Wilco Tango Foxtrot - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Wilco Tango FoxtrotWilco Tango Foxtrot

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BA SCORE
88
very good

795 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 795
Hads: 2,362
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 10.18%
Wants: 66
Gots: 143 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  7.83% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: flexabull on 03-06-2010

"Imperial Brown Ale" (not a style on BA).
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 795 | Hads: 2,362
Photo of Sammy
3.77/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark golden body with a lot of white foamy head that leaves sticky thick lace. Overshadowing appearance and experience were several black dots appearing from the bottle - dirt? I fished them out and continued into a good IPA experience. A nice balanced juicy hoppy beer. (270 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark brown with a 1 inch foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Thin streaks of lace form randomly around the glass on the drink down. Smell is quite malty with some caramel and herbal hop aromas. Taste is of brown sugar, caramel, and herbal hop flavors up front with a very malty backbone. There is a mild amount of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that to me seems like a hybrid between a barleywine and an IPA. Good stuff. (562 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: two finger off white frothy head with good retention and lacing on a deep amber hazy body with garnet hues.

S: sweet caramel malt with toffee and mild dark fruit note.

T: mild dark fruit and floral notes up front on a caramel and bread malt background.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: the sharpness effects the drinkablity but the aroma and flavor are very good and unique. (398 characters)

Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear dark amber in color and has no evidence of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high beige head that has good retention properties and consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are moderate aromas of citrusy hops and caramel malts in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste is well balanced between flavors of caramel malts and citrus hops. No bitterness is detectable.
M: It feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is very easy to drink and goes down smoothly because the taste is well balanced between the hops and malts and does not have any traces of alcohol. (687 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Capone's. Served in a mini snifter.

Pours a dark copper color with a good white head and some spotty lacing. The nose is mildly sweet and also has a bit of a hop presence. Lightly flora, perhaps. The taste is moderately sweet and has some nice pine and floral hop characteristics. The body is medium with a touch of bitterness, but also some sweetness to balance. Good body; my favorite part of the beer. Pretty good overall. Nothing complex, but well made and has a nice feel. (489 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a burnt caramel color with a nice head that leaves plenty of lacing

Smell: Caramel elements dominate, but there is also a fruit aspect that ranges from dark fruit to stone fruit to hints of citrus

Taste: After a brief taste of caramel malt and dark fruit, a blast of citrusy pith and pine comes to dominate by mid-palate; after the swallow, the flavor profile remains hoppy, though there is a range of fruit flavors that add complexity

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Lagunitas has hit it out of the ballpark with this one; tremendously complex malt profile matches up with the hoppiness you expect from this brewery (677 characters)

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

I liked this a lot, id call it a hoppy American brown ale before I call it a strong ale, but I suppose that's inconsequential here. this beer pours a nice clear lighter brown, indian red maybe, with a pillowy tan head with outstanding retention. the nose is way hoppy for a brown, it crowds out any malt sweetness and plays off the bitter cocoa powder element perfectly. the flavor is also quite hopped up, and for once in a lagunitas beer, that same old yeast strain actually works here! at least it doesn't detract from the feature elements I should say, its a non-issue, which is nice for a change. love the roasty malts with the hop bitter, its an underutilized combination of flavors. great carbonation and soft texture to a bigger beer. the finish is complex and chocolate forward, but there is also a little residual sugar that challenges the hops. this is a great beer, totally unique, and one I will absolutely be buying again. outstanding stuff. (955 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one poured out as a deep brown color with some light tan colored suds on top. The lacing was light and just barely clings to the glass. The smell of the beer was slightly sweet with some malts and just a bit of hops in there too. The taste of the beer is malty upfront and leaves you with a nice tingling hop sensation in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel of the beer is smooth and has a good amount of body to it. Overall this beer, despite the WTF name it's actually a pretty good brew. I would drink it again. (513 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a dark amber color ale with a large off-white foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of pine and citrus hops notes with huge caramel malt notes. Taste is also a mix between some huge malt caramel notes with balanced sweetness which is mix with some citrus and resin hops. Body is quite full with good carbonation. This brewery keeps putting out great beers. I wish I would have more access to them. (428 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

"Life is like the tango... sad, sensual, sexy, violent and quiet."

