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Theobroma - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.

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

1,908 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,908
Reviews: 747
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 15.32%
Wants: 192
Gots: 218 | FT: 3
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)
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Ratings: 1,908 | Reviews: 747 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AChamberlain


3.43/5  rDev -10.9%

Poured from a 750ml bottle from Knightly Spirits in Orlando, FL. Beautiful translucent shimmering orange. Thin off white head. I was looking for stronger aromas. Not much. Chiles, fruit. Good amount of malt flavor. Some cocoa and chile. Medium bodied, a bit zesty. Overall, very good. I would say a must try, different. Not sure if I would invest in another entire bottle, but a good experience. I am glad I was able to try it.

03-31-2009 18:19:42 | More by AChamberlain
Photo of JohnGalt1


3.55/5  rDev -7.8%

inflatablechair brought this over for a tasting about a month ago.. I'm just finally getting round to entering my notes for the review.. Thanks Sam! I enjoyed this from my New Belgium snifter.

I took fairly good notes.. but I wish they were better....

Orange/honey brew with a light head... spots of lace....

Aroma is cocoa and light honey.... maybe smokey chili..

Flavor has alot more cocoa.. mild pepper.. a touch of heat.. medium body with good carbonation.. I expected more of the advertised flavors.


03-24-2009 07:58:54 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of Aenema


3.65/5  rDev -5.2%

Appearance - Pours a deep, cloudy orange with a thick white head. The head completely dissipates and there is no lacing.
Smell - Cocoa and honey dominate the nose.
Taste - Starts with some cocoa and honey before a brief hint of chile heat. Finishes with some more cocoa. The flavors are not as intense or as prominent as they should be. The sweetness from the honey is the most lasting attribute of the beer.
Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with a moderate, scrubbing carbonation.
Drinkability - Quite drinkable, but not a beer I'd want to session. The sweetness does begin to detract from the experience.

This is an interesting beer to try and it is well-made, but the flavors are not as intense as I would like for a $17 beer. Although I won't purchase this beer again, it is worth a shot if you're interested in the concept and don't mind a semi-sweet beer. It was good with barbecued chicken.

03-23-2009 00:07:09 | More by Aenema
Photo of jjanega08


3.23/5  rDev -16.1%

A= Pours a amber honey color where as I expected something much darker. Small head that's a little soapy and bubbly and falls slowly to a thin layer on top of the beer that lasts throughout the drink. Spotty lacing but nothing impressive.
S= A little unique. Smells much darker than the color. Chocolate comes through but mostly just a sugary sweetness. I can feel a little burn on my nose which I'm assuming is from the chilies but I don't detect the odor. Not too pungent.
T= Flavor blast come through... Lots of chocolate and honey. This is one of the few beers that I have had that actually taste a lot like honey. You can def get some of the chilies on the tongue. There is a small apple bit on the tip of my tongue as well.
M= A heavier than expected body. Little carbonation
D= Eh. Worth a try and I'm actually really happy I did but this one is just not for me. Won't be having it again I imagine.

03-20-2009 01:04:38 | More by jjanega08
Photo of tai4ji2x


3.6/5  rDev -6.5%

from my cellphone notes, taken feb 22, 2009, during the post-EBF brunch at the roadhouse BBQ, brookline MA.

served in large snifter.

amber honey color. slight haze. fizzy head fades quickly to almost nothing.

gentle apple fruitiness in the aroma, and then the cocoa comes in with a faint coffee note. more fruitiness and whiff of alcohol booziness. all a bit subdued however.

malt flavor lies underneath the fruity grape and apple, but slightly boozy again. nice cocoa note in the back and in the finish, albeit light. gentle bitterness. phenols are gentle and help to finally reveal the chili pepper.

calm carbonation. smooth at first, but more booziness and astringency come in later.

glad i tried it, but this is really only a novelty brew. that said, despite the slight booziness and the strange flavors, it was drinkable enough.

03-17-2009 07:39:35 | More by tai4ji2x
Photo of gregmoscetti


4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

This is my first review with BA and I picked a good one.

I had my mom back in NJ pick this up when it was released and it has been on the east coast until now.

Served in a goblet

The first smell of this beer was strange. I have never smelled a beer quite like this one and probably wont again. I was also surprised that it was not a thicker beer. Upon the first sip, I found this beer perplexing in the best way. The chile, the chocolate, they came together nicely. My only complaint in the taste category is the aftertaste, which feels like the chile. It is a bit of a lurker.

