Theobroma - Dogfish Head Brewery

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very good

770 Reviews

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Reviews: 770
Hads: 2,173
Avg: 3.78
pDev: 25.66%
Wants: 250
Gots: 347 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
Chile Beer |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: slvrmon82 on 03-21-2008

Theobroma is a celebration of chocolate, the food of the gods.

This Ancient Ale is based on chemical analysis of pottery fragments found in Honduras that revealed the earliest known alcoholic chocolate drink used by early civilizations to toast special occasions.

The discovery of this beverage pushed back the earliest use of cocoa for human consumption more than 500 years to 1,200 B.C. As per the analysis, Dogfish Head's Theobroma (translated into "food of the gods") is brewed with Aztec cocoa powder and cocoa nibs (from our friends at Askinosie Chocolate), honey, chilies and annatto (fragrant tree seeds).

It's light in color, not what you expect from your typical chocolate beer (not that you'd be surpised that we'd do something unexpected with this beer!).

Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 770 | Hads: 2,173
Photo of bgillespie
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Super hazy gold with a thin white head. Not filtered.

Smell: Chilies at first, then a hint of cocoa. Strong.

Taste: A ton of flavor, cocoa flavor, but not like sweet chocolate, hint of honey, and a pepper taste from the chilies.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and medium bodied.

Overall: A nice beer from Dogfish Head. Interesting history and a great flavor.

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Photo of jzlyo
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Aroma is pale malts, mild chilies and a hint of chocolate. The flavor is pale malts, chocolate, fruit and a mix of tart, sour and slight but increasing heat in the finish.

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Photo of badgustav
4.86/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Had the 2013 in 2015, so aging may impact the flavor.
Aroma - fascinating spice, hints of chocolate, strong anise, and a very light malt
Look - hazy copper with a rocky, lasting head
Flavor - malty, spicy, notes of cocoa, chili, and cinnamon. Complex and interesting
Overall - drink this, it's fascinating

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Photo of pat61
4.69/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours hazy orangish gold under a thin fizzy off white foam collar that quickly dissipates.
S: Honey on the nose and as it warms more cocoa and chile notes come forward.
T: Honey and more cocoa than the color would suggest on the palate but it is also lighter and subtler than you would find in a chocolate stout. The chile produces an interesting heat emphasis but fortunately there is very little of the vegetal quality from the chile that shows up in some chile beers.
M: moderate carbonation and medium to medium light body.
O: The beer is good at refrigerator temperature but it improvessignificant in the 50s F. this is unusual, very well done, balanced and enjoyable.

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Photo of Capsfan90
4.16/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a one finger head that disapated fairly quickly. This medium amber unfiltered ale first hits you with a sour smell, but eventually fades. The taste of honey and cacao are present with little heat from the chilies. I found this to be very drinkable beer and look forward to having another one soon.

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Photo of reg1214
4.23/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Nice golden color with a quickly disappearing head. Has a pleasant honey/fruity aromoa and taste. Not much chili or cacao taste, but a slight spicy bite on the end. Slightly on the sour/wild side. A bit too much sediment, but could have been my pour.

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Photo of Fastwalker19
4.75/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Unfiltered craft goodness. Heavy and light simultaneously. Cacao enhances the beer and leaves a clean finish. Most pepper or other flavor additives leave an unpleasant and overpowering aftertaste. But DFH has avoided this and provided us with a true nectar of the gods.

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Photo of Crackblind
4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Much thinner than I expected. No lacing at all, pretty flat. Color makes it look like unfiltered apple cider. Nose is fruitier than expected with a very slight hint of the chilies it is infused with. I thought the cocoa would be more forward (expected bitter chocolate flavor that wasn't there). Very different than what I thought I would get. I definitely enjoyed it but I'm not sure if I would get it again.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Theobroma pours a darker golden color with a nice size head. There is a big chili aroma, with just hints of sweetness from the chocolate. Nice chili flavors, just hints of chocolate, nice warm from the spice. Good blend of flavors, nice body. Overall its very nice, easy to drink, good beer.

