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Beer Review: Dogfish Head, Robert Johnson’s Hellhound On My Ale

May 3, 2011

Ding Points 60.00

Pour: 70.00, Nose: 50.00, Palate: 60.00, Mouth: 60.00, Global: 60.00

Tasting Notes:

750 mL capped bottle in the usual DFH presentation.

Pour offers a low density, bright copper color with a moderate head and some lace. Given the ABV, quite acceptable.

Aroma is mainly a sharp, medicinal, alcohol infused assault that offers some sinus clearing elements but not in a good way. Harsh.

The tastes reflect the nose to an extent, but are not quite as unpleasant/aggressive. There’s a metallic bitterness present that IS, of course, quite appropriate, but at the same time it offers a bruising, unsubtle solvent aggression that takes it to a different (not particularly attractive) level. There really is no hint of the lemon element mentioned on the label, and to be honest, given the dramatic bitterness I’m not sure that one could detect it even if one wanted to. To be fair, this is a part of a style spectrum of American DIPA’s that ‘allow’ such aggression, but this beer fails to deliver the hoppy burps and more subtle elements that a similar, ‘west coast’ example would likely put together. 120 minute is a beer that DFH does spectacularly well, but that’s a beer that features sweetness as the crucial element of the DIPA – this DIPA looks to approach the style from the other end of the scale and it doesn’t work nearly as well. Centennial drives this right into the ground for me.

Just not a beer that I feel showcases either the hop or the brewery very well – both have had significantly better moments.

Other: 750 mL, American DIPA, 10.0% ABV.


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