Drinkability received high marks. I don't know if its because i am surprised by its low gravity but the drinkability far exceeded expectations.

All and all, I am very impressed by Dogfish on this one. An odd beer done very very well.

03-17-2009 02:22:01 | More by gregmoscetti
Photo of thekevlarkid


3.65/5  rDev -5.2%

Out of a magnum bottle this beer was a slightly hazy amber color with good rising carbonation and one finger of beige head. The retention was so-so and the lacing no better. The aroma was of pale malt, honey, lots of spices, a hint of chocolate, some fruity esters and floral hops in the background. The flavors were unusual indeed. I tasted the ancho chilies and cocoa powder quite clearly along with the spices and some doughy pale malt. The finish did have enough leafy hops in it to be crisp and a touch bitter. None of the flavors really seemed well-defined however and they all seemed to be competing with rather than complimenting each other. Semi-sweet and rather acidic. The mouthfeel was smooth, the body medium and the carbonation good. Interesting, but not one I'd quickly recommend.

03-16-2009 17:20:54 | More by thekevlarkid
Photo of hwwty4


3.8/5  rDev -1.3%

Thanks to Popkas for this bottle.

Poured a 750ml into my Tripel Karmeliet tulip. This beer pours a fairly still hazy amber with just an inkling of a white fish-eyed head. The aroma is odd. Powdered bakers chocolate, with biscuity yeast, and a bit of honey. No really noticeable aroma of ancho chilies. The flavor is quite chocolaty. Not sweet chocolate, but more like a 85% pure cocoa bar. Just a hint of delectable sweetness from the honey comes through. A bit of clove. The tail is pure Ancho, with just a slight burn as it turns down your throat and warms your belly. This is some of the best chile presence I've found in a beer. The mouthfeel leaves great chile burn on the inside of your lips but unfortunately is a little less then carbonated and finishes just a bit to dry. I really wish there was a bit more carbonation to this beer. I give DFH huge props for attempting this recipe and hope the give it a couple more tweaks and turn this into the best Chile beer on the market.

03-11-2009 02:51:02 | More by hwwty4
Photo of schroederm


4/5  rDev +3.9%

In a goblet:

Surpisingly light golden color. Good lacing. Can't tell how big the head was as I got an overpour, but looks like it would have been thick from what was left. Smells fantastic very nice hints strawberry and rock candy. Not strong. Very sweet start and aftertaste. Good balance of bitter for the style. Strawberry all through the taste. I was expecting some cocoa, but didn't find any. Excellent, full body. Carb is a little biting. The alcohol is hidden very, very well, and the beer tastes fantastic, making this quite drinkable and a solid win.

Overall: A little expensive, but worth a try. I love how creative Dogfish Head is, and this is a prime example of their innovation.

03-06-2009 20:14:33 | More by schroederm
Photo of alovesupreme


4.05/5  rDev +5.2%

Served in a goblet at Roadhouse in Brookline.
Not to much head but looked good with a dark yellow color with very small particles.
Strawberry with a hint of citrus.
Lots of strawberry, with a bready yeast character. Alcohol was very well hidden almost undetectable.
Nice mouthfeel, with carbonation in just the right place.
A very solid beer, that is worth seeking out.

02-27-2009 02:17:50 | More by alovesupreme
Photo of tmoneyba


4.1/5  rDev +6.5%

Bottle from Rivers Bend.

Poured a clear copper color with an average off-white head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Good aroma of spice and dark fruit and cocoa. Medium to full body with sticky texture. Medium to heavy bittersweet flavor with a medium to heavy spicy complex finish of moderate to long duration.

Interesting complex good brew.

02-21-2009 23:04:41 | More by tmoneyba
Photo of craytonic

District of Columbia

3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Appearance: Clear, hazy amber with an off-white head.

Smell: Chili peppers, honey, nuts, pecans.

Taste: Very light and delicate. Some honey, chili peppers, light malt, corn, bread, and toasted/roasted nuts. There is no real heat or spice to it, the pepper is actually hard to detect (and I am sensitive to hot foods). Actually somewhat bland

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is a little on the high end. A little sticky.

