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: 697 | Ratings: 1,475
Photo of taez555
4.57/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle, stamped "bottled on 9/29/06" (wearing my DFH t-shirt while reviewing)

This beer poured a noticeably thick dark reddish/amber body with an off-white head that died after a minute or so.

Nose is very present and very pungent. Strong belgian candy smells, phenols, thick non stinging alcohol, sweet caramel, sweet fresh bread, a mixture of classic belgian ale fruit smells but all mixed together without one ever overpowering. Plums, dates, pears, Despite knowing there are raisins in this brew, there's not an overpowering raisin smell.

Taste is extremely thick with a big rich body. Knowing this is 20S% it's disturbing how drinkable it is right off the bat. Very sticky sugary sweet with an immediate big punch of mellowed hops. This beer doesn't hide it's alcohol at all with a strong overall warmth from beginning to end. A mural of ripened fruit flavors such as raisins, dates and prunes. Loads of sugar in this beer. Caramel, brown sugar, candy sugar and touches of vanilla. Very port like. Hop bitterness is big and in your face yet at the same time is completely hidden by the malt. You seriously don't even notice the bitterness unless you're paying attention to it. It ends with a LONG lingering warmth and syrupy sweet taste.

An amazing beer that I would love to drink as a nightcap every night of the year. I don't know how they continue to make beers this big and this drinkable. Hats off to Sam and everyone else at DFH for making such a great beer.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of merlin48
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 9/29/06 according to the stamp on the neck of the bottle. Pours a hazy, burnished copper body with a small beige head that quickly falls to a film. Lack of lacing is no surprise given the octane of this puppy. Aroma opens with a fusel bubblegum note I've noticed in some of the other big DFH brews. There's a strong raisin presence, obviously, as well as plum and caramel notes. Mouthfeel is medium full with low carbonation. Taste is very fruity sweet. Raisins, plums, and berries make a strong impression, with some caramel and toffee underneath. It's impossible to cover up the enormous alcohol here, but it's actually not that obtrusive as a slow sipper. Another very interesting big beer from the good folks at DFH.

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Photo of oberon
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have sampled this a few times in the past this was the first time drinking a whole bottle in itself.Poured a deep chesnut brown with some reddish/orange tint thruout a well formed but quick to fade 1/2 finger head atop.,dark fruit and more dark fruit in the nose hence the name of the beer I suppose,hints of orange essence and warming alcohol.The "big" alcohol is not as "big" as some would think it would be hereit stays underneath the layers of flavors for the most part at least until it becomes room temp.Raisin flavors packed to the hilt along with prune an underlying nutty terrine-like character seems to always be there,notes of brown sugar and caramel round out the flavor profile.A great nightcap brew and it wont bite you to hard,very nicely done by DFH.

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Photo of Ieatlambfries
3.84/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into two chalices to toast the Holiday weekend.

The appearance was an opaque red brown. Very little head if at all. Looked like apple cider.

The smell had strong banana aromas. Mixed with caramel, cider and solvent alcohol.

The taste was caramel upfront, which lead into sweet sugary raisins. Dark dried fruits and mulled cider spices as well, with a fairly hot alcohol finish. However, it was not as hot as I expected based on the smell, which is a plus.

The mouthfeel was thick and chewy. A bit chunky. This was defiantly a sipper.

More drinakable than I expected based on the high abv. This was a new batch, so I lay one down and opened one early. I expected to be overwhelmed by alcohol, but this was not the case. The fruits and raisins came through much more than expected. I'm interested to see how things develop with my other bottle.

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Photo of GregBrewski
3.64/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Anytime I purchase a beer this expensive, I get rather excited. It pours a dark hazy amber color with a head of poor retention. The aromas were very fruit sweet, hints of the raison's, with a touch of alcohol. Nothing overpowering in the nose but with the alcohol being that noticeable it can be expected to come on strong in the taste. Which in fact was sweet of malt and raison's, but the alcohol comes out on top. Mixed with the light carbonation the alcohol leaves a tingling, warming feel in the mouth and warms you up as it further travels in the body. Not a bad beer at all, has a whole lota kick though, best enjoyed like fine whisky, sip at a time.

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Photo of HardTarget
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle Inspection: “a boatload of raisins”.

Aroma: Green raisins, light alcoholic vapor. I’m starting a little cold, planning on sipping for a while. As it warms the smell grows stronger, but maintains the alcoholic raisin theme.

