Theobroma - Dogfish Head Brewery
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Ratings: 1,918 | Reviews: 748 | Display Reviews Only:
4.2/5 rDev +9.1%
This is a beer I have been waiting a year to try and the anticipation was killing me not to bust one open while it was still warm after finally acquiring 2 of them.
Bottle reads: "Ale brewed with natural flavors (honey, cocoa nibs, cocoa powder, ancho chilies, & ground annatto).
Now lets bust this puppy open and give her a try!
Pours an interesting semi-clear orange color with a 1/2 inch fizzy head that receeds very quickly. No lacing to be found at all.
Take a deep smell...nothing. Take a nice gulp and swirl it around... hummm interesting. Take a few more sips and sniffs...THERE it is!!! The cocoa reveals itself and my goodness is it nice. It is not an intense, nose clogging chocolate smell but a very mild and very enjoyable cocoa scent. Living in PA I have visited the Hershey's chocolate factory and the powder cocoa is exactly what this reminds me of (but in a beer form.) My this is an awesome smell, how did they do that. OK enough about that great cocoa smell, what else does it have to offer. Yeah the honey is there in the nose as well, but not as grand. It also has a bit of spice that is quite bitey, but I cant identify what that smell is, maybe the chilies?
Now lets set focus on the mouth. Up front it has a nice sweetness but right away you notice that there is not much carbination with this beer. There is an almost overwelming sense of warmth. It could be the 9% abv, or it could be those chilies....heck probably a combination of both that makes your mouth tingle with enjoyment. Overall it is interestingly balanced. From the sweetness up front to the mild bitterness to the warmth at the end, I really enjoyed this beverage.
This is nothing as I had imagined it would be, it is better.
07-24-2009 21:49:40 | More by stakem
4.03/5 rDev +4.7%
Three fingers of quick fading straw tan head shrinks to just a skim in about a minute. Body is a light amber orange tone that is almost syrupy. Nose has tones of rhubarb, honey, marmalade and faint spices. On first sip the honey sweetness is quite noticeable as it is thick and syrupy. A raw veggie feel is long on the palate in the middle of this beer. A very slight spicy feel that resembles good fresh garden grown peppers. The veggie meets spice feel really builds on the mouthfeel as you continue to drink and actually makes the mouthfeel very pleasant. This beer really grows on you as you drink and makes it very nicely drinkable.
07-24-2009 18:23:17 | More by SPLITGRIN
3.83/5 rDev -0.5%
A - One finger of white head on a clear, deep golden body. The head dissipates quickly and leaves no lace.
S - Moderately fruity yeast with earthy, floral honey. Very mead-like.
T - Honey and brown sugar up front. Muddled spices in the middle, clove, cinnamon and allspice in small amounts. The finish is dark and thick with more honey and quite a bit of dark chocolate with earthy red pepper.
M - Medium, yet very oily, body, moderate carbonation, and a somewhat sweet finish.
D - Like all of DFH's ancient ales, this is a weird one. The spices are muddled and really don't come off very well, but the chocolate is very nice and, oddly, adds a lot to the mouthfeel. This is almost like a spiced holiday version of Midas Touch. Worth trying... once.
07-24-2009 04:22:38 | More by nickfl
3.58/5 rDev -7%
Big ol' DFH 750ml poured into a big ol' nonic pint.
A- Fizzy, crackly carbonated pour that yields a decent sized white head that had moderate retention but it faded into absolutely nothing. I mean this beer looks flat as it sits in my glass. Its a clear amber with yellow highlights.
S- The smell is pretty weak. Ive been letting it warm up to see if itll help but it hasnt done much. The nose eerily shares some characteristics of their Sah'tea, which is strange because these two beers are worlds apart. Im getting notes of honey sweetness and some cocoa behind that.
T- Verdy eenturesting! Crisp. The front is smooth and malty. The chillies come out toward the middle and the finish is on the dry side leaving hints of cocoa behind.
This is weird, I can feel some chili warmth in my throat as if Im eating some hot wings. Its exacerbated by the alcohol, even though its not coming through in the flavors much at all. I love this part of the beer.
