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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

2,104 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,104
Reviews: 861
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 12.01%
Wants: 48
Gots: 156 | FT: 1
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: 2,104 | Reviews: 861 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jdense
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle from Whole Foods PDX Hollywood, poured into UCLA shaker pint glass 5.14.2010.

Not much to add to my review of on-tap version nose and flavor wise, but I used this as an opportunity to compare with Stone's Arrogant Bastard, which I would view as the comparator for the style re Cali Strong Ale. I thought the depth of flavor, re malt profile balance between caramel and bread, and hop profile, more aggressive bitterness on back end, tilts scale toward the Eyeball. On drinkability, though, a this ABV you better be careful. I certainly prefer the tap version to this bottled version, but as few kegs as I've seen of this in Beervana, I'm lucky to have scored this bottle. The big question is whether this will cellar well. Damn, I should have grabbed another bottle!

Photo of WeezyBoPeep
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a Shipyard Pumpkinhead pint glass.

A: Pours a deep, rich, dark mahogany with a nice thick, foamy dark tan head.

S: Smells at first of rich caramel malts, brown sugar and a little dark fruit. Plums and figs mostly. Notes of super-ripe banana goodness and a whiff of burnt toast.

T: A creamy, yet tangy initial mouthfeel is followed by an alcohol burn in the middle that reminds me this is indeed a strong ale. What follows is a wave of earthy biscuit malts and toasted bananas. Slightly bitter burnt toast and suggestions of citrus hops in the finish.
Went decently well with a grilled chicken salad.

D: I'm not sure if I would buy a sixer of this; not quite as drinkable as some other recent Lagunitas brews. If you like very malty beverages, you'll probably be able to put away a couple of these.

Value: I paid $2.49 for a single. Not bad at all.

Photo of Docer
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Fresh new bottle from Whole Foods in LaCamas WA.

- Dark clear ruby brown... not much head to this one... leaves a nice greyish white ring though and some planetary spots all about.

- Smell is of molasses... fig.. creamy malt and caramel... bit of a woodiness to it... light bitter hop, and a sweet citrus backing.

- Super smooth malts... caramel, brown sugar, molasses... all melded very well with a nice bitter pine and citrus hop... seems more bitter than aroma... nice zing towards the finish... and then a nice sweet layer of sugar rests on the tongue... nice aftertaste and feel.

- Smooth, highly dangerous and drinkable... slightly chewy and dry... with a great sweetness left on the tongue. I have read the other reviews... and I must say that the alcohol is not very noticeable at all... just warms the belly.

- Overall this is certainly a good beer, and one I will buy again for sure. It is dangerously smooth and tasty... and a favorite from this brewer. I seem to favor their browner ales vs. their golden...

Photo of Kromes
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Clear and reddish/dark brown with a thick, dense tan colored head. Lacing down the glass.

S: Molasses, raisin, dark fruit and bready yeast aromas with a touch of alcohol.

T: The beer starts with a nice toasty flavor with brown sugar, molasses and figs that warms the tongue with the alcohol. The finish is more pronounced with a slight bitterness kicking in at the end. It seems to be lacking something in the finish.

M: Has a smooth and heavy feel to it and it leaves the mouth tingling from the alcohol and bitterness.

D: The high alcohol would limit drinkability, but it is a tasty beer.

Photo of dogfishandi
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

3-10-09- fresh bottle

poured from 12 oz. bottle at cellar temp. into pint glass. had no idea what to expect with this one as it had no description as to what kind of beer it was anywhere on the bottle of the box. pours about 1 finger of light tan creamy head that faded to a thin layer of foam covering the top. the beer itself appears to be a very dark ruby color. dark brown when held up to the light. a little bit of some sticky lacing, halfway decent retention. this one has a very sweet aroma. sweet malts, very fruity, dried fruits like raisons, prunes, dates, etc. the taste is unlike any beer ive ever had, very unique. very sweet in the taste as well as the aroma. right off the bat your hit with a sweet sticky maltiness that finishs with a dark fruitiness with some hop bitterness and a little warmth from the alcohol in the finish. perfect medium body, and carbonation which has a lot to do with why you can barely notice the alcohol, id never guess it was 8.7% never. pretty drinkable considering the ABV, i could also see this waying down on my stomach after a few of these, but that is with most of lagunitas' dark beers, not to say there bad or anything, far from it. i would highly recommend this to anyone wanting something out of the ordinary. everything about this beer is great from the name to the sweet taste.

