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

very good
576 Reviews
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 576 | Ratings: 1,871
Photo of Flounder57
4.02/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle was poured into large tulip.

Appearance: This beer poured a two finger head that reduced to a thin layer with crazy lacing from the reduced head. It is a hazy dark orange with little clarity or vision of bubbles. Spotty lacing as the beer was drank.

Smell: Super centennial citrus and floral notes with some lemon, caramel, and bready malts. Orange peel, tangerine, and grapefruit are the most present citrus aromas.

Taste: Nice citrus characteristics followed by caramel, bread, and mild lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: A bit smooth, chewy, mild bitterness, medium to full bodied, a little booze, and medium carbonation.

Overall: Pretty solid DIPA. Seen it for years. Happy to have finally enjoyed this one.

 728 characters

Photo of BierStein711
4.63/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Bottle poured into dimple pint

Three fingered head with moderate carbonation, dark orange-amberish body

Smells: Lemon hops

Taste: Hops and Lemon, with a malt backbone. The Lemon flavor lingers in the finish, but it isn't too tart at all.

Overall, this is a very pleasant beer! The centennial hops really shine through, and the citrus fruits only enhance and do not detract.

 377 characters

Photo of AnonymousNick
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I imagined a unique experience with this beer, partly due to its relatively high price, but also the promise of the lemon addition accenting the hops. It turns out to just be a variation on the 90 Minute IPA and the lemon barely pokes itself out. Dogfish Head's stuff is usually dependably unique, and this disappoints by simply being a twist on an old formula (as good as it is) and not really a new beer. Don't sell your soul for this one, you can just buy some 90 minute IPA and slice some lemons nearby for the same effect.

 527 characters

Photo of Emnmarko
4.06/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a hazy orangish-amber with a white billowy three finger head. The huge head loiters around like a teenager in the mall before it finally dissipates to leave a thick cap that leaves moderate lacing on my glass.

S- Bitter danky floral hops and a earthy malt bill fills my senses. Lemons, pine, and bitter sweet fruit.

T- Wow. There is a lot more going on here than the nose suggests. The lemons that were in the background before are now in control. A bitter sweetness with lemon comes on strong at first. A menthol flavor along with it, almost like a lemon halls cough drop, but more enjoyable. Dank hops mingle with earthy sweet malts and only time reduces its power.

M- Surprising drinkable for 10%. The alcohol is well hidden with this one. A little fizzy but I'm not going to knock it too badly for it. Clean feel and refreshing.

O- I have been wanting to try this one for a while now. I have great respect for Dogfish head and I was not let down here. This brew is refreshing and delicious. An interesting beer that gets ya drunk! I guess I am a little off centered. Dogfish head rules!

 1,104 characters

Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.02/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy copper with a two-finger foamy white head. Nice amount of light lacing.

S - Floral hops, lemon peel, and pine.

T - Starts off with a malt sweetness. Lemon peel and tropical fruits come next with a nice piney bitterness. Finish is mostly lingering bitter lemon peel. Slight warming from the alcohol.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Sticky mouthfeel.

O - Really enjoyed this beer, reminds me of 90 Minute with lemon added. Glad I got a chance to try this. Would drink again.

 505 characters

Photo of t8dd
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Poured into a snifter. Huge citrus aromas. Poured a hazy yellow with a nice thick white head. The lemon really complements the citrus and pine character of the hops. Reminded me of a shandy with a bitter aftertaste but good. Really enjoyed this one.

 257 characters

Photo of hardy008
4.19/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark hazy orange with a 1/2 finger of white foam, with good retention and lacing. The aroma has lemons, grapefruit, citrus zest, and herbal hops.

Tastes sweeter than I expected with lemons, grapefruit, tangerines, citrus zest, herbal hops, caramel malt, and sugar. Saying this tastes sweeter than expected does not mean this is a malt bomb, because it is not. I thought from the aroma that this beer would be very bitter, and instead it is well balanced for a DIPA.

Medium to full bodied, with average carbonation. Smooth and easy to drink. The alcohol is very well hidden. I can't believe this beer has a 10.0 % abv, because it doesn't taste boozy at all. Very well made, and worth buying again for sure.

 713 characters

Photo of Flopjack
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into tulip

Appearance - Skifhtly hazy copper to pale orange, little bit of yellow, slightly over 1 finger white head, nice sticky thick lacing.

