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

Robert Johnson's Hellhound On My AleRobert Johnson's Hellhound On My Ale
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IPA - Imperial
3.96 | pDev: 13.38%
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Robert Johnson's Hellhound On My AleRobert Johnson's Hellhound On My Ale
Notes: 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
Reviews: 578 | Ratings: 1,882 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk from Minnesota

3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: hazy, amber. lasting white head on top.

Aroma: mild hop approach, but plenty of fruit and citrus, lots of malt-delivered fruit-y character. Terrifically pleasant. I'm happy.

Taste: So, I'm spinning the classic Columbia album, "King of the Delta Blues Singers", from the "Thesaurus of Classic Jazz". "Rambling on My Mind" is on right now. All the lemon in this makes me stay a second, no matter how hard she treats me. We've gone through Preaching Blues and When You Got a Good Friend, and are 5 tracks away from the title that lends it's name to this ale, in a fashion, "Hellhound on my Trail". Bitter and sour, with a lean malt body, the hops and the citrus addition become primary.

As I often report from the lines of label copy on beer bottles, I know quote from the album: "Robert Johnson sang primitive blues about women, His references were earthy and only thinly disguised. He lived the life he sang about and which ultimately killed him. He was not unique in that respect. /..."

I'm still not 100% sure that this is the best beer with which to give him tribute.So the blues equal bitter, therefore a lemon-infused ale? Maybe something earthier? Richer, darker? "Hellhound" has no direct relation to lemons. Maybe I missed something?

Oct 17, 2020
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright yellow/orange hue.

White head; nice lace.

Lemon citrus nose.

Medium mouthfeel.

A refreshing lemon citrus flavor; not too bitter.

Well done; booze is well hidden!

Apr 04, 2019
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MikeWard from Pennsylvania

3.86/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

1pt 9.4oz bottle into a pint glass. bottled 10/21/13, so 4 1/2 years old here. This should be interesting...

hazy bordering on murky dark amber body. with good bubbly cream colored head. slow carbonation. decent lacing.

aroma is of old malts.

taste isn't bad at all. sweet, malty, faintly lemon which gives it some bitterness. a little sour. A decent drink, given the age.

mouth closing in on full, finish bittersweet, and slightly sour on the back of the mouth.

overall, given that this is categorized as a DIPA, and it's 4 1/2 years old, this is not a terrible drink at all. in fact the longer it goes on, the more pleasing it becomes. The hops have completely faded of course, but the lemon and lemon peel still give it some residual bitterness. 10.0abv is very present, so the beer must be respected.

May 04, 2018
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q33jeff from New Jersey

3.82/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma Is lemon and hops. Yellow- orange color. Tart citrus flavor with the strong caramel dry grainy English ale flavor. Alcohol present. Very ""in your face"", but a good ale."

Jan 17, 2017
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange pour 1/2" off white head. Aroma smacked of centennial citrus notes.

Taste was a big lemony brew that was enjoyable, even if it pumped big numbers like 100ibu and 10abv. The format and price per oz are kinda ridiculous and keep this from being a beer that would be a repeat purchase.

There is a bit of metallic bitterness though I could do without, but thankfully there is plenty of other caramel and lemon notes to counter act it.

Feb 15, 2016
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stevoj from Idaho

4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Hops and citrus, definitely lemon, mostly citrus hops, completely masking the malts. Slick body, small tight head, slightly sticky. But still damn good....

Jan 19, 2016
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Gregaroo from Pennsylvania

4.21/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Hey now! So hoppy and yet so lemon and fruity. On tap at Barcade in Philly. So good and refreshingly strong. Great aroma and taste. Served in a highball glass because all of the gloves were in use (more for me)!

Nov 02, 2015
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IckyT2012 from Florida

4.21/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had the good fortune to purchase a bottle aged 3 years. The bitterness is nowhere to be found and the lemon has come on strong. It tastes like if the Belgians tried to make a shandy, but keep it at 9%. Wish I could drink this fresh just to compare.

Jun 28, 2015
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Jadjunk from Georgia

3.68/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

"2011 marks the 100th birthday of Mississippi Delta bluesman Robert Johnson who, according to legend, sold his soul down at the crossroads in a midnight bargain and changed music forever. Dogfish Head pays homage to this blues legend by gettin' the hellhounds off his trail and into this finely crafted ale. Hellhound is a super-hoppy ale that hits 100 IBUs in the brewhouse, Alc. 10.0% by vol., 10.0 SRM in color, and dry-hopped with 100% centennial hops at a rate of 100 kilos per 100 barrel brew-length. To accentuate and magnify the citrusy notes of the centennial hops (and as a should out to Rovert Johnson's mentor Blind Lemon Jefferson) we add dried lemon peel and flesh to the whirlpool." Brewed in the style of an American Double / Imperial IPA brewed with lemons. Available in 750 ml. bottles and on rotating draft.

