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Hairy Eyeball Ale - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hairy Eyeball AleHairy Eyeball Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

1,927 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,927
Reviews: 846
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 11.78%
Wants: 34
Gots: 105 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-12-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hairy Eyeball Ale Alström Bros
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Ratings: 1,927 | Reviews: 846 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.6/5  rDev -5.8%

Volo had 7.3% a.b.v. on their menu, but there was more of a 9% presence here. Brownish with a mocha head, significant head and lace, overflowing bottle a bit like Belgians do once the bottle was opened. Horrible aroma, fishy and like someone sweaty had drunk from this glass just prior. Not like to think about that. Pefectly served at Volo at just under room temperature and enjoyed on their deck. Smooth, creamy, refreshing, full mouthfeel. Hops came at you more and more, but carbonation was not overbearing rather drying. Spicy hop aftertaste.Had two years later, aroma quite passable and so an upgrade.

05-27-2005 13:32:00 | More by Sammy
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

4/5  rDev +4.7%

10-20-2012 02:37:43 | More by t0rin0
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Pours a clear copper with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, slight fruit, and alcohol aromas. Taste is much the same with strong malt and slight caramel flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of toasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a strong emphasis on the malt aspect all around.

12-22-2013 02:05:11 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of djrn2
djrn2

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

02-16-2012 19:40:15 | More by djrn2
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.85/5  rDev +0.8%

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a snifter. The color is a nice really dark red-amber with a really thin head that doesn't really last. The nose is strong and malty with some brown sugar, caramel, dark fruits, and a bit of light booze. Really nice and complex. The taste is some brown sugar and light dark fruits. The feel is a bit boozy but quite nice with a good body and drinks well.

11-14-2010 01:18:48 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of nmann08
nmann08

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev +4.7%

12-04-2011 22:25:27 | More by nmann08
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

3.8/5  rDev -0.5%

A: Poured very dark amber with a little beige-colored head.
S: There are moderate aromas of roasted malts with notes of dark fruits and sweetness.
T: It definitely tastes like a strong beer and the flavors are dominated by the malts. There is also some bitterness from the hops and hints of caramel, raisins and spices.
M: The beer feels medium-bodied on the palate and somewhat syrupy and sticky.
D: This is a beer that really needs to be sipped, although the alcohol is masked rather well. I couldn't see having more than one of these in a single sitting.

04-21-2010 23:41:31 | More by metter98
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.33/5  rDev +13.4%

Candied cranberry with orange slice edges. Once the final few ounces are added, the beer becomes murky caramel. There's a huge amount of yeast in suspension, with the occasional bubble plowing its way up to a great looking head. The cap is equal parts ivory and ecru and sports a finely pitted, finely bubbled surface. Enough lace sticks to keep me enthused about the overall appearance.

The nose is caramel malty, orange and pineapple fruity and spicy in the way that some Belgian beer is spicy. I don't believe an actual Belgian yeast was used, so perhaps the brewers added clove or something similar. It's different and I like it.

Hairy Eyeball Ale tastes like the beer equivalent of fruit salad. It's a veritable cornucopia of orange, lemon, grapefruit and pineapple chunks soaked in melted caramel and brown sugar syrup. I'll thrown tobacco in there as well, even though it doesn't sound very appealing in a fruit salad. While I can appreciate a minor alcohol bite, it's incredibly soft and well-integrated. That tells me the beer is well aged. I'm guessing it's two years old at least.

I'm still picking up a moderate spiciness that might be due to some amount of rye malt, or might be due to the addition of spices themselves. I'll take a wild stab and say ground clove, ginger and cinnamon. I think I read somewhere that Lagunitas considers this beer to be a Christmas ale. I'll go along with that.

The (estimated) two years in the bottle, in addition to taming the alcohol, have melded the individual members of the flavor profile very well. They've also resulted in a mouthfeel that is incredibly smooth and creamy. It needs a bit more chewiness and a few more bubbles before I'll consider bestowing greatness upon it.

I think Lagunitas is one of the most underrated, least appreciated craft breweries in the entire country. Their big beer is top-notch. Olde Gnarlywine, Brown Shugga', Cappuccino Stout and Imperial Red are all fantastic. Hairy Eyeball, as well, has both flavor and power to spare. In fact, it can stand nose to nose with some of the best American strong ales... and not blink.