Smell - Floral hop aroma, pine, grapefruit, lemon, lemon zest, orange. Slight roastiness and medium alcohol.

Taste - Pine, resin, sweet tropical fruits, mango, pineapple, orange, tart subtle lemon, malty backbone kind of biscuit roastiness, the end flavor still carries some lemon but also has a bit of alcohol presence as well.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, medium carbonation, crisp, refreshing.

Overall - Good beer. Glad I had the opportunity to try this one. Wouldn't mind drinking it again. The lemon character comes through almost like squeezing lemon into your tea with honey. Exciting flavors.

 757 characters

Photo of cjgiant
4.07/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The snifter was filled with a rose-gold, cloudy liquid with small-bubbled head. The head that laced the sides, but formed a thin film over the surface of the beer.

The smell was floral and tropical, with hints of peach, pineapple, melon. In some sniffs there is a slight earthy pungency that I can't quite describe.

Like most DFH beers, there is a malt sweetness in the beginning, almost like a light brown sugar-cinnamon swirl bread. Then the fruit comes in, dampened by the initial sweetness. Papaya and maybe pineapple; I also get an unexpected light taste of watermelon. The hops seem to add a lemon-y tartness, as if it were squeezed over a fruit salad.

The carbonation does play on the tongue well into the taste. The end feel, however, is a little oily.

I enjoyed this beer more as it warmed. The taste seems to shine as it reaches a more appropriate temperature (shocker). I would maybe have enjoyed a less tart bitterness if it would allow the scent to come through in the taste better. The end feel also knocked the rating down just a bit.

 1,053 characters

Photo of jpro
3.72/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big bottle form Northbridge Pig 50% off blowout...

A: Copper-tinged gold; two-finger, cotton white head; chunky lace.

S: Pine; lemon peel; a hint of booze.

T: Piney; citrus; resin; fairly sweet, malty finish.

M: Medium feel; high carbonation; a little less feel than expected at 10%.

O: Kind of like a duller 90 Minute IPA (with lemon) - or perhaps this bottle has been around for a little while - not sure how old it is - this could be an issue; not a bad DIPA, but fairly ordinary for DFH standards.

*from note 02.02.14

 527 characters

Photo of WhiteHillsStore
4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

So happy to get my hands on this (semi-rare in CT). This beer is something of an oddball but i love it just the same. This beer combines the tart and bitter from the lemons and hops to create something truly great. The color is amber with a nice hazel head that disperses rather quickly. The smell is what gets me. Full force citrus from the lemons hits you and with the first sip I was hooked. Great flavors of fruit and hops dominate and make an interesting beer that just tastes amazing.
On a side note, I love the artwork on the label as well as the acknowledgement of Robert Johnson.
Definitely recommended.

 613 characters

Photo of mattkoon
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

pours a nice golden brown with a thick creamy head. the smell is hoppy with citrus. taste is bitter....bitter from the lemon zest and the hops- the 2 bitters go nice together. there is also a strong alcohol flavor, which is expected from the robust 10%. over all this is a great ale that packs a punch.

 302 characters

Photo of Badger6
4.19/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured out of a 750 mL bottle into a snifter to properly focus the aroma and taste of what looked to be a great delivered. BTW, the label is classic DFH bomber material, great artwork to enjoy while sampling the beer.

A: The body is a hazy, deep golden amber.

S: A very spicy and piney aroma is present on the nose. The spiciness seems peppery, but it isn't distinguishable. Hints of citrus, not pronounced and not easily detectable. For the promises on the label, the aroma is not much different than a typical DIPA.

T: This thing is hopped up and lemony out of the gate, with a powerful reminder that this is a loaded beer at 10% abv. The lemon flavor comes from the dried lemons and peels in the brew,a nd they are distinct. As it progresses it begins to exhibit a very earthy, organic flavor that finished out with a malty sweetness. The finish is not unexpected considering the abv on this beer, nor is it overbearing or overpowering.

M:The body would be heavy, except for a decent level of carbonation to keep things light. The alcohol is there in how warm and velvety the beer feels on the palate. Nice drink for a cold winter's day.

O: This is an outstanding beer, and was very enjoyable to drink. Typical for a DFH offering, it's just a little different than everything else. The smell is pretty typical for an DIPA, the taste is where it gets interesting, in a good way. The lemon character relays eta this apart, and the mouthfeel makes this one smooth beer to drink. BTW if you want the full effect, put some Robert Johnson on the turntable (or iTunes) and savor some of this eclectic brew.

