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 mempath
4.57/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours lively and rich....thick head, nice lacing

smell reminds me of a less intense, but still massively wonderful Midas Touch...sweet muscadine aspect...

taste continues the MT effect. less sweet and more sour. in a good way. not catching the chile...but that's ok. this is tasty, the viscosity is right on. and this is a high ABV pour, but i don't catch it in knocking out the whole bottle over 2 hours....very drinkable. dangerously so.

not quite stellar, but this is much better than the consensus B it has at this point...

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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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Photo of Damian
3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a 1 pint 9.4 fl. oz. bottle
Bottled in 2010
Served in a pint glass

Thanks to my friends Dave and Cassandra for this generous birthday gift.

The liquid poured a slightly hazed, light golden-amber color with a small, frothy white head that quickly dissolved.

The aroma was quite odd and rather simplistic. The first thing that came to mind was Welch's white grape juice that had been fermented. On closer examination, the nose had a slightly earth quality, akin to that of muscat grapes. Fruity and sweet. All in all, quite disappointing.

Like the aroma, the flavor profile was also rather unimpressive. On the front end, the beer tasted like a standard ale. Fruity and semi-sweet. A touch of honey came through. White wine notes appeared in the center. The finish was crisp and clean with some noticeable witbier-like flavors. Quite herbal. Somewhat spicy and tart. As the beer warmed, a touch of chili heat appeared as well.

The mouthfeel was very light and airy with a crisp, overly aggressive carbonation. The liquid instantly turned to fizz once it hit my tongue.

Drinkability was definitely this beer's strong point. Although the aromas and flavors seemed rather muted, the 9% ABV was incredibly well masked. I could easily envision myself putting down an entire bottle.

When I try a beer that it brewed with honey, cacoa and chiles, I expect it to taste like honey, cacoa and chiles. All three of these elements were hardly noticeable in this beer. I appreciate the efforts of Dogfish Head in recreating an authentic Mayan/Aztec drink. Unfortunately, this recipe did not translate well into a modern day brew.

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Photo of Spineypanda
4.37/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden hazy color and lacks the carbonation your "average" beer would have. Small head that resides to a thin ring around the glass.
Smells completely unique, not unlike the Chateau Jiahu, minus the flowers.
Mouthfeel is strongly spiced, and you get a burn right in the center of your tongue.
Taste is at first not so much the chocolate one would think of when the word cocoa comes to mind, but something more along the lines of earthy plant husks... with a little bit of cocoa. The peppers jump out right at the end of the taste, as you swallow. I almost could imagine it burning a little, but I eat a lot of peppers.

Good beer, and once again I am extremely excited by Dogfish Heads ancient ales.

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Photo of msmezher
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml Bottle bought at Farmer's Harvest in Huntington Beach, CA. A friend and I had been meaning to try this beer for a while and finally did last night. We were intrigued by the description listing cacao, honey, ancho chilies, and ground annatto as ingredients. While I liked many things about this beer, I felt the aftertaste was a little too malty sweet.

A: Golden amber and fairly clear with just the slightest amount of head when poured into goblets.

S/T: Sweet with a hint of spice. Of the flavors the honey, chilies, and annatto were the most prevalent, with hints of cacao mixed in. If anything I think Dogfish Head might have been going for too many things at once with this one.

M: I really enjoyed the mouthfeel of this beer, it was sharp with a kick to it from the chilies. If anything this element is what made the beer for me, the kick from the chilies really add to the experience.

A good bottle to split, especially if you wanted to try something pretty out of the ordinary with a lot of South and Central American flavors.

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Photo of 8ense1
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

To begin with, I would recommend that anyone trying this beer NOT read the label. Beer is best appreciated by drinking it and savoring it in the mouth and nose, not by forming a preconception in the head from what you've read and then vainly trying to fit the taste to what you expect. Best to pop the cap, pour it into a glass, and sip gently, making conclusions from the beer alone, not its description or alleged history.

Sampled tonight from a recapped champagne bottle (labeled 2010C) poured gently into my hybrid tulip/pilsner glass from Ollie's. It poured a deep amber, with yellow highlights, raising about an inch of foam which subsided quickly. A mouthful of foam gave a suggestion of a wine-like aroma, slightly vinegary.

This beer has a very bold, immediate, complex taste that is difficult to break down into notes. There is a full, satifyingly yeasty taste in the mouth and another, again dry-white-winey taste that jumps quickly to the nose. While it has no hop "bite" in the back of the mouth, it does come across as slightly and pleasingly bitter, with a bit of an astringent aftertaste that lingers between sips on the top of the tongue. This fades pleasingly to a gentle sweet taste that resolves to a honey note.

