Raison D'Extra
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Raison D'ExtraRaison D'Extra
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Strong Ale - Belgian Dark
Ranked #17
Ranked #3,266
4.11 | pDev: 12.9%
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States
Raison D'ExtraRaison D'Extra
Notes: Our Raison D'Etre, with a little extra. This immodest brew, made with an obscene amount of malt, brown sugar & raisins, takes Belgian-style browns to new heights.
Reviews: 756 | Ratings: 1,644 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of jlindros
jlindros from Massachusetts

4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty sure I reviewed this before, prob got lost in a server crash. bottled 1/11/19

Pours a very small fizzy tan head with low retention (as expected), dark chestnut to auburn brown color

Nose brings layers of sweetness, super sweet, with brown sugar, molasses, toffee, sweet brown malts, caramel, basically everything sugar based, as well as dark fruits, especially raisin, and a bit of date

Taste brings more sweet flavors but not as sweet as expected overall, again lots of brown sugar, toffee and molasses up front, with dark Belgian candi sugar like, into rum characters from the molasses and fruity flavors, lots of candied raisin, fig and date as well, quite fruity, a bit nutty as well, with some toasted brown malts, some smooth alcohol that gets quite hot but not fusel surprisingly, finishes sweet of course, sticky, with a bit of bitterness and lingering sweet flavors with raisin

Mouth is fuller bod, rich and chewy, fair amount of hot tingly alcohol, med-light fizzy carb

Overall basically what I remember it to be, this one is fairly fresh (relatively anyways), and the ones I've had that were about a decade old were awesome, but I wanted to review a younger one

Oct 22, 2020
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marcobrau from Illinois

4.6/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

Holy moly.

I'm pretty sure I've had this beer before but have not reviewed here. Pours chestnut brown with plenty with enough foam to create to a last eighth-inch head/collar of bubbles. Smells very rummy, but fades to being more tawny port-like. Tastes more like rum than tawny port. Much drier than I recall. Also boozy. Actually reminds me a little bit of the Rochefort 10 I last reviewed. Dry, rummy finish that is long and laced with dark molasses. Tastes great but the aroma is probably what is most amazing.

Oct 02, 2020
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JayQue from Virginia

3.99/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big slightly sweet malty beer. I have probably had this 12 oz. bottle around for at least 3 years. Pours a dense but light colored golden brown with a small tan head. Good retention for a high .abv beer in that the filmy covering on the glass and a slightly thicker ring around the edge of my Chimay goblet lasted a good while. Good aroma: mostly, malt, brown sugar and dark fruit (cherries, plums and figs). Taste was even better. The malt, sugar and fruit are in perfect proportion with each other. The best thing is that the beer is not too sweet. Mouthfeel is very good too. Probably very mellow because of the length of time I aged it. No real alcohol burn...maybe a little bite, but mostly a warming presence. I didn't notice any bitterness, but the sugar sweetness was well balanced. No cloying sugary taste. This is a really good "big" Belgian style beer,

Sep 21, 2020
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Newbeergeek1 from Maine

4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I really like Dogfish and am inclined to try their beers solely based on them as a great brewery so I tried this! Wow, glad I did. I don’t normally like malty (seems sweet to me) beers but this was an exception that I found very tasty. I actually bought a few more.

Sep 13, 2020
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mothman from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2019 bottle. Copper amber color with some floaties.

Smells and tastes like a nice Belgian quad. Lots of raisons and brown sugar. Very malty. Very smooth. Figs, toffee, caramel, plums, red apple skins. The abv doesn’t really show, but I am feeling it part way through my glass.

This is a fun and great beer to try.

Sep 12, 2020
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Beersnake1 from California

4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2016 vintage poured from fridge temp. Pours a beautiful golden reddish brown. Nice tan head that sticks around for a while. I immediately get a nice dose of raisin bread and brown sugar on the nose. Prunes, nectarines, port, and a touch of caramel. Very malty, with almost no alcohol note on the nose. This is one of those special beers that I could sniff for an hour. Taste is phenomenal. Sweetness upfront, but a layer of bitterness comes through to a lesser extent. Raisins, toffee, sticky cinnamon buns, bread, brown sugar, figs, dates, and a big of tree sap. Again, alcohol is well hidden. This is fantastic, with a lingering aftertaste. Mouthfeel is full bodied.

