Monday, February 18, 2013

Dogfish Head Theobroma

Theobroma is one of the ancient ales being brewed by Dogfish Head.  This beer is based on an ancient chocolate based Aztec beverage.  

Theobroma is literally translated as "food of the gods".  Theobroma is also a species of cocoa. This beer is very aptly named.

I normally don't comment on the labeling, but this one is noteworthy.  It is sporting a mostly naked Aztec goddess dribbled in chocolate.  

Theobroma (9% ABV) pours a bright reddish gold color that actually appears to glow.  I may be wrong, but I suspect that the lighter than typical color - for a chocolate beer - can be attributed to the annatto seed which is known as much for it's coloring ability as for it's flavor.   

Poured into a snifter style glass. The head starts small with tight little bubbles and thins out pretty quickly.

The aroma is amazing; almost savory.  Despite this being a chocolate beer, you wouldn't know it from the smell.   It is more tea-like with subtle notes of honey, chili and spice.  Don't be put off by my description, it's really quite pleasant, I just don't know how else to describe it.

The flavor is completely unique and - not to overuse the word but - amazing!  Don't think big, dark roasty, like Rogue or Samuel Smith chocolate beer.  Theobroma is nothing at all like that.

Initially, what comes forward is the honey and chilies.  There are also hints of yeasty breadiness and some earthiness (from the hops?).  Not a lot, if any, chocolate notes.

However, as the beer warmed, the cocoa flavors began to develop and changed the beer flavor in a very nice but subtle way.

The mouth feel is medium with good carbonation.  It goes down smooth and clean.

There is a pleasant warming quality to the finish.  I'm not sure whether to attribute that to the chilies or the alcohol   Maybe both.  Whatever or whichever, it's all good.

Theobroma is an impressive ale.  I've never tasted anything quite like it before; however, I'd be quite willing to taste it again.  I really love this beer.

Dogfish Head has done it again!  

Overall - exceptional!

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