M- Moderate carbonation, moderate body, just a moderate mouthfeel, unless you can count the spiciness left in the back of the mouth as mouthfeel, then that brings it up alot. I'll leave it at a 3.5.
D- Pretty good drinkability. The alcohol isnt really apparent but be careful trying to drink a whole 750 of this stuff.
I bought this along with the Sah'tea which I had a few days ago. I expected to like the Sha'tea better than this, but Im very pleasantly surprised with Theobroma. The Sah'tea was a drain pour for me but I have no qualms with this beer.
07-24-2009 03:24:14 | More by MbpBugeye
3.3/5 rDev -14.3%
750ml bottle poured into tulips.
A = Clear, honey, orange, gold liquid with a relatively good sized white head that settles in but also recedes pretty quickly until there is only a slight amount of bubbles sitting on the surface in the center covering maybe 25% of the total surface.
S = Some slight smell of dried chiles -- maybe ancho -- and also some very floral hints with a touch of honey, there is a certain sting to the smell when breathed deeply which is interesting because there is really no bite to speak of in the taste of mouthfeel.
T = The taste kind of let me down on this one as I enjoyed the look and smell after I had poured it and let it sit for a short while. Tastes include a sweet honey flavor, very light tastes grilled sweet peppers. No real strong chocolate flavors which surprises me somewhat. Maybe I am just not concentrating enough on them.
M = Medium to medium heavy body, smooth mouthfeel, fair mouthcoating.
D = This is not difficult to get down, but I find myself losing interest pretty quickly,
07-23-2009 21:16:04 | More by Traquairlover
3.33/5 rDev -13.5%
I bought this from Trenton Road Takeout in PA. Well this is the first time I've had a chile beer and now probably my last.
Poured a hazy orangish color with a white fizzy heading.Disinigrated to nothing,left no lacing and no livliness to this brew.
Smell is very sweet slight bubblegum aroma detected also a very subtle chocolate nib aroma is present. Kind of perfumy as well.
Taste starts out smooth and kind of hoppy and then a spicey burning sensation in the middle of the throatis left after the first sip.Also a yeastiness kicks in on the backend.
Mouth is medium bodied little carbonation. Finishes clean but with a slight spicy kick.
Drink is average at best for me.
I was not at all impressed with this one.
07-23-2009 20:43:17 | More by TheFightfan1
3.6/5 rDev -6.5%
had on tap at sunset grill & tap in brighton
pours nothing like i thought it would. poured a straw blonde color with a very small head. strange...i guess they used more chilis on this one
can't smell very much....maybe it's too cold. lots of malts, some chili is there in the background. can't smell any chocolate or hops.
tastes good. has a really crisp taste to it. lots of subtle chili flavors, but not enough to kill it. the hops make a presence in the flavor, giving this brew a nice solid finish. i can taste some coca powder, but no typical chocolate malts that you'd find in your average stout. pleasantly surprised.
drinkability is good, but the taste doesn't impress me enough to want more.
overall- like it or hate it, you have to give dogfish head credit for this one. it's not a bad beer, it's just wasn't really what I was expecting. This is also one of my first chili beers, so it's difficult to say if it's really better than others. In short, this one is worth picking up if you like DFH or something different.
07-23-2009 15:06:07 | More by tzieser
4.15/5 rDev +7.8%
Theobroma poured a honey/orange color which was slightly cloudy and had a nice finger of light orange fine bubbled head. The head was short lived and left no lacing on the wall of my pint glass. I shared this ale with a good friend.
The aroma was of orange blossom, green grass and a slightly musty note.
The flavor was sweet honey upfront with a hint of muscat grape, followed by orange. There was a nice malt note which added dimention to the sweetness. I didn't taste the chilies but I did feel a burn. I couldn't say that I identified the flavor of cocoa nibs but there was a coating sensation on my tongue reminiscent of chocolate.
The mouthfeel was rich and full. There was a coating on my tongue which was reminiscent of the type of coating you get when eating chocolate. Ther was also a capsiasian burn with built gradually as I finished my pint. It began as a faint tingle, almost like a weak ginger ale bite, and developed into a mild burn which left me wanting more.
