Dismiss Notice
Extreme Beer Fest:Los Angeles

Join us December 9th in Los Angeles for the ultimate throwdown of craft beer creativity!

Learn more...
Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

Raison D'Être | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Raison D'ÊtreRaison D'Être
BA SCORE
3.65/5
Good
4,302 Ratings
Raison D'ÊtreRaison D'Être
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States
dogfish.com

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A deep mahogany, Belgian-style brown ale brewed with beet sugar, raisins and Belgian-style yeast.

We began brewing this one at our pub in 1996 (we began packaging and selling it sometime in 1998) as the answer to the question, "What beer should I enjoy with a wood-grilled steak?" Raison D'Etre fits the bill. It's as tasty and complex as a fine red wine.

In the Quick Sip Clip video, Sam talks about Raison D'Etre inside the new cellars for our 600-bbl fermentation tanks. The cellars were designed specifically to allow sterile yeast management. The system also allows us to automatically dose the yeast into the fermentation tanks. At Dogfish, we use multiple strains of yeast for our different beers, so we are acutely aware of all that can go wrong when you don't love and protect the yeast.

25 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-09-2001

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#34,405
Reviews:
1,774
Ratings:
4,302
pDev:
15.07%
Bros Score:
3.17
 
 
Wants:
109
Gots:
504
Trade:
4
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,302 |  Reviews: 1,774
Photo of Edie
1.53/5  rDev -58.1%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Photo of sstackho
1.56/5  rDev -57.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz bottled two months previously purchased from Best Cellars in Boston. Pours brown with virtually zero head. Not entirely pleasing scent of molasses. First taste: hmmmm... not entirely pleasing taste of molasses. The flavour is not as complex or interesting as I was hoping. Rather sweet. Getting a bit better as the beer goes on. Long finish. Not one that I'll try again, but not my normal beer style anyway.

 412 characters

Photo of swanny28
1.59/5  rDev -56.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured in a pint glass. Bottle may have been old on shelf to long.

A: Good looking beer with the pour. Too bad this was its best attribute.

S: Smelled of rotten fruit

T: Back the rotten fruit not very good

M: Gritty almost like the california raisons were dancing in your mouth stabbing it with pitch forks.

D: IMO not very drinkable - one of the few beers I have ever poured out.

IMO Dogfish head has too many good beers to spend your money on this one.

 461 characters

Photo of alysmith4
1.62/5  rDev -55.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Used to love this beer.. back when I had a raison to drink mediocre beers. I ordered one at a concert recently, and used it to hold down the program while I enjoyed the show. I'm sure the cleaning crew didn't enjoy taking care of the 16oz. (well ok, maybe 15) of liquid that I poured into the trash can. Sorry guys!

 315 characters

Photo of mdm4584
1.67/5  rDev -54.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Got this at AJ's Scottsdale.

Anticipated a completely different brew.

This beer is awful. The style according to BA is off. I don't know what DFH was brewing here. Be prepared to throw away.

Smell was peculiar and taste was disgusting.

Never again.

 252 characters

Photo of abcdefghijkyle
1.75/5  rDev -52.1%

Photo of tkolterman
1.78/5  rDev -51.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Nasty, dumped have of it out.
I had high expectations, it was a big letdown. Put this on the "no buy list"

106 characters

Photo of mobius024
1.83/5  rDev -49.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Raison D'etre seems to be a strange brew. Poured a nice color, amberish, decent head, not much lacing. The taste is oddly astringent, while the mouth feel is cloying. That may be why I find this beer to have an unbalanced, almost creepy quality. Hard to finish a bottle. So many better Belgian strong ales to choose from. Not much I can add ...

 344 characters

Photo of Trappistfan1
1.93/5  rDev -47.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A - Deep amber color with thin head, no retention
S - Not much but alcohol hit my nose; pretty mild, though.
T - Alcohol seemed pronounced, some hops and other flavors that all seem to cancel each other out, but just well...not good.
M - Meh. I didn't leave it in my mouth long, to be fair.
D - slim to none IMO.

OK, I know that Belgian Strong Dark Ale is a broad category with lots of variation, but this seems like a weak entry in the field. Not in any way knocking DFH, most of what I've tried of their stuff is world class, but this was a drain pour for me.

Raison D'etre is, of course, French for "reason for living". To quote Norm McDonald, "Note to self: I don't want to live!".

 688 characters

Photo of Arbitrator
1.94/5  rDev -46.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Chilled bottle into a glass, courtesy of Uwftke26.

A: Pours a translucent, dark brown / purple color with amber highlights when held to the light. Slow carbonation up the side of the glass. Half an inch of head on the pour recedes to a ring around the glass, with light trails of lacing down as I drink.

S: Some raisin, dark rum, and caramel/biscuit malt notes, but a fairly weak nose. Agitation mostly brings out an alcohol aroma and not a lot of flavor.

T: As the nose suggests, rum, raisin, and caramel and biscuit malt. No hops detected. A fairly sweet taste, with a sweet finish and a little alcohol warming effect.

M: Thin-bodied and watery, which nicely offsets what would be an otherwise too-sweet taste. The booze is noticeable, but not a deal-breaker.

D: Just got the one, and don't want a second. It's an interesting experiment, and my first raisin beer -- although I've seen a couple of Lost Abbey attempts at the store -- and I'm glad I tried it. I just don't think it's worth seeking out again.

 1,018 characters

Photo of Ahhdball
1.99/5  rDev -45.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

This is from Dogfish Breweries? Somethings wrong. Jeeeez.
Nice beet red in color and when held to the light it produced a good amber reflection. No head and no lace.
Smelled bread and even more yeast, maybe some fruit, but faint. Alcohol was very present.
Alcohol presence came and stayed, raisons and, ready? Feet. Very thick, chewy not good.

 346 characters

Photo of Kidvicious
2/5  rDev -45.2%

Photo of JGrummell
2/5  rDev -45.2%

Photo of TheWillMitch
2/5  rDev -45.2%

Photo of aSASn
2/5  rDev -45.2%

Photo of WritersBlock
2/5  rDev -45.2%

Photo of hopsandstouts
2/5  rDev -45.2%

Photo of BGsWo22
2/5  rDev -45.2%

Photo of joshtrich
2/5  rDev -45.2%

Photo of Sergris
2/5  rDev -45.2%

Photo of spoonhawk
2/5  rDev -45.2%

Photo of illiniguy1212
2/5  rDev -45.2%

Photo of drewloc
2/5  rDev -45.2%

Photo of Klif
2/5  rDev -45.2%

Photo of andrewborstein
2/5  rDev -45.2%

Raison D'Être from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 3.65 out of 5 with 4,302 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.