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Dogfish Head Raison D'Etre

3 Ratings: 4.0
A mahogany ale with style and a sense of purpose

From Dogfish Head's Web site:   A deep, mahogany ale brewed with beet sugar, green raisins, and Belgian-style yeast. As complex as a fine, red wine.   Original Release Date:  12/1999 Food Pairing Recommendations:  … see full wiki

Tags: Beer, Beers, Beersnob, Beer Review, Dogfish Head, Mahogany Ale
1 review about Dogfish Head Raison D'Etre

Dogfish Head's Raison D'Etre: A reason to go on reviewing beer

  • Feb 19, 2010

Dogfish Head is a brewery based in Delaware, and is one of my newest favorite breweries. Every one of the beers they've put out that I've tried have been excellent. They brew up well-crafted and interesting brews.

Here’s what Dogfish Head says on the bottle:

A deep mahogany ale brewed with Belgian beet sugars, green raisins and a sense of purpose

Now Raison D’Etre is French for “reason for being”. (Thanks Google!). This beer gave me a reason to keep doing beer reviews. I sometimes feel like after a while most beers all blend together, but this is a standout beer. Let’s begin, shall we? We shall!

The Pour
This pours with a 1 1/2 finger thick light beige head with tiny tiny bubbles. This beer looks to me like it would be a crisp one. The color is indeed mahogany. There’s really no better description for the color.

The Nose
I noticed a good sour nose upon pouring this beer, without even trying to smell it. When I actually smelled it, the sourness was mellowed and there were hints of sweetness as well. After a good couple of  face-in-the-glass sniffs, I picked up on the raisin in the nose, but was personally unable to differentiate the raisin in the nose as green raisin as opposed to regular old red raisin. 

The Taste
I was anxious and quite eager to sample this brew. I’ve heard good things about it but have never tried it, until now. This has quite a creamy/oily mouthfeel and seems to be medium to full bodied. There is a slight hint at the finish of the higher alcohol content. The beer feels quite carbonated and alive in the mouth but it settles quickly. The flavor profiles are comparable to that of a good deep red wine, in some respects. There is a sweetness that precedes the soon-to-come slightly sour hop notes and strong flavors of raisin and dark plummy fruit. There is also a good amount of oakiness in the flavor. You almost want to chew this like a handful of raisins. It’s almost akin to drinking young, still quite moist raisins. This finishes neither clean and crisp nor creamy, but somewhere in between.

This is an excellent beer! The flavor profiles are varied and interesting and work well together. It feels and tastes like no other beer. 

Recommended: Absolutely….this is a great beer, period. Very unique and interesting. Amazing. This is the kind of beer you take to a dinner party if you don’t want to take wine. Watch out for that higher ABV, though, especially on an empty stomach! You'll be feeling great in no time!

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February 19, 2010
Ha, I like that -- a reason to be, and a reason to go on reviewing beer! I like the name of this beer, and the sound of that fruity taste. Adding this to my Beers to Try list. Thanks for sharing, Scott! :)
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3 Ratings: +4.0
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Dogfish Head Raison D'Etre
Type: Mahogany Ale
Country: Delaware, United States of America
Brewery: Dogfish Head
ABV: 8.0%

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