The drinkability was OK but given the burn that I began to develop on my tongue, I am not sure if a second pint would have tasted as good as the first.
07-22-2009 20:29:47 | More by ABOWMan
4.2/5 rDev +9.1%
My 100th beer and I'd be darned if it wasn't a chocolate one Not what I expected for chile beer though. Color i orangish gold with a thin white head Has dogfish over the top smoothness. Taste is pepper following sweeter tn I thought it would be cocoa. It was a bottle my brother split with me but I think I could do a whole botlle its hust that smooth and a fairly good taste.
07-22-2009 01:36:11 | More by hdofu
4.22/5 rDev +9.6%
A- Pours golden in color with a thin white head.
S- Smells like powdered cocoa and some other non-descript spiciness.
T- Taste is subtly WONDERFUL, like nothing I've had before. Flavors of dry cocoa and chocolate liqueur are met with a honey-like sweetness. The heat from the chillies emerges in the finish, which is an exciting sensation juxtaposed against the 55 degree temperature of the beer itself.
M- Medium bodied and slightly oily. Again, a great contrast between the heat of the chillies and the cool of the beer itself makes for a unique sensation!
D- I could drink several glasses of this stuff, it's just too unique!
07-20-2009 23:09:10 | More by jgasparine
3.95/5 rDev +2.6%
Poured into a perfect pint glass. It's a clear orange with no lacing or head retention, very similar to champagne.
Honey sweetness, a sour fruit note, and chocolate hit the nose.
A very unique brew indeed. The slight sourness it nice, and the chile is not overwhelming. Instead, it creeps up on your tongue at the end of each sip with minimal heat and some bitterness from the cocoa nips. The body is very light for a 9%er, making this more sessionable than expected.
Overall, DFH you are a crazy bunch. This beer was full of surprises. As a big fan of peppers, this beer was something I needed to try. I expected it to be much darker, which is wasn't. Also, the pepper as an accent to the beer rather than the focus was very pleasing. I liked more as it warmed up and the creativity.
07-20-2009 22:28:10 | More by mikey711
4.08/5 rDev +6%
Appearance - Amber, almost honey colored.
Smell -Some sweetness. Some spice.
Taste - Much like the nose but with a hint of chile going down. Reminds me of Midas (except for the chile).
Mouthfeel - Medium. Light carbonation.
Drinkability - Very drinkable. Wouldn't have guessed 9% ABV.
07-18-2009 23:38:03 | More by cindyjeffsmith
4.22/5 rDev +9.6%
Poured into a pint glass. Not quite what I expected when I read of the chocolate in this brew. Color is orang-coppery! Pretty descent head. Good amount of carbonation bubbling up. Head dissolves quickly. Smell is mostly sweet. Taste is different than I expected as well! I was expecting something more along the lines of stout. Nope. It's quite nice though. Mildly sweet, bready malts, hops are subtle. Peppers really make their presence known! Wow! My lips are tingling after each sip! I think if they touted the pepper more on the label, it might scare some people off, but it works well!
Drinkability is good! It's not something I'm going to drink everyday, but I don't think that's the point of these Dogfish Head extreme brews. Definitely a must try! A very good beer to bring to a party or beer tasting!
This paired very well with the andouille sausage I had for dinner tonight!
07-18-2009 22:16:24 | More by Deus1138
3.75/5 rDev -2.6%
Super disappointed. I thought this was goign to be a dark. More chocolate and maybe a porter type beer. Not at all....
appearance: golden and lager like, fast bubbles rising from the bottom.
smell: slight chocolate cocoa. That all Im smelling
taste: Tad bit of sweetness from the honey and a slight taste or cocoa. I didnt taste the chiil but I can feel the heat going down a little bit. Kinda of interesting... Not overwheling at all and it's the major purpose of the beer.
mouthfeel: thin... high carbonation
drinkability: different from what I expected but this is a beer is different and a solid selection. This will not be a everyday beer.
07-17-2009 22:47:55 | More by CampusCrew
4/5 rDev +3.9%
Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a snifter.
A- Pours a vibrant, glowing amber/orange. Initially, there is a healthy two fingers width of white head, but this dissipates almost instantaneously.
