Posts Tagged ‘Lagunitas Hairy Eyeball’

As I head upstate tomorrow for Memorial Day Weekend, I wanted to put up another post. I have a few beer and bar reviews on my “To Do List”, but I figured I would talk about a beer style I recently discovered: Barleywine.

I first tried a barleywine at the Lazy Boy Saloon in White Plains, NY. The Lazy Boy is a great beer bar in an otherwise annoying area to go out drinking. White Plains tends to get packed with people looking for a “scene.” Lazy Boy, at least the few times I’ve been there, is a little bit more my style. I will save a full scale review for another time, but when looking through the Lazy Boy’s massive beer menu I came upon a Lagunitas Hairy Eyeball. The name alone was enough to peak my interest, but when I saw the style of beer I was almost put off. Barleywine? I didn’t know what to expect other than a probably sweeter beer. I usually lean towards a hoppier beer, but decided to give it a try anyway. I was glad I did. It was served in a standard pint glass with a dark brown color and a minimal head. The smell was strong and I could tell it was going to be a sweet beer. Upon tasting, I realized this was different from the usual beer I drink. That is not necessarily a bad thing, however. The Hairy Eyeball went down very smooth and went great with the steak sandwich dinner I was enjoying. Sweeter than your (or at least my) average beer, it didn’t seem like I was drinking beer.

The second barleywine I tried was at The Bronx Alehouse, my new favorite bar. A full review of the Bronx Ale House will be coming soon, I will assure you. For now, I will just mention how it has a great selection of beer on tap, a few of which are kicked and rotated in the few hours I spend there. I saw on their impressive blackboard that there was a Stone Old Guardian barleywine beer. Stone has slowly been creeping its way up my “favorite beer” list. I have never drank a Stone I wasn’t impressed with. Their Arrogant Bastard line of beers are incredible and I was sure, after trying the Lagunitas Hairy Eyeball, that I would love their barleywine. At a stronger abv., the Old Guardian was served in a 12oz glass, dark and amber in color. There was a strong and fruity smell, almost stronger than the Hairy Eyeball. The taste was similar to the Hairy Eyeball, however there was a very sharp flavor upon initial taste. I’d equate that to the Old Guardian’s 12% abv to the Hairy Eyeball’s 9%. Stronger alcohol content should mean a stronger kick in the taste buds. Just as enjoyable, especially while watching the Mets defeat the Yankees as an added bonus.

Overall I enjoyed the Hairy Eyeball over the Old Guardian. The Hairy Eyeball went down a bit smoother and was more pleasant to the taste. That is no strike towards Stone, however. They continue their streak of excellent beers I’ve tasted. Barleywine may not be my normal beer choice, but when the mood hits me at least now I know I can take a different path than just the typical IPA or Pale Ale.