Raison D'Extra
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Raison D'ExtraRaison D'Extra
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Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Ranked #20
Ranked #3,142
4.1 | pDev: 12.93%
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.
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Reviews: 739 | Ratings: 1,603
Photo of GratefulFC
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

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Photo of Buck89
4.1/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of beergoot
4.34/5  rDev +5.9%
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...

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Photo of gcasher
3.27/5  rDev -20.2%
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.

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Photo of mavo
2.3/5  rDev -43.9%
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.

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Photo of chinchill
3.96/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

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Photo of puck1225
4.24/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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Photo of Mindcrime1000
4.18/5  rDev +2%
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.

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Photo of Avitra
4.82/5  rDev +17.6%
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.

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Photo of Apellonious
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

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Photo of Radcpa
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown appearance with slight tan head. Aroma is a slightly sweet raisin that is very pleasant. Taste is also a slightly sweet raisin that is very nice.

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Photo of Harrison8
4.11/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a foggy muddy-burgundy with a finger of off-white foam. Head retention is okay. Aroma is raisins, ripe banana, clove and nutty, earthy, roasty, caramely malts. It's rich and powerful. Flavor profile is raisins, brown sugar, molasses, toffee, bananas and a little clove. Yeast mingles with nutty, earthy, roasty, toasty, caramely malts to further the depth and complexity. Alcohol comes across a little at the start, but steps forward more as the beer warms. Mouth feel is medium-thick with a nearing still effervescence. Overall, strong, dynamic and flavorful, this is one big, hot beer.

Served in a 15.5oz Spiegalau tulip from a 12oz bottle.

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Photo of bbtkd
4.06/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dogdish Head Raison D’Extra, 15% ABV. Pours cloudy dark brown with a half finger off-white head. Nose is malt and dark fruit. Taste is brown sugar and raisin, slightly sweet and moderately bitter. Flavor improved quite a bit as it reached room temperature. Excellent mouthfeel. Overall excellent, though to me taste is only slightly better than plain Raison D’Etre, though it is almost twice as strong.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From the minds of the Dogfish Head folk, this beast pours
a nice and lightly luminous dark ruby tinged mahogany with a
nice head of off white foam that settles to a thick ring, subtle
wafting thin film pool, and hosts some light lacing. Nose of
raisin, brulee, dark candy sugars, and subtle dark orchard
fruit notes of dark cherries. Flavors surpass the nose by a mile.
Dark brown candy sugars dance about raisin and plum with
fig and a hint of anise and dark cherry notes on the rear with
strong warming booze. Very nice mouth feel; medium light
body, light carbonation that is just enough to give lift to the
heft of the sweetness, and a rich and warming finish.

Excellence from Dogfish Head, a BIG and BOLD
brew for certain.



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Photo of ajm5108
2.78/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Pours a deep cola-brown, head fades quickly but there is a good amount of carbonation. Aroma is hyper-sweet & muscular - heavy (almost overpowering) phenol alcohol, muscovado, a little fig / raisin in the background. Taste follows suit - it starts with a big wave of phenol alcohol (without the fruity esters that often accompany the style) followed by some dry raisin & fig meat with dashes of sugar. Finishes with a bitter woodiness. Dogfish Head often straddles the line with big, bold beers but this one didn’t work for me, the alcohol is too muscular on the palate and drowns-out the other flavors.

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Photo of Lucular
4.26/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap, 5 oz pour. Very boozy as expected, and in a good way. Came across more like rum than beer. Tons of dark sugar, rum-soaked raisins, and vanilla.

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Photo of beersampler6
2.91/5  rDev -29%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I didn't really enjoy this beer, but that's probably because the Belgian yeasts were too much for me. I don't know if letting it age would have mellowed out some of the flavors - this one was bottled on 12/21/18. Looks very nice - deep rich copper-brown color with some nice lingering mild head and spotty lacing. Smells faintly of raisin, brown sugar, malt, a little muted hops and some yeast. Taste follows the nose, but the stronger Belgian yeast flavors (banana-clove-yeast) were just too overwhelming for me and left a strange aftertaste in my mouth. Mild, thin mouthfeel, slightly sticky, and decent carbonation. That high ABV is fairly present - though they should print that 15% on the label. I will keep trying but sadly, these Belgian beers just don't seem to agree with my palate.

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Photo of Giggy
4.34/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Let this one warm up. It is a little harsh cold but as it warms it mellows. Great flavor! Lots of brown sugar raisins/dark fruits. Malty brown sweet bread.

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Photo of AZBeerDude72
4.53/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Brown/red with 1/2" head and no lacing.
N: Loads of malt, brown sugar and raisin.
T: WOW, super clean/smooth malty goodness with a hit of brown sugar/raisin. Some minor bite from ABV but very well hidden.
M: Medium/Strong, the ABV is so well hidden this is easy to call Medium.
O: Loved it so much, what a great beer.

