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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

2,363 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,363
Reviews: 930
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 11.46%
Wants: 54
Gots: 305 | FT: 3
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,363 | Reviews: 930
Photo of Swedes21
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - pours a dark auburn colour however very clear, allows real good light through. the head is an off-white, very thick and rick. there is some real good lacing and decent carbonation.

Smell - very straight fwd, malts, caramel, some signs of min hops, deep roasted coffee.

Taste - very dominant tasting beer, can right away pick up the malts combined with the dark roasted coffee. in the end, the warming taste from hops is lasting. there isnt much sign of the caramel either.

Mouthfeel - thicker, more exaggerated tastes. very good mouthfeel and fullness.

Overall - overall a good beer, very dominant and strong, to be would be best served in the winter on a cold day.

Photo of STEG
3.49/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Auburn and completely clear in color when poured into the Duvel tulip. A light sandy colored fine bubbled head rises four fingers high and leaves some nice lacing as the beer vanishes. Medium-long head retention is also a welcome sight. Quite the looker.

Smell is mostly comprised of caramel earthy hops and a very light milk chocolate note. Not too much to talk about here, aroma wise this is pretty mild, odd given the style...

Taste is comprised of sweet malt, while some light hop flavors sit and poke and prod your taste buds slightly at varying points throughout the palate progression. Again, a bit one sided.

Mouthfeel has a bit too much carbonation towards the finish for my liking but the heat is masked exceptionally well almost to the point of being hazardous. Theres also a cooling mint/menthol feel that I haven't felt in any other beer other than Mikkeller's Monk's Brew, weird...

Overall this was a one sided meh, although it had personally hyped me with its appearance

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Notes from 4/30/11.
Thanks to korguy123 for this bottle. Poured in to Duvel tulip glass.

A - Dark amber/brown colour with one finger of cream coloured head.

S - Caramel, toffee, brown sugar and some good bitterness. Very sweet overall nose.

T - Very sweet up initially followed by a bitter, dry finish. Brown sugar, toffee, caramel. The sweetness is definitely the predominant flavour but there is also a slight hop bite that cuts through a little bit and offers a little bit of a balance.

M -Medium body with a good chew. Light carbonation.

O - This was an interesting beer and a good one. One of the better offerings I have had from a brewery that I don't generally care for.

Photo of rrski198
3.46/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Big time caramel mocha colored head. Outstanding lacing. deep dark brown and charred red. looks amazing.

S: Very nuty, caramel malt, lightly roasted coffe, dark chocolate, mild booze.

T: Wow, not as impressive here. There is a big wave of sweet burnt sugar followed by a mild hop backbone. I find this beer a little too sweet and not overly balanced. Maybe it is my palate that is used to overly hopped beers. I like that it is something different and the flavor grows on me as i ontinue to drink.

M: Below average carbonation. I wish it had more. Thick and creamy in the mouth. If it had more carbonation, I would dig this much, much more.

O: It grew on me as i drank it, but, I wish it was a little more balanced. I wouldn't buy again, but this is rare from a brewery such as lagunitas. Overall, not bad

Photo of alenonbeeradv
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a - kinda like a coca-cola with more ruby tones. a finer carbonation and slight head that diminishes into a nice collar.

s - very malty and boozey. sweet like some fresh caramel or fresh baked goods. a little musky.

t - malty and smokey. kinda sweet like some exotic fruit or like a sweet woody taste. a little bitter on the finish but mainly nutty and roasty overall.

m - low - med amount of carbonation. nothing too exciting. kind of a creeper on the tongue.

o - eh. not a huge fan of strong ales in general but its alright. a few of these would definitely get me pretty tipsy, and the boozy taste would get me feelin it after 1. its alright.

Photo of notchucknorris
3.38/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a deep mahogany color with a one-finger tan head that holds up well.

S: Brown sugar, hints of overripe fruit that's been sitting in the sun and a little bit of soy sauce. Strange combination.

T: Sweet and malty upfront with a slight citrus hop bite towards the middle. I'm getting kind of a strange burnt flavor in there as well as a bit of beef jerky and coffee flavor towards the finish. It's a little on the sweet side for me and there's not quite enough hop bitterness or carbonation to tone it down.

Photo of dmsohyea
3.57/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle to IPA glass.

