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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.
very good

1,932 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,932
Reviews: 847
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 11.78%
Wants: 35
Gots: 111 | 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
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Ratings: 1,932 | Reviews: 847 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ZAP


4.38/5  rDev +14.7%

I'm impressed with this one....aroma is rich and malty with dark fruits....the taste is also rich and malty with a nice fruitness...caramel, brown sugar, plums, pears, a little grannysmith apple....

A very nice strong ale I would definitely enjoy drinking many more of..

03-20-2009 05:22:32 | More by ZAP
Photo of Ricelikesbeer


3.8/5  rDev -0.5%

pours a little thin, and not much head. a little murky and plain brown. smell is sweet with just a little funk. Definately not overpowering, but noticeable. Taste is also sweet, malty with alittle brett funk and sugar. Good finish, and is sweet and hides the high alcohol. Mouthfeel is decent, fairly smooth, nothing special is pretty drinkable and decent all around. Nothing amazing for this style, but pretty good and worth the money to try. Sweet and a different than most other american wilds I have had, just not too special.

03-18-2009 06:57:37 | More by Ricelikesbeer
Photo of ffejherb


3.28/5  rDev -14.1%

12oz. bottle into shaker pint on 3/17/09. Thanks to Kegatron for donating a bottle to my beer charity.

A - Poured a clear deep reddish/burgundy/mahogany color with lots of particulates suspended throughout and a slim head that transformed into a wispy retention and left virtually no lacing on the glass.

S - Mild leafy, tea-like and herbal hops and some dark fruit notes suggesting raisins and prunes. Not overly alcoholic given the ABV of this brew, yet it does become more apparent as the liquid reached room temperature. Pretty muted nose overall.

T - Subtle alcohol notes paired with a dark fruit tang and a touch of tea-like hop bitterness in the finish. Some spicy notes appear in the backend akin to clove and coriander. There is also a touch of black licorice sweetness.

M - Medium body with a syrupy texture and pretty lively carbonation on the tongue. Bitterness is actually quite pronounced on the palate.

D - Not really my cup of tea. Pretty subtle in aroma and flavor, overall. Not bad per se, but just not a style that appeals to me compared to a DIPA, Imperial Stout or even a good old fashioned pilsner.

03-18-2009 02:35:28 | More by ffejherb
Photo of BeanBone


4/5  rDev +4.7%

Appearance: Dense dark brown body with ruby highlights. A tannish head clocks in just shy of a finger high and great curtains of lace.

Aroma: Lots of sweet, caramelized, almost burnt malt with some dark fruit and a healthy dose of booze.

Taste: Still lots of sweet caramel malt and dark fruit with a little spiciness mixed in and a decent splash of hops for some balance. The alcohol is kept in check, but is a constant companion.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and smooth with low carbonation.

Drinkability: A sipper, but perhaps a little above average for the style.

Verdict: Hairy Eyeball is somewhat similar to Brown Shugga', but certainly different enough to warrant its existence. Perfect for a cold and drizzly day like today. I'll be aging a couple of bottles next to the bottles of Brown Shugga' to see how it evolves.

03-17-2009 18:03:00 | More by BeanBone
Photo of oriolesfan4


4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Lagunitas... one of my favorite breweries. Not only are their beers all delicious and consistent, but they are all high ABV and well priced too... (usually like 8.99 or 9.99 a 6 pack or 3.99 a bomber) This beer is no exception, pours a nice dark red/brown. Tons of lacing and good head retention, sexy. On the light bodied side, very sweet taste to it. Sort of took me by surprise but it had a nice mouthfeel to it. Very hoppy but well balanced with the sweetness. Some alcohol taste kicks in at the end, but it has a nice warming appeal to it. The sweetness was a tad bit too present for me, but other than that this is a great beer... here's lookin atcha!

03-15-2009 03:04:23 | More by oriolesfan4
Photo of BirdFlu

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +4.7%

This beer caught me a bit off guard and was sort of a let down.. It basically in all ways is very similar to a dark bock (an eis, maybe not as far as a double but close).. In fact if you gave me a blind tasting of it I would insist it had to be one.. but it is an ale, in fact.. So I was a bit disappointed as I was hoping for something unique from this "american strong ale"...
That being said, it is not a bad beer at all.. Dark amber/brown pour. Fruity, bready, malty smell with caramel (again, think bock). The flavors are very malty, with caramel and a cola-like taste, raisins, and only a trace of bitterness in the aftertaste. Medium bodied with a full-mouthed presence.. Again, its very similar to say an eisbock or perhaps a darker scotch ale.. Definitely good, but nothing unique.

