1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Raison D'Extra - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Raison D'ExtraRaison D'Extra

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,170 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,170
Reviews: 664
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 14.14%
Wants: 151
Gots: 395 | FT: 35
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,170 | Reviews: 664 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tsreynolds
4.72/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Cracked a bottle dated Sept. 2006 that I've been holding for a while. Didn't realize this is discontinued, should probably see if my shop has any more.

This is one to let sit. The 2006 tasted like a 5% ABV. It was so smooth and easy to drink. Not too much alcohol heat at all. The flavor was very complex and delicious. The other reviews say enough to the flavor. Just wanted to note that it certainly mellows out very well with time. Wish I hadn't opened this one but I am sure there are more to be had. Very very good beer.

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

Its usually a good thing when you can smell a beer the second its opened, and that is what happened. This beer poured a hazy reddish-purple color. The head is an inch and a half of aggressive, fizzy foam, and recedes within seconds to almost no lacing. The aroma is of soft caramel malt, raisins, dates, port, and a hint of spice. This is a very interesting aroma. The taste is more port-like than the aroma. It isn't an identical twin, but it has a lot of similarities. There is a lot of molasses, some spice, raisins, and some alcohol heat. Again, this is very interesting taste. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a velvety texture, and lively carbonation (a lot livelier than I would expect from a beer with strong, and aged for two years). Overall, I like this beer. The taste and aroma aren't what I usually like in a strong Belgian ale, or a port, or an extreme beer. But the intricacy and complexity of them make each sip something new, and that is the sign of a truly well crafted beer.

Photo of Shumista
3.6/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I decided to crack this one open for my 100th review, it had been calling my name waiting in my beer cellar (the back of closet) for a while. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Maudite snifter.

A- Raison D'extra pours a thick, syrupy, murky brown with a small light brown head.

S- No surprise at the huge aroma here. Raisins of course, other dark fruits, cherries, figs. Smells boozy, which is also no surprise.

T- Wow, lots of flavor. Tastes like raisins and dark fruits like the smell. There is a woody flavor here as well. The alcohol is noticeable in the taste, but I would probably guess 11-13% abv, definitely not as high 18%.

M- Thick, heavy, and syrupy. Lots of warmth from the alcohol that reminds me of sipping straight liquor.

D- I struggled a little bit in the middle getting through this one, but I did make it through it in the end. Not great drinkability, I feel like a lot of people would have trouble making it through a 12 oz bottle on their own. No surprise there though I guess.

Very interesting beer, definitely worth checking out.

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

Thanks a million to Sanatar for opening up this huge beer...the highest ABV I've had to date.

Brew is a nice looking oaky amber with a small ivory head that dissipates quickly but can be reinstated with a twirl of the glass. Aromas are fruit fruit fruit...very sweet. The ripest from everything to bing cherries, currants, figs, and a hell of a ton of raisins. Flavors are all of the above dark fruits, with only the most subtle alcohol and a good offering of burned brown sugar. A bit sweet for me, but still good. A medium mouthfeel and low carbonation helps this heavy beer to settle on my tongue and linger for a while. While a brew like this should be a sipper, I am taken aback as to how easy it was to drink. Overall, a sweet liqueur that is a force to be reckoned with!

Photo of weeare138
4.69/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage, 2005 bottle that's been hiding in my cellar since the day I purchased it.

Appears a slight haze of dark amber with a small tan head that quickly fizzles out into a tiny cap and collar. The lacing is minimal and tends to droop back down into the outer rims.
Smell is of huge amounts of rum soaked raisins that have had all of their nectar squeezed out as a fermentable sugar. Lots of brown sugar, a hint of cocoa, and notes of brandy and port. Very slight trace of oxidation showing, which is welcomed in this massively complex beer.
Flavors of caramel, raisins, prunes, dates, figs, and tobacco jump out along the tongue.
Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, chewy, mildly carbonated, sweet, and boozy. A true sipper.

Photo of Anthony1
2.28/5  rDev -43.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

poured into a perfect pint.

pours a dark brown with a think roasted head that left quickly. unfortunately this thing is just to sweet. very rich aroma with varieties of fruit and sweetness. taste is great at first, and immediately the sweetness kicks in. rough after taste. Tried drinking it with some food and sipping, but just couldn't handle the sweetness. sadly, i couldn't drink it.