A - Dark brown with a slight reddish tinge. Some light penetrates. One finger pearl white head with a bit of lacing and some retention around the ring of the glass.

S - Coffee, chocolate, toffee, burnt malt. Smells very stout-ish (yep, just made that up).

T - Tastes like brown sugar beer to me. Really overpowering malt characteristic. Sugary and almost like maple syrup. Not horrible considering the style, but not my favorite. Still drinkable. Slightly bitter, but not overpowering. The finish leaves some toffee and bitterness lingering.

M - Average carbonation and very dry. Some astringency.

O - Not my favorite by any means, but not a bad go-to American strong ale that is easy to find.

Photo of SWMeyer4141
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance-A deep purple/brown color. 1 inch off white head that leaves some alcohol legs

Smell-At first I thought I was being served Brown Shugga. I get a big sugar kick with some burnt caramel. Some dark fruits as well.

Taste-The taste definitely follows the aroma. Lots of sweet sweet caramel, some light hops and some sweet malt and molasses. Finish is rather dry, some darkfruits are present along with some bitterness.

Mouthfeel-Very thick, coats the mouth. Medium bodied with very little carbonation

Overall-Another nice beer. Glad my buddy had this, because this is one of those beers I always walk by, and I should probably drink these more often.

Photo of NODAK
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma is filled with brown sugar, a bit of dark fruit, alcohol and a toastiness as well.

Pours a mahogany color in the glass with a pretty weak head.

Taste starts off sweet, with a brown sugar beginning. A fair amount of caramel malt shows up in the body, as well as a touch of dark fruit and just the slightest hint of toastiness. A medicinal bitterness hits at the backend and tends to linger a little while. For a beer that's otherwise pretty sweet and malty, this was definitely a different turn.

All in all, I guess I could compare this to a doppelbock or even a Belgian dark ale with bitterness on the backend.

Photo of beals
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured a 12oz bottle into a DFH snifter.

A: brown. brownish-tan head, 1 finger, receded quickly. dark, deep. i'm digging the way this beer looks in the glass.
S: alcohol, malt, bit of a cherry aroma, perhaps? not much here.
T: no hop nose, sweet malt middle, backend a bit bitter. all the hop presence is at the back. aftertaste is sticky, malt flavor not terribly complex.
M: thick, bit chewy. moderate carbonation.

O: OK, bit of a strong brown ale. not amazing. i like strong beers, but i'm not sure i'd have more than 1 of these in a session. meh.

Photo of josefnewsong
3.56/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a - deep, dark burgundy color, clear and bubbly, 2 inches of off-white head that recedes slowly and leaves an almost opaque coating of lace
s - nothing major here. sweet syrupy malts, molasses, whiskey, a touch of hops
t - cherry flavors and a whole lot of alcohol dominate - i would have guessed 10.5% at the very least, more likely somewhere around 11 or 12 if I hadn't already known about the 9abv. As it warms the cherry flavor begins to taste artificial, almost medicinal but still not bad - could just be an effect of the alcohol presence. Slight roast and toffee flavors are in the back but not much else.
m - medium bodied, sticky, syrupy
o - a brew that I pulled from my cellar because most of the good beer stores are closed and I didn't feel like going out - and because I wasn't too excited about aging it, it just got tossed down there. Certainly a pleasant experience, but nothing to rave about. Also I didn't check the date but I'm pretty sure it's not fresh

Photo of BeerPhan86
3.87/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Being a big fan of Brown Shugga, I was looking forward to this seasonal from Lagunitas. I really like this brewery and almost everything they make, especially their stronger ales. Bring it!

A - Pours a clear mahogany with a small half finger tan head. Head dissipates quickly but the lacing is quite sticky.

S - Smells like a Belgian dark ale, with hints of dark fruit and malt. There is also some noticeable molasses and brown sugar.

T - A blast of sweet malt up front with cherry and raisin followed by some dry, earthy hops. The alcohol is well hidden for such a strong beer. Reminds me of a Doppelbock or Belgian dark ale, very fitting as the winter seasonal. Finishes dry with a nutty aftertaste that has hints of oak.

M - Well carbonated with a relatively thin mouthfeel. Sticky on the lips.

