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

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Robert Johnson's Hellhound On My AleRobert Johnson's Hellhound On My Ale

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very good

1,819 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,819
Reviews: 571
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 13.49%
Wants: 118
Gots: 341 | 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: 1,819 | Reviews: 571
Photo of snaotheus
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a goblet

Pours moderately clear golden amber with little in the way of head (but I poured it pretty gently), lots of active carbonation that doesn't build up much. Smell is clearly lemony, a little floral, not a hop-bomb by the smell (but maybe it's too cold), a little yeasty.

Taste is viciously hopped. Tastes like bitter lemon rind. Overbalanced to the hoppy side, but clearly a lot of sweet malty goodness in there -- lots of sweetness, but lots and lots of hoppy bitterness.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly dry and light, very pleasant. Overall, nice beer.

Photo of cjacobsen
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to sweemzander for bringing this one by

(A) Clear orange. Slight brown hear the top. Almost copper in some places. Foamy head that lingers.

(S) Smells of lemon rind.. Some light malts, crystal, cara pils maybe and a hop presence. There's a bit off some other citrus.

(T) A lot more hops than in the nose. A decent bit more citrus than just the lemon. Has some orange, but it has a definite lemon rind aftertaste. Doesn't drink like a 10% beer.

(M) Oily, full bodied. Leaves a slightly dry finish.

(O) I actually expected more lemon. Putting lemons into an IPA seems like you would need to add far more lemons to make a taste difference. It's good, but not ground breaking.

Photo of HopHead84
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


Bottle thanks to a generous kingkong.

A: Transparent orange with a one finger foam cap.

S: Orange and aromatic lemon with balancing bread and caramel. Smells pretty nice. There's a touch of booze. Tangerine is faint.

T: Sugary bread with light caramel notes. Lemon is pervasive, accompanied by orange and grapefruit. Bitterness is at an upper moderate level. Finishes sticky and bitter and dry, with lingering orange and tangerine.

M: Medium body with upper moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is sticky and smooth.

Overall: I liked this a lot more than Squall, and a lot more than I expected.

Photo of match1112
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

first off thanks to Mattbeerinfantry for sending this out in a trade. dark cloudy orange with yellow highlights. a big thick off white head that leaves large clumps on the glass adds to the appearance. loads of citrus with hints of malts and pine please the nose. taste is citrus, grapefruit and lemon with maybe a hint of orange. a good solid malt backbone carries this thru to the bitter finish, and when you think it's over theres a slight warming from the alochol, not overwelming but very well blended. mouthfeel is solid crisp with good carbonation and a nice level of creamy to it. excellent beer, might have to trade for more.

Photo of danmcg62
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Poured from the bottle into a tulip style glass. Pours a deep orange color with a thick, two finger width head. The carbonation bubble are traveling up the middle of the glass. Nice looking brew.

S-Grapfruit and pine come to mind at first whiff. Grassy and grainy as well. Some malt as well. Not too overpowering, nice simple smell.

T-Very citursy, hard to nail down a specific fruit, lemons and oranges maybe. Spicy hop character at the back end. Not too bad. Not as thick as other DIPAs I've tasted.

M-Spicy hops and mildly thick, chewy.

O-Overall this a decent DIPA. A bit complex and very interesting. I love the label and the Robert Johnson theme. Drinkable but you certainly need to take your time with it. Good stuff per usual from DFH.

Photo of PDXHops
1.32/5  rDev -66.4%
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!

Photo of davey101
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2011 1. Finally tracked down a bottle. 750ml into a DFH signature glass. I pulled up some Robert Johnson on Youtube....ugh, this worked much better with bitches brew.

A - Dark amber body and a soapy off white head. Great IPA lacing.

S - Woody and citrusy. Some floral notes, some light lemon and orange, biscuity malts, and a hint of alcohol. Not a lot of hop aromas actually.

T - It starts off with sweet fruit. Apricots, tart lemon rind, oranges, and tangerines. Some biscuity malts and a lightly bitter finish. Nice and creamy mouth feel. Dangerously drinkable.

