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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

1,804 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,804
Reviews: 567
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 13.49%
Wants: 113
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: 1,804 | Reviews: 567 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ktrillionaire
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Ale+Witch

A - It pours a straw-golden hue, fairly radiant, and is capped with a proper inch of white head; lace ensues.

S - The nose is citric hoppy and also betrays mineral-y pale malt, but it is generally mild, aromatically, pleasantly so; if the style is factored in, it is highly sublime.

T - The brew tastes deliciously pale, and has a very earthy bitterness that I am really into. The lemon aspect is a delicious nuance, and is not intrusive or dominating; it is sublime. There is a distinct suggestion of lemon wood and lemon oil on the finish which is, again, delicately nuanced. This also deserves credit as a DIPA that is on the far side of the maltiness spectrum, with mellow-light-pale malt presence, and it is tremendously successful as such. 10% ABV may never have been hidden better.

M - Nice IPA. Wait, this is a DIPA? 10%! Could've fooled me; did, in fact.

O - I am very impressed with this brew; it is one of the better DFH offerings in memory.

Photo of danielplainview
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Wow really pours nice with a fluffy thick head. Hazy golden color that looked very vibrant and inviting

Smell: the nose reminded me of some of the saison's I have had recently. Hops are there with the citrus being very forward

Taste: Subtle hops on this. Lemon and Honey are the flavors I get the most.

Mouthfeel: seems a little light for a double

Overall: I found this to be strange for the style. More fruit than I would have expected to come across but not the hops I expected. I don't often say that about Dogfish. Well made solid beer. At the price though I probably won't buy it again

Photo of cbriggz
3.03/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very excited when a friend of mine picked me up two bottles from total wine in DE. Opened and shared with the wife last night. Served in dogfish goblets/snifters. Smell was ok at best hints of lemon. Taste was very similar to Squall in my opinion just a little dryer with a slight lemon finish. Not something i would seek out again glad i didnt put much effort into finding this one.

Photo of JizackFH
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - This beer pours a slightly hazy orangish amber color. It has a big 3-finger slightly off-white head. The head has great retention and leaves nice looking lace on the glass.

S - There are big lemon, citrus, and hops right off the bat. There is also a light caramel malt backbone and some notes of tropical fruit.

T - Wow, there is a big lemon presence right off the bat. There is nice hop presence that melds very nicely with the lemon. There is a nice sweet caramel maltiness in the background that balances this out nicely. The finish leaves a lingering hop bitterness on the palate, and there is also some citrus and a bit of an alcohol presence.

M - This has a medium body and good carbonation. It goes down quite smooth and the flavor is great. There is some lingering hop bitterness and a bit of alcohol warmth in the finish.

O - There's good drinkability here. It goes down easy and I find it to be very refreshing. This is a very unique beer, I have never had a beer with such a strong lemon presence. I really like how the lemon and hops come together. Overall, I think this is an awesome beer, and I'm glad I got the chance to pick it up.

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

A: pours cloudy orange. Has a very large two and a half finger head, that is off white in color. The head leaves a nice amount of lacing.

S: a nice mix of lemon peel, smooth malt, and grapefruit/floral hops.
T: long lasting hop bitterness. A nice sweetened lemon, and a light lemon peel pith. Malt balances with the lemon and hops and provides a nice amount of sweetness.
M: good clean, and nice carbonation. A little coating.
O: a little bit overhyped. Good flavor and feel. Lemon adds to ipa well.

Photo of CraftAleRookie
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Dogfish Head Signature Glass.

A- Wonderfully THICK 2.5 finger foamy head, that very slowly bubbled down. Deep copper color with very nice clarity. Thick sticky lace now lingers as I prepare to take in the aroma.

S- Typical hop-forward notes of pine and citrus, with a subtle hint of the lemon (faintly) in the background. That trailing lemony note is a nice touch!

T- Wow- the IBU's in this brew do not punch you in the face at all; in fact, it feels like the lemon softens the hop bitterness a bit. Nice (but soft) hop flavors, and like the smell just a hint of lemon on the finish. Also a very slight note of alcohol toward the end too.

M- Softer, lighter feel (for a DIPA). Good fizz (trailing nicely from the DFH logo on the bottom of the glass), but not a fuller body like you'd expect in a double.

D- This is a good brew- like Aprihop, the fruit in this ale is very, very subtle and doesn't overpower the experience. Not as stong (re- bitter, hoppy) as a 90 Minute IPA, but a solid DIPA on the lighter end of the scale. DFH noted on their facebook page that this ale wasn't brewed to age, but I may just let a bottle get dusty to see how it turns out.

Thanks, Sam!!

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.76/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden color with hints of copper, a very large white fluffy head fades at a slow rate and leaves a good sized cap on top for the most part, some patchy lacing on the glass as it empties.

