Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Beer Review: Raison D'Être

Reviewing the Raison D'Être from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery.
Score: 83

Bottled on 08/09/11, served in a pint glass at Merkles Bar & Grill in Wrigleyville and enjoyed on 03/31/12 with my good friend Bryan Hernandez.

Appearance: Pours a murky, blood orange colored core that fades to a dull late sunset colored outline. Minimal head at pour, just a little bubble tan layer that quickly settles. Minimal oily lacing, below average retention. 3/5

Smell: Brown sugar, Belgian yeast, cinnamon and nutmeg. Raisin, fig, banana, creamy vanilla, and doughy bread (Hernandez swears it smells like the Guinness bread he baked the other week). The menu says there is "beet sugar" in the aroma, but I would not have guessed it if the menu did not tell me that. 3.5/5

Taste: First impression is yeast and doughy bread with a modest vanilla twist. There is a dry and nondescript earthy bitterness (hops?) on the back half of the palate. Malty wheat, banana bread and an earthy nuttiness on the midpalate. Some light raisin flavor, without the sweetness, mixed throughout. None of the brown sugar or cinnamon from the aroma is seemingly present in the flavor. Finishes with a lingering Belgian yeast flavor that is a bit sugary. 3.5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, medium carbonation. Smooth, slightly oily mouthfeel. Very dry, and a little acidic upfront. 3.5/5

Overall: Most DFH brews, given their experimental approach to craft, tend to be hit-or-miss, but this one falls somewhere between. I enjoyed this beer, and it was solid, but I would not have ordered another. I doubt I would buy this at the store in the future either, having previously tried it. DFH makes much better beers (e.g., Miles Davis Bitches Brew) than this, but they also make plenty that are way worse (e.g., Faithfull Ale).

Recommendation: Worth trying, but not worth seeking out.

Pairings: Roasted chicken.

Cost: $5 for a 12 oz bottle at the bar.

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