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

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Robert Johnson's Hellhound On My AleRobert Johnson's Hellhound On My Ale
Very Good
1,871 Ratings
Robert Johnson's Hellhound On My AleRobert Johnson's Hellhound On My Ale

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

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

Added by jsanford on 03-15-2011

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,871 |  Reviews: 575
Photo of Slatetank
3.86/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked this growler up to share at a picnic -from Cobblestone's poured chilled into a willybecker.

A beautiful golden amber with mild hazing and thick proud creamy white cap with rocky topography and tight bead. The very fine bubbles come to the surface when swirled indicating some density in this Ale. The smell is pretty strong with lush herbal and pine tinged hop notes with a slight citrus quality accenting and the alcohol is present with some sweet malty qualities accenting the aroma. The feel is good - it has some bitter pine and candy-like caramel malt for added body, however the intensity of the alcohol is a little high in the feel if you quaff this.

The flavor has some very interesting hop elements which seem to focus on the herbal however a nice astringent taste comes forward as it warms which I credit to the citrus fruit, the alcohol trails behind giving a warming taste with the sweet malt somewhat cushioning that aspect as more hops are tasted in the bitter lingering finish. This is like an amped up 90 min -maybe 100 min if there were such a thing -not as sweet as 120, but it also stronger than 90 min. I enjoyed the beer so I consider it a success and enjoyed sharing this growler with froggyfrog, evets, shertz, hombreWing and bitterbeerface

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Photo of vette2006c5r
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a slightly dark amber color, with a nice head. The smell could have been a bit stronger, but was hoppy, and full of citrus notes. The taste was very complex. First it was dry, and bitter, but finsihes with a frutiy lemon like taste. Nice strong flavor. Overall a fantastic beer; different, but fantastic dogfish head doesnt dissapoint again.

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Photo of AleWatcher
3.18/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Split 750 ml bottle with my bro-in-law an served in tulips (for lack of more appropriate glassware).

Orangey color with a bright white fluffy two finger head. Minimal lacing, but very nice retention.
Smells of standard DFH ipa malt-- some caramel notes, but otherwise the malts are mild. The hops are also standard fare for a DFH ipa-- grapefruit, pine, and then an earthy quality. Then there is the obvious lemon notes...

Taste is slightly sweet up front but dries out hard with citrus and lemon tartness at the finish.
The beer ends up being muddled and confused. It really doesn't work for me. It has a soapy and astringent quality on the finish, like lemon dawn.

Overall-- meh. I could take it or leave it.

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Photo of philbe311
4.11/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Voluminous three plus fingers worth of tightly packed creamy ecru colored head with a slightly rocky top... Impressive retention... The color is a muted burnt orange... Slight haziness... Still with no discernible carbonation to be seen... A good bit of lacing clings to the glass...

S - Fairly restrained and subdued... Some floral hop notes... Lemon zest... Some citrus... Some tropical fruits... Golden raisins... Graham crackers... some bready malts...

T - A fairly assertive hop mix... Mostly piney... A good git of floral... Just a touch of citrus... A mix of lemon and orange zest... A slight spiciness... Cracker like malt base...

M - Medium to full bodied... Remarkable smooth... Sleek... Syrupy... Very slight carbonation... A bit chewy... Even and consistent...

D - A very solid and respectable Double IPA... Not quite I expected, but remarkably drinkable given the 10% ABV... A nice hob well done by DFH that has me wishing I had some delta blues playing in the background...

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Photo of kjloewe
4.83/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This will NOT be your typical review. My quick scan of my fellow Beer drinkers shows most if not all had it from a bottle.

Well, I went to the Rehobeth Beach, DE Brewpub and had it on TAP. Let me tell you (and I've had it from a bottle). It was WONDERFUL ! I love hoppy beers and this was very good indeed.

I bounced it off of "Johnny Cask" (Ale 75) on the Beer engine. Incredible. Hellhound was served in a Tulip and Johnny Cask in a pint glass.

Any doubt ? Go to Rehobeth Beach, DE.. and lose the bottle !

