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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

1,927 Ratings

(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
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Ratings: 1,927 | Reviews: 846 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bigelo1016


3.9/5  rDev +2.1%

A- poured a redish amber with just a trace of a tan head which dissappeared in no time

S- Hints of roasted caramel and maybe a fig like smell. very little if any hop smell

T- Roasted malts, caramel, a hint of chocolate and hoppy bitterness at the tail end. The alcohol comes thru alittle but really tame for it's level

M- Very clean, light carbonation, easy on the tongue

D- A little strong for too many but it's deceptive. Very good beer all around. I love this brewery

03-11-2008 21:40:48 | More by bigelo1016
Photo of Monkeyknife


4.18/5  rDev +9.4%

Poured from a bottle a deep, clear ruby red color with a very light beige head.

Aroma of sweet malts, raisins, and a kiss of caramel.

The taste is big,bright, and sweet. Sweet malts, white sugar, caramel, and raisins. Hops are noted at the end to give balance. The almost-9% alcohol is well hidden.

Medium mouthfeel, drying, and moderately carbonated.

This strong ale is very easy to drink. Almost too easy. I'll definitely have again.

03-10-2008 21:48:09 | More by Monkeyknife
Photo of sinistrsam


4.3/5  rDev +12.6%

Poured a clear red/brown, with almsot no head and minimal lacing left on the glass.
The aroma was complex; chocolate and sweet malts, mild hops, brown sugar, caramel and mild sweet fruits. Very good.
Molasses and maple sugar in the taste, with hardcore sweet malts and brown sugar complimented once again by mild sweet fruits.
The feel was fizzy adn acrid at first, but then the sweetness breaks through and that fades into a little sournes, finally coming to rest as creamy and sweet. Very interesting adn enjoyable.
Overall very drinkable, and no idea about the 8.8%...

03-07-2008 19:07:46 | More by sinistrsam
Photo of mithrascruor


4.33/5  rDev +13.4%

On tap at Callahan's, San Diego.

Dark brown color with a nice creamy tan head that lingers. Enjoyable aroma of malts, caramel, and hops. Enjoyable taste, similar to the smell, but with some nuts and spices in there. Nothing overpowering; nicely balanced and not too complex. A very rich beer, and well worth trying. Goes down rather smooth and nicely. And, despite the strong ABV, it's really quite drinkable.

03-07-2008 03:33:00 | More by mithrascruor
Photo of malcontent


3.88/5  rDev +1.6%

Pours a deep, clear chestnut with a strong, billowing head.

Rich, aromatic nose: iced tea, hazelnuts, golden raisins and a fair splash of piney hops in that order.

Controlled malt sweetness right up front with the nutty body of a brown ale and the floral/piney hops of an APA. Brown sugar and grapefruit pith dominate the finish.

Full-bodied and evenly carbonated but a touch slick on the finish. Otherwise just fine. Highly drinkable ale and it seems to have something to appeal to both hopheads and malt-fiends alike. Check that, the booze really sneaks up on you and could easily render you silly if not careful. Down goes the drinkability...

03-06-2008 17:29:46 | More by malcontent
Photo of ballewblake

New Jersey

3.45/5  rDev -9.7%

No room for head on the heavy pour from the bar. Great lacing, opaque brew, dark amber body. Knocking points off smell here as I was getting a low to no smell, taste is where this one wins. Sweet and hoppy, almost double IPA flavors. Carbonation on the tongue is mild but noticeable. Excellent balance of malts and hops. Full body beer, good mouth fill. A good session beer for me.

03-05-2008 23:05:09 | More by ballewblake
Photo of RichardWalter


3.88/5  rDev +1.6%

Strong ale is the correct description. Strange name. Bottle does not give a clue as to the type of beer. Tastes linger including hoppiness, a little caramel, aftertaste, pleasant mouthfeel. Aftertaste also stays in the mouth and on the tonue. Pleasant look.

03-04-2008 05:03:20 | More by RichardWalter
Photo of macster


3.9/5  rDev +2.1%

Pour reveals a fairly clear dark brown color with copper-amber highlights. Forms a dense and thick beige colored head with good retention throughout the glass. No lacing noted.

Aromas are nice, just fairly weak and muted with predominantly sweet notes of dark caramel, figs, raisins, brown sugar and nuts. Some faint herbal/spicy hop smells are detected way in the background.

Mouthfeel is moderately full and round with a creamy texture; nice for the style.

Flavors are much more assertive and pronounced than the aromas. Starts off with sweet and pleasant flavors of rum soaked dark fruits, brown sugar, molasses, roasted malts and caramel. The 8.8% alcohol and the earthy/citrusy hops kick in together in the finish to show some muscle.

I had a Lumpy Gravy last night and thought that would be similar to the flavors of this beer. At $9.49/sixer this is a good value for a well done American Strong.

03-03-2008 03:16:45 | More by macster
Photo of Ricochet


4.1/5  rDev +7.3%

A: True dark brown. I mean, really TRUE. This was the brownest beer I've seen! With little head and good lace.

S: Malt, raisin, alcohol... otherwise not much.