Smell is of the sweeter variety for a DIPA, picking up some lemony citrus notes, the piney hop aroma is not very strong with this one, sweet malt rounds out the nose.

Taste is initially sweet and almost sugary at times but doesn't cross over into full on cloying, the lemon and citrus then come into play, the hops are only present in the citrus elements and I'm not picking up any sort of resiny pine or hop bite, carbonation is active but soft in the mouth which creates a very creamy mouthfeel, the strength is very well hidden and I would not for an instant believe this to be 10%.

This one is all over the place, the hops are very muted for a DIPA and far too sweet. On the flip side, it is a tasty beer and I could drink the hell out of it. It also has one awesome label, it might be the first DFH empty bottle I keep.

Photo of Skarod
3.32/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

big bottle poured into Sam Adam's beer glass

Appearance - cloudy warm brown color good head.

Smell - being brewed with lemons I expected more citrus smell not too much of any aroma for me.

Taste- I love IPAs this tastes like your basic DIPA finishing bitterness was a little too much for me at first but 2nd half of the glass was much better

mouthhfeel - full body not too heavy just enough to make you take it slow and enjoy

Overall - I very much enjoyed it, but for the price point around here I could find several similar IPAs and save some money

Photo of BeerThursdays
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Timothys in Newark. 10oz pour.

A - Slightly hazy copper color with a three finger head. Head dissipated very quickly and left almost no lacing.

S - Citrus fruits, especially the Lemon coming though. Lost maltiness and some pineapple. Very nice smell. Like a super citrusy IPA.

T - Taste isn't as good as the smell. Somewhat subdued. The lemon is almost overpowering the IPA(ness) of this beer. Still a nice malty backbone, but then there is a lot of the lemon flavor that comes through before you get any bitterness. Some bitterness in the finish, but more like a summer type beer.

M - A bit more thin than I would imagine with such malty backbone, but that's what comes through. Carbonated well, and very little alcohol burn at all.

O - Decent beer. A lemony version of 90 Min IPA with a bit more alcohol. Good beer, but don't see this one being in the top of the DFH list, let alone top of the best beers list.

Photo of Schmittymack
3.06/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks Josh for sharing this one with Ratman and me. Poured a lighter amber color with a nice white head. Aroma was mostly lemon, a little caramel, and some hops. Taste was too much lemon; so much lemon I could barely make out anything else. Expecting more hop bitterness that never happened. Nice to try this one but I won't be buying a bottle. Just too much lemon to really get me into liking this one much.

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

A: Hazy light amber with a nice rose tint. Good white head on top with a couple of fish eyes.

S: Very hoppy aroma coming up. Pine, a touch of caramel and a nice lemony scent at the end. Almost a lemon cake like smell.

T: Bitterness is definitely strong in this one. Earthy, piney hops come out at first. The finish brings a bit of the lemon into it with a touch of grass.. Very nice, but I could take a bit more complexity. There is a bit of an herbal thing going on.

M: Medium in body, fairly high carbonation, and drying.

O: Overall I like it, but I think the hop/lemon combo almost comes out a little medicinal. Not my favorite, but certainly not bad.

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

750ml bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours a nice ruby amber brown with a small white head. Nose is spicy, malty and lemony, but the lemon is not up front.

Taste is very spicy, a bit malty and creamy. There's a good chewy sharp finish on it that's fresh and light. Quite solid.

Photo of steve8robin
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this at a local beer store. 750ml bottle, 2011 vintage...

A: A nice clean looking bright golden color with a 1 inch white head that fades at a decent pace to a lace atop the brew. Good.

S: Holy hop! Smells of some nice bitter citrus hops upfront with a nice earthy bitterness. A very faint maltiness on the backend. Very good.

T: Tastes of some nice lemon bitterness upfront with some faint alcohol dryness in the middle and some mild spices on the backend. Decent.

M: Medium body with a hard carbonation. A dry hoppiness on the backend. Good.

O: All in all, this smelled so much better than it tasted. Don't get me wrong, it's very good, but not mind blowing. Good to try if you like DIPA's.

Photo of jnn4v
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Copper colored, translucent beer with an orangeish hue. Split between two pint glasses, there was tons of foamy white head on the first glass and almost none in the second. Odd. Slight sediment and haze (maybe from bottle conditioning yeast?)

S: Definitely smelled the lemons when I first poured it. However, after a few minutes, the scent dissipated significantly. Coppery metallic hops, butterscotch malt, and a hint of grassy / citrusy background hops.

T: Surprisingly sweet and bready. Wasn't expecting either characteristic, but they were the two dominant flavors. Lemon and orange. Vaguely reminds me of an arnold palmer.

M: Good viscosity / thickness. Seems fitting for the 10% ABV and for a DIPA style. Moderate carbonation.

