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Hairy Eyeball Ale | Lagunitas Brewing Company

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Hairy Eyeball AleHairy Eyeball Ale

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.40%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-12-2002

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 957 | Ratings: 2,647
Photo of hardysf
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Don't know about this beer. Didn't know what I was buying as there is no info about type of beer on label. Just og, and ibu and the high abv lagunitas is infamous for. I was expecting a old ale, barleywine, etc.

Pours a dark brown, mahogany maybe. Lots of head that dies, but enough carb stays throughout the beer with some nice lacing. The aroma is a miss. Smells like old dirty bar. I'd guess maybe a lager yeast was used.

Taste is a little better. Roasted malt, caramel, and molasses. Maybe a hint of brown sugar. Maybe a little overly sweet for my liking. No standout flavor, and the stale beer/ old macro brew flavor is present. I'm curious if lager yeast was used.

The mouthfeel is good. But lagunitas is so well developed, that's to be expected. Sticky and coating the mouth. I kept drinking it but couldn't explain why...

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.56/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Gorgeous mahogany clear body, plenty of carbonation, with good off-white head and lace. Nose is naught but a lot of booze and almost-warm caramel/raisin. The flavor is reminiscent of a quadrupel, but with much more poorly hidden alcohol. Dried fruit, raisin, toffee, mild hop bitterness. Full body, slightly sticky.
Not especially tasty, but not bad or flawed. Too big for its britches.

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Photo of Gobearswalter34
3.27/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a brownish-red with a one finger, off-white head with little carbonation. Not a big smell, just sweet.
Taste like f dark fruits especially cherry, malt, toffee, slightly cough syrup due to alcohol burn. Hop bite as well. Taste lingers. Mouthfeel not great, cherry is most pleasant. My least favorite from the great Lagunitas.

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Photo of EMV
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

L: Pours a semi-transparent copper/mahogany color. 2 fingers of creamy off-white head take awhile to fall away.

S: Toasted malts, grains and brown sugar... hops of course (this is a Lagunitas beer after all).

T/F: Delicious flavor... complex malts and sugars without being sweet. Molassas and faintly spicy. That hits the palate first, followed by the classic Lagunitas hop profile with floral and citrusy hops. Finishes clean and medium in body. Good carbonation. Sticky and chewy in mouthfeel.

O: If you enjoy Lagunitas beers... you'll like 'Hairy Eyeball' as their classic flavor is all over this beer. Tasty and delicious, and a 'big beer'.

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Photo of Viaduck
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Nice red color & a big, long lasting head. Smells hoppy. Tastes sweet, not bitter. I'm not a fan of IPA's but I do like sweet. I like the battle & balance of sweetness & hops here. Pretty good

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Photo of stevoj
3.62/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Aroma is rather faint, but taste makes up for that with a full on malt and hops assault. Medium brown with silky beige head, nutty, malty flavor with a nice hops tang on the finish. this is a really delicious beer. Slight warmth from the alcohol, but not overpowering

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Photo of HopsAreDaMan
4.14/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber, one-year old (I did a side-by-side tasting comparison of the one-year old with a fresh bottle). I will select the rating to be counted based on the one-year old vintage, and record below the rating of the fresh as 'Fresh: < numerical rating >'

Look: They both pour exactly the same: an incredibly clear amber, with a nice amount of frothy beige head that last about a minute, and both have nice lacing. Fresh: 4

Smell: The one-year has quite a bit going on, strong aromas especially of dark fruits; the fresh doesn't have much aroma, perhaps a bit of malts, but that's about it. Fresh: 3.5

Taste: one-year has strong flavor of dark fruits (reminding me somewhat of a Belgian dark strong ale), and surprisingly, there is still plenty of hop flavor here; I also get a bit of what I believe is the wet cardboard flavor (I am assuming from the oxidation). The fresh has a reasonable amount of malts and hops, and is tasty, but it clearly lacks the complexity of the one-year. Fresh: 3.75

Feel: Generally speaking, both have a medium body, with a nice enough finish. Fresh: 3.75

Overall: The one-year vintage has more complexity in the aroma and in the taste that the fresh, and that is what I am looking for in a big beer. For both vintages, I agree what another review wrote: "... full of flavor without being too sticky sweet." Fresh: 3.75

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Photo of sjccmd
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Birghty, fruity aroma. Spicy and slightly minty. Sweet molasses bread. Dark fruits. Plums, raisins, and candied fruit. Cinnamon and other baking spices.

