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.
BA SCORE
86
very good

1,907 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,907
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hairy Eyeball Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,907 | Reviews: 844 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of imblane
imblane

California

4.4/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle bought in December 04. The label on this one lists the ABV at 9%. Poured into my Nonic a deep, cloudy, ruby red with about one finger of head. Carbonation is almost zero, but the lacing on this is incredible. Smell is currants, plums, dark cherry and a hint of alcohol. Similiar to Double Bastard but less alcoholic. Taste is smoooth, a huge punch of sweet malt that is punched in the head by the 56.7 IBU's. The alcohol is well hidden in the taste and only manifests itself through the pleasing warming after it goes down. This beer is dangerously drinkable even at 9%. This has become my favorite offering from from Lagunitas. Here's Lookin' Atcha'!

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2005 04:08:08 | More by imblane
Photo of paterlodie
paterlodie

Belgium

4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No freshness date. Not much head, but there and dark brown and clear beer. Nose is lots of cramel and good hopnose( european) with roast. Next to that malty, peppery and dry. Taste is not as it is quiet sweet, carramellic and liqorice. Hops defenitly not forgotten but also good maltiness all together full malty and fine. Not that much carbonation but think stylelike so overal good mouthfeel too. Well balanced brew that i enjoyed and like to meet again someday.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2005 18:33:25 | More by paterlodie
Photo of goodbyeohio
goodbyeohio

Oregon

2.93/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz bottle

dark reddish amber and light bubbly foam, lots of carbonation rising through the top and disrupting the beer's white cap. smells of rich malts and sugary toasted hops. some brown sugar and light cherry. very bitter and strong, but finishes cleaner than expected with chocolate remnants on the tongue. body texture overall is a bit too light for the punch the flavor packs. increases drinkability, but lowers mouthfeel points for sure. abv is masked by the somewhat flavor-inhibiting hop bitterness which is probably a plus.. methinks this to be a mass-produced unfocused strong beer.. like a steel reserve for the beer advocate set.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2005 22:56:43 | More by goodbyeohio
Photo of Gagnonsux
Gagnonsux

Texas

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

The color is dark maroon with a ruby glow when viewed against a light source. The head is good-sized, somewhat creamy, and light brown. Aroma is of citrusy west coast hops with an underlying rich maltiness. The aroma is just a little subdued compared to what I expected. A sip starts with a tasty citrusy hop flavor with a nice bitterness. Then the rich malts kick in and give the beer a much more complex taste. There is a nice richness here, yet it never seems like it would stop you from drinking more than one bomber. This is definently a "bigger" beer that is deceptive in it's ease of drinkability. Totally recommended.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2005 00:52:58 | More by Gagnonsux
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Volo had 7.3% a.b.v. on their menu, but there was more of a 9% presence here. Brownish with a mocha head, significant head and lace, overflowing bottle a bit like Belgians do once the bottle was opened. Horrible aroma, fishy and like someone sweaty had drunk from this glass just prior. Not like to think about that. Pefectly served at Volo at just under room temperature and enjoyed on their deck. Smooth, creamy, refreshing, full mouthfeel. Hops came at you more and more, but carbonation was not overbearing rather drying. Spicy hop aftertaste.Had two years later, aroma quite passable and so an upgrade.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2005 13:32:00 | More by Sammy
Photo of Naerhu
Naerhu

Japan

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

a - Amber brown in color, amazing lacing, extremely tight head.
s - Lush barley aroma, fresh gingery hops.
t - Amazingly balanced. Lush malt, hoppy bitterness that supports the maltyness. Spicy and resiny.
m - Fine carbonation, light body, alcohol nicely integrated. Extremely smooth.
d - This is a great beer made dangerous by its lightness and freshness. The best Ive had from this brewery.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2005 16:35:57 | More by Naerhu
Photo of HardTarget
HardTarget

Texas

3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

03/06/05
overall: 3.9
appearance: 4
smell: 3.5
taste: 4
mouthfeel: 4
drinkability: 4

Aroma: Firm Hop aroma that reminds me of Bigfoot. As time passes, the aroma fades out to a more malt based, English aroma.
Appearance: Dark brown with slightly blood red ruby edges. Slightly off white head leaves wisps of lace.
Flavor: Dark, sweet, rich, all the classic barley wine characteristics. The flavor seems mild for a barley wine but maybe I’ve just had too many Bigfoots (Bigfeet? Bigfooties?) this season. The beer hides its alcohol well.
Mouthfeel: Medium/heavy body with a slow fading mouth coat.
Overall Impression: A nice English style barley wine that is quite enjoyable, if a bit mild. Nice rich malt and a strong kick, but no real craving for another. A good offering with good drinkability for a Barley Wine.

