Theobroma | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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2,215 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,215 |  Reviews: 779
Photo of Vec2267
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: murky amber, (apple cider), with a small persistent white lace

S: mostly honey with a peppery note (the Annatto - after a Google)

T: honey is the dominant taste, almost no hop notes, chocolate notes are there, a lingering pepper/chili hit at the end

M: medium to full

D: a very unique and strange taste, certainly off-centered, not something I would drink often, but a nice change of pace, kudos for pushing the envelope and exploring the past

Certainly worth a try. As a pepper-head, anything with chili peaks my interest. Another weird beer from a brewery that can actually pull it off.

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Photo of Domokaru
2.94/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

750ml bottle

Appearance: A nice orange/ruby color. Very opaque. Head retention was very minimal even with swirling.

Smell: Basically the smell was the killer. I'm not saying I have the best nose, but the smell it gave off had me second guessing my choice. Light sweet smell, but extremely yeasty. Actually smelled a bit like cooled fried eggs.

Taste: Very sweet. You can definitely taste the coco in it. However, what you really notice is the kick of the chilies in the body and the aftertaste. I will admit a very big honey kick comes in as the brew warms a bit.

Drinkability: Simply gets better as it gets warmer.

Mouth feel: Very, Very thick but also very smooth. The nice after burn makes this very drinkable, but only as a seldom time delicacy.

After many brews I've had from Dog fish, I enjoyed this one, but I don't know that I would be quick to pick up another bottle. Its a very aggressive beer. However, that is what I've come to express from Dogfish.

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Photo of andylipp
3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into a Corsendonk tulip.

Appearance -A cloudy deep gold/pale orange pour. Little or no head at refrigerator temperature, but quite an impressive one when it warmed a bit. Even then, the head was short lived. Not much in the way of legs or lacing at any temp.

Smell - Since I had the luxury of having some of the ingredients listed on the label, I could pick up the chilies, honey and cocoa in the nose. Fruity, yeasty smells came of it as well, with some herbal hops.

Taste -Two different beers, depending on temperature! When cold, it was a rather unimpressive Belgian-style ale. As it warmed, the of this brew complexity unfolded, and the ancho and cocoa flavors bloomed. Malt sweetness in the middle with a spicy, alcohol-y finish. Is it the added spices or the alcohol I'm tasting? Hard to say...

Mouthfeel -I found it a bit under-carbonated for my tastes. Body was neither thick nor thin.

Drinkability- As it warmed, I wanted more and easily finished the bottle (which is a lot of beer for me in one session).

Comments- Two different beers at different temperatures. Allow to warm above cellar temp for the full experience.

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Photo of gipzy
4.83/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - wonderful honey orange color, head generous medium rich cream , dissipates quickly

Smell - sweet and floral / hints of cocoa

Taste - sweet and very mild pepper spice; complex to start and then fades to a second wave of sweet undertones.

Mouthful - medium body, moderate carbonation

Drinkability - For me always a "good night in" turn-to beer. Impress your friends and conversation starter beer. wonderful!

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Photo of rdilauro
3.86/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The make up of this beer brought enough attention to tasting it.
Overall it was very smooth and easy to drink. You can pick up hints of cocoa and some chili, but nothing was over whelming.

The first tasting was right out of the cooler. We waited about an hour and tasted it again. When it wasnt as cold, you could pick up more of the flavors and complexity that Dog Fish Head loves to incorporate into their brews.

This one is a repeater. Perfect for a chilly evening

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Photo of wethorseblanket
3.3/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an orangish amber with a thin white head which fades rapidly. Smell is interesting - sweet flowers/fruity, malt, with a little cocoa. As it warms there is an increasing honey presence. Taste is just strange - sweet and mildly peppery with a faint cocoa and chili spice. Some yeasty dryness to the finish. Just generally odd to me and not sure what to make of it. Expecting more chili and chocolate here. Probably one and done for this.

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Photo of Duff27
3.61/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- A really nice effervescence in a murky dark golden bier. Light white bubbles for a head. No lacing, some head retention. Different.

S- Bready.

T- Can definitely tell that chili bite but at the same time someone who didn't know there was chilies in it may not even notice.

M- Has a heavy light (what?) mouthfeel.

D/O- Drinkability isn't bad but the way I feel this beer is marketed, who would want to drink one to themselves. This was a different beer than what I've had lately and I'm starting to enjoy what Dogfish tries and sometimes accomplish.

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Photo of ArrogantBastage
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle poured into goblets

A: Pours an interesting deep rich orange with some red and brown tints when held to the light. Very thin head that dissipated very quickly.