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Photo of bubseymour
4.31/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this one at the DFH Alehouse on tap in Gaithersburg MD. Very solid brew. Don't really pick up the chile spices at all (no hotness). This was a good thing as most chili spiced beers have been a deterent to me so far. Recommend.

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Photo of NSXAG
4.5/5  rDev +19%

Dogfish Head - Theobroma [Ale Brewed With Honey, Cocoa Nibs, Cocoa Powder, Ancho Chilies & Ground Annatto] (750ml ---> Dogfish Head Curved Pint Glass : 9% ABV)

It's not how it looks, it's how it drives... An analogy I often apply to to choosing a bomber, but sometimes something is just too aesthetically intriguing to pass up, which is the case in point, and I ended up with the DFH's "Theobroma..." When I popped the cap, it seemed there was a fair amount of carbonation built up as the "pop" was mighty loud, but there was no foaming of any sort... It poured fairly light, with healthily active 2.5 inch head that's assisted by a decent amount of carbonation... It's a deep gold, almost orange, with quite a bit of sediment hanging about in there, but the beer itself isn't extremely hazy... The cocoa is the first aroma, but much lighter in presence than I had expected, as well as honey mixed amongst it also... A very light earthy, spicy bitterness hits the palate as the beer first enters your mouth, trailed by tastes that match the aromas... The cocoa isn't overbearing, and the beer is much more savory than I had assumed after pouring it... The finish is dry, but still very smooth as the ancho chilies give an amazing and extremely approachable amount of heat to the cocoa elements... The mouthfeel is great and acts as a fantastic platform to allow this beer to shine and accompanies each facet of the beer nicely... Overall this beer is surpassing my expectations on many levels, and I'm impressed at the amount of complexity this beer offers while still remaining extremely approachable to a variety of craft brew seekers... It's not how it looks, it's how it drives - and she drives quite nicely... Another great brew - Cheers!!

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.31/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

A: Cloudy orange-brown, a steady carbonation stream when poured but absent by the end. Plenty of sediment junk floating around. A white gravelly head appears but quickly bursts, leaving no trace or lace.

S: Chalk? Mineral aromas produced by the yeast dominate this simple and unappealing sense, a touch of quad-like plum/date. A bit of orange redeems it. Chili is well in the background, mostly detectable by the very trace burn.

T: Same minerality, an extra touch of sweetness, mild orange, chili finally coming into its own. Chocolate is a minor, minor, player. Real flavors finally coming through. It's better than the smell, but not what I was expecting. At all.

M: Light, good carbonation. Astringent finish.

O: I expected the usual stylized Dogfish Head brew, rife with flavor and only subtle beer hints. What I got was the opposite, a chalky beer with only subtle hints of what was advertised. On the verge of being a bad beer. Don't know what happened here.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.33/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Giant Eagle Hermitage last week. Split with my husband and poured into my FFF fancy glass.

A- Body is a very hazy light copper color. Pours with a 1 finger or so soapy white head that quickly fades to a thin collar. Very little lacing is left behind in the glass. Translucency is not uniform and very much alive with some bubbles floating to the top. Some sediment and swirling yeast as well.

S- Nose is faint and offers some orange and honey. I'm really not picking up with the nose. Its nice and soft.

T- Flavor is much more complex than what I pick up in the nose. Orange rind and honey flavors come in up front with chile overtones. Some more chile comes in for the finish but is balanced by more honey, orange, and spices. What lingers is a faint alcohol heat, some chile, a hint of honey and orange, and dark chocolate. Yes...where the chocolate/cocoa comes in here is in the lingering flavor. Rich, dark chocolate.

M- Medium to high tingly carbonation and a medium to heavy weight body with a good smooth body. Just a hint of astringency comes through.

O- Overall- this reminds me most of a wheatwine or braggot. The nose and palate are somewhat soft- but wow the palate is so softly complex. I am a big fan of brews that use chilies peppers-espicially porters/stouts- but this one takes the complexity to a whole new level.

