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

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

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

1,794 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,794
Reviews: 564
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 13.49%
Wants: 110
Gots: 320 | 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:
Hellhound is a super-hoppy ale that hits 100 IBUs in the brewhouse and 10% ABV. It's dry-hopped with 100% Centennial hops at a rate of 100 kilos per 100 barrel brew-length. Can you tell we're stoked for this mighty musical centennial?

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

58 IBU

(Beer added by: jsanford on 03-15-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,794 | Reviews: 564 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Beejay
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
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
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
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
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
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
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
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
3.33/5  rDev -15.3%
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
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
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
3.4/5  rDev -13.5%
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
2.8/5  rDev -28.8%
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.

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

A: Pours an amber/copper color with a finger a off-white colored head. Head dissipates quickly, but laces very well.

S: Nose is piney, citrusy like oranges or lemon rinds. I can definitely smell the dominating hops (bicentennial hops). I'm getting some faint honey or caramel.

T: Bitter, but very nice. Not as balanced, but I don't believe that was an aim with this brew. I hear the bitterness wasn't there for some people, but I'm actually happy with the hop level, although it could've been a bit better, piney...er.

M: Very small carbonation coming off the bottom of the glass. Medium-bodied, not syrupy, which I thought was going to be an issue. Dry finish, good but unfortunately I was expecting more from this brew.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to MlhopeTC for the bottles.

22oz bottle poured into my Deschutes snifter.

Bottle date 2011 1

A- Hazy orange with a 2 finger off-white head after an aggressive pour. Good retention and lacing.

S- Citrus-Lemon and oranges.

T- Slight dull pine, lemons, oranges.

D- Nice balance, tons of carbonation.

O- This is a decent beer, but nothing special. It is worth trying, but don't go crazy for it.

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

1.5 finger white head (which dissipates, but retains a bit) with nice lacing, translucent amber body.

Nose is hops, with a trace of vegetal lemon rind.

Taste is interesting, spice and wheat at the front, hops, lemon, and alcohol at the finish. Quite complex. Finish is bitter and dry. Distant aftertaste is warming. Hop taste strangely diminishes as you keep drinking it.

Mouthfeel is nice, quite smooth.

This is an interesting one, and worthwhile for a taste; this is a sipper though. The lemon mentioned on the bottle isn't overpowering by any means, so don't be put off by that.

Photo of holden303
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into Funkwerks tulip.

A: Pours a nice caramel orange with a full two fingers of big soapy head that slowly starts disappearing.

S: Hops! this one smells very hoppy, I'm enjoying the smell thoroughly. Also picking up some pine, citrus, and grapefruit on the nose.

T: Whoa, lot's going on here, big 'ol 100 IBU hop bomb hits you right in the face and then halfway through some lemon interrupts just long enough to say, "hey I'm here!". On the back end I'm picking up slight caramel malts with a twinge of lemon left over.

M: Moutshfeel is good, quite a bit of carbonation makes the drinkability a bit lower, but I think IPAs should have a fair amount of carbonation.

O: Not a bad beer by any means, I think I was expecting something more complex. The label is the coolest part about this beer unfortunately. I'd drink it again but I probably wouldn't pay DFH premium prices for it again.

Photo of Casey10
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a average beer at best, I liked it but nothing really stood out. It has a nice look and frothy head the taste has that bit lemon that is in there it is good but really somewhat average.

I would say it is worth trying but it will not be really nothing earth shatering either.

Photo of BeerLover99
3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: cloudy deep yellow/orange body, 1 finger head, nice lacing!

S: hint of lemon peel, grain, earthy pine

T: sweet lemon/citrus front, earthy pine middle, sticky long bitter finish

M: medium body, sticky/oily finish

O: If this was some average brewery, I would say well done. BUT this is Dogfish Head, one of my favorite breweries and one of the best out there (in my humble opinion) and this is just a pretty good American Double/Imperial IPA.

(P.S. Always love Dogfish label art, big music fan here.
Robert Johnson, very underrated legend).


Photo of fastpass17
3.13/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz Brown bomber

A: Honey gold in color, with a frothy two finger head, and firm carbonation from the hops throughout.

S: Biscuit malt comes to the nose first followed by strong notes of honey. The hops come in mid nose wit wet citrus finished with the lemon zest in the end.

T: This beers starts off very fresh and smooth, honey then comes to the forefront yet not cloying due to the hop presence. This is classic Dogfish Head IPA in style. The beers finishes very zesty, and slightly hot.

M,O: The beer is very light in the palate considering its strength. It is somewhat reminiscent of lemon seltzer and not in the wrong way, perhaps due to its refreshing, and unique nature. A very interesting brew, though slightly hot at the end which reminds me of chillies?

Photo of Gavage
3.08/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: orange and yellow in color with a 1" head that lingers a bit. No lacing develops.

Smell: loads of lemon zest and some hop bitterness are easy to pull from the glass.

Taste: slight grainy and bready malt profile with loads of lemon flavors, lighter grapefruits, and a surprisingly mild bitterness level. Alcohol is very strong and dominating.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp to start, smoother and a bit dry at the finish. Aftertaste is long as the lemon and alcohol last in the mouth for a long time.

Overall: this beer is a very slow sipper and in the end not as pleasurable as other unique offerings from DFH. Bitterness doesn't really come through as anticipated, and lemon tones are a bit too strong.

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

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

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

Photo of bmo56
2.83/5  rDev -28%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The bottle alone drove me to buy the last one at the store I work at, but that not why your here, you're reading this to see if its any good, and in all honesty i think its OK, its definitely not Natty Ice, but then it's not delicious Palo Santo either. Orange in color and with about two fingers of head and good lacing it looks rather good. The smell is definite an ale but with a little dough to it. Mouthful to me felt like an ale smooth with some carbonation, but taste is what i found to the most disappointing part of Hellhound after i swallowed my first sip it was all fine and good, then it tasted like a just drank a shot of citrus vodka and that made me not so much sad , just really disappointed in it. I'm not saying to give it a try just lower your expectations of it.

Robert Johnson's Hellhound On My Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 1,794 ratings.