Raison D'Extra | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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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

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Reviews: 700 | Ratings: 1,485
Photo of darktronica
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a moderately dark copper-brown color, with minimal head that dies off quickly. Smells like the brown sugar bomb that it is, with strong malt aromas backing up the caramel and vanilla; delightful, but simple, with little nuance. Tastes much the same when fresh: this is an intense beer, not to be trifled with. The bitterness of the hops is balanced by the sweetness of the malted grain. However, it does not hide its very high ABV nearly as well as many old ales and barleywines; when fresh, it is quite hot and boozy.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.52/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served in a pair of Georgetown sampler glasses. 3154 B2 0154 is printed on the side near the bottom. I don't know what it means.

I had this beer once before..long before I started reviewing beers. I hated it. So much I couldn't drink it. I've had significantly more than 1,000 beers since then...so I decided to revisit with a more informed palate. We shall see...

Pours murky brown with a small head and little carbonation. Looks like a lot of Belgian Strong Dark Ales. Smell is dates or raisins, alcohol, wood. Smells too boozy, but otherwise nice.

Taste is not as boozy as I thought it would be -- at least not up front. It has a strong alcohol finish. Up front, however, is sweeter, fruitier. Nearly too sweet. Overripe cherries, and intense raisins is how I would describe the fruity characteristic. A few sips leaves me with a very boozy impression.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly cotton-mouthy dry. Overall...I have a 6 ounce pour of this beer. I like it, but it's too sweet, strong and intense. 3-4 ounces would be plenty.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle dated 11/2014 served in a wine glass.

Appearance: deep brown with hints of red and copper poking out. Clear and pretty with a small tan head that sank to a rim of foam. The bottle had a significant Crack in it that worried me.

Nose: dark fruits, cherries, boozy, very fruit forward and Strong

Taste: follows the nose but amplify the booz 100x. Fruity and complex, thick mouthfeel but has a fair amount of carbonation.

Overall: this needs to age. More bottles please. It is worth the price.

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Photo of pmangold
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this is one you probably wont pound down - big beer that doesn't hide it's high ABV. sweet fruits/malt in the nose. the taste follows with raisins, figs, prunes and lots of heat. took me a little while to sip this one down, but I'm glad I did.

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Photo of richj1970
4.24/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12 oz bottle into snifter.

A: Pours a rich chestnut brown with one to two finger white head. Decent retention and lacing.

S: Brown sugar, caramel, toffee, raisins, figs, and dates.

T: Bourbon soaked raisins with a nice brown sugar and caramel sweetness. Some other dark fruits including figs and prunes. Alcohol is apparent but appropriate.

M: Full bodied but not overly thick. Finish is a little hot and sweet.

O: An excellent sipper. Hopefully I can find more bottles in the future.

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Photo of barczar
4.14/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is about a year old, on draft.

Huge raisin and caramel aroma.

Fairly sweet, with big fig, date, and prune notes. There's a burn in the chest after the sip. Potent, but delicious.

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Photo of stevoj
4.54/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Modern Liquors in DC. A bit pricy, but this one bottle is all you need for the whole evening. Sweet and delicious, slightly syrupy. Dates, raisins and prunes. Tasty, sipper, enjoy. Heat.

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Photo of Beerswag
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Looks is nice, copper and reddish tones. The smell is not very probounced, yet I do get some dried fruit and sweet malt. I get the raisin on the first sip, dried apricot, red apple, plum, and nice yeast contrast. Malt backbone crmel. Extremely smooth and very light body for the abv. Pair with chutneys, lamb, duck.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.91/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$ 11.99/12 oz bottle at Consumer Beverages, Lancaster, NY
Bottled 11/21/14 at 45 degrees into tulip
Aroma of “darkfruits”, nothing specific, quickly ends
Head small (2 cm, aggressive pour), fizzy and transitory, leaving behind a broken 1 mm ring
Lacing none
Body deep red-amber, hazy, effervescent
Flavor sweet, alcohol definitely present, burns all the way down, tastes like a fruity Belgium dark ale; no hops, no diacetyl
Palate full, syrupy, soft carbonation

Appearance 3.5, Aroma 3.75, Flavor 4, Palate 4, Overall 4

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Photo of MDDMD
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-red Amber color with a small off-white head and little lacing

S-dark fruit, toffee,cherry, spice, brown sugar

T-cherry, raisins, toffee, fig, light molasses, little Belgian yeast, light spice

F-medium body with light carbonation, smooth and a little cloying

O- interesting flavor, a little too sweet for my palate

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Photo of Pete_IV
4.06/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: A clear brown ruby reddish color with an almost non existent tan head
S: cherries, sweet malts, strong boozey smell
T: raisins and dates up front on the tongue that gives way to a super boozey burn almost like a vodka
F: a slight nice carbonation that eases some of the strong flavors

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Photo of Gajo74
3.92/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A strong and high ABV brew that offers up a unique beer drinking experience. Very boozy and the high body make it a sipper; more liquor than beer. Loads of raisins and dark fruits make it cloyingly sweet at times. However, over time, it settles in and the hops manage to balance it somewhat. I would have again except at $10 a small bottle it's just not practical.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.04/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer pours a very light head that dissipates very, very quickly. What little bubbles occur aare a brown tan. The beer itself is a clear dark brown when held up to the light. The beer has a murky appearance.