05/12/05
appearance: 4
smell: 4
taste: 3.5
mouthfeel: 4
drinkability: 4.5

Bottle Inspection: Aged bottle, about 1.5 years old. Has 8.8% abv, 56.66 IBU and O.G. of 1.090 listed on the label, along with some funny blurb.

Aroma: Rich malt base supports a heady hop assault, like a cross between Old Foghorn and Arrogant Bastard (why do I keep comparing this beer to others?). Pine hops and caramel malt both barely conceal an alcoholic aroma; this is going to have a kick.

Appearance: Raspberry red edges on a dark amber glass crowned by a tan creamy head the faded to a collar but laced nicely.

Flavor: Alcohol is a bit hot, but not bad. Dark fruit in the malt, and the hops are a bit more tame in the taste, but still strong and piney, with a hit of citric. The fruity plum/raisin malt compliments more than balances the citric/pine hop.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation (though the second pour was a bit fizzy) medium-heavy body with a thick texture, a slight hop pucker and a slowly fading coat combine to leave a very warming effect.

Overall Impression: Hardcore stuff. Makes for a good sipper. It’s like Lagunitas answer to Arrogant Bastard, and not a bad one. I can see buying more.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2005 23:10:23 | More by HardTarget
Photo of walleye
walleye

Michigan

3.28/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the bottle, poured deep red with off white head. aroma, dark fruits, malts, hops, sour raspberries, plums, alcohol, chocolate, raisins. flavor sweet choclate, malts, plums, raisins, when it warmed up the alcohol came out, a nice bitter finish. enjoyed this

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2005 01:16:05 | More by walleye
Photo of beersarang
beersarang

California

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

Pours a nice dark penny copper. Huge light tan head leaves some generous lacing down the sides of my grand pilsner glass.
Smells like sweet malts, molasses, toffee etc. All contained in a baked bread.

Enters the mouth with a vengence, delivering a complex and strong malt background with a moderate dosage of hops. Hop bitterness is very smooth and well rounded, alcohol character is subtle despite the 9%. Nice molasses finish.

Chewy hearty mouthfeel, medium carbonation.
Quite enjoyable, I had not even heard of lagunitas until tonight, and now I'm glad to be introduced to such a good brewing company.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2005 05:56:48 | More by beersarang
Photo of Pegasus
Pegasus

Texas

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

Appearance: Clear reddish broen color, with a small off-white head, modest streams of carbonation, lots of broken lacing.

Aroma: Prominent caramel aroma and mild hops, with a slightly buttery note.

Taste: Heavy toasted malt, lots of sweet caramel notes, and spices, finishes with a slight metallic hop note that lingers on long after the taste ends.

Mouth feel: Smooth and very full, with almost no sting of carbonation, very pleasing.

Drinkability/notes: A very pleasant and understated strong ale, not really suitable as a session beer due to the high alcohol content, but a very pleasant beer to share with friends. In this area (Central Texas), Lagunitas bombers, including this one, sell for $2.99 - $3.49. In my opinion, this is a very good value for the price paid.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2005 03:03:38 | More by Pegasus
Photo of Truh
Truh

New Hampshire

4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Spoke with animals like the Beastmaster with this one on 4/2/2005. 16-oz. Lagunitas glass pint pour at the [AC]PH.

Finger thick foam at start settles to a lightening film with some very nice lacing. Real mahogany brown hue, on the darker side, and quiet before the storm still ness to the whole affair. Real fungal hop presence on nose, with some fruity notes as well but on the whole the bouquet is quite sedate, which is surprising given the style. Real caramel shot up the nose on mouth, with a mix of crushed and smoke roasted walnuts, finishing with a hop vine of bitterness. As the pour warms, some slightly buttery aspects come to the fore. Like it a lot.

Serving type: on-tap

04-04-2005 20:55:21 | More by Truh
Photo of grapemaster
grapemaster

California

3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hello, what have we here? I said to myself as I poured out a deep auburn brew. I thin tan head caught my eye and said..."I am going to be a tasty beer" The smell was smooth and sweet, just like many other things that I love. The smoothness carried over fromt the smell to the taste, under the guidance of a sweet, somewhat carmel taste. It was strong and and bold and overall a nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2005 02:10:30 | More by grapemaster
Photo of santoslhalper
santoslhalper

Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearence: Pours a lovely dark ruby with a thin, beige head.

Smell: The smell is of sticky sweet malts a nice amount of hops that add a needed touch.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The first thing I taste is an incredible caramel flavor. Lucious and smooth, it's well rounded by the warming alcohol. The hop bitterness has a sharp bite at the end which is quite enjoyable. The whole way through this is a very sweet beer. The mouthfeel is thick and full.