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Photo of hooliganlife
3.96/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

thanks to Rhettroactive

pours a hazy gold with a hint of burnt orange. nice fluffy white head. light lacing and nice overall retention.

lots of deep citrus and bitter pine. a fairly solid booze presence.

tons of bitterness. starts out a bit soft and just intensifies as you finish. very malty through out. slight lemon zest through out although very subtle. booze appears as this warms.

very full bodied. a bit chewy with a moderate carbonation. slight stickiness.

this was enjoyable. my only complaint is the heavy booze presence. doesnt mix well with strong bitterness.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750mL bottle poured into a tulip.

(A)- Pours a clear bright orange color. Produced a decent pure white cap of froth. Some lacing here and there.

(S)- A dry, almost floral citrus character. The lemons are definitely there. Almost fig-like.

(T)- Similar to the smell. A caramel malty backbone with lots of piney citrus of orange and lemon.

(M)- A nice carbonation level and balance. Classic IPA characters, though in the taste, the lemons really are not that noticeable. The 10% ABV is expertly hidden in this.

(D)- Its a solid DIPA, though nothing extraordinary or worth the price point of a bottle. Might be more prone to have some of this in the fridge if it came in 4pks or something. I do wish this was straight-up lemons; kinda disappointed they were more subtle.

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Photo of harrymel
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nice honey ale with brilliant clarity and a single finger of peanut colored head which dissipates within a couple minutes to a broken sheet of the same. Cobweb lacing. Head is difficult to reignite despite vigorous stir in the glass. (3.5)

S: Hmmm, hoppy, and deceptive me thinks. Initially I get citrus, pine, resin. Then, as I take time to hit the layered texture of this brew, I get hints of bubble gum, cilantro, fresh mint, and just the slightest hint of anise. Maybe even some white peppercorns. The malt profile seems vienna in highlights. (3.5)

T: Interesting, is that lime? lemongrass? rosemary? Ginger? Theres something fun here that dominates the palate but is difficult for me to pinpoint. Doesn’t really match the nose as well as I would expect, like a two headed beast. Has an american oak aspect to it - spicy and woody with hints of tannins. The malts are sweet and comprise the backbone. If I’m grading strictly on flavor I have to give this a 4: it’s unique, unoffensive and intriguing. (4)

M: Medium body with spritely carbonation. Neither cloying nor dry on the finish for me. I believe this beer would be in the 9%ABV range. (3)

O: I’m having difficulty deciding on this beer. It’s fun, worth a try and something for a tea drinker I believe. I think this would pair well with some nice, spicy thai food. (3.5)

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Photo of flannelman808
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful glowing copper color and very clear. This one is topped with a really nice white head which has large bubbles pretty darn solid lacing to boot.

S: Only faint hints of lemon on the nose, followed with a grassy hop note. Some caramel malt joins in on the nose.

T: Very balanced stuff ... Soft lemon zest like flavors meet bitter hopping (citrus rind, grass and a subtle pine). This beer is Juicy though it does not move into any one citric flavor. All and all it is quite dry finishing which is a good thing. I don't think Id have guessed it to clock in at 10% abv.

M: Drying

O: Good stuff, fairly unique. I would like to see more DIPA's making use of actual fruit in their beer. The addition of actual citrus is a nice addition to already citric hoppy flavors.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.49/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Robert Johnson's Hellhound On My Ale, bottle bought at New Beer Distributors in Manhattan, NYC, for $12.

Appearance: Served in my Sierra snifter, Hellhound pours happy and flowing, with a clear look reminiscent of a Belgian beer. Outrageous head, again in the style of a Belgian, super white and frothy with tons of bubbles. Good retention and carbonation, stunning lacing. Color is a clean-but-slightly-opaque amber, orange hues.

Smell: Pungent citrus, lemon rind. A tad of spice and astringency. Whatever. An immediate letdown.

