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Theobroma - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,074 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,074
Reviews: 762
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 15.03%
Wants: 212
Gots: 265 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
Chile Beer |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: slvrmon82 on 03-21-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,074 | Reviews: 762 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Mosstrooper
4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from 25.4oz bottle into 400ml New Belgium branded snifter.

Appearance: Pours a golden-amber color with a two-finger white head that dissipates quickly and leaves behind no lacing. Lots of bubbles around the inside of the glass indicate heavy carbonation.

Smell: Stong honey aroma with cocoa and spicy pepper notes.

Taste: Begins with a sweet honey flavor that has some bitter cocoa notes, finishing with cocoa that sweetens out a bit and some spicy pepper notes. Slight hint of alcohol on the tongue after swallowed.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with sharp carbonation and a really sticky finish.

Drinkability: This beer is extremely drinkable given its ABV and the alcohol is nearly undetectable. A very, very interesting beer- one which I would be willing to have again, though not necessarily often. The interesting character of, and story behind, this brew make it worth at least one tasting.

Photo of dstc
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rather clear amber orange with an average light tan head. Head falls to almost nothing. Not much lace.

Nice cocoa malts in the nose. Bit spicy but mostly cocoa.

Malty chocolate in the taste. Big warming alcohol in the finish with a lingering burn from the combination of alcohol and chili. Spicy.

Medium bodied, low carbonation and a bit spicy bite.

Different and interesting, I like it. Worth trying.

Photo of drtth
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically. This is from the 2009 bottling.

Appearance: As poured the beer is rich lightly hazed apricot color with a ¼" off-white head that soon recedes to a ring of foam and a layer of foam on the surface that shows a irregular area of the surface of the liquid. Sipping leaves scattered speckles of lacing on one side of the glass as a layer foam coats the other side of the glass.

Smell: The aroma is not strong or particularly complex but does have a fruity and almost floral character tinged with some pepper, spice and cocoa.

Taste: The flavors include some honey and fruity sweetness tinged with the chile pepper, followed by a hint of cocoa.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied and lightly prickly with the moderate carbonation. The finish begins in the fruity honey followed by the chile and the faint cocoa flavor. The end of the beer is gently hot and spicy with an eventual dryness.

Drinkability: This is an ok beer for drinkability and I'm pleased to have tried it. It is something I'll have again in the future as a change of pace beer or as a special treat for company with dinner.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Food of the gods, indeed. It pours a clear copper topped by a few piles of large tan-green bubbles. It's not really foam, just several rows of tangential bubbles. The nose comprises mandarin oranges, chile peppers, greens, wet hay, and a dash of cayenne. The taste is much the same, though with more citrus notes and a touch of that cocoa they put in there. A nice tiny flash o' heat comes creeping up from the bottom, but serves only as a tease. The body is fairly light, with a light carbonation and a humid finish. Overall, possibly the best chile beer on the market (though that ain't sayin' too much).

Photo of beer2day
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aged 1 year in the beer fridge.

Pours a thick syrupy honey gold. Slight head, weak carbonation. but a rich vibrant color. No lace.

Honey and pepper dominate the nose. Picking up a little basil as well. Malt sweetness rounds things out.

Tastes a little better than it smells. Very rich feel. Starts out with honey sweetness. Nice syrupy middle, with a Belgian feel but no Belgian taste. Finishes with a slight tart bite and suprisingly dry. Pepper kicks in way at the end but is definitely there. Takes a few sips before it becomes recognizable.

Interesting beer, but not one I'd seek out again.

Photo of Nibbley
2.2/5  rDev -43%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a mediun yellow/orange with a white head that disapates very quickly.
Aroma of honey and very faint pepper and wet straw, not really appealing.
Mouthfeel was average with no alcohol.
Taste was surprisingly mild,no big chili,no big cocoa flavor.
Really, not much flavor period.
Not impressed, and won't be back for another one.

Photo of BARFLYB
3.05/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

On-Tap at Capone's during Beer Week 2010. From notes. I gotta say I did not like this out of the bottle, let's try the tap version.

A deep yellow infused golden color with bubbles rising creating an off white cap, squiggly lines going down, clinging to the glass. Smell is weird with cocco powder, a vegetative scent along with pale malts and some diaper. Spices are present. Not too pungent. Taste include light chocolate and chili flavor with spices that resemble curry and other indian cuisines. The chilli aint all that big. Malt presence is light, not very sweet if at all. This one is all about the spice, a weird mix, mimiking indian food. This fares better off tap than in the bottle, the bottle was ass. This has a lively carb that brings out the flavor a bit more and im not sure if that's a good thing. Medium bodied with low drinkability. Interesting beer, not memorable.