Drinkability and Overall: This is another excellent beer from Lauginats. It's the second of theirs I've had (bother Barleywines), and while the Gnarlywine was a little better, this is still a kick ass brew. Full of flavor and complexity, yet incredibly smooth and well balanced. Thanks to my buddy GClakrage for yet another wonderful beer. This one is a keeper for sure.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2005 05:02:13 | More by santoslhalper
Photo of droomyster
droomyster

Virginia

3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark reddish brown, cloudy copper. Small brown head that recedes quickly but not completely, leaving an attractive skin of foam over the top, quick, lively carbonation. Strong smells of ripe cherries and molasses. Tastes of very sweet and chewy malts, a bit too sweet for my taste, and yummy nuts. Lovely mouthfeel of medium-heavy satin. Long sticky finish and hops that finally come out and express themselves as pine and black tea. Hints of milk chocolate emerge in the finish after it warms. The high alcohol in this brew is well hidden in the nose and mouth but definitely warms the gut. I'm rating the last bottle of a six pack; it took me the first five for this beer to grow on me because the sweetness was just too much, but now I find this beer pretty pleasant.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2005 00:30:59 | More by droomyster
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, crimson coloring, with a healthy tan head on top.
Aroma is rich and sweet, port-like, dark fruits, yeast, and spice. Heady.
Tastes...delicious! Huge flavor, dark fruits aplenty, cherries and grapes, berries and melons, lush and delightful....rich and tasty....zing, zing, zing, zoom, zoom, zoom...very tasty...9%? 'zat'all?
Full bodied, long, rich, fruity finish.
A really nice barelywine. Creamy, richly rewarding, just like a barleywine ought to be...big thumbs up from me.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2005 10:42:47 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of Quaffer
Quaffer

Nevada

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

Not available here in Wichita.

Appearance: A muddy, amber-brown beer with hints of red when a little light forced its way through the murkiness. A tan head less than a finger high rose up with a very rough pour. The foam disappeared quickly, but a coarse patch remained floating about on the surface for a long time. The lacing was sparse.

Smell: Thickly sweet caramel and toffee right after the pour. These remained, but were eventually joined by dark cherries and an odd milk aroma. Not that creamy smell that comes through in a lot of stouts and porters, but actually like a glass of milk that has been sitting out. It was odd, but it eventually faded. A little bit of wood and creamy chocolate rounded out the aroma.

Mouthfeel: A medium-body that thinned out a little as the beer moved back into the mouth. Kind of light for a barley wine. It was buttery on the tip of the tongue and remained smooth.

Taste: Roasted nuts and cherries kicked things off. Some sweet caramel rose up in the middle to smooth things out. The finish was lightly bitter with some alcohol coming through as well. The cherries rose up again in the aftertaste.

Overall, the flavors seemed a little thin and sharp. I was given this from a friend who had it cellared. Not sure of its age, but it might have been past its prime. There was no way to tell from the label when it was bottled. Still not bad, though. It grew on me the more I drank.

Thanks, Rob!

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2005 04:54:56 | More by Quaffer
Photo of blitheringidiot
blitheringidiot

Pennsylvania

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

Dark yet clear mahogany pour with zero carbonation. Thick tight tan cap. Thin lace that was accentuated with some swirls.

Aromas of berry & melon scents. (Reminds me of some STONE house flavors.)

Fist swigs: Sugary chalky berry and nary a malt to be detected for an 8.8% ABV heavy hitter.

Feel is soft and spongey.

Last swigs: Creamy cherry & malts kicker. Short on complexity. On tap at TDR Springhouse. This is an American Barleywine.

Beer is good. Happy heavy beering.

Serving type: on-tap

03-16-2005 08:32:53 | More by blitheringidiot
Photo of beertastegood
beertastegood

Texas

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

While perusing the local Spec's this brew caught my eye (no pun intended) and I just had to pick it up because it seemed so offbeat.

Pours a very attractive reddish amber, with a slightly tan, rocky head that lingers for a bit. Aroma of citrus and pine, but with a definite malty sweetness underneath. Looking forward to trying this...

Taste is very...interesting. First impression is piney hops with a strong malt backbone. Flavor ends with a pronounced sweetness and fades into a dry, bitter finish. Medium body, with medium carbonation. The 8.8% ABV is pretty well hidden in there. A very drinkable brew.

Overall, a very solid ale. Not necessarily a groundbreaking or extremely memorable beer, but a very well balanced brew that is great with a steak.

This bad boy just gets better as it warms...damn!

