Raison D'Être | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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Raison D'ÊtreRaison D'Être
4,309 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,309 |  Reviews: 1,774
Photo of Todd
2.9/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had a big 32oz mug of this last night at Bukowski's (Boston), and wasn't that impressed. A dark beer with a decent head. Aroma was pure grape bubblegum. Flavour also had a dominant bubblegum character with burnt orange and raisin flavour kicking about.

Interesting. Glad I tried it. However, I won't be ordering it again.

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Photo of frank4sail
4.5/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. Deep red sweet belgian ale. Smell of sweet, malt, and belgian yeast. Complex flavor, tart raisins, malt, and lots of alcohol. Not a drink for the timid. I like this beer very much as a nightcap. It is a change of pace. It is perfect to unwind with but, @ 8%ABV be careful. Well crafted with unique flavor, it is rare to taste these divergent flavors of beet sugars, candy sugar, hops, and malt in an American Brew (or any brew). "A" for effort to the Delaware guys.

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Photo of mophie
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This review pains me somewhat. You see, I'm a Delaware native and have a special fondness for Dogfish Head. That being said, try as I might to love this beer, I can't. It's definitely complex, and I admire Dogfish Head for the effort. Just a bit too much going on, in my opinion, to add to my list of favorites. Of course, that will not stop me from drinking it when I'm visiting my folks down in Lewes!

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Photo of Alewife
4.57/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Turned on to this one by Bierman9 (not a complete fool, he!!) Its dark copper color and fine head are good, and things get better from there. Sweet malty, fruity nose, and verrry good body and mouthfeel. The taste is of currants, raisins, malty sweetness and candy sugar....mmmmmm!! Easy to drink plenty o' these, especially on tap!

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Photo of cokes
3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I purchased this beer with high expectations. I had read nothing but positive things about it and, personally, had nothing but good fortune with Dogfish brews. Even the label that read: "Brewed with belgian beet sugar....and green raisins" couldn't deter me from trying this beer (luckily, neither seemed to greatly influence the taste)
Upon sampling this beer, I was initially disappointed. Tasted like and old ale, with the sweetness amped-up. Then as I continued drinking (and as the beer grew on me), I realized the belgian aspect to the beer. Basically, this is how a strong ale would taste if monks were to brew it. Strong yet drinkable. It is an Interesting brew but not mind-blowing (which, judging from other Dogfish brews, I was expecting it to be)..
However, it is a beer that as I drink more of it, the more I like it. Surely, worth a try for anyone

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Photo of Bierman9
4.26/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Says here an old ale...Dude at Redbones said it was a Dubbel...seems more on the Belgian side to me (Edit: 08JUL04 - now a Belgian Strong Dark Ale according to the Bros new stylings). Dark copper color, with a small fine, fading head. Mild, sweet nose. Medium-full body and a medium-smooth tongue, which I found very enticing. Sweet start, with hints of Belgian yeast and candy-sugar before fading into a mild bitterness. Suggestions of spices linger in the dry-ish finish. Nice bier.

overall: 4.3
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.5


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Photo of mmthompson33
4.94/5  rDev +35%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow! This 8% alcohol beer is quite a treat. I couldn't tell it from a beer straight out of Belgium. It has so much complexity that it could be integrated into a fancy meal, yet it's cheap price and sweet taste make it an ideal beer to drink for a night of interesting conversation. A superb brew. NOTE: I just had another of these beers in March, and it was not near as good as the batch last November - too flat and sweet. There seems to be some inconsistency in their brews at Dogfishead.

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Photo of John
4.66/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Hugely complex as indicated by the other comments. Obvious alcohol taste and aroma. Think of dark raisin bread topped with caramelized brown sugar, add a hint of chocolate, liquify, enjoy.

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Photo of Brent
4.36/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hoo-hah! This is one serious beer! Venom is right, this is an old-style ale, to me almost a barlywine. Very chewy with dark fruit and a wine-like backbone. Had it with skewered beef and a very hot dipping sauce. This beer just laughed at the sauce and put it out without any effort.

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Raison D'Être from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 3.66 out of 5 with 4,309 ratings