03-13-2009 14:11:00 | More by BirdFlu
Photo of djeucalyptus


3.83/5  rDev +0.3%

poured into an oversized snifter, hairy eyeball appears a deep raisin hue with hints of glowing amber and garnet. A dirty cream head of a solid finger sticks around for a while, eventually giving way to a thin frothy cap that leaves impressive sheet-like lacing down the glass.

aroma of caramel, malt, raisins, cherries and prunes. Pine and a bit of herbal hopping. a hint of mellow spice... star anise, cloves... maybe cinnamon.

taste is sweet, with a heavy malt up front, followed by a slightly spicey, slighty bitter middle. hops, candied dark fruit, and a bit of pine. raisins and prunes. hints of cocoa and coffee. A clean, lightly alcoholic and piney bitter finish. Nothing really dynamic or astounding, but definitely some solid flavors.

mouthfeel is pretty solid. can't really knock it. Full bodied with ample carbonation creates creaminess out of what would otherwise be a sticky and syrupy mess. Rich, smooth, creamy, and clean.

All in all, pretty dang drinkable for a strong ale. A bit syrupy/sweet on the whole, but that's not necessarily bad. I wouldn't want to drink more than one or two, but I'm sure I could. Kind of reminds me of Brown Sugga, but with a bit more hops, a bit more sweetness, and a bit more strong. Nothing really amazing, but an all-round impressive strong ale.

03-11-2009 06:39:02 | More by djeucalyptus
Photo of mjl21


3.9/5  rDev +2.1%

12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter. Bottle states it comes in at 56.7 IBUs and 8.7%. No bottling info is given but this should be the 2009 batch.

A-Pours dark brown with a half finger tan head. A decent foamy ring remains with nice foamy spots floating in the middle. No lace.

S-Sweet malt and raisins/prunes.

T-Sweet malt and raisins. Like a Dubbel without the yeast flavor. Some minor lingering bitterness from the hops. Aftertaste reminds me of a perfectly cooked marshmallow.

M-Heavier bodied, crisp carbonation, and sticky feeling left on the lips.

D-Alcohol is well hidden. Sweetness ultimately limits consumption.

A good American strong ale for a cold night.

03-06-2009 17:01:33 | More by mjl21
Photo of whoneeds8


3.8/5  rDev -0.5%

Pours out a dark brown that isn't completely opaque with a small white head. Minimal lacing. Smell is kinda metallic more than anything. First taste is of the chocolate-ish malts. Hardly any hop bite at the end. Definatly a sweet beer. Mouthfell makes this a good drinker, alchol isn't overpowering and carbonation is just right.

03-04-2009 23:32:23 | More by whoneeds8
Photo of LennyV

New York

3.25/5  rDev -14.9%

Growler purchased at halftime. Pours a Black Mahogany into my corsendonk Christmas ale glass. NIce Tan head with no lacing

Smells of malt not much else

Taste of malt wish some bitterness in the end.

This is a full bodied brew, you can see the thickness as you pour feels soft and creamy in your mouth.

Not one of my favorates, its just to malty for me

03-04-2009 03:58:25 | More by LennyV
Photo of cmoney311


2.45/5  rDev -35.9%

A: pours a deep amber with a thin cream colored head.

S: has a sweet barleywine type scent to it, a hint of dark berries.

t: lacks in anything special, perhaps a dark berry aftertaste. a strong alcohol burn basically dominated every taste aspect to me.

d: i usually consider Lagunitas my favorite brewery and usually love every beer of theirs that i come across, but this is the first one i don't care too much for. good to drink one or two at a time - a few more than that if you are looking for a good sunday afternoon acoustic jam session buzz...

i did save one for aging purposes and will compare it to next year's batch.

03-01-2009 21:50:42 | More by cmoney311
Photo of Magpie14


4.15/5  rDev +8.6%

A: burgundy and scarlet colors with just a hint of orange. Very good head retention with a speckling of tiny marks gathering around an occasional glob of lace. Head was soft and foamy with a light tan hue

S: at first whiff grains and malts, buttery brown sugar, juicy fruits of the bright variety: oranges, lemons, and apricots

T: this beer maintains a flavorful profile with a great mixing of sweetness and fruits. Fruits come back with nectarines, lemons, pineapple, and has a slight kick with agile acidity. The finish has a slight spiced raisin and fig feel, at times reminds me of a Belgian style beer. Otherwise this brew is all in tact! Malty presence is very nice and levels the playing field of soft fruits and chunks of caramel

M: I am having a real easy time drinking this one. Medium body, creamy texture, and very well mannered in the glass. Soft and just a bit sticky...almost chewy

D: another plus on the list of beers for me. Lagunitas makes another tasty and voluptuous brew. Also, almost 9% in the firewater category...I would not believe it for a second this is very tame

03-01-2009 02:43:40 | More by Magpie14
Photo of Sweasty


3.93/5  rDev +2.9%

Appearance: Dark mahogany. Off white head. Falls to a ring. Leaves lacing down the glass.