Drinkability: I found it boring, the chilies are not that present and otherwise there is not much too it. A little expensive for what it is. I basically had to chug it to get the chili flavor out, and then poured the rest. Never picked up any cocoa.

02-16-2009 22:49:48 | More by craytonic
Photo of kkosmoski

New York

2.83/5  rDev -26.5%

Chilled in the fridge for about an hour and poured into an oversized Dogfish snifter. Pours bright orange with some very fine white bubbles that cover the top minimally. Fine particles dispersed through the beer. Herbal aroma, not sure exactly what, but kind of perfumy. Some honey, chile, corn, and a bit of a cardboard aroma (weird, I know). Aroma is not coming off to pleasant to me right now. Flavor starts with a honey sweetness, then moves into a bit of a chili bite. Light caramel flavor and some spices precede a finish of cocoa and cereal grain. Mouthfeel is pretty thin with a fairly high level of carbonation. The unconventional flavors in this beer and the high alcohol content do not make this very drinkable for me.

This beer was, lets just say, different. The aroma was very strange to me. I'm not sure if it was the spicing, or the chilies, but I did not find it very appealing. The flavor was much better than the aroma, but it was overly sweet, like many of the Dogfish beers. The aftertaste did have a very pleasant, grainy, almost cream ale flavor to it. I'm glad I tried it, but I will not be buying it again if it makes a return.

02-13-2009 02:48:18 | More by kkosmoski
Photo of PerzentRizen


4.28/5  rDev +11.2%

So many people have likened this beer to Midas Touch but I think that is because this beer also has a ton of honey sweetness - much like a mead. I think the similarities end there.

This beer was bought in Cincinnati from a good friend Neslon. He said this one was "over the top." He was definately right.

I poured this one into a Duvel glass. WOW how can a beer made with cocoa be this light in color. As it poured out it looked straw colored and in my glass it has a burnt amber look to it. This beer has amazing clarity and absolutely no head retention. By the way, the head on this beer while it existed was pure white and about 1 inch thick.

The aroma is much like mead but with some other quality - (this turns out to be Ancho chillies). There is definately some spice in this beer.

The first taste was extremely unique. The flavors are so complex but yet so familiar. I first taste the light flavors of a mead then sweetness followed by sharp bitter chilli and a taste I've never had - this must be that Anatto (whatever that is). I saw the travel channel's show where they went to Dogfish Head and showed them making Theobroma. They discussed the history of this brew. I really wanted to pull mine out but I knew it wouldn't be cold before the show was over. Funny there it looked blood red. I think they said the Anatto was some sort of tree bark.

The mouthfeel is extremely light. There is a lot of carbonation. The alcohol makes this slick but not overly viscous.

At 9% alcohol this beer has some definate kick so watch out. I would not, under any circumstances, open more than one of these at a time. It's tasty but I feel like I've been there and done that. I won't seach this out again but if it's on the menu at a beer bar down the road who knows - I might feel like one.

02-01-2009 02:29:23 | More by PerzentRizen
Photo of Thefinerthings


4.43/5  rDev +15.1%

Saved this one for a rainy day.

A:Very unique color, orange and very bright. Great white head, very clean for this type of brew.

S: Very complex aroma. Fruity with a distinct chile sweetness. User BMONEY575 hit is right on the head with "peanut butter and jelly sandwich.Veyr impressed thus far.

T:Light and fruity upfront, which was surprising. A little sweetness and coco follows as it finishes. No alcohol taste and lighter than expected for the ingredient list.

M: Good, but light. Almost has more of a fruit juice feel to it than beer.

D: Very good drinkability, smooth and light. I will be honest though I split the bottle with a friend so I did nt drink a whole lot.

Overall I was very happy with this choice. I would purchase it again if the price would go down a little.

01-26-2009 05:11:09 | More by Thefinerthings
Photo of kasper

New York

3.88/5  rDev +0.8%

A: Cloudy from the side; transparent from top down after the fluffy off-white head quickly recedes, leaving dotted lacing around the glass.

S: Sweet and spicy. Honey accented malt. Some yeast. And some sharp spice. Underlying hints of velvety cocoa throughout. Powdery cocoa aromas.

T: Sweet and malty, flavors of honey followed by a powdery cocoa that fades into a spicy finish that catches you by surprise a few seconds after the swallow. You can feel a bit of a burn it in the nose and on the tongue from the chili peppers.

