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
87
very good

2,094 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,094
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hairy Eyeball Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,094 | Reviews: 858 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beerceller99
4.65/5  rDev +21.4%
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 +21.4%

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 Eris
4.61/5  rDev +20.4%

Photo of apintofknowledge
4.6/5  rDev +20.1%
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 +20.1%
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 +20.1%

Photo of AdamZwief
4.6/5  rDev +20.1%

Photo of Life-Love-Beer
4.6/5  rDev +20.1%

Photo of pjbfromkc
4.58/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of greentam2
4.56/5  rDev +19.1%
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 +18.8%
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 +18.8%
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 +18.8%
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 adamette
4.55/5  rDev +18.8%
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 +18.3%
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 +18.3%
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

Photo of pjwilson
4.53/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: bright amber red color, very deep dark. Nice head

smell: smooth gingerbread malty smell, nice caramel. yeah, smells like cookies, for real.

taste: great, great beer. There is little to no hop flavor, but huge hop bitterness, in a good way. Most of the actual flavor comes from chocolatly tasting malts, more smooth malts with a puckering bitterness. Yet, down in a straight forward easy to comprehed way. I was gonna cellar this but why? I got the last 6 in sac so they told me and it won't last long...
edit: yeah, taste's like plums, figs, candy. Just a fantastic beer, unique and can't get enough of this stuff

mouthfeel: unbeatable quality for a beer of this strength, great mix of thick and thin. fuckin' great sipping beer, you know it's 9 percent because the bottle says so, but you don't care, it's so good you just keep rockin'.

drinkability: for a beer of this strength, completely in check. This isn't like Bigfoot, where or two bottles tops feels like the limit. This stuff is highly drinkable, only the bitterness hold you back....but it's so balanced it just works right.

I highly recomend this beer, I;m sure it would be good in a different way with some cellaring, but I don't think I need to wait because it's so good already.

Photo of moundbz
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

coco sweet malty and strong

Photo of bishopia
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer pours a dense but clear deep brown body with a slightly red hint in the light. There is a gentle carbonation of tiny bubbles that glide to the spongy tan head. After a moment the head sags to a thick meniscus but last for most of the beer.

S- This beer has a smooth full malty nose with a slightly dry light caramel note and a faint coffee malt hint.

T- The taste of sweet lightly toasted malt has some caramel qualities and lightly roasted notes for support. There is a brown sugar note that fades to a soft pine note in the finish.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a creamy texture and no real alcohol heat.

D- This beer has a nice big malt profile that is not too sweet and the alcohol is very well hidden. This makes a great sipper but it really catches up to you with the 8% ABV.

Photo of AnEscapedMind
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

Photo of bpascale
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

Photo of Scott4_
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I wish this wast not a seasonal beer! I really like this beer! I think it is barrel age
or bootle conditioned, it is very smooth. I am really picky about beer. I live in Europe and
enjoy dark beer. I have to wait til next year to buy some more. classic winter beer.

Photo of aleslover
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

Photo of tweezer159
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

Hairy Eyeball Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 2,094 ratings.