O: Honestly not bad at all. I heard lots of disappointing reviews before trying it, and it's really not much like a true DIPA, but it's still an enjoyable beer. Maybe more of a lemony "American Strong Pale Ale" or something along those lines, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Photo of bluejacket74
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a hazy orange/amber color with about an inch and a half off-white head. The head sticks around for a long time, and there's a decent amount of lacing left on the glass. Aroma is mostly citrusy hops (grapefruit, lemon peel), with grassy hops and a bit of peppery spice noticable. The brew tastes like lemony hops, lemon peel, grassy/herbal hops, and some peppery spice and bready malt. At first the bitter lemon rind finish is quite strong, but it eases up after the brew warms up (and I let it sit out for around 25 minutes before opening it). Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit slick and is well carbonated. There's a bit too much carbonation for me, but it doesn't hurt the beer much at all. It is easy to drink for being 10% ABV. I liked this brew, I think it's definitely worth trying.

Photo of AdamBear
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to recall1242 for sending this one my way!

A-golden amber, slightly cloudy. thick frothy light tan head that keeps some lacing.

S-sweet hops, more grassy but slightly citrusy. i can slightly smell some lemon juice. the more i smell, the more lemon i smell. it might be because i'm expecting it. its a medium strength. doesn't smell monumental.

T-it comes in with a good bitterness of lemony hops. it hits the mouth pretty hard, harder than any other DFH IPA. it gives off a real warming taste of alcohol. Up to this point, its a mediocre IPA, but then all of sudden the magic happens: a wonderful, bitter, spicy, lemony after-taste of hoppy herbs. its a powerful and unique taste that lasts quite awhile. its a powerful after-taste and it lasts quite awhile. not very well balanced, but this is tasty.

M-medium creamy carbonation with a dry finish

O-its not every day that you get to try a new IPA from DFH. they got my hooked on IPAs, so I was super excited to try something new from them. its definitely not a ground breaking IPA, nor did I expect it, but it was definitely great and unique. thank DFH for putting this in the 750mL bottle, i'm not sure i would've been happy with only 12oz...its that tasty. this is definitely addicting and goes down much easier than almost any other 10% beer i've had.

Photo of dborginis
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from the 750 mL to 2 pint glasses to share. Lots of lacey head. Amber color...I'd say about 10.0 SRM (ha!).

From the smell, I'm not getting a DIPA, seems much milder. The taste is pretty pungent, but it seems like much of this is the alcohol. This fades as it warms up. The hops are pretty tasty, but one dimensional (as described 100% centennial hops). I guess that explains the minimal hops in the nose. Interesting technically as the 100-100-100... feat. They might be forcing the 10.0 ABV without all the expected flavor so I'll have to dock it overall/drinkability.

Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
4.53/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful hazy yellow to golden pour with great, active carbonation. The head is sturdy and bright white, eventually settling into a thin layer of foam. The aromas of hops and citrus are very upfront. Not really picking up the Lemon, as advertised. Taste-- there's the lemon! Hard hitting bitterness engulf the mouth and hammers the tongue...nice. The hop finish is strong and lingers nicely, not acidic. The hop flavor does not linger on the front of the tongue, making the flavor a little less full than I'd like. The heat from the alcohol reaches the back of the throat after the first couple of sips. As the foamy lace makes its way to the bottom of the glass, my mouth won't stop watering. The citrus, hop, and alcohol coalition is brutal (in a good way). The body is medium and only slightly slick after half a glass. Overall the mouthfeel is pleasant if you can stop focusing on the beating the back of your pallet is taking. I really like this AIPA and wil have another and another (not all tonite).

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

A cellar temperature bottle is poured into a tulip glass; reviewed while listening to The Complete Recordings of Robert Johnson.

A big foamy head fills most of my tulip glass. Below is clear copper liquid with a few streams of bubbles rising upwards. Some clinging carbonation is also visible. The settling head leaves some good—if sporadic—lacing.

The aroma is of grassy hops. It seems like some full-bodied hops, if that makes sense; big and whole. There is a slight hint of spice to the aroma, which reminds me of Tabasco.

As others have pointed out, this beer is fairly malty for a DIPA. It isn't very sweet though, which is nice. The hops are peppery and spicy. There are some hop oils present as well. There is a little bit of alcohol in the finish, but it disappears and it is the hops that linger.

This is a full-bodied beer with lower carbonation. It is a little sticky, especially on my lips. There isn't much of a coat, but what is there packs a lot of hop flavor.

It is always interesting to my whenever Dogfish Head releases a new IPA or DIPA, as they have such perfect examples of the styles with their 60 and 90 minute IPAs. I don't enjoy this special release as much as those mainstays, and actually, if I wanted a DFH special IPA, I'd go for the Squall over this one. That's not to say I don't appreciate this beer, I do. I just think Dogfish can do better. Still, I'm glad I got to try this one.