M: Good GASP! Thick as thick gets, almost like gravy with a strong burnt malt remainder, this was hard to swallow because I was enjoying the tastes. Wow. Sweet finish too, just at the back.

T: First, there is fruit. Not bitter, but raisin, prune, even a little lime? Then there was toasted malt and alcohol. Then there was a olive bite and even molasses on the finish. Complex.

D: No idea what to make of this other than a wonderfully tasty beer, and another score from Lagunitas.

03-02-2008 06:36:25 | More by Ricochet
Photo of turbine2475


3.28/5  rDev -14.1%

A - Pours a dark crimson with a thick cream colored head that disipated quickly leaving a dense lace.
S - Scents of hop and earthy fruit that is more subtle than expected with this style.
T - Malty fruit fowardness that has a subtle lingering of hop bitterness
M - Light in carbonation with a syrap coating that adds to the slight after taste that is produced
D - Not an everyday beer, but one I would not turn down if given the chance.

03-02-2008 04:37:32 | More by turbine2475
Photo of jkdrummer


3.85/5  rDev +0.8%

A: Nice reddish brown. Great head too, dies down into a creamy lace.

S: Malty some yeast too.

T: Sweet. Alcohol presence. Toffee.

M: Syrupy like a Barley Wine.

D: Strong and not for sessions. Enjoyable evening warmer. My eyeball didn't get hairy either.


02-29-2008 23:03:49 | More by jkdrummer
Photo of m1ked


3.8/5  rDev -0.5%

I just love the name of this one.

A- Pours an impressive clear deep crimson with a 1/4" sandy, bubbly head.

S- Dark fruits- raisiny, figgy, brown bananas, creamy- not too strong of an aroma.

T- Deep rich maltiness, sweet, toffee, subtle ginger. A nice bitter finish to balance, some heat.

M- Heavy, thick, good carbonation- very smooth overall.

D- I was pleasantly surprised, a tastey brew overall, not a sessionable one for me though.

02-28-2008 03:25:18 | More by m1ked
Photo of Hojaminbag


3.1/5  rDev -18.8%

A pretty dark brown body and a couple fingers of head. Decent head retention, almost no lacing.

Smells of ripe fruit, caramel, and just sugary.

The first thing I taste is a sugary/molasses flavor followed by huge caramel maltiness. Really caramel flavored. Finishes with a little alcohol warming. Too much caramel in my opinion.

Pretty good mouthfeel, balanced carbonation. A little syrupy.

I could not drink too many of this beer. Probably only one actually. It is far too sugary and the caramel is overpowering. Considering caramel is not my favorite flavor, this is understandable. Others might feel differently.

02-25-2008 16:27:02 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of marcpal

New Jersey

3/5  rDev -21.5%

Poured into large goblet.

A: Dark brown with bubbly off white head.

S: Definite detection of hops and an odd waxy fruit smell. Gotta give it points for uniqueness.

T: Dont taste the alcohol but the caramel sugars are just still odd. It almost tastes like a bad bottle. Bubblegum flavored robutussin is what I was reminded of.

M: Extremely thick and malty.

D: Not interested in having any more of these, a bit of a let down. The alcohol showed up more as the beer went down.

02-24-2008 22:31:39 | More by marcpal
Photo of cichief


3.88/5  rDev +1.6%

Had on draft at the Frisco Grille, Columbia, MD.

A- Pours a hazy amber-red, with a thin, light tan head.

S- Lots of sweet malt and floral hops there, very inviting.

T- Starts off very sweet, but finishes nice and dry. Fr such a big beer, there is no alcohol burn.

M- Lots of smaller bubbles, but not overly carbonated.

D- Only the strength of this beer would stop me from drinking this all night.

02-23-2008 16:36:05 | More by cichief
Photo of imaguitargod


4.35/5  rDev +13.9%

Pours to a medium small head and dissipates within a minute or two. Nice ruby color to the beer which gives a beautiful appearance to it.

Sweet and smooth are the two main flavors here. There is a slight hop to the aftertaste but is very barely detectable. That is, until you drink more. The hops tend to build the more your drink it (as far as the aftertaste goes). All in all, this is a very drinkable beer and at 9%abv it's definitely a keeper.

02-22-2008 02:36:57 | More by imaguitargod
Photo of thewho


4.18/5  rDev +9.4%

Another great offering from Lagunitas. I seem to look forward to each of their seasonal releases, as they are all very tasty. The one starts off with a nice, deep mahogany color, with a tan head. The lacing is great. Not any hop smell, and it is definately a warming drink. Half-way through the glass my stomach is feeling toasty! This beer is similiar to my favorite offering of Lagunitas, Brown Shugga, it just seems a bit lighter and less sweet. Both have a remarkable mouthfeel and drinkability given their ABV. Well done Lagunitas!

02-21-2008 02:23:04 | More by thewho
Photo of Mitchster


4.03/5  rDev +5.5%

$2.00 for a 12 oz bottle at Jack's. OG=1.090, 9.0% ABV, 56.7 IBU.

