Dogfish Head Theobroma

Dogfish Head Theobroma

Rated 3.526 by BeerPals
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Brewed by Dogfish Head Brewery

Milton, DE, United States

Style:  Spiced Beer

10% Alcohol by Volume

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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. Special kegs from our test batches may be available earlier in the year at Dogfish events around the country... keep yer eyes peeled! Label art for Theobroma was designed by our friend Marq Spusta. Our good friend Don Russell wrote a great article on Theobroma - Sixpack Sez Feb. 8, 2008 | Chocolate beer: For Aztec warriors, not wusses As Valentine's Day rears its head, it seems appropriate to examine the unmanly topic of chocolate and beer. I say "unmanly" because of all the strange, new brews that are challenging our palates these days, it's chocolate-flavored beer that seems to draw the most viscerally negative response from the mainstream lager crowd. Offer a taste to one of these guys, and it's as if they'd been asked to wear pink underwear and sip their suds from Lennox teacups. A new body of archeological and chemical research, however, provides a completely different image. Namely: Aztec warriors dragging their human sacrifice to the top of a pyramid, ripping his still-beating heart from his chest, then cooking up the beaten corpse for a festive orgy. And what did they wash it all down with? Chocolate beer, of course. That's right, the drink of choice in the Mesoamerican region was a fermented beverage made with the pulpy fruit surrounding the seeds of cacao trees. Researchers have discovered that the earliest inhabitants of Mexico and Central America were drinking something resembling chocolate beer at least 3,000 years ago. "This was the most elite beverage in the Americas," said Patrick McGovern, senior research scientist at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. "It was made for the kings and the gods." McGovern was one of five authors of a 2007 research article that reported that the earliest use of cacao was not for the production of chocolate, but for alcohol. Chemical analysis of residue from pottery found in Honduras showed cacao-based beverages were consumed before 1000 B.C. If the research sounds familiar, that's because McGovern also was instrumental in the earlier discoveries of an ancient honey-grape-and-saffron beer in the 700 B.C. tomb of King Midas, as well as a rice-honey-and-fruit beer dating to Neolithic China. Both were re-created as unique ales (Midas Touch and Chateau Jiahu) by Delaware's Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. So will the cacao brew found in Honduras. Next month, during Philly Beer Week, Dogfish Head will unveil Theobroma at the annual Michael Jackson tutored tasting at the Penn Museum. The new, historic recreation is made with cocoa powder and cocoa nibs, honey, chilies, and a fragrant seed called annatto. (Theobroma, which means "food of the gods," is the name of the plant species that produces cocoa.) According to McGovern, early Mesoamericans likely consumed the cacao tree's fruit because the seeds were too bitter. As they discovered how to brew with the bean, they added honey, chilies and spices to offset the bitterness. Traces of cacao beverages were found in a curious assortment of vessels, including one with a high neck that was used for pouring, and another spouted bottle with a wider, flared neck. Researchers theorize that the drink was poured back and forth between the vessels to produce an aromatic froth. "The idea was to put a head on the drink so that you could breathe in the aroma while you were drinking," McGovern said. Consumption of cacao beverages, the article's authors argue, "became a central dimension of social life in Mesoamerica." Over the centuries, they emerged as an important part of Aztec and Mayan ceremonies. By the 1500s, Cortez and Diaz, the Spanish conquistadors, would send word back to Europe of flavorful chocolate drinks served at ritual events - including, presumably, those human sacrificial orgies. Yum! Not to be overly manly on this Valentine's Day, but I think we can all agree there's nothing like a nice, cold pint of chocolate beer after getting your heart ripped out.

ID: 31885 Last updated 10 years ago Added to database 13 years ago

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Overall Rank2744
Overall Percentile94.2
Style Rank53 of 1219
Style Percentile95.7
Lowest Score2.5
Highest Score4.9
Average Score3.577
Weighted Score3.526
Standard Deviation0.563

Rating Distribution

Beer vs Style

31 Member Reviews

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  • FLASHPRO 1171 reviews
    rated 3.4 7 years ago

    Aroma: 6 | Appearance: 7 | Mouthfeel: 7 | Flavor: 7 | Overall: 7

    Drinking this at the brewpub now. An interesting beer but not as good as I was expecting. Spicy and herbal with some unusual flavors. Nothing stands out. Nothing completely like the description but I'll still take it.

