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Theobroma | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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2,217 Ratings

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States

Style: Chile Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

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!).


User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,217 |  Reviews: 781
Reviews by drxandy:
Photo of drxandy
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml to tulip glass, pours a copper golden shade. White head fades quickly to nice lacing.
Smells of bready sourdoughy yeast, dry honey, sweet malt, spice.

Tastes interesting, a lot of flavors at once. Malt is quite sweet, dry honey, astringent bitterness, slight chili in the finish along with alcohol heat.

Mouthfeel is slick with good carbonation, heat in the finish.

Overall, interesting but not something I would want todrink often.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of pat61
4.69/5  rDev +21.8%
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.

 680 characters

Photo of badgustav
4.86/5  rDev +26.2%
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

 306 characters

Photo of oberon
3.17/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I have been wanting to try this beer for awhile,I picked it up today and well...I wish I hadnt spent the money I did for it.Poured a clear golden with no head what so ever,it looked flat.Aromas are fruity with a light shot of spice,not like ancho's though,more heat than expected.Very light chocolate on the palate with the alcohol showing thru,the chile comes thru in the aftertaste.Eh not what I thought it would be,the spicey burbs are the best thing about this beer in my mind.

 481 characters

Photo of Dekhar
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of jcr8611
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

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

This is a sippin brew that hit me much harder than the 9% ABV advertised. The pour was rich thick and dark. The head was soapy in appearance but left quickly. The fragrance of malts and fruit abound along with the alcohol. The brew is very nice with fruit overtones and just a lining of chile. The mouthfeel is rich and decadent. I liked the brew a lot with bread and mild asiago. All in all I would suggest that this brew is most positivelly experienced with food but I could definately see my self sippin' on an eight ouncer solo.

 532 characters

Photo of Loudell
3.44/5  rDev -10.6%

Photo of dmheinz57
3/5  rDev -22.1%

Photo of SkiBum22
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Topheropolis
4.95/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I treated myself to this for New Years Eve. Unfortunately I didn't make it due to the 3- 750ml strong ales I started with. So it's my New Years Day Ale. It has a nice chocolatey, citrus nose with a perfect balance of cocoa, chilies, and honey on the pallet. Delicious!

 268 characters

Photo of Firefox13
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue X:

Accordingly to Dogfish, Theobroma, or "food of the gods," is brewed with Aztec cocoa powder and cocoa nibs from Askinosie Chocolate, honey, ancho chilies and annatto. The recipe is based on chemical analysis of pottery fragments found in Honduras, which scientists claim is the earliest known alcoholic chocolate drink.

Rich golden in color, with a slight haze and a thin white lace. Fairly clean in the nose with faint notes of powdered cocoa, spicy pepper and fermented honey. Very smooth on the palate. Medium bodied. Creamy carbonation. Sweet up front, mead-like at times, with cereal grains as the base and plenty of residual honey complexities. Mild fruity esters. Notes of annatto play along well, lending to the sweetness a slight nutmeg and spicy flavor. Suggestions of vanilla. Chocolate flavors are subtly balanced in the mix, as are the chilies, which provide a mild, peppery, soft heat. The chilies become more present as things warm, presenting themselves stronger in the finish. Soft honey and spicy finish that eventually dries up nice and clean.

Personally, we would like to see a bit more heat from those chilies, but this is without a doubt one of the more interesting, tasty and experimental brews from Dogfish Head. The balance of flavors from so many distinct sources is pretty much perfect. Sam, please make more.

 1,390 characters

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.87/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle. Bottled in 2008.

Pours into my glass a deep reddish orange with a lot of little particulate matter floating around. A small white ring of bubbles sits around the top of the glass. Aromas of crisp semi-sweet malts mixing in with earthy cocoa. Peppery spiciness is there with a bit of a toasty backbone. Hints of bready yeast as well. Interesting spicy chocolate.

First sip brings crisp sweet malts upfront with honey and a big flow of cocoa flavors that have an earthy quality about them. Spiciness and mild peppery heat are integrated in well. Bready yeast tones on the finish along with a lingering mix of spicy cocoa that's left in the aftertaste. Pretty tasty.

