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Theobroma - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.

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very good

2,111 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,111
Reviews: 768
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 15.03%
Wants: 232
Gots: 292 | 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:
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,111 | Reviews: 768 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kegger22
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Dogfish Head Theobroma poured a dark amber with a one inch, cream color head that rapidly faded to a collar.

I was unable to get any aroma out of TheoB.

The flavor I found to be rather complex. While I got very little chili pepper, until the after taste kicked in, a number of other flavors teased the tongue including chocolate & honey; but none could dictate the flavor by itself.

The mouth feel was medium bodied, oily and adequately carbonated.

Drinkability was OK. The beer was good, but a little bit went a long way, 25 oz was more than enough.

Overall, I liked it well enough. A little gimmicky, but fun to have tried. The price tag pushes Theobroma out of contention for sampling again.

After having finished the bomber, the chili's begin, in earnest, to make their presence known.

Photo of nukem5
4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

"Food of the Gods" for sure!!! I split a bottle with a friend and we both enjoyed the sweetness of the honey and cocoa nibs at the front and the zestiness of the chilies on the back end they are a wonderful compliment to one another. Def one great beer to seek out and enjoy.Love the artwork on the bottle as well. From the cork finish to the final drop... yum

Photo of Phyl21ca
2.53/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle: Poured a light golden color ale with a medium pure white foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of Chiles and staled grain is not as interesting as I had expected. Taste is more geared toward Chiles then anything else and chocolate notes are very hard to distinguish. Body is about average with OK carbonation and no sign of alcohol. I kind of understand the experience but I am not sure why someone would want to drink this more then once.

Photo of koopa
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml caged and corked bottle.

Appearance: Pours a translucent orange tinge body with a 1 finger off white crown that shows some retention and lace.

Smell: Honey sweet malt, ancho chillies, and a hint of cocoa powder.

Taste: Same as nose but in the flavor profile the cocoa is more pronounced and the chillies are more subdued.

Mouthfeel: Medium and crisp.

Drinkability: Not bad considering the strength.

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

Bottle into a Pint Glass

A: Orange/Amber. Not the color I expected for a Chocolate Chile beer. Small white head that faded quickly.

S: The most satisfying aspect of the beer. Sweet, spicy, and smokey all at once. It smells very very nice.

T: A huge letdown. After the nose, I expected big flavors, but they just aren't there. The malts are very muted, and the chiles don't come on until late. Leaves a spicy/tingly aftertaste, which is the most interesting part of the taste for this brew.

M: Very thin, low carbonation. Would have liked something more substantial.

D: A person could easily drink the whole bottle. Not challenging or filling at all.

I really really wanted to like this one, as the 'Ancient Ale' aspect is very interesting to me. In the end, this beer bored me. It isn't bad, but I found it to be too tame.

The cocoa is tough to find, and the chiles just don't fill the void. Oh well, I still love DFH, but I won't be seeking this out again.

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

A very colorful and classy bottle.

Pale golden in color, zippy carbs, soft, white very fine bubbles, nice hearty look.

The aroma is peppery, zesty with big yeast aroma's green and dried herbs, soft and spicey heat. you can easily smell th chili's with some soft cocoa notes too.

The Chili's come off zesty and hot but does not totally dominate the flavor spectrum, this is easily one of the best uses of Chili's in a beer that I've had. a light, crispy malt hold down the fort just fine and on the light side of medium bodied feel the peppery, herbal effects are all within good balance of the light malt. Good complexity here with a lot going on.

A bit hot on the palate, but it's complexity elps. Go exlpore!

Photo of beerthulhu
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a rustic-orange with a medium-heavy turbidity of micro yeast particles that distorted visual conception of objects through the glass. The capping was a light beige color, flat and creamy, but only moderatly lasting, lapsing to a thin skim covering. Visible carbonation was medium, composed of several broken strands of carbonation streams that rose at a moderate pace. No lacing was left, only a thickened accumulation around the outer ring of the glass. The foggy thick turbid nature was a nice visual to behold and made amends for the short lived head.