  • FISHINGFAST 623 reviews
    rated 2.9 7 years ago

    Aroma: 6 | Appearance: 5 | Mouthfeel: 6 | Flavor: 6 | Overall: 6

    Pours out a cloudy dark gold color whit a nice white head that disappears very quickly. The aroma is very plain and very faint. The mouthfeel is just average but you can feel the abv. The taste plain and only complex enough to hide the high abv. It's not a bad drink but not worthy of trying again.

  • RJA 2975 reviews
    rated 3.7 7 years ago

    Aroma: 7 | Appearance: 8 | Mouthfeel: 7 | Flavor: 8 | Overall: 7

    A cloudy orange colored beer with a big sudsy textured off white head rising above. There's good hang time on that head. A thin ringlet is all that is left. Some lemon and grassiness and a touch of honey in the nose. Same in the tasting. Let it warm and the chocolate is ever so faint. Light, crisp and effervescent. .

  • CLASH 2576 reviews
    rated 3.5 7 years ago

    Aroma: 7 | Appearance: 7 | Mouthfeel: 7 | Flavor: 7 | Overall: 7

    Golden color with a white head. Aroma contains some citrus and herbal notes. Flavor contains chocolate notes and some honey, spices, citrus, peppers. Overall a strange beer but pretty good.

  • CYBERCAT 10144 reviews
    rated 3.9 8 years ago

    Aroma: 7 | Appearance: 7 | Mouthfeel: 9 | Flavor: 8 | Overall: 8

    Comes out of the growler a clear, bubbly amber with a fairly thick, though not persistent, fluffy ivory head. Strong aroma is mainly fruity, apple with some pear and a hint of cocoa. Fruity flavor is almost more like a cider than a beer - but that undertone of cocoa, and the fizz, lets you know otherwise. Alcohol bite is quite strong, cautioning the drinker to take this in small servings! Firm, rough mouthfeel has a fair amount of fizz, a fierce and almost peppery alcohol bite, and a cocoa underpinning. Yes, this is definitely a beer for warriors, not wimps!

  • QATFISH 430 reviews
    rated 4.0 9 years ago

    Aroma: 8 | Appearance: 8 | Mouthfeel: 8 | Flavor: 8 | Overall: 8

    Could have sworn I reviewed this before. Wish I'd kept better followup notes, seeing as how my previous ones aren't here! Poured without a head, translucent gold. Very sticky and thick with tiny bubbles. Neither overly complex nor simplistic. The cocoa is a big round flavor with counterpoints in yeasty tartness and mild chile bitters. Mild taste of alcohol.

  • JABAH 1780 reviews
    rated 3.9 9 years ago

    Aroma: 7 | Appearance: 8 | Mouthfeel: 8 | Flavor: 8 | Overall: 8

    Down to 9% abv now. Very drinkable and alcohol hidden well. I dont see what all the bad reviews are for. I knew this was a non-dark beer. It tastes chocolatey like a porter. Still good beer.

  • MMMMBEER 1119 reviews
    rated 2.6 10 years ago

    Aroma: 5 | Appearance: 5 | Mouthfeel: 5 | Flavor: 5 | Overall: 6

    Thanks for saving and sharing this Jeff you Jackass. What is this stuff?? By the description on the bottle I was expecting a dark stoutish type thing, but instead we have this. Murkey copper with a small white cap. Aroma of honey , flowers, gum, orange. Taste and aroma are bringing me back to when I’d mix orange crush with root beer at birthday parties. Never did hit any of the coco they talk about. Small amounts of chilli heat nothing over the top thought. If I drank this blind folded I’d swear it was a mead. I thought the first sip was vile but then beer grew on me the more I drank but it’s still nothing I’d ever want again.

  • OH6GDX 8392 reviews
    rated 3.5 10 years ago

    Aroma: 8 | Appearance: 7 | Mouthfeel: 6 | Flavor: 7 | Overall: 7

    Bottled (thanks thomassova4). Amber colour, small head. Aroma is toffee, as well as some sweet maltyness as well as mild chocolate and mild bitterness. Flavour is toffee, some honey, mild berries and some mild wooden notes. Also some mild chocolaty notes. Balanced, but actually quite thin palate for being 9 %.

  • IABEERGUY 371 reviews
    rated 3.4 10 years ago

    Aroma: 7 | Appearance: 6 | Mouthfeel: 7 | Flavor: 7 | Overall: 7

    I was totally expecting a dark beer but this was a golden pour with a nice white head. Smell is sweet of honey, mild chocolate. Flavor was a little sweet, but good. I didn't pick up much from thie chili's except a tad at the end. Solid drink.

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