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Hairy Eyeball Ale - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Hairy Eyeball AleHairy Eyeball Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

2,232 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,232
Reviews: 896
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 11.72%
Wants: 49
Gots: 242 | FT: 2
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: 2,232 | Reviews: 896 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of blackcompg
4.69/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - Poured a quick 3 fingers of light mocha colored foam, body is a transparent and brilliant deep copper amber, nice gently carb rises consistently in the body, lacing is unbelievable, leaving thick rings after each quaff.

Smell - Dark fruits of fig and plum, candied cherry, peach marmalade, rich dark toffee, and freshly baked fruit/rum cake.

Taste - Starts with rich dark fruits of cooked rope plums and figs coated in brown sugar, candied cherries soaked in alcohol join with a flavor very much like amaretto. There is a rich slightly roasted malt and warm dark toffee backbone supporting all of this. Then near the end of the quaff the sweetness falls off just enough to allow some faint herbal hop notes and caramel coated citrus piths to develop, along with some candy coated peach pit.

Mouthfeel - There is a nice weight here, and this winter ale is on the heavier side of medium and almost mouth coating, but is kept in check with some light carb and the perfect amount of warming alcohol. The carb is creamy smooth and struggles to leave a few edges along the sides of the tongue. Perfect for a strong winter ale on a winter night.

Overall - This is what I think of for a winter ale - the flavors are perfect, bold, complex and balanced. Such an excellent and potent example of the style. I highly recommend that you get a few bottles of this and share with family and friends during the holidays. Perfection. Two thumbs way up, thank you Lagunitas.

Photo of Dmann
4.68/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Top notch stuff here people. When I poured this beer it was a very dark amber red with a great head that left large ammounts of lacing around the glass. The smell was unique with a mix of carmel malts, various spices and a touch of cedar. This beers flavor was unique as well with a good dose of carmel malt sweetness which opens up into a nice subtle hop bitterness and spice flavors. The mouthfeel is nice and airy and complements the beer very nicely. This is another good beer from lagunitas.

Photo of amajors8
4.68/5  rDev +21.9%

Photo of RootedFool
4.68/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Purchased a 22 ounce bomber at the North Coast Co-op in Eureka, California.

Pours a tenebrous crimson with an anxious tan head. Tall drapes of lace cling to the glass.

Smell is of lush malts, raisins soaked in bourbon and brown sugar. A hop citrus edge comes through clearer after a few more sniffs.

A scrumptious mouthfeel, almost like cream but the carbonation gives it levity, is what I notice as soon as the beer meets my mouth. A kick you in the gums hop bitterness leads, and then the malts take flight -- a zesty yet smooth sweetness rolls out over the palate, ah! -- and then it's back to a delicious hop sting that lingers long on the tongue. And alcohol is a-buzz in my sinuses and stomach.

What a winter warmer!

Half a pint down and I'm already feeling it.

Photo of skotster13
4.65/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hopefully I am one of the first to sample the 2007 release. Got an insider friend to hook me up with two cases today...one day before it hits the shelves. This year's release is toned down, so it seems...though it has all the trademarks of great vintages past.
Serv. type: Bottle (6-pk)~~~
APPEARANCE~~~
It appears lighter than in years past, but retains its darkest day of winter look in the mug. A beautiful near-opaqueness...light is visible somewhere in the distance...reminds me of a North Coast Old Stock, if you will...though more resistant to light
SMELL~~~
It is reminiscent of a barley-wine, though retaining characteristics all its own, frolicky, hinting of deeply roasted malts that stop short of being aggressive...hops may be involved, but I don't recognize them.
TASTE~~~
The taste this year is a bit lighter on the pallate, though just as lovely. All the character is there, yet not quite as aggressive as in two years past. This release is the most quaffable by far...evidence being the 8 12oz btls I have quaffed thus far tonight.
MOUTHFEEL~~~
It goes down like cumulo-nimbus clouds...comparatively light in body, but with a solid alcohol punch...the most balanced of all offerings thus far.
DRINKABILITY~~~
Ridiculously drinkable!!! Offer this to your lager drinkers\ as an alternative to being complacent and true beer lovers will stand up and be noticed!!!
A true testament to Petaluma's best...once again a feat to be reckoned with!!!!

Photo of beerceller99
4.65/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle from late 2003. Has a copper color as I decant the contents. Nice two finger head which sticks around leaving a beautiful lace. Malty sweet smells along with floral hops.Taste is caramel sweetness balanced by perfumy floral hops with a alcohol bite in the background. Full bodied, the mouthfeel is rich and creamy.
This brew already tastes like a well aged barley wine. Excellent.