O - Certainly off centered. Not in the usual DFH way, but in the way of IPA's. I really enjoyed the sweeter fruits and tart lemon flavors. It was very subtle and worked well with the bitterness of the hops and breadiness of the malt.

Photo of cbarrett4
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into Delirium Tremens tulip glasses.

This beer hits somewhere in between the 90 and 120 minute IPAs but with a little more fruit. Poured with a very nice amount of head that did persist very well. Color was pretty standard copper, burnt orange IPA style hue.

The nose was somewhat muted with citrus and a little candy coming off. The palate was much more expressive with citrus, some hop oils, and a little sweetness.

The problem was all the alcohol. It was very noticeable on the nose and was problematic on the palate. It seemed to push everything else aside and muscle to the front of the palate.

I do love some high octane brews, but this one seemed out of whack. It would probably have been a better beer at 8% instead of a whopping 10%. The complexity would have been a winner.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 2011 1
750 ml bottle in a snifter.

Cherry amber color, slight haze. Medium-sized off white head.

Lots of citrus in the aroma: mostly lemon and lemon zest, but also orange and tangerine. Some sweet malt. A hint of alcohol.

Taste followed aroma. A lot of citrus, with citrus hops. Sweet malt. Alcohol not detectable; would never know it was 10% ABV.

Nice balance.

Dangerously drinkable.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

Photo of doughanson78
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Slightly hazy orangish copper color. One finger, super rocky, white head with excellent retention and

S: Grapefruit and orange peel upfront. Slight lemon zest. Bready malts with hints of caramel and honey. Slight floral notes and a very mild spiciness. Alcohol is detectable also. Complex but pretty muted aroma.

T: Sweet caramel upfront. A citrusy bitterness through the middle, with emphasis on the peels of the fruit. Citrus is taken over by deep floral notes. A honey-lemon finish along with a fairly big alcohol presence.

M: Light to medium bodied. Light creaminess. Medium carbonation. Very warm, bordering on hot.

O: This would be a great beer if the alcohol wasn't so in your face. The honey-lemon finish is nice but gets muted quick by alcohol. Don't know if aging this would help, or just mess it up. Maybe I'll grab a bottle and see.

Photo of Jason
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

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

A - Pours orange-brown with a bit of noticeable sediment. One finger of off-white head fades pretty quickly to a collar but leaves some lacing behind.

S - Lemon rind and juice dominate the aroma, though some pine hops do come through. A bit of malt also present, and some sweet florals as well.

T - Bitter up front with both pine and lemon bitterness. Lots of lemon, again rind and pulp. A little one note, but I'm enjoying it. I can taste and feel some malt, but can't put specific flavors to it. Some noticeable alcohol in the taste.

M - Medium mouthfeel with good carbonation. Finishes bitter but not clean.

O - Overall probably not worthy of Robert Johnson, but a pretty good beer. Has bitterness in spades, but missing a more balanced flavor profile. Glad I tried it, but not sorry this is a one-off.

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

On Tap at Hulmeville Inn.

Robert Johnson Hellhound looks a lighter shade of DIPA. The liquid is a straw yellow color with some faint, well, more yellow in the body all around. The liquid is pretty clear, but the head could use some more ummpphh. Sparse bubbles that leave no glide.

Smell is bursting out the pants with lemon juice and aint no fooling, it's a lemon bomb over citrus scent. Lemon juice with some pilsner/pale malt. That's all I get really.

Taste of of a lemoned up saison with a lot of bitterness towards the end. More pine bitter than citrus bitter if im thinking left coast beer. The lemon is just big and is the main attraction. Small amounts of pilsner malt barely make a dent at the lemon and whatever bittering hops they used.

Feel is a steady medium. Carbed up nice with a nice little tart hit towards the end.It's probably a bitter tart more than a tart tart if that makes sense(it doesent). Glad I tried it, I would never even try to tackle a whole bottle of this on it's own. 8oz's is plenty.

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.

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Robert Johnson's Hellhound On My Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 1,819 ratings.