Beertography and Review: Dogfish Head Theobroma

Brewed by: Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Milton, Delaware USA
Style: Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer
ABV: 9.0%

Commercial description: This beer is based on chemical analysis of pottery fragments found in Honduras which revealed the earliest known alcoholic chocolate drink used by early civilization 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 (food of the gods) is brewed with Aztec cocoa powder and cocoa nibs, honey, chilies, and annatto (fragrant tree seeds). Theobroma is 9% ABV and will be available in Champagne bottles by late spring 2008.

APPEARANCE (4/5)

Pour results in a cloudy amber color with a one finger white head that quickly dissipates into a thin bubble ring clinging to the sides of the glass.  Small islands of lacing randomly cling to the glass.

AROMA (8/10)

Some nice and interesting aromas with good balance. Bready malts and light spicy Ancho chilies lead the way with a followed by faint chocolate. Honey provides a nice sweet counterbalance the chilies. There’s also a touch of a peppery note, which I’m guessing is the Annatto seeds.

FLAVOR (17/20)

Powdery cocoa, strong notes of honey and apricot-like fruity esters coalesce to give this a sweet base. The Ancho chilies lend a nice peppery spiciness and a slight tingle on the tongue.  The chilies seem to take the place of hops, and give the beer slightly warm finish and an apparent dryness. All the flavors really bloom as the glass warms. ABV is well hidden. I couldn’t detect any booziness.

MOUTHFEEL (5/5)

The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a slick and relatively low carbonation on the palate, which compliments the overall sweetness. Also, the ABV is extremely well hid in this. There a bit of heft but this is definitely a steady sipper.

OVERALL IMPRESSION (7/10)

Overall, the concept of this beer is very unique ale and gets points for being original. It’s a difficult ale to both to judge and to pick apart. It is definitely a beer that is worth trying at least once….one of Dogfish Head’s better Ancient Ales.

FINAL SCORE (41/50)

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