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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

2,092 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,092
Reviews: 858
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 12.01%
Wants: 47
Gots: 147 | 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: 2,092 | Reviews: 858 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Frosty80
3.35/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color: clear, dark amber

Smell: not very fragrant. maybe some dark fruit and malty sweetness with a little bit of alcohol

Taste: id say dominated by bitterness and alcohol, though that might give the wrong impression. there is a little bit of malty sweetness and dark fruit, but the alcohol and bitterness is more up front

Mouthfeel: medium body. low carbonation. smooth

Notes: just like Lagunitas - not a lot of anything here. its like they are too afraid of putting too much flavor in their beers. further evidence that lagunitas is overrated

Photo of mattster
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

At a friend's house, 12 ounce bottle poured into standard hi-ball glass.

Pours a nice foamy head of 1" atop a translucent dark reddish-brown brew.

Smell is of dark malts - Slightly sweet smelling and taste is a little sweet, but nice dark roast notes coffee and light hints of chocolate. Very well balanced with only a tough of bitterness from hops. Really nice carbonation and I never would have guess the ABV had I not read it on the bottle. No burn, very smooth. I could have a nice little session with this gremlin.

All and all, a superb brew. Thanks Scott.

Photo of supercolter
2.78/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I will be very honest, I did not really enjoy this beer. Appearance is good, nice deep brown color with a little head and no lacing. Smell is okay with lots of dried dark fruit right up front, a bit of hops and way too much alcohol for 8.80% in my opinion. Taste is more of the same but something doesn't mix well here. It goes sour and not in a good way. Mouthfeel is decent, slightly above medium body. Drinkability is not that good.

Photo of Buebie
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Picked up today at Zipp's.

Poured from a 12oz brown stubby into a snifter.
Dark in color with a ruby violet transparent glow when held to light. Carbonation is just under a finger of tan, cola like head.
Fizzles down quickly to no retention. Lace is thin and streaky, most of which receeds back into the beer.

Aroma is very fruit forward with a welchs red grape kind of saturated, sweet juice concentrate aroma. Some malts and a touch of cereal grains with a grassy dry hay like aroma. Just a mild touch of solvent at the knose, and by mild I literally mean it.

Very laid back carbonation becoming increasingly smooth with a creamy texture. Terrificly smooth mouthfeel with just a touch of slickness.
Upfront its a bit too sweet with a kind of robotusen cough syrup flavor. Turning a bit sour in a sourish cherry flavor. Hints of oak and more welches juice concentrate.

The flavors are a bit rough, but the mouthfeel is fantastic. I believe a little age on this would do it alot of good. So lets see what 6 months gives us.

Photo of optiontwo
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. poured into generic pint glass

Appearance: Dark ruby red with almost a purplish hue to it. One and a half inch frothy head conjured up from a semi-vigorous pour. Great lacing.

Smell: Definitely not what I was expecting the first thing I smell is grape juice. Sweet, almost artificial smelling, fruits (plum, fig, blueberry) mix together with caramel scent. Mmmm.

Taste: Hmmm. It's hard to put my finger on some of these flavors but I'll give it a shot. Subtle blueberry and grape come through right away followed by sweet caramel flavor and it finishes with a nice resinous hop flavor and bites properly. Unfortunately, it has a slight metallic aftertaste which is not overwhelming but distracting.

Mouthfeel: Kind of thick but not bad.

Drinkability: Alcohol is hidden pretty well, I wouldn't guess that this beer is 8.8% ABV but it leans toward the syrupy side so I don't know how many I'd like in a sitting.

Overall: All in all this is a good, unique brew. The flavors blend together almost a little too much and it becomes somewhat muddled, that and it has the slight metallic aftertaste. Otherwise this is another solid effort from Lagunitas.

Photo of SLeffler27
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This plum red beer puts up a decent beige froth that drops to a strong ring of thin lace while a film clings to the tulip glass. A notable, iridescent glow emanates when put to light.

This beer fills the room with sweet, malty wheat bread and molasses followed by notes of spruce. Some fumes of alcohol present when the glass is raised.

Flavors closely follow the aroma, as this beer starts bitter but warms to a sweet acidic brew and is surprisingly well balanced.

A full, creamy body with lively carbonation and light astringency.

This is a great companion for any meal or just for its own sake. The nice complexity makes this a fit also for contemplation or conversation.

Date consumed: 7 September 2008

Photo of roadhouse
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

Appears reddish brown, somewhat hazy, with a three-quarter inch cream colored head that sinks to a film and leaves a small amount of lacing.

Aroma is very raisiny and sweet with a candied fruit thing going on. Quite good but there's a syrupy quality to it that goes a bit too far.

Taste is again raisiny with candied fruit flavors. There's a decent citrusy hop bitterness to offset the sweetness that I was expecting. The only downside is just how one dimensional it is. It starts the same and finishes the same.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, pretty creamy, and smooth.

This wasn't a bad beer but it just seemed really boring to me. I wouldn't seek it out.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark reddish-brown body with a small, thinning, white head.

