Theobroma - Dogfish Head Brewery

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TheobromaTheobroma

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BA SCORE
85
very good

769 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 769
Hads: 2,162
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 13.79%
Wants: 246
Gots: 331 | FT: 1
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!).

8 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 769 | Hads: 2,162
Photo of Brianmerrilyn
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

George Keely's had this on tap and after reading about the ingredients and history, I was sold. There were several other beerk geeks that arrived at the ginmill around the same time in search of this special creation.

A- Poured into a snifter, colar was partially cloudy gold, showing off a thick white finger head. Laced down very fast to the bottom with a 1/4 cap if at all.

S- Much more subdued than I was expecting. The spice for the most part over shadowed the chocolate but there was still a good sweet scent coming into my nostirls.

T-Nothing stood out immediately but the heat from the spices and chili came out first, and as with following the nose, the cocoa and some honey at the end.

M- Overall quite light, the burn is different in that you add the carbonation to the chili's but it does not burn but keeps your mouth warms.

D-Needless to say, this is a first of many for me. It improved vastly with time sitting at the stick looking for my next glass. Overall, I'm proud to have a limited production from Dogfish and won't need to worry about the buying limit. (1,081 characters)

Photo of DrDogbeer
4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had at the Union. Thanks TP!! Poured into a small pint glass. Pours a slightly hazy light orange with a thin off white head. A little fizzy. Smell is very faint. Light amounts of chocolate and some sweet malt. Taste is all over the place- but fantastic. I get some chocolate at first but the mouthfeel is fantastic- very light and fizzy. It is like you cn fel the chiles at work. As the beer warms I get the full complement of flavors-some chocolate, spices, cinamon, chile and even some coffee. How they do all those in a beer that is not a thick, syrupy stout or proter astounds me. Great beer- very original! (611 characters)

Photo of aerozeppl
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Nice hazy golden color. Poured with a finger of white head. No lacing really. Looks almost like a mead.

S: The smell is different. The honey s up front and you do get a bit of chillis in the back. There is some hints of chocolate there.

T: Very sweet up front. Honey really dominates. The chocolate is there. The chilli is not as pronounced as I would like. Totally different than anything else I have ever had.

M: Thick and syrupy. Almost no carbonation.

D: Really weird beer. Glad they went out on a limb to make something like this. I don't know if I would want this all the time but it was good. (606 characters)

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was quite unlike any beer I've ever had, and I still feel ambivalent about it. The beer was an orange color with a small white head. It had a faint cocoa and spice aroma. A cocoa taste with a peppery background. The pepper lingered for a long while, but was not unpleasant. I'd like to try this again. (306 characters)

Photo of shroompod
3.76/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours with a clear orange glow. Decent head, some lacing.

Aroma is very faint , some sweet caramel malts.

I expected this to be over the top on tasting, but it's pretty mild. Slight warming of the mouth with the ancho chillies. Cocoa nibs are used in the brewing but not really discernible to my palate. Overall the spices seem to work together.

Mouthfeel is medium , good carbonation.

Overall a very well done beer. (421 characters)

Photo of ColForbinBC
3.76/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Champagne bottle bomber poured into a pint

A burnt orange body with a thin off-white cap. Streams of carbonation from the bottom to the top. Little to no retention and lacing.

Has a very unique smell to it. Cocoa, ripe fruit, spicey peppers, and a touch of honey. The smell almost turned me off of this one.

The flavors actually work much better together than the aromas. A fruity, cocoa infused, spicy honey ale. The peppers used add a good amount of heat to this beer, and it builds in your mouth over time.

Medium bodied and creamy. Has a billowing feeling in the mouth.

A sipper due to the spicyness, but not at all detracting from the overall experience. A unique beer. (680 characters)

Photo of Jwale73
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to edbeer for sharing this one. Poured a translucent honey gold with a half inch off-white head. Some stringy lacing, but weak legs. Nose is earthy, spicy and cocoalicious. Cocoa character is amplified in the nose as the brew warms. Dominant flavor is cocoa/baker's chocolate (but a little sweeter), as well as honey and a subtle chili spice presence. Mouthfeel fell between light and medium with an even level of carbonation throughout. A truly interesting beer. So much complexity for such a light-bodied/colored brew and character changes as it warms. Well worth a try. (579 characters)

Photo of ThirstyBird
3/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Ed for sharing the 750ml at Track 84
Pretty yellow in color.
Smells of root vegetables mostly beets I think.
Tastes of cocoa...maybe ovaltine, a touch of chili and a little sweetness. honey?
Mouthfeel is medium body. It is very smooth.
Unusual and interesting flavor, but not one that I could deal with on a regular basis. (332 characters)

Photo of drseamus
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice clear amber body with a pretty good white head. Nice uniformly small bubbles in the head.