Appearance: Surprises me with a full head at the pour, but drops back to a more expected desperate cover and color of tan. Glass is clear, a dark brown ruby color shows carbonation streams. Manages a small curtain of lace! Wow, impressive given the abv.

Flavor: Deep candy sweet malt, firm but not extreme raisin character, and the elephant in the room, alcohol. There is only the slightest hint of fusel, the rest is almost a cognac. As it warms, the malt character bravely challenges the alcohol, but can’t out last it.

Mouthfeel: Thin body, alcoholic heat and drying are very evident. I could feel it soak deep into my chops. Almost instantly flushed my face and reddened my ears.

Overall Impression: Hits like a freight train of pillows. I brew with rum soaked raisins quite often, and while this has a nice raisin quality, it’s not focused on raisins. It has a lot of the 120 minute sweetness to try and dress up the alcoholic gorilla, and it does a fair job. This is a quad that has been forced to lower final gravity. Boozy, but fun. A hoot now, it should mellow out even further with age. Glad to see this come to Texas. A treat for special occasions; Highly Recommended!

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Photo of BeerSox
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into snifter.

Clear wine-like burgandy color with almost no head, leaving a thin rim.

A mix of sweet dried fruit including raisins, and a presence of alcohol, but not as much as you would think.

The syrupy body holds the strong flavor of raisins that shifts to a touch of hop bitterness to balance the sweetness. The 20%ABV is very well hidden. The finish is both dry and bitter from the alcohol and the hops.

Another on-the-edge extreme beer by DFH that seems to be another success. This one is more sippable though, don't expect to enjoy this one in 15 mintues from a pint glass. Just be careful, the alcohol can sneak up on you.

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Photo of Brent
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Perhaps one of the most dense and complex beers I've tried. This is in a class by itself - beyond barleywine, Russian Imperial Stout or strong ale. Sweet with raisin, cherry and molasses flavors on a ponderous platform of malt and fruit. The huge abv is detected, but, somehow, does not overwhelm the flavors. Perhaps more like port than beer - this is a snifter sipper. I paid what I thought an outrageous price for a single bottle, but, on splitting it four ways, this turned out to be just the right amount, and, on a per-serving basis, not unreasonable at all. One must adjust the concept of "drinkability" accordingly.

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Photo of jdoherty
4.07/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This was an amazing beer at the Mugs Belgian Beer Fest. It was wine, liquor, and beer all rolled into one 5oz sample glass

A: Dark and mahogany. I really thought they were exaggerating that it looked like shiny mahogany liquid when advertised, but there it was, I could see my reflection in it almost.

S: Smells rich and sugary. It really makes you sit back and have to prepare yourself to drink something this strong and complex, because it comes off on first whiff

T: Holy crap, theres so many different flavors I couldn't even begin to pick up on all of them. Tastes of a very sugary liquere, the raisins are the particular strong taste you get, which somehow all mixes together for an aftertaste making you feel like you've sipped red wine.

M: Deep and heavy, as would be expected. Fills your palate with layers upon layers of complexity.

D: More than 5oz is almost unnecessary. Its too strong and too complex to get more than that.

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Photo of jimbomill
4.78/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The pour yields a vey rich dark and red offering. Little head shows up on this pour. The nose is refined and smacks slightly of fruit. The first taste is ultra smooth and finishes with a raisin-syrupy burst. Wow. This is worth the considerable price of admission. This is special. It has no bite, a mild fuity taste and plenty of "relax-U" (ABV) in it. Follow up tasting validates the smoothness and exception level of this brew - think cherries and carmel are having mind-meld on the smoothest surface in the universe

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Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.34/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Well, it would be predictable to say this tasted like a really strong ABV version of Raison D'etre (which, I suppose, is what it is!), but that's exactly my impression. The same sweet raisony flavor, with a biting alcoholic warming to boot. Drinkability is pretty good, considering. As the D'etre wasn't real high on my list, neither is this one. A bit too sweet for my taste. Next time I feel a cold coming on, however, this would be a good remedy!

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Photo of dherling
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured out a rich mahogony brown color, minimal head, a bit of lacing. The nose was mostly fruit soaked in alcohol, with a bit of sweet dessert wine mixed in.The taste offered sweet caramel malts, and a yeast, raisins and cherries were definitely there in the flavor, as well as other fruits. The mouthfeel had a wonderful warming character, and a creamy/syrupy mouthfeel, it really gelled with all the alcohol very well, kept out the fire, left in the warmth.

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Photo of rowew
4.17/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz longneck. Nicely illustrated label. ABV is not mentioned, but bottled date is marked on the neck in barely-readable inkjet.

