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Raison d'Etre

Judges Rating: 
80
Aroma: 
21 / 24
Appearance: 
5 / 6
Flavor: 
32 / 40
Mouthfeel: 
7 / 10
Overall Impression: 
15 / 20

Delaware-based Dogfish Head Brewing is known for brewing beers that are brash and full of character, and Raison D’Être is no exception. Although a little light for the style, the light copper color is pleasing and the beer throws a substantial off-white colored head. The aroma is subtly Belgian, with light notes of banana, cloves and brown sugar. Pete was appreciative of the sweet bubble gum character in the aroma, and Rick picked up hints of plum, chamomile and vanilla in addition to the bubble gum. The flavor was dominated by a sweet, juicy malt character that was backed up by abundant alcohol warmth. Notes of dark brown sugar, cloves and pepper complemented the malt, but the low hop bitterness and pronounced candied sugar flavors left the beer a tad too sweet. The unexpectedly low carbonation level added to the somewhat dominating sweetness, although Lee praised the light honey flavors, and Tim liked the brown sugar and toffee notes. Overall, this is a solid interpretation of a Belgian dark strong ale, but the panel felt it lacked the complex interplay of malt, hops, and yeast that is the trademark of the style.

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