02-01-2007 16:55:32 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

3.84/5  rDev +0.5%

Appearance: Pours a clear russet brown color with an impressive head that delivers a few strands of lace

Smell: Caramel and spice cake aromatics

Taste: The caramel and spice cake flavors jut out to the front, with some piney hops building in the middle; tobacco flavors and some medicinal elements arrive after the swallow though the finish is overly sweet

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Overall: The flavors don't integrate particularly well and the finish is a bit too sweet; not a bad beer but below the top echelon for the style

05-17-2014 23:24:30 | More by brentk56
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.22/5  rDev +10.5%

Really a very intresting beer here, and something i have been meaning to come across for quite some time. Served cold but allowed to warm, this one was consumed on 04/07/2009.

The pour was very nice. Rich looking copper color with a light cloudiness to it. I was impressed by the thick look to it. Rich head of white across the top faded quickly leaving behind only token lace in its wake. The aroma was sweet, lots of caramel and a touch of piney hops make it just bitter enough to get by. Really nice profile here as I take the first sips. Rich malts, smooth, easy caramel flavor with a light and subtle bitterness that reminded me of a nice barleywine. Medium feel here as the syrup like nature of it lended itself to a bit thicker of a profile. thought the alcohol was very well hidden indeed,

Overall a very solid beer with a tight flavor profile. The rich malts dominated everything through enough hops shone through to provide a nice balance to it. Reminded me of bigfoot.

04-08-2009 02:27:26 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.03/5  rDev +5.5%

In the world where brandy flavor meets ale, that's where the Hairy Eyeball lives. Shying slightly from the hop-forward taste of most American Strong Ales, Lagunitas prefers more English flavor with a complex malt backbone and a few of those intangible savory "Olde Ale" notes.

The ale kicks off with a highly frothy pour. A slow separation occurs as the dense foam cap pulls patiently away from the bready body beneath. Its russet brown body is given a mysterious and masculine color because of the hazy veil that the lightly filtered ale projects. Its strong retention leads to a host of lacing patterns that's left behind on the glass.

Its malty-rich aromas calls all the sweet tooth's out there with heavy toffee, molasses, buckwheat honey and nutty brittle. A mix of vinous and dark, stone fruits give a hint of sherry and brandy to richer and earthier sweetnesses of date, apple, fig, plumb, prune and raisin. Herbal and piney hops offer a tepid balance to the sweetness but never attempts to match its intensity.

Bready-sweet throughout, the beer greets the palate with a sense of rum cake, coffee cake and fruit cake as the malty-rich taste saturates the taste buds with the same molasses, toffee and honey flavors of the nose. But a toasty, nutty and "cake-like" tone sheds light on mild coffee and chocolate tastes that lurk closely behind. As the ale develops mild tartness, its alcohol turns sherry-like with drunken grapes, cherries and apples; along with a pleasant vinous acidity. There's just enough resinous hop bite to keep the beer from cloying though its bitterness is simply a prop.

Full bodied without question, the beer's moderate carbonation allows the malt richness to lay weightily on the tongue for full saturation of sweetness. Its creaminess is slow to dissolve and the ale lumbers toward a malty-sweet finish and a long linger of toffee, fruit and alcohol spice.

The Hairy Eyeball is a highly decadent ale that doesn't simply pair well with cake desserts, it serves to replace them altogether. Accompaniments of stilton, dried fruit and assorted nuts would make for the most divine closure to any premium dinner.

02-06-2014 17:25:49 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev +3.4%

Bottle courtesy of Secret Santa: Poured a deep dark brown color ale with an average foamy head with average retention and no lacing. Aroma of big caramel malt is quite imposing and dominating. Taste is also dominated by some heavy caramel malt with some notes of bitter hops. Lacking some floral or citrus notes with not as much hops as I was expecting considering the brewery. Full body with average carbonation and no discernable alcohol. This one was a bit of a surprise considering the lack of hops (yes there is a lot but not as much as I would expect from Lagunitas) but the malt was very efficient.

