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Hairy Eyeball Ale - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hairy Eyeball AleHairy Eyeball Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,327 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,327
Reviews: 918
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 11.75%
Wants: 52
Gots: 289 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-12-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,327 | Reviews: 918 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kirok1999
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Tasted this blind and pegged it as an English Barleywine with a bit of hops. Poured a dark amber that stuck to the side of the glass, very sticky lacing.
Smelled of a barleywine spice with a nice backbone of sweetness. Caramel with a bit of astringency.
Taste is a nice spice note from the hops, yet it's a bit thin in the mouth. It has a nice lingering, dark finish that makes you want another sip.
What hurts it overall is its lack of substance and body. Nice to sip and it would pair well with a good cigar.

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

Found some notes from this beer. Bought a six pack and enjoyed every single one of them.

Style is an American strong ale. That is exactly what it is: strong. There is not much hiding the alcohol. Theres some great spice and toasty malts, but the alcohol bite is present in the sip. Don't let you believe this is a boring or overwhelming beer. It is actually really interesting and good. The mouthfeel was the only off part for me. I felt it could have been more balanced instead of sweet.

Photo of natelocc787
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've had this at least 5 times before tonight and each time I've been equally impressed. This beer isn't for everyone. The alcohol isn't hidden well and the flavor profile is very powerful. This is one of the more complex beers I've had. Just my opinion. Aside from the buttery, toffee flavors there is many fruit and spice flavors to round this one out. Taste is very unique and overwhelming in a good way. Mouthfeel combines silky, chewy and creamy into one long finish.

Photo of thain709
3.82/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A deep copper body with red highlights around the edges...a small head formed even after an aggressive pour...but it remained a spotty cap throughout...some lacing left

S - A strong and complex nose that provides hints of dark fruit, sweet and roasted malts, and some floral hops

T - The flavor followed the nose closely...it was very sweet at first sip...I'm getting caramel and toffee from the malts as well as a nice roastiness...the roasted malts also provide a nice lingering backbone at the end...the dark fruits, I'm thinking raisins, are well balanced in here...the hops come in at the end...but they aren't as big as I expected...they leave a nice bitterness that's paired with the roasted malts

M - Medium bodied...a little too sticky sweet for me...but a nice bitterness

D - This was almost drinking like a barleywine to me...maybe my bottle was a couple months old...but all in all a decent beer with some nice complexity to it...maybe it's better a little older?

Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 12 ounce bottle purchased at Oaktree in NJ. Upon pouring into my shaker glass, the ale appears a clear deep brown color with about an inch of tan foam. Nose and flavor are of toffee, caramel, bitter, biting hops, very slight citrus note. medium in both body and carbonation with a lingering bitterness.

Photo of dfillius
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass

A: Aggressive pour yields 1/4 finger of tan head with poor retention. More head please. Clear brown liquid with red highlights.

S: Strong caramel malt. Very little of anything else. I guessed it would be an American Strong (wish it said on the label). No off smells. A whiff of alcohol.

T: 56.7 IBU, but little bitterness is apparent. Actually, a pleasant drying bitterness is noticeable later on. Strong malt sweetness, but not cloying. Very tasty. Further complexity as it warms.

M: Drying bitterness is nice. Syrupy and chewy. Well carbonated.

D: Enjoyable in winter I'd say. Strong but tasty. I'd buy another 6-pack, but I wouldn't drink two in a row.

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

Poured into snifter.

A: Dark brown and rosy color, very clear with light darker colored head

N: Some dark malts and fruits like raisin, a sweet and slightly sour malty yeasty nose, some roasted malts as well

T: Dark roasted malts, deep dark rich fruits, raisin and slight plum, malty chocolate is very slight, sweet molasses in the center, it gets sweeter the longer it goes, some biscuit and light hops, a slight spicey hop comes out closer towards the end as well as a slight woody esther

M: Mouth is malty with some carbonation, semi thick and creamy

F: More sweet fruits, the bitter hop gets stronger and spicier, lingering earthy bitterness, sweet fruits stick around for a bit, more roast as well

Final thoughts: This is an interesting change for Lagunitas from the really hoppy beers. Its pretty interesting for a dark American strong ale. Nice dark fruits and malts, touch of hops, a little sweet. However I could expect a little more from this beer, it just seems like something is missing.

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

this beer pours a hazy reddish brown color with an off white head that fades to a sheet of lace leaving rings around the glass. the aroma brings loads of roasted malt and a bit of fruit at the back, maybe some yeast esters. the taste doesn't disappoint with the sweet nearly sticky maltiness, and the fruity flavors this is a pretty flavorful beer, the alcohol and astringency at the end are there, but not bad for nearly nine percent. great carbonation, thanks to Sam the Beer Man, with their nice five beer growler line up.

