I am quite sure that by now you have had at least one Dogfish Head beer, probably one of the 60 minute or 90 minute IPA's. The 120 minute IPA is a real treat but seemingly sporadically available at best. So tell me, have you tried any of their specialty ales? Like the one made from scrapple or perhaps the one made using spit? No? If there is one thing you can say about Sam Calagione is that he is adventurous when it comes to brewing. He is also a bit of a beer scholar and loves to research ancient beer styles and has passed down what he has learned in Dogfish's Ancient Ales line.
Perhaps the description of the history of the beer is better told by them:
"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 surprised that we'd do something unexpected with this beer!).
This beer is part of our Ancient Ales series -- along with Midas Touch, Chateau Jiahu, Sah'tea and Ta Henket -- so step back in time and enjoy some Theobroma."
After reading the importance of chocolate to the beer, it is a bit surprising that the beer isn't the color that you would expect, it is a rich orange gold with lots of floaties and sediment. There is very little to no chocolate smell but you can smell the barnyard hints from the yeasts, honey, and a bit of the alcohol ethers as well. The texture is the comfortable richness that you get from a golden Belgian ale. The flavor is quite unique and worthy of praise, but again, don't expect a chocolate bomb, the chocolate is very subtle. Actually the chili peppers are more taste forward and provided a bit of a surprise kick with it's noticeable burn. You will also notice the earthiness from the yeasts and very little hop bitterness (only 6 IBU's) but the chili burn will keep your tongue interested long after you swallow.
I am quite please with this purchase and recommend that you try it when it is available, but I am not sure that I will buy it again. Interesting, extremely interesting, but not earth shattering. Cheers - Bon
Should you happen to be travelling to Delaware (yeah, right, no one happens to be in Delawar) and wish a brewery tour visit them at:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
6 Cannery Village Center
Milton, DE 19968