 1,617 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.23/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Dogfish Head Brewings and Eats in Rehoboth, DE.

Pours a dark amber, with a one inch head, and really good lacing down the glass.

Smells great- lots of tropical fruits, with lemon, too. Very strong, very pungent.

The taste was great. Slightly resinous, with lots of orange, pineapple, and lemon. Strong lingering bitterness at the end of each sip. Not too sweet, pretty dry. Small amount of malt character present, but this is all about the hops, really.

Medium bodied and well carbonated. Very drinkable.

I crushed a few of these at the brewpub and loved both of them. Very good IPA from DFH.

 607 characters

Photo of Tony49er
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Serving type- On draft into a Tulip glass

Appearance- Hazy golden color, almost citrus like, a good amount of fine bubbles

Smell- Amazing very citrus/ lemon notes hit you hard and fresh, fresh hops, a hint of honey but that just might be what I picked up

Taste- Lemon, citrus. hops, lemon juice, herbal notes, golden raisins

Mouth feel- Smooth, soft but packed full of Lemon, citrus, hops and herbal notes, this beer does not expose all of its complexity but begs you to take another sip I love this beer, very fresh and exciting.

Overall- Another great beer from Dogfish Head once again I have had this beer in bottle and on tap and I prefer it on tap I must say but either way if you are able to get this beer in any of these ways DO IT...its great...CHEERS

 765 characters

Photo of dexterk1
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this one recently at one of the alehouses. Appearance is orange to maybe a dark amber. Head was about medium with some nice staying power and good lacing.
Odor was citrus first. Sweet citrus, pine, and some malt also come trough.
Taste is mostly citrus with grapefruit seemingly the main element. I also got some orange and hoppy pine. Minor malt undertones also are there.
Mouthfeel is nice. Medium body and is not heavy on the tongue.
Overall, a very nice ale! A little better than I had anticipated and carried more hops through than I though.

 556 characters

Photo of BoldRulerVT
3.81/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bomber into an oversized tulip.
Pours deep amber, 1 finger of head.
Smells a mix of sweet malt and hoppiness.
Taste reminds me of the signature Dogfish Head taste. A round malt/hop body.
Mouthfeel is a bit sticky.
Overall, a solid ale. I enjoyed it.

 263 characters

Photo of JohnParadee
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Did not like this much out of the bottle, but (surprise, surprise), it is much better on tap. Pretty orange/amber pour in snifter glass. No cloudiness, so not opaque. Likely heavily filtered. Slight head, which dissipated shortly. Lots of tiny bubbles, and decent lacing. Nose is dank, piney orange. On the palate, the musty dank remains, with heavy hops and subtle malts. 10% ABV Is masked, but there. Mouthfeel a little thin. All in all, though, better than I had anticipated.

 478 characters

Photo of MattyG85
4.45/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice.

Appearance: Pours a somewhat hazy copper golden orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. Big three finger off white head with decent retention. Leaves a lot of creamy lacing around the glass.

Smell: A bright and juicy hop forward aroma with big hints of citrus fruits. Upfront scent of citrus hops with hints of orange peel, grapefruit, lemons, tangerine, mango, pineapple, apricot, and melon. Earthy and herbal hop scent with hints of grass and pine resin. Backing presence of sweet malt with hints of caramel, grains, cracker, and biscuit. Also some hints of honey sweetness. A very good juicy IPA aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a very juicy and zesty hop forward taste with big notes of citrus fruits. Big upfront mix of hops. Citrus notes of grapefruit, orange peel, lemons, tangerine, pineapple, mango, melon, and apricot. Earthy hop notes of grass. Herbal hop notes of pine resin. Subtle sweet notes of honey. Backing presence of sweet bready malt with notes of caramel, cracker, grains, and biscuit. Very ripe and hoppy but not overwhelmingly bitter. A very good taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very juicy and fairly oily but nicely smooth. Finishes dry. Alcohol heat is there but tame.

Overall: A very good West Coast style imperial IPA. Good citrusy bite. Great name and bottle for a blues legend and the beer lives up to it.

 1,437 characters

Photo of Zorro
3.62/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Reads the description, "What the Hell DFH! You trying to create a Hop Powered Black Hole!"

True story.

