The Hairy Eyeball | Lagunitas Brewing Company

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The Hairy EyeballThe Hairy Eyeball
Very Good
2,759 Ratings
The Hairy EyeballThe Hairy Eyeball

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 BeerAdvocate on 01-12-2002

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Ratings: 2,759 |  Reviews: 976
Photo of gillagorilla
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle poured into a Burley Oak snifter

A: Barely any head but it has a nice foamy collar with a slight haze of bubbles on the top. Interesting deep brown color with a nice amber tinge to it. It looks opaque but at certain angles and in good light you can see through it with some beautiful shades of color.

S: Smells very good. Lots of fruitcake, raisins, and like rum/brandy soaked pineapple upside down cake. Sweet malts running quietly throughout. Out comes a very interesting sweet smell that I can't really place when you swirl it. There is a nice bit of figs in there as well.

T: Lots of raisins and sweet malts. You get notes of caramel and toffee. All the classic old ale notes.

M: It is quite thin, which detracts from the taste and flavor. Almost no coarseness or prickliness. Actually, it is surprisingly creamy.

O: The mouthfeel really hurts this beer. You get a quick look at the flavors but then they are gone just like that.

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4/5  rDev +4.2%

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4/5  rDev +4.2%

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3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

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3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

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4/5  rDev +4.2%

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3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

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3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

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4/5  rDev +4.2%

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3/5  rDev -21.9%

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4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.04/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

In the world where brandy flavor meets ale, that's where the Hairy Eyeball lives. Shying slightly from the hop-forward taste of most American Strong Ales, Lagunitas prefers more English flavor with a complex malt backbone and a few of those intangible savory "Olde Ale" notes.

The ale kicks off with a highly frothy pour. A slow separation occurs as the dense foam cap pulls patiently away from the bready body beneath. Its russet brown body is given a mysterious and masculine color because of the hazy veil that the lightly filtered ale projects. Its strong retention leads to a host of lacing patterns that's left behind on the glass.

Its malty-rich aromas calls all the sweet tooth's out there with heavy toffee, molasses, buckwheat honey and nutty brittle. A mix of vinous and dark, stone fruits give a hint of sherry and brandy to richer and earthier sweetnesses of date, apple, fig, plumb, prune and raisin. Herbal and piney hops offer a tepid balance to the sweetness but never attempts to match its intensity.

Bready-sweet throughout, the beer greets the palate with a sense of rum cake, coffee cake and fruit cake as the malty-rich taste saturates the taste buds with the same molasses, toffee and honey flavors of the nose. But a toasty, nutty and "cake-like" tone sheds light on mild coffee and chocolate tastes that lurk closely behind. As the ale develops mild tartness, its alcohol turns sherry-like with drunken grapes, cherries and apples; along with a pleasant vinous acidity. There's just enough resinous hop bite to keep the beer from cloying though its bitterness is simply a prop.

Full bodied without question, the beer's moderate carbonation allows the malt richness to lay weightily on the tongue for full saturation of sweetness. Its creaminess is slow to dissolve and the ale lumbers toward a malty-sweet finish and a long linger of toffee, fruit and alcohol spice.

The Hairy Eyeball is a highly decadent ale that doesn't simply pair well with cake desserts, it serves to replace them altogether. Accompaniments of stilton, dried fruit and assorted nuts would make for the most divine closure to any premium dinner.

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3.74/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

The Hairy Eyeball from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.84 out of 5 with 2,759 ratings
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