1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Hairy Eyeball Ale - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hairy Eyeball AleHairy Eyeball Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,930 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,930
Reviews: 846
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 11.78%
Wants: 35
Gots: 108 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hairy Eyeball Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,930 | Reviews: 846 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of Dubbercody


3.43/5  rDev -10.2%

Bottle, 12 oz. glad this baby is not a bomber...I'd be toasty.

Light nose, some chocolate flavor comes out with a nice roast backbone. Somewhat creamy, nice brew. Glad I got to it while it's still nippy out at night.

Tasty beer, one I should have tried long ago, but kept passing up. Dammed if I'm not kicking myself now. Defiantly worth picking up the single, I'll have to get a sixer next time. Really really drinkable for a 9% beer.

02-13-2008 03:25:19 | More by Dubbercody
Photo of nortmand


3.7/5  rDev -3.1%

Pours red brown, with some white head.

Resinous hops dominate the aroma. Some caramel and a distinct alcohol presence.

Alot of hops. Tongue lashing. Sweet malts, alcohol. Pome fruits.
Decent bitterness.
Huge body, a little more balance/age would help.

02-13-2008 01:03:47 | More by nortmand
Photo of MrHungryMonkey


3.4/5  rDev -11%

Reddish copper color, good clarity, good head.

Big, maltly nose with herbal, fresh-smelling hops.

Thick, chewy malt greets me openly, pulls me in to find heavy roast tones and ample syrupy sweetness. Touches of hops blossom into splashes of full-on grassy/herbal/leafy/spicy/zesty hops. Bitterness grows too, and begins to throw the beer out of balance. The sweet malt begins tasting more like syrup and less like malt. Alcohol becomes increasingly more pronounced. Hints of vanilla.

Better than I would have thought based on my initial impressions from the bottle, but it could be better. I'd try it again.

02-12-2008 02:35:44 | More by MrHungryMonkey
Photo of DJRoswell


4.43/5  rDev +16%

OK. Now this is what I am talking about.

Color: Nice amber to gold.
Aroma: malty with hints of coffee and spice
Taste: HOMERUN!!! Big, full, just what I am looking for. On the first taste I wasn't sure because I had to get past the very nice malty flavor. But on the second taste all the flavors came together and made this very enjoyable.

"bartender, another round down here."

This is another great beer from Lagunitas.

02-10-2008 17:18:58 | More by DJRoswell
Photo of nrpellegrini


2.23/5  rDev -41.6%

Bottle boured to serving sample.

A: deep dark brown/ black, somewhat clear, very thin head
S: very hoppy, earthy
T: cough syrup, very hoppy, coffee/ caramel, smokey
M: very heavy/ thick, hoppy bite, awful aftertaste
D: tough

Im glad I didn't have more than the serving sample.
I felt like I was sick and my mom was forcing me to take the cough syrup

02-10-2008 02:17:05 | More by nrpellegrini
Photo of BMoney575


3.25/5  rDev -14.9%

Sampled on 2-8-08

Pours a clear, deep amber/red, with a thin head and no real lacing.

Smell is malty, with a thin boozy quality. Not bad, but very plain.

Taste is just like the smell. Almost English barleywine-like, very subtle, yet balanced, flavors. Some fruity hops, but mostly lots of alcohol character.

Mouthfeel is decent, maybe a little over carbonated.

Drinkability is ok, not much to get excited about.

Overall, more of a doppelbock than I was expecting. Good, but with not much to offer.

02-09-2008 02:19:14 | More by BMoney575
Photo of david131


3.28/5  rDev -14.1%

A- A crystal clear, very amber liquid. A tiny white head forms and leaves tiny splotches and a ring around the edge.

S- Some cinnamon and brown sugar. Sweet smelling, but overall pretty tame.

T- Some cinnamon, but not a lot going on. Kind of dull. The alcohol is very apparent.

M- A little thin for my tastes, could have used some more meat on its bones.

D- Decent. Doesn't blow me away. Kind of tame, but it sure gets the job done.

02-07-2008 04:40:58 | More by david131
Photo of NCSUdo


3.78/5  rDev -1%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle, from BeerRun12

A: Pours a clear ruby hued brown under a small white head. No retention, no lace.

S: Smells of light citrus hops, caramel, brown sugar and a hint of spice. A lot of good here but it is a little subdued.

T: Some caramel and citrus hops. A bitter alcohol finish. Slightly warming on the way down. Some sweet, chewy malt and slight hints of darker fruits. At times, this one seems unbalanced, but others it seems pretty good. Sometimes the alcohol and bitterness through it off, others the sweetness balances really well.