S: Sweet honey and chocolate up front with malt lingering in the background.

T: Very reminiscent of a light lager or pilsner with some chocolate and honey mixed in. Very slight traces of chilies in the finish. Very dry as well.

M: Light bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D: Very interesting beer that has a high degree of drinkability. I was a bit worried at first when reading the label and seeing things like chocolate, honey and chilies combined with 9% abv. After the first sip I was sold, this is a very unique beer. Great for something to have from time to time to mix things up.

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Photo of Blakaeris
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours hazy red-amber with a dense creamy head that slowly dissipates leaving thick globs of lacing.

Aroma is bready caramel malt with hints of licorice and dark fruit. A little medicinal, with some yeasty basement funk.

Taste is initially what the nose lead me to expect. Grainy malt and licorice up front. A touch of honey, lemon grass, and dark fruit sweetness. Then an effervescent medicinal quality takes over. Finishes minerally with interesting spices - black and white pepper, allspice, cinnamon, clove, and cayenne pepper heat.

Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied.

Overall a very interesting and flavorful beer. I an intrigued with the sweet grainy malt and herbal hop, balanced with the musty, spicy yeast.

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Photo of bashiba
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a cloudy orange/amber color with a light thin tan head.

Smell is very grapy and fruity and sweet.

The flavor has a quick fruity blast, mostly white grapes then turns into a dry powdery chocolate flavor along with a light long hint of chili in the finish.

The mouthfeel was long powerdery and dry.

Easy to drink, but very strange and I'm glad I tried it, but can't imagine drinking it often.

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Photo of thebreederswow
3.54/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Surprisingly light colored; reddish tan.

Aroma: Easter candy chocolate, maybe some blueberry or other unknown and mysterious berry.

Taste: Nutty, sweet, very chocolatey. There were also some less pleasant flavors-- corn, and a strange herbacioius bitter flavor at the end that I am not accustomed to. I do not taste any chiles, though my lips felt warm after.

Mouthfeel: Pretty heavily carbonated.

Drinkability: I applaud Dogfish Head for making this beer, though I wouldn't want it more than once or twice a year.

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Photo of FRivard
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured nicely from the wine like bottle into my brewery tulip. one finger creamy pale head that did not linger long.

On the Nose were mild notes of honey and spice I presume from the ancho chiles and a bit of what seemed to be apricot contributing the fruity esters.

The taste began with a bit of cocoa up front some spice and honey mingling in the middle with a hint of alcohol ending upbruptly with a dry warm spiciness.

Extremely drinkable and well balanced.

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Photo of jneiswender
2.56/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served from a wine-like bottle into a pils glass. Cool.

A-strawberry roan, gold, with an off white head.

S-candy, m+m's

T-candy, milk chocolate, corn chip, boozy finish


D-I tried this beer all sorts of ways. Cool, warm, cold and none of them gave me much in the area of flavors advertised. Maybe the annatto more than any of the advertised additions. It doesn't taste bad, just not as advertised.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
2.85/5  rDev -26%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into The Bruery tulip.

Pours a hazy apricot color, a few floaties, one-finger off-white head disappears rapidly, leaving just a few tiny, scattered patches of microscopic bubbles.

Nose is pretty unique; sweet pale(ish) malt/wheat notes hinting at honey lead into a smokey note from the peppers, as well as a bit of interesting spiciness - perhaps from the annato, resembling nutmeg. Alcohol is certainly there as well, blending in with some almost English-ale-like esters, and muting all the other ingredients as a result of its prominence. An odd conglomeration to say the least.

Taste is equally bizarre. Grainy sweetness carries a bit of a honey note perhaps, though the chocolate is pretty much imperceptible. Some spiciness in there, whether from the annato or the chilis is beyond me, though the heat is quite muted. The dull, lifeless mouthfeel and thick, slick body go a long way towards taking any real life out of the beer. Alcohol certainly lends a bit of a heaviness of its own, though it's far from boozey or overbearing. Dull, earthy note sits on the palate on the long finish. This tastes, to me, like a lackluster ESB/braggot hybrid where the hops have been replaced by spices and chilis and augmented with a bit of honey and made way, way too big.

Drinkability is actually decent. Whatever the other myriad flaws found in this beer, the alcohol is actual warming, pleasant, and well hidden, other than the heaviness it seems to add to the beer. Poor mouthfeel hurts the beer big time, and the taste, while offering a few moments of insight into what DFH was going for, largely falls short.