Mouthfeel is actually on the lighter side with big prickly carbonation on the way down making it aerate on your palate. None of the flavors are overpowering and it was interesting to drink, although not something I see myself regularly purchasing.

 928 characters

Photo of ddodger41
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of danthehopslamman
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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Photo of gregmoscetti
4.48/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is my first review with BA and I picked a good one.

I had my mom back in NJ pick this up when it was released and it has been on the east coast until now.

Served in a goblet

The first smell of this beer was strange. I have never smelled a beer quite like this one and probably wont again. I was also surprised that it was not a thicker beer. Upon the first sip, I found this beer perplexing in the best way. The chile, the chocolate, they came together nicely. My only complaint in the taste category is the aftertaste, which feels like the chile. It is a bit of a lurker.

Drinkability received high marks. I don't know if its because i am surprised by its low gravity but the drinkability far exceeded expectations.

All and all, I am very impressed by Dogfish on this one. An odd beer done very very well.

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Photo of csmartin6
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of heddar33
4.75/5  rDev +23.4%

Photo of Afroman
3.85/5  rDev 0%

Photo of marvin213
3.26/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A murky, dirty yellow liquid with a thin foam top greets me. On the light side, certainly, for a chocolatey concoction, but its categorization as a chile beer gives me less context. It looks mysterious like only a DFH could, but much lighter than I expected.

My preconceived notions involved honey-infused chocolate goodness, but what I smell here is more like a common keg beer. I detect maybe a hint of honey, but zero chocolate. There's neither hops nor malts billowing toward the nose, and I strain to get some chile qualities. There's something in there, but it's far from the forefront.

Taste is more impressive, and it's understandably "chile beer." There's a cocoa presence, but it's not quite chocolate--is there really a difference? A nutmeg flavor, which I presume is annato, pervades every sip. Coupled with the chiles, it provides a spicy pepper effect. Perhaps the honey serves just to balance all this because there's no honey sweetness. I acknowledge that maybe there shouldn't be, but then what are honey and cocoa doing in a chile beer? I realize it's a relic recipe, but it's confused. It's good ingredients meshed together but, at least in this case, the sum is less than the parts.

For a spicy chile beer with honey and cocoa, the mouthfeel is lacking. Again, it's confused, and I so want to like it, but what's going on here? It's a neat-o novelty, but a great go-to beverage it is not. It's like so many flavors compete for your taste buds that they fight each other to death.

So, for the intangible ambiguity that is the drinkability rating, I have to admit that it's one of the neatest beers I've ever encountered. All this neat stuff, replicating some ancient recipe--it's like a melodramatic beer. It's fun to share and to talk about, and the label is awesome. Though DFH obviously makes great beverages, they are as undeniably great marketers. For both reasons, I like having this beer around.

 1,929 characters

Photo of Beaver13
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle. Pours a hazy golden orange with a smallish white head that quickly diminishes to a thin film that leaves some lacing.

The aroma is some sweet malts, and spices - spicy cinnamon and tea.

The flavor is sweet malts with a little fruit and honey leading to a spicy (hot) cinnamon finish (red hots). It is a bit plasticy in the aftertaste, but warming from the spices and alcohol. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with average carbonation.

Overall, one of the more interesting spicy/chile beers I've had. I really love the background on these Dogfish beers - it brings out the geek in me.

 598 characters

Photo of generallee
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured from a 1 pint 9.4oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: The body has a dark golden honey color with a slightly hazy appearance and some fine sediment floating in it. Its head is light tan in color, average in size and slowly fades down to just a small ring of slick lace.

Smell: The aroma has hints of light sweet honey and malts.

Taste/Mouth feel: Its flavor has a pleasant honey and malty sweetness with just a mellow hint of chocolate. There is also a hint of chili flavor with is very mild and complementary. Its texture is smooth and slick on the palate with light carbonation and a solid well rounded medium body.

Notes: I was looking for a bigger, bolder chocolate flavor with spicy kick of chili. I was surprised to find a very subtle mellow brew that still a pleasure to drink.

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Theobroma from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 3.85 out of 5 with 2,217 ratings