S: Weird spicy aroma. Not bad, just weird. I think there's some yeasty fruitiness and some spice, maybe the chili but I'm not sure. It slightly reminds me of a tripel.

T: Weird flavor also. Again, not bad, just weird. It is spicy initially but then reminds me heavily of a mead. There must be a good amount of honey in there or perhaps it was added during fermentation. Either way, I get a good amount of honey flavor in it. And it reminds me of a tripel still.

M: Pretty light without a whole lot of malt body at all. The spice and honey makes it a bit heavier than it would be otherwise, but still pretty light bodied.

D: Eh. Nothing special and I can't imagine it would improve much with time but I've been proven wrong by DFH before. (839 characters)

Photo of lackenhauser
3.82/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Somewhat pale in color-I dont know quite what to expect. Sort of a very pale orange/amber color. Ok aroma-quite fruity-blend of lemon and other citrusy smell. Faint whiff of honey. Malty flavor with a fairly high level of sweetness. Honey like flavor in the sweetness. Very, very mild chile flavor. A slight drying taste which I am thinking is off the cocoa. Good mouthfeel-very light bodied. A very drinkable and interesting beer. Not knowing what to expect after reading the label is sort of strange. Well crafted and quite different. I like this a lot more then say Pangea, Midas Touch or some of the other "historical" beers they do. Great label too! (654 characters)

Photo of jwc215
3.35/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bottled in 2008:

Pours dark golden with a thin white head that disappears to a vanishing patch. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is of yeast (and chili's?) There's Something going on - a fruitiness with cocoa, but not in sweetened chocolate way - that I like but the yeastiness really stands out, as does the fruity, peppery alcohol.

The taste is yeasty/bready and fruity. It tastes of honey with cocoa - not sweet chocolate, but rather bitter cocoa. Not the malt sweetness and hop bitterness, but instead honey sweetness and cocoa bitterness with a late-coming chili spiciness that adds to alcohol to make it burning hot. Finishes with a restrained honey sweetness.

It is medium-to-full-bodied. Carbonation is just enough to keep it from being too thickish or syrupy.

An "interesting" sipper. Yeasty/bready, but with subtle complexities, then a hot pepper kick that cleaned out my sinuses. A hot, even burning, brew, though with noticeable breadiness and honey that should take some of the heat off. This is one of those that is better to be shared and discussed (as a "conversation piece"), IMO. This bottle states 9% abv, but maybe because of the chili, it seems hotter. (1,175 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours gold with a frothy white head. Nose is mild chiles. Flavor is smooth. Slight bite of a pepper/childe burn there. A smooth sweetness is there as well. Very smooth. Feel is slick smooth with a biting carbonation. Overall a nice brew. And for being a chile beer, doubly so. Smooth and not so straightforward that it just burns on the mouth. A real pleasure to drink IMO. Kind of comes off as nearly a spiced Belgian ale of sorts. I was thinking of taking the two bottles I have and trading them if I got a chance to try it on tap. But now I might change that and keep one to drink for myself. (595 characters)

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

The beer pours a hazy amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a very complex array of aromas from pale and crystal malts to cocoa and chilies. It's unlike anything I've ever encountered, but in a cool unchartered territory kind of way. The taste is decent as well. It's smooth with hints of cocoa, but warming in the finish with a hot pepper hit. The peppers are there, but are hidden in the cocoa flavor. You don't feel it until it hits your stomach. It kind of burns. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This beer is interesting to say the least. I'm not sure I'd buy another one at $12 dollars a bottle, but it was an experience. (741 characters)

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden color with a large head that fades slowly and leaves a good amount of lacing on the glass.

Smell isn't overwhelming but there are alot of subtleties going on, I can make out the honey the best, malt, slight cocoa aroma, not picky up any spiciness from the chilies though.

Taste is pretty creamy and smooth, not quite what I expected, some herbal spiciness going on, honey is also the ruling flavor but follows up with an odd chocolate aftertaste, I know cocoa is involved but it just seems really weird in a light looking beer.

A highly interesting beer and proves once again that DFH isn't afraid to experiment. (630 characters)

Photo of Billolick
3.87/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Large DFH style bomber, love the Aztec/Inca style graphics on the label. Pours clear, light amber, with glowing/fiery orange highlights. Minor lace/head. Smoky/sweet nose. Smoke, unsweetened chocolate, earth, slight glimmer of chili spicing. Interesting and different creation by those innovative DFH brewers. Cant say its one of my favorites or that I would spring ($12.99 for the bomber) for it again. (403 characters)

Photo of emerge077
3.66/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Map Room.

