Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

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.
BA SCORE
86
very good

572 Reviews
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 572
Hads: 1,841
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.37%
Wants: 124
Gots: 365 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Robert Johnson's Hellhound On My Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 572 | Hads: 1,841
Photo of prdrums77
4.28/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is the first beer for which I have managed to write a review. I poured it from a 1-pint and 9.4 fl. oz. bottle into an English Pub glass and put on some of the obviously apropos Robert Johnson.

A: The brew had a bigger head than I was expecting, and it retained at a nice level after it slowly settled. There was a thin 1-inch piece of debris, which I presume came out of the bottle and floated up with the head. I was unable to identify it, but it looked like a blade of grass or something of that sort.

S: I got a nice and strong lemon/hop smell as soon as I opened the bottle. As I poured, the scent diversified to a combination of citrus and herbal notes. The scent is typical for a DIPA, but has is a bit more interesting because of the sweeter, fruitier aroma.

T: It has a strong grapefruit/lemon zest flavor up front and an intense hop presence throughout. The flavor is indicative of the liberal hopping described on the bottle. There is a little bit of heat from the alcohol at the end, but it is surprisingly subtle.

M: It feels a bit thicker than the average DIPA, but it is pleasant, and I do not have any complaints w/r/t mouthfeel.

O: I liked this brew a lot. The flavor was complex, the pour was very attractive, and it was a unique foray into the style. It fit nicely into what I have come to expect from a Dogfish Head IPA. (1,355 characters)

Photo of secondtooth
3.47/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a year+-old bomber a deep amber with some sediment.

Nose is ripe with citrus hops. Maybe a touch of lemon, but it's subtle.

Taste is nicely bitter and hoppy, with a tinge of detectable sour lemon. Not bad, but definitely underwhelming for the 10% ABV (not too obvious) and relatively high price for this bottle (around $15). Wouldn't revisit again, unless I knew it was quite fresh. (396 characters)

Photo of Franziskaner
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Hazy tawny golden yellow, light brownish in color. Good head on the pour and moderate head retention. Effervescent carbonation. Aroma is grapefruit hop, apricots, and a definite lemon presence. Very smooth mouthfeel. I would never guess that this was 10%. The grapefruit flavored hops are on the front of the palate. There's just a hint of lemon in the flavor but it doesn't arrive until the aftertaste. (403 characters)

Photo of Smurf2055
3.2/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Poured into my Duvel Tulip, two to three fingers white head.

Smell is a hoppy citrus, very floral.

Taste is deceivingly smooth. Pretty bitter, not much citrus zest to speak of. Lots of hop presence.

Bit of a chalky after taste. Big, big mouthfeel.

Interesting, but not worth the price. (293 characters)

Photo of Ankur
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this beer at discounted price at local store ($9 ish). Pours neat and with almost no head. Very subtle lemon on nose, but definitely you can taste lemon. Well balanced on overall mouthfeel. Hops and alcohol in the aftertaste.

Definitely worth trying once. (260 characters)

Photo of mrfrancis
4.02/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden orange with a creamy, thick off-white head. The head retention is fantastic, and as the head settles, an enormous amount of creamy off-white lace is present on the sides of the glass.

S: Aromas of caramel, cream, and brown sugar are most noticeable on the first sniff, with traces of white pepper, lemon, and alcohol in the background. As the beer settles a bit, aromas of lemon, bitter orange, pine, spruce, juniper berry, and grapefruit become more noticeable.

T: Notes of lemon, bitter orange, kumquat, pine, spruce, juniper berry, peppermint, grapefruit, white pepper, heavy cream, caramel, brown sugar, and biscuit assault the palate. The finish is prickly, resinous, and laden with hoppy flavors of lemon, grapefruit, juniper berry, and pine, with just a hint of malty caramel and biscuit flavors to balance things out before peppery, prickly alcohol takes hold.

M: Medium-to-full in body, but leaning considerably closer to the latter than to the former. This ale is decidedly off-dry and sticky. Carbonation is firm. Alcohol presence is relatively restrained for the style, but does become more intense on the finish. Still, it is neither harsh nor unpleasant. I would dare say this is one of the more drinkable DIPAs I've had in the past year.