S- Not terribly complex. Detecting some sweetness from the honey and a subtle hint of spices. Beneath it all you can also pull out a bit of the cocoa nibs.
T- A lot different than what I was expecting based on previous chile beers I have had. A combination of honey sweetness and bready caramel malts. The chile is really noticeable at the end of each sip with a bit of the cocoa nibs. In fact, the heat from the chile is mostly felt afterwards in the chest and throat. That being said, it was the perfect amount of chile without becoming offensive.
M- Medium body feel. Decent amount of carbonation.
D- As far a DFH specialty beers go (i.e. Pangaea, Sah'tea, etc.) this was one of the more drinkable offerings. I wouldn't want to drink a whole bottle by myself, but if I had to I could. I think this is mostly due to the fact that the amount of chile they put in was just right.
Overall, for being a chile beer I was pretty impressed. I have had the opportunity to have several offerings of various chile beers from other breweries and this was easily the best one.
07-17-2009 15:30:35 | More by rhinos00
3.28/5 rDev -14.8%
Been waiting almost 8 months for this, ever since I saw that I missed it last year. Is it worth the wait?
Appearance was lighter than I thought it would be, a medium yellow color, clear, with a half finger, fast and fizzy head that made quite a bit of noise. Wow, that was one sentence too.
Aroma had hints of cocoa, with some peppery spiciness (black pepper), honey, and lighter malts. Pretty good. I really don't smell chili peppers.
Taste was slightly sweet, with definite honey present. Very light hints of cocoa, and lightly smoky. Mild chili pepper notes, but very very light. I didn't really get any heat. All that being said about the taste, it really was not that impressive. It reminded me of Pangea. Kind of had a Belgian pale ale quality, and overall I wasn't impressed.
Mouthfeel was pretty good, well carbonated and light.
Drinkability... well, it was OK, but overall, I wouldn't seek it out again. It wasn't the most pleasant experience to finish the bottle. Better than Steel Reserve, but still I had to drink it rather quickly.
07-17-2009 01:55:07 | More by connecticutpoet
4.15/5 rDev +7.8%
Poured from a 750ml bottle.
A- Pours a nice copper color, like a DIPA. Head is there, but gone in 10 seconds. Literally no head a minute after pouring.
S- Cocoa. I used to live in Hershey, PA, and recognize the smell of raw cocoa. Smell a spice, as well, though I doubt it's the chilies. Wikipedia describes annatto (an ingredient) as "slightly peppery with a hint of nutmeg", so perhaps that's it.
T- Very good. Chocolate is here, although not sweet chocolate. The honey's here for that, though. The cocoa leaves a malty character on the tongue. Didn't notice the chilies at first, but 4-5 sips in and they make themselves known on the back end. Very nice change from your usual coriander spice found in beers, and the PERFECT amount. Assertive without being pushy. This beer tastes great.
M- Good, not great. Not a ton of carbonation in this one. Still, a nice mouthfeel.
D- Good for what it is, but definitely not a sessionable beer. Still, a very refreshing change of pace from what you usually drink... this beer is nothing like you've tasted before, meethinks.
All in all, another great job by the pros at Dogfish Head. I'll be squirreling a few of these away, for sure. If you see this, grab it.. if just for the difference factor. Still, DFH has a good beer here, not just a gimmick.
Hope to see this come around every summer, Sam. Please?