Photo of MeadMardigan
3.66/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: dark copper, opaque on the table with quickly dissipating head that clings to sides of glass

S: sweet barley, some hops

T: caramel, toffee, short hop burst that quickly disappears; lingering finish

M: carbonation tingles the tounge, alcohol bites at the throat, slightly syrupy

D: very pleasant; high ABV doesn't deter

Unsure where the name came from; expected a punch in the face, but is surprisingly "sweet" and mellow.

Photo of Brownsfan7
2.92/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Had this in bottle after a trip to my local beer store.

honestly this was hard to drink..very malty, with a very heavy alcohol taste. I Tried during memorial day as a sipper..I would try others If I was new to the game!!! If you want to start on a Lagunitas brew I suggest Hop Stoopid.

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

Lagunitas Hairy Eyeball is a red-brown ale with particles afloat. It has a small, dense, sand colored head that leaves tenacious lacing. It has a sweet, malty aroma with a grassy note. It has a smooth medium body with a slightly sticky finish. It's pretty sweet and resiny. It's reasonably bittered; the green, fruity bitterness shows up at the finish and provides the aftertaste. It's a touch heavy for a session ale.

Photo of thor638
2.86/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Great smell and a good looking beer. Appearance is very dark and the smell malty and strong caramel notes. Def a session beer with great caramel feel. Too heavy for me to go more than one but worth trying and having a good conversation with - as noted in previous posts not much carbonation even on the tap

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

Pours a clear red with 2 fingers of dense, sticky foam. Nose is caramelly malt for the most part, and a hint of floral hops. Very malty and very bitter flavour. Tons of dark caramel sugars and dark fruit and toasty grain. Hints of apple and juicy citrus hops. Fairly heavy body but with a good deal of carbonation as well. Feels quite prickly on the tongue. Not in any way sessionable. Lots of flavour but also very heavy brew.

Photo of jwhawkins81
3.74/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma - Dark fruits with a caramel and sweet malts.

Appearance - Dark red amber with no carbonation.

Taste - Dark fruits and alcohol but not too much. Extremely similar to Nostradamus (which I gave a A) but less refined and subtle.

Notes - Needs more carbonation

Photo of BierFan
3.17/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass. ABV of 8.7% and 56.7 IBU's.

Appearance: Just a thin layer of tan head. The body is brown and looked fairly viscous as it was poured.

Smell: Loads of sweet caramel. Little bit of hops, but they're hard to notice with the huge caramel and toffee aroma.

Taste: Doesn't taste as good as it smells. The taste of this beer isn't really working for me. Flowery hop taste, dark sweet malts, little buttery taste. I just don't care for the taste.

Photo of DiabolikDUB
2.71/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured from Bottle into Pint glass.

Pours a clear, but dense, dark copper color with 2 fingers of rocky, creamy light tan colored head that never fully disappears. The aroma is very malty and heavy with toffee, molasses and a touch of hops. The flavor is sweet malt, some citrus hops and finishes very strong with brown sugar and a very noticeable alcohol presence. Its full to medium bodied that is a touch sticky. I would say this beer is a pretty cross between a scotch ale and a malty barleywine. Overall, I'm just not impressed with it. Alcohol is a little too noticeable.

Photo of Jayli
3.28/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer pours an amberish brown, nice reddish hues with a one finger of light tannish head. Head recedes quickly and leaving spotty lacing on the glass. Nose is very sweet - sugar, caramel malts, and some candied dark fruits. Taste is of sweet malts and sugar at first. VERY, very sweet beer. The middle is of dark fruits, though still very sweet - like candied dark fruits, and caramel. The finish leaves a very sweet aftertaste to it. Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, thick syrupy mouthfeel to it with an aftertaste similar to when you eat too much candy. The alcohol is very well hidden. For me, the sweetness was overkill that lowered it's drinkability.

Photo of sohio
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Lagunitas Hairy Eyeball

My fifth, again poured into one of the few beer glasses I haven't broken.

A: Dark cherry wood, a nice, lacey head that gets beat up by the ABV. It soon settles down into a liquored up, heavy beer. Thats your only warning.

S: A dark fruit basket, with your dads cologne thrown in. Hmmm....

T: Dark fruits, with raisins and fig prevailing. Brown sugar shows up to say hi, also. The alcohol is very well hidden beneath the sweetness. You'll notice it when you lick your lips though. A very barrel-aged beer without trying to be one.

M: Medium to heavy. It really depends of the temperature of the beer. It seems like 10 degrees seperates this from an "Ale' to a "Barleywine".

D: This is where its dangerous. Its just so good and sweet, you really dont notice the abv before its too late. But by then, you just don't give a shit.

A solid, (sweet) beer.

Photo of PirateUlf73
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass.

