Dogfish Head do some unusual beers. Their Raison D'être is a case in point, first brewed in 1998, it is not your usual American brown ale. First of all it is strong at 8%, secondly it uses some unusual ingredients including beet sugar and green raisons.
The taste is quite far away from what I would consider a brown ale to be, it tastes more like a strong Amber ale. The flavour is very malty with plenty of caramel and toffee in the middle, put I have to say the start and end of this beer, normally where the hops do their thing, is pretty disappointing. Being a hop focussed beer guy, my disappointment is a little unfair on this beer. This beer is tasty with a lovely depth of flavour in the malt profile and this is really what this beer is all about.
If you enjoy malt heavy ales, then you should certainly pick up a bottle of this, let it warm up and enjoy it's subtleties, just don't be expecting the usual Dogfish hop hit.