Strange Snacks of the World Beer Special: Theobroma

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Theobroma, from Maryland's Dogfish Head brewery, is a pretty strange character as beers go. It's brewed with honey, cocoa nibs, cocoa powder, ancho chiles, and ground annatto, and is supposedly modeled after chemical residue in the Yucatan of the earliest alcoholic chocolate drinks, dating from before 1100 B.C. "Theobroma" means "food of the gods." But does it taste like mole poblano?

Actually, it doesn't taste very much like any of the ingredients it's brewed with. It's not dark and rich like most chocolate beers--instead, you get a slight bitter, cocoa-y aftertaste, and you have to concentrate awfully hard to imagine the slight heat of the anchos. The honey stands out the most in this golden, malty-sweet ale.

Overall, we were a little disappointed at how ordinary it tastes, even though mole poblano beer probably isn't going to be the next big thing. It reminds us of a sweet, strong (9% ABV) Belgian ale, with a bizarre aftertaste thrown in.

If you're interested in the beer's genesis, here's a video with the brewer.


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