Clear amber colored beer with a small white colored head.

Smells like a Hop Supernova. Scents of lemon and citrus with some strong tea aromas. Strong lemon rind and some grassy scents. Mild scent for what it is.

Starts out slightly earthy. Flavor is much like the smell, citrus and strong tea. Quite mild flavored considering all the hops that went in to it. Distinctly not a hophead beer. Flavor doesn't change very much pretty straightforward IPA with a really high alcohol level.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall an OK beer, just not super complex.

 654 characters

Photo of thecheapies
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Amber colored brew with a white cap of head with good lacing performance.

Rather dry aroma with toasty malts and citrusy hops. Picking up on the lemon flesh and some piny-ness. There are some flowery hop cone notes next to the subtle dankness of the citrus and herbal whiffs.

There's a booziness that heightens the lemon flesh addition. Hoppiness is leafy, yet dank, with bold pine and citrus notes. There's an interesting woodiness, too, almost like a cedar wood. Malts are pretty big with semi-dry tone and caramel malts with an edgy toast. Booze holds the complexity down a little. The finish is a little spicy and long. The carbonation is a little low and has trouble catching up. The body feels pretty good, although there is some stickiness.

This DIPA suffers from trying too hard to have it nailed down with the simple flavors. Still good, but it would've worked better with a paler malt base.

 903 characters

Photo of Samuel906
3.99/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a perfectly translucent golden orange with a clingy off white head. Head quickly dissipates but leaves some clinging to the glass. Good looking beer. Smell is pretty typical IPA but a little more subdued than I would expect / like. Hops, malt, some pine, lots of citrus, and I keep feeling like I detect a touch of cider vinegar, but not in a bad way. Taste is all about the lemon. It is not "sour" lemon but instead lemon zest giving it a slightly bitter character. Great hop presence. Not very sweet, just a touch of some honey sweetness. Feel is fantastic, light and crisp with moderate carbonation. It does not feel syrupy or sticky like some of DFH's other heavy hitting IPAs. Exceedingly easy to drink and shocked me when I read it was 10%. Overall a terrific beer, again reinforcing DFH's mastery of the IPA style.

 827 characters

Photo of MattyBones
4.02/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a big bottle of this last night before a concert. Just like most DFH brews they definitely don't hold back on the alcohol.

Appearance: Deep copper with a slight reddish tint to it. Pored a thick white head.

Smell: A mixture of malts, pine and some orange/tangerine and lemon.

Taste: Not too bitter, some pine and citrus notes up front then finishes with a lemony aftertaste mixed with alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Not as syrupy as I expected like DFH's beers usually have to them with the higher alcohol content. Not harsh on the palate at all, but definitely leaves the taste of lemon in your mouth.

Overall: Another solid DFH offering, definitely worth giving it another try.

 682 characters

Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into signature tulip glass, bottled in 2012A. Pours moderately hazy/cloudy orange amber color with a dense 1-2 finger cream colored head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big grapefruit, orange peel, lemon peel, tangerine, orange rind, floral, grass, light pine, caramel, bread, toast, and floral earthiness. Very nice aromas with good complexity and balance of citrus hops and malt notes; with good strength. Taste of grapefruit, orange peel, lemon peel, tangerine, floral, grass, light pine, light caramel, bread, and floral earthiness. Good amount of earthy floral/pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, orange peel, lemon peel, tangerine, floral, grass, light pine, light caramel, bread, and floral earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice complexity and balance of citrus hop and malt flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a moderately slick, and fairly sticky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice DIPA, even at over a year old. Very nice complexity and balance of centennial hop, lemon peel, and malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,467 characters

Photo of welldigger888
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Wonderful copper orange color with a nice snow white head that fades to a thin cap that sheets lace on glass and settles.

Sadly an older bottle, so I am getting some oxidized hop aromas. A malty backbone that stands tall with a nice dose of lemon. Fresh I bet this would be an all-star.

Lemon lemon lemon and biscuit malt with a hint of the oxidized hops. Again I need to find a fresh bottle. Firm bitterness on finish which releases wonderful citric flavors.

Devilishly drinkable, wonderful nuances with the citrus. I wonder when this hellhound will track me down.

Great experience, will be tracking down a freshy of this deceptively quaffable elixir.

 656 characters

Robert Johnson's Hellhound On My Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.84 out of 5 based on 1,871 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.