edden (926) - cow- lumbus, Ohio, USA - FEB 15, 2003
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
2/14/03: bottle. nice golden brown colour. head quickly dissipates to a few bubbles. overwhelming alcohol aroma which is almost frightening. malt and hop smell are fairly balanced, although I could be smelling a lot of hops because someone is brewing beer in my home right now :) For some reason this beer stings a few of my taste buds at the front of my tongue. tastes include alcohol, raisins, sweet- sour malt and some spice. remarkably strong. wowzers. #99
JCW (1274) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - FEB 10, 2003
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Man, this is a big beer. Very sweet and if you drink much of it very potent. I never had a barley like this one!
Jokes (1453) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - FEB 8, 2003
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Well, this was a big beer that had a ton of alcohol. I thought it was way better than the WWS 23%. The alcohol is present, but not as bad as I've seen. Nice caramel/toffee aroma. The flavor isn't bad, but a little thin. Give me this over the WWS23%, but it's way too strong.
JohnC (3000) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - FEB 8, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
An opaque, reddish-brown colored gem that poured w/ virtually no head. Taste is almost syruppy sweet w/ notes of berries in it. It finishes very cleanly. This beer has absolutely nothing to do w/ Raison d'Etre, but what the heck. I'm not sure that 'barleywine' is the correct categorization of the beer, but I don't have a suggestion of what should be.
fraternie (815) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - FEB 5, 2003
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Delicious sweet fruit/caramel aroma. Alcohol very present in the aroma. Cloudy brown, headless body. Malt is sweet, caramel--but strong alcohol flavor hits the palate quickly after. The finish seems smooth all things considered, but overall, the malt seems subdued by the abv in a way unlike WWS or even Olde School. It doesn't really seem out of balance as much as just very alcoholic without the complexity in the malt of the better brews from DFH. I respect DFH a great deal for its innovation--if indeed that is its goal. However, brews like this one--albeit much better than a majority of immotative knockoffs that we see from many microbrews today in the US--begin to push the envelope.
raindog (560) - Evansville, Indiana, USA - FEB 4, 2003
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottled 12/19/02: Next,to,no life in cork removal. Smells of raisins already noticeable. Light brown with fizzy,diminishing,head. Huge raisin,malt,rum, aromas,with the alcohol being nearly unnoticable. Mouthfeel is fizzy,soft,and thick.Body is big and flavors are defined. Heavy raisin,toffee,molasses, flavors come off very defined and not over assertive.Dark bread,fruity finish has just the slightest,spicy,alcohol to it. The fruit lingers a long time. I'm not even half through the bottle and am getting rather,light headed.Alcohol is not tasted,rather felt.
Drinkingdan (371) - East Norriton, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 2, 2003
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Of course just like the D'Etre but more hint of the alcohol being present. Once again, One Great Brew!!!
fuchebu (146) - Croydon, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 31, 2003
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
gets points for uniqueness and potency. This dark beer has hints of raisins and rum. It's a winter warmer for late evenings.
Gunshy (479) - Ohio, USA - JAN 27, 2003
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 16/20
Okay, decided to have this one in my Waterford brandy snifter I rarely touch. This beer poured a a very reddish amber color and formed a small bubbly off white head that disipated quickly and left no lace. An aroma of molasses and raisins. A flavor of molasses and raisins with elements of the alcohol. A very warming aspect to the finish reflecting the alcohol. An after dinner or night cap type of drink.
WISEGUY572 (1373) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 25, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: FEB 8, 2003 Looks like a great cognac. No head, not even much lacing. Smells like a great Haitian rum. Fills the mouth beautifully, lots of body, and a little fizzy tingle. So far, so good. Taste starts with an alcohol slam, a lip tingling, mouth burning slam, that is followed by a long slow esophogeal burn. This puppy announces its alcohol fast! After the alcohol slam, and after the fizzy tingle is forgotten, there is a temptation to conclude that this is not beer at all. Easy to feel that way, since with this degree of alcohol most of the malt has long since fermented out and the brewers seem to have left out the hops! I'd like to say fruity, like a barley wine, and indeed the usual barley wine tastes are present if you can get over the burn and the slam. In many ways this is a cross between raison d'etre and a good barley wine, with a whole lot of alcohol thrown in on top. Usual barley wine and raison d'etre medicinal finish. With individual numbers so high, the overall rating may seem surprisingly low. But — really! — what can you do with a 20+% wine in a 25+ oz bottle? It's too sweet to serve as an aperitif, too sweet to serve with food, not sweet enough to serve with dessert, and, hey, how many people do you really want over to share a nightcap with you? What could you possibly do with this beer? The cute little bottles that Anchor uses for Old Foghorn are starting to seem very useful! // Rerated 8 February. I like the flavor more ... maybe even a little more time in the bottle helped? But mostly I decided that a beer this good does not have to be reasonable. Just drink a glass, put the cork back in the bottle, and go to bed.