Raison D'Être | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

4,295 Ratings
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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

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Ratings: 4,295 |  Reviews: 1,773
Photo of MMAJYK
3.67/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- In my Chimay chalice, this one pours a mahogony/maroon brown color. It is totally transparent. The head is minimal and left shortly after my semi agressive pour. What head was there was bright white.

S- I catch aromas of, of course, raisins first, followed by plums, brown sugar, and hoppy scents bringing up the rear.

T- First taste is caramelized raisins. Then, I get a molasses taste, but not sweet molasses, it is more bitter. Middle way to finish, I catch a sugary roasty taste and alcohol on the end.

M- Thin to medium in the mouth. Not much on the malt and not creamy for sure. Carbonation is just right to me.

D- Not a very drinkable beer since it is so sweet. However, the first one (and probably the only one for me today) is very nice and quite enjoyable.

I tried this beer a while back before I really got in to beer. I appreciate what DFH has done with this one. They always push the envelope and this one is no different. I like it in moderation, and would advise anyone who likes different beers to definitely try this one.

 1,046 characters

Photo of King_KongDCO93
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of Dduquette
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of Profchaos20
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of hoplover82
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is a very complex beer. Very malty and fruit like. The raisins shine thru everything else.

It pours a dark dark brown color with a dark caramel head that sticks around till your ready to retire.

I taste raisins, caramel, alcohol, and something else. The only thing I don't like with this great off-centered beer is the alcohol sting. Too boozy! It's a little harsh on my palate, but hay, it's still one of the greatest dessert beers Iv'e had.

 451 characters

Photo of bbrown12
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of jaywes754
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of mtnwesdew
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of fostachild
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of JT99125
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of sblanton83
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of nortmand
4.87/5  rDev +33.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark rudy cherry red, with a nice, bit of beech foam and minimal lacing.
Smell is chocolate, currants and sweet cinnamon-clove.
Rich chocolate flavor, with a supporting fruity, raisiny soft flavor. Intensely complex and hard to describe, but somehow right on.
Rich, bubbly carbonation coats the tongue and reminds you that you are indeed drinking beer and not some divine creation.
This beer is absolutely great by any definition. A nearly perfect beer in every respect.

 480 characters

Photo of blitz134
3.72/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Received in 2MBBIF from Vancer...thanks...

Brownish, red body. Perfectly clear. Very light tan head, not much formed on the pour and only left a ring around the glass with a skimming of bubbles on the top.

I think this smells really good although varies a bit from the typical aromas of the style. Sweet and inviting. Tons of complexity at the temperature I have it at. The golden raisins are definately present along with some unripe plums. Sugary sweet but still has an earthy, nutty malt undertone. Sweet alcohol rears its head as well. Unique.

Taste has some darker fruit aspects, raisins again, but more of the dark variety. I think the beet sugar is obvious to, its a more pungent dark brown type sugar as opposed to the sweeter candylike sugar used in most Belgians. A bit of earthiness again comes in with the malts. Finish has a typical Belgian twang, most likely from the yeast. An alcohol twang (sorry for the use of twang more than once) is present as well. Overall a good flavor but has this twangy, funkiness that is a little to forward. I think its a bit unbalance with its sweetness.

Mouthfeel is decent, medium bodied. Not much carbonation. Drinkability suffers from the twang and the hint of alcohol in the flavor, it makes this one a bit rough around the edges. A bit too sweet to have more than one. Good and I'd have another at some point...just not tonight.

 1,391 characters

Photo of erushing
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of mcphish22
4.5/5  rDev +23%

Photo of wmobley
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of kingslotty
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of kshankar
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this into my Chimay goblet. Closest thing I have to a tulip.

It pours mahogany as the bottle says, with a tan head and minimal lacing.

Aroma is malty with dark fruits

Taste is of the dark fruits (particularly raisins) and a malty backbone.

Mouthfeel is medium and drinkability is good. Not really my type of beer, but for the style, its definitely one of the better ones.

 387 characters

Photo of EFR94
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of MadCat
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Nice reddish amber color, almost no tan head or lacing

Smell: Raisins, sweet malts, caramel

Taste: Raisins are noticeable, but not overwhelming. Sweet malts, caramel, very little bitterness, breadyness on the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body, low carbonation

Overall: Pretty good but not outstanding. Gladly would have again, but not going to seek it out

 367 characters

Photo of SwG237
3/5  rDev -18%

Photo of BrahptimusPrime
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of bmoney
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of bob727
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of Arch578
4/5  rDev +9.3%

Raison D'Être from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.66 out of 5 based on 4,295 ratings.
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