D - The alcohol is hidden but the effects are not, I feel buzzed almost immediately! Definitely a sipper for me.

Photo of ngeunit1
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

- Pours a rich ruby red color that is just a touch hazy with a finger of off-white head atop. The head fades down to a thin ring around the glass leaving behind some lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of sweet caramel malt, some deep dark fruits, and some grassy hops. There is a brown sugar as well.

T - Starts off with some sweet dark fruit flavors (raisin and plum) as well as some slightly roasted caramel malts. Just a touch of some grassy hops in the background. Through the middle some richer fruit flavor and some brown sugar comes through. The finish is a blend of some dark fruit sweetness, a touch of bitterness, brown sugar, and a hint of alcohol flavor that lingers.

M - Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Has a bit of a slick syrupy feeling. Finishes fairly full with just a touch of alcohol warming.

D - For 9% abv, pretty drinkable. Nice balance of flavors, and they are decently complex. A bit full and heavy so a bit more of a sipper, but still really enjoyable.

Photo of JeffBob
4.73/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

WOW was speechless at first sip

A nice beautiful dark red

S hops and the smell of hiking through hay and wild flowers in the spring.

T So complex at first its kind of stoutish with some yummy chocolatey goodness, the the hops kicks in along with some spice and bright notes then chocolate again fading into a bitterish hopish after taste.

M thick and smooth a bit carbonated but given the dark complexity it is perfect.

O just peachy keen I love this beer.

Photo of MAB
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The sum of the parts add up to more than the whole. While everything about it is good (at least), my overall impression was exceptional.
A tough one to categorize. American Strong Ale meets the criteria, though.

Color was deep brown, almost porter-like.
Lovely aroma, but I'd expect nothing less from Lagunitas. They ALL smell good.

Taste was very good. Some (roasted) grain flavors combine with the chocolate malt to come forward in front of the hops. The hops are there but this is not a bitter beer, by any means.
The alcohol contributes to the sharpness of the malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel was also good. I expected it to be a bit thicker, since it was 9% ABV, but it was still a nice consistency--not too thick.

Overall, though, this one struck me as a real find, and a keeper. I'm a big fan.

Photo of VMWhelan
3.51/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip.

Pours a deep ruby-brown with a finger of tannish head with good lacing.

Nose is very sweet and malty. Caramel and dark fruits are prevalent, with some brown sugar notes.

Taste follows the nose upfront but that is followed by a pronounced floral hop bitterness and some booziness.

Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied and slightly sticky. Leaves the mouth dry.

Overall this isn't bad. The 9% ABV could be balanced out better, so this one is a sipper.

Photo of Rutager
3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance. Hazy, copper brown with half a finger of off-white head.

Smell. Sweet, malty grains, dried cherries, green apple.

Taste. Sweet caramel, raw sugar, roasty malt, red apples. Bitter, fruity and dry finish. Alcohol well hidden.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body with medium-low carbonation. A little thick.

Overall. Good tasting beer.

Photo of Pahn
3.64/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Free pour yields a third of an inch foamy offwhite head that dissipates quickly. Pours a translucent brownish ruby. Minimal lacing.

Smell: Light pineapple-y hops (among other hard to pin down hop aromas), wheaty and almost banana-like. A smell almost like Chinese tea... along with some molasses.

I've been avoiding this beer because I didn't understand what in the world it was supposed to be (website helpfully says "Beer with lots of caramel malt," in so many words). Smelling it hasn't gotten me much closer; if anything, I'm more confused. That said, it smells quite good, with a nice mix of hops and various (weird) malty smells.

Taste: Up front, it follows the nose (fruity hops, some caramel malt), then it segues into a huge bowl of cereal. The last minute of each sip is like a big bite of whole grain cereal. Not a bad thing, though not a great thing.

I'm still not quite getting it... It's a solid, good tasting beer, with lots of welcome bitterness to offset the myriad sweet flavors, but it's also a bit of a kitchen sink beer. Lots of nice but seemingly unrelated flavors rush past, then I'm left with my bowl of 9% ABV cereal. I don't really know what else to say about it.

Mouthfeel: Full side of medium bodied. Moderate carbonation. Simultaneously sugary and dry finish that works very well with the flavor.