Photo of cbutova
3.38/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark amber/brown that is murky and impossible to see through. One finger head that disappears almost instantly to a slight covering on top of the brew. Smells of dried fruit, raisins and alcohol, lots of it, still not bad. Tastes of dried fruit, raisins, alcohol, bread, and sweets, alcohol not bad at first but grows as the beer warms and the glass empties. Mouthfeel is good, medium thickness but still pretty smooth and good carbonation. Alcohol keeps the mouth very warm throughout the drink. Drinkability is tough, for 18% its not really terrible but towards the end of the glass the alcohol gets to you, would not session this one obviously. Overall it was better than I thought because I have had 10% beers with much more alcohol presence and much less taste.

Photo of jballeng
4.34/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark brown into a tulip glass. Even though I poured vigorously, only a small one finger head built up, which dissipated quickly into little clouds.

Immediately to the nose is alcohol, raisins, sweet malts, prunes, apples, cherries, bread, chocolate, and light soy sauce.

Alcohol present in flavor immediately, along with a syrup-thick mouthfeel that takes some getting used to. Alcohol, raisins, black pepper, dark fruits, chocolate, bubble gum, cherries, hops, and cedar. Ever-so-slightly salty. The cedar is accentuated by the alcohol and reminds me of a well-stocked humidor when the drink hits the back of the throat. Not overly sweet compared to others of this magnitude, but still on the sweet side. Back-rush of bitterness hits you in the swallow with a subtle warming sensation in the throat and gut from the alcohol.

A slow sipper, this beer beats other super-heavies I have had such as DFH 120 and Samichlaus Helles due to the relative lack of cloying cough-syrup sweetness. Certainly a brew to sit and contemplate your day with for an hour or so. Like any good beer, it gets more complex and as it warms. My only complaint is the $9-per-bottle price tag. Highly recommended.

Photo of CampusCrew
3.87/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

taste like what a fresh SA triple bock might taste like.

appearance: nice and dark

smell: sweet sweet maple aroma

taste: congac sweet liqour taste. heavy liquored. just cant hide that fact that it is what it is. 18% is hardly a beer

mouthfeel: medium bodied

drinkability: overall I appreciate it but I will not get it again.

Photo of chrismilner20
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle Date 8/30/05 tasted on 7/18/09 in my La Chouffe tulip

Thanks to Randy and the DC Guesthouse for the beer.

a: Looks like an unfiltered Apple Cider with a little sedtiment

S: It has the aroma of dried fruit with a little booze

T: The taste was like a nice sherry. It had nice dried fruit notes ( raisin, fig and almost apricot. It still had a very sweet taste for

M: It is a lite beer and feels very thin in the mouth but still enjoyable.

O; Overall I would recommend this beer. It definitely picks up a lot of flavor with age. The other Extra I have had was only 1 year old and was not as refined and was much sweeter. This one is almost to easy to drink for a 18% beer.i

Photo of TheFightfan1
1.71/5  rDev -57.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I bought this at monk's and was a little disappointed in the drink and that is over two years old!!! After our trip to the city (Monk's and Noddinghead) I decided to have this late in the night.

Exp. date is 3/15/07. Poured into a goblet a thick cloudy caramel color with an off white colored heading. No real lacing to speak of.

Smell is very malty and just flat out booze. hint's of raisin's a touch of plum and other darker fruit's also a bit of chocolate.

Taste again is ridiculously boozy almost unbearable hint's of the above aroma's but is killed by this unsettling warmth of alcohol. Hops do kick in and leave a slight sting but again is crushed by the warmth in the gullet.

Mouth is full bodied with good carbonation when move it around on the palate. Leaves a kind of spiciness on the tongue as well.

Drinkability is bad this was almost a drainpour for me I will not try this one again.

Just a bit to ridiculous with the heavy ABV. I personally think Dogfish head should do away with this one and stick to the D'etere.

Photo of david131
4.29/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 3-15-07

A- A deep, ruby red that has an absolutely tiny off-white head with little to no retention. For the ABV, this is pretty standard.

S- One of the most aromatic beers I have encountered. I get a lot of raisins, caramel, some soy sauce, and alcohol. Smells like it has blended very nicely.

T- Raisins, caramel, some alcohol, and a bit of nuttiness. There is an enjoyable aged quality to this and everything blends together very nicely. For a raisin beer, this is outstanding.

M- A nice carbonation level and sweetness. Despite the high alcohol level, it is only noticeable from the intense warming effect, and is not harsh in any way.

D- A bit of a sipper, but it is thoroughly enjoyable. I bet this would be a beast fresh, and I would love to see what this did with some more age on it.

Photo of BMoney575
4.65/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on 6-16-09
Bottled on 3-15-07

Pours an extremely cloudy red/brown color, with no head and clear, viscous lacing. It looks exactly the way it should, and I'm terrified.