Clear ruby amber with a very light tan head. Decent retention and lacing.

Rich caramel malt, honey, and dark fruit. Citrus and bitter hops. Toasted rye bread. Rich, somewhat sweet. Sticky but not cloying.

Medium heavy body and medium light carbonation. Big and mouthfilling. Finish is mostly dry with some lingering sweetness.

Difficult to evaluate based on any kind of style, but it is full of flavor without being too sticky sweet.

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Photo of Dvanistan
4.29/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I dont regularly opt for a non-IPA, but then again, you really cant go wrong with Lagunitas (which btw has changed the label/cover art for this particular brew. Much improved, too.)

It's a little sweet. But not too sweet. I doubt you'd be able to take more than a single 22 oz. Any more may leave a bad aftertaste. Besides, it's pretty heavy on the booze.

It goes down surprisingly well for a brew that exceeds 9%

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Photo of babaracas
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Haven't had this one in years, good for a re-review. Pours a medium dark red-orange-brown... let's call it a pleasant rust color, clear with a thick cap of cream colored foam, much of which spider-webs its way down the glass. Smell: dark brown sugar, date bread, notes of prune, candied orange-ish, pecan-ish... liquid fruitcake. Taste: more balanced here... loads of caramel, dates, anise, note of cooked peach, piney and earthy hopping teams up with a boozy note to cut through. Full-ish bodied, creamy feel with a hop, sugar, and booze strewn finish befitting the label.

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Photo of spoony
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From a 650 ml bottle to a tulip.

A-A normal pour produces about a finger of light-tan head. The head drops quickly to a cap and leaves a stray bit of lace on the glass. The beer is dark amber in color and nearly clear.

S-The aroma is heavy on the malt with suggestions of barley grain and toffee. Alcohol makes a strong showing and is lightly spicy, especially as it warms up. Not much in the way of hops here, just a vague, earthy, leafy note.

T-The taste tracks the smell pretty closely, i.e., lots of malts with barley, toffee, and cocoa powder notes. Some vague bitter, leafy hops on the finish, and a good kick of spicy alcohol provide a little balance to the sweetness of the malt.

M-The body is medium in heft with a persistent, prickly carbonation that breaks up the sweetness of the beer nicely.

O-This beer is OK, but nothing I would search out again. It reminds me of a strong Scotch ale or wee heavy. Not a bad beer on a chilly December evening, but nothing terribly unique or memorable is happening here.

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Photo of dmgallag
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

So... Another solid ale from Lagunitas. A little sweet for my taste and for copious consumption. However, goes down way to easy for the 9% it clocks in at. I would do it again, but not seek it out.

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Photo of ThaneMcC
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark, reddish brown with copious off white head and solid lacing. Smells strongly of sweet malt, almost like barley wine, molasses, dark fruit (prune/dates). Tastes strong, sweet malts forward, molasses, vanilla, caramel, metallic tang mid note and very mild hoppy note at the end leading to a fairly clean finish. A little sticky textured, medium bodied with minimal effervescence.
Overall, very sweet but well balanced beer – a good winter warmer with its abv of 9.1% - not quite a desert beer – but the palate is more towards the malty/sweet side of the spectrum. Would make a great beer to sip by the fire, or perhaps as either an aperitif or digestif following a good meal.
Another solid offering from Lagunitas

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Photo of Furlinator
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from the bottle a cloudy dark brown. The thin khaki head quickly disappears completely. The taste is dominated by caramel malt with just enough hop presence to keep it balanced. Nothing groundbreaking or innovative, just a tasty brew.

Thanks to Mike Martinez for this one.

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Photo of Benish
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark copper in color with a very thick frothy head. After a while it slowly dissipated, leaving a film of foam at the surface. Little lacings around the glass.

