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Robert Johnson's Hellhound On My Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Robert Johnson's Hellhound On My AleRobert Johnson's Hellhound On My Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

1,722 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,722
Reviews: 562
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 13.49%
Wants: 102
Gots: 294 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Hellhound is a super-hoppy ale that hits 100 IBUs in the brewhouse and 10% ABV. It's dry-hopped with 100% Centennial hops at a rate of 100 kilos per 100 barrel brew-length. Can you tell we're stoked for this mighty musical centennial?

To accentuate and magnify the citrusy notes of the Centennial hops (and as a shoutout to Robert Johnson's mentor Blind Lemon Jefferson), we add dried lemon peel and flesh to the whirlpool.

58 IBU

(Beer added by: jsanford on 03-15-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Robert Johnson's Hellhound On My Ale Alström Bros
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Ratings: 1,722 | Reviews: 562 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MyTBeerDrinker
1/5  rDev -74.6%

MyTBeerDrinker, Feb 19, 2012
Photo of 120minuteman
1/5  rDev -74.6%

120minuteman, Jul 03, 2012
Photo of hacker1892
1/5  rDev -74.6%

hacker1892, Aug 30, 2014
Photo of Raynae
1/5  rDev -74.6%

Raynae, Dec 31, 2012
Photo of bmf0
1/5  rDev -74.6%

bmf0, Dec 20, 2012
Photo of privateguy603
1/5  rDev -74.6%

privateguy603, Jan 03, 2013
Photo of PDXHops
1.27/5  rDev -67.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

750 ml bottle, split approximately equally between myself and the kitchen sink. I poured it into an oversized snifter, the perfect vessel for contemplating a most puzzling nose. The dominant aroma seems to be that yellow stuff I use to mop the kitchen floor. Not bad looking, though, hazy apricot/amber with a nice cap of frothy foam and some scattered lacing.

I'm not a huge fan of drainpouring unless I just can't choke a beer down, and that's the state I find myself in here. On the positive side, it's quite bitter and there's a nice fresh hoppy taste, so perhaps a decent DIPA lurks underneath here somewhere. Way underneath. The yellow stuff has been joined by pine sol. It's excruciatingly sweet and shockingly boozy. Quite memorable, though!

PDXHops, Aug 12, 2011
Photo of Uglylilpup
1.7/5  rDev -56.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I was really looking forward to drinking this beer--I loved Dogfish Head's Positive Contact. With this one, I ended up pouring it down the sink. The lemon flavor was so strong it was like drinking Pledge. I couldn't even get through half a glass. Alas.

Uglylilpup, Jul 03, 2014
Photo of BeerAcolyte
1.75/5  rDev -55.5%

BeerAcolyte, Apr 07, 2012
Photo of SunDevilBeer
1.8/5  rDev -54.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Had this on tap late summer '11 at the advice of an enthusiastic barkeep.

Preciously served in a DFH snifter. Looks deep bright orange on the pour. Oooh this looks nice.

But my hopes were dampered upon smelling this beer. Was expecting to encounter a nice citrusy hop bomb, but instead smelled some dirty, earthy off concoction. Yuck.

Took a hard first sip and found myself recoiling. Very unpleasant musty taste, the malt & hops are fighting each other in this beer. Lots of unpleasant hot alcohol flavors too.

Took a break and drank some water after the first taste just to re-gain my bearings. Took another sip and it was just as disjointed as the first.

Struggled through a few more sips then pushed the glass toward the barkeep. Told him I hated his suggested beer and thankfully he took it off the tab.

SunDevilBeer, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of Jparkanzky
2/5  rDev -49.1%

Jparkanzky, Mar 04, 2012
Photo of shuggy
2/5  rDev -49.1%

shuggy, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of nathanjohnson
2/5  rDev -49.1%

nathanjohnson, Nov 23, 2011
Photo of marieow
2/5  rDev -49.1%

marieow, Dec 08, 2011
Photo of Focusf111
2/5  rDev -49.1%

Focusf111, Jan 03, 2013
Photo of tmars13
2/5  rDev -49.1%

tmars13, Mar 03, 2013
Photo of micstache
2/5  rDev -49.1%

micstache, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of stonermouse
2.13/5  rDev -45.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured from a bomber into a standard pint glass.