Smell is very strong dark fruit, pungent raisin, tons of alcohol, but in a super-fermented way. Extremely enjoyable, you can actually smell raw alcohol if you try too hard.

Taste is heavy malt at first, with a hint of deep fruitiness. The alcohol comes in next, adding tartness and lightness right in the middle. The finish, however, is other-worldly. A huge almond nuttiness gives way to intense flavors of caramel and toffee, and the alcohol comes back to finish things off. I would imagine that 2 years would have mellowed the flavors a bit, but this does not taste aged at all.

Mouthfeel is great, the the booze adds a slick quality that helped out by decent carbonation. Still heavy, but it should be.

Drinkability is unbelievably good, the flavors and alcohol mend together so well that you don't realize how strong it is.

Overall, one of the most flavorful beers I've ever had. I wish I could give it a 6.0 for taste. A very special treat, it is well worth the $10 a bottle.

Photo of LordAdmNelson
3.35/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A- Hazy cider-like appearance with small, rapidly fading head. Considering the alcohol, no surprise.

S- Boozy, raison. Pretty much what I expected. Can't get much else out of it. Maybe some sweetness and some spices (cinnamon?)

T- Boozy raisons again. After the initial bite, there's some raisins, bourbon, maybe some apple, slightly woody (oaky?). Caramel-y. Not bad, but nothing amazing, but then again, it's growing on me.

M- This really disappoints here. While the 120 was velvety, this one is watery.

D- ABV makes this one tough. Not blown away by the taste either, so this is a tough drink.

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

Cracked open a bottle from 2007. Definitely a bit oxidized, but this is a beer for which that works.

A: Hazy caramel and orange in color with considerable tan head. Lacing sticks around for a while. Could be my New Belgium glass affecting that.

S: The sherry from the age is prevalent, along with raisins and caramel.

T: Again, sherry, raisins, caramel. This beer is VERY sweet. Just noticed that this is apparently 18%? If so, it's hidden well. I would have guessed 10%.

M: Thick body and medium carbonation. Very sticky.

D: Obviously, at 18% ABV, you can't drink too much.

Photo of BirdFlu
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Notes based on an '04 aged bottle..
The first thing to take note of is the smell, particularly out of the bottle.. its a ridiculously strong blend of raisins, white grapes, malt and some booze. Pour is sort of cola-like, sits in glass with a deep ruby color and little to no head. The flavor is wild.. Super, super sweet.. easily the maltiest thing I have ever had (and I have had a 5 year old world wide stout). All raisins and sugar. Extremely potent sweetness which could be a bit much for some people. Its like drinking a chocolate raspberry cake, very dense and very boozey. Mouth is very thick and syrupy. The sweetness has a real presence in the mouth. Overall its pretty awesome if you like sweet stuff.. It is certainly an experience to try, but the sweetness will definitely become overpowering. The first few sips will really blow your mind and after that you may start to feel like you're developing cavities.

Photo of thequeen711
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep copper, hardly a head...Nose definitely of raisins, and , smell that alcohol! WHEEW! Smells liks a sweet one, but how can sweet and beer get along? Quite fabulously! Taste those sweet, sweet raisins, and caramel malts. No hiding the alcohol content. Mouthfeel is thick and chewy. An awesome creation to be enjoyed in limited amounts due to the high ABV...can't enjoy it if your taste buds are numb!!!

Photo of beerindex
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Having missed the initial release and being a big fan of the style generally, DFH as brewery, and the Raison D'etra upon which this is based, I was thrilled to pick up a bottle from the new batch earlier this month, which I tried earlier this week. And I am pleased to report that after three bad DFH beers in a row, this one finally met the high expectations that gems such as the IPA 120 and the Palo Santo Marron have left me expecting.

Pours and orange-driven mahogany with a quick to leave and small to start with off-white head. The smell is dominated by raisins and alcohol, which make sense given the presence of the former in this beer, and the high abv. It came off rather warm and sweet, with a sort of brown sugar and molasses undertone.

The taste really matched up nicely with the smell...raisins and alcohol dominated. That is to say, the ABV was not hidden nearly as well here as in say, the IPA, but was to the point that it was rather drinkable and easy on the palate. If I didn't know the ABV beforehand, I'd not have have expected it to be 20%, but perhaps half that. To the extent that the abv was partially cloaked, it did so using raisin and sugar sweetness. Tastewise, this struck me as being like a blend of Samichlaus (which I despise) and Raison D'etre (a great beer), blending the alcoholic harshness and motor oil residue notes of the former with the warm raisin and molasses goodness of the later for a rather good final product.

With the ABV, one probably shouldn't treat this like a session beer. But it is pretty damn tempting.