Poured from a 750 ml. bottle to a Dogfish Head signature glass. Served above 59 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a creamy frothed head of a buttery white complexion over a densely hazy copper amber body with lots of thick, pulpy sediment in tow, ample lively carbonation. Retention is good and lacing is light and spotty. 3.5

(Smell) Pithy lemon zest and some tart peel aromas atop a pale and biscuit malt base with a mild sweetness, pairing alongside a light citrusy hop profile of grapefruit and tangerine with a mild bitterness. Potency is modest. 3.5

(Taste) Sweetness and bitterness both forward, with biscuity grain and light caramel syrup body with an accent of lemony acidity after the swallow. Finishes boldly bitter, dry and zesty with a tingle of lemon peel. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, residual, moderately dry. Carbonation is mild, generating a light frothiness and a modestly crisp finish. Body is medium+ for the style, medium/heavy overall. Balance is slightly bitter and tart over sweet. Alcohol presence is light and there are no notable off characters. 3.75

(Overall) I was pleasantly surprised by how well the lemon character plays into accenting the citrus hop characteristics of this ale, and collectively as a Double IPA it comes together as a very bitter, yet flavorful and filling ale. A notably different DIPA against others of its type, and one worth seeking out. 3.75

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

Jun 15, 2015
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Critter1594 from Missouri

3.58/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Look who cares it is an IPA it should be cloudy
Smell: centennial shines
Taste: very clean, taste quits promptly. A little too heavy on the lemon.
Feel: appropriate

Awesome nose, but a bit strong on the lemon. Not upset I bought it but probably won't buy again.

May 22, 2015
Photo of pat61
pat61 from Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Amber with a slight haze under a 1” finely bubbled dirty white foam collar that grips the glass producing lines of lace.
S: Flowery, spicy lemon, white bread.
T: Lemon rind bitterness form the head mixes with lemon in the body blending in with malt, light biscuit and caramel flavors that gradually dry out.
M: Medium carbonation and body.
O: A big, bitter, alcoholic DIPA that shows suprising balance and drinkability.

Apr 05, 2015
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BrewTangClan77 from Florida

3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Nose is all hops. Big hops up front quickly followed by lemon bite. Sweet malt in the finish balances the flavor profile nicely. 10% ABV is detectable but doesn't dominate. Great DIPA.

Mar 23, 2015
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SierraFlight from Virginia

3.4/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at brewpub poured into snifter. Hazy copper with half finger of tan head that settles to a ring leaving some patches as it recedes. Aroma is pine, lemon peel and juice, a little bread, some raisin sweetness. Taste is citrus forward then quickly washed away by sweet malts - almost a hint of maple syrup. Lots of booze shows its 10% ABV. Moderate pine and citrus hop bitterness on the finish. Medium body, resinous texture, moderate carbonation, dry and warming finish.

Feb 23, 2015
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i4ourgot from California

4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This beer is smooth and easy, well drinking. The aroma was a little lacking kinda faint, but everything else about this beer was great. I never would have guessed this beer at 10% it does have a strong taste to it, but there's lots of great hop and malt backbone.

Feb 10, 2015
Photo of EvoRich
EvoRich from Pennsylvania

4.91/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: Poured into a snifter, it pours with a HUGE fluffy head which retains for a long while. Hazy and amber in color.

Smell: It's like hoppy lemonade. I really can't describe it any other way. Very sweet smelling.

Taste: Hoppy up front with a nice fade to lemon sweetness.

Feel: Creamy texture, medium feel. Very good!

Overall: This may be the best IPA I've ever had. Then again, I'm a stout guy.

Jan 03, 2015
Photo of Gajo74
Gajo74 from New York

4.46/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I love Dogfish Head so much! Another winner! Pours a copper to golden with a ceeamy lace. Aroma reminds me of earthly blends including grassy tones. This might sound weird, but I also detect a soapy fragrance that is quite pleasant.Taste is quite malty, sweet and fruity. I do not detect lemon as the bottle advertises; rather more of an orange finish. I also notice that this is less hoppy than your average double IPA. Feel is creamy, medium to full bodied and lightly carbonated. Overall an excellent job by possibly my favorite brewery in America!

