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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

573 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 573
Hads: 1,848
Avg: 3.84
pDev: 25%
Wants: 127
Gots: 366 | FT: 6
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:
Beer added by: jsanford on 03-15-2011

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  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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Reviews: 573 | Hads: 1,848
Photo of Sammy
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice combination of malt, hops and lemon. Hops were understated. That is what I am rating

So-so DIPA. Lttle malty smell, where's the hops. Ok looks, its filtered. Pellet hops were used Centennial. Golden body. A little head, lace. Dry hopped Centennial. The lemony finish is the taste, period.Doug's bottle, thank you very much for sharing. OK drinkability.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.56/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Half finger head with excellent lacing on a clear copper body. Aroma of toasted malts, earthy hops and orange peel. Overall the aroma is pretty mild. Malt foward IPA with citrus hops, candied citrus, toasted malts, lemon and a little caramel. Medium body and moderate carbonation. Fairly oily body. This one is boozy and malt forward although the hops, although a little boring, are still well represented.

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Photo of metter98
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear orange in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high frothy off white head that has good retention properties and never completely faded away, leaving thick lacing running down the sides of the glass.
S: The smell is very citrusy and has notes of grapefruit, lemon and orange.
T: Like the smell, the taste is also quite citrusy but the lemony flavors are much more prominent. The taste is also somewhat more balanced and has hints of caramel malts and sweetness as well as notes of alcohol in the finish. A moderate amount of bitterness is present from the initial taste through the finish.
M: It feels a bit heavier than medium-bodied on the palate, somewhat crisp and has a moderate amount of carbonation. There are some hints of warming from the alcohol in the finish.
O: The beer isn’t that difficult to drink considering its strength and amount of bitterness, yet while the addition of lemons adds an interesting twist, it doesn’t make this beer drinkable enough for me to want to try another.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

awesome huge ipa. pours sticky honey colored with a nice white head into a snifter at the taproom. smells citrusy and hoppy in a big way. comples nose with some light malty bready doughy depth hiding in the shadows. taste is layered, tangy and definitely lemon up front, acidic slightly, with a more refined hop sweetness and richness taking over. nothing bitter in the finish. mouthfeel is great too, effervescent and thick at the same time. one of the most sessionable imperial ipa's ever. alcohol is not noticible in taste, but you can feel this one

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Photo of Knapp85
3.72/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours out as a copper color with a thin white head. The lacing isn't really all there. The smell is kind of strange on this one. It's not the most pleasant smell on a beer. It seems a little out of place. The taste was very good though. The lemon mixes really well with the very hoppy brew. The mouthfeel is a little stinging on the tongue but overall pretty enjoyable brew.

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Photo of brentk56
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a rocky head two fingers tall; splotchy lacing leaves a hellhound of a trail for my ale

Smell: The Centennial hops provide great aromatics here, with a lemon twist; citrus hop dominant, with lemon pith, though there is quite a bit of sugary malt underneath

Taste: Despite the very appealing aromatics, the malts jut forward in the taste profile, bringing a sugary base that is followed by the hoppy bitterness in the mid-palate; the hops are lemony and minty with the lemons adding an extra boost to the bitterness; after the swallow, the 100 IBUs linger though the sweetness does compete

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; some warmth in the gullet

Overall: I wish there weren't quite so much malt flavor in this and, in addition, a blend of hops might have been a better idea than 100% Centennial; still, this is a decent enough DIPA and I am enjoying the Robert Johnson tunes that I am listening to while I am contemplating the brew

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another commemorative ale for the music industry. Robert Johnson is reincarnated with this sweet, spicy rendition- peppered with bitter, sharp, and with a bite that sticks in your crawl with a pleasant grind.

On the outside, the beer fits the bill of a Double IPA- Deep golden, light copper and with a gentlemanly clarity that carries only the most modest of haze. Froathy white foam blankets the beer with fantastic staying power and lacing well.

Zesty aromas of citrus carry the hop scent through a blend of grapefruit and orange zest until the clean lemon scent finishes the beer for the slight reminesence of furniture polish. Light caramel sweetness supports the hops very well and without competing for attention.

