Theobroma | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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TheobromaTheobroma
BA SCORE
3.85/5
Very Good
2,215 Ratings
TheobromaTheobroma
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States
dogfish.com

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!).

8 IBU

Added by slvrmon82 on 03-21-2008

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#12,436
Reviews:
779
Ratings:
2,215
pDev:
14.81%
Bros Score:
4.5
 
 
Wants:
279
Gots:
373
Trade:
2
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,215 |  Reviews: 779
Photo of ATLbeerDog
3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a bold orange/red with a full ½ inch white head. Smells of cloves, spices, vanilla, and honey. First sip is both spicy and mellow - very complex . A creamy milkshake like smoothness adds to great mouthfeel. Unfortunately, there is simply too much going on here with no one flavor taking charge. It is just a mess.

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Photo of neenerzig
4.68/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First of all as a big chile head myself who loves hot peppers and hot sauces and has had other chile beers both good and bad, this is simply not a chile beer! The classification here of it on this site as a chile beer should be changed ASAP. This is most likely an herbed/spiced beer or an ancient herbed ale. I mean think about it, this beer is not like Rogue Chipotle Ale, which is a true representation of a good chile beer. Even Ed's Cave Creek chile beer, shitty as it is in my opinion, is in some ways more of a chile beer than this one. Just because this beer has a hint of chile in it, and chile sweetness at that not even a spicy chile flavor, does not make it a chile beer! However this is a really kick ass beer! I sent a request about a week ago now for the classification to be changed, but to no avail thus far. Anyways onto the review, which is from my notes seeing as how I drank this about 12 days ago now. Also the picture of the bottle of beer posted here was taken by my good friend Jon (imaguitargod) at my house on the evening that we split a bottle of this.

Split a bottle of this with a friend recently. Poured into my pint glass. This beer is a cloudy copper/amber color. the white frothy looking head was an inch thick when poured that settled to a very nice surface coating with very nice lacing several minutes after being poured. Aromas of cocoa and honey are present, followed by a slight smell of sweet spice. the taste is pretty much the same, a malty honey flavor along with strong hints of cocoa and a slight, earthy sweet chile flavor, but there is no burning spiciness or heat, as there is in say Rogue Chipotle Ale. Rounded out with a slight toasted biscuity flavor. Has a crisp and smooth, full bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. A great beer all around Extremely easy to drink, the 9% ABV is very well hidden indeed. Seeing as how my friend and I initially paid $22.00 for a bottle of this to go at bar we were at recently, I am damn glad I was able to another bottle to age for only $12.00 A truly fantastic and unique beer here!

Eric

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Photo of tiffanya
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into Caracole snifter glass.

Faint spices on the nose.

Smooth mouthfeel.

Flavor - malty with cocoa butter and honey. Hints of chiles rushing in & out as the beer changes temperatures.

Interesting; complex.

Well-hidden alcohol.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the DFH website:
"This beer is based on chemical analysis of pottery fragments found in Honduras which 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 1200 BC. 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). Theobroma is 10% abv and will be available in Champagne bottles for a September 2008 release.

... I had no idea that this beer existed until I saw the bottle on the shelf, and when I read the label listing "...cocoa nibs, cocoa powder, ancho chilies, & ground annatto" I was quite excited. I thought of dark milk chocolate with chilies - yum! But what I skipped right past was the "honey", and there's more honey to it than cocoa. Oh sure it's there (as are the chilies in a perfect quantity!), but I'd have liked to have more chocolate flavor. Surprisingly, perhaps - or perhaps not - the annatto comes through loud and clear. It's kind of nutmeg-like, and it lends a nice, kind of earthy or woody edge to the beer. But I'm getting way ahead of myself...

To re-start off, as usual, DFH has created a great label. I love the Mayan/Aztec look to it, and the cartoonish (and even sexy) girl rounds it out perfectly.

It's a slightly hazy deep-amber beneath a creamy head of off-white. The nose is enticing with a combination of clear pepper, cocoa, and honey. You'd have to know the annatto was in there to associate it. Or maybe not.

In the mouth it's medium-full in body and creamy with a fine-bubbled, seemingly natural, moderate carbonation.