07-16-2009 02:49:07 | More by ShogoKawada
3.88/5 rDev +0.8%
a: piraat snifter, rich golden color and capped with a quickly receding white head, a thin ring is left behind
s: full aroma of sweet pale and lightly caramelized malts with an undertone of honey, something akin to a malty pale ale, underneath cocoa meshes seamlessly with dried and gently smoked peppers bringing to mind cocoa mole - moderate relative to the malt presence but pervasive nonetheless, gentle sweet alcohol evokes watered bourbon or dark rum, best after warming - I was totally underwhelmed at first, pretty tame taken piece by piece but impressive as a coherent whole
m: carbonation just above medium and a touch prickly, though smoothing out after sitting awhile, medium-full bodied and a touch slick, dries almost fully in the finish but the sugars build over the course to produce a nectar-like feel
t: heavier pale malt and light caramel body, peppers come in after the swallow both fresh and dried with a dusting of dry cocoa, a thick drizzle of honey soon follows, a bit of smoke in the finish and an almost imperceptible heat - mostly felt in the stomach (or is that the booze?)...nice, but a bit too sweet and without the nuanced complexities of the aroma
d: no problem at all, a bit heavy after warming but the alcohol is very well integrated
750 from Whole Foods, Vienna, VA, 2008 bottling
07-13-2009 00:05:46 | More by blackie
3.58/5 rDev -7%
Shared this beer with my friend Boo recently. It was suggested by our favorite local brew store as something "different and interesting." That it was! We're both huge DFH fans -- they really do make some of the finest and most unique beers around. This is a beer that I'm sure the good folks at DFH had fun making. Since trying it, I've read several reviews that essentially said "nothing like what I expected." That accurately sums up this beer in 5 words. It's a creative brew, but we both agreed that it's not one that we would shell out $15 for again.
As we poured it, we were quite surprised by the appearance. Based on the description, we had expected a darker appearance, but it's a deep golden, medium honey color. The fact that cocoa is a featured element of the beer had lead us to expect a darker color. There wasn't much of a head... similar to what a golden lager would typically produce.
The smell was yeasty and of honey, not the roasty, chocolate aroma that we expected. A slight hint of the cocoa was there, but very faint.
The appearance and smell weren't the last of our surprises. We expected much more of a cocoa flavor, but it just wasn't as noticeable as we thought it should be. The ancho chile was there in perfect amounts -- detectable but not overpowering. It left a slight but pleasing tingle on the tongue as it passed the taste buds. There's a nice honey flavor there and there's a real yeastiness to this beer. But again, we were mainly surprised by the underwhelming cocoa essence.
We both prefer more full-bodied ales such as DIPAs and stouts, and Theobroma probably won't get a lot of high marks from fans of beers like DFH's 90 Min or Southern Tier's Unearthly IPA (one of my all time fav beers), but it's definitely an interesting beer that I'm glad we sampled. It's one of those beers that beer geeks will enjoy sipping and discussing -- to be quickly followed up by an imperial IPA!
07-11-2009 04:21:29 | More by spwalshesq
4.03/5 rDev +4.7%
Been holding on to my few remaining 2008 Theo's until I was sure I could get my hands on more. Alas, the 2009 release has arrived! Poured slightly darker than upon release with tons of suspended yeast which have fallen out of solution. Kind of like staring into an amber colored snowglobe. The chocolate is much more pronounced after resting nearly a year, the minimal chili kick is still there, but even more subtle, and the honey sweetness is pulled back just a notch. It may be my imagination, but there also seems to be a bit more light smoke (alder wood is not quite appropriate, but more alder-like in lightness than oak) than as an infant. Otherwise, this is the same beauty I enjoyed last year, and I remember why I held on to it so closely. Expected yeast precipitation aside, I wasn't quite sure how it would stand up to time, but I'd say this has some life yet--much as one might assume a meadesque beverage should.
I'm glad DFH continued this in '09, and hope it hangs on for the long haul. World class? Yeah, I think so, but that's up for debate. One of my favs. Gotta add that I get that there is a lot going on in this beer, with no real standout of flavor. But that's what impresses me the most: the balance of the brew. No small feat, and Theo shouldn't be penalized for balance as seems to be the case in many reviews.
07-11-2009 00:30:55 | More by jwjon1
3.5/5 rDev -9.1%
I poured from a 25 ounce bottle into a snifter. The beer pours a light orange with a minimal head. The aroma is a bit faint, yet complex, alot going on and it all cancels each other out so I can not pick up much. A bit grassy a bit of chillies but not much. The chocolate is prominent in the taste and the chilies are there in a post quaffing burn. There is a bit of sweetness from the honey, but IMO too much going on. The beer is a medium bodied sipper, that is interesting. But for this BA, one Theobroma is enough for a lifetime.