Photo of RexBanner
4.65/5  rDev +21.1%

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass.
Appearance: Dark crimson in color. Clear, no sediments. Pillowy cream colored head which lasted throughout the session. Nice lacing.

Aroma: Malty, fruity, hoppy. It almost smells like those cans of mixed fruit saturated in a bottle of Malta.

Taste: Malt sweetness up front followed by a pleasant bitterness that prevents this from being just another run of the mill malt bomb. Faint fruit taste is present. Hard to make out though, maybe peach? Caramel and molasses or maybe maple syrup is present also. A boozy heat permeates the mouth with every sip, especially when the beer reaches room temperature. The bitter aftertaste is really pleasant for this beer.

Mouthfeel: Light, not heavy at all. Slight carbonation in the beginning but it fades very quick. Goes down easy, especially for an 8+ brew.

This is a good winter warmer. Not the best but for a 22 oz bottle it'll surely get the job done. It has a good balance of sweetness and bitterness. It's almost like a cross between a dunkel and a bitter IPA.

Photo of djchrismac
4.61/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Not sure what an outlier is or why it was detected. I have to justify my rating with a review. So here's the review...this beer rocked. Period.

Photo of Eris
4.61/5  rDev +20.1%

Photo of Lard_City
4.6/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful Amber/red color. Fruity nose. Hoppy and sweet. A cross between an IPA and a stout. Quite an experience. Try it.

Photo of apintofknowledge
4.6/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep dark ruby-brown with a thin tan head. The aroma is very rich... with raisins and chocolate coming through... come to think of it, it smells like rasinettes, only with more fruit, and a little spice too. (OK, a year ago I would have called someone insane for saying their beer smelled like a raisinette... guess I'm now insane!)

The taste immediately strikes me as rich, big, bold and complex... it's almost overwhelming. There's this big plump raisin and cherry sweetness that goes into a chocolatey middle, finishing with an earthy charred and roasted finish that's initially a bit too bitter but mellows completely as the beer warms in my goblet. There's a port-like quality to this beer, and it's truly ment to be sipped, savored and enjoyed like a port.

A low carbonation goes just perfect with the syrupy thickness. As I drink, I notice a slight diacetyl (butterscotch) flavor, but in this case it melds very well with the rest of the flavors in this beer.

The label says "Beer Speaks. People Mumble." and this beer certainly speaks to me. Truly a unique, complex and wonderful beer well worth seeking out!

Photo of Bizz88
4.6/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beauty pours a dark mahogany with an initial two finger tan head, finishing off with a nice sticky lacing the whole glass. Has a sweet toasted malt and molasses on the tongue. Light on the carbonation with a medium/heavy body. If I lived in Petaluma,CA there would be not a taste for everyone else. If you can't get it, road trip it!!!

Photo of Amsterdallas
4.6/5  rDev +19.8%

Photo of AdamZwief
4.6/5  rDev +19.8%

Photo of Life-Love-Beer
4.6/5  rDev +19.8%

Photo of pandatron
4.59/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Photo of pjbfromkc
4.58/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of greentam2
4.56/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A great darker, but not too dark ale, with a very clean taste, and notes of chocolate and cloves in the aftertaste. Fresh, but with some profound depth to the mid-taste, this beer is clearly crafted to be enjoyed by beer connoisseur. Would drink this anytime!

Photo of scottoale
4.55/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Hairy EYEBALL Ale label reads: Hear's Lookin' Atcha' ! LOL....and has the O.G.1.090 and an I.B.U. 56.7 as well as Alc 9% by Vol. Crack open and pour a DARK copper mahogany ale with hues of burgundy and a creamy tan colored, frothy two finger head that has incredible lacing...Yum!

The smell is even better with a malty caramel nose at first wiff. Deep rich, sweet smelling caramel malt with virtually no scent of detectable hops, kind of strange but it smells delicious.

The taste is even more so than the smell, it's got a balanced flavor of complexity, It starts sweet and malty just tantilizing your taste buds then just pans out with a warm smooth tasty (not bitter or sweet) finish. Gotta have more, I really, really like this stuff and normally I crave hops. The hops here are subtle, but they are definetly doing what they are supposed to do. With an I.B.U. of 56.7, you'ld expect a bit of hop bite, but not so.

It has a full body that fills the mouth and tingles a bit on the tongue. It's smooth, creamy and delicious and warming down to your tummy.

Being a stong ale drinker I find this to be a much too drinkable beer. This beer suits it's style to a "T", I don't think it gets much better than this...honestly. Drink with care, and ENJOY!

