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Raison D'Être | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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Raison D'ÊtreRaison D'Être
BA SCORE
3.65/5
Good
4,303 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:
#34,806
Reviews:
1,774
Ratings:
4,303
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: 4,303 |  Reviews: 1,774
Photo of PJCracker
2/5  rDev -45.2%

Photo of zenwatts
2/5  rDev -45.2%

Photo of TechMyst
2/5  rDev -45.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

CONTAINER VOLUME: 12 oz
CONTAINER TYPE: bottle
FRESH: 4-3 consumed 10-28
PURCHASED @: Binny
COST: $2
HEAD: none
LACE: none
COLOR:murky brown
AROMA: rich burnt fruit
MOUTHFEEL: med. foamy
PALATE: slick
TASTE: bitter burnt rasin
COMMENTS: Least favorite of DFH
CONDITIONS:
MOWING/WORKING ON CAR- n
WITH FRIENDS- n
SIPPING- n
GET MY BUZZ ON-n

 356 characters

Photo of cosmicslop
2/5  rDev -45.2%

Photo of HumphreyLee
2/5  rDev -45.2%

Photo of ejw127
2/5  rDev -45.2%

Photo of CraftBeerGuild
2/5  rDev -45.2%

Photo of UnknownMale282
2/5  rDev -45.2%

Photo of timesnewspartan
2/5  rDev -45.2%

Photo of lobos62
2/5  rDev -45.2%

Photo of Barbie
2/5  rDev -45.2%

Photo of Gww1864
2/5  rDev -45.2%

Photo of jophish17
2/5  rDev -45.2%

Photo of Mosul
2/5  rDev -45.2%

Photo of tatums1984
2/5  rDev -45.2%

Photo of Radiosox
2/5  rDev -45.2%

Photo of slitherySOB
2.02/5  rDev -44.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

First Rogue, now DFH. I seem to be getting the lower end beers from the breweries I'd like to try. Anyways, Raison D'etre was poured into a goblet. I'm thinking belgian style deserves a belgian glass. Was I wrong? Beer pours a red wine and brown colour. Pretty much no head. Violently poured, it comes with maybe a double fingernail thick that quickly disipates to nothing. Not a very good appearance. Smells of brown sugar, wine, alcohol, caramel and butterscotch. Not too bad, but a bit off with the sugar. Taste is too sweet. It's like red wine. Actually, it reminded me of Jewish wine. Very, very sweet. Raisins, sugar, malt, caramel, sugar and raisins. Mouthfeel is harsh from the alcohol, and actually quite thin for something so syrupy tasting. Drinkability is low. It's just not a good beer.

 799 characters

Photo of Brunite
2.03/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance- Decent color. Not much head. Spots of lacing.

Smell- A tinny, metallic, alcoholic aroma.

Taste- This tastes like cheap champagne. There is a green grape flavor that is just done wrong with this brew. Like Welches white grape juice and alcohol. Yuck.

Mouthfeel - Carbonation and alcohol are somewhat overdone. Not smooth.

Overall - DFH continues to underwhelm me. Not sure why their stuff does not seems to resonate with me like it does with others. This ended up as a drain-pour as I could not see forcing this down with 40-50 other good beers on hand, as options.

 580 characters

Photo of TerryW
2.03/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Well, I'm afraid that this one just didn't work for me. No head, no lace. Nice red leather colour though.

Aroma was malty but dominated by alcohol. I couldn't make out any Belgian beet sugars, green raisins (or sense of purpose). The taste of the beer was also dominated by alcohol. Not particularly flavourful. Came across as quite astringent. Reminded me some of taking a mouthful of cocoa powder. Too dry and too alcohol harsh.

 433 characters

Photo of Mavajo
2.05/5  rDev -43.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 1

Pours an amber color with a moderate white head. Fades quickly, settling into a thin crown and even thinner film.

The aroma on this...well, is there an aroma? I detected virtually nothing. I then decided to let it warm for a while. At best, perhaps a slightly grainy smell? I'm really confounded by this thing - I can't recall the last time I smelled a beer this devoid of flavor. It's not off-putting, so I won't give it a 1 - but geez, no aroma at all?

The taste isn't much better. There's a raisin character here with maybe a bit of yeastiness. Perhaps the slighest hint of butter as well? Aftertaste is very unpleasant - coats the tongue and causes a bit of a face-scrunching, tongue-smacking reaction afterwards.