I've said before, I hate it when people call world-class lower-abv beers like pale ales, milds, bitters, etc. boring just because they aren't huge and "extreme". This is the other end of that spectrum: a giant beer incorporating a ton of crazy ingredients that is so dull and lifeless it ends up being, you guessed it, boring. I've had my share of big, crazy beers that worked, but this is not one of them.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.06/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

This came out a weird color, I was all reading about cocoa nibs and whatnot, and I guess I just presumed that it would be brown or some off chocolate color. Instead, I was greeted by a vibrant dark gold with extreme clarity. Couldn't pick up all that much in the nose.

Taste, way more honey was noticeable than the cocoa nibs. I straight up didn't notice an iota. Really was anything but what I expected, instead of a chocolatish beer, I got more honey, yeast and I dunno, people say pepper, it just tasted let's say unique. Chilis? Where?

This was just like honey and alcohol.

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Photo of Dawkfan
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- This gushed out of the bottle a bit, but only poured a thin head that settled out quickly. Color is a cloudy apricot orange.

S- Really doesn't smell anything like I thought it would. Grassy hops and honey dominate the nose, light aroma of the 9% abv. Chilies make an appearance once this warms.

T- Everything from the nose is evident in the taste and they are the primary flavors, but there's an underlying cocoa flavor and a faint hint of the chilies in the finish that just barely tingle the lips and tongue.

M- Medium creamy body, medium carbonation. Feels nice in the mouth.

D- I kind of like the use of the chilies in this, not overpowering and noticeable just enough to let you know that they're there. I think if the chocolate was more pronounced this could of been a very good beer.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.87/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Medium grade honey. Very little head.

S - Mild orange, honey, somewhat floral, touch of citrusy pine.

T - Smooth milk chocolate malt, hay, clove spice, some wheaty yeast, touch of pepper. Alcohol makes a cameo with just a touch of smokiness. Aftertaste carries a hint of chili spice.

M - Great smooth taste with a medium-light body.

D - Very drinkable if the unusual flavor profile is up your alley.

O - Worth trying. An interestingly drinkable brew.

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Photo of 4000qtrap
2.88/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Source/Serving: Bottle (fresh)

Smell: Sweet honey with a fruity, almost cidery edge. Lightly musty/spicy. Slight, indistinct peppery/vegetal aroma with a faint sharpness of black pepper as it warms. No sign of chocolate.

Taste: Slightly marzen/saison-esque in my opinion. Leans toward sweetness up front, with a musty, earthy, mealy, apple/fruit/honey character. Thin bodied with prickly carbonation. Has a bit of a tang in the middle, somewhat mead-like, with more honey notes, with a deep, but fresh, earthy foundation and toasty malt character. I don't really get chocolate at all in this, but if its present at subliminal levels it, along with the cocao nib, come through here in a subtle way in an unusual spicy sort of way. No hint of the ABV at ALL, nor any hops to speak of. Totally hidden. Finish is quite peppery, more spicy than hot, and is quite dry. A vegetal spicy, roasty pepperyness lingers though it does get a little hot (pepper+alcohol) as it warms.

Overall: The flavors never really come together for me, though paired well with some food from the grill that accompanied this beer at one point. I've been wanting to try this beer for years and while I'm a huge DFH fan this one misses the mark. But, matching this beer to the taste buds of modern drinkers isn't so much what this beer is about and I do appreciate the intent of it. But for $13/bottle I'll look elsewhere in the future.

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Photo of CaraAndMike
3.2/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

High alcohol content is well handled in this creation. Deep honey and faint cocoa midsip on the heart of your tongue that builds with repeated sipping. Slight pepper in the back of the throat. Don't think I'd try more than one or two.

Would pair with fruit and mild cheese, or some sort of southwestern cheese dip app.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased for andrenaline at our xmas beer exchange, we both shared in the spoils.
A - slightly hazy golden copper, shorting white head with average retention, given the chocolate focus on the ingredients I was expecting a darker offering, very interesting
S - wheaty malt and grassy hop note with subtle cocoa and just a tickle of spice
T - toasted bready grains, some grassy hops, the cocoa comes through raw and delicious, the chili spice builds slowly through the finish with a nice sweet honey balance
M - thin smooth, light carbonation, bready with chili heat expanding through the finish
D - first the alcohol is so well hidden it's dangerous, the flavours are individually subtle but there is so much going on that the result is very tasty, a well constructed beer that will surprise

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Photo of RossCain
3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a pint glass. Bottle was dated Autumn of 2010 so it was pretty fresh.