The beer has a very nice smell to it. The smell has very strong dark fruit notes that resemble raisins and plums. The smell has very light notes of sugar. Slight boozy notes to it.

The taste resembles the smell with dark fruit notes but with a stronger booze presence.

The beer is fairly heavy bodied with a light carbonation. The beer definitely has body but is feels uneven to an extent.

Overall, a pretty good beer and that would have been better with a bit more age.

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Photo of RexBanner
4.17/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This tastes, smells and looks exactly like Weyerbacher's Insanity, albeit a bit more boozier.
Bourbon brown, hazy appearance, sediments swimming along carbonation bubbles, 1/2 finger head with no lasting power.
Aromas of dark fruits; figs, raisons ETC, and maybe molasses. Booze is definitely present.
Taste very similar to the nose.
The fiery alcoholic esters permeate the mouth. Very boozy! Oddly enough the booze calms down as the beer reaches room temperature. Not very sweet but indeed malty. Syrupy and sticky. Finishes semi-dry.
Not bad! However, I can't see myself paying $10 a bottle for another one of these when I can get Insanity for much cheaper.

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Photo of jopezu
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

like 3 d'etre's in 1 glass. grape, sugar and boozy nose with the same dark fruit, fig, brown sugar and bready taste as the raison d'etre. you will exhale fumes on the aftertaste. definitely a 1-and-done, but it is tasty and a very interesting "dark belgian" as it's labeled (although the taste profile makes me think of aged english old ales, a la north coast's "old stock ale"). i'm not sure why guys here are likening it to a porter. wth?

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Photo of MattyG85
4.55/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a chalice. Bottled in November of 2014.

Appearance: Pours a deep brownish amber with a moderate amount of bubbles. Slight finger of off white head that quickly fades into a thin patchy layer.

Smell: A fruity, boozy, and fairly sweet malt and yeast driven aroma with hints of dark fruits and bread. Toasted malt with hints of biscuit, toast, toffee, and caramel. Belgian yeast with some hints of funk. Big scent of raisins along with other dark fruit hints of fig, prune, dates, and cherry. Sweet hints of brown sugar and molasses. Noticeable hints of booze as well. A very good complex aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a rich, fruity, and sweet malt and yeast driven taste with big notes of dark fruit and bread. Lots of upfront dark fruit with notes of dried raisins, fig, dates, prune, and cherry. Toasted malt with notes of biscuit, toffee, caramel, toast, and Belgian yeast. Sweet taste of brown sugar as well as molasses. Alcohol taste is actually pretty mild. A really nice fruity and complex taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, slick, and somewhat syrupy. Some alcohol heat is felt as expected but considering it’s somewhere around 15-18% it’s actually pretty smooth.

Overall: A great twist on a Belgian style Dark Ale. Big dark fruit and malt flavors with a surprisingly smooth body. Really complex and nice.

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Photo of bylerteck
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled about 4 months ago.

A - Deep amber pour. One finger tan head faded quite fast, but that's to be expected. Good carbonation coming up. Decent lace rings and minimal retention.

S - Booze, port, dark fruit, sweet.

T - Port notes are huge here, lot's of sweetness, some burn, dark fruit, sugar. Really impressive.

M - Nice mild carbonation that just tingles enough, full creamy sorta body and a nice sweet and fruity finish with lot's of dryness and a bit of alcohol burn. Quite pleasant.

O/D - As a port fan, this is pretty fantastic. A nice warming sipper that masks it's strength pretty well. Nothing to complain about here. Well done!

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Photo of ARoman
4.16/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Sweet chocolate and cherry aromas come off the beer with a boozy warmth. As it settles out, raisin aromas and a light port wine become prevalent en route to a final note of woody cherry with toffee. The pour is thick, and dark, but an oily clear cola brown hue with a dense brown head that retains a moderate ring, wispy surface, and leaves some runny lace. The taste is a medium high sweet with a supporting medium bitter and secondary notes of light sour and light umami. The texture is thick and chewy with lots of fizzy carbonation and a full body with flavors of dark, dry fruit, wood, light spice, and a roast-like character that develops as the glass warms along with a cooked brown sugar note. The finish is a boozy warmth with wood and clean spice that leaves an aftertaste that’s dry and clean; spicy with a lingering smokey, dark chocolate and a cloying, dark, tart fruit that’s lightly astringent.

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Photo of Mongrel
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I love vinous flavors in my beer and this one has grapes for days. And it's not as dark and figgy of a taste as you would expect - it's actually a pretty bright grape presence. Great depth of flavor and a finish that just goes and goes.