Pours out to a clear very dark mahogany, forming a large poofy meringue-like light khaki head with very good retention and gorgeous lacing. Very good looking brew. The aroma opens with caramel, carob, green leafy hops, walnut. The mouthfeel is chewy with a big dense body. Carbonation is mild to moderate. The taste opens with vinous esters, followed by plums, roasted grains, apple juice, resinous piney hops, a touch of juniper, and ends in a moderately strong woodsy bitterness with afternotes of roasted barley and chocolate malt. There is a little bit of burnt banana and burning rubber in the finish as well. Moderate astringency.

This is a pretty tasty brew. It's quite potent and meaty. I would buy this again. A fine American style barleywine/Strong ale. It would probably cellar really well.

02-21-2008 01:01:43 | More by Mitchster
Photo of jtm3


3.53/5  rDev -7.6%

A: Deep Amber. Head disappearing rather quickly

S: Sweet, very sweet. Brown sugar and caramel dominate. Some alcohol present with a touch of chocolate.

T: Better balance of hops and malt than I expected. Sweet, caramel malt flavors still dominate. Some alcohol present, but pretty well-hidden for near 9%. Syrupy, sticky bitterness comes through, however, and lasts a little too long.

M: Too chewy for my tastes.

D: This is hurt by the lingering aftertaste.

Overall, not bad. But I don't see myself having more than 1 of these due to the mouthfeel and drinkability.

02-19-2008 21:49:16 | More by jtm3
Photo of pershan


3.9/5  rDev +2.1%

The beer poured a light ruby-red with a creamy half inch head into a 12-oz pilsner glass. There was a slight scent of fruity malt, but no discernable hop aroma. The taste was a fairly nice balance between the malt, hops, and alcohol, with the hop bitterness winning out in the end. Nice carbonation and lacing, with a coating of sweet malt residue in my mouth after every swallow. Tasty.

02-19-2008 18:10:39 | More by pershan
Photo of SargeC


4/5  rDev +4.7%

Appearance: Deep amber brew with a dense tan head.

Smell: Malt, caramel, toffee, dark fruit alcohol and sugar.

Taste: Very subdued flavor that I did not expect. The malt rides alongside some sweet fruit flavors that remind me of mince pie. Slight alcohol bite in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. The brew is very dry throughout the flavor.

Drinkablity: Interesting and unique beer. Not as over the top as I expected.

02-19-2008 06:48:13 | More by SargeC
Photo of JohnGalt1


3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

12oz picked up on Friday at the Coop for about $2.. poured into my New Belgium snifter.

2 finger head.. atop a cold coffee looking brew.. leaves dried crusty lacing.

Aroma is mostly caramel with light whiffs of orange and lemon.. brown sugar and notes of leather.

Flavor is pretty much the same as the smell but with a more pronounced citrus element.. same caramel and a little bit of milk chocolate. Some dark dried fruits... and a little blackberry. Larger medium body with small bubble carbonation.

The Hairy Eyeball is more interesting than my palate can pick out.. I have some of last years in the cellar.. I must give one a try pretty soon.

02-18-2008 08:38:54 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of MaltyGoodness


3.58/5  rDev -6.3%

12oz. bottle

Pours a clear, medium chestnut brown. Small tan head fades. Mild lacing on the glass.

Aroma is largely herbal hops with a bit of toasted malt and biscut smell.

Sweet caramel malt upfront with a nice toasted flavor. Leads into a medium bitterness and herbal hop flavor. Finishes sweet and rather clean.

Full body, mild carbonation.

A solid strong ale, just a little too sweet to have more than 1 in a sitting. A good value for the price.

02-17-2008 01:46:02 | More by MaltyGoodness
Photo of shroompod


3.9/5  rDev +2.1%

Pours dark brown , small head , some lacing.

Very light aroma of caramel , fruity hops.

Dark cherries , figs, with a smidgen of hops dominates the flavor. Alcohol is apparent.

Mouthfeel is medium/heavy , good carbonation.

I happened to finish off a sixer of this a few nights ago, drinkability is good.

Edit 9/08 , review from the cellar. This was marked as a 2007.
Alcohol harshness has subsided, rich caramel flavor. No hops. Overall a very good candidate for aging.

02-17-2008 01:08:11 | More by shroompod
Photo of Contra

New York

3.85/5  rDev +0.8%

Certainly heavy on the alcohol, as you would expect. Then again, some beers with higher abv hide it more. No matter, considering that I kind of enjoy that kick.

Color is dark brown, turning ruby-red when held up the light. Almost no head. Strong flavor of grain, malt, dates, and the like. Heavy body, which matches with the overall character of the beer. The only real downside is, let's face it, that it's hard to drink too much of the stuff. But that kind of comes with the territory.

Overall, an excellent choice in the Lagunitas lineup. Sure, I prefer Unibroue's various takes on the Strong ale. But they're also quite a bit more expensive. Seems to fit well with Lagunitas' position as a brewery - not necessarily the best, but you get a lot for the money.

02-15-2008 04:12:32 | More by Contra
Hairy Eyeball Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,927 ratings.