A: Poured a thick, opaque, apricot color with a small white head. The head dissipated quickly leaving little lacing behind. Pretty average for the most part.

S: Musty with slight hints of honey coming to the nose. The chilies used are vaguely pronounced towards the end of the waft of the aroma. The musty characteristic (unfortunately) predominated until the beer eventually warmed, when it began to gain a slightly more complex aroma which gave hint of the cocoa nibs.

T: Surprising given the smell. First and foremost, very sweet with predominant notes of honey, not unlike drinking nectar. As the beer continued to explore the palate, notes of grapes and slight sweet cocoa (which you really had to taste for) began to become pronounced. A mild heat of the chilies made itself known towards the finish which were propped up by a moderate malt backbone. Overall, the beer was on the verge of cloyingly sweet but towed the line pretty well.

M: Medium to light body with very little noticeable carbonation. Smooth with a sweet aftertaste which lingered shortly then subsided. A moderate alcoholic warming sensation stays in the back of the throat after each sip.

D: I didn't have trouble finishing the beer and I was not finding myself wanting the experience to be over with as I have been with some others. For the style of a chili beer, the chilies really played a minor role and for the most part, the beer was a very sweet and relatively easy drinking experience. Interesting yes; worth $11.50 and drinking again, probably not.

Overall, the Theobrama exists an interesting beer certainly worth a try if you can justify the steep price (or find a better deal). I'd liken it to something worth the experience alone and to share with friends but not much more. For a chili beer, the chili and the noted cocoa were just something I did not find playing a major role in the beer experience.

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Photo of sugit
1.84/5  rDev -52.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Golden colored pour with a massive head. Somewhat suprising as I was thinking, based on the describtion of cocoa and chocolate, that this would be a much darker beer.

S: All I could pick up was the sweet smell of honey and yeast.

T: Very disappointing. Like the nose, all I could pick up was the honey. Zero cocoa, chocolate or chillies. How does this happen? I was hoping it would get better as it warmed up, but still nothing.

Other than the honey, it could have been a BMC. If BMC could put out a "honey beer", this is what it would taste like.

M: The honey seems to add a little body to this, but other than that, just average.

D: It's drinkable, you could probably put down quite a few as the ABV doesn't come out at all on this one. It's get a low score though since I feel like I spent $12 on a hyped up BMC.

I was really excited to try this based on the describtion. By far the least flavorful beer from DFH I've had. Unless the recipe changes to add a lot more flavor, I would never drop $12 on this again.

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

This treat was acquired in our Christmas beer exchange... Super stoked to have an opportunity to taste it!

A - Pours a slightly hazy golden colour with a bit of an orange hue, noticeable body carbonation and no real lacing. I was definitely expecting something darker, so was surprised to see how light it poured!

S - A bit of a grassy pilsener scent, some wheat and the slightest peppery scent also coming through.

T - Grassy wheat flavours off the top with the honey sweetness coming through and dominating the palette. The peppery spices linger on the finish and the ABV is very well hidden and is almost undetectable. The chocolate notes are very subtle, but can be identified as it warms.

M - Medium bodied ale that goes down smooth and finishes with a little bit of dryness.

D - This stuff was awesome and what a privilege it was to get an opportunity to drink. Some very unique flavours and a tasty treat indeed! One could easily toss back a few of these bottles, if it weren't for the price! If you can get your hands on a bottle, it's well worth the purchase.

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Photo of mavbrew
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Copper in color, almost transparent, with a finger thick white head that dissipates quickly, leaving nothing but a ring around the glass.

S: The scents of cocoa seem to overwhelm the nose, along with what seems like a grassy smell and faint notes of honey.

T: The cocoa powder seems to be the defining characteristic in this brew. The up front taste is major cocoa powder and also has a bit of an earthy taste to it.

M: Medium-light in body with low to average carbonation.

D: This could be a very dangerous beer, there is not a hint of alcohol noticed and it goes down smooth. If you like to try different beers, give this one a try, it's interesting to drink what people hundreds of years drank all the time.

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

Pours with tiny bubbles and constant carbonation and a light head, no strong lacing present.

Smells of a strong honey aroma that is almost a sickeningly sweet aroma.

Carbonation stings at the first sip.

Very light and clean in the mouth afterwards has a strong honey taste with slight spice from the chilies.

Chocolate flavors blend nicely with the honey giving it a chewieness.

Like everything they do, this is an extremely well made beer and while it's not necessarily my taste it is very enjoyable.

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Theobroma from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 3.85 out of 5 with 2,215 ratings