Raison D'Extra | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Raison D'ExtraRaison D'Extra
1,510 Ratings
Raison D'ExtraRaison D'Extra

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 18.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A bigger, bolder version of our Raison Raison D'Être.

This is a bulbous, brown ale brewed with a bunch of malt, brown sugar and raisins.

40 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-22-2002

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,510 |  Reviews: 708
Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of GRG1313
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of spycow
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Raison D'Extra
Poured into a Duvel Tulip. 12oz bottled version that about a year old

A: A light pour that was a orange-brown color with a light head with minimal carbonation.

S: Smelled of raisins, figs and plums could tell that it had a high alcohol content but as overwhelming as I expected.

T: The flavor starts out sweet. You could taste the heavy use of raisins but the flavors of fig and plums were noticeable. Initially, you could taste the strong alcohol taste but quickly subsided after a couple of sips. Stayed sweet throughout but did mellow some as you took in more. Better than what I expected from a beer with such a strong alcoholic content. A little sweet for me on a regular basis but having drank two to three of these it keeps getting better.

M: Feels like a light brandy, a little oily yet pleasant.

D: This is one of those beers you treat yourself to one at a time. Not one to drink multiple in a sitting. Again, the overall sweetness can be overwhelming for some along with the 20% alcoholic content. Great for an apertif and one to be savored.

Recommend trying this especially those who like the sweeter ales and those who are fans of Utopia. Pricey but worth the spend.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

this is excellent beer, cant believe i have never had it until now, its so good. color is lighter than expected, deep caramel with some red hues, but not brown, or not as brown as i thought it might be, and it holds a pretty good head, not looking thick at all for a beer thats almost 20% abv. it smells great too, the booze is there for sure, but there is more to it than that for certain. it has dark fruit, dates or figs dried, that has to be the raisin, although i cant place it exactly. the raw sugar unrefined sweetness is there too. the flavor is great, folds and wrinkles of grain and sugar, less chocolate and roast than expected, almost none at all, and the sugar here is more like honey than anything else, really nice as well. the booze is warming, but not caustic like it is in some other huge dogfish brews, its almost complimentary to the sugar, mellowing it, and to the raisins, making it feel more like a rum based desert than a beer, which is cool. nice winter beer, i would be curious to see how it ages. the base beer still stands as one of my favorites, and this one is a nice amplification of all that is good in the original. worth trying, absolutely. i had no problem with a bottle to myself. i was also surprised how well carbonated it was, usually these get pretty still at a certain strength, nice touch.

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Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of Knapp85
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of t0rin0
3.89/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This came from a bottle that someone had sitting in their closet for a long time. Not sure exactly how old it was. The beer was a little murky but had a nice brownish color to it. There was a small amount of head but that died off and left no lacing behind. The aroma was sweet and malty and of course a little of raisin. The flavor was similar but very intense. Very sweet, the raisins came out here a lot. I really enjoyed drinking the few ounces that I got to try of this beer. The alcohol is not noticeable in the smell or the taste.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of metter98
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: It pours dark reddish brown in color with minimal head.
S; Aromas of dark fruits (raisins, prunes and plums) and sugars dominate the smell.
T: Flavors of sweet, dark raisins stand out in the taste and the alcohol is barely perceptible. The underlying malt does a nice job at keeping the raisins and sweetness from completely overpowering the taste.
M: The beer feels very strong on the palate and is a bit syrupy.
D: I couldn't believe how well the alcohol is masked, but this is one beer that definitely needs to be sipped.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From the depths of retirement, Dogfish Head's stronger, darker, raisin-infused ale once again makes a cameo appearance.

Rusty, tawny and with a rudish brown austere, the ale gleams with crimson highlights and a thick lather of foam. Its booze-laden nose screams cognac, yet wrapped with lavish caramel, toffee and pistachio. Though raisin wafts gracefully about, a plethora of fruit and spice alternate on the nose and early palate.

With its candied sweetness softly fading, the fruit begins to stand out- raisin on the precipice, but trailing grape, fig, date, prune and cherry all make appearances. Slowly drying, its spicier edges pronounce with peppercorn, anise and dried citrus peel.