Jul 20, 2020
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StoutElk_92 from Massachusetts

4.69/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I first tried this at EBF a year or so back and loved it. Sam C was pouring there too! Now reviewing a full bottle.

Bottled on 01/11/19

Pours dark amber red with a creamy light khaki colored foam head. Smells rich, fruity and malty with brown sugar, molasses, dark caramel syrup, dark toffee, raisins, apples, figs, prunes, dates, apricot, dried fruit medley, some dark fruits, red cherry, mild orange citrus, banana, clove spice, toasted bready malts, with a hint of earthy floral hops. Tastes like rich boozy raisins, grape, dried fruit, figs, prunes, dates, apricot, apple, banana, dark fruit, cherry, some orange citrus, clove spice, toasty brown bread crust, char, dark caramel syrup, dark toffee, molasses, cooked brown sugar, sherry wine notes, with a hint of floral earthy hops. Feels medium fuller bodied, creamy slick with moderate smooth carbonation. Overall a really nice brew.

Jun 11, 2020
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Danzifer from Ohio

4.43/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours burgundy... Ron Burgundy with good lighting. Deep umber if you're in a dark room. The carbonation is actually pretty intense for a beer this thick in viscosity. Not much head, but that's not what's important here. This drink is spectacular. It's a brandywine style ale harboring on the edge of a stout. It'll ultimately get your kisser prepped, pepped and peppered for what's to come.

May 18, 2020
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KRug from Massachusetts

4.31/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 1/11/19

I found this one a while back and threw it in my cellar for a bit, but I decided to dig it out tonight as my junior year of college is officially over :) Should be a nice treat after the 3 exams I had today

Pours a dark amber with red highlights and a finger of tan head that reduces to a ring pretty quickly, no lacing as expected

Wow, that is overkill in the nose in the best way possible. This smells so raw and authentic, like unrefined sugars and maple sweetness. Huge notes of brown sugar, dark bread, rich caramel, and raisins, of course. The raisin plays more of a supporting role here, but it works out in the aroma. Milder notes of apple and honey

This blows up with dark fruit and bittersweet molasses in the beginning of the sip, very bold flavors. Mid palate shifts to a very raisin-eqsue fruitiness with a huge malt presence before finishing with a subtle fruit that is backed by rather bitter floral character, like raw honey. Complex af, a slow sipper

One of the fullest bodies I've ever come across in a beer. Very sweet and coating feel with little carbonation, but certainly doesn't come off hotly alcoholic, just a bit of warming alcohol. I'm not sure what the abv is on this vintage is, but for a beer approaching 20%, this can absolutely be felt. Finishes sugary sweet, but with a dryness that balances it out perfectly

This thing is just incredible, a work of art really. I'm pretty sure I paid like $11 for this bottle, but it was worth every penny. As complex as they come without being overbearing, this is perfect for an evening in. I don't think I could have much of this in a single sitting, so the 12oz format is perfect for this one. Gonna grab another 1 or 2 to cellar. Cheers BAs!

May 13, 2020
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Msp004 from New York

4.06/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz bottle from 2016 pours hazy brown looking like a farm bought apple cider with a paper thin head which is gone quickly. Minimal lacing.

Nose is raisins, caramel apples, figs, and brandy.

Mouth is more of the same with caramel , rasains, figs, dried apricots and nice brandy. Smooth mouthfeel with minor carbonation.

This aged well. A very nice sipper, drinks like a nice Brandy, kinda sorta.

Mar 30, 2020
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Radome from Florida

3.95/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Tasted from a 12 oz bottle into a crystal goblet.

Amber/orange color with some haziness. Initially good , thick, tan head, but it fades quickly to a ring around the edge of the glass. Rich aromas of raisins, prunes, earthy soy sauce and sweet brandy. Flavors of sweet bread, graham cracker, cinnamon, raisins and soy sauce. Medium to thick body. Moderate carbonation is more spritzy than smooth. Moderate bitterness holds sweetness at bay, barely. Big alcohol presence. Overall, a good beer with lots of umami that comes across as soy sauce. I'd like to try a fresh sample because I wonder if my example was a bit aged and oxidized.

Mar 14, 2020
Photo of L1ng

4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Other than using raisin’s this beer has nothing to do with Raison d’etre even though they may seem closely related by name. Raison D’extra is Great! If you love 120’s this is a close relative. Raisin is the biggest flavor to hit you up front as the name would suggest. The aftertaste will remind you of a 120 (caramel, warm and delicious).

