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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

1,905 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,905
Reviews: 844
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 11.78%
Wants: 34
Gots: 102 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-12-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,905 | Reviews: 844 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Murchmac


3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I swear this beer used to be better back in the day. A couple two three years ago this beer was an unbelievable mix of molten malt and hoppy hops. Although still a good beer, this is not the great beer it once was. Lagunitas is losing some ground in my eyes. They still do some stuff extremely well.

Smells a lot like a less powerful gnarleywine.

Taste is sloppy malts, alcohol, hops. Not like manwich sloppy, like lunch lady land sloppy joe.

Mouthfeel ok.

Decent beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2008 02:48:58 | More by Murchmac
Photo of Slynger


4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark, clear, crimson-brown color into my glass. The head is thick and beige, and settles to leave sticky lace around my glass.
The smell is sweet caramel malts and dark fruits. Cherries, red grapes, and pineapple with bourbon.
The taste is sweet of the above with a good amount of darkly roasted malts. Earthy, fresh dirt, bitterness lingers with alcohol on my tongue after this one goes down. Lightly sharp, but with a full and softly creamy mouthfeel.
I enjoyed this beer a lot. It may not seem like it with a description like "fresh dirt," but it fits into the flavor profile nicely. Plus, it's my observation not yours. Give this one a shot, and it will not disappoint.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2008 04:55:54 | More by Slynger
Photo of largadeer


2.85/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance - Dark brown but not completely opaque. A strong pour provided very little head, but what does appear manages to last for a decent amount of time.

Smell - Toasted malt, caramel, roasted nuts. Faintly noticeable alcohol. The toast aroma really dominates everything here, but it's nice and appropriately wintry.

Taste/mouthfeel - Alcoholic sweetness mixed with toasty, roasty bitterness. Caramel-coated nuts. Full-bodied with fairly low carbonation. Hops come out a bit in the finish, but are rather subdued; they're used to accent the flavor rather than define it.

Notes - A decent beer, but I do have one problem with it: it's entirely too strong for its depth of flavor. If I'm drinking a 9% beer, I want it to be complex; something to savor and sip slowly. The simple, sessionable flavors of this beer don't work with its high ABV. Bigger is not always better, guys.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2008 01:45:55 | More by largadeer
Photo of SiphonKing


3.38/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A winter offering from the great state of CA. The Hairy Eyeball Ale pours into the glass with a deep burgandy body and a nice medium-bodied light head. A slight alcoholic taste with a balance of piney hops finishes the palate. An interesting interpretation of a winter beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2008 01:30:32 | More by SiphonKing
Photo of RblWthACoz


4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark ruby with a tan head. Nose is heavy with hops and a slight touch of alcohol...though not much. Flavor is heavily influenced by hops, but the alcohol seems to mute it a bit. And if my naiveté is skewing my judgment, the hops are definitely reigned in after being allowed to run out in the open for two seconds. In the overall sense, it is a good flavor pattern. Feel is a bit thin. Doesn’t seem to be a lot of carbonation on it. Overall it is a good brew. For a limited release though, I can’t say I consider it anything special. Just another hoppy release that is still good to try.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2007 22:20:14 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of mmmbeer


4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. stubby bottle; 56.7 IBUs. It pours a mildly-hazed (unfiltered?) deep crimson, with medium carbonation and an inch of light yellow/brown head that leaves some moderate lacing. Smells of dark, alcohol-soaked fruits, vinous, caramel and molasses malts, red berries, nuts, and maybe some sweet cookie batter. It has a pungent flavor of vinous malts, pecans, dark fruits, grains, caramel/molasses, and citric/piney hops that deliver a fairly high bitterness. The body is medium, oily smooth and drying, with medium carbonation and a fairly long finish. Overall a nice, comparatively smooth strong ale that would pair excellently with a slice of pecan pie.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2007 17:44:21 | More by mmmbeer
Photo of Dogbrick


4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a reddish-brown color with a thin off-white head that burns out fairly fast. Thin spotty lacing. The aroma is on the sweet side with malt and plums, along with a touch of alcohol. Rich and smooth body with a nice toasted malt flavor, along with warming alcohol and dark fruit flavors. Some hops are in there but it could have used a bit more. The finish is sweet and toasty with a lingering malt aftertaste. Above average overall.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2007 19:40:39 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of Wasatch


3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to unclejedi for this brew.

