I think Lagunitas‘ The Hairy Eyeball takes a prize for one of the best (strangest?) names for a beer. I know I picked up a six-pack based on the name. Well, that and it’s a whopping 9% alcohol by volume. Lagunitas is developing a reputation, like Dogfish Head and Stone Brewing, for extreme beers, I think.
And they’re doing a good job of it. Although I would classify this as a barleywine, rather than an "American Strong Ale" as the ratings sites suggest.
Appearance: Mahogany brown with some orange. Clear. Head is a nice tan with hints of orange.
Smell: Cloyingly sweet, warm malt. Hops are overwhelmed, but a bit fruity. Almost a flossy Belgian candy sugar.
Taste: Like an old ale—malty, bitter, dark but not burnt. Overlaying that is the sweet alcohol barleywine character and strong almost peppery hops.
Mouthfeel: Nice, thick chewy body. Warming from the alcohol.
Overall: This packs a punch for sure. Not the best I’ve had from Lagunitas, but not bad by a long shot, either.