Theobroma | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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2,216 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!).


Added by slvrmon82 on 03-21-2008

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,216 |  Reviews: 779
Photo of Sammy
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Mr. Goodbar's. Golden body. Expected hotter peppers but it was muted, more cinammon and cloves. Little head. More like a roobis tea with flavouring addd to a beer. So-so drinkability. Not for everyone. Average mouthfeel. Might be better on cask.

 255 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed at the brewpub in Rehoboth Beach, DE

A: thin head and no lacing really on a clear bright golden with slight copper hue body.

S: caramel malts, toffee and cocoa.

T: The cocoa and honey notes are excellent and mesh very well. There is a light chili spiciness throughout greatest in the finish. Sour citrus notes as well.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: a very interesting beer which changes quite a bit as it is enjoyed. One of the better ones of the series.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

one of the more interesting archeological dogfish brews. the pour is a really bright bronze color, with a lot of suspended spent yeast, looks like a snow globe. short white lace rests on top. the nose is sweet and floral from the honey, with a touch of smoke and spice from the ancho peppers, and some unique earthy character, which i can only imagine comes from those annatto tree seeds. the flavor really features the honey, theres a mild sweetness throughout, with some undertones of raw cacao, but no decadent chocolate to this at all, more of an organic bitterness like cocoa powder. the chili pepper flavor is very mild, and really only comes into play in the finish, providing just a touch of warmth, which combined with the alcohol actually produces a beautiful conclusion to this beer. the mouthfeel works, it could stand a little more carbonation i think, but the body is soft and round, plenty drinkable. definitely one of the better beers in this series of old world recreations.

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Photo of jaydoc
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Knapp85
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When I first picked up this beer and read the description of it on the label I assumed it was going to be a dark beer. Turns out I was completely wrong and it poured out as a really vibrant orange color. I can only assume that this beer has more surprises in store for me. The smell of the beer had some earthy chocolate aromas coming off of it. I wasn't able to pick up much Chili pepper on the nose though. The taste of the beer gives off that same bitter earth chocolate note with just a hint of the pepper in the background. It's a very subtle chili beer, not one of those that is undrinkable because it's like drinking fire. The mouthfeel of this brew has a good thickness to it much like DfH's big bottles. Overall I really enjoy this beer quite a bit, I don;t buy it too often but I feel like I want to have it again sometime soon.

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Photo of GRG1313
5/5  rDev +29.9%

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of djrn2
2.5/5  rDev -35.1%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3/5  rDev -22.1%

Photo of metter98
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer poured a clear light golden yellow in color with only a few bubbles floating on the surface. A moderate amount of carbonation is evident from the rising bubbles.
S: There is a moderate amount of sweetness in the nose, which has light aromas of honey and grapes.
T: Like the smell, flavors of honey and grapes dominate the overall taste. There are some hints of chili peppers and cocoa in the finish.
M: The beer feels medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate with a touch of carbonation. The finish has a very mild amount of dryness and a bit of heat from the chili peppers.
D: Although the alcohol is masked rather well from the taste, this beer still tastes strong and is one that needs to be sipped given its amount of cloying sweetness.

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Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of biboergosum
3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I like DFH's labels a lot - next texture, solid, informative, and attractive. And now for another of their trips back in time...

This beer pours a hazy pale orange-amber hue, with one finger of thin fizzy white head, which disappears rather quickly, leaving nothing in the way of lace. It smells of sweet, fruity honey, almost like Concord grape juice, and musty, grainy malt. The taste is more sweet earthy honey, that grape rope licorice, mild indeterminate spice, some very faint chocolate, and soft, feathery malt. The carbonation is fairly sedate, the body medium weight, fruit-like, and generally smooth. It finishes sweet, but moderately so, the honey's temperance aiding in that respect.

Like their Midas Touch, the wine aspect of this beer is hard to ignore, especially in this case, where we were overtly promised chocolate and chilies. A tasty affair, to be sure, but the chili spice is just a little too reserved, and the 'poor man's saffron' probably just gets lost in the fray.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%

Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is more like a 'kitchen sink' beer than a chili beer. It's got all the crap that the ancients could think of, including a little bit of malt. The beer has a bright copper-amber hue at first, but poured a hazy rusty hue toward the end of the bomber. Head formation was fair, as well as retention and lacing. Rich aromas of honey, chocolate, toffee, and molassas fills the nose along with herbal and perfumy notes. Flavors strongly favor the honey and mask a lot of the malt base. Very sweet to taste with a powerful underlying taste of cocoa, almonds, pecans, and cashews. Again, hints of corriander, orange peel, cherries, cumin, and a flowery note give the beer a lot of complexity. Flavors of the chilis gain intensity and are noticed going into the finish. The beer's weight favors the honey as well, but allowing a soft malt blend to substantiate the beer. Quite warming from mid-palate on from a blend of the chilis and alcohol. The heat never offends but does give the beer a little something extra. The chilis also seem to balance the sweetness with the low hop (if any) additions. A very nice experimental beer. I'll have to see how this one ages out.

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Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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

750 ml bottle into signature tulip glass, bottled on 4/29/2013. Pours moderately hazy/cloudy golden amber color with a 1 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of honey, toast, bread, cracker, orange, pear, apple, grape, nuttiness, herbal, floral, chile pepper, light cocoa, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of malt, yeast, and spice flavors; with good strength. Taste of honey, bread, cracker, orange, pear, apple, grape, toast, nuttiness, herbal, floral, light cocoa/chile pepper, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Light chile pepper heat on the finish; with lingering notes of honey, bread, cracker, pear, apple, grape, orange, herbal, floral, light nuttiness, light cocoa/chile pepper, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice balance and complexity of malt, spice, and yeast ester flavors; with zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a moderately slick/creamy mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice ancient ale style. All around nice balance of malt, spice, and yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV, A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of emerge077
3.66/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a rocky head; average retention and a few squiggles of lace here and there

Smell: Clearly meadlike, with plenty of honey, and the cocoa powder is also discernable

Taste: Sweet, graham cracker malt and vanilla, up front, with a growing honey character; by mid-palate, the malted milk and ancho chile flavors arrive in force; cannot detect the nutmeggy annatto flavor other than through the power of suggestion; after the swallow, the chile and chocolate flavors persist and blend with the honey; memorably hot finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body; rather creamy; with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Interesting how the hotness of the chile takes on the role of the bitterness of the hops in modern beers; worth a try but not sure I would want to re-visit very often

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.53/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle: Poured a light golden color ale with a medium pure white foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of Chiles and staled grain is not as interesting as I had expected. Taste is more geared toward Chiles then anything else and chocolate notes are very hard to distinguish. Body is about average with OK carbonation and no sign of alcohol. I kind of understand the experience but I am not sure why someone would want to drink this more then once.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of dbrauneis
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

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Theobroma from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 3.85 out of 5 with 2,216 ratings