Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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Chile Beer
Ranked #2
Ranked #17,900
3.89 | pDev: 14.65%
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States
Very Good
Notes: 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!).

Reviews: 782 | Ratings: 2,222 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Lone_Freighter
Lone_Freighter from Vermont

4.24/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter due to the ABV.
The appearance was a mildly dark orange murky milky color almost light brown color with a small cap of a little white foamy head. This swiftly fell off to barely leave any lace.
The aroma had some milk chocolate, honey and chili peppers. With some warmth, the chocolate subsides and let's the honey and chili peppers take a firmer hold.
The flavor started off sweet with the honey and chocolate but leans into the chili peppers as I continued on. Mild aftertaste of honey, cocoa powder and chili pepper.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a fair sipping quality about it. Chili pepper heat is noticeable but not burdensome. Good carbonation and ABV. Mild finish of chili pepper heat and honey, some dry cocoa powder substance.
Overall, I need to find more of this style as at least this one was very well done.

Feb 16, 2019
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briandschorr from North Carolina

4.37/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Don't let the nose fool you. Sorry, this was my least favorite part. This beer is complex. A great head, good lacing and a wonderful taste. The honey overpowered the chocolate for me and I also noticed a mild heat in the aftertaste. As a fan of chocolate beers this is one of the best I have ever tried. If you are looking for a unique experience then this is well worth a try.

Aug 03, 2017
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Catfishhunter from Washington

4.6/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of my favorite beers. Has been awhile since I have had it but the cocoa and pepper presence are apparent in this beer. As always with dogfish beers, the mouthful is good and substantial. Beer pours a dark golden brown color. Light head and good carbonation. Tough to explain this one and it may not be for everyone but it is a deliscious beer imo!

Jun 23, 2017
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poisoneddwarf from Idaho

4.29/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

2009 backlog. 14 oz sample from a 750ml bottle. Smells like a cinnamon roll. Thin head, moderate lacing. Tastes like holiday cookies, except it starts out sweet and ends spicy. I fucking loved this beer. Dogfish head never ceases to amaze me with their experimentation.

Jun 14, 2017
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EMV from Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Clear medium golden brown pour. 2 fingers of foamy white head. Good retention and lacing. Lots of chunky sediment at the end of the pour.

S: Sweet and fruity mixed with vegetables and chilis.

T/F: Semi-sweet and tart... honey and mild citrus/kiwi. Cocoa is present at the finish and there is some chili flavor with a very mild burn (more a tingle) in the aftertaste. Complex... floral and spicy... aromatic. Definitely warming... finish is sticky and leaves you wanting a bit more.

O: I've had this a few times and every time I walk away with a different experience/opinion of the beer. Complex as hell.... it's not really a Chile beer... although there is some VERY mild heat in the aftertaste... more an herbed fruit beer. One to experience, and it changes character nicely with age. I wouldn't want a steady diet of this but can definitely appreciate what it brings to the table and what DFH has accomplished here and I'm raising my overall rating accordingly.

Feb 06, 2017
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.03/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark gold color, seems like it might be filtered, the clarity was pretty good, mild white 1/2" head. Aroma was very mild, I expected a bunch of cocao or chocolate, but that wasn't really here.

Taste gave way to the honey sweetness more than anything chocolate. They hype up all this chocolate discussion on the label and then it falters in the mouthfeel. Disappointing. Just they talk about chocolate and chiles and all I come up with is some sweetness and golden promise. Alcohol drank every bit like it was 10%+ and the format definitely makes it so this won't be a repeat purchase.

Apr 24, 2016
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Zythophile from District of Columbia

3.51/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

ttle Date: 6/26/14
Palate Contaminants: a nice steak

Okay, not sure how well this is going to go. I didn't realize how old the bottle was when I bought it.

Appearance is a murky gold, with some visible particulates. There's virtually no lacing.

Smell is heavy, freshly ground coffee. There's also a bit of weizen aroma.

Taste lines up with the smell pretty well, but there's dark chocolate present. This is somehow very earthy without any woodiness. There's bitterness, but it's not bitter. There sweetness, but it's not sweet. Good idea, but unless the taste decay happens in only a few months, I don't know how much backing it up a year would help. Maybe it's the greatest thing in the world when it's only a day old.

Feel is slightly carbonated. The particulate matter doesn't stand out.

Mar 19, 2016
Photo of stevoj
stevoj from Idaho

3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Total Wine-Claymont. Complex character with lots of unique ingredients. Kudos to DH for bringing history to life. hard to describe, but worth the effort....

Jan 19, 2016
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JackRWatkins from Alabama

3.35/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Room Temp into a mug at 7 months
A: odd head formation in recession, fizzes up and out almost like a soda, deep clear amber

S: instantly honey in the nose, subtle fruit and peppers

T: a hint of latin peppers thoroughly perplexing taste, touches of sweetness, something that hints a heat and a touch of bitterness but also a fruit note thats pleasant but ambiguous, heat builds and blends with the honey with each sip, a twinge of copperishness

M: a tad hot and dry

O: one of the strangest beers I have ever tasted, it is interesting and pleasant, the light hints of pepper are interesting an enjoyable, it almost tastes like a belgian ale without the service of the yeast, not entirely sure what to make of it, it's a perplexing, tangy brew, and in the end that may very well be the problem, it is in many ways too strange to recommend, it's not that it's bad, it's just that the flavors are too strange and the way that they blend is too balanced to create an interesting contrast between them. try it, or don't it's not derivative of anything enough to contribute to any larger conversation, and not amazing enough to return to, so perhaps, try it once, that should be enough.

