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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

1,805 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,805
Reviews: 568
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 13.49%
Wants: 114
Gots: 330 | 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:
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,805 | Reviews: 568 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ianjsullivan
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

ST: 750ml poured into an oversized wine glass. The bottle has a bottled in date (2011) and lists the alcohol percentage. However, it does not have a fresh by date.

A: Hazy dark amber with nice carbonation and noticeable sediment. It has a half-a-finger deep fluffy white head that disappears within thirty seconds leaving a strong circle of lacing and patches of small foamy bubbles on top of the beer.

S: Malt, bubblegum, goat cheese, lemon, metal, and pine.

T: Malt and lemon rind, pine, grapefruit, bubblegum. Very bitter, citrus finish and floral (the finish stays for a long time), though there is a slight sweetness.

M: Heavy and dry. The carbonation lifts the beer, but it does not have enough to add crispness and cleanness.

O: Though lemon was clearly used, the great amount of citrus acid and bitterness almost takes away from any actual flavor. The beer is not clean and the finish sticks to the throat and tongue. It is heavy and good use more cutting carbonation. There is malt meant to balance but it barely succeed. However, this is a double or imperial IPA. Simply put, the beer is not supposed to be very balanced. Rather, it is supposed to be hoppy without apology. Those looking for lots of hops and citrus will find their place with this beer. If you, however, desire balance, buy another beer.

Photo of StoneTSR
3.36/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at Binny's on Dempster in Skokie the day it arrived, have not had a chance to get back to my notes and write the review until now.

APPEARANCE: Light, golden in color and seems very innocent, but I have a feeling that at 10% it won’t turn out that way. A nice head developed with a fairly aggressive pour and remained intact for a few minutes before settling to just a thin yeasty layer resting on top. Pretty solid lacing clung to about 30% of the opposite side of the glass.

SMELL: Subtle lemon, a little pine and a good dose of dry hops in the nose.

TASTE: This was not nearly the beer I expected. I was anticipating more of a lighter, crisp and lemon-like hop bomb, but instead the Robert Johnson is a rich, sugary malt-bomb with a nice dose of hops and a touch of bitter lemon to balance it out.

MOUTHFEEL: This is rich and sits a bit heavy, but goes down smooth. It’s slightly carbonated and creamy. Not bad, but again, not at all what I expected from this beer.

OVERALL: Very easy to drink for a 10%er, but as mentioned above, it does sit a little heavy. I’m happy to have tried this, but if it were available on a regular basis it would just be a once-in-a-while change of pace.

Photo of uustal
3.86/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an absolutely beautiful dark, opaque orange with a two-finger off-white head. Hint of yellow in the foam as well. Nice lacing and retention. Great looking brew. However, that's where the superlative praise ends. Aroma of citrus zest and pine. The flavor beings with a mix of bitter pine and citrus hops. Strong malt backbone, hints of toffee and sticky caramel. Boozy presence as well. Ends with a decent amount of lemon zest. Decent flavor, but doesn't get to a point of cohesion.

Photo of Retail1LO
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a bottle of this alongside bottles of Sah'tea and Theobroma. This was a nice, light beer. Very citrusy with strong hints of lemon in both the smell and finish. Beautiful effervescent head atop the pint I poured. Don't know if I'd go out of my way to buy more, but I enjoyed the offering regardless.

Photo of womencantsail
3.08/5  rDev -21.6%
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.

Photo of Phelps
3.23/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle full of the first batch of 2011 into a tulip.

Gorgeous deep honey-orange, cloudy and speckled with tiny particles. The head is about an inch high, creamy and yellow-white. It pops away slowly, leaving vertical pillars of lace.

Citrusy. Pithy grapefruit, caramel, honey, biscuits. Lemon peel is there, but it's not too big. Lots of alcohol and bitterness, but the hops aren’t as bright as they should be, since this beer was dry-hopped with centennial.

Heavily bitter and heavily boozy. Beneath the alcohol flavor is grapefruit peel, bright lemon and honey. Hints of caramel, overripe orange, snappy lemon peel and floral notes are also in there. It improves greatly as it warms, but there’s just too much alcohol.

A moderate amount of bubbles poke the tongue inside the medium-light body. Alcohol gives the mouthfeel tongue-numbing heat and I get warmth in the throat as well.

Hellhound is obviously 10 percent alcohol and obviously 100 IBUs. It’s abrasive, big, and unsmooth. Dogfish should've taken a note from Bitches Brew on this one and toned things down a bit.

