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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 a77cj7
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of tappangordo
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%

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3.89/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of NSXAG
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

Dogfish Head - Theobroma [Ale Brewed With Honey, Cocoa Nibs, Cocoa Powder, Ancho Chilies & Ground Annatto] (750ml ---> Dogfish Head Curved Pint Glass : 9% ABV)

It's not how it looks, it's how it drives... An analogy I often apply to to choosing a bomber, but sometimes something is just too aesthetically intriguing to pass up, which is the case in point, and I ended up with the DFH's "Theobroma..." When I popped the cap, it seemed there was a fair amount of carbonation built up as the "pop" was mighty loud, but there was no foaming of any sort... It poured fairly light, with healthily active 2.5 inch head that's assisted by a decent amount of carbonation... It's a deep gold, almost orange, with quite a bit of sediment hanging about in there, but the beer itself isn't extremely hazy... The cocoa is the first aroma, but much lighter in presence than I had expected, as well as honey mixed amongst it also... A very light earthy, spicy bitterness hits the palate as the beer first enters your mouth, trailed by tastes that match the aromas... The cocoa isn't overbearing, and the beer is much more savory than I had assumed after pouring it... The finish is dry, but still very smooth as the ancho chilies give an amazing and extremely approachable amount of heat to the cocoa elements... The mouthfeel is great and acts as a fantastic platform to allow this beer to shine and accompanies each facet of the beer nicely... Overall this beer is surpassing my expectations on many levels, and I'm impressed at the amount of complexity this beer offers while still remaining extremely approachable to a variety of craft brew seekers... It's not how it looks, it's how it drives - and she drives quite nicely... Another great brew - Cheers!!

Photo of Techichi
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

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3.88/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Lucoli
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

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4/5  rDev +3.6%

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4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of CTFalcon
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of dmheinz57
3/5  rDev -22.3%

Photo of Culley
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.34/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

A: Cloudy orange-brown, a steady carbonation stream when poured but absent by the end. Plenty of sediment junk floating around. A white gravelly head appears but quickly bursts, leaving no trace or lace.

S: Chalk? Mineral aromas produced by the yeast dominate this simple and unappealing sense, a touch of quad-like plum/date. A bit of orange redeems it. Chili is well in the background, mostly detectable by the very trace burn.

T: Same minerality, an extra touch of sweetness, mild orange, chili finally coming into its own. Chocolate is a minor, minor, player. Real flavors finally coming through. It's better than the smell, but not what I was expecting. At all.

M: Light, good carbonation. Astringent finish.

O: I expected the usual stylized Dogfish Head brew, rife with flavor and only subtle beer hints. What I got was the opposite, a chalky beer with only subtle hints of what was advertised. On the verge of being a bad beer. Don't know what happened here.

Photo of SteveD082791
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of jmryan8
4.75/5  rDev +23.1%

Photo of dannyfayy
3/5  rDev -22.3%

Photo of Bpc24
3.64/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Giant Eagle Hermitage last week. Split with my husband and poured into my FFF fancy glass.

A- Body is a very hazy light copper color. Pours with a 1 finger or so soapy white head that quickly fades to a thin collar. Very little lacing is left behind in the glass. Translucency is not uniform and very much alive with some bubbles floating to the top. Some sediment and swirling yeast as well.

S- Nose is faint and offers some orange and honey. I'm really not picking up with the nose. Its nice and soft.

T- Flavor is much more complex than what I pick up in the nose. Orange rind and honey flavors come in up front with chile overtones. Some more chile comes in for the finish but is balanced by more honey, orange, and spices. What lingers is a faint alcohol heat, some chile, a hint of honey and orange, and dark chocolate. Yes...where the chocolate/cocoa comes in here is in the lingering flavor. Rich, dark chocolate.

M- Medium to high tingly carbonation and a medium to heavy weight body with a good smooth body. Just a hint of astringency comes through.

O- Overall- this reminds me most of a wheatwine or braggot. The nose and palate are somewhat soft- but wow the palate is so softly complex. I am a big fan of brews that use chilies peppers-espicially porters/stouts- but this one takes the complexity to a whole new level.

Photo of mchegash
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%

Date: 8/31/2014
Other notes: Bottling date looks to be Jan 2014

Appearance - 4.25/5
Pours a light orange color. The beer would be fairly clear, but there are tons and tons of particles in the beer. But I assume this is part of the style, and actually adds to the beers appeal IMO. After settling in the glass after a minute, there is no head to be seen at all. Lots of carbonation bubbles can be seen rising through the beer. I'd say what I like about the look of this beer is the color, and the intrigue. Perhaps the intrigue though is less of from the look, and more of just from really being curious about what this 'Ancient Ale' tastes like.

Smell - 4.25/5
Smells of orange, honey, alcohol, a little bit of (chile?) spice and chocolate. Also some other hard to describe smells which I assume are some of the unique ingrediants which I am not familiar with. Overall, I really like the smell. It is very intriguing and makes me want to drink

Taste - 4.5/5
The main taste I get is the honey-orange taste. The spice is not nearly as strong as I was expecting. Although I found that after drinking more, you can soon feel the spice (very mildly) burn a little bit in the back of your throat. I know this is supposed to be a chocolate beverage, but I am having difficulty detecting that. I think perhaps it's because it's not the chocolately taste which I am used to, but rather more of an ancient chocolate taste, that is to say--cocoa/cacao. After thinking about what I think cocoa would taste like, I think I can detect it. And I think the sweet honey flavor I was describing which went along with the orange flavor, is really a combination of the honey and the cocoa. I really like the complexities of the taste, and there is a lot going on in this beer. Overall, the taste of the beer is hard for me to explain, since I have never tasted anything like this before, but I really like the taste and think it is delicious. Not something I would have all the time--but I don't think that's the point of this beer. The point is to create an experience. To taste what this ancient beverage of the Americas would mostly likely have tasted like. And given that purpose, I think it succeeds well (of course, not being 3000 years old, I have no way of actually knowing how close to the taste of the original beverage this is).

Mouthfeel - 4/5
The beer is fairly light in body. The carbonation is light. the feel is in between crisp and creamy. I like the tingling spicy sensation which occurs in my mouth and throat. The spice is very low (for my palate, at least), and so it's not at all overpowering, but rather really enhances the taste and the mouthfeel.

Overall - 4.6/5
Overall, this beer was not exactly what I was expecting. Yet at the same time I really had no idea what to expect. I thought this was a great beer, and definitely something I would get again in the future, or would recommend to others. I totally love the idea of the 'Ancient Ale' series which Dogfish Head has been doing. I have not had any of the other ancient ales yet, but this beer really makes me want to try and find others (I know I saw another one at the local beer store which I will probably pick up soon)

Weighting: Appearance 15%, Smell 15%, Taste 35%, Mouthfeel 15%, Overall 20%

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4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

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