Photo of DoctorDog
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 750mL bottle into a wine glass.

A- Very hazy golden. Pours with a ~1 finger of white head, which fades gradually into a thin cap.

S- Subdued spicy, peppery aroma.

T- Peppery spices / cloves, a hint of banana, chocolate, and some fruity sweetness. Hop bitterness is moderately low. 9% ABV not noticed here.

M- Moderate carbonation and a medium-full feel.

D- Good. Flavorful, and quite an easy drink for it's 9% ABV.

Future outlook: Was a very interesting, pleasant sampling, though probably not spectacular enough to warrant a revisit at it's price point.

Photo of AleWatcher
3.4/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Found this one in Indiana on a recent beer-related excursion to the Hoosier state... Reviewed from dictated notes during my "Clean out my cellar weekend."

I was hoping this would be a little bit like Hunaphu (which I loved)... I based my hopes on the list of ingredients on the front of the label... But alas, this is no stout... It poured MUCH lighter than I anticipated, like an orange color with copper hues. almost 1 finger of almost white head. Spotty lacing.

Smells sweet with orange blossoms or other citrus related scent. Not much cocoa or chiles on the taste-- they reserve their presence for the aftertaste. Not unpleasant, but not exactly what I was expecting. The taste is actually pretty good, it's the aftertaste I don't really care for. So taste will score decent, but drinkability will lose points.

The body is medium with a lower level of carbonation than I like to see. As for drinkability-- this is worth trying, but arguably, not one I'd pick up again.

Photo of bierguru
4.65/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

this beer is exactly what i have been talking to my friends about one with spice

the beer pours golden and doesnt keep its head a light film stays

smell: its got a heavy sweet and spicy aroma

my first couple of tastes i just sipped and swallowed with that i just got fore taste of the sweetness from the honey and then a kick from the chilies (but not overbearing just a hint)

after the first tastes i started to let the sip linger in my mouth thats when i started to get that chocolate taste after i swallowed

the texture that was left was as if i had let a piece of chocolate melt in my mouth

in both these different sips the spice near lingered but rather can and went however after my third glass from the 750 mL bottle i did start to get a burning sensation in my chest (and no its not intigestion lol)

the beer was amazing and i suggested it to all further more if you are going to want to eat w it i suggest some sort of red meat or perhaps a chocolate covered chicken

Photo of urwithdave
3.28/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Lost Kangaroo. Reviewing from notes. Poured into a standard pint glass.

A- pours goldish orange in color. Very little head if any. No lacing.

A- I'm really not getting a whole lot here. Mainly honey not much more. Maybe a tad hint of cinnamon.

T- very sweet up front. Honey is the main thing and runs the show. There are subtle hints of spice and coco but they are drowned out by the sweetness.

M- medium bodied and a little undercarbonated. No real finish. Its pretty weak.

D- it drinks easy at first but the sweetness would keep me from wanting to have more than a couple.

Photo of pastradul
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Big thanks to plenum for this bottle!

A- very similar to the Sah'Tea. thick gold colored. With some bubbles but not head to speak of.

S-The main smell is honey. not much else... some earthy floral smell in the nose a touch.

T-a very subtle brew. The honey comes through the most with a very very mild cocoa taste after several sips. The chile isn't really there in the flavor as much as in the heat when you breath after you swallow.

M-light body with little carb

D-a great beer to try. imagining you are about to go sacrifice some one to the gods!

Photo of ZX6Chris
4.9/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-Beautiful ight amber color. Barely any head, just a few bubbles floating on the top.

S-Sweet flowery honey aroma. I've had honey beers before but this one is the best.

T-Sweet, flower honey, cocoa, chilies build slowly and you can feel the heat after awhile.

M-Light body and great carbonation

D-Very easy drinking and an interesting brew.

Photo of patrick16o
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured in my Great Divide brussels balloon goblet.

A: golden orange hue with a moderate off white crown. Head fades quickly, beer has small particles in suspension that just float and give it a slightly hazy effect. No lacing.

S: Not overpowering, smells sweet, very subtle chocolate and pepper.

T: Very interesting flavor. Notes of cocoa up front, an earthy chocolate, not a huge maltiness, just sweet. A kick of spicy chili in the finish, not too much to overpower, just enough to be noticable. A touch of hops is also detectable and balances the beer nicely. Alcohol is just slightly detectable.

