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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

2,093 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,093
Reviews: 858
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 12.01%
Wants: 48
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: 2,093 | Reviews: 858 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of turbine2475
3.28/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours a dark crimson with a thick cream colored head that disipated quickly leaving a dense lace.
S - Scents of hop and earthy fruit that is more subtle than expected with this style.
T - Malty fruit fowardness that has a subtle lingering of hop bitterness
M - Light in carbonation with a syrap coating that adds to the slight after taste that is produced
D - Not an everyday beer, but one I would not turn down if given the chance.

Photo of jkdrummer
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Nice reddish brown. Great head too, dies down into a creamy lace.

S: Malty some yeast too.

T: Sweet. Alcohol presence. Toffee.

M: Syrupy like a Barley Wine.

D: Strong and not for sessions. Enjoyable evening warmer. My eyeball didn't get hairy either.


Photo of m1ked
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I just love the name of this one.

A- Pours an impressive clear deep crimson with a 1/4" sandy, bubbly head.

S- Dark fruits- raisiny, figgy, brown bananas, creamy- not too strong of an aroma.

T- Deep rich maltiness, sweet, toffee, subtle ginger. A nice bitter finish to balance, some heat.

M- Heavy, thick, good carbonation- very smooth overall.

D- I was pleasantly surprised, a tastey brew overall, not a sessionable one for me though.

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.1/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A pretty dark brown body and a couple fingers of head. Decent head retention, almost no lacing.

Smells of ripe fruit, caramel, and just sugary.

The first thing I taste is a sugary/molasses flavor followed by huge caramel maltiness. Really caramel flavored. Finishes with a little alcohol warming. Too much caramel in my opinion.

Pretty good mouthfeel, balanced carbonation. A little syrupy.

I could not drink too many of this beer. Probably only one actually. It is far too sugary and the caramel is overpowering. Considering caramel is not my favorite flavor, this is understandable. Others might feel differently.

Photo of marcpal
3/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into large goblet.

A: Dark brown with bubbly off white head.

S: Definite detection of hops and an odd waxy fruit smell. Gotta give it points for uniqueness.

T: Dont taste the alcohol but the caramel sugars are just still odd. It almost tastes like a bad bottle. Bubblegum flavored robutussin is what I was reminded of.

M: Extremely thick and malty.

D: Not interested in having any more of these, a bit of a let down. The alcohol showed up more as the beer went down.

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

Had on draft at the Frisco Grille, Columbia, MD.

A- Pours a hazy amber-red, with a thin, light tan head.

S- Lots of sweet malt and floral hops there, very inviting.

T- Starts off very sweet, but finishes nice and dry. Fr such a big beer, there is no alcohol burn.

M- Lots of smaller bubbles, but not overly carbonated.

D- Only the strength of this beer would stop me from drinking this all night.

Photo of imaguitargod
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours to a medium small head and dissipates within a minute or two. Nice ruby color to the beer which gives a beautiful appearance to it.

Sweet and smooth are the two main flavors here. There is a slight hop to the aftertaste but is very barely detectable. That is, until you drink more. The hops tend to build the more your drink it (as far as the aftertaste goes). All in all, this is a very drinkable beer and at 9%abv it's definitely a keeper.

Photo of thewho
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another great offering from Lagunitas. I seem to look forward to each of their seasonal releases, as they are all very tasty. The one starts off with a nice, deep mahogany color, with a tan head. The lacing is great. Not any hop smell, and it is definately a warming drink. Half-way through the glass my stomach is feeling toasty! This beer is similiar to my favorite offering of Lagunitas, Brown Shugga, it just seems a bit lighter and less sweet. Both have a remarkable mouthfeel and drinkability given their ABV. Well done Lagunitas!

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

$2.00 for a 12 oz bottle at Jack's. OG=1.090, 9.0% ABV, 56.7 IBU.

Pours out to a clear very dark mahogany, forming a large poofy meringue-like light khaki head with very good retention and gorgeous lacing. Very good looking brew. The aroma opens with caramel, carob, green leafy hops, walnut. The mouthfeel is chewy with a big dense body. Carbonation is mild to moderate. The taste opens with vinous esters, followed by plums, roasted grains, apple juice, resinous piney hops, a touch of juniper, and ends in a moderately strong woodsy bitterness with afternotes of roasted barley and chocolate malt. There is a little bit of burnt banana and burning rubber in the finish as well. Moderate astringency.

This is a pretty tasty brew. It's quite potent and meaty. I would buy this again. A fine American style barleywine/Strong ale. It would probably cellar really well.

Photo of jtm3
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Deep Amber. Head disappearing rather quickly

S: Sweet, very sweet. Brown sugar and caramel dominate. Some alcohol present with a touch of chocolate.

T: Better balance of hops and malt than I expected. Sweet, caramel malt flavors still dominate. Some alcohol present, but pretty well-hidden for near 9%. Syrupy, sticky bitterness comes through, however, and lasts a little too long.

M: Too chewy for my tastes.

D: This is hurt by the lingering aftertaste.

Overall, not bad. But I don't see myself having more than 1 of these due to the mouthfeel and drinkability.

Photo of pershan
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured a light ruby-red with a creamy half inch head into a 12-oz pilsner glass. There was a slight scent of fruity malt, but no discernable hop aroma. The taste was a fairly nice balance between the malt, hops, and alcohol, with the hop bitterness winning out in the end. Nice carbonation and lacing, with a coating of sweet malt residue in my mouth after every swallow. Tasty.

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

Appearance: Deep amber brew with a dense tan head.

Smell: Malt, caramel, toffee, dark fruit alcohol and sugar.

Taste: Very subdued flavor that I did not expect. The malt rides alongside some sweet fruit flavors that remind me of mince pie. Slight alcohol bite in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. The brew is very dry throughout the flavor.

Drinkablity: Interesting and unique beer. Not as over the top as I expected.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz picked up on Friday at the Coop for about $2.. poured into my New Belgium snifter.

2 finger head.. atop a cold coffee looking brew.. leaves dried crusty lacing.

Aroma is mostly caramel with light whiffs of orange and lemon.. brown sugar and notes of leather.

Flavor is pretty much the same as the smell but with a more pronounced citrus element.. same caramel and a little bit of milk chocolate. Some dark dried fruits... and a little blackberry. Larger medium body with small bubble carbonation.

The Hairy Eyeball is more interesting than my palate can pick out.. I have some of last years in the cellar.. I must give one a try pretty soon.

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

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.

Photo of shroompod
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Contra
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of Dubbercody
3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of nortmand
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.4/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of DJRoswell
4.43/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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.

Photo of nrpellegrini
2.23/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

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

Photo of BMoney575
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of david131
3.28/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of NCSUdo
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of MerkinMan
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Hairy Eyeball Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 2,093 ratings.