Theobroma | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

very good
776 Reviews

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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Reviews: 776 | Ratings: 2,209
Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.79/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a ruby orange in color with no head that forms too long on the pour. Smell is very floral with a good amount of honey. Taste is fairly sweet, light and refreshing. I'm getting a bit of light fruit as well. Really clean and amazingly non-cloying in the mouth. I've taken several sips of this beer and still can't figure it out. There's just so much going on in this beer that it keeps it interesting. Good and very interesting beer, but not setting the world afire.

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Photo of kenoftheyear
4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle.

Pours a light murky brown with some reddish amber hues. There is a very thin layer of head even after I tried to hurry some head out of it.

The aroma was very much of muscat grape which obviously made me think of the Midas Touch. I was expecting some chocolate in the aroma but didn't perceive any. Although I can detect a slight sweet peppery smell below the fruit.

The flavor is very much multi-dimensional with the cocoa powder making it's first appearance. The use of the powdered form is apparent from some earthy root-like chocolate notes. I do get some of the grape flavors that I detected in the aroma but it is shoved to the back by the chocolate. There is also a very pleasant spicy bitterness that balances some honey sweetness. This certainly came from the chiles that were used but possibly from some hops as well.

The mouthfeel is moderate with a stinging bite of carbonation.

I find this beer very interesting and drinkable considering it's 9% abv. It's making me wish I had a dark fruit dessert of some sort, maybe a rum raisin cake or some bread pudding(mmm).

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Photo of chakadrum
4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle.

Honey in color. Slight haze. I expected it to be darker in color. There was very little head which dissipated rather quickly. The lacing is also missing (which might be partially due to the fact that I just cleaned my glass).

I can't really smell much other than a subtle hint of chocolate.

The taste is impressive. I've only had one other chile beer and I didn't think it was very good. This has hints of chilies which it exactly what I would expect. No heat from the chilies but just a little bit of nice flavor (even more so as it warms up). As expected there are also hints of chocolate. I refrain from saying cocoa because there is a sweetness to the beer that reminds me more of a Hershey's bar than a chunk of baker's chocolate.

I would enjoy drinking this while eating a Mexican dish (perhaps something with a mole sauce).

Smooth mouthfeel. Carbonation level is spot-on.

I'd definitely try this one again and would consider hanging on to a bottle for a special occasion just because it is a pretty neat beer. This isn't just a novelty styled beer but a good beer that can stand up on its own.

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.84/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First ever chile beer for me, so something new and exciting, and how can you not get excited about "the food of the gods". A very understated beer, which is weird considering who makes this beer. It's categorized as a chile beer but there are only slight hints of such that are detectable in the aroma. Most of the aroma is brought together in a slight chocolate, nutmeg and black pepper spiciness, which is where I imagine the chilies in this beer impart at least some of their influence. Also, for a beer made with coco nibs or whatever the bottle says, the color is also something to note.

This beer tastes like something that was made a long time ago, not that this beer tastes old, in fact it tastes quite fresh, but it feels like something ancient people would be into drinking. Initial taste is sort of bland, a mild bit of chocolate, nutmeg and honey, and some kind of essential oil/spice that I really can't put my finger on. The beer really takes a different character after the sip, when the beer is passed and only the impression remains on your tongue. When this happens the chile aspect of the beer becomes far more apparent and does a lot of work in recovering an otherwise lackluster and lazy mouthfeel.

I'm not really sure what to think about this beer, it doesn't blow me away, but then again not too many beers have that quality. There are things in this beer that I've never experienced (I realize I sound like I'm not writing about a beer at this point) but it really doesn't impress me that much. Appearance is lacking and aroma could use a boost, but really I'm only saying this because that's what I want to match in my head. The truth is this beer has an interesting mix between sweetness and spice that might create an interesting drinking experience for some people, but right now, I'm just not that person.

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Photo of mcallister
3.92/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not sure what to look for in this beer and looks nothing like I anticipated. Pours a dull amber with little head. Was expecting something with more depth of color considering the ingredients.

Nose is nice and soft but not overly complex. Some fruity aspects with a slightly musty aroma. Hard to tell what I'm really smelling. Some spicey, earthy tones.