--anonymous

Dark burnt orange with blazing bonfire borders and a lovely looking head of khaki colored foam that reached three fingers on the initial pour. The foam is lumpy and bumpy, melts in an unhurried fashion, and is painting the glass with scattered splotches of suds.

So, far WTF reminds me of another Lagunitas Imperial brown ale (in the Zappa series) called Lumpy Gravy. Neither one have/had a ton of brown ale character and this one smells hoppier than the earlier offering. It also smells like mucho enjoyable beer.

Wilco Tango Foxtrot is tasty stuff, even if it doesn't fit my prefered 'big brown' profile. It ventures closer to the toasted-earthy flavor of a bock than the darker, more chocolate-like notes of a stout. Generous hops more than make up for any shortcoming in the malt bill.

Specifics include well-toasted brown bread, roasted peanuts, an apricot and citrus zest fruitiness, bitter tea leaves and a peppery spiciness that adds yet another flavor facet. Although the score won't be higher, this is better beer than Lumpy Gravy.

The mouthfeel is the highlight because it strikes the perfect balance between big beer full chewiness and 'built for speed' light creaminess. Kudos to the boys from Petaluma.

Wilco Tango Foxtrot is billed as 'A Malty, Robust, Jobless Recovery Ale'. The first two are true and the third is both moronic and oxymoronic. Since the brewery is being ironic and poking fun, I'll let it slide. Given what's going on in this country these days, I feel like drinking half a dozen bombers of Wilco Tango Foxtrot daily. (1,636 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Does that mean that we're in the Brown?!"

"...Yuan-flavoured TARP dollars"

"imbibiliciousness"

" W... T... F..."

Even if I didn't already have a well-earned sneaking suspicion that the beer inside this clever packaging would be worthwhile, these bons mots sealed the deal...

This beer pours a clear, dark reddish copper hue, with two fingers of chunky, foamy beige head, which leaves fractal lace around the glass as it duly recedes. It smells of strong caramel malt, a bit of breadiness, and evenly spaced leafy, grapefruit and orange hops. The taste is dense caramel malt, toffee, a bit of biscuit, a slight buttery nuttiness, some mild warming alcohol, and fairly redoubtable citrus hops. The carbonation is mostly sedate, the body north of middleweight, smooth, creamy - with a little moderating zip - and it finishes nice and evenly with some swift doses of sweet bready malt and bitter citrus hops.

Even though the only thing that I am recovering from is a mild, but annoyingly debilitating common cold, I appreciate the assault on the funny bone/current events/strong beer jonesin' fronts. A nicely balanced big boy beer from the usual Yankee suspects on this side of the northern border. (1,202 characters)

Photo of emerge077
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A lightish brown tone as it's poured, darker in the glass, glinting ruby in the light. Second pour yields a thick foamy crest that threatens to overflow. As it slides down the glass, puffy rings of lace are left in its wake. Real purty like.

Toasty malty notes of a strong brown ale are intertwined with juicy tropical fruits, a unique combo for sure. Seriously malty flavors, toasty and somewhat rich, fading into some herbal bitterness and sweetish citrus fruits. Malt seems to dominate though the hop bitterness holds its ground. Low and even carbonation levels, full and round feel. Easy to drink a bomber, certainly worth a try. (635 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thrilled to try it on tap as I did not want to shell out the money for a bottle right away. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 04/17/2010.

Rich pour, dark caramel in color with an off-white head that reached a height of around two inches before settling back down. Light lacing coating the side of the glass. Aroma is hops, piney with light citrus notes but a load of cinnamon and spice as well. Seems as though I have run into this before with another of their one off's, just seems really familiar. Letting it open up gives me nice touches of caramel and bready malts, a rich and well balanced hoppiness that seems to fade in and out during the session. Nice feel, hearty with great carbonation that still allows it to have some pop to it. Whatever the ABV was it was well hidden and I was able to enjoy this one thoroughly without issue and leaving that nice dry, lightly bitter finish capped it wonderfully.

