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Wilco Tango Foxtrot - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Wilco Tango FoxtrotWilco Tango Foxtrot

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very good

2,191 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,191
Reviews: 786
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.2%
Wants: 46
Gots: 94 | 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:
"Imperial Brown Ale" (not a style on BA).

(Beer added by: flexabull on 03-06-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,191 | Reviews: 786 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JRed

New Jersey

3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown in body with off-white froth laying on top. Malty in the nose, spices, molasses, sugar, hops, and slight earth. Huge malt in taste: sugars, molasses, gingerbread, cinnamon, spices, slight pie crust, maple, and some earth and hop bitterness comes through towards the finish. Heavy in body with a slick mouthfeel. Imperial brown is a nice name for this one. A thick malt bomb of a brew that is worth trying and enjoying.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2010 22:35:30 | More by JRed
Photo of BigIrishman

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

As a note, I purposefully left this beer in the cellar for a while to bring out the malt and subdue any hoppy character, and I'm definitely happy with the results.

Appearance: Pours ruby/dark brown is soda pop consistency off white head.

Smell: Smells of chocolate, dark fruits and some sweet malts. After a bit of warming, the bready flavors come out along with some toffee and light alcohol flavors.

Taste: Same chocolate and fruit flavors with bigger toffee flavors than the nose would lead you to believe. Nice biscuity malt flavors with hints of raisins and a slight hoppy background. Overall nice even though there are some alcohol undercurrents coming out.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with a relatively crisp finish.

Drinkability: Pretty decent and different offering from Lagunitas. I dig the subtle background flavors and the higher alcohol really doesn't detract from the drinkability, although don't confuse this with a more classic brown.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2010 01:16:57 | More by BigIrishman
Photo of thain709


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

A - The beer poured a darker shade of ruby with a creamy light brown head...the gave way to a wispy cap but the retention was nice...nice lacing

S - Lots of roasted and toasted caramel/toffee malts...only a dash of citrus hops (which was unusual to me for a Lagunitas brew)

T - Again, the caramel malts dominate the flavor...they are nicely roasted and provide a solid flavor...a dash of toffee is there too...I'm also detecting some dark fruits like those associated with a barleywine or Belgian dark ale...the hops do make an appearance at the end and are plenty bitter...a nice citrus relief

M - Medium bodied...smooth, resiny and bitter enough from the hops

D - WTF? I was expecting more hops coming from Lagunitas...This is an imperial brown ale...I like my strong ales with more hops throughout the palate...a decent, lower ABV beer that should be enjoyed just for the name

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2010 13:40:55 | More by thain709
Photo of Soonami


4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lagunitas Wilco Tango Foxtrot is another beer from the Southern California brewery that defies conventional categorization. They call it an Imperial Brown, which at almost 8% alcohol and brown in color, would be an apt description. The beer is a limited release available in 22 oz. bombers. I've had the beer fresh in bottles and on tap and I'd say that the examples from each service are very comparable, though the draft version seemed to be slightly hoppier.

The Beer poured a dark brown color that let just enough light through to let you see through it. The khaki colored head left generous lacing in the glass and gave off a caramel and toasted aroma with hits of herbal and lemony west coast hops. The taste was dominated by the highly caramelized malts that provided malty sweetness, bittersweet chocolate, and nutty flavors. The hops provided a nice punch of citrus bitterness that kept the beer from tasting too sweet.

Another well balanced and highly drinkable beer from Lagunitas

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2010 18:09:03 | More by Soonami
Photo of arizcards


3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber from Magnums on the 4th of July for $4.49.
Beer poured brown with a nice long lasting head that is leaving lacing behind. Nose resembles a barleywine, sweet malts abound with a nice citrus aroma lurking in the background. Taste is pretty similar, sweet malts combined with resiny citrus hops make for a tasty treat. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied and pretty smooth. Drinkability is good. Another tasty brew from Lagunitas!

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2010 22:44:00 | More by arizcards
Photo of 4000qtrap


3.33/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Source/Serving: 12oz. Bottle

Smell: Piney, citrusy, oily, a little brown sugar/molasses. Pretty standard brown ale + IPA.

Taste: Pretty sweet up front with molasses, toffee and brown sugar flavors balanced by grapefruit bitterness. Maple candy and syrup, a hint of ripe fruits along with a pinch of spicy phenolics in the middle. Phenolics emerge with warming as well as some alcohol. Bitterness sharpens a bit and yeastiness comes through. Finish continues the sharpish grapefruit peel bitterness with a grassy, herbal edge. There are some ripe plums that are slightly sweet and some spicy, yeasty notes that are distinguishing.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2010 04:06:46 | More by 4000qtrap
Photo of BedetheVenerable


3.48/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 22oz brown pop top with GREAT label

Appearance: Dark walnut brown beer, with good clarity and a big ivory cap with lace and great retention

Smell: HUGE herbal and piney hops, with very light notes of caramel malts...this one's all about the hops; I gotta say, I was a bit surprised

Taste: Some light toasty nuttiness, with bitter sprucey and herbal hops...a lot of them...some vague dark fruit and spicy alcohol, with some dark caramel as well

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy

Drinkability: Medium high

Conclusion: Nice to get to try it once, but generally I like my American Strong Ales more towards the malty than the hoppy, or at least balanced. I guess I was expecting more of an "Imperial Nut Brown" kinda vibe outa this one...

