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

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Ratings: 2,215 |  Reviews: 779
Photo of cooch69
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a beutiful deep golden orange. It is pretty transparent but not completely opaque. It has a pretty small one finger white head.
This beer smelled of honey, peppercorns, avocado and some earthy grass notes(hay).
I never had ancho chillies so I associate the flavor of this beer more to that of a pepper corn taste. This beer is really dry, and it's probably one of the uses for this chili and the addition of cacoa. Honey is definetly upfront in the taste followed by an taste reminiscent of salsa dip. Now I don't remember what annato is either but I'm assuming its a spice.
The alcohol in this is pretty evident off the bat but the peppers just highten it. I don't really get any cacoa either jut a dirty earthiness.
This beer is medium-full boddied with not much carbonation. This was my second ancient ale from DFH and Midas Touch was better. So now I'll have to snatch a Chateau Jiahu and see how that compares.

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Photo of BeerNinja007
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this 750mL bottle with a standard cap a while ago for $12.99 at Johnstown Beverage in Johnstown NY. Bottled in 2009. Served cold in a chilled tulip.

Thick-looking honey-colored brew gives a modest off-white head that settles to a thin layer, which lasts for a while before eventually settling to nothing and leaves no lace. Smell is white grape juice, chili spice, fig, cocoa... semi-sweet, spicy warm from the chili and smooth warm from the cocoa. Taste is complicated and tasty, though very chaotic and disjointed. A ton of cocoa, then hot chilis, anise, white grapes. Feel is moderately thick, carbo is a little fizzy. Finishes dry with a ton of lingering cocoa and some chili spice.

The cocoa is a bit overwhelming and makes it very filling; as such, it is a bit of a chore for me to finish the bottle by myself (which usually isn't a problem). The taste is extremely chaotic, a mish-mash of seemingly random stuff that doesn't go well together... but, nonetheless, given the historical and scientific relevance of this brew, I am glad I've tried it. Thanks to DFH for putting this together.

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Photo of bishopgary
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: poured a rich copper color, with nearly an inch of white foamy head. Dissipated fairly quickly, nice lacing. Not crystal clear, slightly hazy. I was expecting something darker (not bad that it is lighter)

S: Complex. Some chocolate and fruit, particularly plum/cherry. Was expecting more spice, but instead I think the Chile comes across as uniquely earthy.

T: Slightly bitter upfront, perhaps the cocoa. This is followed but a fruity sweetness that is not at all unpleasant, especially since the Chile comes through as a contrast in the finish. The amount of Chile is perfect. The high alcohol content not very noticeable.

M: Coats the mouth well, very "round." Medium body with the right amount of carbonation.

D: Very drinkable and interesting. Despite the ingredients it was lighter than expected. Initially I was expecting more Chile, but after tasting thought it was exceptionally well balanced.

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Photo of jmerloni
3.2/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Auburb amber brown with nice thich pillowy dense head that is bright white. Somewhat hazy.

S - Hops, spices, and yeast.

T - Honey is the flavor that shows through here, surprisingly. You can taste the spice, but it is not overpowering like in most chili beers. I'd call this more of a brown ale than a chili beer, really. Decent flavor. Somewhat artificially sweet tasting, which is rare for Dogfish, which tends to be pretty fresh all the time.

M - Disjointed. Not very dry. Not carbonated in the front but is so in the back. Medium to thick bodied...Would do better being lighter.

D - Not drinkable. Couldn't drink a whole bomber myself. Wouldn't get this again unless I was introducing someone to chili beer.

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Photo of chumba526
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It smells a tad bit sour, a tad bit earthy, a tad bit like chocolate, a tad bit like mountain ash berries, and a tad bit like honey. The smell is different than I expected. It smells quite nice though.

It tastes initially a little like honey there is a sour almost saison type of a taste going on. I taste a slight dry almost berry like flavor. There is a bit of a dry honey flavor. I can taste some of the chocolate but it is very mild. There is a slight bit of heat from the peppers in the finish. Overall the flavor is smoother then I anticipated.

The mouth feel is good the carbonation is moderate low.

The drinkability for the alcohol content is very good. It goes down smooth.

Overall an interesting and unique brew that though has different flavors is smooth and easy to drink.

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Photo of OnThenIn
3.23/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: the bee had a finger of white foam on top of a copper an slightly hazy body.

S: the aroma is not very pungent, but it does slightly smell of cider.

T: the taste is dominated by the spicyness from the chilly peppers, but the cocoa slowly comes around. The honey is not readily present but a hint of hops is present in the background. Alcohol, spicyness, and bitterness meld together to be slightly unpleasant.

