Beer Review: Dogfish Head Raison D’EtreApril 17, 2009
When I decided to do a beer review tonight, I wanted to do something that’s different and unique and interesting. After much contemplation at one of my favorite places to buy beer, Midtown Wine and Spirits, I ended up buying Dogfish Head’s Raison D’Etre. I was not at all disappointed.
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!
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.
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.
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!
Price: $12.99 / 6-pack