5-9-2010- aged 1 year and 2 months

at about cellar temp poured into a bulb style glass. pours a dark dark brown almost appears black. about one finger light caramel colored head. faded quickly to a thin layer. a touch of lace.

a rather malty aroma, somewhat similar to a imperial stout. roasted malts, a little alcohol, some dark fruits. maybe some molasses and brown sugar. some chocolate somewhere in there.

the taste seems to have changed quite a bit. i enjoy much more now. a little reminiscent of a baltic porter now. it has taken on somewhat of an acidic sour/tart like taste that melds with the other flavors nicely. still has that good malty taste going on. starts with ripe dark fruits, ends with dryed dark fruits. roasted malts seems to come out a touch more. a touch of chocolate. finsihs a touch tart, bitter, and fruity, maybe a touch of citrus hops.

has a medium to heavy body. a touch thick and astringent at times. a bright somewhat sizzly carb at first.

definatly a sipper in my mind. packs a little bit of a punch. definatly overall better with some age on it. im interested to see what even another year will do to my one remaining bottle. i would suggest aging this beer, if you got the room, i wouldnt really go out of my way to do it again though.

Photo of hwwty4
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 12oz bottle into my Hennepin globe glass. This beer pours a mahogany brown with ruby highlights when held up to the light. A massive 4 inch creamy beige head pours out of the bottle leaving a rather sparse lacing. Up front comes dark fruits, with apples and pears. Prunes and dates with just a little bit of raisins. After that i pick up some piney hops. The flavor is big and malty. Prunes, dates, over ripe apples all come through. Brown sugar with just a little bit of chocolate. The hops really fade out of the flavor profile. The mouthfeel is nice and creamy, leaving a caramelized brown sugar flavor soaked into the palate. Once again, Lagunitas has made a good big beer that is readily available and affordable. Gotta love Lagunitas.

Photo of ByTor2112
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice shade of cola to my Chimay goblet-gotta get those aromas! A thin film of beige head lingers on the surface.

Aroma-Malty, sweet brown sugary notes.

Mouthfeel-Solid carbonation delivers a quick bitter sting that soon gives way to a malty sweetness. There is a hoppy bitterness that emerges quickly but subsides as the finish yields to some alcohol warmth. Not hot or strong. Can alcohol be earthy? The booziness is candy like. I usually froth on the palate but I choose to roll this around and I get some different sweet flavor profiles, dried fruit finally comes through, bubblegum even. This is certainly a strong ale and I got a case of this along with a case of Brown Shugga' so let the high gravity times roll! Lagunitas never disappoints and I could probably sip two of these.

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark transparent coppery brown with a fairly thick pale tan head that dissipates slowly. Aroma is richly malty with an undertone of brown sugar and a hint of cloves. Lively flavor is malty and spicy, slightly sweet and slightly bitter, with a teensy alcohol bite. Texture is fizzy, tingly and edgy, dancing on the tongue and on the way down.

Photo of MURF0320
3.15/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark mahogany color with light tan one-finger head that dissipates quickly leaving light lacing.
Smell is candy-like and dominated by sweet malts. Brown sugar, caramel, some dark fruits, and alcohol are also present.
This beer is very sweet with lots of residual sugars. Complex flavor is overshadowed by the sweetness in my opinion. Molasses, brown sugar, caramel, raisins, dark cherry. Once the sweetness starts to fade a light bitterness comes through. Alcohol is certainly present but as it should in this style.
Mouthfeel is syrupy and somewhere between sticky and smooth. There was a nice amount of carbonation to begin with but seemed to become completely flat by the end.
I found this overly sweet and had to make an effort to finish it for that reason.

Photo of DoppleJock
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Poured a hazy dark reddish-brown with a wispy half-finger tan head. Good lacing.

S: Good whiff of alcohol at the start followed by some dark fruity scents. Has a vinegary quality to it that reminds me faintly of a Flemish red ale.

T: Starts off very peppery but the alcohol isn't overpowering. Dark fruits and sugars dominate the palate with a very mild bitter aftertaste.

M: Full-bodied without feeling too heavy.

D: A sipper for sure. A decent strong ale but it's scent reminds me too much of a Flemish red ale, which turns me off to seeking it out any time in the near future.