Feb 22, 2020
Photo of TheGent
TheGent from New Jersey

4.27/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dogfish Head Raison D’Extra

Bottled on 12/13/2018

Cellared un-refrigerated for the past year between 50 - 60 degrees.

Look: One finger of khaki colored head after pouring that settles to a thin ring around the edge of the glass, and a thin island of foam sitting atop the liquid. The beer is a wonderful murky, but translucent burgundy/auburn color. Some random bubbles rising up. No lacing as I drink it.

Smell: Tons of sweet raisin, dates, brown sugar and tawny port. There’s a spicyness similar to that you’d find in a pumpkin-spice inspired drink. Sweet cinnamon. Light on the alcohol aroma with just a hint of warming fumes that comes through rum-like. Ginger bread cookie dough.

Taste: The smell is nice and sweet, but the flavor is where complexity shines, showing just how well this beer is made. It is never as sweet as it smells. On the tip of the tongue you do get a big raisin / dark fruit sweetness, but that quickly shifts mid palate to a more dry, nutty, woody, earthy lightly sweetened black tea flavor with just a faint hint of burnt sugar bitterness.

Feel: Full bodied. Never syrupy. Medium level of carbonation that pricks the palate. A warming sensation from the alcohol on the palate and in the pipes.

Overall: The nose delivers on sweetness. The flavor does as well, but strikes a complex balance with dryness. Unbelievably drinkable for 18%. An excellent beer well suited for development. I look forward to revisiting again in one year

Dec 13, 2019
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ChipChaight from New York

4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from Whole Foods on the UWS.
Pours a clear dark amber brown with a light tan head that dissipates, smell is thick chewy dark caramel, toffee, and booze soaked raisin sponge cake, taste is burnt brown sugar, molasses, toffee, and booze, this beer is full bodied and chewy. Extra for sure!

Dec 07, 2019
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ovaltine from Indiana

4.43/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours like a Belgian quad, with a body that approaches mahogany brown, the ubiquitous quad haze, and a tan head that dissipates quickly.

The nose really tees up the raisin aromas, which augment the stone fruit of the base beer, and there’s a decent amount of brown sugar on the nose, too.

Where the brown sugar really shines is on the taste, where the raisins provide sweetness, and the brown sugar provides the decadent toffee-like flavors this ginormous (15 - 18% ABV) beer demands.

With a beer this big, the danger in my opinion is that it will be syrupy, but this beer is anything but syrupy - there’s a creaminess, but it is in no way cloying or overpowering.

Sam of DFH recommends buying a few of these - one to drink now (Mission Accomplished), a few to age.

That is my mission (the few for the aging). I think this is phenomenal, and need more to see how it ages.

Nov 13, 2019
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GratefulFC from Arizona

4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Smell is caramel and malt. Pouts a dark rich, brown. Taste is caramel, malt, brown sugar. Light on the palate. Alcohol well hidden. Nice blend as it warms.

Oct 15, 2019
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Buck89 from Tennessee

4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: a slightly hazy amber color with a modest off white head.
Aroma: raisins, caramel, some toffee.
Taste: rich malty flavors as noted above, balanced with floral and citrus bitterness.
Feel: full bodied and rich. Not overly boozy for the ABV.
Overall: a nice strong ale. Well made and enjoyable.

Oct 10, 2019
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beergoot from Colorado

4.34/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark amber body topped with a one-finger thick head (pretty good for a 15.0% or so beer). Decadently rich aroma; heavy sweetness counterpointed with a roasted grain and dark caramel char; almost smokey. Intense malt sweetness offset with a fine, boozy presence; elements of fermented raisins and other dark pitted fruits; caramel and licorice; anise. Heavy body; thick and syrupy; a lot of alcohol heat; warm and sweet mouthfeel.

This monster delivers the goods! Rich and boozy with a bold malt sweetness wrestling with tempering the alcohol presence. It's a beautiful tag team free for all for your senses. God, I love this beast...

Sep 27, 2019
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gcasher from Pennsylvania

3.27/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle cellared for a year poured into a brandy snifter
Appears dark red with a 1/2 finger fizzy khaki head that dissipates quickly.
Smells sickly sweet and the raisins are prevalent.
The taste is similar.
The body is super thin.
The beer is obviously boozy.
I am not sure what the purpose of this beer is other than to be shocking.