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Photo of CaptainHate
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'd really been looking forward to this. I've had these sporadic get togethers with my buds where we listen to music and drink craft beer. One time, a long time ago, this guy brought a DFH brew that I tried and thought "damn, what is this?" It was Raison D'etre and it absolutely made a lasting impression on me. So imagine my anticipation when I heard about this. They aren't exactly giving these suckers away so I picked up a single to check it out.

Poured into, what else, a DFH tulip at cellar fridge 50 degrees. Beautiful ruby mahogany body topped by a small quickly dissipating tan head. Smell of sweet spicy booziness with no differentiation between any individual aromas. Things got more intense as the temperature increased. Taste is typical DFH in that the alc is very well hid and isn't hot at all. Taste brown sugar, molasses and cinnamon but not the raisins that I was expecting. Mouthfeel was fine for this slow sipper.

Anybody have any experience cellaring these bad boys. I was expecting a Raison D'etre cranked e to the x but this is something different. Don't get me wrong; I'm not complaining. I'm just wondering if the raisins pop out with age.

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Photo of avalon07
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Poured from a bottle to a goblet. Had a dark, mahogany brown color and a thick, cloudy consistency. There was a quarter inch of foamy, off white head that quickly dissipated. Pretty good lacing.

S: A big, bracing aroma of dark fruit, malt, brown sugar, booze, Belgian yeast, and spices.

T: Tasted of a small amount of malt (not overly prevalent), some spices (cinnamon, mostly), lots of dark fruit (raisins, in particular), some brown sugar, a lot of rum, and good amount of Belgian-style yeast. Like the aroma, the flavor's an aggressive beast, quite boozy, but never off-putting; it's sweet enough to balance things out.

F: A well-carbonated beer with a warm, sharp finish. Full-bodied.

O: A well done, powerful beer. Drinkable.

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Photo of teromous
2.82/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From the neck of the bottle in yellow ink: "BOTTLED ON 12/13/18 1332"

Appearance: The body of the beer is a beautiful mahogany brown with hints of dark red on the border of black. There is a short fluffy off-white head that slowly fades to a ring.

Aroma: It smells of banana, juniper, and nail polish.

Taste: There is a molasses flavor mixed with juniper berries and this odd mixture of treacle and alcohol. It has a bit of a coffee ground flavor towards the end which is intertwined with more of that molasses character. The flavors really stand out but they don't blend well together.

Mouthfeel: It is very full bodied and sticky with little carbonation. It is a slow drinking beer.

Overall: it's a really strange beer. It certainly is memorable but it's not something I would likely pick up again. The flavors seem to be working overtime to compete as the star of the show, and none of them blend cohesively. As a "fresh" or "young" beer this isn't one I would recommend unless purchasing it to age or to try as a novelty. I would only buy this again if it were aged, and even then it would only be to compare notes. There are better Belgian Strong Dark Ales on the market that are simpler and more elegant.

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Photo of Oktoberfest
4.49/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Weird. I was just thinking about Raison D'Etre and how I haven't had one in a while and low and behold its massive big brother appears on the local shelves.

This one clocks in at 16% ABV, and aside from a slight post-swallow warming, you'd never know it.

I just wrote "post-swallow warming" and I kind of want to throw up now.


The alchemists at Dogfish Head have turned out something really special here. A not too sweet, not too alcoholy (It's a word. Deal.) strong ale that's well and truly a brick wrapped in velvet. Smooth, approachable, warming, and definitely dangerous without disciplined moderation.

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Photo of micada
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Agree with jkblr. To add, my 4 year old 12 ouncer is very very chunky with yeast. I know it’s yeast, but it always seems a bit off-putting to have lots of floaters. Once you start drinking it though, you forget about floaters and start thinking of that strong rum-soaked raisin meets Belgian profile. I can taste the strong ale vibe, but the Belgian is predominant to me. Overall, try it once if you find it. If I’m going Belgian, my money’s on FW Stickee Monkee. I have about 20 of those cellared. P.S. ten minutes later the alcohol is smacking me in the head! Sip and sit, folks!

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Photo of jkblr
4.26/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottled 11/21/14 (4 years ago today) poured into a DFH branded teku glass at fridge temp, no ABV listed on label. The beer pours slightly murky medium brown in color with light khaki colored head. The head recedes to a pencil thin ring. No lacing. The aroma is raisin, rich malt, brown sugar and sweet booze. The flavor is sweet rum soaked raisins, burnt sugar caramel with a barely tart berry-like medium bitterness to finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with above average carbonation and a semi dry finish. Sweet, but not cloying. The carbonation or the alcohol tingles the tongue for a minute after each drink. The alcohol is evident in the aroma and taste at any temperature, but isn't overpowering. Overall, excellent just based on the sheer audacity of the product. I can't speak for fresh or aged 10 years, but I wish I could. This beer was aged in a 55 degree refrigerator from time of purchase (close to bottling) and is really not showing any sign of going downhill.

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Raison D'Extra from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 1603 ratings