Where malt sweetness finishes the aroma, they start the taste: Light caramel and corn syrup sweetness give initial flavor while the hops begin to build behind. Soft citrus flavors carry the grapefruit and orange peel taste to mid palate where the zesty lemon acidity begins to take over and eventally balance the hops in finish. The hops/lemon character challenges where the hop flavor/bitterness stop and where the lemon flavor/bitterness begins. Delicious, but I'm still distracted by the taste of furniture polish.

Medium malty richness contributes a soft creamy texture that give a rich start until the hop acidity, bitterness, and dryness rise. Lemony acids, bitterness and mild astringency further reinforce the hop character and amplifies the alchol dryness late. Complex bittering has as much an impact on mouthfeel as they do taste, all leading to a snappy and fresh bitterness with the linger of lemongrass going into the next taste.

A delicious beer that exacerbates intense hop character with actual lemon bitterness, flavor, and acids- litteral and marvellously so.

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.24/5  rDev -41.7%
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.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.65/5  rDev -31%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle: Poured a dark amber color ale with a medium size foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of citrus and hops with weird unrefined grainy notes that are not too pleasant. Taste is a weird mix with off-balance notes of citrus and bitter hops with unrefined notes of grain and the actual lemon notes don’t really bring any additional refinement to this beer. Body is quite full with medium carbonation and no apparent alcohol. This appears to be another one of Dogfish head experiment where they don’t know where to stop.

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Photo of largadeer
2.36/5  rDev -38.5%
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.

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Photo of zeff80
4.17/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, golden amber color with a small, off-white head of bubble foam. It left thin trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled spicy and piney with a tangy citrus presence.

T - It tasted of burnt toast maltiness with a piney hop presence. It had a subtle lemon presence that showed up in the aftertaste.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a warm alcohol presence and dry finish.

O - This is a very tasty DIPA. I'm glad this one showed up at our tasting.

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Photo of oberon
3.61/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I remeber as a teenager getting into the blues and Robert Johnson's persona and legend really stood out in the early 90's,glad to see DFH make a brew to honor him,even if it wasnt that great.Poured into an imperial nonic a deep copper color with a nice sticky 1/2 finger white head.A mix of alcohol,biscuit,and lemon pith in the nose,the alcohol played a big role here,you can tell its a beast before even taking a sip.Sweet and alcoholic at the start with some bscuit malt,the citric hop profile is nice but a little muted because of the alcohol/sweetness.Its a sipper and isnt a real bad beer,but the big alcohol seems to dominate the beer a little in my opinion.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.27/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

dark amber in color with a light amount of cloudiness and haze. Rich looking with a nice head of about two inches in height and a nice fade into sticky side glass lacing.

The aroma was unreal. Rich fruity notes of peach and orange, hints of lemon and tangerine, so sweet and rich I was beside myself. Not the pungent bitter hops, the light, sweet, fruity notes that I loved. The flavor was more of the same, super sweet light orange and tangerine notes, hints of pineapple and light biscuit malts in the backround. Long sweet, and bitter,dry finish was superb as well. Smooth, mellow carbonation was done just right with an ease of drinkability that had me very impressed with every bit of the 10+ percent no where to be found.

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Photo of oline73
3.43/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a somewhat cloudy light amber color with a finger of off white head. A layer of head remains and there is some nice lacing as well.

Smell: Sweet and hoppy with hints of citrus and herbs. There is quite a large malt presence here.

Taste: This beer is very bitter with a lot of citrus peel hops. There are also some pine notes from the hops. There is a sweetness from the malt and quite a bit of alcohol in the finish. I was hoping for a bit more lemon presence. I can taste it, but I wanted more.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly carbonation. The finish is very dry.

Overall: This is a good Imperial IPA, but I don't think it was very special. I don't know that I'd pick up another one.

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Photo of nickfl
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - The beer pours with one finger of off-white foam on top of a somewhat hazy, orange-copper body. The head settles down quite quickly and leaves light lace on the glass.

S - Lots of juicy, tropical fruit hop aroma with a little bit of orange. Some bready malt in the background with some light toffee.

T - Bready malt with some moderate hop bitterness and herbal, grassy hop flavor. More toffee malt and some sweaty, almost vinous hop flavors come out in the middle. Bread and lightly fruity toffee malt character in the finish with moderate bitterness and some grassy flavor followed by a hint of pine.

M - A fairly thick, almost syrupy body, moderate carbonation, and a somewhat sweet finish.