With a 9% ABV, the alcohol content does make itself felt before the glass is half spent, but it is not strong enough to make you dopey or unable to appreciate the taste. However, as noted, it is best sipped, without food, and appreciated slowly. A very, very fine craft beer.

Now on reading the label, I'm left wondering just what in the above can be laid to the chocolate nibs, ancho pepper, and annatto. With a little imagination I think I can pick out the chocolate from the complex bold first taste, but it certainly is no dark chocolate stout. My sense is that the unsweetened chocolate actually functions as the bittering element, like hops in a conventional beer, and the frizz that it sets up on my tongue is like the one I get after I eat a square of extremely dark chocolate (75% cacao). If there is a "hot" element caused by the ancho pepper, I cannot detect it. And I'm not familiar with the use of annatto as a spice (I gather it's similar to nutmeg) to pick it out. The honey does stand out, but more as an aftertaste than a first taste.

Mayan royal "drink of the gods"? I doubt it. But it certainly is a very nice end-of-the-week relaxer for a hard-working lower-middle-class peon.

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Photo of vandemonian
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My Theobroma poured with a orange colour, a 1 cm head and decent lacing. Nice earthy, chocolate smell with a hint of spiciness. The cocoa is immediately apparent and tastes good then it fades into a slightly muddy aftertaste. Still a really nice, and unusual, beer. Very drinkable.

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Photo of curtiswvu
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance- golden carmel in color, with a reddish tinge around the edge.

Smell- weak fruit and almost a commerical lager smell.

Taste- very interesting flavor, I get the chili peppers for sure but its a very light spice. A bit of citrus zest and a honey finish. Taste the alcohol and yeast on the back end.

Mouthfeel- medium bodied with a every so slight tingle from the pepper.

Drinkability- This is an interesting beer, only half way through my bomber and I am not sure if I would be sick of it after one bottle or if it would be suprisingly sessionable at 9%.

Overall a good beer, but there are many better choices from DFH (120 min, 90 min, Santo, WWS, Bithces Brew, Fort, etc...)

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Photo of deadliest
3.66/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I'll try anything once, so even after reading the description and coming to the conclusion that I would probably not like this, I bought one. Can't resist a beer made from an ancient recipe!

A: Crystal clear golden amber with tiny bits of sediment wandering about. The DFH signature glass keeps very steady stream of bubbles flowing to the top that keeps the head from disappearing completely.

S/T/M: Of all the ingredients, honey dominates the smell. When I try very hard I can sort of make out the peppers, but really I doubt I would have thought that if I didn't know beforehand that they were in there. The taste is less honey-overwhelmed. While certainly prominent, the chocolate and peppers come through effortlessly in the taste. For a dry tasting beer has kind of a slicker mouthfeel than I would have expected.

D: Decent drinkability, but starts to wear on me towards the end of the bomber. This is a beer that is better than I thought it would be. Far from my favorite DFH offering, I'm glad I've tried it, though, and recommend the unique experience to anyone.

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

Thanx to bwd110 for this 750ml bottle

A: poured a brownish orange with yellow highlights that had a thin head and left a little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: I did off the bat get orange and honey notes but the chilis were slight faint with sweet malt notes as well. It did have some faint smokiness and candy popsicle notes too; weird stuff.

T: the honey and citrus flavors blend well alongside the ancho chilis which are not potent at all but do add a little dimension to the overall taste. I do get some grains and slight malt notes on the backend.

M: the brew was light body to medium with a fair amount of carbonation which had a sweet and slight spicey smooth finish.

D: it drank very good but I have to say its not one of my favorites coming fron DFH. I honestly think it was better the first time around.

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Photo of Rickythejeweler
1.45/5  rDev -62.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

I bought this 750ml for 14 bucks in hopes to try another delicious Dogfish Head brew...Well this is the worst DFH beer I have had and I absolutely love almost every single DFH beer I have tried to date, but this was more than disappointing.

A - It looked like flat orange soda, no head, no lacing. It was a 2010 batch as stamped on the bottle.

S - Very light nose, pepper and honey is all I got.

T - It had nothing but a very light honey taste upfront, and A peppery aftertaste. Thats it. Nothing more. Not a hint of any type of chocolate. Very disappointing.

M - Light carbonation, drank like a white wine.

D - I would tell anyone if you see this bottle in passing at the liquor store, let it pass. Awful.

Dogfish Head is still my favourite brewery for now, but I hope this is not the direction new brews from DFH take.

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Photo of BDTyre
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Interesting "ancient" beer from DFH. Amber with strong red highlights and a thin, wispy head that settles and dissipates quite quickly.

Slightly sweetish honey scent with a whisper of chillies and chocolate.

The cocoa nibs really lend a dry, dark chocolate character to the flavour. The honey sweetens it up a bit, but not so much that its too sweet. The chillies are noticeable but they don't really bite like I expected them too. The flavour are well-blended, so much so that no one flavour really stands out and in a way they become a bit muddled.