M: Medium to full bodied, nice carbonation. Drinkability is alright, the alcohol is really warm on this one and that hurts a little, but not much.

02-07-2008 00:52:24 | More by NCSUdo
Photo of MerkinMan


4.3/5  rDev +12.6%

Pours a nice dark ruby color with a lot of head. Caramel smell when bottle is first opened, and then fades.

Nice roasted caramel flavors reminiscent of a German Dopplebock.

Complex taste. The hops are not buried under the malt character.

Nice body, but not so heavy that I wouldn't drink 2-3.

02-04-2008 23:14:53 | More by MerkinMan
Photo of ruckzuck


4.03/5  rDev +5.5%

Bought on a whim on Friday since I tend to enjoy all things Lagunitas.

A - beautiful ruby color when held up to the light, very reddish brown as well when just sitting there, excellent beige head, thick and really lovely, although it dissipated after a few minutes

S - fruity, sweet malt, hoppiness comes through

T - some sweetness initially which gives way to a bitter fruit taste akin to grapefruit, bit of alcohol

M - medium body, really smooth

D - pretty nice; I look forward to having another, though I'm not sure how many I could drink in one sitting. The ~9% is keeping me warm this evening. Would recommend trying.

02-04-2008 02:38:17 | More by ruckzuck
Photo of alexgash


3.7/5  rDev -3.1%

12 oz. bottle at 9% abv. Served at cellar temp.

Dark garnet-brown body. Clear. Small, yet persistent, dirty light khaki head. Light roasted malt notes over fruit. Grapes and powdered sugar with hints of cocoa, and herbal hops. Interesting but a little understated.

Toasted malts and herbal hop bitterness up front. Grape, prune, and powdered sugar sweetness come on strong. Sting of herbal, slightly piny hop bitterness tempers the sweetness. Fruity, warming alcohol before a finish of herbal hop bitterness and tangy-sweet grape juice. Pretty tasty. Medium-bodied with a slightly over-carbonated feel. A little creaminess wouldn't hurt. Another decent American strong ale from Petaluma!

02-04-2008 01:23:59 | More by alexgash
Photo of paulthebeerguru


4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Poured into a straight pint. Pours a rich mahogany color that when held up to light turns an amber color. Strong head that dissipates at a moderate rate, that eventually leads to outstanding lacing. amazing sweet malty aroma that also has a light floral hoppy aroma. Smells strong alcohol-wise as well. a slight hint of prunes finishes it off. This beer is so complex flavor-wise. The malts are sweet off the bat and the hops just kick the palate in the ass for the finish. Mouthfeel is overwhelming with all the flavor. Not quite a session beer but three of these and I am ready to party. Thank you Lagunitas!

02-03-2008 20:46:34 | More by paulthebeerguru
Photo of Drew966


3.53/5  rDev -7.6%

Hairy Eyeball ale pours a dark copper from a brown twelve ounce bottle and displays quite a bit of ruby when held to the light. There is a thick ivory colored head. The aroma is malty and estery/fruity. The flavor is very fruity, and malty, not much hops, which only provide some bitterness. Alcohol is not really noticeable in the flavor as much as it is in how it's warming me. Not bad, worth a try.

02-03-2008 00:01:00 | More by Drew966
Photo of IPAcraig


4/5  rDev +4.7%

Poured this Am Strong Ale into my St. Bernardus chalice after bottling a homebrewed Am Strong Ale earlier.

It pours a dark ruby brown, with a slight (very) light brown head. Not much lacing.

This beer has a very clean aroma of citrus hops with some dried figs. Nice.

A sharp bitterness assaults the tongue upon the first sip. This reminds me of a barleywine with some darker malts thrown in; very similar to the Brown Shugga, with perhaps a bit more body. This beer has a wee bit of fruit and caramel to compliment the hops, which are the dominant flavor in this brew.

Another solid beer from Lagunitas. Nothing stellar or unique, but a fine beer nonetheless.

01-31-2008 00:43:01 | More by IPAcraig
Photo of NitroGen


4.13/5  rDev +8.1%

P: 12 oz. Brown squat bottle Alc. 9% by Vol.

A: Pours a bright brown mahogany with one finger light tan head that quickly settles with lots of carbonation raising in the Sam Adams glass .

S: Sweet malt, slight grains and feint alcohol.

T: Nice rush of sweet roasted malt, then slight bite of subtle hops and a mellow and smooth mix of sweet, hop and alcohol for the mouth and palate.

M: Well balanced from start to finish, although I poured this at 50 degrees I really enjoyed this more as it warmed as it became much more complex.

D: At 9.0% this one could get one in trouble by ignoring the label and going by taste alone. Will have another and then move on to another.