O: Even though Dogfish Head has produced plenty of IPAs and DIPAs, I'm really liking this one. I'm not quite sure it's on the level of Burton Baton, Squall, 90 Minute, or 120 Minute, but it is a very solid, likable example of the style. With this ale, the chances are that if you enjoy Dogfish Head's other DIPAs, then you will also like this one. (1,636 characters)

Photo of atr2605
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A-pours a yellow copper color with a slightly tan head with good retention
S-lots of lemon and citrus, bit of a rubbing alcohol smell when first poured
T-more lemon with some pine and resin followed by malt and a bit of roasted flavor in the finish
M-medium bodied
O-I didn't really care for this beer, but I still thought it was very well crafted (347 characters)

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance – Served a lightly hazed golden-orange colored brew with a one finger white head. The head persists fairly well fading over time to leave a good level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is very citrusy with lots of grapefruit and orange peel. Along with these more bitter citrus smells are notes of some light caramel sweetness as well as hints of bready malts, some candied like sugar aromas, as well as a little bit of an herbal hop smell.

Taste – The taste begins slightly sweeter with caramel and a sugared orange peel taste. While it starts sweeter there is certainly a presence of some nice grapefruit and herbal hop flavors upfront. As the taste advances the sugar dries some while some malt flavors of biscuit and a bit of a bready taste come to the tongue. All the while the bitter hoppiness of the brew gets stronger with an alcohol taste working its way onto the tongue. More grapefruit and lemon hop with a nice dose of an herbal hop taste mix with the malt and caramel to in the end leave a moderately citrus, bitter, but somewhat smoother taste to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the brew was on the medium to slightly lower side in terms of thickness for a brew of 10 % abv with a carbonation level that was just above normal. The two characteristics of the brew gave it a more crisp feel and helped make very drinkable.

Overall – A smoother and rather easy drinking hopped brew with nice transitions between a sweetness upfront to a nice citrus hop base mixed with a little bit of boozy flavors and a decent malt backbone in the end. Quite tasty and rather easy drinking even at 10 % abv. (1,701 characters)

Photo of WesWes
4.16/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy amber color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a sweet pale and crystal malt scent along with a light bready character. The hop aroma is well pronounced and provides piney hop presence. The lemon zest is faint at best, but does add some extra complexity. The taste is good as well. It has a smooth, malty flavor that's sweet up front and finishes warm and bread-like. It's hoppy, but more balanced than anything else. The lemon flavor shows up in the finish and plays well off the hops. The mouthfeel is fine. It's a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This a terrific beer and an excellent tribute to Robert Johnson. I'm not sure he would like it, but I do. (743 characters)

Photo of jopezu
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

deep hazy brass, with some slight sediment. thin head, strong active carbonation that stays the distance. smell is a shotgun blast of pure, dry centennial hops. taste, again, magnificent centennial hops, with a lemon rind shot in the arm. bitter rind oil aftertaste. this beer always makes me imagine a marriage of founders centennial ipa and a basket of lemons. also, the bottle art is awesome. love it. (410 characters)

Photo of crudalerealtygro
3.29/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A- Pours a hazy golden color bordering on light amber, with a 2 finger white head, steady lacing and a good amount of visible carbonation

S-Lemon is detectable as well as a slight grapefruit and possibly mango? Also a bready/ malty scent

T- The alcohol is noted both in front and in back. Again, maltiness comes through more than you'd expect. Grapefruit plays out over any lemon in my opinion. The bitterness and high alcohol content is noted more than anything, to its detriment

M-Carbonation abounds. Dry, slightly bitter and heavy on the alcohol

O- A bit dissapointing based on Dogfishhead's description. A quality pour but not something I would actively seek out. (672 characters)

Photo of mikem0487
4.09/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into DFH ale glass

A- Was poured pretty roughly into the glass giving it a huge dense three finger off white head. Leaves nice lacing as it slowly recedes back to the beer. The body is burnt orange with a nice haziness to it.

S-Citrus forward beer for sure. You pick up the lemon but definitely get mango and grapefruit as the overall nose character. Cane sugar is in there as well. Malts are minimal masked by the huge citrus aroma.

T-Malty up front with the rest of the palate being dosed with the hops. Has a nice balance throughout but finishes heavily bitter with the alcohol lingering in the aftertaste. Grapefruit and lemon are the main characters. The malt bill does a nice job to counteract the hops and definitely get those cara malts adding a whole grain bread crust taste.