Appearance: Pours a deep reddish brown color with almost no head.

Smell: Smells more like brandy than beer. Sweet brown sugar, definite alcohol notes, and some dark fruity aromas.

Taste: Much like the aroma - lots of wine and dark fruit flavors. Some nice caramel and brown sugar as well. Definite hint of alcohol, and some warming in the throat as it goes down. Thinner than expected - right at medium bodied.

Overall impression: Wow - definitely not your average beer. Surprisingly drinkable, with lots of complex flavors.

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Photo of Px2GrafX
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

much lighter than i expected. caramel brown with a thin ring of slightly off-white head. aroma is sweet candied sugar with dark fruits. plums and prunes first, and then maybe a hint of raisins all entertwined with a fairly apparent alcohol aroma. tons of flavor. sweet dark candied fruit. dates, prunes and raisins. brown sugar and syrup. vanilla with almost a woody bourbon flavor. super sweet with a nice alcohol warming in the finish. thick and chewy mouthfeel with surprisingly nice high carbonation. slow drinker, but the 20% is well hidden. very nice dessert beer. should be amazing with a year or five in the cellar.

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Photo of Boto
4.55/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. 2005 bottle: I’m still holding off on tasting my 2002 bottle, but I figured I’d give the new version a shot. It pours a hazy mahogany color, with no head whatsoever, even though it it opened with a good pfffft. Pretty potent aroma. Some alcohol poking its head through, but it is mainly caramel malt and raisins. The beer has a nice, silky feel on the tongue. Caramel and raisins are the predominate part of the taste, but it is still complex with more in there. Unique and enjoyable.

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Photo of MSchae1017
3.77/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer was tasted in my Raison D'Etra Gobelt from the 12oz bottle head to head with a Raison D'Etra...wow what a head rush!

This beer pours a hazy brownsih amber with a very cola like head that fizzes and dissipates immediatley no doubt due to the alcohol content. The color is certainly hazier than that of the Raison D'Etra. The smell is so sweet that its almost sticky itself. The candied sugars and the raisins definetly come through on the aroma. If you get your nose deep into the beer you can actually feel the alcohol burn. Lets see if the taste reflects that. The taste...well yes it is HOT. I am glad I got to try this fresh but man it could really use 4-5 years. It is also very sweet. It does maintain that belgian ale like flavor but wow is it sweet. The mouthfeel is more than full bodied. It sticks to your mouth. It is almost syrupy. The carbonation is in there; noticable and lively...not too bad. Overall, well its not the most drinkable beer, but there is certainly nothing offensive about it. I could really see myself saving some and enjoying it once or twice a year when the temperature really drops but it certainly is not a daily beer or even a weekly or monthy one for that matter. Hats off to DFH though for making yet another bold and interesting beer and not being afraid to push our mental limits of what beer is.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.17/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the tap at the Ale House to a 12 oz snifter. The liquid is a orangish amber with good carbonation. The head one finger light tan and left a slight bit of lace.

The smell is sugared dark fruit, plums, raisins, figs, and dates. Some alcohol but well covered by the sweet malt.

The taste was very good, follows the nose well very malty on the sweetened dried fruit side.

The mouth feel is good full body and nice carbonation. DFH always does these big beers so well.

The drinkability is good, very good for a 18-20% ABV brew. Very enjoyable. Prosit MK

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Photo of Byeast
4.4/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: a very deep and translucent ruby/ aburn brown color , very nice to look at really , the head was of good size at pour , then quickly faded to some large bubbles and some off white foam with lots of lacing left.

Smell: a wonderful and deeply complex nose on this brew. Lots of dark fruity aromas coming at you , raisin , plum , winey scents , grape , deep malt and some surpriseingly well hidden alcohol , it makes its presence much more known as it warms.

Taste: The taste starts of with a big malty sweetness , brown sugar , then dark fruits , much raisin , wine like flavors flash all over the tongue , some bitter notes , some almost honey roasted peanut flavor, slight spice , raisin bread thickness to the whole thing , and the alcohol hides itself very very well... until a second or two after you swallow!

Mouthfeel: a hefty , chewy , powerful feel.

Drinkability: while its alcohol does restrict it's drinkability , the flavors are all really well intwined into the beer. They can be almost over the top , but then they change , wonderfully complex. Go try this beer now!