01-27-2008 21:50:44 | More by NitroGen
Photo of dsa7783

New Jersey

3.7/5  rDev -3.1%

Lagunitas IPA was a personal favorite, so I had high hopes for this strong ale which stands with a hefty 9% ABV... Copped a single 12 oz bottle from Gary's in Madison... pours a deep, dark, mahogany, brown hue with minimal tan head... smell is complete with roasted malts, brown sugars, and dark fruits... taste complemented the aroma with a prune, fig, date essence... strong malts, caramel, honey, and dark-cherry flavor... a strong, sit-back-down-and-enjoy type of brew, one of the better ones from Lagunitas... packs a punch... good mouthfeel, and average drinkability... wouldn't specifically run out and cop this one again, but it was still a solid brew... strong, rich flavors with dark overtones... a good depiction of the style... Worth a try...

01-27-2008 00:22:24 | More by dsa7783
Photo of AgingWarrior


3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

I picked this one up on a whim when visiting a liquor store with a friend. It was middle of the afternoon and they only had cold singles, so I had to drink it right out of the bottle.

The smell was sweet and mildly hoppy. The taste was light, crisp and mildly hopped. The high ABV in this brew definitely gave me a nice little mid afternoon buzz. That's what you get when you drink on an empty stomach.

Nice mouth feel on this brew and a good finish, too. I'll definitely be drinking this one again!

01-24-2008 02:01:25 | More by AgingWarrior
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly

New York

4.3/5  rDev +12.6%

12oz bottle, served in a pint glass.

look - clear, deep cherrywood color with a fluffy tan head that settled to a layer, leaving a whole lot of lacing on the glass.

smell - roasted malt and earthy/hop aroma.

taste - earthy flavor upfront followed by rich, roasted malty taste with a nice bitter bite on the finish, but then returns to a very sweet after taste. Burps are somewhat hoppy/earthy tasting.

feel - medium bodied with crisp, clean carbonation.

drink - this beer is almost 9% abv, which isn't detectable in the taste but it goes down very smooth and easy, so beware the hairy eyeball!

Final Note: don't drink this one too cold, slightly chilled brings out all the delicious flavors.

01-21-2008 03:57:36 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.35/5  rDev -12.3%

A: Poured a clear, deep ruby red with a thin, creamy dirty beige head.

S: On the nose was a light-moderated hoppiness of fresh pine, and a deep rich caramelized malting.

T: The initial flavor was bitter to start with dried grapefruit and pine hopping. The bitterness was sharp and pronounced in the beginning, but mellowing on the finish with a dry floral hoppiness of citrus with a touch of the 8.8% abv being noticed, but otherwise was pretty decently hidden.

M: The mouthful was light, almost watery at times with dry pungent grapefruit grind and pine coming through upon warming.

D: Overall typical lagunitas hopping and really nothing to get excited about. Some alcohol warming providing for a moderate good drinkability.

01-20-2008 16:41:37 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of NJpadreFan

New Jersey

3.53/5  rDev -7.6%

Lagunitas- Hairy Eyeball

A- Dark reddish brown with a thick sticky head.
S- Alcohol, charcoal/ bourbon, and dried fruits.
T- Dried cherries and molassess malt with a big dose of bourbon and toffee.
M- Thick with a boozy feel to it. Flavor seems to taper off as you get further into your pint.

Overall- Another good offering from Lagunitas.

01-19-2008 19:44:39 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of hopsleeroy

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Poured a very viscous amber with virtually no head on it. Had the look of a high alcohol barleywine. Smelled cherries, wood, and maybe a little nuttiness right off the bat. Was expecting that same flavor of cherries but it was lacking a little. Very woody and caramel flavor with little bit of a bourbon(very light) feel. Malty backbone came through for a good balance with a clittle bit of citrus hops. Mouthfeel was fairly slick and oily but not over the top. I enjoyed this beer and it certainly didn't feel like 9%. I enjoyed this beer and would drink it again but didn't think it was spectacular.

01-19-2008 03:56:33 | More by hopsleeroy
Photo of bobsy

Ontario (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Bottle from Volo in a tulip glass. Poured a deep ruby, with a small tan head. Aroma contains hops, caramel and a touch of alcohol. Flavour reminded me a lot of bourbon - the alcohol came to the fore, and there was a pleasant oakiness. I think the oakiness balanced off the sweetness of the malt somewhat. Mouthfeel is thick, making this one a sipper. Overall, I would have been happier if the alcohol was more muted, but it still made for a nice drink.

01-13-2008 04:17:24 | More by bobsy
Hairy Eyeball Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,930 ratings.