Served in a fluted tulip glass. It was light orange with a high level of clarity. Visible streams of carbonation and a lasting head. There was a little bit of broken lacing around the edge.

Aroma wasn't all that complex or unusual. Overripe fruit esters, some faint background maltiness.

Earthy flavors presumably from the cacao nibs or chiles, or maybe annato seed. No tingle or heat from the chile, but there was that herbal earthiness that hinted at it. Some dried orange peel, with mild bitterness there also.

I guess I was hoping for something exotic, and it just seemed a little half-hearted. Carbonation was light and carried it nicely, but I didn't want any more after the one glass. (723 characters)

Photo of NoahSYGG
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this beer is WEIRD! that doesnt mean its bad. I was expecting to have all these different flavors. I couldnt put my finger on what it smelled/tasted like. The color was an orangey copper. I drank it out of a snifter but i couldnt decide what the aroma was. It was interesting and delicious. I am glad the apv was on the lower side for DFH. I dont know what this beer is, but it is a good effort. drinkability good and so is the mouthfeel. try it if you can. (457 characters)

Photo of marcpal
4.37/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750ml heavy bottle poured into an Urthel Tulip glass.

A: Was I expecting something looking like a chocolate stout? I guess, because I took a double take at the orange fuzzy beer that came out with a thin head. Tons of carbonation and virtually clear.

S: Oddly enough, hints in the nose lead me directly to the idea of fall weather. Cracked black pepper in the nose makes me want to sneeze. No chocolate detected, far more honey. Interesting, very interesting.

T: Honey is apparent as well as some ginger on the tongue. Chili malt sweetness, which I can believe I like. No bitterness to the beer which is different take from DFH and spices like you would get in a chili (cumin?). Sweet honey with the aftertaste from the chile like the heat of a roasted banana pepper, candied ginger. How can something with this allspice flavor also be a bit too sweet Im not sure.

M: Not what I thought it would be, smooth texture. Not chocolatey chewy but chocolate and light bodied. Demerits on my part for a bit high carbonation.

D: Alcohol stays under the radar. Complex and unique is what I think DFH will give me and they deliver that. Its a pricy beer but one Id like to get more of, a different route for a beer and takes you different places. Will be down at the brewery and brewpub soon, hope to try it on tap.

One of the most different and unique beers Ive had. Id expect nothing less from these guys, at the end of the beer I grew to love it. Would have guessed the alcohol to be under 5%. (1,491 characters)

Photo of cvstrickland
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml Champagne-style bottle, poured into a small snifter yields a hazy honey-amber body capped with a thick layer of fine-bubbled white foam. The head retreats into a thick collar that leaves a bit of lacing on the glass.

The smell of the drink is spicy and sweet, with a bit of unidentified citrus juice, mild chocolatey malts, a tingle of nutmeg and a fruity hint of hot green chilies. A mild herbal grassiness freshens the aroma.

The taste is honey-sweet and a touch fruity, with a subtle chile heat that accents the aftertaste. The chilies in the recipe speak up with both a fresh green flavor and a smidgen of heat. Dry cocoa and fruity notes of juicy melon and a rich, pervasive, earthy flavor that I'd almost swear is pumpkin, add depth and sweetness. A note of sweet green grass and overripe apple emerges from all the rest of the fruity sweetness as the drink warms, even as a bit of warming in the belly leaves me wondering who's responsible... if it's the anchos, the potent abv, or both. Otherwise, there is no trace of alcohol in the quaffable elixir.

The drink is light on the palate and medium in body with a juicy consistency and mild carbonation. The fine, mellow sweetness of the drink defies my impressions of it being drunk in antiquity from a chalice fashioned from a sacrificed human skull... a hewn coconut goblet, or a granite tulip glass perhaps, but no, no... not a skull...even as I wonder what role the potent brew might have played in helping the indigenous folk of old in communicating with their gods.... But I digress....

So, it's another landmark brew from history, resurrected by Dogfish Head, and I am, once again, amazed. Theobroma is excellent, if in an odd, 'traditional' way. Never confined by any semblance of in-the-box thinking, the folks at DFH could probably make beer out of briars and bathwater that would taste good, sell like mad, and otherwise earn the respect of discerning drinkers everywhere. (1,951 characters)

Photo of seanpachefddfa
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance-poured a golden amber color with a slight haze to it. A thin fluffy white head that settled very quickly. Not what one would expect. Was expecting something darker but still nice.
Smell- getting some honey, spice, and chocolate in the nose. Also getting some other aromas that I can't put my finger on but nice overall.
Taste-some spicy up front followed by some sweet honey and choc.
mouth feel-a medium body beer with a mild carbonation
Drink ability- not what I was expecting at all but a very good beer overall by dfh. Overall a easy beer to drink. (564 characters)

Photo of Lupe
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Definitely not the color I expected, but a beautiful beer. Pours a clear brurnt orange with a fluffy white head. Great retention as the beer took some time to dissipate, and left some lacing.