Smell: Hint of roast coffee and chocolate. There's some herbal pine. Thats followed by figs, raisins, and a touch of spice.

Taste: Initial taste of sweet caramel. Thats followed by figs and raisin. The finish is dry and bitter with notes of orange and pine.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and velvety smooth.

This a great brew. A perfect choice for a cold weather sipper. Another top notch brew from the folks at Lagunitas.

02-26-2009 23:59:49 | More by Sweasty
Photo of stephens101


3.63/5  rDev -5%

Pours a very dark brown with some cherry red hues. The small tan head fades fast and leaves a couple of small fingers of lace sticking out. Notes of burnt sugar, tree bark, pine resin and dark fruits (plums, prunes, grapes) rise to the nose. A vinegary essence is noticed as well. Tastes sweet and sugary, but not cloying. There's a good hop bite mixed in along with some more dark fruits. Mouth-feel is a bit creamy at first with some dryness working itself in over time. It lies just between medium and heavy. A slight shake foments a small and quick bubble blast, indicating a low level of carbonation. The alcohol becomes more evident as the drink warms. This is kind of like a subdued barleywine, and it has a really cool name. All in all, I'd say it's a damn good drink.

02-26-2009 23:40:10 | More by stephens101
Photo of jdklks


4.28/5  rDev +12%

A- dark, amber brown body with a tan head that leaves a sticky lacing.

S- strong malt aroma. some fruitiness and a hint of alcohol. not a lot of hops detectable in the smell.

T- hmmm. it doesn't taste a whole lot different than their barleywine. its fruity with a good balance of malts and hops. the malt character is more pronounced here than in the barleywine, and the alcohol, even though it is much less, is more detectable.

M- full bodied for sure. thick and smooth and perfectly carbonated.

D- it drinks well, though i would not have more than 2 or 3. it fills you up for sure. overall, pretty good.

02-26-2009 07:11:26 | More by jdklks
Photo of morimech


3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Pours a clear copper color with two fingers of tan head that had good retention. Moderate amount of sticky lacing is left on the glass. Figs and prunes is what I get from the aroma. Some alcohol is also detected. Very malty charactor in the flavor. Dark fruits again, especially figs comes to mind. Sort of a sticky sweet aftertaste and the alcohol is barely noticed. A tad overcarbonated but otherwise a nice body. Nice flavors but something I would grow tired of after one, maybe two bottles. The high ABV does not help drinkability.

02-24-2009 23:35:31 | More by morimech
Photo of Pencible


3.85/5  rDev +0.8%

This poured a clear, dark cherry color with tan head. It smelled like raisin and prune with brown sugar, earthy whole wheat, and a bit of sweet chocolate. It tasted like fresh barley and oak with some wild yeast, and a bit of semi-sweet chocolate and sour cherries and alcohol. It was quite thick with some carbonation, and had a lasting bittersweet aftertaste. Overall this had a nice malty scent and a clean flavor, but wasn't as sweet as expected. (Perhaps it would sweeten with age?) The wild/sour flavors also didn't seem to fit. It had a very nice full body, and was fairly easy to drink despite some alcohol being noticeable. I enjoy this beer, but there is certainly room for improvement.

02-24-2009 16:11:07 | More by Pencible
Photo of kaseydad


4/5  rDev +4.7%

After many years of consuming the "ball", I am happy to review it.

First off...I love the name of the brew!

It pours a beautiful burgandy/brown pour with a small foamy head.

The aroma consists of dark cherry, brown sugar, dates and roasted malts.

A smooth creamy taste to the palate. A velvety mouthfeel with tastes of fig and molasses.

Deceptively drinkable with the 8.7% alcohol volume.

A nice beer year after year from a local brewery.

02-21-2009 23:50:47 | More by kaseydad
Photo of UA8


3.33/5  rDev -12.8%

A- Pours a hazy and dark maroon with nearly nitro poured looking head.

S- Scents of pineapple, bubble gum, sour yeast, and sweet malts.

T- Starts rather sweet with malts leading the palate parade, followed by a touch of yeast tang and finishing off with a bit of alcohol heat and metallic/ chemical taste (a touch of aluminum can things going on there).

M- Medium roundness and carbonation.

D- Not sure what to thin of this but I have to say there are lot of better offerings in this style and by this brewer.