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2010 23:40:06 | More by BedetheVenerable
Photo of Beejay


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

A: Deep amber red, crystal clear with a gorgeous off white head. The head is really sticking around, and getting some nice lacing as well.

S: Definitely a heavy hop aroma. Piney with a hint of grapefruit. Herbal with a little bit of malt in the back.

T: Very nice. Malt and hops come together in a very nice balance. Some nice caramel flavors, and slightly syrupy. The hops have a nice grapefruit thing going on. So far I think this is the best I have tried from lagunitas.

M: Nice medium bodied, the carbonation is good, but possibly a little strong for me. There is a nice little bite in the back of the throat.

D: Overall I have not been a big fan of lagunitas line up, but this beer seems like it has a nice balance, and to totally drinkable. I would buy it again, and this it would be great super fresh.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2010 02:33:22 | More by Beejay
Photo of begforme4484


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


Pours a dark brown with a red hue to it. A very good sized off white head that stay for a while. Excellent lacing throughout the sips!

WTF, this beer smells robust. A very nice nutty/woody smell with a sweet chocolate background. You also get a very slight sense of some grassy/floral hops with a hint of alcohol.

The taste is very nice! It's a smooth deliverance with not too much of an aftertaste. A nice spice to the palate with varied nut flavors. Almost tastes 'oaked' very profound woodiness. A nice sweet top layer of malts which are tasted as chocolate and caramel. You don't really get the hint of alcohol in the taste which is good. It finishes nicely with a mild earthy bitterness from the hops. W.. T.. F..

The mouthfeel is very smooth with a mild carbonation. Not too sticky.. but a bit sticky.

The drinkability is good. It's not a session beer to me, but I can mix it in no matter what kind of beer night I'm having.

Double U Tee Eff Mang

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2010 01:44:45 | More by begforme4484
Photo of Seanibus


4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

When I popped the bottle, a blast of grapefruity hops rushed out and hit my nose, several feet away. But don't mistake this for a hop bomb - it is actually quite malty, though there is a distinct layer of strong American hops there.

It pours deep red, almost brown, with a vast white head. The aroma begins grapefruity, but then comes up malt, with a cherry-ish, roasted edge. The flavor is sweet and quite malty, with cherry, plum, and that ever present layer of citrusy hops. The bitterness is surprisingly muted, way back in the mouth and seemingly light, though if you dig for it, you will find a boozy burn back there. The mouthfeel is fairly thick and a bit sticky.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2010 22:25:01 | More by Seanibus
Photo of Casey10


3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice brown ale with some sticky qualities. I liked this it was just not a top beer for me and I would have it again if offered but I would not search for it.

The beer is brown and has some nice sticky quality to it . I might compare this to a dogfish head indian brown ale but the Dogfishead would come out one top.

Again not bad but not searching this out.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2010 22:23:51 | More by Casey10
Photo of Snamnoum

District of Columbia

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

Appearance - dark ruddy brown. Produced a finger of tan head with average retention. Plenty of sticky lace clings to the glass.

Smell - Big robust piney/green hop profile and some dark molassesy malt.

Taste - tons of green hops dominate, sweet malt upfront with a smoky molasses/brown sugar followed by a dry tart finish and bright pungent green hops everywhere else.

Mouthfeel - medium/full bodied with moderate carbonation weird combination of chewy malt and oily hop feel.

Drinkability - very drinkable for an American Strong Ale with an ABV over 7%. But IMO had a less than desirable finish which would hold me back from having this again.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2010 00:16:23 | More by Snamnoum
Photo of TwoPack


3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice heavy head off the pour. Lacing is prevalent from start to finish. Good malt flavor with limited hops. Best features include mouthfeel, smoothness and delicate taste (alcohol is well-hidden). Drawbacks are lack of aroma and robust flavor for a strong ale.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2010 00:29:22 | More by TwoPack
Photo of WesWes

New York

3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark amber/brown color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a nice pale and crystal malt scent along with some dry, roasted malts and a bit of bitter hops. The taste is decent. It has a stiff bitterness up front with a solid malt base and a dry roasted finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate/good carbonation. This is an easy drinker, especially for a strong ale. It's seems more like an American brown to me.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2010 22:41:34 | More by WesWes
Photo of Brenden