M: Mouthfeel is ok. Medium body, not really lively on the tongue, but not a chore to drink.

D: I like this beer. I could see some interesting food pairings with it. It's not overwhelming, nor underwhelming. Has enough going on to keep you interested.

Photo of stimulus
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750mL champagne bottle dated 2009.

A: Pours a deep amber with minimal head.

S: Smells caramel, roasty, vanilla, honey, and chocolate.

T: There is light sweetness, and honey and chocolate dominate the palate with a hint of the chiles and alcohol in the background.

M: It is lively with a light body, but there is a cloying sweetness in the finish, perhaps diacetyl.

D: On the stronger side at 9%, and although the alcohol is well hidden, the cloying sweetness makes this brew difficult to finish.

Photo of bheilman
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice golden color. Just read a review about KBS with the reviewer saying it was better than anticpated and I feel the same way about htis beer. I am a Dogfishhead Fan, but I do think some of their beers are better than their others. This is definitely one of the better ones. The smell sort of reminds me of a belgian triple. I'm wondering what style of yeast they used. I really enjoy the taste. It displays a diversified spectrum of flavors. Figs come to my head, but I can also see some chocolate influence and I believe the pepper is really helping the taste balance. I enjoy spicy foods, but this style of spice is much more flavorful and mellow. It's a great balance. the aftertaste is nice and I don't taste a lot of alcohol. Despite the full flavor, this beer is light enough to drink a fair amount of.

Photo of corby112
3.05/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear golden amber color with hazy burnt orange edges when held to a light source and a one finger frothy off white head that quickly fades into a lasting ring. Minimal lacing.

Spicy peppery aroma with a decent amount of chocolate maltiness, chili pepper, sunflower seed and subtle hops. This beer smells kind of strange and not particularly in a good way.

Medium bodied with a pleasant peppery spice characteristic which is balanced by a silky chocolate maltiness. There's also hints of nut, earthy hops, alcohol, honey, sunflower seed and strong warmth in the finish. As the beer warms that strange sunflower seed presence becomes more prominent and distracts from the other flavors. I wish the chocolate and chilies flavors were stronger and that the beer overall was better balanced.

This sounds like a good idea but is just another excuse for DFH to make an "off centered ale".

Photo of MrDanno96
3.08/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Dark golden color with a thin white head and spotty lacing.

S: Feint hints of fruit and spiciness, but rather subdued overall. I'm not really seeing the chocolate that was advertised in the beer's description at all so far.

T: Hints of malt sweetness and a little honey, but the pepper really dominates the flavor. Some bitterness and a lot of peppery spice in the finish.

M: Light bodied and perhaps a touch watery. Spicy too.

D: Call me out for not rating to style, but I simply did not enjoy this one. It's cool that DFH is brewing these ancient beer recipes, but if "craft" beer tasted like this back then I may have never stopped drinking Budweiser.

Photo of pwoody11
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

from notes:

Love the bottle label artwork.

Poured a copper-orange type hue. Head was a creamy off white.

Aroma featured honey, with cocoa and cinnamon backing it up.

Taste was somewhat sweet. As with the aroma, I pick up the honey the most, some various herbs and spice come through faintly. More chile taste than I had expected and I like what they're doing here.

I like what DFH has been doing with these ancient ales. While they're not always the best tasting, they're fun and give you an idea of what beer may have been like, and bring it back full circle to how beers are today.

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle served in a wine glass.

L - hazed orange/rust color with a small white head that went away in a minute.
S - spices and honey with a hint of cocoa.
T - quite a mix of flavors, honey sweetness with notes of cocoa and spice with the pepper bringing up the rear.
F - medium body with low carbonation.
D - a sipper for sure, a glass or two is just fine.

Photo of therica
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A= orange-tea colored, slight bubbly head when poured, dissipating quickly.

S= heavenly aroma! Very interesting and unique, probably the annatto being the unusual contributor. Spicy, gingery, peppery.

T= very nice and of course unique, the various unusual ingredients tend to shine in alternating manner. Slightly too sweet for my preferences. Light pepper, spice, occasional spiced ginger-beer qualities, then a sudden flash of cocoa.

M= a little syrupy and sweet for my preferences, nice spicy peppery bite.

D= 9% ABV is the first challenge, $11.99 for a 22 ounce bomber isn't cheap, and I think I would treat this more as a novelty one-glass brew to be shared with a few others.