Photo of SuperSpy
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A hazy golden amber with a rocky off-white head. Big thick lace. I really like the look of this beer.

Some citrus, white pepper, pale malts in the aroma. Smells tasty. Not overly complicated, not too simple. Good.

A heavier beer that smoothly glides over the tongue. Hoppy, fruity and boozy. Herbal and floral hops with a hint of citrus are very powerful at the start, with a sweet taste of peaches and alcohol in the middle. A great balance of malt sweetness and hop flavors finish the beer and then I'm left with a floral, semi-dry aftertaste.

Overall this is a very tasty beer. Less hoppy than the typical Imperial IPA, but still a good beer with some interesting flavors.

Photo of Spider889
3.23/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at the Brewpub in DE.

I was looking forward to this, lemon sounded like a fun addition to 90 minute.

Tasted along side regular 90 minute. Hellhound is a slightly lighter shade than the dark copper of 90 minute.

Smelled quite citrusy. Both orange and grapefruit show that some choice hops were used in this brew. Not sure if I really could detect lemon, but the peel definitely did add a slight medicinal bent to the aroma.

The taste produces and even greater medicinal quality. Not quite aspirin, but more along the lines of chalky pills that were chewed when they were meant to be swallowed.

There is some mild lemon zestiness to the flavor though, which was welcome and refreshing. The beer is bitter, maybe moreso than 90 minute, but this is the result of the strong bitter pith from all of the fruit peels instead of the hops themselves.

The alcohol is a bit more hot than in regular 90 minute. Otherwise, the carbonation is strong and lively.

Overall not as good as I was hoping. the medicinal qualities of the lemon peel sort of ruined the experience for me a bit.

Photo of thegodfather2701
3.91/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Honey colored with a thick off white head that leaves some nice cascading and lacing. There are some tiny floaties as well.

S-Citrussy hops, loads of lemon, some white pepper. It has a funky nose.

T-Lemon, peach, caramel malt backbone. It is semi-sweet and extremely well balanced.

M-Nice mouthfeel, not to thick or overly carbonated.

D-Very drinkable due to its balance. However, the high abv. cuts into its drinkability.

Overall, probably the most balanced double ipa I've ever had, but delicious none the less. I'm glad I had the chance to drink it.

Photo of turnstile
3.77/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Copper/dark golden and hazy in appearance with a substantial head failing to form. Carbonation is evident as a few clusters of bubbles and a ring of foam around the edge of the glass.

Aroma is hop-forward with plenty of clean floral and piney notes and a nasal passage-clearing alcohol scent. Lemon is evident but struggles to compete against the hop bouquet, and becomes more apparent as the brew warms. Sweet maltiness also detectable. The use of Centennial hops is a great choice to complement the lemon aroma. Huge ABV is apparent not only in the aroma but in the taste, too. Decent malt backbone, well-balanced flavor and clean and non-abrasive bitterness in the finish. Very enjoyable with a somewhat drying finish. Full-bodied and creamy (but slightly flat) carbonation with a slightly syrupy finish.

A good 2x IPA and hits the marks for the technical aspects, but it lacks serious complexity and the booze factor is a little overwhelming. I'll be looking for this one again before it's gone for good.

Photo of TheStove
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had a pour of this at City Beer - SF.

Pours nice and opaque orange/peach color. Served in a tulip it almost looks as if one is holding a piece of fruit.

Smells and drinks like an IPA, there is a light spice interplay with the initial hop flavors. The fun comes in the end of the sip where citrus flavors of the hop give way to the taste of lemon candy. Starts to be a fun beverage as the tasting of a balanced hop complexity gives way to the repeating lemon candy flavor. As glass is half done, lemon fades into light citrus flavors of the hops and is almost unnoticeable.

On the fence about this one. Given some of the better IPAs out there, this one kind of seems like a one trick pony with the obvious lemon flavor at the end, however it is difficult to deny that this was a fun beer to drink.

Photo of celticfutblclub
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml meet pint glass.

comes in bright and cheery (orange style) sporting a nice white head three fingers deep that laces very well and has some great retention. smells of dough oily hops and pine come through. sweet malts are up front followed immediately by a big hop bang. orange peel, pine, resiny hops round out the hop flavor. lots of carbonation medium bodied with lots of puckering and mild alcohol feel on the throat (for 10%) lend a good mouth feel to this. a very good offering from dogfish head and very glad i splurged on this one.

Photo of Digimaika2
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a bronze/copper colour with a high foamy head that recedes to a nice blanket. Good lacing down the glass.