M: okay carbonation with medium body.

D: if it wasn't so hot it would be more drinkable.

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Photo of dismal
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From the bottle to a pint glass. Pours a slightly burnt orange/amber color with a small white head that quickly dissolves (even with a vigorous pour). The smell wasn't all that impressive to me, mainly spices, chilies, some kind of fruity smell, maybe a bit earthy, and a bit of cocoa. As it warmed it got slightly better but there wasn't much there for me. By smell alone I didn't think I would enjoy this one. Then I moved on to the taste which totally changed my mind of this beer. At first it was bitter but then got really sweet and finished smoothly. It's probably sweet because of the honey. Other taste include chilies, spices, fruits, kind of earthy, and more cocoa/chocolate in the taste which wasn't really apparent until it warmed up more. Slightly above average mouthfeel, kind of medium bodied. At 9% ABV it's a bit high but I couldn't even notice the alcohol in the smell or taste. Pretty drinkable overall but I'd probably only do one of these in a night. Overall I wasn't sure what to expect from this one, but I ended up liking it. I will probably try and pick up one more bottle of it.

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Photo of beagle75
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the 750 ml bottle to a tulip glass.

A: Clear, light amber color with no head. No lacing remains on the glass.

S: Husky grain, slightly spirituous and very earthy. This beer's smell reminds of well-seasoned compost--but pleasantly so.

T: Begins dry with earth, toast, and caramel quickly sweetening to reveal marzipan, honey, and acidic dark fruit in the middle (especially cherries). The finish begins with reinforced earthy cocoa that translates with remarkable fidelity in a beer that does not look like something with chocolate in it. Some bitterness from the cocoa is detected but does not linger. No alcohol is detected in the taste.

M: Light to medium viscosity, very smooth on the palate, despite the prickly carbonation.

D: A curiosity that delivers an array of dark yet clean flavors without really compromising for the sake of its concept. Sensory qualities remind of a bier de garde or, forgiving the color, even a dubbel--surprisingly versatile for a beer brewed with cocoa and chiles.

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Photo of Briken
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear golden amber with thin white head with poor retention and lacing. Honey, pear, and vinous aroma with a hint of cocoa. Honey/fruit wine with chocolate linger well after. Thin, syrupy mouthfeel and light alcohol in finish.

There's not much more to describe this other than an interesting, sweet, and easy drinking mead. After several sips I had a hard time detecting any chocolate. I walked away for a minute and low and behold, there it was! A rich chocolatey feel and taste in my mouth. After that it became much more prominent and together with the mead and vinous characteristics made for a pleasant drinking experience. As for the chilis, I could only taste the faintest whispers occasionally which was unfortunate because I was looking forward to a little spiciness. Not exactly the bewitching elixir I was hoping for to accompany Jonah Hex however the movie sucked anyway and at least the beer was interesting. As always, DFH makes an interesting beer that must be experienced.

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Photo of gskitt
3.59/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a bright gold with a thin white head that dissipates rather quickly.
S- I don't get very much of anything but the honey but that is more than enough. Smells great.
T- I definitely taste the honey right up front yet it remains subdued. The cocoa comes at the end and the chiles tickle the back of the throat. I cannot figure out if I really like this beer or not. Leaning towards like but it leaves me confused.
M- Smooth and balanced.
D- As smooth as it is, 9% might affect its drinkability.

Am trying to give this beer time and realized that I do really like it yet think that for a chile beer, they don't come that much into play and that might be a good thing.

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Photo of TheBrewo
4.26/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from our oversized bottle, we have a headless orangey amber brew, of medium opacity. The nose is comprised predominantly of dark chocolates, with help from red cherries, apricots, a bit of coffee, and light malts. The sip begins with a bitter, and almost sour, cocoa character. This falls away, leaving cherries and grapes, in combination with a warming alcohol tinge, to carry us into the aftertaste. As a brew on the thicker side, it leaves the mouth nicely coated, and the palate savored. The carbonation is medium, but not offensively present. With a higher abv, and some unique, fruity components, this brew is more of a sipper.

Overall, we found this to be an interesting brew. While it lacked any burn that one might expect from a "chile beer", it certainly put forth some extraordinary flavor pairings. What we liked most about this brew was the distinct presence of the cocoa throughout both the aroma and taste profiles.

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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 Duttonic
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From notes 10/17/10. Got a bottle of this at Spec's in Houston.

A- Golden yellow, 2cm white head with large bubbles, vigorous bubbling throughout sampling.

S- Bitter to the quaff, sour, unsweetened coco powder, faint honey, citrus (lemonish).

T/M- light/medium body, airy texture, dry and bitter finish.