Its pleasant sugars and lightly viscous finish is dissected with strong brandy alcohol and peppery tendencies. The simmering heat gives the ale a long and savory aftertaste, similar to port and sherry. With fruit extending well into the next sip, the ale begs for stilton, honey and cashews.

 984 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer pours a clear auburn hue, with very little thin, wispy off-white head, which leaves no lace in its short existence. It smells of stewed raisins, caramel, and warming alcohol. The taste is strong caramel malt, brown sugar, sweet sultana raisins, and a surprisingly mild alcohol edge, given the ABV specs on this monster. The carbonation is quite low. the body warm, smooth, slick, and oily, and it finishes sweet and boozy, the fruitiness of the raisins backstopping it all.

For its strength, this is a decent mild sipper, but a sipper nonetheless.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.51/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Gouden Carolus goblet in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are pretty high. Thanks to Adam for the share. We believe this is the 2007 version, but we don't know exactly. Acquired at a bottle shoppe in New York in 2011.

A: Pours a one finer head of fair cream, decent thickness, and bad retention (~ fifteen seconds), though with this high an ABV it's remarkable it has a head at all. Colour is a murky hazy nontransparent caramel butterscotch. Yeasty bits float about.

Sm: Raisin, dark fruit (grape) esters, dark fermented apple juice/cider, yeast, caramelized malt, and maybe molasses. There's certainly a sweetness, but also a funky note I can't quite put my finger on. I can smell it from a distance, but up close it's merely moderately strong. All around it's certainly an intriguing aroma. I'm enticed.

T: Raisiny with grape esters, biscuity yeast (especially strong on the finish), some sort of molasses-esque tone covered up by the caramelized malt, some sort of strange dark grape note, assorted fruit esters I can't quite identify, and no alcohol. It's extraordinary at hiding its ABV. I'm impressed in this regard. Overall, it's certainly a complex beer and while I wouldn't call it subtle, it comes close to being unique. It possesses a sweetness that doesn't seem inherent to any individual note, but is pleasant and helps guide the beer's focus - which itself is scattershot. This is likely my main complaint with it. I do enjoy drinking it.

Mf: Smooth and wet, but also fairly thick. Perhaps a touch overcarbonated, evidenced by its sharpness.

Dr: Very drinkable for the ABV, but not unique or special. I wouldn't have it again I don't think. Even aged, it wasn't fantastic. Fans of the style (or the brewery) would do well to give her a spin, but elsewise it isn't horribly impressive.

 1,910 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
3.96/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of brentk56
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a caramel color with a short-lived head that settles into a film without leaving much of a trace - not unexpected at this ABV level

Smell: Very sweet, rum-soaked raisin bouquet; just a ton of fusel alcohol on the nose

Taste: Sweet rum-roaked raisins, brown sugar, plums and figs assault the tongue only to be supplanted by the tremendous blast of fusel alcohol; a bit of medicinal bitterness complements the sweet finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied; not much carbonation, but plenty of warmth in the gullet

Drinkability: Sipability is more like it; this one will blast you away before you finish your 12 oz. To think they used to sell it in 750ML bottles - unconscionable! I have tasted it young and with a few years of age and it definitely needs time

Thanks to mdaschaf, my Secret Bunny 2012, I had the pleasure of tasting the 3/15/07 bottling with five years of cellaring and it is extraordinary; the fusel alcohol has dissipated and, while the beer still leaves some warmth in the gullet, it explodes with malty dark fruit flavors like a fine brandy - bumping up the smell and taste scores by .5 and the overall by 1.0; further thanks to cp45 for the chance to re-visit the 2014 version in 2016

 1,216 characters

Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of zeff80
3.99/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a cloudy, dark amber color with a small, foamy, off-white head. Not much for lacing.

S - It smelled of raisin, molasses, bourbon, vanilla and some earthy notes.

T - Tasted of raisin, very sweet malt, black licorice. Very hot spice, too.

M - It was soft and creamy with an alcohol heat. A full-bodied beer.

D - This a powerful beer. One is more than enough.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Adrian910ss: Poured a murky dark brown color ale with a small foamy head with limited retention. Aroma of dry sweet fruits (figs, plums) and some warming alcohol. Taste is also very sweet with load of dry sweet fruits but it never gets overwhelming. Texture is a bit oily with fuller body then expected (probably due to medium filtration) and some warming alcohol but again nothing too invasive. Another interesting experience by the Dogfish brewer and something I wouldn’t mind sampling again.

