Theobroma (Dogfish Head Craft Brewery)

Theobroma is part of Dogfish Head’s “Ancient Ales” series. This Chili Beer originals from a South American recipe that is thousands of years old. It clocks in at 9.0 ABV and has a practically non-existent 8 IBUs.

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 Heads 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 with your typical chocolate beer. Not that you’d be surprised that we’d do something unexpected with this beer!

I didn’t know what to expect from this beer, but I didn’t think that it would pour the color it did. A marigold liquid poured in to my glass and sloshed around. Gold highlights appeared as I held it to the light. The head appears and disappears without much fanfare, leaving behind a thin film. A tiny bit of carbonation can be seen.

Fruits dominate the nose of this beer, with apple and pear in the forefront. White wine and graham cracker are also present, along with a smell that reminded me of Cherry Tums (this smell increased as the beer warmed).

My first thought was pear and honey with mild cocoa coming through at the end. A warming spice tingles the back of your throat appears and increases as the beer mellows. The warming up of the beer also brings out pear in the taste.

Mouthfeel is light and fizzy, as we be expected from the taste and smell of this beer. There is a small amount of drying, but nothing to write home about.

I was really surprised by pretty much everything about this beer: the color, the smell, the taste, you name it. Theobroma is a unique drinking experience that exceeded all of my expectations.

Overall: 8 out of 10

As a CHILI BEER: 6 out of 10 (This beer wasn’t all that spicy and I never would have guessed it was a Chili Beer when I was drinking it.)



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