S: Pleasing earthy-grass hop notes along with some biscuity malts. Quite a bit of sweet honey aroma. Faint hints of lemon.

T: Bready malts with quite a bit of caramel and honey sweetness. Hop notes are a bit more subdued but present in the middle. Finishes with a bit of lemony zest. Overall nice but quite sugary-sweet. Alcohol is noticeable and comes across pretty strong.

M: Full with an oilyness and fairly viscous.

D: Not sure I would pursue this again, but a decent Dogfish Head offering. I think I was looking (and hoping) for more of a lemon kick in this, but instead found more of a sugary sweetness.

Photo of Robtobfest
2.81/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I had high hopes for this one.
Appearance was pretty. Has some great head retention wit the aggressive pour. Golden in color.

Smell, what where is the lemon, heavy citrus element that this should have. All I smell is alcohol.

Taste is all booze. I am so dissapointed with this! It reminds me of my dissapointment with Hoptimum. Over the top booze overpowers everything else.

Overall, not only would I not seek this out, but i'd run away from it. The only good thing about this beer is the artwork on the bottle. Heard the original recipe had this coming in much loer in ABV. Should have stuck with that.

Photo of DeanMoriarty
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a 750ml bottle in a trade with Dawson's Liquor in Severna Park, MD and poured it into a 9oz. rocks glass - thanks fellas!

A: Pours a fairly clean, dark honey-like hue, with a massive white head that lingers, leaving a ton of lacing in its tracks - very nice!

S: Extremely hoppy - soapy citrus rinds, which the prevalent lemon zest lends well to, finishing with a hint of biscuit and other earthy goodness in the mix as well.

T: On point with the nose, but the lemon gets a bit out of control wiping out the hop entirely, and unfortunately there is a ton of booze from start to finish that really distracts the finer qualities of this ale - reminds me of a holiday drink my mother-in-law makes each year called Limoncello (grain alcohol, lemon rinds and sugar) very tasty but too much heat! Kind of a weird DIPA if you ask me (???).

M/D: Medium bodied and well carbonated with a ton of resiny hoppiness that lingers well beyond each sip, finishes crisp and clean as a good DIPA should. Drinkability is alright, but way too much weird lemon zest and hot booze. I finished it, but man it took some nursing!

3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml shared into tulip, from notes, consumed within two weeks of 2011 release.

A: A very bright and straw colored body, white head with good levels of carbonation and head retention.

S: The floral aspect of this brew show subtle hints of the lemon and a major role played by the hops that are very piney and citrus in character.

T/M: The beer is a very nice IPA, but the pine does seem to be in the fore front of the overall taste. The malt body is found in the texture of the mouthfeel, but does not make it past the hop profile. Carbonation levels are spot on for style and the finish is indeed hoppy.

O: Not too much multi-dementionality to this one, just a solid, yet typical IPA and classic DFH hop and yeast characters.

Photo of ckollias
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Golden yellow ale with a thick 2-finger foam that quickly dissipates into a fine wispy lace. Leaves a nice trail all the way down the glass.

S: This beer has a lemon zesty hoppy aroma. It is not overwhelming but rather very mild and pleasant to the nostrils.

T: Great zesty lemon flavor crossed the palate. It is smooth and slightly bitter at the same time. This alcohol is present but masked nicely by the lemon and hops. It has good balance and is very drinkable.

M: Medium body and carbonation

O: Interesting double IPA with a lemon twist. High ABV @ 10% but an easy drinkable bber. Another great beer by dogfish head but nothing I would pick up on a regular basis.

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.15/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a clear a golden color with good carbonation and a small white cap

S: Citrus and thats about it

T: Starts out with a hint at pine and lemon zest. Some other light fruits but not much on hops.

M: Well carbonated, nice feel, clean but the hops are subdued and played out by the lemon and citrus

O: Average

Photo of beerbully
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As a big fan of RJ and lover of the blues I was excited to buy this beer.

Poured into a pint glass

A-Copper hue with a thick foamy 1 1/2 inch head that hangs around for a while and leaves thick lacing. Lots of bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass

S-floral and extremely citrusy. Smells unbelievablely good. Grapefruit / orange / mango

T- quite different from its smell. Quite surprised with the initial taste as I was expecting something different based on the aroma. Can taste the lemon which I didn't pick up in the nose. Strong flavor in the back of my throat. Aftertaste mellows out and leaves a taste in the mouth which is closer to the aroma.

M-Beer has good body and coats the mouth. Quite refreshing. Good summer brew.