Taste: Spicy and yeasty right away. Sour apple, crispness. Super refreshing and light, despite the double-digit ABV. Mild bitterness/hops at the end. Dry and lingering. This tastes like Leffe Blonde: nice, spicy and drinkable, but far from memorable. Boiled orange juice and tropical zest.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and flavor, low carbonation. Tart and easy. A bit lacking in the flavor and body department. Dry, prickly and grassy, sort of like frolicking in fresh hay, it made me sneeze!

Overall: Super drinkable, you would never guess the 10%. But so boring and disappointing, more so coming from Dogfish. This reminds me of Lagunitas Little Sumpin' and Little Sumpin' Wild, only much less interesting and at a higher price. I expect so much more from Dogfish!

Also, Imperial IPA, really? This is more of a Belgian, I insist... I wonder if Robert Johnson would have liked it.

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

A ~ poured a hazy orange-tannish color with very little, and I mean, very little white anything going on here.

S ~ lemon-citrus aromas floating off this brew. A very "clean" smell, with some hidden sweet maltiness drifting off as well.

T ~ bit of malt hidden in the back... up front that lemon rind, tart-citrus with a bite of fresh pine-i-ness...sort of a dry finish

M ~ some what lighter-medium bodied beer with some carbonation going on with the warmth of alcohol present...

0 ~ not a bad beer, but not my favorite DF offering..

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

750ml bottle poured into a snifter

A-Pours a hazy light copper with a nice two finger off white head that has good retention, recedes slowly to a thin cap of foam and leaves lots of sticky lace.

S-Citrus aromas are most prominent here, as you'd expect, with the lemons used being easily noticeable as well as some orange & tangerine notes. A slightly sweet malt back is lingering in there amongst the citrus notes.

T-Lemon zest and other citrus lead, slightly astringent, a subtle grassy, earthy quality comes in as well. A bready malt back is there, but as with the nose, it complements the hops without competing for dominance. The aftertaste is a bit medicinal. Overall, the taste is decent, but nothing real special.

M-Medium body and carbonation, a touch slick and oily.

O-A nice beer. Not anything earth shattering here, but I'm glad I tried it.

As with many one offs, this one is a bit pricey-I paid $10.99-for what you get. So if you're budget conscious and want a beer that will rock your world, you might want to think twice.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
2.61/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from bomber into a dimpled mug. Pours hazy amber with a moderate off-white head. The head mostly remains and leaves a moderate amount of lace throughout the session. The nose has moderate citric notes from the Centennial, along with toasty malts, some lemon zest, earth and pepper. The flavor is somewhat flattish bitter with a slight sweet balance. There are pine and grapefruit accents, some toasty malts, and the lemon peels are not well-pronounced like the description suggests which was very disappointing. On the palate, it is medium-full in body with a smooth, milky texture and soft carbonation. This was a very disappointing one-dimensional beer. There are many low priced beers that taste way better than this one for spring/summer drinking. Such a shame as I was really looking forward to this one from DFH. This is a gimmicky beer. Take all this with a grain of salt, however.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice looking, orange-tan, almost clear but a slight haze, plenty of rising bubbles, a good head and nice lacing.

Smell is tart, with plenty of lemons and other citrus aromas, some hops, and a good malty background. Kind of summery smelling if you ask me.

Taste is pretty dry, with a nice lemony hops starting things off. Next up is the ample and pungent malts, followed by a finish of bitter citrus. Seems to be a bit better when it's cold, it got somewhat harder to drink as it warmed.

Feel is terrific, very smooth and rich, full bodied, amply carbonated. Alcohol warms a little but is otherwise well hidden.

Overall it's a pretty tasty brew that I must say I'm rather enjoying right now. However, it's not stellar. I'd rather have some of DFH's other IPAs than this one. An interesting curiosity sums it up.