Good mouthfeel, just the right amount of carbonation but I think this could stand to be a bit thicker. A nice sipper, even at 9%

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Photo of CONOR8832
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Mild head, what head it does have disipates pretty quickly, nice rich honey color, like fresh honey right off the comb, with a few other darker tones (light browns and tans) are present.

S - Ahh the sweet nectar of life, honey. Sweet honey, with a spicy note that tickles the nose, mild scent of dark cocoa leaves you with a bitter sweet smell.

T - At first sip the honey flavor with a mild spicy after shock, then at the second sip there are some mild cocoa flavors mixed with the spicy, peppery honey flavors, not sweet but bitter like unsweeted cocoa that you would bake with.

M - Nice spicy twang that shocks the palate, not heavily bodied but there is some substance there. Leaves a good warm feeling in you mouth.

D - Hands down this is a great beer, not my personal favorite but a damn you good beer that really grows on you. It has such a strange and wonderful combination of flavors that you can not help but like it. This is a perfect beer to have on a cold stormy day to give you a warm cozy feeling inside. Everyone needs to try this beer and taste a piece of history with some "food for the gods"!

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Photo of DovaliHops
3.06/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours an almost-clear amber-golden color with some sediment floating around in it. The head is medium sized and dissolves quickly. Smell is very sweet with some very noticeable alcohol. Sweet fruits along with some zesty spices. I also get a slight "medicine-like" smell which is kinda a turn-off. Taste is very interesting. Immediately I get a boozy taste once sipping it. At 9%, I wasn't expecting this much heat. I also pick up some fruits (apple, pear, grapes). I get quite a bit of roasted malt as well. The alcohol flavor is a bit overwhelming (takes away from the other flavors). This is my first "Chile" beer, but I'm not tasting any I'm a bit confused. Mouthfeel is pretty nice, but drinkability isn't so high.

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Photo of Docer
3.05/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Buddy cracked a bottle... I still have one aging...

- Clear copper brew... quick off-white fizz.. leaves just a touch of foam riding in the center...

- Lightly sweet... herbal.... grassy.. earthy... bright zesty annatto... grain..

- Sweet and fruity zest, herbal... grassy... sweet caramel... malts... thin...

- Light bodied, bit syrupy.. sticky...

- Overall it's very interesting. Can't say it's fantastic... but it has its highs and lows all in one bottle... wouldn't buy again though.

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Photo of jeffjeff1
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this at work. We had a private employee tasting of it.

Appearance- golden color, thin head

Smell- fruit aroma, spice

Taste- very interesting flavor, I thought it tasted mostly like fruits and spice. I didn't get any spicy hot flavor from it.

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- I thought it was very good. I didn't even realize it was a chile beer until I looked for it tonight. I didn't even think of a chile beer when I tried it.

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

Poured from 750 to DFH signature pint.

Appearance - Pours a golden amber that is completely translucent. Little to no head, it disspates almost immediately and all that is left is a white ring, no lacing.

Smell - Not much going on, a bit of sweetness, maybe in the form of some kinds of fruits, a bit of spicyness going on, hard to discern. A small amount of corn and chocolate. Some kind of weird spice, not sure which appears as it warms.

Taste - You get the sweetness, you get some chocolate and you get some of they spicyness from the chillies. The chocolate surprised me because it was in the nose but it's bigger on the tongue. The spicy pepper can be tasted. This tasted better than I thought it would. The honey gives it a nice dry character and overall pretty good.

Mouthfeel - Feels overcarbonated, maybe my pour was poor. The body seems thin and the weight seems pretty light. I haven't had a lot of "chile beers" to weight this against though.

Drinkability - Despite everything else this is pretty tasty and I will have no problems getting through the 750. The flavors mix well to make something that isn't incredible but is enjoyable.

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Photo of TheStig
3.27/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very little head, and a nice, still-bubbling golden body

A very thin, subtle note of chocolate under a more prominent honey scent-- but the honey is mild too.

Chocolate! I was surprised at just how noticable the chocolate was, considering its understated smell. The use of unsweetened cocoa nibs acts as the primary bitterrant, so this is very much not a sickly-sweet beer.

Mild heat from the chile peppers, but nothing too shocking or unpleasant.

This is not an every day beer, but yet another for special occasions. I should note that my girlfriend (who loves spicy food) had a glass of this and spent the rest of the evening complaining of a stomach ache because the combination of the peppers, chocolate and alcohol didn't mix well in her system, but I felt fine. I wouldn't drink this on an empty stomach if you're sensitive to peppers.

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

A: The pour is a light golden amber sort of color with a short lived white head.