Mouthfeel is pretty much spot on. No complaints in the department. Medium to full bodied, with good carbonation.

I don't really know what to say about this beer. It's the damnedest thing - no aroma to speak of, with a fairly mediocre taste and down right unpleasant aftertaste. Will not be trying again.

 1,026 characters

Photo of DefenCorps
2.07/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottled on the 13th of October 2011, consumed on the 1st of December. I'm making pancakes for breakfast on Saturday, and figured I'd grab something to make a fun syrup with.

Pouring a clear amber with a thin, off-white head that falls off to a ring rather quickly, leaving no lacing. The nose is rather intensely sweet, though the smell is rather unique in that it leans so heavily on the sugar beets, with a mild phenolic note. Spicy alcohol, and a fruity golden raisin character are all noticeable. Mildly hoppy as well, with an earthy bitterness in the back. Intriguing.

The palate, on the other hand, is a bit of a mess. Spicy alcohol and phenols combine to make a rather paint-thinner like beer with a mild raisin sweetness in the mid-palate before a moderately strong bitterness takes over in the finish, completely ruining everything. The sugar beets add plenty of sweetness. Now, the paint thinner dissipates as the beer breathes, making it moderately more palatable and brings to mind cheap rum, but the bitterness on the finish really clashes with the raisins and the fruity yeast. Full in body, mildly soapy and slick, this beer is lightly carbonated and rather disappointing. I can't imagine drinking more than 4oz at a time, let alone a 4 pack.

 1,259 characters

Photo of drewfromboulder
2.07/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Photo of maundythirsty
2.14/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

12 oz. bottle into a goblet.

It's a beautiful crystal-clear dark mahogany color. That's how they describe it on the label, and they're not screwing around. The head fell in a hurry, but clung to the glass and built little islands here and there. I got excited, because I'd heard good things.

It smells like raisins and Dimetapp. Like malted raisins and Dimetapp. I was surprised at how powerful the raisins were, and maybe thinking that I read the label a little too carefully.

Maybe I wasn't in the mood for what the beer was presenting, but I went right back to the label. This beer tastes like beet sugar, green raisins and medicine. And not in a good way. I hate to be so harsh, but I did not finish it. Mouthfeel was a little syrupy, but not uncomfortable.

After a half-dozen sips I figured I'd wait for some other time to try another bottle before reviewing it, but I'm not sure I want to drink another. I don't know where they're going with this stuff. I was so powerfully repelled that I feel like I have to give it another shot, but it will be a while.

 1,073 characters

Photo of spencerw
2.18/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I tried this to continue my advocacy for Dogfish Head and this particular beer sounded interesting.

A- Poured a nice mahogany, rich looking brew with a 1 inch head that dissipated quickly leaving very little lacing.

S- Raisiny and sweet malty. I also smell alcohol...but not in a good way.

T- Smooth, thick, sweet malty with a shallow hop finish. And again, I'm tasting the alcohol...almost rubbing alcohol taste. Not real impressive for a Dog Fish Head brew.

M- Thick and a little off. Maybe syrupy?

D- It is a good beer to be had if you're in to trying new ones. Every brew deserves a try. It didn't do it for me though. It wasn't bad...just not a real great brew. For me it's like cooked carrots. If you serve then to me, I will eat them and say thank you...I'll never eat them otherwise. The same hold for the Dogfish Head Raison.

 844 characters

Photo of tctruffin
2.24/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

I was excited to try something from Dogfish that I hadn't had. And I figured that with Dogfish even if I didn't like it, the experience would be interesting. Well, I was dead-on with that expectation.

Overall, let's just say that I think the brew is a mess. There are some very appealing parts, but they just don't ever mesh. It felt like someone was shifting gears in my mouth without the use of a clutch.

The ale pours a beautiful deep amber color with a quickly disappearing head. It looks great. Looks like something I'd love.

I then stuck my nose in it and got...nothing. Nada. Almost no aroma at all. Then I took a sip to find three separate and competing forces. There's the maltiness: roasted. Then there's some kind of hopiness fighting to be heard. But the voice shouting the loudest is the overwhelming alcohol sensation (aroma, flavor?). Of course there was some of that distinct Belgian fruitiness as well.

Overall, the brew is just a mess. A pretty mess. A well-made mess. And I'm glad there's folks out there willing to take the risk. I give Dogfish high marks for aspiration. But on this one attempt, they didn't stick the landing.

 1,161 characters

Raison D'Être from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 3.65 out of 5 with 4,303 ratings
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