Photo of tigg924
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, clear, leather brown in color

Smell: caramel malt, dark fruit, and pepper

Taste: toasted caramel malt, brown sugar, traces of smokiness and chocolate

Mouthfeel: medium/heavy bodied, moderate carbonation, semi-sweet

Drinkability: A nice and big malty brew. One of my favorites from the brewery. One per serving, but would get this again.

Photo of DoctorDog
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

A- Murky deep amber / brown. Pours with ~1 finger of creamy tan head, which fades very slowly to an island of bubbles.

S- Sweet caramel malts dominate. Hint of booziness and earthy hops.

T- Quite a roasted / brown sugar maltiness. Hints of dark fruits. Slightly to the side of sweet. Moderate alcohol kick and a sturdy hops bitterness.

M- Slightly low carbonation with a medium feel. Alcohol warming is well noted, but not biting.

D- Solid. Well rounded and fairly easy drinking for it's 8.83% ABV.

Future outlook: Solid, if unspectacular beer. Won't be a beer to go out of my way for, but at a good price point, and might be a beer to enjoy occasionally.

Photo of gnemesis
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz into snifter on 3/26. Poured dark brown with 1 finger off-white head. This one smelled sweet. Fig/plum, sweet malts, maybe even brown sugar, no hops detected. The taste follows with a little more caramel and slight alcohol heat. Full body and almost syrupy and sticky. The drinkability is average due to sweetness.

Photo of BabyBastard
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aggressive pour into tulip produces prodigious light tan head, superb lacing throughout, and a very dark red and brown brew that is clear despite being so dark. A quick swirl keeps the head alive and kicking.

Aggressive malt tones in the nose, also a sweet candy scent fills the nostrils after a hefty whiff. This also smells a bit of alcoholic heat, though this is nothing too pronounced and doesn't take away from the overall effect. Overall, a decent smelling ale.

Taste is in the same department as the smell, very malt agressive, toffee notes and a dark fruitiness cover the palate. Slight hop bite on the tongue is percieved, but immediately washed away with the super sweetness. Brown sugars come through and very much define this brew. Very reminiscent of Brown Shugga', though this is not as sickly sweet. Definitely a malt monster in a bottle.

This has a sticky, very sweet feel about it. To me, this has a light feel despite being a tad on the heavy, over malted side. This one will surely dry you out, so keep a glass of water available. Drinkability is slightly above average for me, though you may need to pace yourself with this. Too much and it may be lights out if you are not careful.

Photo of blackenmn
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter:

Appearance:Poured a dark brown with a thin quickly diminishing cream white head.

Smell:Smelled of roasty, extremely sweet caramel malt. Also a bit estery, and a bit of mild spice/ABV warmth noticeable in the nose.

Taste:Tasted very sweet. Candy caramel, sugar, caramel malt, and some piney hops taking a back seat to the almost cloying sweetness in this one.

Mouthfeel:Very sticky, felt like a bit of maple syrup like additive was brewed in. Pretty smooth, medium bodied, sticky, warming.

Drinkability:Farily drinkable. Reminded me of a less attentuated Backwoods bastard. I'd drink this again if it were priced a bit less. This was a pretty unique brew, definitely satisfies a sweet tooth.

Photo of herman77
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark amber/brownish color with a light brown head. Very nice sticky lacing

S: Sweet carmel and toffee malt. Figs and dark dried fruits. I can tell by the smell that the abv is high. Lots of fermented sugar notes.

T: Rich malt, sweet toffee and a hint of coffee and toasted malt. A touch earthy and woody? There is some hop bitterness near the end to give a nice balance. Alcohol taste in the finish. Pretty complex actually.

M/D: Medium to fuller body. Medium carbonation. Other then that mouthfeel is very average. Drinkability is okay, a little too strong on the alcohol taste that lowers this score for me. ABV is not hidden at all.

Photo of metter98
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of cdbooth219
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Pours a beautiful mahogany, with one and a half fingers of tan head that dissipates slowly leaving some nice lacing

S: Smells of raisins, prunes and figs, as well as caramel and toffee, and faint earthy hops

T: More of the dark fruits in the smell, raisins, prunes, and figs, as well as the caramel and toffee. The hops are more pronounced in the taste, creating a piney, earthy flavor behind all of the sweetness. A little bit of alcohol taste as well.

M: Full-bodied and creamy, with a touch of alcohol warmth in there as well. Not much carbonation, but it works well for this.

D: Quite drinkable for the abv, this is very complex and delicious

Overall, I really enjoyed this beer. Its something like a strong brown ale, but with quite a bit of hops as well. It is very unique, and my first lagunitas beer, and I will definitely seek out more.

