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Hairy Eyeball Ale - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hairy Eyeball AleHairy Eyeball Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

921 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 921
Hads: 2,482
Avg: 3.86
pDev: 18.65%
Wants: 68
Gots: 363 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  9.40% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-12-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
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Reviews: 921 | Hads: 2,482
Photo of dmgallag
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

So... Another solid ale from Lagunitas. A little sweet for my taste and for copious consumption. However, goes down way to easy for the 9% it clocks in at. I would do it again, but not seek it out.

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Photo of ThaneMcC
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark, reddish brown with copious off white head and solid lacing. Smells strongly of sweet malt, almost like barley wine, molasses, dark fruit (prune/dates). Tastes strong, sweet malts forward, molasses, vanilla, caramel, metallic tang mid note and very mild hoppy note at the end leading to a fairly clean finish. A little sticky textured, medium bodied with minimal effervescence.
Overall, very sweet but well balanced beer – a good winter warmer with its abv of 9.1% - not quite a desert beer – but the palate is more towards the malty/sweet side of the spectrum. Would make a great beer to sip by the fire, or perhaps as either an aperitif or digestif following a good meal.
Another solid offering from Lagunitas

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Photo of Furlinator
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from the bottle a cloudy dark brown. The thin khaki head quickly disappears completely. The taste is dominated by caramel malt with just enough hop presence to keep it balanced. Nothing groundbreaking or innovative, just a tasty brew.

Thanks to Mike Martinez for this one.

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Photo of Benish
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark copper in color with a very thick frothy head. After a while it slowly dissipated, leaving a film of foam at the surface. Little lacings around the glass.

Aroma: aroma reminds me of tapioca pudding, some vanilla; smells like liquid dessert.

Taste: its sweet and hoppy. More like a barley wine than a strong ale but just not so complex. There's the bitter earthiness from the hops and the burnt brown sugar. But it ends there. There is a slight cough syrup quality as the ere warms up.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, carbonation perfect.

Overall: not a complex beer but a straightforward hoppy sweet beer.

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Photo of drunkenmess
4.11/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

One Awesome Ale indeed.
Taste is kinda strong on the boozy side. But the sweetnees and the laid back malts mix well with it. Slight, very light bite. Excellent again Lagunitas. Still one of my favorite brewers. As of now...

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Photo of chinchill
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle.

Clear mahogany body with a decent head.
A bit too sweet upfront, but I often think this about barleywines.
Moderate complexity with partially hidden ABV.

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Photo of sjones5045
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

8/8/15. DE pool

Didn't see what this beer even was on the label so went in blind. Looks like a root beer ale by the color and head. Dark brown.

The smell was interesting. At first is reminded me a little of a barley wine but as it breathed brown sugar and maple came out with some dark fruits.

The taste was really good. Brown sugar and vanilla but not even close to being a dessert beer. Just enough to make it faintly sweet and the malts and alcohol kept it in check.

Overall this was a good beer. Perhaps it would be even better in the fall with some chilli rather than by the pool.

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Photo of Cannibalgasm
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle.

A: Pours a dark ruby red with one finger of off-white head. Very solid retention and lacing.

S: Caramelized malts, candied sugar, dark fruits, dark breads, and earthy hops.

T: Caramel, toffee, sweet malts, plum, raisin, rye, a hint of pumpernickel, clove, brown sugar, molasses, a hint of earthy hops.

M: Much lighter body then I expected, moderate carbonation, to easy to drink for a barleywine in my opinion . It's pleasant but I expected more of a sipper.

O: A very delicious ASA but it lacked in the mouthfeel. I really enjoyed the flavors and complexity in them but it was honestly to easy to drink and I found myself unable to truly grasp it's depth.

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Photo of LADaveBN
4.41/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 and 2009 side-by-side at Churchkey in DC. The '09 drinks like a barleywine. The '13 still has a subtle hop presence. Both are excellent. Although boozy. Served near room temp.

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Photo of castelli1981
3.32/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Not much of a smell. Looks normal. Tastes smooth with carbonation. No lingering aftertaste. Doesn't feel like 9.1% as you are drinking it. Definitely a beer worth trying.

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Photo of dutesanch
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bomber into a SA perfect pint glass.Very enjoyable beer with a slight oily feel. Very similar to to many of my favorite scotch ales. Alcohol content is well hidden with malt/scotch/Carmel/Raison flavor. My favorite Lagunitas beer to date

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Photo of ARoman
3.86/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The aroma is sweet and malty with roasted caramel, bread crust, and raisin notes. It’s a somewhat murky mahogany color with a dense, white soap head that has moderate to light retention and lace. It’s a medium high wine like bittersweet. The texture is chewy and fuzzy with a full body with flavors of toast and grape jelly with a light metallic note, a herb quality, and a bit of alcohol. The finish is herby with a wine and chocolate note and a chalky quality as well as an alcohol warmth and bread crust. It has a moderate length that leads to an aftertaste that’s cloying and malty with metallic notes and pine.

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Photo of muchos
4.41/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Burgundy-brown with a soapy head.
Fruity, woody nose, chocolaty as it warms.
Pungent malty sweet taste. Chocolate, wood, burnt sugar. Bitter sweet aftertaste. Delicious. I like it a lot.
Medium to full bodied. Surprisingly dry finish.
Like every Lagunitas beer, highly recommended.

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Photo of JamesBondGA
4.46/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice dark caramel color with over an inch head that leaves with a nice lacing on the glass. Nice Caramel and brown sugar notes. Smooth to drink.