Also hints of bubble gum, brown sugar/molasses, golden raisins, green apple. It's a big, sweet beer, but not cloying. Actually finishes somewhat dry. As another BA has noted, there's some ethanol on the nose, but the booze otherwise hides itself very well. Really nice.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.68/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color. The head is two fingers high and khaki in shade. Retention is quite good for 18%, as well. Some lacing sticks to the glass - in other words, it looks like any other beer. Except it's 18%. (4)

Smell: VERY sweet, plain and simple. I get plenty of raisins and brown sugar primarily. As it warms, a touch of booze appears - and I do mean only a touch. I'm let down by the lack of depth (really, it's just raisins and brown sugar), but I'm impressed how well the alcohol is covered up. (3.5)

Taste: It starts off by expressing a powerful dark fruit note. This is a very raisiny brew, just as advertised. Fruits trail off into the finish, this time accompanied by notes of leather, rum, and pumpernickel bread. The Belgian aspect is weak, but this isn't really designed to show off Belgian characteristics (neither is Raison D'Etre). While it's a very sweet brew, it's also fairly balanced for what it is (if rather simple). (3.75)

Mouthfeel: I can definitely taste and feel the alcohol. But you know what? This is really smooth for 18% - and I mean REALLY smooth. It's a very sweet-finishing beer, yet despite the sugary nature, it goes down far easier than it should. Carbonation

Overall: These Dogfish Head monsters are usually pretty good; this being no exception. It's all brute force over delicate complexity, but the drinkability of this is shocking when the alcohol is taken into consideration. Everyone who calls themselves a craft beer fan needs to try this one at least once. (3.75)

3.68/5: Yet another 18% DFH beer that discretely kicks my ass

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Photo of hophugger
3.64/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Wow is all I can say about this booze bomb!!. Dogfish has done it again. Thanks to a friend, I got to try this Raison D'Extra...Pours a deep, golden brown, slightly murky looking. No head to speak of, and light spotty lacing. Aroma reaks of alcohol, dried fruits, raisins and overripe dark fruits. Also, getting some molasses-brown sugar hints. Take it easy when you drink this one. Sip, I say.....Sip !! Booziness hits you right up front on the middle of the tonque and then surrounds your whole palate (of course, it's 18%). Flavors of raisin, maybe some fig and some other dark fruits swirl all through the alcohol, just begging to be released. A little brown sugar and molasses at the end, and then some more alcohol burn. Mouthfeel is slightly numbing. For the abv of this beer, I am going to be honest and say that the balance is pretty decent, with lots of dark, sweet, overripe fruit flavors that are able to rise above and be noticed. Overall, not my style, but a great outcome on this one from Dogfish. Definitely a sipper and only one in a sitting, IMHO....

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Photo of edentonbill
4.62/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

An expensive, rich, and complex brew. At an 18% ABV and a $10.00 a bottle price, you'll want to savor every sip. Enjoyed from the 12 oz. bottle, it is best just slightly warmer than refrigerator temperature to get full benefit. Obviously extraordinary, well worth the investment.

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Photo of cvm4
4.06/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2014 vintage

L - Pours a murky plum/raisin with a light brown one finger head.

S - Just a big whiff of raisins along with some heat, obviously. It's simple and straightforward.

T - Again, just loads of raisins along with a good malt backbone.

F - Full bodied and medium carbonation. Lots of heat, but it hurts so good.

O - Righteous brew here. Just sit back and take it all in.

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Photo of hreb
4.11/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The return of Raison D'Extra! I remember loving this beer years ago, and being so disappointed that it was being 'retired' (apparently only for an 8 year hiatus), while the much inferior Raison D'Être lived on. Very excited to see it return.

This 12 oz bottle has no ABV labeling. It pours deep ruby, on the brown side of red, with a thin tan head, and crystal clear. Very striking looking in this Chimay chalice. Aroma is rich and fruity: raisins of course, and plums. But even served cold there is a little bit of ethanol in the nose. The flavors of this beer are immediate, rich, fruity, and pleasant. Slightly tart raisins, treacly malts. But the initial flavors fade, leaving a thin middle, and finish with a serious dose of alcohol. It doesn't taste 18%, but I'd guess at least 12%.

Belgian strong dark ale doesn't describe this accurately. This is barleywine in a more literal than average sense. Sam from DFH described it as intending to bring some qualities from red wine over to beer. I think it succeeds.

In this young, uncellared form I find it not to be particularly complex. The result is merely great, not outstanding. I must buy more to cellar for a couple years while this is still available.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.91/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 12 ounce bottle into a Belgian tulip.

Produces a compact pale white foam that creates an attractive contrast to the dark brown and amber body. Constant carbonation shows and streaky blotchy lace scatters about the glass.

Well, it looked like a dubbel and it smells like a dubbel. Pungent yeast and malt and a touch of pepperiness. Floral with a touch of sweet malt. 3.5

Oh the taste here does some real redeeming. Still get the dubbel-like flavors---albeit with the yeast toned down big time---and a brown sugar and raisin taste. It kind of reminds me of a cinnamon roll for the blend of bread and raisin. A floral flavor and mild caramel carry throughout and the finish hits with a tiny bit of boozy flavor. 4

It's slightly yeasty, a lot sweet and has a burnt sugar feel. Somewhat thick in texture. It drinks a bit boozy but it's plenty enjoyable. 4

Not much to add. Good stuff.

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Raison D'Extra from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
4 out of 5 based on 1,485 ratings.
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