S: An orange candy sweetness was the first thing to come to mind experiencing the nose, which was most likely attributed by the honey. I had trouble picking up the scents of the cocoa spicing but the ancho chilies did manage to come through ever so slightly providing a light spicy scent. I also picked up soft orange grinds. The presentation was soft and very smooth.

T: The flavor was sweet honey bread with a light cocoa spicing. There was a powdery presence of cocoa that combined nicely with the ancho chilies giving a nice peppery spiciness (both green and black). The were strong notes of honey and candy sweetness with a lightly glazed toast malting with perhaps some apricots. The flavor was truly one of an unique experience and one that gave me trouble trying to convey what I was tasting. The beer finishes up wit a good peppery nature upon the swallow. The cocoa powder and nibs was not as strong or noticeable as I expected considering the labels emphasis. It almost reminded me a bit of Fantome's Chocolate where the cocoa was sparingly used to suggest added awareness.

M: The mouthful was thick and syrupy with a honey consistency. Perhaps the best way to convey it is comparing it to a mouthful of maple syrup and pancakes. A good deal of carbonation is detected as well a slight alcohol presence with an increasing awarenss of the chilies the longer you hold this on your tongue which perfectly balanced the sweet quality. The closing finds a good peppery fade, again both of green and black.

D: Drinks like a whimsical Fantome Saison (which of course is a very good thing). The abv of 9.0% is incredibly well hidden and will keep you sipping trying to decipher exactly what you are tasting. An unique experience and one that should not be missed. A bomber is the perfect serving and chances are you will seek out more with every sip and drink bringing on a new experience.

Photo of goldbot
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL, bottled in 2009.

Pours golden orange, hazy, with lots of thick, slightly off-white head. Decent carbonation visible. A lot lighter than was expected.

Very malty aromas with lots of corn and grain present. Slight spice noted as well. Very muted smell for the ingredient list here. I was rather disappointing in this beer at this point.

The taste sets this beer apart. It is brilliant compared to the blah appearance and aroma. Very chocolaty and rich. Nice wheaty-malt sweetness present, with hints of coffee and caramel. Finishes with great floral, hoppy bitterness. The chile taste and heat is detectable after the finish. Overall lots of balance between all of the ingredients.

Full body, much thicker than expected from the appearance.

This beer was a pleasant surprise for me. After reading the description, I was expecting (or at least hoping) for an extremely bold, bitter, complex, spicy beer. What surprised me was the rather muted colors and smells, and the taste was also more forgiving than I expected. However, it is still extremely complex. One of the better tasting beers I've had for sure; it's great to find something that is just a completely new experience.

Photo of Minotaur
4.77/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A snowy night and a bottle of aged Theobroma. With the ingredient list the expectation is of a chocolaty dark beer. Poured into a tulip glass.

Instead it is a orange amber with a half a finger head that quickly evaporates, only leaving a thin lacing. Bubbles persist through out the glass.

The aroma is sweet and thick: it has a distinctly tropical - muted mango like, with the slightly spicy pepper smell.

The taste is wholly unique. It is mead-like, with plantain-banana flavors. There is a persistence of alcohol but it all appears very mild. The cocoa taste provides a thick body and bitterness beneath the honey flavor; there is some semblance to mead but it is distinctly beer-like in mouthfeel and consistency. As you drink down the glass the rich chocolate taste becomes more pronounced and heavier on the tongue, but it is a bitter and mellow flavor: not as sweet as the aroma. The pepper zip kicks in on the back of the tongue. While I often drink big beers, this one is hitting like a hammer.

This beer is luxurious, unique and amazingly well crafted. It is for slow sipping but the sparkling, sweet nature of it also makes it highly drinkable.

Photo of ClavisAurea
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter.

Appearance: Poured crystal clear with a slight head that collected around the exterior of the glass. Color is honey amber.