Overall: I enjoyed this beer, but the cereal flavor was ultimately too dominant, and beyond that, I drank a full 12oz of it and am still not really sure what the hell it was.

Photo of bnes09
4.23/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark mahogany ale. Nice transparent ruby color when held to light. Big egg-shell colored head forms which seems to last forever. Head leaves some lace patches also.

Rich and complex malt aroma. Mostly caramel and nuts come to mind. Pine cones and an alcohol spice also hit the nostrils.

Malt character is sweet overall with dark fruit and caramel flavors. Also a hint of golden brown toast. Roasted nuts. Assertive hop bitterness of pine and fresh grass. Alcohol is there but does not dominate the flavor. Overall, very smooth and satisfying.

Feel is fairly thick and chewy. Plenty of bubbles bring the flavors together. Somewhat drying.

Its a pretty solid brew. Different for sure. Very flavorful and complex.

Photo of gopens44
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark ruby red and mostly clear with a decent creme colored foam head

S - Sweet with a hint of grapes followed up by toasted malts and a smattering of hops

T - Bitter as hell with a nice hop presence followed up by a sweet malty flavor.

M - Really creamy and full bodied. Dry with low to medium carbonation and just a bit of bitter aftertaste.

O - Not too shabby, but it could be a little better balanced.

Photo of TheHoppiest
4.41/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a squat 12 oz bottle into an oversized snifter. I've only ever had this at beer tastings, somI am looking forward to having a chance to sit down with this beer for a few minutes.

Pours a beautiful mahogany, with flashes of ruby as the beer is swirled in the glass. The head is minimal, like swirling wisps of smoke above a garnet lake.

Has a fruity, yeasty smell, with notes of dried apricot, grapes, and candied cherries. The yeastiness is rather pronounced, overlaying a sweet malt.

Yeasty and malty, as you'd expect from a strong ale. Caramel and toffee, figs toasted in butter and brown sugar, and hints of tannic fruit combine for a warm, slick brew.

Full bodied, this is a definite sipper with not much bitterness to finish it off.

As with most beers Lagunitas makes, this brew reflects a lot of hard work and thought, along with quality ingredients, resulting in a tasty and enjoyable beer I'd gladly drink again.

Photo of goldbot
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark amber/mahogany. Thin, off-white head that dissipates quickly but leaves some lacing. Rich malt aroma - plenty of dark fruit/raisin, caramel, chocolate. Some resinous hop presence. Tons of malt flavor - rich, sweet chocolate, raisin, caramel. Good hop bitterness to balance it well. Full body and a thick and creamy mouthfeel. A very well balanced, malty strong ale.

Photo of spree92
4.02/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served at Bottlescrew Bills in Calgary.

A- Thick brown with a small off white head.

S- Dried fruit and alcohol. Heavy malts and really sweet.

T- Alcohol is hidden well. Heavy in the stomach. Sweet on the tongue.

M- Dry, sticky.

O- A really good beer from a really good brewery.

Photo of richkrull
4.38/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one poured a very dark amber almost brownish color with some big beige head and good lacing on it. Smells like heavy malt with a bit of alcohol coming through, not bad though. Taste is rich roasted malt and molasses. Not much alcohol taste coming through which is good. This is on the high end of a medium mouthfeel. It's a little thicker beer but it goes down smooth. I definitely liked this beer and will look for it again. For being 9% alcohol, it tastes great and goes down very easy.

Photo of BeerBuckeye
3.26/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a reddish mahogany color with a 1 finger off white head that dissipates quickly.

S - Sensing a lot of maltyness in this beer with some dark fruits and berries, some syrupy molasses.

T - Interesting flavors working around here. The most upfront taste was molasses mixed with perhaps some raisins, not unlike a cinnamon raisin bagel. Some bitterness pulls through to balance out that heavy sweetness.

M - Almost the consistency of light syrup, not as thick as regular syrup, but still some consistency that coats the mouth. Can feel just a little bit of burn from the alcohol.

Overall - A decent brew. I couldn't get passed that feeling that what I was drinking was just syrup with alcohol, almost the consistency of a cough medicine. I didn't think it was really that bad in the taste, and I think the hops bitterness really saved this beer from become a syrup bomb.

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Hairy Eyeball Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 2,363 ratings.