Pours a dark mahongany color, nice carbonation, nice small fizzy creamy off-white head, some tiny islands left behind. The nose is malty, slighty hoppy, sweet, cherries, and caramel. The taste is malty/hoppy, sweet, slightly bitter/sour, and a good dose of caramel. The alcohol is hidden very well in this brew. Medium body. Drinkable. this is another very tasty brew from Lagunitas. They keep pushing out some very nice brew's at a very reasonable price, way to go Lag. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2007 00:52:39 | More by Wasatch
Photo of funkengruven

Ontario (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This poured a very nice dark red leaving a tan head and quite a bit of lacing. Smell is very bold and rich, malts are the predominant feature in this brew. This is also very boldly stated in the taste, Bold, rich, a little oily, warms you up nicely. Aroma contains some hops there but malts definitely rule this brew. Mouthfeel is very thick, like a rich chocolate drink or something of the sort (in texture not flavor). It's thick, goes down heavy but tastes damn good.

I have yet to be let down by this brewer. Another fine offering by Lagunitas.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2007 21:52:30 | More by funkengruven
Photo of Floydster


3.55/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle from Hit-Time Wine in Costa Mesa

Enjoyed it tonight while watching the Angel game

Dark brown with a white head and very malty

Some orange aroma came to the senses

This little guy was strong too, 9% and carried its weight very well

One of the better beers from Lagunitas

New bottle label and only a May release now

Recommend this sweet and malty beer with pasta

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2007 04:56:14 | More by Floydster
Photo of Chuggnutt


3.33/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Mahogany brown with some orange. Clear. Head is a nice tan with hints of orange.

Smell: Cloyingly sweet, warm malt. Hops are overwhelmed, but a bit fruity. Almost a flossy Belgian candy sugar.

Taste: Like an old ale—malty, bitter, dark but not burnt. Overlaying that is the sweet alcohol barleywine character and strong almost peppery hops.

Mouthfeel: Nice, thick chewy body. Warming from the alcohol.

Overall: This packs a punch for sure. Not the best I've had from Lagunitas, but not bad by a long shot, either.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2007 18:35:17 | More by Chuggnutt
Photo of cokes


4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark crimson brown with a moderate beige froth that ebbs to a collar.
Molasses, raisin, and brandy are foremost, aroma-wise, and are brawny to the point of exclusivity. But tracers of roastedness, black cherries, cinnamon, and spruce are noted in smaller quantities.
Inside the mouth, dark fruit is boss. All prune, cherry, fig, and currant. Caramelized with brown sugar and drenched in molasses. A twinge of roasted grain precedes a vanilla-, cinnamon-, and mace-spiced moment. Hops rear up with towering coniferous flora exclaiming dry pine needles, and wetter notions of spruce. Brandy notions boom forth at the close, with a resurgence of sweet, grapey, cherry-vanilla-wood fortified vinousness.
Heavy in feel, but not cloying or ungainly. The carbonation is minimal, but enough to spark this towards something quite potable.
This is a nice Christmas-y barleywine-y thing. Even in August.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2007 08:25:56 | More by cokes
Photo of alexatlatx


3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I loved this beer...6 months ago. I should have sipped it then. I ahve recently learned from experience, that saving Lagunitas beers longer than 6 months yields poor results.

Regardless, I still love this beer. It pours a very dark amber, slightly translucent, with little to no head. The aroma consists of raisins and chocolate, with a slight dead-hop (likely because of its age).

The old age gives the "well i should have had this 4 months ago" cardboard flavor. But it also has a great light barley flavor.

I feel bad for not drinking these Lagunitas beers sooner (brown sugar, undercover, hairy eyeball). Some say that aging beer is a crap shoot. I am now hapy to know that i should just drink Lagunitas beers rather than saving them. Fresh Laugnitas beers are amazingly hopped, so i should just focus on the fresh ones.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2007 07:28:26 | More by alexatlatx
Photo of

4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle

Clear, copper in color. Modest, ivory colored head. No lacing.