Intriguing aroma that is simple at first (it smell like beer), before complexities come out. Notes of orange, cocoa, and chilies. Lindt has a dark chocolate bar with chile that has a similar aroma. Very nice.

Starts unexpectedly with sweet citrus and caramel malt. Little mix of dark chocolate and chile slowly builds and adds a level of heat. Spices join the party before the sweetness returns with lots of honey. Very complex - a lot going on here. Alcohol is only faintly noticeable. Finishes sweet with some pepper at the back of the throat.

On the medium side of full-bodied, smooth and resiny. A sipper that is very complex. Couldn't have too much at once, but I'd seek it out again for a nitecap.

I've been waiting for this ever since hearing about it. Not as good as I'd hoped, but a very interesting beer and a must try. I've got another bottle to age - perhaps a little time will do it some good. (1,104 characters)

Photo of jeffmonarch
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

10 oz. draft in a snifter at the pub in Gaithersburg MD.

A - Copper orange color with a thin white head.

S - Sweet and malty. Very faint.

D - WOW! Really smooth, almost like drinking grape juice. Very milt malt flavor and the chocolate doesn't show up until it warms up a little.

M - Light bodied with good carbonation.

D - Another great beer from Dogfish. This is awesome. (378 characters)

Photo of Keith238
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this little number both on draught at the Rehoboth location and in bottle. Very impressed from the first sip on draught and even more impressed by the bottle.

A- golden with thick white head that settled to tight lacing.

S- spicy chocolate... does that make sense? Try it and you'll understand.

T- sweet corn nachos with a hint of jalapeno!

M- light to medium carbonation, slight 'burn' at the back of the mouth from the chilies. chocolate and honey notes the whole time.

D- keep drinking, it only gets better. Highly drinkable except for the availability. You can only get 4 bottles at the Rehoboth and Milton locations so feel free to horde whatever you can buy!! (674 characters)

Photo of unclejedi
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of Lackenhauser in the One of Each BIF

Appearance: As others have noted not at all the appearance one might expect, but then again as this was supposedly a resurrected style, who knows what to expect. Poured into a Free the Hops tulip, brownish orange with a very slight cloudiness, white foam head that dissipates into a thin ring within about a minute. Very light lacing.

Aroma: Orange, some chocolate, and a slight beery aroma that I'm not sure how to describe, perhaps a little yeasty

Taste: Dark bitter chocolate with a little bit of sweet citrus fruitiness, perhaps not unlike A Terry's Chocolate Orange. Flavor evolves into something else as it warms, a hint of the chile flavor appears. Not much spice, at least in terms of spices I am familiar with. Still this is quite complex, again there are flavors I'm not sure how to describe.

Mouthfeel: Very dry powdery palate, with an aftertaste similar to artificial sweetener. Almost no heat from the chilies whatsoever, another unexpected result, however as it warmed, I began to sense some chili flavor.

Drinkability: Interesting beer, I might like to drink one every now and then, but I don't think I'm drawn to consume it regularly. (1,210 characters)

Photo of younger35
3.11/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up the last bottle of this from Sam's in Highland Park for around $14. Dogfish Head seems to be a little over-the-top for me but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't pumped to try this. Drank from my Ithaca Excelsior tulip.

Appearance- Pours a light orange brownish yellow with a soft two finger caramel white head that dissipates very very slowly. Leaves a spotty thin cap but amazingly thick collar and plenty of lacing.
Smell- Honey and oranges start with a bit of sweetness to start. The chocolate is barely detectable in the background but gets a bit better as it warms. Its not as near as spicy as I was hoping but who knows. The alcohol is a bit pronounced as well.
Taste- Very interesting. I've only really known Annatto Seed as a spice (although seems to be more color than anything) when I make Puerco Pibil. Like that dish it just seems to lend a bit of an earthy spice. Light peppery kick but no sign of any spicy heat like I was hoping. The chocolate becomes more apparent as it warms but its still very mild and kind of disappointing. A slight sweetness in the middle with that dry honey finish and a lingering bitterness from the Annatto Seeds and Coco Nibs.
Mouthfeel- Medium body with a semi heavy feel with some rather aggressive carbonation and a dry numbing finish.
Drinkability- Well the first glass was nice. The second was a little hard to get down and the third was easy again (had a buzz). It can be sort of cloying at times and the dry finish seems to escalate it. I highly doubt the first beer tasted anything like this but it's a cool concept and a decent beer to share with a friend. (1,615 characters)

Theobroma from Dogfish Head Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 769 ratings.