A good beer, very easy drinking that shows nothing in the way of 9% abv. Almost tastes like a lager. Bready malts with a crisp carbonation on the finish that helps things end creamy. Light cocoa attributes. Wonderfully balanced and sophisticated beer. Lack big complexity but sometimes the over complex gets old.

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Photo of roadhouse
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a pint glass.

Appears a clear golden orange color with a three inch plus off-white head.

Aroma is certainly unique. There is a certain sweetness to it, I'm not detecting any chocolate. I've never smelled annatto but I think that's part of what I'm getting. Not sure if I can pick up any of the chilis, I know ancho chilis are very mild.

Taste is basically exactly the same as the aroma. Sweetness up front, chocolate and chilis still not detectable.

Mouthfeel is medium, but closer to light. Smooth and easy to drink, no hint of it being 9% ABV.

Overall I was very disappointed in this. I remember reading of the Aztecs making chocolate drinks with chilis and I was hoping it would at least have some flavor aspect from those ingredients.

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Photo of mnapier
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving Temperature, 45 degrees. Serving Glassware, 16 ounce (NB) Globe.

The beer pours reddish orange with some clarity and minor particles within. The head profile starts strong but dies rather quickly and leaves a fine film on the surface.
A waft of sweet mild pepper and cocoa is evident along with the same aforementioned qualities in the mouth alongside some earth tones. Overall mouthfeel is medium.

Surprisingly good considering who's up for a brownie?


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Photo of Brianmerrilyn
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

George Keely's had this on tap and after reading about the ingredients and history, I was sold. There were several other beerk geeks that arrived at the ginmill around the same time in search of this special creation.

A- Poured into a snifter, colar was partially cloudy gold, showing off a thick white finger head. Laced down very fast to the bottom with a 1/4 cap if at all.

S- Much more subdued than I was expecting. The spice for the most part over shadowed the chocolate but there was still a good sweet scent coming into my nostirls.

T-Nothing stood out immediately but the heat from the spices and chili came out first, and as with following the nose, the cocoa and some honey at the end.

M- Overall quite light, the burn is different in that you add the carbonation to the chili's but it does not burn but keeps your mouth warms.

D-Needless to say, this is a first of many for me. It improved vastly with time sitting at the stick looking for my next glass. Overall, I'm proud to have a limited production from Dogfish and won't need to worry about the buying limit.

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Photo of DrDogbeer
4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had at the Union. Thanks TP!! Poured into a small pint glass. Pours a slightly hazy light orange with a thin off white head. A little fizzy. Smell is very faint. Light amounts of chocolate and some sweet malt. Taste is all over the place- but fantastic. I get some chocolate at first but the mouthfeel is fantastic- very light and fizzy. It is like you cn fel the chiles at work. As the beer warms I get the full complement of flavors-some chocolate, spices, cinamon, chile and even some coffee. How they do all those in a beer that is not a thick, syrupy stout or proter astounds me. Great beer- very original!

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Photo of aerozeppl
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Nice hazy golden color. Poured with a finger of white head. No lacing really. Looks almost like a mead.

S: The smell is different. The honey s up front and you do get a bit of chillis in the back. There is some hints of chocolate there.

T: Very sweet up front. Honey really dominates. The chocolate is there. The chilli is not as pronounced as I would like. Totally different than anything else I have ever had.

M: Thick and syrupy. Almost no carbonation.

D: Really weird beer. Glad they went out on a limb to make something like this. I don't know if I would want this all the time but it was good.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was quite unlike any beer I've ever had, and I still feel ambivalent about it. The beer was an orange color with a small white head. It had a faint cocoa and spice aroma. A cocoa taste with a peppery background. The pepper lingered for a long while, but was not unpleasant. I'd like to try this again.

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Photo of Raymond69
3.76/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours with a clear orange glow. Decent head, some lacing.

Aroma is very faint , some sweet caramel malts.

I expected this to be over the top on tasting, but it's pretty mild. Slight warming of the mouth with the ancho chillies. Cocoa nibs are used in the brewing but not really discernible to my palate. Overall the spices seem to work together.

Mouthfeel is medium , good carbonation.

Overall a very well done beer.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
3.76/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Champagne bottle bomber poured into a pint

A burnt orange body with a thin off-white cap. Streams of carbonation from the bottom to the top. Little to no retention and lacing.