Photo of nickadams2
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A_Dark reddish brown with a thick light brown head. Thick lacing coats the glass.

S_Toffee,caramel and fruit.Sweet and malty.

T_Very malty.Sweet toffee caramel up front.Slightly fruity.Alcohol is hidden pretty well for a near 9 percent abv.

M_ Full bodied,thick,and creamy.Coats mouth nicely and goes down smooth.

D_Very drinkable especially for a high abv.

Photo of Jesstyr
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Palm tulip glass and enjoyed with soft cheese (la tur) and chicken.

Pours a surprisingly dark black with slight reddish and chestnut hues. Head is a foamy two fingers, with settles quickly into a light patching. Nose is slightly sweet with strong toffee and light sugary aromas, balanced by a bit of earthy hops. Faint, but balanced.

Taste is almost identical to the nose, a touch sweet with toffee, light brown sugar, and a tiny bit of roasted malts. Where this beer loses is the finish to me - a tad too bitter and malty balancing the rest of the beer, but not part of the same equation. Body is mostly thin, but the alcohol is fairly well hidden.

Photo of dtivp
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark reddish brown with a small short lived off-white head and some lacing.

Very sweet aroma of fruit, toffee and a slight hint of spice.

Taste was sweet with slight bitterness and a hint of the alcohol. Strong presence of fruit and brown sugar.

Medium body, creamy smooth with moderate carbonation. The alcohol provided a little warming but not over powering.

Very nice American Ale, would recommend it and happy that I have two more bottles. Thank you Lagunitas.

Photo of RevereBeer
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep reddish brown with some offwhite head and not much lacing. The nose is not too powerful, but I pick up scents of fruit, caramel, and some spice.

The taste is similar to the aroma, sweet caramel and fruits, with some hoppiness and alcohol in the background. The alcohol is warming, but not very detectable as a distinct flavor, a nice touch for a 9% ABV brew. Overall a very rich, malty flavor.

Smooth and sweet mouthfeel, almost creamy with a full body to it. Moderate carbonation. Quite drinkable for the ABV, and a very flavorful, complex and enjoyable beer!

Photo of demcorhip
3.35/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A nice enough looking brew, lost some points due to the fact that the one finger tan head didnt stick around for very long, the lacings are ok but quickly slide back into the beer. Its body is almost chesnut hued, and almost but not quite clear, suppose thats what makes this eyeball hairy?

Big toffee malt nose with hints of treacle. Some mineral, and just the faintest earthiness coming in from the hops.

A touch too sweet for my tastes, there are plenty of unfermented sugars present. Loads of toffee with a hint of treacle and roasted malts present. A clean bitterness asserts itself on the finish, with woody, earthy undertones, but cant compete with the rich and sweet malt onslaught.

Medium bodied, malt forward almost to a fault, especially considering the residual sweetness. Some alcohol heat also manages to assert itself managing to add another dimension to the rich malts.

This brew didnt do it for me. Too malt forward without the balance to pull it all together. Glad to try it, but probably wont be trying it again.

Photo of lovindahops
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bought a sixer at Brilbeck's. Poured from bottle into a pint glass

A- pours a dark mahoganey look. Almost like a coke. The head is pretty big. The foam clings to the sides of the glass as well. Big time

S- big toffee and brown sugar malt emerge from the glass. As a strong ale... this has some strong hint of dark fruit and maybe some nuttiness too. Not much for a hops presense though

T- there is that big malty flavor. There also seems to be some spices that complete the seasonal aspect. Almost roasted flavor as well. The toffee and caramel present some sweet flavors too. There is a slight exit of alcohol that warms on the way down

M- medium bodied and creamy too. Good carbonation

D- hairy eyeball is a good american strong brew from the west coast. The combination of malts and spices makes it a pretty drinkable beer. The alcohol is very strong. I defintely will enjoy one or two of these at a time

Photo of ABOWMan
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This ale poured a nice light mahogany color which looked very much like a coke without ice. The head was a nice fluffy two fingers of caramel colored head. The foam was very fine bubbled and it left excellent lacing.

The aroma was of sweet malt and spice.

The flavor reminded me of caramel corn, oak, vernors ginger ale and ice wine esters.

The mouthfeel was rich and thick on your tongue.

Drinkability was slightly better than average which was good for such a full flavored beer.

Hairy Eyeball Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 2,104 ratings.