This is the first time I've sampled a Dogfish. The Delaware-based brewery's ales are readily available in my local supermarkets, but I don't recall seeing the Raison D'Etre before, even though it is part of their year-round offering.
Anyway, the company describes it as:
A deep, mahogany ale brewed with beet sugar, green raisins, and Belgian-style yeast. As complex as a fine, red wine. 8.0 ABVLet's give her a try...
This ale pours a nice, deep, golden-amber color. It has a clear appearance and is quite bubbly. The cream-colored head is light and foamy, and leaves a moderate amount of lacing.
Raison D'Etre has a complex aroma. It's a balance of malty , fruity and sweet. I picked up strong whiffs of raisins and brown sugar.
Taste & Feel
Very sweet and fruity. I'm definitely tasting the raisins, while detecting another fruit flavor... plums. This is a solidly malty brew; very light on the hops.
It has a full body and great mouth feel. It gives a bubbly nip right at the tip of the tongue and finishes with a nice, boozy, post-swallow warmth at the back of the palette. Sugary residual taste on the lips. Very little bitterness.
I like this. A lot. Their website claims it pairs well with duck, among other things. Understatement... it actually makes me hungry for duck.
This is a great ale. Sweet, liquid gold. I suggest trying it. Half of you shouldn't have trouble finding it. It's available in 25 states.