Nose: Candi sugar, saltwater taffy, spice cake

Taste: spicy, carbonated, small hops finish, alcohol, warming chilies in the deep finish

Mouthfeel: clean and fresh

Drinkability: this is a wonderful creation like all of Dogfish Head's ancient beer creations. This needs to be drank with a traditional spicy Latin American meal.

Photo of alleykatking
3.67/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle. Part of the mini-tasting this past weekend.

A- Poured a clear golden orange color. One finger white head dies down and leaves no lacing at all. Kind of a bland looking beer.

S- The aroma I thought was a little muted and underwhelming. There was the light sweetness from the cocoa nibs and honey and some light fruit smells. The spices I thought were the most uhm...headstrong in the aroma.

T- This beer does better in the taste than in the smell that's for sure. The front end of this is more of the sweet side of things. The honey and coca you can taste along with some fruits in the middle. The tail end has the spices and pepper come in along with the cocoa once again. Not super balanced I didn't think but it did come together somewhat nicely in the taste.

M- Medium light mouthfeel. Carbonation is well good I suppose for this beer. Sweet honey, cocoa, and pepper is what is left on the palate and in the aftertaste. Although the body was light it had a heavier feel to it at times.

D- Interesting take on some old world alcoholic drnk. Dogfish Head is always pushing the envelope with these styles. Not saying that it is a altogether good thing but also it's not a bad thing at the same time.

Photo of MetalHopHead6
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dogfish Head Theobroma poured dark amber/orange with a one-finger white head that immediately disappeared. It left nothing on the glass. The color was bright and deep; however the appearance was otherwise flat.

The smell and flavor were sweet and fruity with a slightly spicy finish. The feel was rich and thick and it was a pleasure to sip. I left it out of the refrigerator after the first pour and the flavor intensified as it warmed. This was a very tasty ale.

I expected Theobroma to be a creamy chocolate beer; however it was rather light, fruity, and crisp. The high alcohol content provided a nice warmth--this is a great winter warmer and would make a great seasonal brew. I was pleasantly surprised and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Photo of Mora2000
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this bottle. Pours golden orange with a small white head. Aroma is lots of fruit, but not the chocolate I was expecting. The taste is also mainly fruit with mango and pear. Maybe a little cocoa, but not very much if any at all. Finishes very dry.

Photo of cvfish
3.17/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - This beer poured a golden orange color that produced a foamy white head that quickly disappeared and left no trace of lace along the side of the glass

S - The aroma produced by this beer was quite underwhelming, especially with reading the label of this beer before smelling, fruity and spicy, but herbal spicy and not chile spicy

T - The taste of this beer was an awkward mix of sweet and heat, honey and anchos are usually a winning combination for me, but in this beer it did not mix well, oh, and where the hell was the chocolate?

M - The mouthfeel of this beer had a medium body and a light amount of carbonation

D - This beer was a huge letdown for me, maybe because I had a predetermined idea of this beer in my head, but it was nothing like what I imagined, especially for a beer whose label has a woman pouring chocolate down her breasts

Photo of Stigs
3.72/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750ml bottle served in a red wine glass

A - fizzy off the pour, thin layer of loose white foam which fell to only a small floating mound in the middle of the glass.lots of active bubbling in this medium to dark golden, clear liquid.

S - lots of honey right off the bat, immediately followed by some light sweet cocoa, orange zest, coriander, a distinct rye like spiciness, and cinnamon. lovely and unique.

T - very sweet honey and cane sugar before various spices kick in, cinnamon, honey, white grapes, tangy rye, and finishes with a very subtle (hot) pepper spice. aftertaste reminds me a lot of Midas Touch with honey and grapes. wish the chocolate was just a little more predominant.

M - medium carbonation and a thick syrupy body. delivers a nice active wave of flavors and finishes a little chewy with a very pleasant aftertaste.

