Brew Review

Brew Review: Dogfish Head's Theobroma

I would be remiss not to begin this review by admitting that I'm becoming a bit of a Dogfish Head fan boy.

Maybe it was the first sip of the 120 I.P.A. that finally made me a convert. Perhaps it was the subtle blending of chai in the bottle of Sah'tea I tried just a few weeks ago (or the two more that I've downed since).

Whatever it is, I'm not the only one bitten by the bug. Why just the other night at East Valley Friday Night I ran into a local with enough passion for the Delaware-based brewery to show up wearing one of their shirts. And an encounter with a gang of beer librarians (stay tuned for more on these guys) led to a mutual agreement that Dogfish Head is pretty damn good.

Knowing this you'll understand the weight of what I'm about to say about Dogfish Head's Theobroma.

For a beer whose name means "food of the gods," I found Theobroma left me wanting more. Ah! The plight of mortal man.

Tastes: absolutely delicious. "What is this?" you say. "I thought this was not just another glowing review of Dogfish Head." Yeah, well it's still pretty tasty. The problem lies in the defining ingredients of this brew. I detected the honey, chilies and what I can only assume were the annatto (fragrant tree seeds), but Theobroma cocoa in the form of cocoa powder and cocoa nibs were too subtle to distinguish.

I got mine: at Whole Foods in Chandler for $13.99. I don't mind paying a lot of money for good beer, but a price point like this raises my expectations. Reading the label I assumed I would be entering a taste experience akin to those of early civilizations in Honduras; a cocoa-infused potion for celebrating victory over one's enemies. Not quite.

Verdict: And that's precisely the point. Dogfish Head is usually quite good at delivering beer that goes beyond my expectations. This one tastes great, but it's missing that crucial. off-centered factor that brings me to the Dogfish section of the beer aisle in the first place. For $14, my cash is going to another bottle of Sah'tea.

Happy drinking.

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Jonathan McNamara