Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

The Hairy Eyeball | Lagunitas Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
very good
16 Reviews
no score
Send samples

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.10%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by SusanQuinn on 02-13-2014

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 135
Photo of craftbeersweden
3.62/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, dark mahogny colored beer with a three finger high, creamy and fluffy head that leaves a lot of lacing.

Nose: Dried fruit, pear, sweet caramel malt, pine, brown sugar and honey.
Taste: A lot of malt! Chewy, pine, oak, caramel, grass and some grapefruit.
Mouthfeel: Full body. Very sweet and thick body. I think this will grow better with aging in my beercellar. A little bit to sweet right now! Medium carbonation. Bittersweet ending.

 447 characters

Photo of Svingjo
3.47/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich dark Amber colour with a finger thick beige head with a lengthy retention. I get a very mild sweet malt and some piney hops but it's only on the edges. I really have to get my nose almost right into the beer to get anything. The taste is quite malt heavy and sweet. Almost syrupy sweet. There is some that piney hop around the middle and finishes up with a mild bitterness. I found this slight too syrupy for my taste and feel it could use a more balanced approach.

 484 characters

Photo of laketang
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours dark amber, red hue with nice tan head

sweet malt smells, caramel

aggressive malt flavor.i bit heavy

full feel. chewy.warming

me likey, will get more

 159 characters

Photo of Brutaltruth
3.94/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed form the 22 oz bomber in a snifter. This SOLID strong ale pours a dark brownish red with a decent head of off white foam that settles to a thin ring, subtle layer, and light lacing. Nose of sweet brown sugar, heavy breaded malts, and the signature hop notes from Lagunitas that feature pine and citrus. Flavors exceed the nose with rich breaded notes covered in caramel on the front and sides. Sweetness gives way in the middle to moderately heavy citrus notes of pineapple and cherry mixed with pine. Citrus and pine notes then mingle together with strong alcohol on the back giving strong heat. Slick and coating sweetness with a medium high level of carbonation aiding in cutting through the strong sweetness. An excellent malt bomb with a medium bitter hop aftertaste.

Excellent for the malt lover......which I am.


 843 characters

Photo of kalosjakar
3.96/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found the new label with a different ABV than the other listing. I have the 9.10% so I chose to review here. I assume the recipe is slightly different now.

Pours a dark brown with a slightly creamy head.
Smells very malty, bready, sugary..

Tastes very sweet, malt bomb, almost caramel/butterscotch like in the aftertaste.
Has great retention, that foamy/creamy head is still there.
So full, I don't think I can drink more than this bomber.

 445 characters

Photo of HopHunter19
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - beautiful copper clear colored beer with a nice off white head that leaves great lacing
S - pine, earthy hops, bready malts, caramel, sugar, little bit of orange
T - piney and earthy hops, bready malts, caramel, sugar, citrus rind, grapefruit bitterness, like a malty east coast ipa kinda
M - light to medium mouthfeel, alc covered, aftertaste is caramel malts and mild citrus rind bitterness, with some bready flavors in there too
O - big beer. It's a lot better with a year or more of age on it though. this guy was bottled the 322 day of 15 and drank the 352 day of 15, so only 30 days old.

 597 characters

Photo of Flounder57
4.02/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle was poured into a snifter.

Appearance: A one finger off white head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is an amber crimson color with good clarity and vision of tiny bubbles coming up through the glass. Spotty lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Toasted, biscuity, doughy, caramel, toffee, a l8ttl ed booze, and grassy hops.

Taste: Same as above. Chewy characteristics, booze, and light bitterness in the rear.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, a little chewy, medium bodied, slight bitterness, light boozy notes, and medium carbonation.

Overall: This beer is a mixture between a doppelbock and altbier. Very good combination, drinkable, and enjoyable.

 691 characters

Photo of BigDaddyWarbuxx
3.79/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Very surprised by the level of sweetness here. A decent level of alcohol present in the flavor, but not too bad. Mild enough for the alcohol content.

 151 characters

Photo of CHickman
3.82/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bomber: pours a clear red copper color with a tan 2 finger foamy head that had tons of bubbles in it and cascaded down like a Guinness poured from a tap and faded slowly, leaving good spotty lacing all over. Looks like a nut brown ale or typical strong ale, only the head was much more impressive.

Smells of caramel, malt, wheat, fruit like orange peel, brown sugar and booze; it smells sweet and malty and basically smells like it looks.