D - Very interesting and, to be honest, a bit odd. The malt is strong throughout, as expected from DFH, but it really kicks hard in the finish and, along with a touch of alcohol, it actually reminds me in an odd way of a Helles Bock. This is a fairly sharp contrast with the much more hoppy and American hop aroma that is full of orange and guava. The flavor is not at all unpleasant, but I really think I would prefer it if it were to be more similar to the aroma profile. Kind of strange and while I don't mind finishing the bottle, I don't need another for the cellar.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.08/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks for this one Jason.

A: The beer pours an amber color with a finger of white head.

S: Citrus peels dominate the aroma, especially grapefruit. Some sweet citrus notes in there, too. A fair amount of piney hops are also there along with some caramel malts and toffee.

T: The beer is just bitter, and that's about it. Not too much in terms of the hop flavor, maybe some pine. Perhaps a hint of tangerine peel. Some slight caramel sweetness on the back end as well as a bit of pine sol.

M: Medium in body with a medium to high carbonation.

O: Just way too bitter without featuring much hop flavors. At least it wasn't super boozy like a lot of Dogfish Head beers can be.

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Photo of jlindros
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light fizzy head, hazy golden color.

Nose earthy candy bittering hops, like 90 min, sweet candy syrupy fruit, grassy lemon zest, hint of booze.

Taste semi sweet, golden almost syrupy malts, juicy fruit hops, bit of booze, caramel, candy sugar, bitterness is good, grassy earthy candy hops light citrus candy, orange.

mouth is a bit fuller bodied, good carb, hint of booze.

Overall pretty good, like a 90 min IPA with less malty flavors and a bit kicked up on the hops. Pretty nice, but not sure if it's worth the money.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.33/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a glass mug.

Figured we needed something to go with bottling our first lager, so this is what caught my eye at the store. It pours a clear rich amber topped by a finger-and-a-half of dirty white foam. The nose comprises lemon zest, orange zest, pine, light grapefruit, and some seemingly lightly-toasted caramel. The taste holds notes of caramel, harsh lemon zest, mandarin orange, pine, grapefruit rind, and a stinging bitterness near the finish (sort of a reprise of the lemon zest, but taken to its potentially powerfully bitter conclusion, if that makes any sense). It starts off nicely, normally, but then turns darkly sideways. The body straddles the line between heavy light and light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry-ish finish. Overall, a decent-ish brew, but the flavors just don't do it for me. Somehow the lemon just doesn't meld properly with the other actors (it's getting a checkmark on its report card...).

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As a musician myself, I'm a big music fan, and I love the idea of making beers that fit certain artists. First it was Miles, and now it's Robert Johnson. Who'll be next? They did "Johnny Cask", and Sam does his "Woody", so maybe it'll be another jazz or blues legend. I'd suggest Billie Holiday, but I think they've got to be a writer... maybe Thelonious Monk?... something just a little off-kilter, and thinly sugar-coated but still crisp. Hmmm. Anyway...

"Hellbound" is a deep golden-orange beneath a short head of creamy off-white. Hops are present in the nose, but not distinct in character. It's spicy and pepperish, and honeyish and slightly caramelish. Piney hops occasionally make their way through, as does a hint of lemon zest. There's a bit of mint across the middle as the hops combine with the malt. Spice lingers in the finish, and I'm sure a little bit of that is from the heat of the alcohol. We only have 41 tracks from R.J., all of which I'm sure were recorded sober, but I wonder what that boy would have sounded like with just a little bit of juice in 'im.

Conclusion: Lyrics to "Hellhound On My Trail"...
I gotta keep movin
I gotta keep movin
Blues fallin down like hail
Blues fallin down like hail
Umm mmmm mmm mmm
Blues fallin down like hail
Blues fallin down like hail
And the days keeps on worryin me
theres a hellhound on my trail
hellhound on my trail
hellhound on my trail

If today was Christmas Eve
If today was Christmas Eve
and tommorow was Christmas Day
O wouldn't we have a time baby

All I would need my little sweet rider just
to pass the time away huh huh
to pass the time away
You sprinkled hot foot powder mmm
mmm around my door
all around my door
You sprinkled hot foot powder
all around your daddy's door hmm hmm hmm
It keep me with ramblin mind rider
every old place I go
every old place I go
I can tell the wind is risin
the leaves tremblin on the tree
tremblin on the tree
hmm hmm hmm mmm
All I needs is my sweet woman
and to keep my company hey hey hey hey
my company