PS: oddly enough I just had a feeling about drinking this at room temp, and it payed off majorly, it was the perfect temp to enjoy this, also, shit drinks like fucking water, be careful

Jan 08, 2016
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MacMalt from New Jersey

3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into snifter glass. It pours a cloudy golden honey color with some floating citrus sediment but virtually no head or lacing. The aroma features citrus and spice. but is fairly subdued. The first taste is some sweet honey and sour blood orange, but the chili dominates. There is faint touch of cocoa at the finish. It's well carbonated and the 9% ABV is well masked. Overall, this is a very interesting ale. We think it would pare well with sushi or other seafood.

Dec 24, 2015
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Sabtos from Ohio

3.27/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Man I wanted to love all these Ancient Ales so much, but especially this one. There were only a few I liked a lot, but I thought this would be the winner. It was underwhelming with muddled flavors, not quite the dark beer I thought it might be, kind of like an amber, with weird additives.

Dec 16, 2015
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cyclonece09 from Wisconsin

3.94/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Pours cloudy dark orange with a nice white head. Smells of light chocolate with spices and very slight fruitiness. Tastes of chocolate and spiciness, not overly overt, but adds a bit of a bite. Beer is medium bodied, good carbonation. Overall a very good beer.

Nov 14, 2015
Photo of bgillespie
bgillespie from New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Super hazy gold with a thin white head. Not filtered.

Smell: Chilies at first, then a hint of cocoa. Strong.

Taste: A ton of flavor, cocoa flavor, but not like sweet chocolate, hint of honey, and a pepper taste from the chilies.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and medium bodied.

Overall: A nice beer from Dogfish Head. Interesting history and a great flavor.

Aug 28, 2015
Photo of jzlyo
jzlyo from Iowa

3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Aroma is pale malts, mild chilies and a hint of chocolate. The flavor is pale malts, chocolate, fruit and a mix of tart, sour and slight but increasing heat in the finish.

Jun 22, 2015
Photo of badgustav
badgustav from New Hampshire

4.86/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Had the 2013 in 2015, so aging may impact the flavor.
Aroma - fascinating spice, hints of chocolate, strong anise, and a very light malt
Look - hazy copper with a rocky, lasting head
Flavor - malty, spicy, notes of cocoa, chili, and cinnamon. Complex and interesting
Overall - drink this, it's fascinating

May 15, 2015
Photo of pat61
pat61 from Minnesota

4.69/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours hazy orangish gold under a thin fizzy off white foam collar that quickly dissipates.
S: Honey on the nose and as it warms more cocoa and chile notes come forward.
T: Honey and more cocoa than the color would suggest on the palate but it is also lighter and subtler than you would find in a chocolate stout. The chile produces an interesting heat emphasis but fortunately there is very little of the vegetal quality from the chile that shows up in some chile beers.
M: moderate carbonation and medium to medium light body.
O: The beer is good at refrigerator temperature but it improvessignificant in the 50s F. this is unusual, very well done, balanced and enjoyable.

Apr 05, 2015
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Capsfan90 from Maryland

4.16/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a one finger head that disapated fairly quickly. This medium amber unfiltered ale first hits you with a sour smell, but eventually fades. The taste of honey and cacao are present with little heat from the chilies. I found this to be very drinkable beer and look forward to having another one soon.

Mar 04, 2015
Photo of reg1214
reg1214 from Indiana

4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Nice golden color with a quickly disappearing head. Has a pleasant honey/fruity aromoa and taste. Not much chili or cacao taste, but a slight spicy bite on the end. Slightly on the sour/wild side. A bit too much sediment, but could have been my pour.

Jan 28, 2015
Photo of Fastwalker19
Fastwalker19 from Maryland

4.75/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Unfiltered craft goodness. Heavy and light simultaneously. Cacao enhances the beer and leaves a clean finish. Most pepper or other flavor additives leave an unpleasant and overpowering aftertaste. But DFH has avoided this and provided us with a true nectar of the gods.

Jan 10, 2015
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Crackblind from New York

4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Much thinner than I expected. No lacing at all, pretty flat. Color makes it look like unfiltered apple cider. Nose is fruitier than expected with a very slight hint of the chilies it is infused with. I thought the cocoa would be more forward (expected bitter chocolate flavor that wasn't there). Very different than what I thought I would get. I definitely enjoyed it but I'm not sure if I would get it again.

Dec 29, 2014
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vette2006c5r from Minnesota

4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Theobroma pours a darker golden color with a nice size head. There is a big chili aroma, with just hints of sweetness from the chocolate. Nice chili flavors, just hints of chocolate, nice warm from the spice. Good blend of flavors, nice body. Overall its very nice, easy to drink, good beer.

Dec 29, 2014
Photo of bubseymour
bubseymour from Maryland

4.31/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this one at the DFH Alehouse on tap in Gaithersburg MD. Very solid brew. Don't really pick up the chile spices at all (no hotness). This was a good thing as most chili spiced beers have been a deterent to me so far. Recommend.

Dec 18, 2014
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NSXAG from Arizona

4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

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!!

Nov 19, 2014
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1000lbgrizzly from Illinois

3.31/5  rDev -14.9%
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.

Nov 15, 2014
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PittBeerGirl from Ohio

4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

Nov 12, 2014
Theobroma from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 2222 ratings