after smelling the beer.

Mouthfeel: Syrupy and warming as swallowed. I would never have guessed this beer was 20% ABV from the mouthfeel. There is no burning like I thought there would be from the high alcohol content, I was pleasantly surprised.

Drinkability: Much easier to sip and enjoy than I thought it would be. Very well balanced for a beer with such a high ABV. This is a beer I was excited to try because I do not try many beer of this style, I was not disappointed. This is a strong beer and you will feel the alcohol in your system. Definitely a beer I would break out for special occasions especially to share with another person who would appreciate the complexity of the beer.

Raison D'Extra from Dogfish Head Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 1,077 ratings.