Has a very unique smell to it. Cocoa, ripe fruit, spicey peppers, and a touch of honey. The smell almost turned me off of this one.

The flavors actually work much better together than the aromas. A fruity, cocoa infused, spicy honey ale. The peppers used add a good amount of heat to this beer, and it builds in your mouth over time.

Medium bodied and creamy. Has a billowing feeling in the mouth.

A sipper due to the spicyness, but not at all detracting from the overall experience. A unique beer.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to edbeer for sharing this one. Poured a translucent honey gold with a half inch off-white head. Some stringy lacing, but weak legs. Nose is earthy, spicy and cocoalicious. Cocoa character is amplified in the nose as the brew warms. Dominant flavor is cocoa/baker's chocolate (but a little sweeter), as well as honey and a subtle chili spice presence. Mouthfeel fell between light and medium with an even level of carbonation throughout. A truly interesting beer. So much complexity for such a light-bodied/colored brew and character changes as it warms. Well worth a try.

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Photo of ThirstyBird
3/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Ed for sharing the 750ml at Track 84
Pretty yellow in color.
Smells of root vegetables mostly beets I think.
Tastes of cocoa...maybe ovaltine, a touch of chili and a little sweetness. honey?
Mouthfeel is medium body. It is very smooth.
Unusual and interesting flavor, but not one that I could deal with on a regular basis.

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Photo of drseamus
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice clear amber body with a pretty good white head. Nice uniformly small bubbles in the head.

S: Weird spicy aroma. Not bad, just weird. I think there's some yeasty fruitiness and some spice, maybe the chili but I'm not sure. It slightly reminds me of a tripel.

T: Weird flavor also. Again, not bad, just weird. It is spicy initially but then reminds me heavily of a mead. There must be a good amount of honey in there or perhaps it was added during fermentation. Either way, I get a good amount of honey flavor in it. And it reminds me of a tripel still.

M: Pretty light without a whole lot of malt body at all. The spice and honey makes it a bit heavier than it would be otherwise, but still pretty light bodied.

D: Eh. Nothing special and I can't imagine it would improve much with time but I've been proven wrong by DFH before.

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.82/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Somewhat pale in color-I dont know quite what to expect. Sort of a very pale orange/amber color. Ok aroma-quite fruity-blend of lemon and other citrusy smell. Faint whiff of honey. Malty flavor with a fairly high level of sweetness. Honey like flavor in the sweetness. Very, very mild chile flavor. A slight drying taste which I am thinking is off the cocoa. Good mouthfeel-very light bodied. A very drinkable and interesting beer. Not knowing what to expect after reading the label is sort of strange. Well crafted and quite different. I like this a lot more then say Pangea, Midas Touch or some of the other "historical" beers they do. Great label too!

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Photo of jwc215
3.35/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bottled in 2008:

Pours dark golden with a thin white head that disappears to a vanishing patch. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is of yeast (and chili's?) There's Something going on - a fruitiness with cocoa, but not in sweetened chocolate way - that I like but the yeastiness really stands out, as does the fruity, peppery alcohol.

The taste is yeasty/bready and fruity. It tastes of honey with cocoa - not sweet chocolate, but rather bitter cocoa. Not the malt sweetness and hop bitterness, but instead honey sweetness and cocoa bitterness with a late-coming chili spiciness that adds to alcohol to make it burning hot. Finishes with a restrained honey sweetness.

It is medium-to-full-bodied. Carbonation is just enough to keep it from being too thickish or syrupy.

An "interesting" sipper. Yeasty/bready, but with subtle complexities, then a hot pepper kick that cleaned out my sinuses. A hot, even burning, brew, though with noticeable breadiness and honey that should take some of the heat off. This is one of those that is better to be shared and discussed (as a "conversation piece"), IMO. This bottle states 9% abv, but maybe because of the chili, it seems hotter.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours gold with a frothy white head. Nose is mild chiles. Flavor is smooth. Slight bite of a pepper/childe burn there. A smooth sweetness is there as well. Very smooth. Feel is slick smooth with a biting carbonation. Overall a nice brew. And for being a chile beer, doubly so. Smooth and not so straightforward that it just burns on the mouth. A real pleasure to drink IMO. Kind of comes off as nearly a spiced Belgian ale of sorts. I was thinking of taking the two bottles I have and trading them if I got a chance to try it on tap. But now I might change that and keep one to drink for myself.