02-21-2009 03:53:27 | More by UA8
Photo of br3wmeister


4/5  rDev +4.7%

A- The beer is a dark red almost brown in color with a small off white head with tiny bubbles. The head dissipates quickly leaving a nice thin layer on top of the beer.

S- Lots of sweet malty aromas. Brown sugar, caramel and roasted almonds. Some nutmeg and a hint of cherries and vanilla. There is a light yeast and hop presence but nothing to overwhelming.

T- Lots of spicy herbal yeast an hops with a huge barley back bone. Traces of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Good caramel sweetness with lots of hoppy bite. this is a big beer with lots of big flavors.

M- Medium body that is a little oily on the tongue. Good balance of hops and malts and near perfect carbonation.

Overall- This is a bold beer that has a lot going on. Lots of big flavors that make you want more.

02-20-2009 03:26:23 | More by br3wmeister
Photo of Domingo


4.15/5  rDev +8.6%

Pours a pretty deep copper color with a slightly off-white head on the top.
Smells really sweet and malty, but with some trademark west coast hops in there.
The taste is actually not like I expected at all! I was prepared for something typically hoppy and American barleywine'esque but it isn't necessarily. The flavor is really sweet with over-ripe fruits, caramel, nutty bread, and brown sugar. The yeast tastes almost like a Belgian ale yeast. The hops are pretty subdued, letting the malt run the show. Nice! I was getting bored of hoppy strong brews, and this one isn't. The 8% is well hidden and the hops are only there to keep the finish from being like syrup.
Mouthfeel is thick and pretty slick, which keeps you from downing it too quickly.
Drinking a second bottle of this would be no problem at all. A 3rd might even be feasible...but I probably wouldn't do it.
Nice. This is almost like a really high octane English Barleywine with an unusual yeast being used.

02-19-2009 15:25:01 | More by Domingo
Photo of champ103


3.73/5  rDev -2.4%

A: Pours a murky ruby red color. A small white head forms with light lace.
S: Fruity and sweet malt. Light hop bitterness. Not very complex, but pleasant.
T: Fruity flavors of peach and apples. Caramel malt. Again, not very complex. Though I do enjoy it.
M/D: A medium body, but kind of thin. A little heat from the alcohol, but a good beer to sip on.

Not bad. Enjoyable, but a bit standard. Worth a try though.

02-19-2009 04:36:01 | More by champ103
Photo of BigMike


4.05/5  rDev +6%

Pours a deep crimson color with very little head and little to no lacing.

Smells to me more like a nice Chianti then a beer. Alcohol is very present in the nose.

Spicey and sweet flavor at the same time. A pretty complex mix of flavors going on here. Some i cant quite pinpoint.

Has somewhat of a wine tasting finish to it with an alcohol warmth.
Think and chewy mouth feel.
Actually finishes pretty smoothly for almost 9%abv.

Overall this is a really good Ale!

02-19-2009 01:05:27 | More by BigMike
Photo of Perdue125

South Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +6.8%

Appearence: Nice and dark with a good creamy head with good retention and lacing.

Smell: Is light and sweet with a hint of caramel

Taste: Very Sweet up front with caramel and raisins. A hint of citrus from the the hops. Finish has a slight alcohol taste.

Mouthfeel: Seems a tad light for a strong ale but no real complaints

Drinkability: Probably a little more drinkable than the average Strong Ale due to the light mouthfeel, I wouldn't drink more than 2 in a sitting.

02-18-2009 23:45:50 | More by Perdue125
Photo of Clydesdale

District of Columbia

4.22/5  rDev +10.5%

A: A cloudy brownish-red color with a fairly large, tight and creamy light tan head with very good retention and lacing.

S: Sweet caramel malt up front, although a bit mild. Golden raisins, sweet citrus, perhaps even pineapple. Some estery alcohol also detectable, although rather well-hidden. Spicy hints of clove and candied fruit.

T: Sweet, sugary caramel malt. Brown sugar/molasses definitely present. Fades into a fruity, spicy, and increasingly bitter finish. Candied fruit, especially golden raisins and dried pineapple. Some floral, herbal, and tobacco-like hop flavors. Some alcohol is present, but it's been integrated nicely. Spicy flavors of yeast, cloves, and perhaps ginger. Lots going on here.

M: A sticky, sweet body. Carbonation is pretty light. At times boozy and heavy; at others easily quaffable for the style and ABV. Just shy of coatingly sweet. Fairly creamy.

D: I'm pretty impressed with this. Quite complex and definitely delicious. For its high alcohol content, it drinks nicely. I'll look for this one earlier next year - very appealing.

02-16-2009 03:16:11 | More by Clydesdale
Hairy Eyeball Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,932 ratings.