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Photo of Apellonious
4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, day 328, 14, poured into a tulip glass.

A - Dark ruby, half finger head, decent lace retention.

S - Dark fruit, booze, candied sugar, cellar

T - Some faint hop bite, mainly brown sugar, carmel malts, dark fruit and booze.

M - Dense. Carbonation starts off medium high, fades to alnost nothing, gets sticky.

O - Went to a Japanese steakhouse, had some Sakie sprayed in my eye, so I figured...Hairy Eyeball for dessert.

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Photo of coltonbrimhall
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

- dark ale with a nice light brown head
- burnt hop scent slight caramelized
- smooth almost stout like body with mellow burnt hops
-thicker feel but no porter or stout
- great buy great dark ale

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Photo of guityler83
4.19/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

bottled 02/28 ?
A: A finger and a half of light pink head made of smaller sized bubbles and a soapy appearance. Good foam stand - long retention. A very clear beer, dark ruby to burgundy red color. A Swirl kicks up some lacing and legs and leaves behind a chaotic streaking of bubbles on the edge of the teku.

S: Malt driven aroma with Munich malt toastiness, dates, caramel and darker bread crust and melenoidins. A moderate herbal, earthy hop aroma with a light citrus note. No alcohol. a mild fruity (apple) yeast ester quality. Reminds me of an english barley wine with an interesting lager like character from the munich.

T: Rich malt character from start to finish. Caramel and toffee, toasted bread and prunes. Sweetness is mild and balances with the herbal hop bitterness and flavor. A light chocolate note comes through as the beer warms up (a similar flavor I get from scotch ales). It reminds me of a Bock mixed with a scotch ale with amped up hoppiness.

M: Smooth mouthfeel. Mild alcohol warming in the chest with moderate carbonation. Body is big but it finishes clean and nearly dry.

O: Not a beer I would have on a regular basis but I did find this very drinkable at 9%+. And the malt flavor coming through was very rich and smooth. Again it was very Bock like with a bit of an edge to it.

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

The beer poured a deep ruby red to copper with a full and creamy head that left great lacing. The sweet malty aroma held a bit of fruit as well as a slight roast. The taste was very malt forward with a burnt bitterness underneath. There were notes of caramel, brown sugar and dark fruit with some fruity hops for good measure. It left a lingering bitterness on my tongue from a combo of the roasty malts and fruity hops. The Hairy Eyeball is not as hop forward as most of the Lagunitas brews but the hops play second fiddle to the big malty sweetness. A different and dynamic beer all around that has a good balance of sweetness with a touch of hops. While it was slightly boozy at the start, the booziness dissipated as it warmed and the creamy chewy body really became a deliciously easy drinker.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.84/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

3/26....pours reddish amber. Low foam, light on the bottom. Sweet caramel nose, bready, light cherry nose. Taste opens sweet, some astringent flavors. Borders on barleywine. Sharp bitter. Boozy. Very flavorful, but almost a wine/wiskey taste.

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Photo of RyanK252
4.19/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into a Lagunitas mason jar

A: Pours deep ruby brown with a creamy khaki head that settles and laces well.

S: Caramel toffee dark sugar sweetness, dried fruit, fig raisin and cherry, and a hint of alcohol.

T: Roasted malt, rich caramel toffee dark sugar sweetness, dried fruit, fig raisin plumb and cherry, cola, licorice, bready, maybe some coffee and faint chocolate notes, earthy, hint of pine, a bit spicy, and a touch of alcohol on the back end, though not unpleasant.

M: Medium to full body, moderate carbonation, a little alcohol warmth.

O: Big decadent complex brew. I'm a fan.

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Photo of richj1970
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz bomber into snifter. Very faint date on neck suggests it was bottled Nov 2014.

A: Deep brown with reddish tint. Two to three finger light tan head with nice retention and plenty of sticky lacing.

S: Caramel, butterscotch, and brown sugar. Some dark fruits - plum and raisin. Some hints of earthy hops.

T: Rich sweet malts and dark fruits with a small hint of hops lingering in the back. Reminds me a bit of a Scotch Ale.

M: Full bodied but not thick. Finish is a little sweet.

O: Tatsty brew. An easy drinking sipper at an excellent price point.

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Photo of ricke49
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

excellent offering from Lagunitas. "Strong Ale" just about sums it up. The balance between a barleywine style sweetness and a more hoppy offering is near-perfect. Great sipper.

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Photo of DKMII
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Good clarity, dark reddish hue. Nice lacing with a medium head with strong retention. Sweet malt smell. Yeasty smell and fruity.
Taste is a funky sweet malt with light hop tones. A very sweet finish. Thick feel on tongue. Strong malty feel

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Photo of baconfromwalmart
4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: clear chestnut brown, no head, thin lacing around the rim.

Smell: Not much of a bouquet, hints of dark roasted malty sweetness.

Taste: Very nice alcohol warmth, a brown sugary raisin sorta mash-up but not overly sweet.

Feel: Full bodied, smooth, warm.

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Photo of Zach136
4.14/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep amber bordering on red. Nice rocky tan head. Good lacing.

Aroma/Flavor: Big caramel and toast notes. No booze on the nose, and it's pretty well hidden on the palate.

Mouthfeel: Medium+ bodied, easy to drink.

Overall: Still don't know that i'm a huge fan of the "Strong Ale" but this one is definitely growing on me.

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Hairy Eyeball Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 921 ratings.