Hairy Eyeball Ale - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hairy Eyeball AleHairy Eyeball Ale

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very good

2,111 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,111
Reviews: 863
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 12.01%
Wants: 50
Gots: 162 | 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: 2,111 | Reviews: 863 | Display Reviews Only:
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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

Photo of alexatlatx
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I loved this beer...6 months ago. I should have sipped it then. I ahve recently learned from experience, that saving Lagunitas beers longer than 6 months yields poor results.

Regardless, I still love this beer. It pours a very dark amber, slightly translucent, with little to no head. The aroma consists of raisins and chocolate, with a slight dead-hop (likely because of its age).

The old age gives the "well i should have had this 4 months ago" cardboard flavor. But it also has a great light barley flavor.

I feel bad for not drinking these Lagunitas beers sooner (brown sugar, undercover, hairy eyeball). Some say that aging beer is a crap shoot. I am now hapy to know that i should just drink Lagunitas beers rather than saving them. Fresh Laugnitas beers are amazingly hopped, so i should just focus on the fresh ones.

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

12oz. bottle

Clear, copper in color. Modest, ivory colored head. No lacing.

Malty and sweet aroma. Burnt/carmelized sugar. Almost port like in aroma (just poured a glass for my wife, so top of mind). Grassy.

Taste gives me sweet, dark fruits. Toffee. Well balanced by hops, big pine flavor. Could turn down the hops just a touch to make it easier to make out the other flavors. Touch of coffee and/or roat flavors. Alcohol.

Medium + body. Low carbonation. Pretty dry. ABV starts to heat you up pretty well about half way through the beer.

Pretty good. When I was drinking it, my guess (correct it turns out) was that it was a strong ale. Reminds me somewhat of Arrogant Bastard. Very complex.

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

12oz stubbie -> mini brandy snifter
no date
9% abv

Pours a shade deeper than clear cherry cola red. With smallish film for a head that leaves a ring of suds around the glass. Dotted gobs of lace. Carbonation is slow and steady.

Nose: Caramel malts, sherry

Good thick drying mouth on this one. Awesome maltiness, with smooth caramel all over. Finishes with a nice bitterness that lingers in the back of the mouth, though not providing much flavor. Slightly warming from the alcohol, but hidden well.

Well worth a try. I gonna let my other one sit for awhile and compare.

Photo of kmpitz2
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz stubbie. This one is a fantastically deep amber color with crystal brilliance. There is minimal head that stays around as a light patch hovering over the brew. I'm not seeing any bubbles working out of solution in this one. The aroms is full of incredibly deep caramel sweetness, with a strong pine resin hop and a potent alcohol spiceyness added in. Everything about the aroma is big. The flavor brings a strong bready character that moves to a caramel-soaked resinous pine hop. The hop moves from a peppery sensation after swallowing the brew to a fairly strong bitter bite on the sides of my tongue. The bready character of this one is really strong throughout the drink. Mouthfeel is moderate with a very mild carbonation. This one actually feels like it is pulling moisture out of my salivary glands by drying the lateral portion of hte back of my tongue and under my tongue. Interesting feeling. I find that I really have to slow down on this one from the strength of the bready flavor and the hop along with the drying feeling I am getting. It is nice, but this is one that needs time to dissect.

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

Very little head with a clear brown color. Lots of different aromas: heaby malt, bread, taosted, burnt, dates, oak. Nice oak and a little smoky taste.I hint of pine and citrus, but not muuch. Didn't really taste of feel the alcohol. Decent level of carbonation. Will want to taste this again in a year or so.

Photo of mdm46410
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a deep brown that shows some ruby highlights under light. Almost no head or lacing to speak of. The aroma consists of a lot of caramel, some sweet and roasted malts, and a touch of hops. Very sweet, rich aroma. As for the flavor, it has quite a bit of sweetness like the aroma suggests. You can taste very sweet caramel, fruits, and a bit of alcohol that is followed by a quick hoppy bite at the end. Very similar to a barley wine. The sweetness tends to overwhelm the other flavors towards the bottom of the glass. The mouthfeel is thick and oily with little to no carbonation. Definately a full-bodied beer. I enjoyed this beer, but wouldn’t mind the sweetness being toned down a bit, or balanced out by a few more hops.

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

On tap and poured into a pint glass.

A: Deep mahogany in color with ruby hues. Creamy tan head poured one finger thick. Decent retention. Sticky lacing clings to the sides of the glass.

S: Toasted malts. Citrus and pine hops. Dark fruit. Brown sugar. Raw earth and warm alcohol.

T: Sweet toasted malts and brown sugar cane are followed by the tastes of dark fruit and raw, wet leaf. Citrus and pine hops leave a nice bitter bite on the tongue. Soft hints of grapefruit are followed by an earthy flavor and warming alcohol.

M: Smooth and slightly slick. Medium carbonation. Warm and dry.

D: Alot of different flavors come through in this brew. Overall balance loses out to the abundence of hops. Higher alcohol content is well hidden. Recommended.

Hairy Eyeball Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 2,111 ratings.