D - quite unique but also maybe a tad underdone, not as extreme as the label reads especially for Dogfish. a good late night sipper, or precursor to something bolder and heavier.

my bro-in-law summed it up nicely...the equivalent to mole` in a bottle.

Photo of darklordlager
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A:Pours a bright tangerine colour, with a bright white head that fades quickly. Bubbles constantly launch themselves up from the bottom cascading to the top.

S:Strong cocoa, and a rye-like smell are the first things noticed. Perhaps a bit of spice is in there somewhere, but the principle scents are cocoa and that earthy rye-like smell. Pale malt (cereal), perfumey floral scent.

T: cocoa, rye, floral taste, nutty, peppery. Some alcohol heat in the finish, partially masked by a nice residual chile flavour. Very floral aftertaste, tastes like juniper. As it warms, more spices take hold--ginger, cinnamon.

M:Medium to light bodies and well carbonated. Even near room temp the chile keeps the alcohol hidden.

D: Awesome blend of interesting flavours.

Photo of damndirtyape
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 2009 - served into a tall pilsner glass.

Appearance: Slightly cloudy copper-orange color. Off-white foam that died down to a consistent 1/8" head across the top as I drank it down. Lots of bubbles coming up through the beer the whole time.

Smell: I get orange and sweet, maybe a tiny hint of cocoa. It's appealing, I just can't place what it is exactly. Good enough to make me inhale deeply and then want a sip.

Taste: First I get the spicy heat, then cocoa powder at the end followed by more spicy heat. Very smooth and perfectly blended. At 9% ABV the alcohol is very well hidden but you can feel it sneaking up on you even if you don't taste it. It's really a wild taste for a beer, and you could argue that it's more of a malt beverage but who cares. At this tasty I don't care what you call it. It is narrow in its flavor complexity, so I can't rate it a 5, but I am enjoying it.

Mouthfeel: This one is interesting in that the spiciness on the tongue by the carbonation is also supplemented by the spiciness of the beer itself on the entire mouth. Otherwise just thick enough to coat everything going down, maybe even I get what some people call "chewy" in a swallow of this stuff.

Drinkability: At 9% ABV I don't feel right rating it highest, but man it's tasty and goes down smooth and quickly. Really an enjoyable experience, and indeed, the beer is an experience because it is so unusual. However I know that I really love spicy food so I suspect that is clouding my judgment a little bit on this one. Still, I think it's worth trying and savoring and I could see myself trying it again sometime, but not in the same night.

Photo of bob3701
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass. Cloudy straw amber color with a nice thick head that quickly goes away. No real lacing. The aroma of this tells you that you are holding something freaky (which is not a bad thing). First sip felt like popping a Jolly Rancher in your mouth but then your taste buds discover cocca and soon your tongue is tingling with the soft heat of the chillies. Drinking this was an experiance, an enjoyable one at that. This isn't a brew you can drink a lot of but I am thankful for the experiance. Sipping history.

Photo of donkeyrunner
2.29/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Cloudy peach fuzz color. Thin white head that is quick to skim and vanish. Looks heavy and lifeless. Honey, nectarine and mild boozey aroma. Pretty bland for such a grocery list of special ingredients.

Orange flavor ice with a chilis for balance. Pulpy mouthfeel. Again, really bland for such a shopping list of special ingredients.

Where are all these special ingredients? I get the honey, I get the chilis, but where's everything else? For a beer that claims to be "a recreation of the premier chocolate beverage of the Americas" this beer has as much chocolate as a pickle.

Pricey drainpour.