Overall it was better then I expected. Nice and rich and very drinkable. I would have no trouble enjoying this one again any day. (1,075 characters)

Photo of zeff80
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a murky burgundy color with a small, tan head of foam. not much lacing to speak of.

S - It smelled quite malty with sweet caramel notes. It had floral and piney hops in the nose.

T - Rich malts and bitter hops to bite back. This tastes like a cross between an American Barleywine and an American Imperial IPA. Good piney hops and sweet caramel.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale that is fairly dry.

D - This is a great tasting beer. Lagunitas knocked another one out of the park. (520 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.16/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I always jump at the next Lagunitas "Limited" beer I can get my hands on,aging this oen did not dissapoint.Poured into a imperial pint glass a mix of russett brown and amber,a 1 1/2 finger creamy mass atop that never fully settled.A lighter mix of piney hop and caramel malt,a bit of sweetish alcohol as well.Wow what great balance on the palate,starting out big and caramelly,with some juicy fruit malt notes,then comes a hefty mix of hop oils and pine resin,not to mention big citric qualities.A full creamy feel coats the mouth,making it lush.I may rate it higher than others because I love the big hopped up,uber malty American strong ales,I love it. (654 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The pour is a dark amber color, nearing brown/mahogany with a finger's worth of off-white head and some nice lacing.

S: The first thing I pick up are some piney and floral hop aromas. A fair amount of nuttiness along with a subdued caramel sweetness in the background.

T: I was surprised by the amount of nuttiness to this beer, but found it enjoyable and seemed to work well with the somewhat resinous character of the hops. Still a nice sweetness, but not overwhelming.

M: The body was probably a bit on the watery side, especially for a bigger beer. Nice carbonation, however.

D: A pretty good beer from Lagunitas. I wasn't quite sure what to make of it after the first few sips, but it certainly grew on me. (718 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle - $4.49 at Olde Crabapple Bottle Shoppe in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a clear, deep mahogany-hued body with a wispy, modestly sized (at best) head that tapers off pretty quickly.

Smell: Faintly earthy, faintly woodsy traces to the nose, with the malts hardly coming across at all, saving themselves for the taste, perhaps. Light citrus, minor fruitiness, and a small hint of chocolate toast. I'm swirling, I'm sitting, I'm waiting patiently, but an emboldened aroma never comes.

Taste: Malts are somewhat bready, hinting at toasted grains and with sweetness imparting dark caramel and brown sugar clumps. Light touches of dried apricots and golden raisins. Adequate hop character of resiny pine and fruity citrus. Medium bitterness. Small suggestion of chocolate powder. Malty, sweetish finish, though there's a bit of bitterness that outlasts the sweetness in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. Slight creaminess felt on the tongue.

Overall: Tasty and reasonably quaffable throughout for all its sweetness and slightly bumped up alcohol presence. (1,110 characters)

Photo of nickfl
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with one finger of white head that rests on top of a black body. The foam settles slowly and the lace it leaves behind coats the glass nicely.

S - An aroma of caramel with a little molasses and some toffee.

T - Toffee notes up front with rich caramel. A little bit of smoke to the malt character in the middle as well as more of the toffee character and a bit of molasses. Some bready notes in the finish with moderate hop flavor and bitterness.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly dry finish.

D - This is a beer that is very typical of what I have come to expect of Lagunitas. The combination of rich, caramel and toffee malt with aggressive hoppiness reminds me of several of their beers that I have had in the past. This is even more unusual than the rest of their catalogue with the dark malt having an intense bready caramel and molasses character, complimented by odd notes of smoke. Worth trying, though I don't know that I will have another one. (991 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, brown sugar, dark fruit and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of caramel, brown sugar and dark fruit up front. Then a hearty malt character quickly follows. The hops presence is significant but far from powerful and provides a very good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down very easy, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a well-rounded and fairly complex beer that is worth drinking for a long time. (802 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Haven't found a Lagunitas I don't like yet, and love most of em, so here's the next in line.

A: A nice 1 finger fluffy head rises up and fades slowly with a nice lacing over very clear molasses brown auburn color.

