What Would Eli Drink?
Dogfish Raison D'Etre

Dogfish Head – Raison D’Etre

WWED Grade: B


Appearance: The head is thick, creamy, opaque – almost a hint of orange or light brown. Though it quickly dissipated after a couple minutes. Beer is clear. Bright orange, or almost blood red in color.

Smell:  Slightly sweet. Fairly musky. Caramel.

Taste: The grains used in this beer are profound. Definite pepper flavors. Some ginger. Muddled fruit. I’m also getting a slight tobacco essence.

Drinkability: Very drinkable – kinda thick.

ABV: 8%

Serving Type: Bottle poured in glass.


I remember having a glass of the Raison D’Extra at an SF Beer Week dinner in 2009 with Brewmaster/Owner Sam Calgione. Ever since – I’ve looked for another bottle of my own. Unfortunately, it’s not yet available in San Francisco. I was however – fortunate enough to come across a bottle of their more commonly produced (though still not available in San Francisco) Raison D’Etre! The Raison D’Extra was and likely still is one of the better beers I believe I’ve had. You can understand my excitement when it’s predecessor the Raison D’Etre came into my possession! So – I REALLY wanted to LOVE this beer. Instead – I really liked it. I’d drink it again, definitely – but it didn’t knock me out. My hat’s off to Dogfish though – they always do a great job of masking that alcohol. It was very well crafted – lots of flavor going on – just not my favorite.  Not exactly sure what style or category it’d fit into. The label says it’s a Belgian Beer blended with sugars, green raisins and ‘a sense of purpose’. I couldn’t pull out the Belgian in this – but the flavors were distinct. Ginger, orange, pepper – well crafted. Not my favorite from one of my favorite breweries – but not bad either. Give it a shot (if you can find it).

BevMo Buy Link: Not Available
Brewery Link: http://www.dogfish.com/