07-10-2009 02:05:32 | More by bonkers
3.63/5 rDev -5.7%
Appearance - A decent tan with a fizzly foamy head that dissipates within seconds with no retention. No lacing on the glass. Mediocre defined.
Smell - Mildly enticing, but I've smelled similar in beers where there are so many ingredients in the flavor that it ultimately suffers from haphazardry...which is a word now officially coined by me.
Taste - No matter how many beers I drink (copious), I'm always amazed by how much better they are warm than cold - this beer is obviously no different. Cold, this beer has very little discernable flavor, with some hints of chocolate. The finish is undeniably the chili, and I was impressed how smoothly the beer transitioned into the hot spice flavor in the finish. Once it warms the chocolate resides in the back of a more spicy up front flavor with a apricot-esque finish. As the flavor settles after swallowing, the hotness from the chili rises to remind you this beer is indeed brewed with chili peppers. Still I wish all of the present flavors were more pronounced.
Mouthfeel - Bizarrely light bodied, especially given its high ABV. The alcohol is masked/complemented by the chili.
Drinkability - Easy to drink, but the ABV makes one bomber enough, and the flavor isn't definitive enough to make me crave another.
A good beer, but to be honest, after months of trying to try this beer, I am a little disappointed - maybe the first time I ever have been with a Dogfish Head brew. In the end, I think it tries to incorporate too many flavors, and the sum of its parts don't contribute to the end product.
07-09-2009 02:55:31 | More by schinebd
4.2/5 rDev +9.1%
A:Suprising bright, sunny orange and thin but fluffy head.
S: Both sweet and tart (though light) fruitiness with some earthyness and hints of roasted cocoa and roasted cereal to it.
T: A little sweetness and bitter dark cocoa finish. Very light
M: Very very light for the ingredients. Deceptive. Almost wanted more body.
D: Very good taste, smooth and drinkable feel.
07-08-2009 21:10:54 | More by rfgetz
3.4/5 rDev -11.7%
2009 vintage. 750 ml capped with a mild pffft before going into Duvel tulip.
Wow - I didn't expect the coloring to be so light. Matters not, but there's just about a full finger of head (eggshell color) that has mild retention powers. Seriously, it pours like an IPA. Color is more honey than the expected darker tone. It's pretty well-carbonated, too. Interesting. Second pour yields similar results - maybe a little less head.
I have no clue what this smells like. There's some honey, some booze...some chile on deep background. Hops? Sure, why not? I have no idea where the chocolate is at first blush. Some perfume in there. Could pass for hibiscus if I had to pull a name for a scent outta my ass.
Well, there's the chiles. Wow - a bit of an astringent, boozy, chile heat. I may get a bit of chocolate. Then again, I may not. Definitely some honey, but it's pretty dry. After quite a while...nope...no chocolate. And the chile fades a bit. Still, it tastes pretty nice with the honey backdrop. Again, perfumy hibiscus or maybe a tinge of gardenia.
This definitely delivers a nice subtle, honey-coated heat. It's lighter than expected with that astringent booziness. Finish has a decent kick and burn to it.
I didn't really know what to expect from this. Except honey, chocolate and chiles. 2 outta 3 ain't bad. That perfumy thing slows it up and mixes with the carbonation. Interesting stuff. Odd stuff. Not bad...not what I expected...but who cares what I expected? It's OK stuff. Kinda interesting. OK, very interesting to say the least.
07-05-2009 20:38:56 | More by IBUnit63
4.1/5 rDev +6.5%
Bottled 2008. Pulled out of thecellar for the 4th.
Poured into a red keg type cup. (Classy). Poured a dark, ruddy orange. Really no head to speak of. Looks kinda uneventful.
The nose is musty, a little bit of oxidation. Some cocoa in there as well. Don't smell any peppers.
The taste is really complex. The best of this style I've ever had. Sweet honey up front, which really intertwines with the cocoa wonderfully. The chocolate takes center stage in this one. The finish is composed of spiciness, and some alc heat. Wonderfully put together. Who wudda guessed choc and chilis would go so well together? Great offering!
07-05-2009 14:17:51 | More by mikecharley
Theobroma from Dogfish Head Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 1,918 ratings.