Malty and sweet aroma. Burnt/carmelized sugar. Almost port like in aroma (just poured a glass for my wife, so top of mind). Grassy.

Taste gives me sweet, dark fruits. Toffee. Well balanced by hops, big pine flavor. Could turn down the hops just a touch to make it easier to make out the other flavors. Touch of coffee and/or roat flavors. Alcohol.

Medium + body. Low carbonation. Pretty dry. ABV starts to heat you up pretty well about half way through the beer.

Pretty good. When I was drinking it, my guess (correct it turns out) was that it was a strong ale. Reminds me somewhat of Arrogant Bastard. Very complex.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2007 17:35:21 | More by
Photo of beerphan


3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz stubbie -> mini brandy snifter
no date
9% abv

Pours a shade deeper than clear cherry cola red. With smallish film for a head that leaves a ring of suds around the glass. Dotted gobs of lace. Carbonation is slow and steady.

Nose: Caramel malts, sherry

Good thick drying mouth on this one. Awesome maltiness, with smooth caramel all over. Finishes with a nice bitterness that lingers in the back of the mouth, though not providing much flavor. Slightly warming from the alcohol, but hidden well.

Well worth a try. I gonna let my other one sit for awhile and compare.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2007 22:47:03 | More by beerphan
Photo of kmpitz2


3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz stubbie. This one is a fantastically deep amber color with crystal brilliance. There is minimal head that stays around as a light patch hovering over the brew. I'm not seeing any bubbles working out of solution in this one. The aroms is full of incredibly deep caramel sweetness, with a strong pine resin hop and a potent alcohol spiceyness added in. Everything about the aroma is big. The flavor brings a strong bready character that moves to a caramel-soaked resinous pine hop. The hop moves from a peppery sensation after swallowing the brew to a fairly strong bitter bite on the sides of my tongue. The bready character of this one is really strong throughout the drink. Mouthfeel is moderate with a very mild carbonation. This one actually feels like it is pulling moisture out of my salivary glands by drying the lateral portion of hte back of my tongue and under my tongue. Interesting feeling. I find that I really have to slow down on this one from the strength of the bready flavor and the hop along with the drying feeling I am getting. It is nice, but this is one that needs time to dissect.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2007 04:01:11 | More by kmpitz2
Photo of doubleipa


4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very little head with a clear brown color. Lots of different aromas: heaby malt, bread, taosted, burnt, dates, oak. Nice oak and a little smoky taste.I hint of pine and citrus, but not muuch. Didn't really taste of feel the alcohol. Decent level of carbonation. Will want to taste this again in a year or so.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2007 18:32:25 | More by doubleipa
Photo of mdm46410


3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a deep brown that shows some ruby highlights under light. Almost no head or lacing to speak of. The aroma consists of a lot of caramel, some sweet and roasted malts, and a touch of hops. Very sweet, rich aroma. As for the flavor, it has quite a bit of sweetness like the aroma suggests. You can taste very sweet caramel, fruits, and a bit of alcohol that is followed by a quick hoppy bite at the end. Very similar to a barley wine. The sweetness tends to overwhelm the other flavors towards the bottom of the glass. The mouthfeel is thick and oily with little to no carbonation. Definately a full-bodied beer. I enjoyed this beer, but wouldn’t mind the sweetness being toned down a bit, or balanced out by a few more hops.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2007 22:37:11 | More by mdm46410
Photo of Tyrawlings


3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap and poured into a pint glass.

A: Deep mahogany in color with ruby hues. Creamy tan head poured one finger thick. Decent retention. Sticky lacing clings to the sides of the glass.

S: Toasted malts. Citrus and pine hops. Dark fruit. Brown sugar. Raw earth and warm alcohol.

T: Sweet toasted malts and brown sugar cane are followed by the tastes of dark fruit and raw, wet leaf. Citrus and pine hops leave a nice bitter bite on the tongue. Soft hints of grapefruit are followed by an earthy flavor and warming alcohol.