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2005 03:19:41 | More by beertastegood
Photo of marc77
marc77

California

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

Crystal clear deep ruby hue. Two fingered, dense and steadfast cream white head. Thick, coating lace remains. Lightly buttery sugar cookie and raspberry hints upfront in aroma are accompanied by mellow notes of sugared biscuit and dark toffee. Restrained and well rounded aromawise. In flavor, incipient is a toothsome combination of strawberry tart and dark lovibond caramel. Bold, yet winsome hop bitterness offsets malt sweetness aptly. Mid palate nutty brittle and biscuit malt flavors surface agreeably, adding malt depth and extension to the dryness facilitated by the hop bitters. Understated woody and lightly floral hop flavor persists throughout. Nearly full bodied, but at a low enough viscosity to permit effortless sipping. As the beer warms, hints of red apple esters complement malt derived sweetness. Finishes with a surge of cuspate hop bitterness and trace vanilla notions fleeting quickly. A rather delicious brew that sits dangerously softly on the palate. Although Hairy Eyeball lacks the complexities of a top notch barleywine or strong ale, its cleanly crafted nature will most likely make it a staple of mine while it lasts. Tasty, indeed.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2005 03:05:58 | More by marc77
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the venerable Collins bar in midtown NYC. This sipper poured dark amber, with shimmering highlights. It boosted a tan head and left fine, well developed lacing. This is a hoppy/malty bulldog of a beer. tasty and well balanced. Solid malt package in counterpoint to a respectable hop wollop. Full bodied, Obviously well crafted. Well worth a try.

Serving type: on-tap

03-13-2005 12:36:06 | More by Billolick
Photo of watermelonman
watermelonman

California

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

This poured to a nice deep ruby with a medium head that faded but didn't disappear. The lacing was pretty thin.

Most of the flavors here are pretty good. Molasses and alcohol both come through pretty strong. The mouthfeel is a little thin and sharp, and the drinkability takes a bit of a hit from the readily apparent alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2005 10:25:24 | More by watermelonman
Photo of sulldaddy
sulldaddy

Connecticut

3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

ANother score from Watermelonman!
I am drinking a room temp sample in a snifter poured froma 12 oz bottle. The beer pours clear mahogany witha 1 cm beige creamy head foaming up easily. Aroma is relatively sweet with maple syrup and caramel mixing with mild grassy hops. I actually get abit of funky smell as well. This scent fades as the glass sits. NOt sure where it came from but more enjoyable when it is gone.
First sip reveals an average body with light gentle rolling carbonation. Flavor is similar to nose some sweet caramel and toffee with grassy hops and a bit of peppery alcohol on the finish. Overall nice and well balanced.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2005 04:10:20 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of Beaver13
Beaver13

Colorado

3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours a glowing copper with a creamy tan head that keep a thin cap that laces the glass.

The aroma is earthy malts with some chocolate and toffee and some alcohol and peat notes. A little citrus and brown sugar comes out as it warms. I did notice some metallic notes every couple of whiffs that knock down the aroma score some.

The flavor is toasted malts, with some toffee and chocolate and a little smokiness. It has a crisp bitter finish. The alcohol is well-hidden. It has a nice full and velvety mouthfeel.

Overall, a good malty brew! Kind of like a Scottish ale.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2005 05:45:41 | More by Beaver13
Photo of 99bottles
99bottles

Pennsylvania

3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: On-tap. This has a dark brown, chestnut body and what appears to be pretty low carbonation. Only a lacing of tan on the surface remains.

Smell: Very heavy malted scent, also very strong smell of sugar.

Taste: This is interesting. Syrupy and thick from the malts, with flavors of carmel and molasses at the front. Dark fruit, and especially carmelized sugar. Within that are a fair amount of hops, decently bitter and citrusy, but almost not strong enough to balance the malts and wooden taste. I don't know. It's definitely something new. Vanilla and oak flavors come on as it warms. Interesting beer, but maybe not my favorite.

Mouthfeel: Not as cloying as the taste would lead you to expect. This stays full bodied but the carbonation keeps it drinkable.

Drinkability: I'm all set with one. It's actually a nice beer with lots of complexity, but I just can't bring myself to the point of saying I really enjoyed it.

Serving type: on-tap

02-24-2005 18:24:41 | More by 99bottles
Photo of mzwolinski
mzwolinski

California

3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep amber in color, with just the thinnist wisps of tannish head. Very lightly carbonated. The beer gives off a toasty malt aroma with cherry-like fruity undertones. More toasty malts in the flavor, which develop hints of brown sugar and spice-cake flavors. Some fruitiness follows, sort of a cross between rum soaked raisins and maraschino cherry, but always with a spicy, alcoholic edge. Toastiness returns and combines with a reasonably substantial hop bitterness for a lingering, slightly prickly aftertaste. A bit heavy -- I can't see myself having more than one of these in a row -- but not bad.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2005 07:48:16 | More by mzwolinski
Hairy Eyeball Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,907 ratings.