May 24, 2011

Dogfish Head Hellbound On My Ale

Dogfish Head’s second collaboration with Sony Music commemorates the 100th birthday of legendary blues singer Robert Johnson who was said to have sold his soul to the devil for his musical skills. Whether or not all that is true, the musician has since influenced countless numbers of recording artists since.

Will this 10% ABV Imperial IPA do the same for beers of the future? I doubt it — though it is a tasty, devilish beer.

During the brewing process the beer hit 100 IBUs making for a fairly bitter brew, but is toned down to a paltry 58 IBUs for packaging. I would have loved to tried the more bitter liquid. As it stands, Hellbound On My Ale, is a darn tasty beer that may not be as unique as the first collaboration (Bitches Brew), but still backs in a wonderful flavor profile.

Hellbound on My Ale photoI didn’t sell my soul for this beer


Golden amber in color with a large, off-white head that faded to impressive lacing.


Lots of hops as you would expect. The hop aroma is grassy, spicy and earthy with a touch of pine. There’s a lemony citrus quality in there as well, though it’s a bit subtle.


Right away you’re hit with a fairly good wallop of hops, but not in an overly bitter or fruity sense. The hops have an interesting profile with plenty of grass, earthy pine and spice. The bitterness they bring to the table starts off at a decent level and grow slightly in the lingering finish. It’s not overly biting or palate crushing, but it does have a solid bitterness. There’s an underlying malt sweetness that helps tame the bitter hop character as the alcohol (initially well hidden) starts to come through as the beer warms in the glass.


I was really worried that we were just going to see a rehashed or repackaged 90 Minute IPA once cracking open this beer. Thankfully, it’s not. I don’t think it quite compares to the uniqueness of Bitches Brew, but it is still a darn tasty beer that I would sit down with for a good long while and thoroughly enjoy.

Rating: 3.75/5

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