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Theobroma - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.

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very good

2,074 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,074
Reviews: 762
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 15.03%
Wants: 212
Gots: 267 | 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)
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Ratings: 2,074 | Reviews: 762 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Kegatron
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ the Copper Mine Pub (North Arlington, NJ) on 7/24/09. 8 oz pour served in a Chimay glass.

Pours a slightly hazy coppery amber, with a big foamy finger off-white head. Retains around the edges, with some thin wisps in the center, leaving some solid spotty lacing back. The aroma is sweetly spicy in the nose, with notes of cocoa, honey, citrus, and finally, a tickle of chile powder. There is a certains denseness to the nose here, but it is in no way indicitive of the higher ABV that is present.

The taste is cocoa and honey that combine to give this a sticky sweet base, with some additional fruity esters mixing in. The chiles catch fire in the finish, really putting a fairly intense dry lingering spiciness on the palate. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a slick and relatively lower feeling carbonation in the mouth, which compliments the bulk of the sweetness in this. Also, the ABV is extremely well hid in this. There a bit of heft but this is definitely a steady sipper.

I always find it interesting that Dogfish comes up with these wacky extreme beers that always (for good or bad) seem to end up tasting just the way they were shooting for. This is no different, with honey, cocoa, and chile all prominently being on display. Tasty stuff!

Photo of Pencible
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This poured a clear dark gold with lots of quickly dying off-white head. It smelled like mild copper hops and dirty barley malt, with a bit of earthy chile peppers. It tasted like earthy caramel malt with rusty copper hops and sweet creamy yeast and cocoa powder, with a bit of chile peppers and must. It was slightly thick with a bit of carbonation, and had a mild aftertaste. Overall this beer definitely tasted like it was brewed from an ancient recipe. It was very interesting to try once, with nice cocoa subtleties. It had solid body and hid the alcohol well. But the flavor wasn't the cleanest or as succulent as I hoped, instead becoming pretty dull after about half the glass. So finishing the bottle was actually somewhat tedious. Novelty more than quality or drinkability.

Photo of hossua34
3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Much lighter in appearance than one might expect. A crisp amber-gold that is slightly cloudy. A lively foam head forms but disappears entirely almost immediately.

A complex, sweet smell with notes of chocolate, honey, bananas and a slight spicy note hiding beneath. Not overpowering at all.

There are so many layers to the taste of this beer it is not even funny. The first impression is a very sweet, almost candy-like cocoa and grape flavor. This fades quickly into an extremely sweet and warming rush of alcohol, which slowly fades into a pleasant, spicy herbal aftertaste. Lots of different tastes to pick up on here, and I've never tasted a beer that changes in taste so dramatically as it goes down. It's interesting, but I'm not sure if I like it or not.

The carbonation goes away so quickly it is almost like drinking a very heavy, flat beer. Certainly a thick feel to it.

To be honest, I will probably have trouble finishing the bottle. The alcohol and the chiles combined make it an EXTREMELY warming brew, and I can already feel it filling my stomach. Not that drinkable. To be enjoyed in moderation.

I was so intrigued by this supposedly ancient recipe that I had to try it out. I'm not sure I would buy it again. Between the high price tag, and the extremity of its flavors, it definitely strikes me as a novelty brew as opposed to something one would regularly drink.

Photo of CheckMate
4.72/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle obtained at The Liquor Shoppe in Tygsboro, MA - split with BA MrHurmateeowish. pours a murky amber color with about a half inch of off white head that quickly dissipated. scents of citrus, pineapple, and spices. tastes of pineapple, pepper, chile peppers, vanilla, and banana. moderate to high carbonation. a good tasting beer, i won't lie it's beginning to give me heart burn from the spicy Chile peppers Dogfish Head uses, but it's a really well made beer. after the first sip i was blown away by this beer. the heartburn is worth every sip of the beer.


Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.85/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750ml bottle obtained at the Liquor Shoppe in Tygsboro, MA. Pours a hazy dark golden-amber body with a half inch of off-white head. Aroma consists of pepper, cinnamon-like quality, with chocolate, bubblegum, nut, and banana. Hot pepper, coming off as a cinnamon like quality, with a fair bit of bubblegum, nut, banana, with come cocoa in the undertones, with some notes of fruitiness. Surprisingly light-bodied with ample carbonation. No alcohol flavor or hotness to speak of, but the alcohol effects definitely make themselves known... Dangerously drinkable, unique, and complex - unlike any beer I've had. I definitely am impressed - if only this had been approved for NH! Really really good stuff - another slam-dunk for DFH!

Photo of Tromba
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into a glass goblet (Dogfish "Signature Glass")

A: Much lighter than expected...when you hear chocolate you think dark. The color is a light coppery gold - like dark honey. White head is nice at the pour, and dissipates quickly. No lacing. Slightly hazy.

S: A little bit of cocoa powder, a little bit of chile, and some kind of a grapey-bubblegumy note in there as well.

T: Complex. It took me a while to decipher what I could. There is a burst of sweetness at first with some notes of dark cocoa and something fruity...can't put my finger the fruit(s) though. The sweetness is balanced nicely first by a nice crisp hop bite and then warmed up right away by the chilies. Those Mayans and Aztecs knew what they were doing.

M: Wow. What would be an otherwise typical mouthfeel (bright with good carbonation, a little chewy) is transformed into a truly unique experience by the ancho chilies. You don't notice it at first, but after a few sips, your mouth and throat start to feel the heat and warm-up a bit. It's awesome! The heat balanced with the cool temperature of the beer and it's fruity qualitites is perfect.

D: At 9%, you expect a pretty big beer. Don't get me wrong, this is a big beer...but it doesn't really seem that way while you're drinking it - it goes down fast...be careful!

Note: This beer has the greatest label art I've ever seen.

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

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.

4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of nickfl
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Traquairlover
3.3/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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,

Photo of TheFightfan1
3.33/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of tzieser
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of ABOWMan
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

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

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.

Photo of jgasparine
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

Photo of mikey711
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of Deus1138
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

Photo of CampusCrew
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of rhinos00
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of connecticutpoet
3.28/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of ShogoKawada
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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?

Photo of blackie
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of spwalshesq
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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!

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