Photo of rkhaze
4.55/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a ruby/amber with a big creamy, condensed tan head. Left great lace. Smells of malt, caramel a bit of fruit and spicy/citrusy hops.
Rich sweet malt flavor with dark brown sugar, fruit, baking spices and hints of nuts and creamy chocolate. Excellent balance with the citrusy/resinous hop profile Kinda reminded me a little of Deschutes Jubelale.
Medium to full bodied with a nice thick, rich and creamy mouthfeel. Great carbonation to lighten it up a little. The great balance and hiding of alcohol make this exceptionally drinkable. This goes down scary easy for an 8.8% brew.

Photo of BeerAngel
4.55/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful clear yet dark mahogany color with a massive tan head that lingers for quite some time. The blended scent of a light fruit, butter, roasted chocolate malt, and hops are combined superbly! The taste is a well balanced complex mix of roasted chocolate malt, light raison sweetness, just the right amout of hops. This is a medium bodied brew that finishes lightly sweet. This is a VERY good beer! The only thing that sort of slows me down drinking this one is it's richness. Almost like eating extremely rich fudge...it's delicious, but not too much.

Notes: So far this is by far my favorite brew from Lagunitas. It's smooth rich complex character is like a meal in a bottle. I will definitely have this brew again.

Photo of dmgeng
4.55/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love Lagunitas and I've been on a Strong Ale kick so this was a win-win for me.

A - Ruby, brown color that is quite striking. Clear with a coarse white head and nice lacing.

S - A very rich character with malt, toffee, some hops, and some dark fruit present. This is a very complex aroma with some alcohol and caramel in the background. It has a traditional ESB, fruity yeast character but to the next level.

T - Matching the smells, the flavor is even more complex with tons of depth. I sense an american brown but with more hops, no chocolate character, and a strong toasted sugar flavor. The fruity yeast and hops are more predominant on the tongue with the malty, grainy, and toffee flavors mixing well together. There is a bitterness but it is in no way dominant and only lends a compliment to the rich malt character.

M - Full mouth-feel with light carbonation. It's lightly syrupy but isn't cloying with some residual bitterness and you can feel that it's alcohol level and attenuation are spot on to make this beer a winner.

Overall, a really delicious beer and definitely the best non-oaked strong ale I've had. This beer is a perfect winter warmer without too much palate punching but enough flavor to keep me admiring the glass. If you find this beer and like a robust strong ale this is a must try.

Glass- Imperial Pint

Photo of adamette
4.55/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Live review. Poured from a 2009 bottle into my Sierra Nevada Anniversary Ale glass. I did not observe a freshness date if there was one.

A Great light brown generous 3 inch head over a mohogany translucent body with visible carbonation rising up. Really great look.

S Sweet malt with the outline of hops. The hops are well presented as a frame for this beer's smell. The smell cannot be improved. Inviting and complex, the alcohol can be smelled as well.

T Divine. Malt predominates as it is mostly sweet but that frame of hops detected in the smell is picked up (appropriately secondary to the malt and barley) in the taste. Really great rounded, balanced beer.

M A big beer with 8.7% ABV (according to the label on my 12 oz. bottle anyway) and big tastes of malt with the secondary hops.

D I would likely drink only 2 or 3 but I savor every last drop of this one.

Notes: This is the one and only time that I bought a case of any beer since I really started getting into finding and rating a lot of different beers. I did so since last year I was so impressed with this one and I went back to the same store (World Wines and Liquor in Mentor) to discover that it is a seasonal. I was not going to let that happen again. Also it was an early (not the first) craft beer that really turned me on to the scene. Really though, this is a great beer!

Photo of JohnLasher92
4.53/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from 20 or so oz. bottle into large beer glass which was frozen. Pours a great head, medium lacing. Appearance is very dark (the darker the better).. The first sip packs a wallop - strong alcohol content paired with a rich, creamy taste that keeps you sipping. There is a subtle hoppy background. Delicious to the last bubbly drop. So far this is my favorite beer of the few I've had. I would drink it over and over again. Very well done from Lagunitas. Overall, I would highly recommend this brew to anyone who enjoys the darker variety.

Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.53/5  rDev +18%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Very dark, yet transparent. Garnet-red when held up to the light. Light brown at a glance. The head retains in a splotchy pattern and leaves bubbly sheets of lacing

S- Sweet, mellow bourbon essence created by vanilla and caramel fumes. Savory aromas of sweet potatoes and pumpernickel rye bread

T- The flavor is a masterpiece. It brings out the greatest aspects of beer and leaves all the rest lurking in the shadows. Too much for words. See for yourself with a sip. Would be a 5, but could use a darker roast profile.

M- Smooth and sticky with a slick, refreshing quality

D- I don't know what this beer is, but it works fine as a nightcap

Hairy Eyeball Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 2,232 ratings.