M-A chewy medium bodied brew. Low on the carbonation which might be good for this beer with such a high IBU.

O-Very enjoyable beer overall. The alcohol comes in at the finish which does not leave the most pleasant aftertaste. Other than that a great beer that I am happy I tried and will pick up again. (1,111 characters)

Photo of JaredM
3.41/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: Orange/tangerine look and hazy. Very little carbonation and a bit less of a finger of off white/eggshell head. Great look.

S: Citrus & orange peel forward and getting a bit of the lemon in there too that Dogfish emphasized. Hoppy but not overly hoppy on the smell. Picking up some sweetness from the malts. As it warms up the lemons are becoming more pronounced. Lemon peel.

T: Wow not what I was expecting at all. The hops take a back seat to the malts in this case. This does not taste like it smells at all. I can taste (and feel) all 10.0% of this beer and for me it detracts from the beer. Very malty and lacking in hops. Some bitterness at the end.

M: Medium bodied, good mouthfeel.

O: As a guitar player I was excited for this beer but was disappointed. From their description, the look, and the smell it was presented as a West Coast IPA. I was expecting way more presence from the hops especially considering its 100 IBUs. The 10.0% alcohol on this is real noticeable but maybe they wanted it this way ("Hellhound" theme?). I applaud DF for their experimentation but I'm not sure that this came out as well as some of us would have hoped. (1,158 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

Overall: I wish there weren't quite so much malt flavor in this and, in addition, a blend of hops might have been a better idea than 100% Centennial; still, this is a decent enough DIPA and I am enjoying the Robert Johnson tunes that I am listening to while I am contemplating the brew (1,005 characters)

Photo of SlothB77
4.07/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

25.4 oz bomber into glass

A: Light copper, orange. Two fingers of cumulonimbus clouds. Soapy.

S: Lemony, orange and sour. Candied fruit.

T: Lemon and orange, sour. Candied fruit and honey. Thick and syrupy. Very pleasant bitter, hoppy finish.

M: Medium-heavy bodied, medium carbonation, medium-high acidity.

O: A very drinkable sour. (339 characters)

Photo of Jimmys
2.94/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

750mL bottle into tulip. bottled Jan. 2011. kept in cellaring conditions past 2 years. *disclaimer, I bought two of these bottles when Hellhound first came out. I found it too hot and messy fresh, hence me putting one away.

A: hazed. a bright orange/bronze hue. head is slightly off-white and bubbly. retention is good with a thick lace left behind.

S: unfortunately the aroma is a bit oxidized. a minor bit of alcohol heat. sweet. biscuits and a minor caramel.

T: while this brew has mellowed a bit, it is still moderately big. oxidation is there. caramel and a slight lemon tartness. sweet more than bitter at this point. lingering malt flavor.

M: moderate, border lining smooth, carb, medium body in my opinion.

D: and the verdict is...neither. fresh is a bit too raw, aged is a bit to beat up. this brewery makes much better hoppy brews. pass. (857 characters)

Photo of cvm4
3.61/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a light amber with a golden hue and has a two finger eggshell head.

S - Sweet orange juice with a lemon drop kick. Light malts, hops & breadiness on the back side.

T - Really nondescript at first with just light malts & honey but that develops into a good amount of hop bite with lemon & bitterness in the end.

M - Medium high carbonation, not a heavy body or cloying. Body is almost too light for the style & abv.

O - Well done overall and not overly malted like how I find most DFH beers. (508 characters)

Photo of corby112
2.82/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Draft at The Pour House in Westmont, NJ.

Pours a cloudy and very dark golden orange color with tangerine edges and a one finger off-white head that quickly settles into a thin ring.  Minimal spotty lacing left behind.

Earthy, floral hop aroma with lots of resinous pine countered by sweet citrus and a strong malt backbone.  Grassy and dank notes follows by lemon juice and  citrus peel.  Carmael malt backbone with some toffee and biscuit character.   Malts are too strong for my liking, overpowering the citrus and hop notes.

Medium bodied and fuller than expected with tight carbonation and a dry, earthy hop presence that provides prominent bitterness which lingers over the citrus notes and caramel malt backbone into a dry finish.  Dank, earthy notes followed by lemon juice, citrus peel orange and grapefruit.  Although there is some citrus sweetness, there's  not enough for my taste.  Really dry and bitter and the malts are too strog for me as well.  Lots of caramel sweetness, nut and toffee.  Abv is very well masked but I'm not a big fan of this combination of flavors.  Some peppery spice as well, maybe coriander or clove but this is very one dimensional and boring. (1,199 characters)

Photo of NiceTaps
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into my Alchemist IPA glass.