The flavor is at first sharply fruity and honeyish. It quickly yields to maltiness, woodiness, and cocoa-notes accented by nutmeg (annatto). The malt is rich, toasty, and somewhat similar to Vienna malt... kind of like a 'beefed-up' Maerzen. The pepper kicks in just as it crosses the palate, and then lends a minor burn to the swallow and the lingering, surprisingly cocoa-ish finish. There are some grassy notes, but whether they come from hops or something else is a bit of a mystery. Overall, the combination of honey, fruitiness, cocoa, chilies, and spice is quite intriguing! They don't exactly come together in a perfect balance, yet that gives it some charm, and to a certain extent, even greater depth of character. It's unusual, and complex, even though all of the flavors are pretty boldly right out there.

Without question, and regardless of anything else, I'd have to say that this is one of the most unique beers on earth at this point in time!!! That's not too unusual for DFH, however, as I think they did that years ago with Immort Ale. And there have been quite a few more in between. That said, it's a bit of a 'must-try'. Beyond that, it's actually pretty drinkable. At 9 or 10% abv, it's small glass fare, meant to be savored not quaffed, and a bottle can be split between 2 - 4 people easily. Not to be missed!

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Photo of nrbw23
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a golden orange color with a thin white head. Not too much lacing spotty at best.

S- Touch of chocolate, spicey, and fruity.

T- Very different here nothing like I expected. Chocolate covered chilli peppers, followed up with some citrus and finishes nice and spicy.

M- Fairly light in body and nice carbonation.

D- Really easy to drink even thought the higher ABV and the chilli.

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Photo of Brad007
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light golden-copper color with a thin one-finger head and subdued carbonation.

Aroma is sweet and malty with a hint of the cocoa powder, honey and chiles. Subtle and inviting.

Taste is nice and spicy upfront with a mouthfeel full of cocoa and honey. Sweetness from the malt is there along with a very faint alcohol burn.

Mouthfeel is a bit dry and sweet with cocoa and honey flavors sticking at the back of the throat.

Seems very drinkable but I don't really see how it stands out. It's well done though. Definitely would shine with some aging.

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Photo of jsled
3.22/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

From the Winooski Beverage Warehouse in Winooski, VT. 1pt 9.4 fl oz bottle, purchased 2008-09-27.

Pours: mostly clear rich gold. Solid, active light-tan head, receding modestly.

Smell: sweet, peppery. floral. Unique.

Taste: sweet. balanced. not malty. Very faint chili notes. No discernible cocoa or chocolate. After-taste of chili, but fleeting. No traditional "honey" character, but the sweetness is undoubtedly that. Subsequent sips have a more pronounced chili/pepper earthyness.

Mouthfeel: light. lingering sweetness. little carbonation.

Drinkability: moderate. The flavors are not off-putting, but the combination is strange. It certainly doesn't taste like a 9% beer, which is dangerous, but there's something about it that makes me content to just leave the glass on the table a bit longer than usual.

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Photo of lbkornlb14
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Unlike any other beer Ive ever had. There is really no cocoa nibs or cocoa powder taster, I Thought it would pour dark but ended up pouring light/ a tint of orange. I waited for this beer since I heard about it, I was impressed because it was so different. I could not pinpoint one flavor except maybe the honey on the finish and a little cinnamonesqe smell on the nose. Really great effort by DFH. try it if you see it, my review will make a little more sense

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

On-tap into 10oz snifter. Dogfish Alehouse in Falls Church, VA.

Hazy ruby hue with a thin light tan head that settles to a thin rim.

Very light fruity notes that make up most of the aroma, with somewhat flowery scents.

The sweet fruit flavors repeat with flavors like apple or peach. A touch of chocolate comes in at the end. Full bodied, with a slightly syrupy feel. The alcohol shows up more as it warms.

Considering the beer has chili in it, it's a very sweet and flowery beer, not much spiciness at all. Makes for a good dessert beer.

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Photo of cbl2
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

9/27/2008 $14.99 750 mL 9.00% Bottled in 2008.

Appearance:

Pours a crystal clear orange brown topped by a huge 2 inch tight white head that is extremely slow to settle, leaving behind a beautiful lace when it does.

Aroma:

A touch of nutmeg and chocolate with a bit of a spicy burn from the ancho chile.

Taste/Mouthfeel:

Nice chewy, yet smooth mouthfeel. Flavors of honey and grapes, reminiscent of Midas Touch are then cut with a blast of subdued spicyness that builds in intensity. A subtle chocolate presence appears in the finish, with notes of hot cocoa. Alcohol is nicely masked. All in all a nicely balanced beer and a return to historical fashion in the vein of Midas (I didn't care for Jihua).