Aroma: aroma reminds me of tapioca pudding, some vanilla; smells like liquid dessert.

Taste: its sweet and hoppy. More like a barley wine than a strong ale but just not so complex. There's the bitter earthiness from the hops and the burnt brown sugar. But it ends there. There is a slight cough syrup quality as the ere warms up.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, carbonation perfect.

Overall: not a complex beer but a straightforward hoppy sweet beer.

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Photo of drunkenmess
4.11/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

One Awesome Ale indeed.
Taste is kinda strong on the boozy side. But the sweetnees and the laid back malts mix well with it. Slight, very light bite. Excellent again Lagunitas. Still one of my favorite brewers. As of now...

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Photo of chinchill
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle.

Clear mahogany body with a decent head.
A bit too sweet upfront, but I often think this about barleywines.
Moderate complexity with partially hidden ABV.

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Photo of sjones5045
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

8/8/15. DE pool

Didn't see what this beer even was on the label so went in blind. Looks like a root beer ale by the color and head. Dark brown.

The smell was interesting. At first is reminded me a little of a barley wine but as it breathed brown sugar and maple came out with some dark fruits.

The taste was really good. Brown sugar and vanilla but not even close to being a dessert beer. Just enough to make it faintly sweet and the malts and alcohol kept it in check.

Overall this was a good beer. Perhaps it would be even better in the fall with some chilli rather than by the pool.

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Photo of Cannibalgasm
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle.

A: Pours a dark ruby red with one finger of off-white head. Very solid retention and lacing.

S: Caramelized malts, candied sugar, dark fruits, dark breads, and earthy hops.

T: Caramel, toffee, sweet malts, plum, raisin, rye, a hint of pumpernickel, clove, brown sugar, molasses, a hint of earthy hops.

M: Much lighter body then I expected, moderate carbonation, to easy to drink for a barleywine in my opinion . It's pleasant but I expected more of a sipper.

O: A very delicious ASA but it lacked in the mouthfeel. I really enjoyed the flavors and complexity in them but it was honestly to easy to drink and I found myself unable to truly grasp it's depth.

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Photo of LADaveBN
4.41/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 and 2009 side-by-side at Churchkey in DC. The '09 drinks like a barleywine. The '13 still has a subtle hop presence. Both are excellent. Although boozy. Served near room temp.

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Photo of castelli1981
3.32/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Not much of a smell. Looks normal. Tastes smooth with carbonation. No lingering aftertaste. Doesn't feel like 9.1% as you are drinking it. Definitely a beer worth trying.

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Photo of dutesanch
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bomber into a SA perfect pint glass.Very enjoyable beer with a slight oily feel. Very similar to to many of my favorite scotch ales. Alcohol content is well hidden with malt/scotch/Carmel/Raison flavor. My favorite Lagunitas beer to date

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Photo of ARoman
3.86/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The aroma is sweet and malty with roasted caramel, bread crust, and raisin notes. It’s a somewhat murky mahogany color with a dense, white soap head that has moderate to light retention and lace. It’s a medium high wine like bittersweet. The texture is chewy and fuzzy with a full body with flavors of toast and grape jelly with a light metallic note, a herb quality, and a bit of alcohol. The finish is herby with a wine and chocolate note and a chalky quality as well as an alcohol warmth and bread crust. It has a moderate length that leads to an aftertaste that’s cloying and malty with metallic notes and pine.

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Photo of muchos
4.41/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Burgundy-brown with a soapy head.
Fruity, woody nose, chocolaty as it warms.
Pungent malty sweet taste. Chocolate, wood, burnt sugar. Bitter sweet aftertaste. Delicious. I like it a lot.
Medium to full bodied. Surprisingly dry finish.
Like every Lagunitas beer, highly recommended.

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Photo of JamesBondGA
4.46/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice dark caramel color with over an inch head that leaves with a nice lacing on the glass. Nice Caramel and brown sugar notes. Smooth to drink.

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Hairy Eyeball Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
3.86 out of 5 based on 2,647 ratings.
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