Shared a bottle with my brother, and had high hopes...

Appearance is nice- pale yellow with a tinge of orange. Slightly more pale than I was expecting, but decent nonetheless. Head was pillow-soft and persistent, and (spoiler alert) is ultimately the best part of this brew.

For all the flavors and potency I expected, the aroma is pretty mild. A little maltiness and a touch of nonspecific citrus, but lacks umph.

First sip is hot with booze, along with every subsequent sip, I suppose. Believe it or not, this is actually boozier than I expect a 10% brew to be. And not a smooth booziness- more like a $5 vodka flavor. Not good.

Other flavors are present and can be teased out with some effort. Mostly lemons, but not sweet, refreshing lemon flavor. More like rotten-rind lemon flavor. The citrus doesn't seem to be coming from the hops, as there isn't much bitterness, dryness, or any other hop characteristics to be found. There is a touch of sweet orange, perhaps from the malts. But this is at least secondary, and doesn't really help the cause.

Mouthfeel is actually pretty decent, due mostly to the aforementioned pillowy head. There's a nice, smooth denseness to the brew. Too bad the flavors were almost-wretched.

Whoa, very disappointing. Before we cracked this, I quipped, "I hope this isn't just a boozed-up 90-minute." Now, I wish that was the case. There were two of us, and we drain-poured half the bottle. The label is cool, so I'll keep the bottle, but it wasn't worth even close to what we paid for this poorly-executed mess.

stonermouse, May 01, 2011
Photo of MrVonzipper
2.2/5  rDev -44%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Clear caramel color. With a yellowy eggshell head. With good retention. And great lacing. 

Major lemon rind. Citrus but not hop citrus. A little soapy. Lemony Potpourri.

Major lemon flavor too. Pretty cleansery. Tastes like a lemon soapy cleaner. Not good at all.

Very High carbonation.

Overall it started ok at the pour and then just toll a turn for the worse. As a DFH fan I am extremely disappointed by this abomination. I don't think any of us in the bottleshare finished it. Drainpour, bad bottle?

MrVonzipper, Oct 18, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
2.2/5  rDev -44%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle picked up at Rick's in Alexandria. Really looking forward to this one. Served in a Dogfish thin pint.

Pours a lightly-hazy peach-apricot color with a good white head and some nice sticky lacing on the way down. The nose carries some light notes of citrus plus a pretty hefty amount of booze. Quite a bit of bready malt in the background as well. The taste is basically a malty mess. There is no real lemon character and the hops are an afterthought. The taste is overrun by a strong alcohol character. Other than that, bready malt and a bit of sweetness. Feel is completely boozed-up and lacks really any bitterness. Not impressive.

Thorpe429, May 11, 2011
Photo of kojevergas
2.23/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a generic pint glass in me friend's gaff in low altitude Orange, California. Reviewed live.

Served a bit warmer than refrigerator cold. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues were anticipated.

A: Pours a 2.5 finger head of fluffy white foam, light cream, good thickness, and great retention for the ABV. Colour is a dark copper. No visible yeast particles.

Sm: Hops - mainly bittering, light caramelized malts, clean malts, and some cream. A mild strength aroma. Not particularly appealing either.

T: Hops - floral more than bittering. Very pleasant fruit esters - I assume passion fruit but lemon comes through. Certainly pleasantly citrusy. Light caramelized malt alongside clean bright malts. The hop bitterness is well disguised. Rings artificial, even a bit syrupy. Not particularly well balanced. Built decently. Very simple compared to how the label describes it.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with not enough coarseness to bring out the flavours. Inadequately carbonated. Doesn't complement the flavours hardly at all.

Dr: Hides its ABV really well. Drinkable but boring and simple. I wouldn't get it again. Not at all worth the price. Another gimmick from Dogfish Head. The taste is quite artificial.