07-30-2008 19:58:07 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

3.68/5  rDev -3.7%

On-tap at Stone

A: The pour is a clear dark amber color with a mild, slightly off-white head.

S: The nose is sort of weak with and interesting mix of sweet caramel, toffee, and coffee (could have been some roasted malt). I tried letting the beer warm up, but still a bit muted.

T: The flavor is a bit more intense than the nose, but similarly lackluster. Not bad, but certainly not fantastic. The malty sweetness is the primary flavor with some hints of toast and roast and a light bitterness.

M: A full-medium body with a low to moderate level of carbonation.

D: For the ABV, it's fairly easy to drink, but it 's not necessarily a beer I would look to try again. One of the few Lagunitas beers I haven't been too crazy about.

02-28-2010 09:33:38 | More by womencantsail
Photo of kjkinsey
kjkinsey

Texas

4/5  rDev +4.7%

12-05-2011 18:02:27 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of zestar
zestar

California

3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

09-15-2013 05:49:36 | More by zestar
Photo of Texasfan549
Texasfan549

Texas

4/5  rDev +4.7%

02-02-2012 04:33:52 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of spycow
spycow

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

03-09-2014 14:43:05 | More by spycow
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

3.53/5  rDev -7.6%

Appearance: Pours a dark reddish-brown body with a small, thinning, white head.

Smell: A scent of freshly opened boxes of raisins overlaying a light, earthy maltiness and notes of sherry and roast.

Taste: Moderately sweet, earthy maltiness with just a slight roastiness. Prominent raisin fruitiness. Light sherry, some spices, and even a dash of coffee. Medium-light bitterness. Hint of alcohol on the drying, lightly astringent finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-low carbonation.

Drinkability: A bit too sweet and a bit too coarse, though it fits the name.

12-29-2008 00:32:51 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of jaydoc
jaydoc

Kansas

4/5  rDev +4.7%

12-14-2013 03:23:00 | More by jaydoc
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

4/5  rDev +4.7%

12-13-2011 07:35:50 | More by GRG1313
Photo of kylehay2004
kylehay2004

Florida

4/5  rDev +4.7%

02-08-2014 00:22:42 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

3.78/5  rDev -1%

This one poured out as a reddish brown colored ale. The head was white and foamy looking and leaving just a touch of lacing behind on the glass. The smell of the beer is a little sweet and a little fruity, it's got a little bit of everything going on in there. The taste is kind of the same way in my opinion. I'm not sure exactly what they're going for here but it's interesting. The mouthfeel was drinkable, decent carbonation and nicely balanced. Overall I'd like to have this one again one day just to give it another shot. Perhaps I'd enjoy it even more the second time around.

08-31-2011 16:57:19 | More by Knapp85
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4.22/5  rDev +10.5%

Poured into a nonic a deep ruby color with a dark brownish tint a quick to form one finger slight off white head atop,great balance and complexity in the nose deep brown sugar and alcohol dipped dark fruit intertwined with spicey/grassy hop really trying to hold up to the malt...advantage malt but a close call.Big and warming with great flavor and balance gummy,juicy malt with that brown sugar and raisin-like quality finishing resiny and piney inducing great hop burps.I love these kind of big American brews insanely balanced,big and bold with great complexity,Lagunitas rocks!

02-17-2007 02:52:34 | More by oberon
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

4.03/5  rDev +5.5%

Served in a snifter at The Firkin.

According to the bartender, they intentionally age several of these kegs for months to see how they develop. This particular keg was aged for nine months (proper gestation, sounds to me). It pours a deep ruby-brown topped by over a finger of cream-tan foam. The nose comprises light raisins, light figs, wheat, and mild biscuits. It's all kinda weak and nondescript to my 'strils. The taste holds notes of figs, light roasted malts, raisins, dark wheat, brown sugar, cinnamon, toasted biscuits, very light wood, light orange rind, and very light bitter coffee. Damn, is the stuff all over the place (in a good way)! The body is a straight medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly dry-ish finish. Overall, a very solid brew, one that clearly blossoms with age.

09-10-2011 04:48:59 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
westcoastbeerlvr

California

3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

11-14-2011 19:00:20 | More by westcoastbeerlvr
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Hairy Eyeball Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,927 ratings.