D- This is a different breed for me. I had never had a chile beer, but I was expecting something so much different I wonder if it alter my perception of it. I want to try it again, but it is expensive at $18.99/bottle when it can be found around my parts.

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Photo of grssmnperez
4.65/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had bomber dated from 2009 that i had cellaring in the wine cooler for 1 yr. opened and was hit with an awsome aroma of honey and spice! While pouring could see some hints of sediment from age and the color had changed from fresher batches that i've had throughout the year. The amber color had turned a beautiful orange and upon tasting was hit with awsome honey and coco flavor. I was dissapointed with the chile which didnt come through. I just seemed to want more and more and it was not dry @ all! Overall, and awsome expirience with age! Well worth the wait!

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Photo of Suds
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

First, I have to admit that I always enjoy trying an historic or archeological beer. I really like the experience and unique flavors. This beer is a golden, mostly clear liquid. There's some carbonation, but no head. Actually, from a distance it looks like a mead. It certainly doesn't smell like one. It has a strange aroma that's not at all beer-like. It has the scent of grape juice (not sure where that comes from), spice, background honey, and alcohol. Earthy and spicy. The intent seems to be to showcase cocoa, but I didn't initially get it. However, after trying some unsweetened baking cocoa for reference, the cocoa character is completely obvious. It's present in every sip, and is really very pleasant. Well done. The chilies seem to take the place of hops, and give the beer slightly warm finish and an apparent dryness. Still, it's a strange set of flavors, and although it's good, I can't call it incredibly drinkable. A great experiment, though.

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Photo of bucklemyshoe
3.56/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle at 42* into a dimpled mug.

A: This pours a vibrant orange color with hyperacive carbonation and some bubbly foam gathering on the edges.

S: It has notes of honey, orange, and a bit of bready malt (nowhere near what I expected).

T: It tastes like honey, orange, a bit of pepper, and a bready cocoa aftertaste. Overall, it's too sweet.

M: The carbonation bubbles up a bit after taking a sip and turns creamy.

D: Well this is a long leap from what I expected. Oddly, it shared more qualities with D.H. Midas Touch and Orange Blossom Pilsner than anything else. It is mead-like in sweetness and the chillies don't really leave a big impression.

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Photo of JayS2629
3.01/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a pint bottle into a tulip. I love most everything DFH does, but this one was disappointing. It definitely didn't meet its description on the bottle. This is the first chili infused beer I have ever had, and I must admit the ancho chili compliments the ingredients of this beer, but it was so subtle it took concentrating to notice it.

A- A hazy orange, honey tea color with high carbonation and a fizzy head that disappears quickly.

S- Cereal up front. Very weak smell. Hint of chili powder and hidden notes of Cocoa.

T- Like a light ale. Dry biscuit up front. Hints of vanilla and honey overpower the chilies and cocoa. The chili, while very complimentary, is only tasted for a second in the swallow and a slight bitterness in the aftertaste. The cocoa is completely swallowed up by the other flavors and is barely noticeable. I smelled it a few times in the aftertaste breath...very subtle. The 9% is well masked, however. But it does have a slight booziness.

M- Medium bodies, with a milky thickness and creamy feel. A high carbonation. Slightly sticky and slightly boozy.

D- Suprisingly very drinkable for such high alcohol. A slight burn, but a nice fizzy and medium bodied beer. Its easy to drink, but bland. My least favorite DFH so far. It doesn't meet its description. The ancho chilis are very subtle and offer no heat whatsover. The only heat is the booziness. The cocoa is completely subdued and is more of a smell than a taste. Honey and vanilla are in the forefront and vanilla isn't even mentioned in the description. The description said it was brewed with ground annatto which I've never had and don't have any idea what it taste like. I looked it up and it says it is similar to nutmeg. I guess, if you use your imagination you could throw nutmeg into the mix of flavors here. I wont' buy it again.

I want to pour it down the drain, but out of principle and the money I spent, I'll drink it. Its drinkable in the sense I don't have to force it down...but I'm looking foward to it being finished so I can move on to the next beer.

Let me end this on a good note: The more you drink it, the more noticeable the cocoa becomes. Though it is quite subtle.

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

A: Pours an orange honey color, with very active carbonation, and a half finger head that fades into some interesting patterns - like those of a cappuccino.

S: Cereal malts up front and then layers of cream soda, caramel, chocolate powder, vanilla, amaretto, dried chili powder, and hazelnut.

T: The first sip comes across as straight forward, kind of a light ale with hints of honey. But then the rest of the beer reveals itself. Hot chocolate with hints of vanilla, almonds, caramel, salt, honey. At the end there is a peppery kick.