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Photo of kojevergas
2.28/5  rDev -40.6%
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+

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750ml bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a large foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick but spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains a lot of fruity citrusness, floral hops and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts with a strong burst of grassy hops bitterness that quickly fades into a strong fruity citrus sweetness. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and provides a good balance. There is a mild alcohol sting. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly hoppy.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

O: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, strong kick, very good representation of style, this is a very good 2IPA to drink for a long time.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.86/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked this growler up to share at a picnic -from Cobblestone's poured chilled into a willybecker.

A beautiful golden amber with mild hazing and thick proud creamy white cap with rocky topography and tight bead. The very fine bubbles come to the surface when swirled indicating some density in this Ale. The smell is pretty strong with lush herbal and pine tinged hop notes with a slight citrus quality accenting and the alcohol is present with some sweet malty qualities accenting the aroma. The feel is good - it has some bitter pine and candy-like caramel malt for added body, however the intensity of the alcohol is a little high in the feel if you quaff this.

The flavor has some very interesting hop elements which seem to focus on the herbal however a nice astringent taste comes forward as it warms which I credit to the citrus fruit, the alcohol trails behind giving a warming taste with the sweet malt somewhat cushioning that aspect as more hops are tasted in the bitter lingering finish. This is like an amped up 90 min -maybe 100 min if there were such a thing -not as sweet as 120, but it also stronger than 90 min. I enjoyed the beer so I consider it a success and enjoyed sharing this growler with froggyfrog, evets, shertz, hombreWing and bitterbeerface

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Photo of Jason
4.17/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml brown bottle with a bottled on date.

Color: Brass, clear w/ a beautiful froth on top.

Smell: Herbal, lemon from rind to juice, buttery ghost, bready, sweet, golden raisins and light broth.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Super smooth, fuller body. Fierce alcohol, solid malt foundation, lemon theatrics. Peel talks to grain, alcohol humbly on its own ... warming everything, toasty but not hot. Citric and mint hops, fresh hay maltiness. Lemon lingers and so does the grain and alcohol.

Overall: Hellhound has a lot to say but only whispers a little bit with every sip, lots of sips to take so I'm pretty sure I got the whole gist of it.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First had: bottle from Pinocchio's beer garden, Media, PA

*This review is from when I had the beer on tap at Teresa's, Wayne, PA.

I'm often surprised at how different a beer can be when had on tap and in a bottle, and this beer is a prime example of that.

Poured into a stem glass, a golden amber color with a slight chill haze, and a nice white head that retained as a ringlet and left a bit of lacing on the glass. Aroma of floral and citrusy hops, but something else was in there that I couldn't quite identify from the scent. Upon letting the beer dance on my taste buds for a while, this flavor finally registered in my head: Good & Plenty candy! Personally not a favorite of mine, but in this beer, there was a pronounced (and very welcome) taste of licorice and confectioners sugar, overlaid on sweet malts, and citrusy hops. I didn't really get this from the bottle, and quite frankly, the bottle reminded me much of some of DFH's other offerings, but on tap, it was truly a different story altogether, and I'm glad that I was inspired to sample it again. Medium mouthfeel, and very enjoyable overall. I'm glad they brewed it again.

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into signature tulip glass, bottled in 2012A. Pours moderately hazy/cloudy orange amber color with a dense 1-2 finger cream colored head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big grapefruit, orange peel, lemon peel, tangerine, orange rind, floral, grass, light pine, caramel, bread, toast, and floral earthiness. Very nice aromas with good complexity and balance of citrus hops and malt notes; with good strength. Taste of grapefruit, orange peel, lemon peel, tangerine, floral, grass, light pine, light caramel, bread, and floral earthiness. Good amount of earthy floral/pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, orange peel, lemon peel, tangerine, floral, grass, light pine, light caramel, bread, and floral earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice complexity and balance of citrus hop and malt flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a moderately slick, and fairly sticky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice DIPA, even at over a year old. Very nice complexity and balance of centennial hop, lemon peel, and malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Robert Johnson's Hellhound On My Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 573 ratings.