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

Thanks goes out to MlhopeTC for this brew.

Bottled In: 2011 1

Poured into a DFH glass a nice slightly hazy golden yellow/amber color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy off-white head, which leaves some nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, with some nice hop notes, slight citrus, licorice, pepper. The taste is pretty nice, malty, with some nice hop notes, some citrus, peppery, and a little bit of licorice. Medium Body, nice dry/bitter finish. Overall a pretty nice brew, glad I had a chance to try it, Thanks Matt.

Photo of CuttDeez
3.35/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into my snifter - very fresh
Excited because I like DFH

A - A burnt orange color that is dense but not really hazy. The head is thick and slightly bubbly on top. The beer is giving off a lot of carbination.

S - Zesty citrus aroma up front with good amounts of lemon rhine and lemon zest. The there is a slight malty caramel smell. Then the smell goes a little south as you pick up the ABV on the back end.

T & M - Th mouthfeel is actually the better part of this beer. It is nicely carbinated and considering the ABV it is light in the feel of the been and doesn't hang on the palate as much as I thought it would. The taste is not as impressive. The tastes are of strong malt with only average carmalized sweetness. THe citrus flavors are only slight and for a beer that boasts lemon the lemon is not strong. Overall as I work my way through the beer the ABV begins to creap in more and more and cover some of the nice flavors in the begining.

O - They had some good things going but just didn't pull it off it seems. I would have liked the taste to be more in depth and complex - it is too simply and weak right now. I liked aspects of this beer but the ABV overwhelming the nose and mouth in the end hurt it. For the style I have had much better. I still like DFH a lot, but this was not their best.


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

appearance: lovely amber glow with nice white fluffy head rentention

smell: citrus rind, lemon, greapfruit.

taste: flat, this a good blanced IPA with lots of citrus flavor. nothing more to add but a wiered bitter backend

mouthfeel: medium bodied, perfect amount of carbonation

drinkability: a solid IPA, for some reason I thought DFH would hit a homerun here. Nope, but they did get a base hit though. Decent beer.

Photo of Brad007
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed "Bitch's Brew" and decided to try this as well being that it has Robert Johnson as the subject.

Pours a mild golden color with a one-finger head into my glass. No argument here on the color.

Just a hint of lemon and grassy/citrus hops in the nose. Not quite as forward as I'd hoped but it is there.

It's quite refreshing with the lemon essence quelling any potential overload of bitterness and alcohol heat. Unfortunately, this is also a downside as it feels a bit bland as a result.

Lingering lemon and citrusy hops at the back. Still quite crisp.

After seeing other reviews, I believe that this beer hasn't gotten a fair shake. While it's not the greatest example of the style from DFH, it pays tribute to Robert Johnson in spirit and the lemon is a nod to his mentor, "Blind Lemon" Jefferson. Regardless, if you're not a typical double IPA drinker, you might like this highly accessible example.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.45/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly clouded copper orange hazed hue with a bright full thicket of khaki tan head bubbling above the rim of my Dogfish Head chalice. Nose if full of lemon bright notes chalk full of bitter rind with hints of spice hanging out as well. Grapefruit nose comes strnog with Centennial hop additions the same hop found in my favorite Two Hearted Ale. Flavor brings on a boozey hit of alcohol at 10 percent it's really not well hidden and the astringency of the booze and bitterness of the lemonpeel kind of potentiate each aspects of harshness. The smell is much better than the actual flavor I like the 100th birthday, 10.0 SRM, 100% Centennial hops, 10.0 percent abv scheme their using but this isn't a DIPA like 90 minute used to be when it was first released back in early 2000s. Mouthfeel is pure bitterness, slash spice dryness with a disgustingly sweet malt profile lacking hop flavors to mix it up, plus an astringent lemonpeel character outweights the whole experience. Medium bodied evenly carbonated not so much unpleasant as I just don't think lemonpeel is meant to be in any variety of my beloved IPA. Overall character is their as crazy Sam's DFH and crew can churn out something like you've never tasted but is it better than any of their past efforts of good solid drinkable DIPA, of course not.

Photo of Trilogy31
2.84/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear medium amber brown with two fingers of fluffy eggshell white head leaving thick curtains of lace on the glass. Nose has up front caramel malts, grassy/light floral notes along with some resinous pine - i really cant pick out any citrus here. The taste and mouthfeel is rather flimsy with some noticeable alcohol (though not coming through as heat) along with being astrigent but not overly bitter (not the best description i know). Outside of some sweet malt and earthy forest i really struggle to find much else. Kind of like the chocolate in theobroma i cant find the lemons in hellhound.

Robert Johnson's Hellhound On My Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 1,804 ratings.