M: Medium bodied, crisp with lots of carbonation initially with a creamy after coat.

D: This is a really beautifully crafted beer. All flavors are subtle but appreciable.

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Photo of stephens101
3.47/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gold with a fizzy pour and a light tan head that quickly disappears. Smells of slightly soured fruits and honey with a mild malty base. Tastes sweet, sour and spicy with a good hit of alcohol at the end and an undercurrent of chiles. A light fruitiness exists. Mouth-feel is medium and somewhat creamy. Goes down fairly smooth despite the lingering alcohol heat. Good beer that I would rather have had in a 12 oz. pour. Not for sure I'm so stoked on it that I can appreciate an entire bomber.

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Photo of YouSkeete
3.15/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Golden/Orange, A bit opaque with a white head. moderate lacing.

S: Honey almost overpowers the aroma, with slight notes of chili peppers, nutmeg and fruit (dark and citrus types, like plums, oranges and even some lemon.) Smell of alcohol is unmistakable.

T: Honey and chili peppers for sure. Very sweet, and mildly spicy. The chili peppers sets the impression of hops, but it's slightly less abrasive than a hop flavor itself. No cocoa whatsoever. Aftertaste is a strange combination of the honey and chili peppers.

M: Milky and slightly sticky on the palate. Medium carbonation, medium body.

D: Interesting, but not one of my favorites. Impressive, but i probably wouldn't get it again. Simply not my style.

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Photo of TexIndy
3.35/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a pint glass. "Bottled in 2010A" lasered onto the bottle. Fairly recent arrival so it's fresh. It was a hazy pale yellow color with light carb streams. It had a small, fizzy white head that quickly settled into nothing. No lacing.

The aroma was not what I expected. Really got no cocoa aroma but did get lots of mead-like honey, fruitiness and chilies. Very subdued. The taste followed the aroma with lots of honey, more of the chillies showing up and some fruit but no cocoa. Not bad tasting but just didn't grab me or leave an impression. Light to medium mouthfeel. Needs more carbonation.

I respect that DFH stretches and does this ancient recreations but this one didn't do much for me. Worth trying just to see what it was like long ago but would rather do it from a sample instead of a whole bottle. Avail here in TX. Rotation - good but one is enough [N;N]

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Photo of Bendurgin
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured this into a tulip. The body is a deep hazy golden straw color with little floaty things kicking around and just a thin layer of white head on top. The aroma releases a big whiff of honey right away. Underneath I smell sweet fruit and just a little bit of cocoa. I'm really not detecting any chili at all which seems a bit off. The flavor is thick and malty with honey sweetness coating the tongue to begin and just a touch of chili in the finish for a little after burn that is only enough to really know that it is there. Ever so slight hints of dry cocoa are present as well. The mouthfeel is very thick, bordering syrupy with really nice carbonation. Enjoyable drinkability, even at a pretty well hidden nine percent.

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Photo of shivtim
3.37/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Hazy golden with a small bubbly white head. Straw-ish. Sweet honey nose. Slightly earthy. A little bit of floral.

Taste is dense honey, alcohol on end, grainy. Chocolate is faint.

Nice full mouthfeel. Foamy.

Overall it's very unique, but doesn't quite hit the mark.

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Photo of 104bob
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bought at the Midway Mart.

Split the bottle with a friend.

The head dissipates very fast.

The nose doesn't really blow me away, not bad though.

There are some mild spices present, didn't pick up on the cocoa. This beer is much more tame than I expected from DFH.

Overall, I really enjoyed this beer. However, as with most DFH beers, it was nice to try but I probably won't be revisiting on a regular basis.

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Photo of champ103
2.48/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap at the Petrol Station. I enjoyed this on tap with armock. More for his company than the actual qualities of the beer.

A: Pours a dull hazy golden/orange color. A minimal white head forms, but recedes to nothing in a second. Not much lace to speak of. Almost macro like, which is not a good start to a beer IMO.
S: Some sweet malt up front, light spice and soapy hops. Grainy malt. Kind of adjunct like. Not much else. Really bland and very disappointing overall.
T: Sweet malt, light chocolate, and very light spice. Some light soapy hops. Nothing else. Completely bland and generic.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. Fairly creamy and smooth. Not a lot of alcohol noticeable, but just really bland and uninteresting. Glad I only got a pint instead of a bomber (this time anyway). It has been drained poured at other times.

I have had this many times, and it is not something I would recommend at all. Very bland and generic. Dogfish Head does some interesting stuff from time to time. Sometimes it is really good, sometimes it is average, and sometimes it is just bad. This is just bad IMO.

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