A: Hazy and dark brown, with perhaps a slight garnet tint and a modest tan head.

S: Strong scents of raisin and caramel, as well as plums and brown sugar. Very sweet-smelling, but not too much so. Quite nice.

T: An interesting melding of dark crystal malts, brown sugar and raisin flavors. Very reminiscent of, say, a Chimay blue. Very nice, especially with a pleasant alcoholic warming on the way down.

M: Full-bodied, but not too heavy. Decent carbonation, but never prickly. Fairly sweet aftertaste.

D: A sipper. Take it slow and savor all those lovely flavors.

I must say that this is perhaps the first beer that I noticed flavors hitting me in a particular sequence, which I though was pretty cool. A very nice strong ale that deserves time and contemplation. I could see myself drinking this over a particularly sharp and tactical chess game.

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

12oz pour from bottle

A- Pours a nice brown color with red hints when held up to the light. Good 1/4 inch off white/tannish head that melts away leaving little lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- The smells of sweet bready malts along with figs and raisin dominate the body of aroma with hints of caramel and apricot bring up the foreground.

T- From the get go all you can taste is really sugary sweet malts and well....sugary sweet malts. Upon the next couple of sips I realize you can taste a little more of the fruits but it's just faint notes. I can also detect the remains of what might have been a bigger hop bite at the end if I could have bought this fresh.

M- This has a good medium mouthfeel to it. Other than the sugary malts leaving crystals it seems like over the palate it moves gracefully over the palate and down the throat. Carbination was good and almost on the too much side but it evened itself out.

D- I would drink this again if given the chance.

Photo of ToddT
3.33/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Brown in color with a red tint and a tan head. Head fades quickly to a ring and leaves a minimal lacing on the glass.

S- Sugar, raisins, figs, caramel, and malt swirl up from the glass.

T- Sweet malts and sugars stand out at first. This is then tempered down by the notes of fruit and caramel. The finish lingers with a slightly bitter final note.

M- More than medium bodied and a little on the syrupy side . Finish is fairly clean in spite of the thick mouthfeel.

D- Somewhat of a sipper, it hides the 8.8% ABV pretty well, but it is overly sweet.

If it was just the fruit adding the sweetness this would be a winner, but I suspect there is some extra sugar in there as well, making this just too sweet.

Photo of jgap
2.67/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a deep red with a sizeable cream- color head that fades to a good lace. Smell is a sweet, sugary caramel and... Is that cheese? Taste is immediately sweet malt. LOT of sweet malts. It's syrupy and really sweet. I think it tastes more like a Maibock. Once you muddle through the sugar slush, there is a very light hop that quickly becomes alcohol which fades into the aftertaste. It's really just too sweet for me. Mouthfeel is syrup. Not that drinkable. I love lagunitas but I'm not sure about this one

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

12 ounce twist-off* from Hollingshead's, on to the beer:

A soft, whispy head sits on top this dark colored amber beer. It's holding up well in the meantine, and leaves some traces of lacing on the glass. Aroma....figs, cider, faint apricot, prunes...is this a winter warmer on crack? Very sweet nose as well. Tastes like a tradtional winter warmer too. But it's June dammit! Nonetheless, it still tastes nice. Some brown sugar, prunes, spruce and fig notes. English pudding too. Soft and medium bodied in the mouth, but with texture, and there's little (if any) booze felt.

Here it is for all you winter warmer lovers who want an imperial version, The Hairy Eyeball. Recommended as I drink this in June in SoCal...which must mean its better in the winter.

* Twisted-off with the bottom of my Erdinger Champ bottle. See, I told you I would use it to open a bottle.

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

A deep dark clear amber body with a thick offwhite head, light to meduim carbonation , lots of lacing left on the glass. Aroma is of sweet caramel malt , with a bit of spicy hops,and just a hint of alcohol. Flavor is rich like caramelized sugar,rasins and dry malt grains,with some zesty piny hop notes,honey, a little spice like maybe peppercorn or something like that but very faint, full body with a smooth texture, nice malty finish, the 9% ABV was well hidden. This was a really good drinker, I plan to buy more.

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.59/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Lagunitas is pulling a Magic Hat by giving their beer a ridiculously obscure name not hinting the buyer at what it is. I hate that. Next thing you know they'll have slogans printed under the caps saying "Willy's got no teeth!," or some such crap. Anywho...

Clear dark blood orange color with a thin tan head. Fades quick to a thin skim and showy collar.

Smells sweetly of melted hard candy balanced by Rollo candy caramels. Good balance.

Jolly rancher beer with cola-esque caramel. Again, nice balance. Mild herbal hop spice and no sign of a 8.7% abv. Syrupy mouthfeel.

Hairy Eyeball Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 2,327 ratings.