M: Low carbonation and smooth like DFH Midas Touch.

D: Drinkability is OK, as the spice hides the alcohol well though I'd be hard pressed to do more than split a bottle with someone.

01-25-2009 18:34:03 | More by kasper
Photo of Beertracker


3.98/5  rDev +3.4%

Dogfish Head Theobroma pours up slightly heavy with a wispy thin creamish-white head that barely rings the slightly hazy deep golden-sunset body. The honeyish nose is very pleasant with a ripe fruitiness (apricot preserves, golden raisins, honeydew melon, etc...) followed by some floral (annatto, hibiscus, geranium) notes & spices (cassia, cumin, nutmeg). Just a hint cocoa, coffee, vanilla which all add to the overall complexity. I'm not really picking up any chilies? The flavor is characterized by a toasted biscuit maltiness that fully supports the underlying honey-chocolate tinged sweetness which is marked by a perfect amount of spicy bitterness. The annatto & chilies combine to create a unique, warming finish. The heat from the chilies actually warms the throat & excites the taste buds! This medium-full bodied SHV beer has a moderate carbonation, creamy & smooth. Good texture/mouthfeel. Theobroma is surprisingly drinkable for its strength, but disappears altogether too quickly. Here's to the "food of the Gods!"

CHEERS! Beertracker

Trader's Note: Thanks goes out to CrellMoset for the opportunity!

01-24-2009 05:56:10 | More by Beertracker
Photo of caminiti

New York

4.97/5  rDev +29.1%

best beer ever.
Pretty much, in my opinion.
Poured a crisp gold or honey color, not at all what I expected, which was somewhat darker. Slight head that almost immediately vanished. The smell was crisp cocoa, not chocolate, and not soon forgotten. Taste was a crisp very lightly sweet, a little honey, then cocoa, again, not the sweet cocoa, though. Crisp on the tongue, and real easy to drink, disquises the alcohol content. If it wasnt so damn expensive (about $13 at Westmere Bev in Albany) I would drink it every night, and now I cant even find it.
In a word, bestbeerever.

01-22-2009 22:29:15 | More by caminiti
Photo of treehugger02010


3.7/5  rDev -3.9%

My friend got a bottle of this and we split is, pouring it into pint glasses.
Appearance: The body is a light brown, cloudy, color that is topped with a very small head that left no lacing.
Smell: The aroma is very sweet, I smelt mostly fruits like figs.
Taste: The flavor was again very sweet, but a more honey focused taste. I felt like this was very meady.
Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is very crisp.
Drinkability: This is certainly a great beer. I was expecting chocolate and didn't get any, and I was expecting more roast and didn't get any.
Don't drink and review.

01-20-2009 01:17:54 | More by treehugger02010
Photo of midaszero


3/5  rDev -22.1%

A - Cloudy orange amber body with one finger of white head that leaves good lacing

S - Chocolate, random fruits, and honey

T - mix of honey and chocolate and some fruity notes that are a little musky. Little chili burn in the back

M - Medium body with light carbonation

D - Expected more chocolate. Interesting but not sure I would buy it again

01-18-2009 22:50:06 | More by midaszero
Photo of BMoney575


3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Sampled on 1-2-09
Reviewed from notes.

A: Very cool neon orange color with a big white head and a few little yeast floaties.

S: Complex, lots of light fruit, the distinct aroma of a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich, and chile sweetness in the back.

T: A huge light grape flavor hits at first, followed by the same chile sweetness as the smell. No alcohol is perceptible at all, which is strange for what seems to be a thinner, lighter beer.

M: Thin, but right for the flavors. Becomes slightly acidic the more you drink.

D: Good, the flavor is so different it's a refreshing change.

01-18-2009 20:56:05 | More by BMoney575
Photo of Reagan1984


4.38/5  rDev +13.8%

First big thanks to Channon for providing this in a recent trade. Thanks man!!

I have no idea what to expect, yet I have a complete image in my head. Does that make sense?

Bang, the beer is lighter in color than I had imagined.. A honey gold color with nice clarity and virtually no carbonation. The head was really spot on with about 2 fingers of off white foam... Actually an interesting color head. Not brown, not beige.... But something more than off white.. Some spotty lacing... Not much.