N: Nice chewy hops start, with a touch of musty fresh hops, some pine, spicy hops. And with all that is a nice rustic malt ale, with some dark malts, crystal, caramel, toasty.

T: Starts with a creamy ale flavor. Some nice roasty and toasty malts, crystal malts, little coffee roasted flavor, some slight sweet caramel and toasty malts. WIth that is a nice bitterness, with a little hop flavor, spicy, chewy, and little piny resinous hop flavors. A touch of grassy hops as well. Some sweet brown sugar comes out as it warms with a little honey and more caramel. A nice blend of hops and malts in this, surprised to see it coming from the west coast too.

M: Medium body with decent carbonation.

F: Bitterness builds up and apexes at the beginning of the finish. More pine and resinous hops shine through at first. Then it turns to the malts, with lots of dark malts, roast and some coffee flavors come through, then more caramel, some toffee, a little sweet stickiness, and lots of brown sugar. A surprising blend of heavy malts and roast with nice spicy and piny hops. Normally I would think the amounts of each would not contrast well, but Lagunitas pulls it off again. I'm a big fan. (1,403 characters)

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a bomber of this after a long day, Lagunitas has yet to let me down. Pours a nice dark brown, nice fluffy head to it.. nice looking beer. Nice floral hop aroma to it. Taste is medium bodied, huge malty backbone to it and pretty sweet. Hops come through mid swallow, add a very nice touch to the beer. Hint of alcohol as well, as this is a stronger beer but it adds a good touch. A nice version of a strong ale, sweet and good tasting, different.. way too drinkable and goes down smooth. For $3.99? you can't go wrong. (524 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Strong, spicy, hoppy ale.

Color is exactly chestnut in the snifter. Head is fine, even after reopening for a second go at the 22 oz bottle. Nice nose of roasted malt. A pretty sharp attack of acidic tastes, some woodiness, with a wealth of malt. Rich and deep in flavor. Not so fruity. Lots of hops come on strong, but on the whole it's pretty well balanced. Aftertaste is bitter hops with the residual spiciness.

A classic Lagunitas beer-- big hops, big malt, big alcohol. (475 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one strikes me as a strong brown ale (and...apparently...that's what it is, now that I've read it here) with some thick malt tones with some spicy hop going on as well. It's an interesting ale. Not sure it really flows as an "Imperial Brown Ale", but it's a good drinker. (276 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Giant Beer Garden & Eatery, enjoyed chilled in a goblet.

The color is deep brown with crimson highlights with a thick sandstone cap with thick lace clinging to the glass. The bead is fine and clarity is translucent. The smell is very good with deep woody and fruity notes with mild spice and slight sweet malt ester with a mild hop aroma which is slightly piney. The malt aroma comes off as dark caramel with a dark sugar type smell.
The feel is very good with subtle bitterness and balance with malty feel in the middle, moderately high carbonation and light alcohol in the feel with semi-dry finish.

This ale tastes full with malt presence and yeast fruitiness with some dried fruit and light caramel elements with mild woody accent and gentle hops in the background. I like how the mild raisiny flavor from the dark caramel comes through with some rum like molasses character too.The taste has some citrus flavor from the hops too which are almost tropical like a ruby red grapefruit near the last taste. Overall this is a really flavorful beer which I was pleased to try ...I wish I had had one sooner since I passed by it before. This is a drinkable beer with great balance of hop and malt flavor. (1,224 characters)

Photo of russpowell
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a caramel with a pinky of sand colored head. Epic lacing & near epic head retention

S: Faint woodyness & even fainter figgyness

T: Figgyness & leafy hops, & some mineral hops as well up front. Dryness & dark fruit dominate as this warms along with some leafy & woody hops, brown bread, a touch of cherries as well. Finishes with a bit of booze bite, dryness, plus figs & plums, almost pulled a 4.5

MF: Fairly chewy with low carbonation, nice balance, plus a touch of booze warmth

Drinks very easy, a bit of a restrained offering from these guys, but the lack of hops works for me, nice to see them expand their range a bit (632 characters)

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Wilco Tango Foxtrot from Lagunitas Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 795 ratings.