A- Slightly hazy copper--orange color with a flufy off-white head. Thare are plenty of bubbles and nice rings of lace.

S- A malty-sweet booze blast with a lemony herbal kick.

T- Citrus hops, boozey malt, lemony.

M- Lots of body, thick and chewy. Booze, hops, lemony citrus finish.

O- How can I go wrong with a brew that honors The great Robert Johnson ( not to mention Blind Lemon Jefferson)? Well, except for the signature DFH booziness, I can't !!! I would not sell my soul for this, but I'd recommend it. (561 characters)

Photo of ONUMello
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a tulip
A: Pours a deep orange color with a solid two-finger head that slowly settles and a fair amount of carbonation
S: Very citrusy, a combination of lemon, orange and grapefruit. Herbal under the citrus, and bready under the herbs. Layered.
T: Herbal, with some citrus tones and bread again. Balanced, decent but not impressing me
M: Medium-bodied, crisp, balanced
O: Not over-the-top in any way, just a bold, balanced beer. Given the label I expected a bit more citrus which really only showed itself in a big way on the nose. Solid overall but nothing groundbreaking (597 characters)

Photo of OtherShoe2
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours medium orange with a certain visceral thickness that shows a swirl of bubbles. Nice off white head, some lacing.

Nice herbal hop aroma, with some toasted malt.

Bitter and hoppy up front, with more bitter than actual hop. Green-leaf bitterness, brown bread crust, some citric notes, a little acid, some alcohol, though it is well hidden. Finishes bitter and a bit malty.

Medium bodied. Some chew to it.

Aggressive beer with a good transitional range of flavors. Big bottle at 10% will take its toll on you. Glad I tried it; wish I shared it. (550 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
3.94/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

-Ale brewed with lemons.

A: Rustic bengal tiger orange colored body shows a strong demeanor and pitch of carbonation within. Cream tinted head has a frumpy, cottage cheese like texture and a strong hold at 2 fingers high. Broken ring lacing with low coverage appeal is its calling card.

S: Bright centennial hops are first detected upon uncapping. Grapefruity and lemon tones are there with some crystal malts and oranges.

T: Piney hops and crystal mlats mix with some grapefruit on the opening taste. Dry lemons, with some dominate grassy tones with a moderately strong hop appeal. Dryn on the close, toasted munich and lemon grains with a well hidden alcohol mask. The hops are truely left to shine here.

M: Good vibes of carbonation, malty, dry and toasted feel. Medium body grassy fade.

O: Nicely hopped, nicely balanced and easy to down. Hoppy, toasty grains and grapefruit. Drinks very easy for 10%abv and the hops are appreciable but not overwhelming for said ibus. (982 characters)

Photo of Cylinsier
4.24/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

on tap at the brewpub

Pours a lemon golden color with a sugar white head.

Scent of piney grapefruit hops and citrus.

The flavor is honey sweet, but not cloyingly so, with fruity elements like grapes and lemon. The hops are strong and fruity as well.

Medium body with a tingly carbonation on the tongue.

A really solid strong IPA, great taste, goes down easy. DFH always does a good job with this style. Would definitely have this again. (443 characters)

Photo of DrewBest
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Big bottle. Shared by a friend who had been hanging onto it for a month or more. Worth the wait!

Poured into DFH tulip glasses. Dark orangey-red; small but firm head of foam on top. Aroma is hop-heavy but very inviting and not overwhelming; the lemon mentioned on the label is noticeable and pleasant.

Taste is surprisingly balanced for a 10% beer. More than other Imperial IPA's I've had recently, this is easy-drinking. The malt balances the gargantuan hops AND the alcohol. If not for the heavy mouthfeel, one might forget about the 100 IBU's and the 10% ABV.

Overall-- balance is impressive: aroma, malt sweetness, hop bitterness and hop finish are in the right proportions. (683 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

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

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

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

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

O: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, strong kick, very good representation of style, this is a very good 2IPA to drink for a long time. (787 characters)

Robert Johnson's Hellhound On My Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 572 ratings.