M: Smooth and slightly slick. Medium carbonation. Warm and dry.

D: Alot of different flavors come through in this brew. Overall balance loses out to the abundence of hops. Higher alcohol content is well hidden. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2007 15:55:42 | More by Tyrawlings
Photo of Westsidethreat


3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2006 vintage

A: Pours a hazy looking raw sienna color with a standard sized roasted marshmallow colored head. Overall, the body seems quite calm with minimal activity.

S: Strong malty aroma with loads of toffee, raisin, vanilla, burnt caramel and earthy hops.

T: Begins bitter right off the bat across the tip of the tongue. Sweet and malty flavors of the likes of brown sugar, old apple and dark honey accompany the bitterness. Mineral flavors come next while the bitterness and sugary sweetness wallow together. Finishes with more dark honey flavors, bit of dried cocoa and really light citrus. As it warms the alcohol becomes much more apparent.

M: Medium body with a somewhat syrupy mouthfeel.

D: This beer smelled better than it tasted. Fairly unimpressed with this beer as I’ve tasted many like it.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2007 04:36:17 | More by Westsidethreat
Photo of Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to aprilluvsbeer for sending this my way for BC2!

Pours a clear dark brown/red, medium tan head forms, settles to a thin layer and ring, some lace spots, decent retention. Smell is sweet, very malty, toffee and grains, figs/raisin, citrus, some iron, not bad. Taste is nice and malty as well, toffee and raisins, iron, dark fruits, grains, nice balance, almost old ale like. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation. Some heat going down. Nice strong ale to drink, one of the better Lagunitas I've had. Thanks April!

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2007 16:26:48 | More by Viggo
Photo of penguinjive7

New York

4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark mahogany with a a decent head and lacing. Smells of spices and dark malts. Taste is of dark malt immediately countered by a spiciness that mixes very nicely with the alcohol. A hint of hop bitterness nicely balances the brew. The feel is a bit strong on the tongue with the carbonation, but not overbearing.
A nice, well-balanced brew. I have had this in the past and it is even better than I remember it.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2007 15:50:15 | More by penguinjive7
Photo of cktison


4.13/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Brick Store Pub, "Lagunitas Hairy Eyeball 2005 Strong Ale - exclusive at BSP"

A: A dark, shadowy brown with a beautiful, creamy 3/4" head of tight bubbles. Almost no loss of head over time, beautiful lacing.

S: Cinnamon apples, sweet and sugary, smells very much like the holidays or poutporri with fall smells. very interesting, very complex.

T: Sweet and malty with a nice fruity sourness to finish it from citrusy hops.

M: Creamy, deep, nice carbonation and good clean finish - very dry.

D: This is a very interesting strong ale, different flavors and smells each sip - I would have loved to have a new one to compare the 2005 version too.

Serving type: on-tap

05-17-2007 12:38:58 | More by cktison
Photo of Suds


3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This brew is a deep and shadowy brown, with just a slight crimson shade. It presents a thin but steady tan-colored head and a respectable trail of lace. The aroma is pleasant: a mix of malt, sugar, figs, and some ethanol. Beneath the first layers of smell, there's a little grapefruity hops. Not bad. The taste is sweet (a bit sticky), with a good dose of bitterness. You can easily taste the alcohol in this one, as well as some toasted malt. The malt flavor is a consistent theme through the brew, but it's not as complex as it could be. It's pretty full in body, and modestly carbonated. Worthy of a try, but there are a lot of strong ales out there that a

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2007 17:50:53 | More by Suds
Photo of TexIndy


2.58/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 650ml bottle with no dates into a pint glass. Was bascially black unless held to a light then it was a dark mahogany. Had a decent head to settled to a constant collar with very good lacing. The smell for me was awful. It had a rotting plum smell with a medicinal alcohol smell in the background. The taste was just as bad. I can see where some may like this but this ended up a drain pour for me. Very bitter with a bad aftertaste. Don't recommend unless you are a big fan of the sytle. (2, NA, ML, N)

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2007 22:41:58 | More by TexIndy
Hairy Eyeball Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,905 ratings.