Photo of davedahl
3.35/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Strange beer. Not strange-bad, not strange-good.

Sample was a champagne 750ml, weighing in at 9% abv. Sporting "natural flavors (honey, cocoa nibs, cocoa powder, ancho chilies, & ground annatto)".

A hard pour produces a small/medium head that quickly dissipates to nothing. The color is amber with a slight rose hue. Hazed - which doesn't go away after the chill has left.

Before the pour is done I catch a fruty sweet smell. I take a deliberate waft and it comes across as fleshy over-ripe apricots(!?). But the cocoa is clear on the nose and you can find honey in there too.

Taste is clearly light cocoa (don't think chocolate bar but much more subtle which is nice). Definitely honey. Doughy/biscuit malt. Slight interesting chili burn on the end.

Mouthfeel is very interesting, good bite of midium-high carbonation and ancho chili bite too.

This is hard to rate, since it's an historical brew. Regardless overall I think it's really intersting but confusing. There's nothing really to pull the sweet, fruity, chocolatey, burny, honey all together.

Definitely try it if you haven't.

Photo of femALEist
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer is brewed with Aztec cocoa powder, cocoa nibs from Askinosie chocolate, honey, ancho chillies and annato. The recipe is based on a chemical analyssis of pottery fragments found in Honduras. It's the earliest known alcoholic chocolate drink. It poured a clear bright orange with some lace. It smelled like honey, smokey malts, chili and a hint of cocoa. It tasted light bodied, which was very unexpected. The cocoa was more pronounced in flavor than the chilis- the chili flavor really came out on the end of your tongue. Overall, it was like a flavorful light and crispy malt. It was definitely fun and interesting to try but I am not sure I would want to drink a whole bunch of it. It was good for the holidays though- and I wonder how well this will age.

Photo of ffejherb
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle shared with brewslut on 3/16/10.

A - Emerged from the bottle much lighter than anticipated with an orange haze and fluffy white head that quickly diminished into a thin patch. Body displayed tons of small, gritty specks and tiny bubbles suspended within, giving this beer the appearance of an orange snowglobe.

S - Very subtle nose overall, although the pepper notes stand out the most, with a hint of chocolate/cocoa taking second fiddle. Sweet malty notes are also apparent and suggest caramel and honey. A slight waft of alcohol also emerged as the liquid warmed up a bit.

T - Sweet and caramely up front with honey notes and a hint of cocoa, although the latter flavor really opened up as the liquid reached room temperature. Finishes with a wash of rich, dark chocolate and cocoa nibb notes amid a nicely balanced sweet and spicy flair that eloquently combines honey sweetness with a peppery bite and a touch of herbal hops. Very nice!

M - Light to medium bodied with lively, bristly carbonation and an oily texture. Finishes with a hint of spicy warmth and residual sweetness on the palate.

D - I wasn't sure what to expect with this interesting DFH concoction, but I was pleasantly surprised with the result. Theobroma artfully combines the sweetness of honey, the decadence of chocolate and the bite of spicy peppers to create a very subtle yet complex brew that pushes the boundaries of what a beer can be. Yum!

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

dogfish head theobroma

750 ml bottle. Naked big-eyed cartoon native-type chickee on the label, feather dressing, facial markings, something all over her exposed boobage. Is this what you're drinking, sweetie? I'll have what the high priestess is havin'!

Pours out heavily hazed amber hue, small white head on top.

Sweetness hits first in aroma, sugar and fruit, honey and apricot, then come the spices, some chiles and peppers, and cinnamon, maybe...or similar to it. Hot, warm, and sweet. Nice. Very nice.

Taste: Oddly, I don't get the cocoa and chocolate yet, only sweetness and spice. Very smooth and unruffled so far. Let's further partake....Okay, there it is...no hops, though, and just the merest of malt, just enough to do the job. Though I'm getting a fruity impression, it must only come through with the malt, because it's not a main ingredient, and the cocoa component is not really saying anything.

I'll drink more and see... what the heck is "annatto", someone tell me that...okay, the chocolate is down there somewhere, but smothered by the honey, and to a lesser degree, the pepper.

This is another in the long line of experimental, historical incredible beers that only Dogfish Head seems to be interested in, but it's not what I'm into right now. I'm wishing it was a 120 Minutes or even a WWS...but it's a damned fine beverage, and will suit me well through the night.

Theobroma from Dogfish Head Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 2,074 ratings.