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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

1,968 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,968
Reviews: 847
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 11.75%
Wants: 36
Gots: 121 | 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: 1,968 | Reviews: 847 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ruckzuck
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

ruckzuck, Feb 04, 2008
Photo of alexgash
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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!

alexgash, Feb 04, 2008
Photo of paulthebeerguru
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

paulthebeerguru, Feb 03, 2008
Photo of Drew966
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Drew966, Feb 03, 2008
Photo of IPAcraig
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

IPAcraig, Jan 31, 2008
Photo of NitroGen
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

NitroGen, Jan 27, 2008
Photo of dsa7783
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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...

dsa7783, Jan 27, 2008
Photo of AgingWarrior
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

AgingWarrior, Jan 24, 2008
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

JoeyBeerBelly, Jan 21, 2008
Photo of beerthulhu
3.35/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

beerthulhu, Jan 20, 2008
Photo of NJpadreFan
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

NJpadreFan, Jan 19, 2008
Photo of hopsleeroy
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

hopsleeroy, Jan 19, 2008
Photo of bobsy
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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.

bobsy, Jan 13, 2008
Photo of Murchmac
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

Murchmac, Jan 12, 2008
Photo of Slynger
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

Slynger, Jan 09, 2008
Photo of largadeer
2.85/5  rDev -25.6%
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.

largadeer, Jan 09, 2008
Photo of SiphonKing
3.38/5  rDev -11.7%
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.

SiphonKing, Jan 07, 2008
Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

RblWthACoz, Dec 30, 2007
Photo of mmmbeer
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
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.

mmmbeer, Dec 06, 2007
Photo of Dogbrick
4/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

Dogbrick, Oct 05, 2007
Photo of Wasatch
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

Wasatch, Oct 05, 2007
Photo of funkengruven
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

funkengruven, Oct 01, 2007
Photo of Floydster
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
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

Floydster, Sep 07, 2007
Photo of Chuggnutt
3.33/5  rDev -13.1%
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.

Chuggnutt, Aug 23, 2007
Photo of cokes
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

cokes, Aug 13, 2007
Hairy Eyeball Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,968 ratings.