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Photo of colforbin73
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.99 for a 750ML at whole foods.

pours a nice orange with a little white head of foam around the rim. fairly pleasant aroma, some of the lemon comes through and a little bit of spice. mild hop presence.

the taste is pretty dry, but develops more as it warms a little. hop bitterness dominates and the lemon is there in the background lending a little sweet, a little tart, picking up nicely where the hops leave off. i haven't researched it -- but i'm guessing they used 1 or 2 hop varieties. i wouldn't be surprised if it was just one... i think they could have used just a tiny bit more of the lemon peel to boost the citrus/fruity side. (i believe it is mostly centennial.... and the hops hit the roof of the mouth nicely, providing a good "rich" bitterness.)

the malt base is excellent, and develops nicely as the beer warms -- adding a little sweetness and body. for 10% ABV, this beer drinks pretty easy, not overly boozey. i am enjoying this -- at $13 i'm not gonna go out of my way for it, (just assume kick down 8.99 for an over-priced, yet delicious sculpin.) but i would drink it again. QUALITY BREW!!!

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Photo of HOMEPL8
3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've been hot and cold on most DFH products. This limited release did okay by me, but as with some of DFH's other releases, I just can't tie the taste to what they say they are making...I didn't love this beer, I'd drink this beer, but I wouldn't buy this beer...Slighly floral, but not much in the way of the centennial flavor that I generally love.

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Photo of Soonami
4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dogfish Head's Hellhound on my Ale is another one of their interesting experimental beers, celebrating the centennial of Robert Johnson's birth by using only Centennial hops and using dried lemon slices post-boil to accentuate the citrusy hops. The beer is lemon colored with a great amount of billowy white foam with great cling. The beer is not quite crystal clear but very bright. The lemon peel and orange zest from hops dominate the nose with just a hint of bread. The beer is very smoothly bitter, not harsh at all for over 100 IBU! The flavor is very citrusy like lemongrass or kaffir lime leaf, with a burst of juicy lemon in the finish. It's great how the flavors are layered where they hit at different points. The lemon is also more present as the beer warms and the carbonation is lessened. The mouthfeel is just right with a good bit of creaminess with just enough prickly carbonation to keep it light. Alcohol is very well hidden, and imperceptible to me.

This is a very interesting and tasty beer. A little pricey at $11 for a 750 ml, but well worth it to try and at 10%, it packs a solid punch.

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Photo of BrianBoruma
4.24/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into snifter glass

A: Amber to copper colored color liquid with a white head that dissipates over time.

S: A lot of nice citrusy notes. Wonderful smell. I could smell this all night.

T: Similar to the smell, some resiney hop notes playing along with the citrusy ones. Malt comes through near the finish.

M: Thick. Not too cloying but definitely more syrupy from all the malt.

O: Quite good, I find it to be fairly balanced between malt and hops, but definitely a thick beer that's a good sipper for an evening. Wouldn't want to be drinking this all night.

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Photo of Florida9
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted Blind for Blind BIF #5

A: Pours out of the bottle a nice clear amber in color. Forms a very thick, inch-and-a-half of fine bubbled, barely off-white head. Very good retention with gobs of lacing on the way down. 4.5

S: Nicely aromatic. Different for (what I suspect is) an IPA. Lots of citrus hops intermixed with background notes of toast and leather. All of this is mixed with a quite perceptible, nose tingling level of alcohol. 4.0

T: Primarily sweetness and alcohol, though there is more going on than just that. Citrus hops. Bright lemon, orange to a lesser extent, and a faint herbal quality. All of this on a light, sweet, malt base. Moderately bitter. Finishes with a bit of alcoholic heat. 3.5-4.0

M: Medium in body with a good, strong bitterness. Appropriate carbonation. Some alcoholic spiciness on the tongue. 4.0

O: A nice, albeit alcoholic, citrus forward DIPA. A bit sweet for my personal preference, but there is a lot going on with this beer that makes it a quite interesting drink. 4.0

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Photo of korguy123
3.41/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Crystal clear, peach pour. Three finger soapy white head. Lacing is great.

S- Sweet malts, slight candy sugar. It almost has a belgian spice quality to it. Sweet mandarin oranges, slight pine. Not nearly as hoppy as I expected.

T- Sweet malts, slight pepper and spice. Lemon rind is subtle. Piney hops trying very hard to make it to the front but falls short. Alcohol is more up front than I would like. Dry bitter aftertaste.