High D+

kojevergas, Mar 16, 2012
Photo of largadeer
2.3/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pale golden amber with a slight haze. The head rises a couple of inches and then slowly settles to a thin crust. Smells pretty boozy, like rubbing alcohol. Some fairly pleasant hop notes as well, floral and perfumey, backed by grainy, malty sweetness. Little bit of fruitiness, with lemon being subtle on the nose. The palate is even more boozy than the aroma; it actually burns going down. Lemon is noticeable, more bitter than sour. A lot of the hop flavor is covered up by harsh alcohol and bitterness, though there's a hint of that signature centennial floral character. Malt is barely noticed after a while, as the abrasive finish sticks to the tongue more and more. Pretty mediocre stuff overall, verging on bad - the nose is decent but beyond that it has little going for it.

largadeer, Jun 04, 2011
Photo of ehammond1
2.45/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle

Thanks for sharing, DarthKostrizer!

Clear, glowing gold and orange with a thick, persistent, and soapy eggshell-colored head. This beer leaves spiderwebs and spots of lacing down the glass. Pretty.

Biting lemon flesh and rind sting the nose along with a mild aroma of soapy detergent. Not particularly pleasant and actually difficult to smell for any length, because the lemon scent is physically stinging--akin to a cleaning product.

The flavor follows the nose, unfortunately. The stinging, biting lemon flesh and rind is dominant, along with an unpleasant chemical or soapy flavor. There's perhaps a bit of pine hop presence, but it's somewhat unwelcome in this beer because it makes me think even more of particular cleaning products.

Medium bodied with far too much carbonation. In a better tasting beer, this would merely distract from the flavor. In this instance, it basically makes this one undrinkable.

I will not drink this beer again; though it had some redeeming elements, the poorer parts of this beer were too much to overcome.

ehammond1, Oct 18, 2011
Photo of Wadsey
2.48/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Hard poured in a New Belgium tulip.

A: Deep gold, clear and effervescent. Head is short-lived, which is not too surprising, given the high abv. Splotchy lacing.

S: Surprisingly malty in nose: caramel, biscuits and crackers. Grapefruit peels and lemons. Some alcohol is evident.

T: In quick succession: sweet malt, grapefruit or orange peel and then lemon peels. A blend of lemon peels, alcohol, and bitterness hold onto the palate for a while. A fairly weedy finish. As I work my way to the bottom of the glass, I keep thinking of lemon dishwashing soap.

M: Medium body with medium carbonation. Smooth and somewhat creamy. Definitely warming.

O: Hellhound On My Ale certainly looks good on paper; after all, lemons should work well with citrus hops, right? The label is also a clever bit of prose, revealing the sort of over-thinking I've come to expect from DFH. The beer itself, unfortunately, does not deliver, and I'm quickly realizing that drinking the rest of the bottle will be a chore.

Wadsey, May 05, 2011
Photo of Weidman26
2.48/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

And another failed attempt by dogfish head.
To be perfectly fair I have quite enjoyed many of dogfish heads amazing beer and that may weigh more heavily in my evaluation as I attempt to review a beer on pure objective criteria and not optimism towards the potentials of the advertised beer.

1. It is a fine looking beer although little head in an imperial/double ipa I find a bit odd. I expect a little bit. Very translucent maize color with a sunray flitter throughout the liquid. Wheat field on a sunny day color.

2. Smells...flat. The expectation with the beer and style is crisp hop infusing into the nostril and instead is a mixture of household chemicals and lemon and grassy hops. In addition the taste is difficult to come to hence the flat predecessor to this diction. It takes several concerted efforts to obsorbe even these stimulations. At first glance(sniff) it's mostly sterile chemicals.

3. Hop sprayed lemon pledge. Truly. That's what this beer imposter contends to be. Good rivals(though it's not my thing) might be to spray lemon pledge into a
bag and inhale,

4. Disappointment. Lemon infused double ipa!!!! Excitement? I'm in!!!! All for it in concept, alas, the delivery is ...see aforementioned debauchery.

Please dfh return to something of quality or dare I say it...try a good imperial stout, maybe barrel age it? Or....a wild ale? Barrel age that too?

Weidman26, Nov 09, 2011
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Robert Johnson's Hellhound On My Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 1,722 ratings.