Sep 20, 2019
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mavo from Texas

2.3/5  rDev -44%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Nowhere is it stated on the bottle label or packaging that this is a Belgian style beer. A couple of sips in and this is clearly a bad take on a Belgian quad. Loads of Belgian candi sugar. Bottle says brewed with brown sugar and raisins. If anyone can taste any raisins, you need to stop brushing your teeth with cigarettes. What a waste. Dogfish are clearly lightweights and this is a terrible and overpriced beer.

Jul 28, 2019
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chinchill from South Carolina

3.96/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

2017 vintage on tap at The Beer Station (SC).
Pours with a dark reddish-brown body with a thin off-white head that has decent retention but leaves little lacing.
Aroma: Boozy raisins with dates and dark bread.
The flavor follows. High ABV is to obvious despite aging.
Medium carbonation in an overly thin body.

Jul 14, 2019
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puck1225 from Texas

4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice strong chewy beer to drink while watching one of my favorite movies, Mmonstruck!

Orangish brown color with a good beige head and nice lacing. Raison and caramel smell and taste. Dark fruit, prunes. Candied oranges and date. Warm booze. Mellowing beer.

May 27, 2019
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Mindcrime1000 from South Dakota

4.18/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a single-bottle into a tulip.

Pours a murky caramel brown with reddish highlights at the outset. A very minimal one-finger head dissipates in 10 seconds or less, but some lacing persists. Not unexpected, given the ABV. The appearance is initially like a murky dessert wine. However, as the initial pour settles, the turbidity subsides, and, about 15-20 minutes post-pour, the brew becomes more "hazy" than murky, and the reddish highlights take over. The brew ends up looking like a cross between a medium red wine and a brandy.

The aromas are spectacular and complex, and vary as the beer warms and evolves. Dried and dark fruits from all over the spectrum. Fig, prune, date, raisin, cherry, and plum. The fruit flavors aren't solely from the dark end, however. Hints of apricot, pear, and apple cider, and some ester/banana are present as well. Apart from the fruit sweetness, sugars arrive in many ways. Caramel, toffee, molasses, brown sugar. Tobacco, leather, anise, and herbal/spice notes manifest, with peppercorn and yeast as well. The aromas are so complex that the undeniable ABV takes a back seat.

The flavor follows the nose in many ways, but with a bit more narrow focus, and a bit more booze. Initially sweet and sharply alcoholic on the tip of the tongue. However, after the initial surge, the dark/dried fruits are very present, with raisin, fig, and prune at the fore. The booze threatens to be too strong, but as the brew passes over the mid-palate some lighter fruits arrive to lighten things--pear, apple cider, and white grape, as well as more ester/banana, and some phenols. The dark sugars from the nose are much more restrained here, although brown sugar and molasses still come to mind. In the end, the ABV softens into a solid but remarkably restrained warming, rather than a bite or burn, and the brew finishes with just enough spicy yeast.

The brew is not heavy or sticky. Medium-full bodied, as the booze provides plenty of "lean" for everything else that is going on. As a result, it has a slick feel that would fall over into "oily" territory, except the solid yeast and modest carbonation provide a coarse counterpoint.

It would be tempting to relegate this brew to the "novelty" bin based on the ABV level alone, but the aromas and flavors afford too much complexity to dismiss it that easily. The ABV is definitely present, but remarkably restrained. As a result, the brew showcases nearly all of the flavors that make the BSDA style what it is. If the brew had one more notch of carbonation (I know, impossible under the circumstances) and just a bit more yeast presence, it would achieve "unicorn" status. A unique American take on the BSDA style.

May 05, 2019
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Avitra from Switzerland

4.82/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer is very close to perfection. Sweet and lingering, but enough bitterness to not be overwhelming. Beautiful mouthfeel with just enough sparkling tones. It even smells like grapes and raisins and yumminess. Great beer by a great brewery.

May 05, 2019
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Apellonious from North Carolina

4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle 01/11/19, poured into a tulip glass. A dark murky brown with ruby highlights and just a thin rim of lace. Smell is plum, brown sugar, heat, banana. The taste is similar, though the heat slowly dissipates as it warms. The feel is dense, carbonation low, gets sticky as it warms. Clear your calendar. Do not operate heavy machinery.

May 04, 2019
Raison D'Extra from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 1644 ratings