Photo of brentk56
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a rocky head; average retention and a few squiggles of lace here and there

Smell: Clearly meadlike, with plenty of honey, and the cocoa powder is also discernable

Taste: Sweet, graham cracker malt and vanilla, up front, with a growing honey character; by mid-palate, the malted milk and ancho chile flavors arrive in force; cannot detect the nutmeggy annatto flavor other than through the power of suggestion; after the swallow, the chile and chocolate flavors persist and blend with the honey; memorably hot finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body; rather creamy; with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Interesting how the hotness of the chile takes on the role of the bitterness of the hops in modern beers; worth a try but not sure I would want to re-visit very often

Photo of rootbeerman
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: amber honey. very thin head, due to a bad pour.
S: honey, very very light chocolate. no hops or malt
T: honey is very powerful upfront, with chocolate in the middle favors, and the chiles coming in the aftertaste. the peppers and chocolate become even more prominent as it warms up.
M: light carbonation, with a thickness like watery honey.
D: not a sit down and have "a few" beer.

Photo of Slatetank
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked this up at Atlantic Liquors in Rehoboth Beach, DE. Poured chilled from the 750ml into a willybecker.

A - A light russet amber which is mildly hazed w/ rocky eggshell head. The bead is unevenly sized w/ mild lace stickage

S - A light fruity scent of honey w/ subtle fruit nose w/ light toast and hint of pepper w/ a floral accent

M - The feel is light for the strength w/ creamy and fruity tinges and mild heat of alcohol and spice. The gentle toast texture and light caramel smoothness comes through as it finishes

T - The flavor has light chile notes and mild floral honey flavor w/ a nutty cocoa tinge w/ slight creamy yeast taste. The flavor of honey is prominent w/ a light floral hint which seems to segue into the chili taste that is slightly spicy and also gives a light tingle in the back of the throat.
The cocoa is more floral and nutty than roasted. Theobroma has a slightly crisp taste w/ dry effect of the honey and spice adding a nice sweet/spicy counterpoint in the flavor. A nice balance and complex with a sweet overtone. The cool thing about the flavor to me is how the chile is the star and the cocoa really plays as anchor w/ the honey

D - One of the best 'experiments'w/ honey, cocoa and chile to me. The taste has great interplay yet still is a drinkable beer I could enjoy this frequently and think anyone who likes honey and chile together would enjoy it. I find the mix of sweet/spicy in flavor/feel/aroma interesting-highly drinkable!

Photo of davexisxrabid
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a wine glass. Produced a nice clear golden color, with a fluffy two inch head. Poor retention, not much lacing.

Sweet clover honey and floral aroma. A nice spicy hint is wrapped up in there.

Flavor up front is reminiscent of a mead; sweet honey with a wheat backbone and a nice spicy flavor from beginning to end. Complex to say the least. A slight chocolate flavor at the end.

Medium bodied, not too thick. The spice is not overpowering and everything seems balanced.

Could probably have more than one. High abv is probably the only thing that keeps it form being a session brew. Definitely different, but overall a good chile beer.

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

(Served in a snifter)
A- This beer pour a warm orange clear body with a sea of tiny bubbles supporting a tan cream/bubbly head.
S- This beer has a soft banana honey aroma that turns into dry apricots qualities. There is a slight musty roasted cocoa nibs note in the finish.
T- This beer has a soft pale malt and corn faintness with a warm finish of raw grain. There is a soft chocolate note that follows with a red chili pepper note.
M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a tight fizz and no alcohol heat until it warms a bit then the burn of chili pepper adds to the alcohol heat.
D- This beer has a light flavor with a soft chili heat at the finish. There is a smooth quality with not much alcohol heat and a faint fruity quality that is interesting in the mix. Interesting experiment not necessarily a good drink.

Photo of rramis
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-poured in a snifter. Golden in color with a hint brown. About a quarter inch head, white, disolved fairly quick.

S-candy like, chocolate hints, very light.

T-light hint of chocolate. Like almost the first taste of hot chocolate. Very light carbonation. As it hit the back of your mouth you can taste the ancho chilies as well down your throat. Swish it alittle and you get the honey taste.

M- light carbonation, slightly sweet with a following of warmth. Nice transition.

D-a drinkable ale. Very surprising to the palate. Something I would have again.

Serving type-tap

Had it at Redlight Redlight

Theobroma from Dogfish Head Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 2,111 ratings.