I get three things in the aroma... Earth, cocoa powder and some spice that I can't pinpoint.. Not so sweet... But something.... A sense of pepper spice.... But very subtle. Nice aroma.

Wow, very nice....Cocoa powder....cocoa powder....cocoa powder.... Just enough sweetness to make it work... I think it's the honey that provides the right balance... Lighter in flavor than I imagined.... There is the lightest touch of spice... This is what I would describe as white pepper despite knowing that there are real ancho chiles in here.. Just a touch of heat in the background. What great balance.

Mouthfeel is actually bright and body is fairly light.... Very drinkable... I will look for another bottle of this... Very interesting...

Cheers to DFH on this one...

01-17-2009 21:44:45 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of dancinwillie


3.55/5  rDev -7.8%

My 100th review. Picked at random out of my dedicated beer refrigerator.

Big bottle. Going to review the first glass, and enjoy the second with homemade soup that I made with NG Fat Squirrel.

Wow! Surprised at the light color. From the ingredients listed on the bottle, cocoa nibs, cocoa powder, ancho chilies, etc., I thought this was going to be a dark concoction. No matter. A light to medium amber, with a a fluffy, soft white head. Big bubbles are bursting every second or so. Head has dropped to a scant covering. No lacing to speak of. A very small, almost invisible, amount of particles are suspended within.

Aroma is mainly a rich malt scent. Might be getting some soft chocolate notes. Other than that, smells a bit foreign to me.

Sweet up front. Really sweet. Honey forward, some chocolate. On second thought, yes, honey is prominent, but the chocolate really comes through too. I have no idea what cocoa nibs are, but cocoa powder fits the taste. Getting a lot of a cocoa taste, and it does in fact seem "powdery." Of course ancho chiles are somewhat chocolate like in flavor as well, some very mild spiciness here too. All in all, a very interesting beer. Some strong bitterness up front is detected as well, in retrospect. I'm not tasting the alcohol, but am getting some warming in my chest. As I continue with mouthfeel, and drinkability, I find myself coming back to taste, as the heat comes forward a little as the beer warms. Not really "extreme," yet still a bit startling in flavor.

Slightly thin mouthfeel, which seems appropriate. I say "seems" because there is really nothing I have to go on here. This is a different beer, to be sure. The honey helps give this beer a dry finish.

I can't see myself drinking too much of this beer. It's not bad, but it's very different than I'm used to. Maybe that's not such a bad thing, but only time will tell. Original, and that counts for quite a bit in my book. Dogfish Head isn't scared of taking chances. You can't say that about many breweries, can you?

01-16-2009 00:53:30 | More by dancinwillie
Photo of ckeegan04


4.03/5  rDev +4.7%

A - Rather clear golden honey color with a very big off-white head. Decent retention but very little lacing.

S - Sweet aroma of honey dominates with hints of chocolate. Also has a very subtle green chile aroma. Very interesting smelling brew.

T - Rather sweet initially with lots of honey and a little candy sugar. A light spice lingers underneath but is not very strong at all. The chocolate comes through with a silky smooth milk chocolate taste. Also a nice taste of nutmeg and/or allspice is present.

M/D - Medium bodied and very crisp and clean. Goes down very easy and alcohol is well masked. A very interesting brew once again from DFH. Certianl worth a try at least once.

01-12-2009 21:52:19 | More by ckeegan04
Photo of BretSikkink


3.95/5  rDev +2.6%

Golden-amber color, tiny bubbles moving upwards through a light haze. Not much head, just a little white collar. Not much lacing. (The bottle cap came off too easily, I'm afriad I lost some carbonation on this one.)

The nose is fruity, a bit like grape juice. Other notes include pepper, honey, and, with warmth, a little cocoa powder.

The honey is quite clear in the flavor as well - a bit like a mead. Lots of fruit, and a little malty. Slightly nutty, with nutmeg, spicy, and a lightly sweet, white chocolate-like finish.

The mouthfeel is smooth, a little slick. Medium mouthfeel, although once again I'm thinking it's a little slicker than it ought to be. The carbonation just isn't quite there.

Very unusual, and with the power of suggestion and a little warming, each of the disparate ingredients can definitely be tasted. I don't love it, but I'm always glad to try what Dogfish Head has up its sleeve.

01-12-2009 04:13:40 | More by BretSikkink
Theobroma from Dogfish Head Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 1,908 ratings.