S: For a chile beer with so many special ingredients, I don't get much out of the nose. Some light fruitiness, almost melon-like, with some corn, perhaps. I don't really pick up any chile or cocoa, etc.

T: The flavor is similarly lackluster. A definite sweetness that is somewhat like apple juice. The chile flavor is mild at best, and the cocoa is barely noticeable.

M: The body is on the lighter side of medium with a lively carbonation. Probably the best thing about this beer.

D: I suppose I'm glad this beer wasn't horrendously bad like it certainly could have been. But, it wasn't really any good either.

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

A - Pours very light gold in color with two fingers of head, good retention and decent lacing.

S - Very mild notes of cocoa, pepper, honey, hops.

T - Although it is indeed good, not nearly as impressive as one would hope. Mild sweetness from the chocolate, subtle notes of honey and chilies.

M - Feels really well balanced between the flavors and carbonation.

D - Although it is very drinkable, I can't say that I would rush for another. Glad to have tried this one and appreciate the attempt, but honestly not all that impressed.

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

This poured into the glass a really nice honey gold with little head and some light lacing. It's a pretty beer.

There is a slightly musty aroma mingle with the stronger aromas of honeycomb and malt. I also got a faint spice and almost vegetal aroma, not unpleasant, but not expected either.

This beer lets you know there is a lot going on. Light malt and biscuit flavors with a good honey presence. A dark, alkaline chocolate flavor comes through from the cocoa nibs along with the same chocolate bitterness. The chile heat sneaks in the back, but warms rather than burns. The light carbonation and body kept this easy drinking throughout, and it was a very refreshing session that got more complex as it warmed up. I'd like this again and was glad to have had it.

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Photo of TheHungryHiker
3.41/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A= Poured into a goblet a murky golden orange with very little head. Tight little champagne bubbles in a continuos stream to the headless surface.

S= I was expecting sensory overload, but got very little aroma and bouquet. I detected a touch of honey and some notes from the ancho, but no malts and just a suggestion of hops.

T= A deep sip, swirled around my mouth. Not what I was expecting. First sensation was a flash of malty sweetness which rapidly gave way to bitter ancho and bitter light cocoa. Oddly enough, the flavor of honey is there, but without the sweetness. The bitterness dissapated quickly, leaving not much behind as far as a finish goes.

M= Sharp carbonation, but again, in tight little bubbles. I think the carbonation might be too much. It seems to cleanse the palate of the flavors that are packed in there, but unable to break through.

D= Given the combination of honey, ancho, cocoa and annato seed, I was looking forward to pairing this with a bowl of chili or some barbequed brisket, but it just doesn't have the backbone to handle it.

A final note: I respect and embrace the philosophy behind this entire series of recreating ancient recipes. Therefore, I try each one well knowing that it is not a modern day version of beer, and so, anything might happen. It is in that spirit that I will continue to try the next in the series when it comes out.

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Photo of allthatAles
4.72/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pour: hazy, Golden honey hued. head formed and well structured. breaking down slowly.

Nose: delicious, it reeks of honey with slight hint of malt and ghostly imprint of hops. it also has nuance of creme

Mouth: absolutely heavenly! Honey/malt and cocoa on the front, ancho chile and hops in the middle as it gives way to creme, cocoa, honey warming on the way down thanks to the chiles and the 9% ABV

This is in my opinion the best offering i've sampled from DFH. though, i have yet to enjoy the pleasure of the midas touch and based on the concept of it i wonder how the two would stack up against one another.

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Photo of ism
3.11/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The pint bottle has an interesting and beautiful label. It makes it a little bit harder to review since it's an ancient historical recreation.

Pours a pale orange gold, with a fairly thin head. Nose is subtle, sweet honey and smoky spice, but so balanced it smells almost neutral. Gentle carbonation up front in a thin body, but washes over the tongue with a sweet thickness. The flavor matches the nose, and you have to believe it's magic if you can put so many ingredients in and still result in something so bland. The sweetness matches the chocolate bitterness so well, and I can barely catch the ancho in the finish. It gets kinda boring so it's not all that sessionable.

I really appreciate it, being an interesting brew, and I'd like to adjust my ratings but then it'd skew it against current, modern offerings. I don't think it's a chile beer, but I guess there isn't really a category for it. It's cool like Midas Touch but not something I'd normally have.

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Photo of tlazaroff
3.39/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had in snifter, on draft at the Fairfax, VA Alehouse

A: Orange in color, no head. Not quite opaque but not quite clear either.

S: I couldn't get much on the nose but a little honey.

T: Little bit of chocolate, some herbal/vegetal flavors.

M: A bit astringent, it feels like it scrapes the tongue and lingers for a few minutes.

D: Only 1 per sitting for me, not a session beer :)

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