M- Medium bodied, lively carbonation. Slight alcohol warmth.

O- I'm not overly crazy for this. I don't get much lemon and I dont get 100 ibu. It's a solid beer but I think it's missed it's mark.

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

Poured into a snifter. Pours a slightly hazy, orange/deep gold, with two fingers of offwhite frothy head, that is slow to drop, leaving some nice chunky lacing behind.

Aromas of herbal, earthy, citrusy hops, lemon zest, and a bare hint of caramel malty sweetness.

Flavors of lemon zest, citrusy hop bitterness, grapefruit, lemon, and orange. Some big malt sweetness trying to balance everything out. Finish is long, with citrusy bitterness taking a long slow ride into the fade. Actually reminds me of a gin and tonic in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is big, chewy, bitter, with some bitter astringency playing out. Mouthcoating bitterness gives a reassuring tug at the back of the teeth.

Overall a fantastic DIPA. Big citrusy hops bitterness, not too overpowering. Keeps begging for another sip.

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Photo of axeman9182
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a small snifter glass at the DFH Rehoboth Beach brewpub.

Hellhound on My Ale pours an opaque burnt orange. There's a thin, but definitely present white head, and the foam leaves a bit of lacing stuck to the glass. The nose is very citrusy, but the lemon comes through more than the traditional pacific northwest hoppy notes. The beer comes through very lemony up front, which gradually dulls to a bit of straight bitterness. Some hoppy grapefruit and orange notes come in to close things out. There's not much of a malt presence at all, just enough sweetness to support the beer without becoming noticeable. It's far more of a West Coast IPA than any of DFH's regular offerings. The body is impressively light for such a high alcohol beer, I've had much smaller IPAs that sit heavier on tongue. The carbonation is spot on for an IIPA, bubbly and elevating the hops. Dogfish Head can be hit and miss for me when they add in unusual ingredients, but this one works quite well.

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Photo of Glaze
4.41/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

****First Review****
750ml bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Rusty color with half an inch of head that left lacing on the glass.

S: Citrus and malt

T/M: Very malty with a citrus finish. Definitely didn't overwhelm me with the reported 100 IBUs (on the bottle). The third sip was the best. Took my mouth a few seconds to get used to the strong lemon flavor. It's 10% and you can definitely taste that it's a strong beer. Got a warm feeling in my stomach after drinking it.

O: I really enjoyed this beer. I wish it was easier for me to get. I had to drive 45 minutes to buy it and I could only buy one. Another very strong DFH beer. Yum

Hope that was okay for my first review. I'm sure there will be many more in my near future.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
2.76/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Dark honey color with a fair sized white head. Delicate white mesh of lace left by glass bottom retention.

Aroma is a lil' acidic pineapple, lil' peach ring, lil' hop spice and even a little biscuit - but not much of anything. Underwhelming.

Aroma is a sign of the disappointment to come. Taste is flaky pastry crust malt and maybe some hops? There may be some lemon zest but I think that's just trying hard. Not as hot as many reviews would have led me to believe.

For a beer that promises hops and lemons it delivers on neither.

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle served into DFH Signature glass. Bottle dated 2011, limited release brewing on this one.

A: hazy, yellowish orange color. Great carbonation on this one. 3 finger white fluffy head, nice alcohol legs, sticky lacing.

S: I got fruity, citrusy hops. I also got the bitter lemon peel notes. It actually SMELLS boozy.

T: I took away a very lemony flavor. It was definitely not as hoppy as I was expecting. I got a slight bitter finish from the lemon. Mild malty sweetness in there. Smooth start with crisp, bitter finish.

M: This one coats pretty darn well, and stays with you a while.

O: This is a nice one-off beer from DFH. I was expecting more with all the hype, but not bad by any means. I wouldn't go so far to call it an "IPA" or "DIPA" in the traditional sense....but I liked it. Keep doing it Sam.

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Robert Johnson's Hellhound On My Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 3.93 out of 5 with 1,871 ratings
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