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Photo of pwoods
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

beachbum1975 shared this with me at his house, thanks a bunch!

750ml brown DFH wine style bottle. Poured into a snifter.

A: Pours an orangy light copper with a bit of murkiness. A good head pours and holds for a little bit. No lacing.

S: Some starchy, rooty veg. A touch of cayenne spice in the back but not heat in the nose. Some biteless anise.

T/M: More of the starchy and potato like veg. Definitely more of the pepper spice and thankfully lacking almost all heat. Not really picking up on much chocolate... maybe a touch of sweetness and very slight milkiness. Body is medium with subdued carbonation.

D: Very interesting and tasty enough. 9% is a bit limiting but it's nearly undetectable and drinks pretty easy. Glad I got to try it but I'll probably trade mine.

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Photo of beachbum1975
2.52/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Got a 750ml of this anticipated beer at Dutch's in Hyde Park. Jay, the owner said he just got this off the truck yesterday. Shared with pwoods at my place.

A: Pours a slightly cloudy, rust yellow with a nice creamy off-white head that disappears quickly.

S: After a good roll in my glass, I smell a murky, earthy, musty blend of undefinable scents. Smells also included cinnamon and a strange lingering spiciness, almost like pepper.

T/M: Surprisingly light-bodied with a fair variety of flavors including mild cinnamon, muted anise, earthy hops, mildly toasted malts. The finish was warm (almost spicy). As the beer warmed, the alcohol became more prevalent. This reminds me of the 2006 vintage of Three Floyd's Munsterfest - lots of earthiness.

Overall, this was unique beer and I am glad I had the opportunity to try. Would I buy it again? Probably not, no thanks - too light bodied and strange for me...

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Photo of phattysbox
4.6/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

New York City premeire of this brew - on tap at the East Village Tavern. First 25 people got a DFH snifter - I was #4!! Cheers to DFH!

Pours a very fine 1 inch head that slowly recedes. There is a nice lacy sticking all the way to the bottom of the glass. Color is a light orange and slightly hazy. A woderful looking brew.

Never smelled anything quite like this before. Dry cocoa powder followed by sweetly spicy smell from the annato (sp?) and chiles. There is a faint husk in the back - but quite pleasing.

Tastes like chocolate covered chipotle chiles!! Though not in a very strong way at all. This brew has two completely different tastes as it moves from front to back. At first you get sweet and subtle chocolate and malts. This is followed by a very subtle chipotle chile feel. I like this very much as compared to other chile beers - others seem to assertive and spicy. A nice hop character (also subtle) rounds everything out. 10% ABV?? Never noticed it - in the smell or taste. Impressive. Meduim bodied and dry, this brew goes down real smooth.

Drinkability is fantastic given the chiles and high ABV.

Hands down the best chile beer out there.

Nicely done DFH, when are you bottling?

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Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

served on-tap at the rehoboth brewpub, this was a very interesting experiment and something i'd get again. billed by the server as a chili and chocolate beer, i expected something dark, roasty, and spicy. what arrived, however, was a clear gold, viscous-looking beer with a nice creamy white head and thick lacing. pale malty dough, honey, and floral notes in the bouqet with a hint of cocoa butter preceded a taste of prominent fresh sweet malt that led to a semi-drying finish. nice bit of cocoa butter on the back end along with some vague spice. rich, full mouthfeel with just the right level of carbonation. this surely doesn't seem like the 10% we were told it was.

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Photo of slvrmon82
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From dogfish's website...

Theobroma



This beer is based on chemical analysis of pottery fragments found in Honduras which 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 1200 BC. As per the analysis, Dogfish Head's Theobroma (translated into 'food of the gods') is brewed with Aztec cocoa powder and cocoa nibs, honey, chilies, and annatto (fragrant tree seeds).



Theobroma is 10% abv and will be available in Champagne bottles for an August 2008 release.

Just went on tap at the dogfish brewpub with a release in bottles in August. It is absolutely amazing. It is the pilot batch but it is worth the drive to taste at the brewpub. It is a hazy golden color. Nice inch head that stays with you.

The smell is very chocolate but also kind of yeasty. I was amazed at the taste. It is lighter than I imagined. Lots of chocolate with lots of honey and this almost anise flavor (annatto). At the end is a lingering spiciness. It is an in depth beer for sure. Check it out and cant wait till I dont have to drive when it is bottled this summer. Keep it up dogfish!!!!

Drinkibility was not as good because it was so sweet.

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