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Photo of mchegash
4.38/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Date: 8/31/2014
Other notes: Bottling date looks to be Jan 2014

Appearance - 4.25/5
Pours a light orange color. The beer would be fairly clear, but there are tons and tons of particles in the beer. But I assume this is part of the style, and actually adds to the beers appeal IMO. After settling in the glass after a minute, there is no head to be seen at all. Lots of carbonation bubbles can be seen rising through the beer. I'd say what I like about the look of this beer is the color, and the intrigue. Perhaps the intrigue though is less of from the look, and more of just from really being curious about what this 'Ancient Ale' tastes like.

Smell - 4.25/5
Smells of orange, honey, alcohol, a little bit of (chile?) spice and chocolate. Also some other hard to describe smells which I assume are some of the unique ingrediants which I am not familiar with. Overall, I really like the smell. It is very intriguing and makes me want to drink

Taste - 4.5/5
The main taste I get is the honey-orange taste. The spice is not nearly as strong as I was expecting. Although I found that after drinking more, you can soon feel the spice (very mildly) burn a little bit in the back of your throat. I know this is supposed to be a chocolate beverage, but I am having difficulty detecting that. I think perhaps it's because it's not the chocolately taste which I am used to, but rather more of an ancient chocolate taste, that is to say--cocoa/cacao. After thinking about what I think cocoa would taste like, I think I can detect it. And I think the sweet honey flavor I was describing which went along with the orange flavor, is really a combination of the honey and the cocoa. I really like the complexities of the taste, and there is a lot going on in this beer. Overall, the taste of the beer is hard for me to explain, since I have never tasted anything like this before, but I really like the taste and think it is delicious. Not something I would have all the time--but I don't think that's the point of this beer. The point is to create an experience. To taste what this ancient beverage of the Americas would mostly likely have tasted like. And given that purpose, I think it succeeds well (of course, not being 3000 years old, I have no way of actually knowing how close to the taste of the original beverage this is).

Mouthfeel - 4/5
The beer is fairly light in body. The carbonation is light. the feel is in between crisp and creamy. I like the tingling spicy sensation which occurs in my mouth and throat. The spice is very low (for my palate, at least), and so it's not at all overpowering, but rather really enhances the taste and the mouthfeel.

Overall - 4.5/5
Overall, this beer was not exactly what I was expecting. Yet at the same time I really had no idea what to expect. I thought this was a great beer, and definitely something I would get again in the future, or would recommend to others. I totally love the idea of the 'Ancient Ale' series which Dogfish Head has been doing. I have not had any of the other ancient ales yet, but this beer really makes me want to try and find others (I know I saw another one at the local beer store which I will probably pick up soon)

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap at Pizza Plant in Buffalo, NY.

Pours a golden honey color (interesting color for a chocolate-based beer, I like where this is going), with a half inch head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells like honey, some lighter shades of chocolate, and pepper flesh.

The combo of chocolate, chili, and honey is really nice here. This is probably the most accessible Ancient Ale DFH has put out. The pepper flavor is strong, but not overwhelmingly spicy, more actual pepper flesh flavor, with a tiny bit of capsaicin, and some sticky sweet honey, and a small amount of chocolate. I didn't find it too sweet- just right.

This one is medium bodied, with a crisp and clean mouthfeel, feels only a tiny bit sticky, and a medium amount of carbonation.

This was excellent, and the best Ancient Ale I've had so far.

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Photo of Braz
4.5/5  rDev +19%

Wow, what an interesting beer. If you are in a beer store and need something that doesn't fit into any of the other styles this is it. A beer this color (blonde) has no right to taste like this. The is chocolate, peppers, yet smoothness. The cocoa hits first, but the finish is this hard to describe soft heat. Dogfish doing what it does best, making you rejudge every sip.

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Photo of AngryPenguinBrewCo
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

Light chocolatey brown pour decent clarity, large white head that dissipates relatively quickly. Very complex flavor, none of the individual components take the lead but they all work well together. Chili peppers provide sharpness but no burn and the beer has a boozy finish. I expected a chocolate flavor which I didn't detect but overall I liked it!

