Big, bold and aggressive, Lagunitas is never one to pull punches, so I'm walking into this tasting eyes wide open and cracking open a bottle of their New Year's seasonal release; Lagunitas The Hairy Eyeball Ale.
Lagunitas Hairy Eyeball Ale poured a crystal-clear deep crimson in the glass with mild carbonation and a thin, sticky head. The nose was piny and had strong tones of brown sugar and alcohol.
Lagunitas Hairy eyeball Ale drank very aggressive, with an oak-like grip to the mouth feel (no oak flavors) and a dark sweetness that hit the back of my jaw. The body of the ale was pure sugar and alcohol, and the ale ended on a long, dry bitter fade.
Lagunitas Hairy Eyeball Ale is more a physical experience than a tasting one. It is big and bold, and maybe a little less nuanced than one would think once they get past the aggressive start. Certainly an American strong ale worthy of drinking, but the newer waves of craft brewers are doing strong ales easier to drink and with more complexity... just not in an affordable six pack.