Smell: A scent of freshly opened boxes of raisins overlaying a light, earthy maltiness and notes of sherry and roast.

Taste: Moderately sweet, earthy maltiness with just a slight roastiness. Prominent raisin fruitiness. Light sherry, some spices, and even a dash of coffee. Medium-light bitterness. Hint of alcohol on the drying, lightly astringent finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-low carbonation.

Drinkability: A bit too sweet and a bit too coarse, though it fits the name.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, I assuming this bottle is around a year old,

A: Pours a dark maroon into a goblet. Soft, light cap of off-white foam, soapy lacing around the perimeter of glass.

S: Great smell of aged caramel malt. Heavy on the dark fruit, hard candy.

T: Similar to the smell, but not as sweet as the nose would imply. Strong hop presence of bark and pine. Malt is sweet and syrupy, with a good amount of residual sugar in it. Dried fruit - especially raisin form a major component of brew.

M: Relatively light for the flavours it's carrying, but still has a solid backbone. Light carbonation, not the smoothest going down. Has some thin notes.

D: A solid sipper hybrid of styles I have here. Not blowing me away, but nice enough and good to drink. A solid brew from Lagunitas.

Photo of magictrokini
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours clear mahogany with a small tan head. Nice lacing. Aroma is malts, malts, and some fruits. Taste is more of the same, but with a handful of hops thrown in. The alcohol is more prevalent when the beer warms. A strong ale that could pass as a lighter barleywine.

Photo of corby112
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at St. sStephen's Green in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia.

Pours a dark chestnut brown color with a thin off-white head. Pleasant aroma of dark fruit, maltiness, caramel and spice. Flavor very similar to aroma with strong malty presence as well as some fig, cinnamon and brown sugar notes.

Photo of ProfessorHops
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Name Known by. The Hairy Eyeball

Brewer's name. Lagunitas

Country. USA

Advertised style. Ale
5 out of 5 (way to go!)* * * * *
Aroma- Plums & fresh fruit... Very nice!!!
Pallet- Strong sharp start. This was cool. Interesting quality of a sour taste with the bitter combined. Maple and wood which are adjectives I use way to much.
Finish- Very long bitter hop. Wood in back.
Guzzle- Drinks hard fast on the first gulp. But when drank slowly Tis' fine brew.
Texture- Feels like orange juice.
Appearance- Handsome and beautiful. But not extraordinary. A very clean pour.
The beer had a very sharp start. Which I found delicious. I loved this ale.

It's been a while since I've had a contemporary robust ale. Ya, last night I had The Beast Grand cru, which is not at all contemporary.

I did notice after drinking that the alcohol volume was 9.0. Whitch is a little high. But not insane.

Again I loved the ale. It was different in many ways. And complex.

There was the sourness combined with the bitter which was unique. Sent my tongue on a voyage. Whitch is always a treat.

So all and all the Strong start, and sour bitter communion was a strong factor in my liking of this brew. A complex long finish was a great gift to the experience as well.


Photo of roblowther
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Looks cloudy, no, murky, brown with no head and a certain mystery to it that I kind of like. It smells malty, woody, burnt caramel-ie, and other "ieS". Taste is like cola, with a crisp note that cuts through the sweet that dominates it. Surprisingly balanced & maybe attributable to the hops that accompany an "American"... style definitions. Hops definitely come on in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is sticky & full-bodied. Good for the cold days they don't have in California. Drinkability is not bad, but this is a challenging beer & one I don't think I could put down a lot of. Not a knock on the beer at all, its just that if you're drinking a few, you don't always want to work that hard.

Photo of zeff80
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a cloudy, burgandy color with a thin, bubbly, off-white head. No lace.

S - It smelled of molasses, caramel, dried fruits. Some floral and grassy notes.

T - It tasted a little boozy with a powerful, malty caramel taste. There were dried cherry and plum flavors, too.

M - It was soft, smooth and chewy. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a nice strong ale. Fairly easy-drinking despite the powerful ABV.

Photo of jdhilt
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a three finger cream head that fades slowly to a thin layer, leaving some lace. Deep mahogany color. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Molasses nose. Flavor is sweet/roasted molasses some bitterness at finish. Higher ABV hidden and the high IBU (96.7) is not in your face. $1.67 for a 12oz bottle from Manchester Wine and Liquors Manchester, CT.

Photo of BWMKappaSig
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, aged 6 months, served in a tulip glass.

Appearance: Off-white head on a mahogany body.

Smell: Sweet caramel malt and roasted notes dominate the nose. A little fruit is present; barely any hops.

Taste: A slightly astringent alcohol taste is present along with a roasted maltiness that sweetens as it warms. This is reminiscent of fruitcake, but not necessarily in a bad way.

Mouthfeel: Thick, but with a very apparent alcohol note.

Drinkability: Hangover in a bottle if not enjoyed in moderation. The alcohol taste is immediately apparent, if not slightly dominating. Enjoyable but drink with caution.

*Edit - 08/10/09 - Edit*
After another 11 months, I tried another from the same six pack. The alcohol has mellowed considerably and a fruity complexity is far more apparent. The comparison to a fruitcake still stands and sweet dark fruits are more evident in the nose.