 514 characters

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of superspak
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into signature tulip glass, bottled on 11/21/2014. Pours very hazy dark reddish brown color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of huge raisin, prune, plum, fig, date, cherry, apricot, pear, apple, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, molasses, toasted brown bread, leather, tobacco, wood, and herbal; with lighter notes of licorice, peppercorn, and yeast earthiness. Incredible aromas with fantastic complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, raisins, and dark/bready malt sweetness; with great strength. Taste of huge raisin, prune, plum, fig, date, cherry, apricot, pear, apple, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, molasses, toasted brown bread, leather, tobacco, wood, and herbal; with lighter notes of licorice, peppercorn, and yeast earthiness. Light-moderate herbal bitterness and yeast spiciness after the finish; with lingering notes of dark fruit, cherry, apricot, apple, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, molasses, toasted brown bread, leather, tobacco, wood, herbal, light licorice/pepper, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, raisins, and dark/bready malt sweetness; with an awesome malt/bitter/spiciness balance, and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light dryness from bitter/spiciness, lightly increasing through the glass. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very smooth, creamy, slick, and lightly syrupy/sticky balanced mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is extremely well hidden; a light warmth with zero booziness lingering after the finish. Overall this is an insane fruited Belgian strong dark ale! All around incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, raisins, and dark/bready malt sweetness; very smooth and dangerously easy to sip on for the huge ABV. Very rich, complex, and well balanced; never overly sweet or heavy for the ABV with nice dryness. A really amazing offering all around, and just as impressive as a 6 year old bottle I had 4.5 years ago.

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Photo of Boone757
4.04/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.64/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From the basement of Brian "Little Guy" Selders (well, I don't know he actually had it in the basement.. in fact, I'm not even sure he has a basement!).

750 ml bottle, corked and caged. There's no date on the bottle, but it was packaged in Milton between '01 and '05.

Out of an Imperial pint glass - Hell, yeah!

Any yeast in the bottle has settled, and carefully decanted it pours a clear stream of deep golden-amber liquid that becomes a ruby-accented mahogany in the glass. Gleaming orange highlights at the base give it character and a friendly, approachable appearance. The very tiny bubbles rising slowly to build a head indicate that it's got some viscosity to it. The head forms slowly, requiring a bit of coaxing before it becomes a thin cap of ivory across the top. Almost at the same speed, it drops back to a thin collar... lacing is obviously limited.

The nose, however, is far from limited. It's loaded with lush fruit, caramel, alcohol, cocoa, light spice, herbal hops, and darkly caramelized sugars... plum, raisin, prune, other tropical fruits - even coconut. There's a slight bit of oxidation to it, but it appears as the skin of some dark fruit and herbs, adding depth. It's complex and rich, and the notes come and go as it warms, giving it great depth. More than once or twice I was reminded of the alcohol from some sweet and fruity cordial (Kirsch, Cherry Brandy, Pimm's). There's even a touch of leather to it. It's at least as good as, and possibly better than, some of the world's best barleywines in the nose. I could easily sniff this for hours in front of a soothing, warming fire with a good book (I'm thinking Dumas, but perhaps some Dostoevsky, or even Kafka.... perhaps even Joyce or Hemingway... Paul Bowles?). Absolutely world class!

The flavor is easily as complex and rich as the nose, and perhaps more so. Raisin dominates, followed by dark sugar. A backing of cocoa softens it, and then the alcohol ushers in a crowd of fruits and other flavors with it in the finish... coconut, pineapple, fig, prune, herbs, leather, wood. It finishes spicy and gently woody with a bit of dryness. The alcohol is there, evaporating, but it's not harsh on the palate. For its size, it slouches quite smoothly towards Bethlehem.

This is one of my favorite Dogfish Head beers, and I've never had it aged, so this was a special treat. I've had it on tap, but it wasn't quite as rounded. That was probably the very first batch though, so a bit of refinement has probably helped quite a bit. If you can find this, please do so! At the very least, it's one of the most unique beers on earth!!!

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Raison D'Extra from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 1,510 ratings
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