A rather strange offering from Dogfish Head, Raison D’etre scores a 96 overall, 92 to the Belgian Strong Ale style on ratebeer.com, and 83 on beeradvocate.com. As much as I just love Dogfish Head, this has not turned out to be one of my favorites from them.
Brown with amber notes and clear. One finger head and so-so lace.
Definitely a bubblegum component to the aroma. Fruity and a little spicy, with some maltiness.
Flavor is more bready and toasted malty but still has some bubblegum character, a little spiciness, and some raisiny fruitiness. Alcohol is pretty noticeable. Hops seem to be out of whack, too strong in overall bitterness, but perhaps not quite there enough on flavor/aroma. The whole thing is a bit muddled and chaotic.
Body is slick and thick, carbonation is pretty low, and alcohol is noticeable, moreso than it should be for an 8% beer.
Overall it’s a beer in chaos, but it’s not bad. I really don’t think this fits the Belgian strong dark ale category nearly as well as it would fit the brown ale category, except for perhaps the yeast. But even then, the usual Belgian notes just aren’t there to the extent that you’d expect.