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Photo of WesWes
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a hazy amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a very complex array of aromas from pale and crystal malts to cocoa and chilies. It's unlike anything I've ever encountered, but in a cool unchartered territory kind of way. The taste is decent as well. It's smooth with hints of cocoa, but warming in the finish with a hot pepper hit. The peppers are there, but are hidden in the cocoa flavor. You don't feel it until it hits your stomach. It kind of burns. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This beer is interesting to say the least. I'm not sure I'd buy another one at $12 dollars a bottle, but it was an experience.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden color with a large head that fades slowly and leaves a good amount of lacing on the glass.

Smell isn't overwhelming but there are alot of subtleties going on, I can make out the honey the best, malt, slight cocoa aroma, not picky up any spiciness from the chilies though.

Taste is pretty creamy and smooth, not quite what I expected, some herbal spiciness going on, honey is also the ruling flavor but follows up with an odd chocolate aftertaste, I know cocoa is involved but it just seems really weird in a light looking beer.

A highly interesting beer and proves once again that DFH isn't afraid to experiment.

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Photo of Billolick
3.87/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Large DFH style bomber, love the Aztec/Inca style graphics on the label. Pours clear, light amber, with glowing/fiery orange highlights. Minor lace/head. Smoky/sweet nose. Smoke, unsweetened chocolate, earth, slight glimmer of chili spicing. Interesting and different creation by those innovative DFH brewers. Cant say its one of my favorites or that I would spring ($12.99 for the bomber) for it again.

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Photo of emerge077
3.66/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Map Room.

Served in a fluted tulip glass. It was light orange with a high level of clarity. Visible streams of carbonation and a lasting head. There was a little bit of broken lacing around the edge.

Aroma wasn't all that complex or unusual. Overripe fruit esters, some faint background maltiness.

Earthy flavors presumably from the cacao nibs or chiles, or maybe annato seed. No tingle or heat from the chile, but there was that herbal earthiness that hinted at it. Some dried orange peel, with mild bitterness there also.

I guess I was hoping for something exotic, and it just seemed a little half-hearted. Carbonation was light and carried it nicely, but I didn't want any more after the one glass.

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Photo of NoahSYGG
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this beer is WEIRD! that doesnt mean its bad. I was expecting to have all these different flavors. I couldnt put my finger on what it smelled/tasted like. The color was an orangey copper. I drank it out of a snifter but i couldnt decide what the aroma was. It was interesting and delicious. I am glad the apv was on the lower side for DFH. I dont know what this beer is, but it is a good effort. drinkability good and so is the mouthfeel. try it if you can.

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Photo of marcpal
4.37/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750ml heavy bottle poured into an Urthel Tulip glass.

A: Was I expecting something looking like a chocolate stout? I guess, because I took a double take at the orange fuzzy beer that came out with a thin head. Tons of carbonation and virtually clear.

S: Oddly enough, hints in the nose lead me directly to the idea of fall weather. Cracked black pepper in the nose makes me want to sneeze. No chocolate detected, far more honey. Interesting, very interesting.

T: Honey is apparent as well as some ginger on the tongue. Chili malt sweetness, which I can believe I like. No bitterness to the beer which is different take from DFH and spices like you would get in a chili (cumin?). Sweet honey with the aftertaste from the chile like the heat of a roasted banana pepper, candied ginger. How can something with this allspice flavor also be a bit too sweet Im not sure.

M: Not what I thought it would be, smooth texture. Not chocolatey chewy but chocolate and light bodied. Demerits on my part for a bit high carbonation.

D: Alcohol stays under the radar. Complex and unique is what I think DFH will give me and they deliver that. Its a pricy beer but one Id like to get more of, a different route for a beer and takes you different places. Will be down at the brewery and brewpub soon, hope to try it on tap.

One of the most different and unique beers Ive had. Id expect nothing less from these guys, at the end of the beer I grew to love it. Would have guessed the alcohol to be under 5%.

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Theobroma from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.78 out of 5 based on 2,209 ratings.
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