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Photo of predikit
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

750ml Bottle poured into a pint glass. Bottled on 6/26/14

Smell from the bottle wasn't impressive, it smelled like a run of the mill beer, had some subtle hints in the background. Smell off the pour, now there it is. Can't quite place it. Changes a little bit every time I go back for more. Reminds me of Midas Touch with some interesting notes in the shadows.

Poured an opaque yellow with white head that receded fairly slowly, with bits floating around inside it.

Unfiltered and proud, the particles floating around seem to be neutral buoyancy.

Taste through head I got some rather nice notes, chocolate and hops, honey. Almost no boozy taste up front.

As I near the bottom of my glass, the booze is starting to come out in full force leaving a very noticeable warmth.

I think this goes excellent with a savory meal, wanted to see if palette switching would offer some deeper wisdom, and it definitely did. Almost a bit too sweet in contrast, but the flavor profile came out a bit more.

Mouth feel is a bit thick, syrupy almost, but doesn't overstay its welcome by any means.

A bit steep of a price, but I'm glad I tried it.

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Photo of ttroha
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Tap. Pours clear amber with a white head. Aroma of wheat and chocolate. Tastes of wheat, a hint of chocolate and chilies. Sweet aftertaste. Very unique beer. I liked it.

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Photo of Neorebel
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Theobroma pours a dazzling copper hue, but with very little head, indicating a minimal amount of carbonation. As other reviewers pointed out, the aroma is faint, however there is a bit of cocoa powder detectable in a whiff of it. The high malt flavor pairs well with the cocoa, and the chilies blend in a similar way with the sharpness of the finish and the alcohol heat. With a medium mouth feel, this can sneak up on you however. Overall, worth a try and best shared.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Light amber in color with a fingernail thin head of white head. Light Brussels lacing. Aroma is faint which is likely due to the chilies and the honey. The flavor is bit sharp due to the chilies and yet that is rounded out with a bit of sweetness from the honey. The chocolate plays more of a background note. The chilies give the mouth a bit of heat and the honey helps keep it dry.
Appearance: 3.5
Taste: 3.5
Mouthfeel: 4
Overall: 3.5

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

April 2013 bottle in an oversized wine glass.

A- Thin cream-colored head dissipates fairly quickly. Body is orange and peach-colored with some cloudiness.

S- Sweet vanilla and honey. There's something else there that I can't put my finger on. Slight spicy hot aroma.

T- The chili finally shows up and there's a good dose of chocolate and cocoa. There's some fruity character mid-palate, as well as an earthy sweet spice, vanilla, and honey. It's a medley and it all seems a bit nutty (as in crazy).

M- It's alternately sweet, tart, creamy, with a good dose of carbonation. There's also an occasional spice from the chile.

I'd day this beer is more interesting than tasty. That's not to sat that it's bad, just that some of the elements of this beer seem out of whack and not conducive to others.

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Photo of bleedsblu
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from an ice cold bottle into a glass. This is another Ancient Ale selection, love these, this one is from the Americas a chocolate food for the Gods.

Appearance: Golden, cloudy with slight carbonation, a half inch head with an aggressive pour.

Smell: I'm getting a citrus smell with some notes of honey.

Taste: I'm getting some coco some heat and sweet from honey.

Mouth feel: Thick not stout thick but thicker than the usual ale. Lots of floaters, ah hell thats the taste baby.

Overall: I would by this beer just to taste some history, plus its damn good so bonus. This beer is at 9%ABV so a nice choice for your nightly night cap, Cheers.

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Photo of travolta
4.19/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

App: rich and clear golden apricot with lots of yeast floaters. A frothy head with nice retention and structure.

Nose: Pineapple, banana, pumpkin, some yeast and kiwi.

Taste: kiwi, strawberry, not a lot of carbonation, but well balanced. A tiny bit of lime and lemon. Honey and very faint chili spice at the end.

Notes: Always a treat, this is a special brew.

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Photo of CochonKing
4.27/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An extremely well balanced and well made beer. Pours a light amber with a clean crisp head. Smells of chilies faintly along with some notes of malt. The taste is well balanced with an excellent mouthfeel. It is creamy on the on the palate with a medium body. Excellent beer.

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Theobroma from Dogfish Head Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 770 ratings.