Photo of changeup45
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The name is funny. There is nothing funny about the beer. Pours a deep amber color topped with a thin head. Aroma is quite sugary and alcoholic with plums and maybe some figs. The flavor consists of toasted malts, a rush of alcohol and sugars along with some dark fruit character; plums, figs and molasses. A real solid sipper while being easy to drink.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, dark fruits and some hops.

T: The taste is sweet, very malty and kind of buttery up front with flavors of dark fruit and caramel. There's a mild but complimentary hops presence that provides a nice balance. The 8.80% ABV is nearly undetectable. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down dangerously easily, not too filling, deceptively strong kick, this is a very good beer to drink for a while if you want to try pounding a stronger beer.

Photo of argock
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a 10oz goblet.

A: Very dark caramel in color with a thin cap of light tan head with the sides of the glass stippled with spots of lace.

S: The smell requires some warming but is very good including pineapple, dark fruits, brown sugar, maple, and light cinnamon and clove with the faintest trace of alcohol.

T: Exceptional flavor that grows in sweetness and maltiness with warming. Delicious dark fruit flavors lead with sweet maple and brown sugar coming in the middle followed by a fairly crisp herbal hops spiciness. There is a lot of yeast flavor as well and a very pleasant warming alcohol flavor in the finish.

M: Very creamy and rich with smoothness that usually is trampled by alcohol vapors in many second-rate strong ales. Sweet dark fruit and malt aftertaste with a pretty dry finish.

D: An excellent strong ale that stands up to the best in this style. Lagunitas brews definitely deserve more attention! This is a fine beer.

Photo of toolbrew
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle - says 9% ABV, OG 1.090, IBU-56.7.

A deep clear mahogany color. Small off-white head that stays well. Some lacing.

Granny smith apple-esque smell with some malt aromas.

Some licorice taste and a little alcohol burn. Has a sweet taste.

Goes down well with a slight alcohol burn in the throat. Full bodied.

A beer that would be excellent in autumn or early winter. Great session beer.

Photo of lackenhauser
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep, deep chestnut color. Nice malty aroma with a heavy hand of hops thrown in for good measure. Solid malty flavor up front. Treacle and caramel flavors. Strong hop presence. Somewhat syrupy sweet. Lingering bitterness and a slight dryness as the sweetness fades. Good solid body-very full. I get a lot of strong ales of this abv with an alcohol burn present-none here. Good solid effort form a great brewery. Not over the top like some US strongs.

Photo of Goliath
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown, appears ruby in the light. A large inch and a half of light tan head forms on top. Nice retention and a bit of lacing.

Aroma is nice. A subdued citrus hoppiness, with some sweet caramel. Also some pine and grain.

Taste is pretty nice. A subtle citrus hop note followed by a good maltiness. Strong hints of grain, caramel, and pine.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with plenty of carbonation.

Drinkability is fairly high. Alcohol is moderate, and flavor is good making for a nice and easily consumed beer.

Photo of CrellMoset
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Wine Warehouse in Charlottesville, VA. Poured into a traditional American pint glass.

Appearance: A surprisingly clear but deep brown-bodied beer with garnet highlights. Very fine and active carbonation in this one. A slightly off-white head fades slowly and leaves thick, solid sheets of lacing.

Aroma: Thick swaths of highly roasted malts - brown sugar, molasses particularly - and dark, fruity esters - cherries, figs. A few spices - light and airy, hints of cinnamon?

Taste: Hmmmm. A very subtle mouth. Sweet, with light brown sugar being the predominant malt note. More tart fruit notes than in the nose - citrus, cherry, and a few darker, reduced notes. The malt that is there is balanced well by a spicy bitterness - perhaps the origin of the citrus.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and fairly thick, with a fairly even and fine-bubbled feel. Finishes smooth but thick.

Drinkability: Much less malty than the other Lagunitas strong ale that's commonly available (the Brown Shugga'), and a little more up my alley - more complex, more subtle. That being said, the abv% is still up there, so be careful. Interesting, and I'd recommend giving it a shot at least once.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Secret Santa: Poured a deep dark brown color ale with an average foamy head with average retention and no lacing. Aroma of big caramel malt is quite imposing and dominating. Taste is also dominated by some heavy caramel malt with some notes of bitter hops. Lacking some floral or citrus notes with not as much hops as I was expecting considering the brewery. Full body with average carbonation and no discernable alcohol. This one was a bit of a surprise considering the lack of hops (yes there is a lot but not as much as I would expect from Lagunitas) but the malt was very efficient.

Photo of rye726
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Posiibly more of an American Barley than a Strong Ale.

Rich amber color with a foamy tan head.

The nose is sweet with some balancing hops. Alcohol is well hidden.

The taste is also on the sweet side with lots of residual sugars. The floral hops keep a good balance.

The body is full yet goes down well. This is a damn good brew whatever it is. Up there with Old Gnarly.

Hairy Eyeball Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 2,092 ratings.