Photo of colts9016
3.84/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this beer from Traquairlover, thank you for this beer. I have kinda nervous about trying this strong brew. 20 percent is a high alcohol content for a beer.

Poured into an over sized wine glass at 47 degrees.

Appearance: A mahogany color with garnet highlights. There was an ivory head that lasted all but 2 second. I think the high alcohol content kills the head. There are a lot of yeast partials in the bottom of the wine glass.

Nose: A very strong alcohol content (duh). There a sweetish malty note to the beer. There is a raisin note with caramel, citrus, phenols, solvent, and molasses.

Taste: A very deep malty complex with raisins, phenols, caramel, toffee, and alcohol. There are notes of phenols, solvents, and citrus.

Overall: The mouth feel of the beer is warming, slightly carbonated, and spicy. The body of the beer is medium, and the finish is long. I am so surprised that this beer has such a high alcohol content and I am able to decipher what else is in the beer. This is a very nice strong ale with a really good flavor. I really liked this beer.

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

I've been sitting on this one for a year or so, crappy monday at work so what the heck its time to crack you open.
Pours a deep copper color with reish orange highlights when held to light. Thinnish white head leaves a bit of lacing on the way down. Smells of dark fruits, raisins plums prunes. A bit of alcohol and a touch of phenolic in there as well. Smells like its going to be sweet. Taste is sweet, lots of dark dried fruits and a burning alcohol as it leaves my gullet and descends to the pit of my stomach. I can feel its entire journey, its almost like I'm sipping on some brandy. Mouthfeel is syrupy and sticky, carbonation is present but not overpowering, body is thick. Wow definite sipper in this one. Very flavorful but a touch sweet for my liking.

Photo of Blakaeris
3.53/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours burnt-apricot with orange highlights.

Aroma is alcohol soaked tropical fruit. Caramel malt, and a hint of brown sugar.

Taste is massive caramel malt. Strong fruit character - notably raison, plum, apricot, and bitter orange rind. Woody, earthy hop character. Finish is sharp alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied.

A very powerful, alcohol soaked brew. Unusual, with plenty of malty sweetness.

Photo of bashiba
4.24/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a very thick and creamy dark amber with a light tan head. Good retention with moderate lacing.

The smell is incredible, almost overpowering. A huge blash of sweet molasses, alcohol, oak, raisons, and brown sugar.

The flavor is almost overpowering with a huge smokey and oaky slightly bitter taste with sweet molasses and alcohol undertones coming through. Touches of dark fruit, rasions, and a bit of juniper.

The mouthfeel is thick, oily and very warm.

Suprisingly drinkable for 20 percent. A nice warm sipper would be good in the winter sitting around the fire place.

Photo of alcstradamus
2.24/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

A--Gorgeous mahogany color that doesn't yield much of a head...what was there dwindled down to almost nothing quickly. No lacing

S--Deep wood and maple tones, raisins, figs, bourbon. Little too boozy on the nose for my liking

T--This one absolutely bites the tongue with a sharp alcohol front and a maple syrup back end. Definitely not my style. It is impressively flavorful though. Wait a minute, I just saw that this is 20% ABV, believe it or not I didn't actually look at that before drinking. No wonder it kicked my ass. I must admit that I am not man enough for this beer!

M--Relatively thin but not too much so

D--I can't even get down half a bottle, not due to the bad taste but just due to the overwhelming nature of the alcohol. Perhaps you are more brave then me. Give it a shot and decide for yourself!

Photo of meatmallet
4.64/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown with a medium tan head. Head disappeared quickly.

Smell: WOW! Rasins, brown sugar, figs, plums, and alcohol all stand out. You can smell this brew a few feet away and that is not a bad thing at all.

Taste: Alcohol and dark fruits blow me away. I can feel the alcohol burn through my nose and in just a few sips I can feel a warming come over me. Very powerful. It is also very sweet.

Mouthfeel/drinkability: Not something I could drink all of the time even though I like the alcohol burn and sweetness.

Photo of JonathanL7890
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at the Flying Saucer in Austin. Thanks Sam (not Caligione).
Poured into a Dogfish Head snifter. Color is a brown-amber. Just a slight ring of head.
Smell: not much smell , some sweetness, alcohol.
Taste: Lots of raisin flavor, Dried fruit. Carmel, Very, very sweet.
Mouthfeel: Good , medium level of carbonation.
Drinkability: this is a sipper. It is very sweet a bit on the cloying side. I could only have one of these.

A very unusual beer. This beer is more apt to be an after dinner drink after a very good meal. Lots of food pairings possibilities for this.

Raison D'Extra from Dogfish Head Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 1,170 ratings.