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The Hairy Eyeball | Lagunitas Brewing Company

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The Hairy EyeballThe Hairy Eyeball
BA SCORE
3.84/5
Very Good
2,757 Ratings
The Hairy EyeballThe Hairy Eyeball
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States
lagunitas.com

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#10,965
Reviews:
975
Ratings:
2,757
pDev:
11.46%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
83
Gots:
503
Trade:
2
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,757 |  Reviews: 975
Photo of irongator
4.72/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

drank at room temp. Bigtime alcohol presence. really no smell whatsoever. no hop presence. Lots of malt - malt and warm alcohol that burns your tongue. a little smoky taste to make me think of a cross between an Imperial stout and a doppelbock and a wee heavy. I will be drinking the hell out of this beer, every christmas!

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Photo of mooseisloose
4.7/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a name, bizarre yet intriguing, I've picked up a six of this before but it was so good, it got downed without a review. Well I scored another, marked at 8.83% ABV, so let's give it a whirl. Popping the top yields a delicious smell of brown sugar, molasses and black and hint red licorice. Pours to a nice translucent deep red brown with a thin tan head. Taste of this brew is complex. It starts with a chewy roasted malt base and progresses to a black licorice flavor with a molasses and anise slightly bitter finish. Mouthfeel is extraordinary. It starts almost syrup thick then zests ion the middle with carbonation and thins (not overly so) but still sticks to the ribs. This is a perfect example of this style and a very delicious brew. This brew can be very sneaky at 8.83% ABV. This beer is also an extreme value as a six pack sells for less than most four packs of equal or lesser quality. Keep up the good work Lagunitas. May have to cellar a few to see what pans out in a year or two.

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Photo of nate_nate_nate
4.69/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had no expectations and was blown away. It's a fraction crisper than the best scotch ale out there (Bellhaven Wee Heavy). Taste is malty, caramel sublime.

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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.

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Photo of blackcompg
4.68/5  rDev +21.9%
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.

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Photo of amajors8
4.68/5  rDev +21.9%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.67/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle cellared one year... A dark mahogany body reveals orange and ruby highlights when held to the light; and it's creamy light tan head slowly erodes to a wide collar without leaving behind much more than spotty lace. The nose is rich with caramel, molasses, piney hops, light spice and wood. It's quite refreshing, and reminiscent of a crisp fall evening under the stars. It's medium-bordering-on-full bodied and just slightly zesty in the mouth before warming to become creamy and smooth as its very fine carbonation "pillows up". Caramelized brown sugar and light spice dominate the rich, malty flavor before a splash of alcohol becomes apparent. Some softer notes of caramel and nuttiness follow in the finish. Resinous, piney hop flavors are present the whole way through, but shine in the aftertaste. Exceptionally well-balanced and highly drinkable despite its strength. A most wonderful holiday meal beer or nightcap!

 928 characters

Photo of BeerManDan
4.67/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The color was a nice dark brown with a little tan foam and very little lace. When pouring, you could see it poured thick. The smell of roasted malts was very pleasant, along with a sweet fruity aroma. The taste was of roasted malts, caramel and coffee with a hint of fruit. Not overpowering on the alcohol. This strong ale was very very pleasant. Couldn't believe that a american strong ale like this was so tasty with out the tartness or bit of alcohol. Yum, I need more!

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

Look: Deep Amber, almost chocolaty color, head drops off fast, but the lacing lingers

Smell: Dried fruit, chocolate, brown sugar, some roasted malts

Taste: Up Front: Malty, raisiny, caramel, a touch of sweetness. Finish: A little alcohol comes through after a surge of hops and malt

Mouthfeel: Sticky and rich, my tongue is doing back flips...Rightchaw!

Drinkability: Quaffable times ten! , This could be a winter session beer for me, mortalz, maybe 1 or 2 at a sitting

Overall Impression: This beer is so good, that my brother in law ( who is a Coors Light drinker ) was so scared of the ABV that he had to split one with me, but he liked this beer a lot!

 661 characters

Photo of RootedFool
4.65/5  rDev +21.1%
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.

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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.

 1,065 characters

Photo of beerceller99
4.63/5  rDev +20.6%
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.

 395 characters

Photo of Zephan
4.62/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Really enjoyed this ale. Fantastic

34 characters

Photo of skotster13
4.61/5  rDev +20.1%
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!!!!

 1,469 characters

Photo of Eris
4.61/5  rDev +20.1%

Photo of drwatson32
4.6/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

 1,133 characters

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!!!

 340 characters

Photo of Amsterdallas
4.6/5  rDev +19.8%

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

Photo of AdamZwief
4.6/5  rDev +19.8%

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

Photo of Lard_City
4.59/5  rDev +19.5%
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.

121 characters

Photo of jsanmarco
4.59/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

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

The Hairy Eyeball from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.84 out of 5 with 2,757 ratings
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