Nov 27, 2014
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kkleu357 from Wisconsin

3.6/5  rDev -9.1%

From notes on 12/10/13

Nice orange brown cloudy pour. Mostly white, thick head. Has a hoppy smell like most centennial IPAs, but there is a strong aroma of lemon. Unique taste. Again, like your typical IIPA with centennial hops, buy very very citrusy from the lemon. Never had so much lemon flavor in a beer. this beer is no where close to as smooth as 90 minute. Much harsher. Still very good. Another greatly unique beer from Dogfish Head. Had the Midas Touch earlier, which was very different. Great job to them creating different tasting brews.

Sep 04, 2014
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CTHomer from Connecticut

3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

A: hazy; deep bronze; 1 finger pillowy, off white head that receded slowly to a thick cap; nice lacing;

S: lemon Pledge;

T: all lemon up front; malt peeks through mid-palate, but the lemon is still the star; finish is moderately bitter with the lemon still holding sway;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation:

O: I understood going in that this was brewed with lemon. Still, I didn't expect the lemon to be so dominant. For my taste, I would have liked a little more balance.

Sep 02, 2014
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kaseydad from California

3.59/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Gotta the artwork.

Huge white foam with a nice bright amber/copper colored ale.

Aroma has a lot of malt present with light lemon whiffs in the background. Wishing for more.

Taste was pretty good. I am getting more of the lemon on the swallow with nice hoppiness playing around with the malt.

Good amount of carbonation on each swallow, bit not overly.

Overall I was intrigued by the artwork and my man-love for DFH. Unfortunately I was not totally impressed with this offering. I was hoping for more hops and zest but was met with a bigger dose of malt. The lemons didn't make that much of an appearance to the party either. I did like reading the label though.

Jul 19, 2014
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Uglylilpup from Maryland

1.8/5  rDev -54.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I was really looking forward to drinking this beer--I loved Dogfish Head's Positive Contact. With this one, I ended up pouring it down the sink. The lemon flavor was so strong it was like drinking Pledge. I couldn't even get through half a glass. Alas.

Jul 03, 2014
Photo of bnes09
bnes09 from Illinois

2.96/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Deep and translucent orange color. Dense head with excellent retention and generous, sticky lacing.

Sweet malty aroma with a bitter, soapy hop edge.

Malt is present on the palate with a biscuit character but takes a back seat to the super aggressive, pungent hop arsenal dropping bombs on my taste buds. I do enjoy the lemon flavor. Finishes with a rough soap and herb aftertaste.

Dense, sticky body. Rough, grainy texture. Highly carbonated.

Not as good as I expected. Unbalanced due to excessive hops and a little rough around the edges.

Jun 23, 2014
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AmericanPaleMale666 from Illinois

3.02/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A - light red orange body, almost no head to speak of

N - when fresh you can smell and taste the lemons but currently drinking a bottle that almost a year old and the lemon seems to have disappeared.

M - light

T - again, when fresh you can definitely taste the lemon which I love but with just about 11 months since bottled the lemon has dissappeared. Still a great hoppy bitter taste that goes down easy

O - when fresh I love this brew, 11 months past its not bad by any means I just miss the lemon.

Jun 13, 2014
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Lemke10 from Wisconsin

4.19/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This pours a hazy, dark amber color with a fluffy, beige head. The aroma is mild with a slight hint of malts and lemon mixed with some bitterness. The taste is smooth and easy drinking. The overall tone is very bready with some citrus and bitterness. Very well-balanced and smooth drinking for a 10% beer. This is a well-made brew all the way around.

May 15, 2014
Photo of Bierman9
Bierman9 from New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This 750ml bottle was a gift from Bro Artied2.... Enjoyed in a Sammy perfect pint glass.

It is slightly hazy, and the color is a deep golden/light amber. Head is thin, creamy and fine, and is a light tan color, leaving some decent lacing behind. Aroma has some malty caramel with some sweetish hopping. The body is medium, with a light touch of prickle as it traverses the tongue.

Like the aroma, the flavor has some caramel malt leading off. There's a healthy amount of hopping here, with citrus all over. It is a bit grapefruity and a touch pithy, along with some lightly sweet apricot. A subtle touch of lemon is detectable as well, and the flavors linger nicely in the finish. Also, the 10% ABV is scarily well-hidden.


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


Apr 27, 2014
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mttaylor1066 from Connecticut

3.92/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

True to form, this is an off-center ale that is a good palate-refresher.

Pours a coppery orange, very little mousse.

The nose is of hops and lemons.

The taste is of smooth malt followed by punchy lemon rind (lots of it!) and finished with a drying lemon aftertaste. It has surprising body for the amount of lemon in it.

No trace of alcohol, even at this ABV. This could be a dangerous ale on a hot day. You could down a liter and a half before you know it.

The carbonation is very light.

I'll have another bottle in July and another in August. Would go great on my back deck.

Apr 24, 2014
Robert Johnson's Hellhound On My Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 1882 ratings