Raison D'Être | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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Raison D'ÊtreRaison D'Être
4,308 Ratings
Raison D'ÊtreRaison D'Être

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,308 |  Reviews: 1,774
Photo of Delta9v2
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of Geoffy
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%

Photo of Lukebell15
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of gpawned
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of Brubaker
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank this late last night down by the fire. So i'm do this review from memory and expert witnesses.

A- Poured nicely to a beautiful clear red-amber (mahogany). The head was 2 fingers in size and lasted a little while before dropping to a nice lacing.

S- Sweet with dark sugars. pleasant.

T- Very sweet. Good body. There's an earthy tone i assume comes from the beats and a dark sweet that must come from the raisins. The bitter shows up after that to clear away some of the sweetness. Leaving a light but clean earthy fruity taste that lingers away.

M- Smooth feel with a fine texture. Medium in body.

O- Very enjoyable beer. I would like it for high Summer or around a smoky fire in Winter.

Would Drink
Would Buy
Wouldn't Make

 735 characters

Photo of MH7
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of MButkus
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%

Photo of ceberly
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of dontpanic5
2.82/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

It pours a muddy amber with barely any head. In the nose it's fruity, bananas are what I immediately thought of, and there's the smell of chewy malts. The taste is dominated by the strange taste of beets. Off the bat I'm not really a fan. The deep malt taste isn't offensive but it can't do much to save this beer from my judgement. It has a nice carbonation and a light body. Overall I can't say I'm really enjoying this beer at all. That's Dogfish Head for you, it can be really hit or miss!

 493 characters

Photo of qwe2323
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of Kerrie
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of Kubrickx
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of Dwtucker90
4.49/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed from a bottle and out of a North Coast Brewing tulip glass. Beer bottle on 2/19/13 and drank on 5/1/13.

Look: The color is a deep cherry wood/mahogany. Can't see through it. Only thing really lacking here is a nice head. It poured with only about 2 centimeters of white head which quickly dissipated.

Smell: some spicy alcohol esters. Mild dark fruits with that typical Belgian yeast and malt nose. Nice but not a very strong nose. Have to really look for the nose on this one until it warms and opens up. Once you let that happen it is very pleasant.

Taste: lots of Belgian yeast and malt similar to most strong Belgian beers. A good bit of warming alcohol which is spicy in the front and warming going down. Dark and sweet fruits and picking up some of that green grape after taste that lingers and sticks to your mouth.

Mouthfeel: not much to the head but this beer's carbonation really comes through once you get it into your mouth. Just the way I like my strong Belgians, slick but bubbly and spicy.

Overall: Not my favorite of the style but an interesting and delicious entrance by Dogfish Head. Definitely worth trying and enjoying.

 1,152 characters

Photo of Artjsantos
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of DrClawson
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%

Photo of Phacoman
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of Chetti
5/5  rDev +36.6%

Photo of Oakenator
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This raison beer doesn't disappoint - lives up to its name. Belgian strength and flavor. Pours a deep amber with a decent head at pour that disappates. Nose is strong raisons and some alcohol despite its 8% ABV. Sweeter malts linger on the back end and some sour raison flavor on the front. This beer is about a year old and has aged decently despite its middle ABV (have also had it fresh and consistent with my memory).

 421 characters

Photo of Jspoelst
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%

Photo of jimilayne
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I'm a huge fan of Dogfish Head and this is the first 'swing and a miss' I've had from them. There's just too much going on here. I'm not sure exactly what the goal was with the taste but it confused the H out of me. It's just not up to par with the rest of their fine products that I've had (60, 90, 120 min IPAs, Bitches Brew, Hellhound Ale, Pearl Jam Twenty Ale).

Drank a few out of the bottle and really don't have much to say. Too spicy and while the raisins come through, they're not balanced well enough with anything else to bring out the best of them.

Had to try it on principle but won't be going back.

 613 characters

Photo of mojo525
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of
4/5  rDev +9.3%

You had this beer. Write a review.

Photo of bjohn84
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%

Photo of JakeWik
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of tmm313
2.75/5  rDev -24.9%

Raison D'Être from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 3.66 out of 5 with 4,308 ratings