Malt bomb alert, the flavor jumps out with sweet malt, caramel, toffee, dark fruit like raisin, plum or date, some orange peel, herbal hops, toasted grains, woody or oaky notes, burnt wheat bread, brown sugar, peat moss, light spices and mild booze. It’s like an oak-aged old ale with a tremendous amount of malt flavor that is not too sweet and somehow keeps the booze minimized, and yet complex with some herbal notes that almost seem like hop spices or someone spilled Windex in the mash – drinkable and more so than it should be at 9.4%, but you need to be in a malt state of mind to enjoy this as I did tonight.

Mouthfeel is thick and chewy, with a medium to heavy body, mild carbonation and a bready sweetness that trails off with some spices and malty notes like caramel and whole grain crackers.

Overall a good beer that is nice to have once a year as it’s very complicated even though it’s malt dominant – the malt version of a DIPA that allows the malt bill to bring out different flavors and hide the ABV. This is the second bomber I drank this winter and both times I pretty much got wrecked from the bomber as the booze sneaks up on you, which is nice.

 1,622 characters

Photo of HamdenHector
3.77/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: crystal clear; cola brown with some red accents; 1 finger light brown head that receded to a wispy cap; very nice lacing;

S: caramel first, then lemon and fresh wort;

T: molasses; dark fruit, and alcohol; finish has very mild bitterness;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; lightly dry finish; very smooth; although I tasted alcohol, it wasn't warming or harsh in any way;

O: very nice malt forward beer;

 415 characters

Photo of DrinkMoreBigBeers
4.14/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poring this out I was surprised to see a clear ruby brown beer with some lacing and a white small head that was produced from what looks like a high level of carbonation. The nose is dominated by malts, bready, nutty, some sweetness, little bit of yeast esters and some earthy tones. Aroma is not overly complex or strong but still is nice and pleasant. The taste follows the nose with malt forward dominate flavor but it contains more complexity with dark fruits. raisins, breadiness, and esters. Mouth is full bodied, effervescent, pillowy soft, and very appealing. This is a great Euro Strong Lager and probably the first I have had in this style. Give it a try if you like your strong beer more on the malty side that kinda has a quad similarity, cheers!

 767 characters

Photo of jb80016
3.43/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Nice brown tone with white head that dissipated in a few minutes. Malt forward with a little alcohol heat, but not in a bad way. Overall a clean beer, but nothing really complex that would make me look for it.

 211 characters

Photo of jlipin8622
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a beer-clean Dogfish IPA glass, it shows a sensational clear brown look. Good head initially, but there is a lack of head retention and lacing.

The nose is full of banana foster, caramel, sweet malt, and a nuance of cinnamon.

The body is on the fuller side. Notes of banana, caramel, malt, and light bittersweet chocolate are there. What's surprising is the slight citrus twist. It has a refreshing acidity to combat some of the sweetness. The roasty malt taste lingers for several minutes as well. It's a well balanced beer with a good mouthfeel.

I like drier beers and am frequently disappointed by many beers of this type because of the overly sweet notes that coat the mouth and linger without any balance. However, for what it is, this beer is pretty good. It's not my first choice on the shelf, but I could drink it again.

 844 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.66/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Blindfolded you'd call this an Old Ale, complete with buttery taste and the woody, musty wierdness. Hints of old cinnamon and suspicious fruit. Candy finish with cedar and butterscotch. Lovely woody, roast grain aroma.

Attractive dark red amber with a modest foam. So sweet with caramel, but then the bitter aftertaste emerges. This is one of the classic alcoholic malt depth charges that Lagunitas used to be known for. And it goes down nicely, like a wet dream of a malt liquor. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Liticker's Liquor in San Diego.

 549 characters

Photo of Totalpackage411
3.61/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Love this brewery, if you're ever in the Bay Area this is a fun brewery to check out with a cool tour and cool atmosphere. this isn't my favored beer from this brewery but it was definitely refreshing. If you like lighter beers this ones probably for you. Taste is not too overpowering with a hint of fruitiness.

 314 characters

Photo of beerjunky413
2.39/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Poured into tulip. Pours dark copper with a reddish hue. Thin off white head reduces to an extremely thin lacing quickly. Aroma is solventy/ heavy alcohol with hints of dark fruits. Flavor is heavy on the alcohol to the point that you would think it's higher than 9.6%. Mouthfeel is a bit thin. Under the booze theres lots of sweetness with a slight plum, fig and molasses aftertaste. Described as a euro strong ale but tastes a whole lot like a barleywine that's not ready yet. If you have this or buy this in 2014 do yourself a favor and throw it in the cellar for a year or two.

 581 characters

The Hairy Eyeball from Lagunitas Brewing Company
3.75 out of 5 based on 135 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!