O-Smells like a very citrus DIPA but throws a curveball upon the first sip. Certainly can taste the lemon. This beer seems to have me searching for more than what is there. For me, the aftertaste is better than the initial sip. Flavor hangs in the mouth long after the beer has been swallowed. Happy to have scored a bottle and have tasted it which was not the case with Bitches Brew

Photo of ToddT
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Hazy amber color topped with a thick and fluffy off white head. Head falls quickly to a cap and then a ring but leaves a little spotty lace on the glass.

S- Subtle grapefruit and floral hop aroma, slight hint a alcohol as well.

T- Tart citrus as first, grapefruit and lemon dominate. The middle is mainly a malt wash, but the finish is where the lemon really comes out, leading to a bone dry and very tart finish. Fair amount of alcohol warmth in the finish too, not overpowering but noticeable.

M- Medium in body and carbonation, feels pretty clean for a Imperial IPA too. I think the tartness of the lemon takes out any hop oil that might be left on the palate.

O- Different, not your standard DIPA, the 10.0% ABV is not completely hidden but it’s not out of control either. Not sure if I could drink a lot of this but I’m glad I tried it.

Photo of jjboesen
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Here we have another Dogfish Head specialty to pay homage to an icon of American music - another was Miles Davis (Bitches Brew). I ha dthe opportunity to check this out during a recent visit to Max's: poured into a tulip glass, it begins with a thin head atop a dark amber body. The lacing and carbonation was minimal.

The nose is buffeted with massive notes of vanilla and clove; meanwhile, the palate is overwhelmed in a thick chewy blanket of malt and honey. To quote Eric Cartman: "Sweeet!"

While this is not one to be pounded down, it is an interesting quaff and should be tried if available.

Note: Robert Johnson was a blues guitarist from Mississippi.

Photo of wscaffe
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tulip.

A - Orange hazy color with an creamy white two-finger head. It leaves a decent lace on the glass

S - Intense citrus notes coupled with a floral hop aroma.

T - Not a very malty backbone. At 100 IBUs I definitely taste the hops. Some lemon character but not as evident as the description would lead you to believe. Even so, I think the lemon couples with the hop flavor nicely.

M - Medium bodied. Hops linger on the palate.

O - Overall I think that this beer could have been more carefully crafted. I like the overall concept but I think it could have been more balanced. I would definitely drink this beer again. For a beer clocking in at over 100 IBUs I still could see myself drinking this beer in the hot summer sun.

Photo of dtivp
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy golden orange with an off white two finger head that fades slowly into a ring with moderate lacing.

Aroma of floral hops and heavy on the citrus.

Taste followed the nose with lemon, grapefruit that added to the hop bitterness, as it came to room temperature a slight caramel malt sweetness was present.

Mouth Feel was medium body with light carbonation, very prickly and dry.

Overall this was a summer time beer, not the best IPA that Dogfish Head brews.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes. Have had Hellhound a few times, both form bottle and on tap at the DFH brewpub.

A: Hellhound pours a hazy orange with a foamy white head that dissipates rather quickly. Considering the head did not last very long, there was some nice lacing that hung onto the sides for a bit.

S: Typical citrus notes come through, some orange and grapefruit. I get hints of lemon, but not more than other hopped up beers that aren't made with lemon. A little bit of graham like malt base and a touch of caramel.

T: A bit more lemon here, but still not quite what I was expecting. There is a bit more orange and grapefruit than lemon, similar to the aroma. Quite bitter on the finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drank pretty smooth when cold, but was a bit tougher when it got warmer.

O: It wasn't bad, but compared to other DFH beers, a bit of a letdown. Was hoping for a lot more of a lemony flavor.

Photo of thebrood1987
4.85/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It has a very concentrated smell of resinous pine hops plus some lemons and that 90 minute smell in the background. On the initial sip its a sweet smooth malty sweet taste and then ending with a resinous pine bitterness but then the lemon comes in and mixes in with the hop flavors AND the bitterness subsides a bit and adds a refreshing I want another sip aftertaste to it. You get the lemon mouth pucker a bit too but in a really sweet way... this is world class beer. The only thing I would say that I think is unecessary a bit is the alcohol percentage. Real cold the alcohol bite comes out more in the smell and taste but warmed up the beer starts to turn into perfection. This beer could have easily worked at 8 percent but I guess Dogfish knows more than me. All in all this is an excellent beer and again one of my favorite from this brewery.

Robert Johnson's Hellhound On My Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 1,805 ratings.