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

Pours transparent red with tan head which quickly recedes to a film over the top of the beer. (Understandable for the ABV). Aroma is sweet malts, dark fruits and the alcohol is evident. Very sweet, with wine like characteristics. Mouthfeel is kind of sticky with light carbonation. Alcohol burn is noticeable but not as strong as you might expect for a beer this strong. This is a nice beer to sip, but I certainly wouldn't want more than one.

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Photo of blackie
4.19/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

appearance: The fizzy head created when pouring almost immediately disappears. The retention is greatly lacking, but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt at 20% ABV. The beer is a rich, slighly hazy medium-dark brown in color.

smell: As expected, huge notes of plump raisins and dark sugars that have been attacked by an army of yeast. Raisin guts bursting all over the place. Sweet malts. The hop aroma is hard to gauge under all the sugar, and there's a considerable ethanol note found.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is on the higher side of the low range, and the body full and somewhat slick.

taste: Big, fat, fermented raisins upfront with a strong malt sweetness. Huge notes of dark fruit sugars. Brandylike notes of ethanol. Light to moderate hop flavor, with a light bitterness barely cleaning up the sugars. The sweet, malty finish carries notes of fermened dark fruits well into the aftertaste. 4.0 for flavor, 4.5 for craziness.

drinkability: Very interesting, but very limited in drinkability. Quickly intoxicating.

single bottle from BeerBeing in No BS BiF. No bottling date.

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Photo of EPICAC
3.46/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I noticed that they had singles of this at Downtown Wine & Spirits, so I picked one up. This was bottled on 29 September 2006. I let it warm to around 50º F and served it in one of my Ommegang chalices.

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazy brown with a thin beige head that fades to a persistent film, leaving patchy lace clinging to the side of the glass.

Smell: Very sweet and fruity. Aromas of raisins dominate. There's a hint of graininess and alcohol (though nothing to hint at it's alcohol content). The raisins are overpowering.

Taste: Very, very sweet. Tart raisins are present and dominant throughout. There's a bit of spiciness and a very subtle bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and syrupy (though not unpleasant), low but tingly carbonation, with a strong warming sensation.

Drinkability: The high alcohol is well hidden, but it's still there. The beer is also very sweet.

Overall: I didn't realize that this was such a strong beer when I started drinking it. The alcohol was so well hidden that I didn't realize this was so strong until I checked beer advocate halfway through. It would make a nice dessert beer, and reminds me a little of port in that respect.

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Photo of Estarrio
3.87/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear dark, copper brown with some amber notes. Small head without much retention and nearly non-existent lacings.

The aroma consists of a light alcohol presence that mixes with subtle caramel, roasted malt and wood notes. Once the raison takes over, sniffing this brew is the equivalent to poking your nose in an empty raison box.

Huge, sweet raison taste and very, very sweet. It’s hard to pick up the other flavors through the purposely-overpowering raison taste. Very subtle roasted malt, burned sugar, caramel, vanilla and plum mingled with a bit of tartness. I’m very surprised by how well the high alcohol content is masked. That said, the potent warming is unmistakable throughout.

The mouthfeel is appropriately viscous and syrupy. The drinkability is hindered by the sweetness and high alcohol content. This is one that you will certainly want to sip.

I tried this to see what a Dogfish Belgian might taste like and for the novelty of the alcohol content. I’m not sure it really fits into the style but it is an interesting concoction nonetheless.

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Photo of mpyle
3.55/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aroma a mix of raisiny sweetness and rubbing alcohol. Nice ruby red color with minimal head.

Very fruity and sweet, with hoppiness well hidden. As with many of DFH's stronger beers, the alcohol is surprisingly well hidden, although it does jump out occasionally.

Carbonation is subdued, there is definite warming from the alcohol, and the mouthfeel is big as one would expect.

Such a unique creation that it is hard to put it into context. For a super high alcohol beer, it is smooth and drinkable, but when compared to more normal beers, it can't be considered to be highly drinkable. A session beer it is not!

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Photo of Toddv29424
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a brown-red hazy color, which has an interesting layering pattern when observed through light. Smell is terrific, with a certain kind of malt that I dont think i've ever had. A bit like maple syrup with a hint of berries, and an overall sweetness. The taste is huge, which is to be expected with a 20% beer. Lost of sweet malts and candied fruits, which makes it almost like a quad. The second set of taste is more of the same fruits, and a delightful bit of carbonation that lets the sweet taste dance on your tongue, then cruely takes it away. Ends with a pleasant wash of more of the same. Highly recommened.

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Raison D'Extra from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
4 out of 5 based on 1,475 ratings.
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