Beer Review: Dogfish Head Raison d’Extra

20150921_203021Name: Dogfish Head Raison d’Extra

Style: Strong Dark Belgian

IBU: 40

ABV: 18%

“Our Raison D’Etre, with a little extra. This immodest brew, made with an obscene amount of malt, brown sugar and raisins, takes Belgian-style browns to new heights.

Raison D’Extra’s little brother Raison D’Etre was brewed to be the ultimate beer partner for steak. Plump raisins and beet sugars give the beer a similar DNA and color to red wine.”

It’s a little cooler tonight and sitting on my roof, I wanted a little something to warm me up, so I picked Raison d’Extra with its intense 18% ABV. Just like Dogfish Head 120 minute IPA, this high ABV beer is great for aging and I am currently cellaring a bottle myself that I plan to review. This bottle, however, is fresh, so let’s crack it open and have a taste.

The beer pours a rich, brownish amber with minimal head that dies off quickly which is expected with such a high ABV beer. The nose gives off scents of caramel, toffee, raisins, brown sugar, dark fruit and strong hints of booze. The sweetness of the raisins and the heavy Belgian yeast lead the way while it also gives off hints of caramel malts and molasses. The booze is subtle and slowly permeates through the palate. The beer is full bodied with minimum carbonation; it is almost syrupy, but goes down quite well. Even with the very high ABV, it is surprisingly smooth.

Overall this is a great beer for when it gets colder out, the high ABV will warm you up in a pinch and the sweet dried fruit go well with many fall and winter treats. The beer is unbelievably smooth and and complex, perfectly blending the sweet raisins with rich Belgians yeasts and caramel malts. I definitely recommend it for a cool fall night as the season starts to change over the next month. The beer will pair well with a nice blue or goat cheese, as well as steak and duck. Drink responsibly as this beer is 18%. Enjoy!

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