Review: Dogfish Head Raison D’Etre

In Beer Reviews by Ryan

Dogfish Head says:

A deep, mahogany Belgian-style brown ale brewed with beet sugar, raisins, and Belgian-style yeast. We began brewing this one at our brewpub in 1996 as the answer to the question, “What beer should I enjoy with a wood-grilled steak?”

Dogfish Head Raison D’Etre
Belgian Strong Dark Ale, 8% ABV

Sadly, I did not have a steak when I drank this beer but I imagine it would pair very well with one.

This beer pours out a deep mahogany brown color.  It’s almost similar, in color at least, to tea.

Dogfish Head Raison D’Etre smells rather sweet; lots of dark fruits in the nose.  The taste is pretty similar to the smell with a mix of plums, raisins and figs.  There may even be a bit of honey in there somewhere.  As this beer warms the dark fruit flavors are far more pronounced.

It has been a while since I’ve had this offering from Dogfish Head & I forgot how much I liked it.  This beer is sweet but not overly sweet.  In fact, it is rather easy to drink despite having an 8% ABV — which could be good or bad depending on how you look at it.

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About the Author



Equal parts beer nerd and policy geek, Ryan is now the curator of the Guys Drinking Beer cellar. The skills he once used to dig through the annals of state government as a political reporter are now put to use offering unique takes on barrel-aged stouts, years-old barleywines and 10 + year verticals.

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