4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The look is beautiful. A deep, burnt bronze beer pours into my glass, a beautiful cascade effect forming a big, dense white head that sits firmly on top. With each sip, thick patches of lacing are left clinging to glass, all the way down to the bottom.
The aroma is firstly of caramel malts, fairly robust, with a dark fruits note, then gives way to a surprising bright floral and citrus hoppiness.
I don't know what an Imperial Brown Ale is supposed to be, but this one is more hopped up than I would have expected. I've had hoppier browns before, so it didn't throw me off too much. There's a fine line here between all the varying flavors of caramel, nuts, dark fruits, grains, wood, and citrus, the merging of heavy malt flavors and solid hops flavors clashing or balancing, but in my mind, I'm prone to go with balance.
The mouthfeel is an impressive medium-full toeing of the line between big, robust chewiness and smooth, mild creaminess. Very nice.
This one's very drinkable aside from a high ABV, though the alcohol is well masked in this brew.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2010 13:02:57 | More by Brenden
Photo of livewire78


3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a kinda ugly brown, dusty red color. Brown foamy head. Not the prettiest thing I've ever seen.

Smells of cocoa, citrusy hops, molasses and brown sugar. Smell isn't super intense. A lot of IPA's have way stronger noses.

Tastes a little like AB at first. The hops grab you but weakly. Then the other flavors show up. The cocoa and the dark toffee malt mix together but seem to get pushed aside by the hops. The flavors don't blend too well, they just sort of sit there. Meh.

Feels pretty watery for something close to 8%. Carbonation is decent but I'd like things to be fuller.

My first Lagunitas and I'm not too impressed. I wouldn't get this again but it was OK once. On the plus side the dog on the label was kinda cool.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2010 14:03:20 | More by livewire78
Photo of halo21

New York

3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: I poured this dark, opaque, reddish-brown ale into my Duvel tulip glass. It supplied ample room for the huge, chunky, cream colored head, that left massive lacing that went the whole way down as I drank this beer.

Smell: There is a strong smell to this beer; it is sweet malt up front, followed by pungent grapefruit hops.

Taste: This smooth flavored brew starts off tart and sweet of caramel malts. A big serving of roast comes through, giving way to citrus finish of grapefruit and mild lime.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied that is creamy and smooth with a drying finish. A perfect amount of carbonation fed the chunky head all the way through this 22oz bottle.

Drinkability: Surprisingly high for such a big beer. The whole bomber went down easier than other Laguinitas' offerings; this is a bold, yet approachable, beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2010 00:31:13 | More by halo21
Photo of Foxtrot


4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I gotta hand it to Lagunitas for coming up with some pretty wild names for there beers. Can't wait to see what next year will bring

Pours a very deep rich brown with burgundy highlights around the edges. Pretty typical of a brown ale, or strong ale if you prefer. Head was slightly below modest, wish there was a bit more retention and some lacing to look at. Just a light fizz on the top.

Aroma is fairly decent. I loved the hint of cherries and raisins, played well with the malts and hops to a certain extent. Resinous hops where present but where much lighter, almost leafy.

This is one of my first Lagunitas beers, and it certainly won't be the last. I really liked this beer from the start. A light astringency brushes the tongue leaving flavors of citrus, nuttiness, and with those dark fruits that where found in the nose. Finishes slightly earthy undertone that pairs well with its sweet nuttiness.

Mouthfeel was definitely a high point to mention. Its one of the beers that can be sipped like a big beer, or enjoyed as a session brew. The mouthfeel has just the right amount of silkiness.

The drinkability is good, but you can feel the booze take affect rather quickly. I would rather have this beer in a cheese paring to stretch out the flavors and give it some longevity in a session. Touche Lagunitas!

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2010 06:47:13 | More by Foxtrot
Photo of brownbeer


3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured this brownish-red, jobless recovery ale into an imperial English pint glass.

It's Lagunitas, so WTF?, it's going to be hoppy. Fragrant American hops lean more toward orange and citrus with hints of evergreen, pine, and alcohol. The malt isn't absent either; cocoa and brown sugar are also out and about. I'm going to let this warm up a bit and get back in there.

The taste is pretty bitter from start to finish. Not only from the hops, but it's seems the malts are more akin to bitter baking cocoa. It's a very tasty and filling beer, Pretty rich body. Everything softens just a touch as you go on.

What else could you expect from a Lag Brown Ale?

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2010 01:56:53 | More by brownbeer
Photo of seand


3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear dark reddish amber, with a fair amount of foamy eggshell white head. The head retains pretty well and leaves pretty good lacing.

S: Deep malty sweetness with light floral hops. A little alcohol in the background.

T: Full and quite sweet, with a bit of hops on the finish to round it out.

M: Medium to full body, medium to light carbonation. Somewhat dry on the finish.

D: Quite drinkable, though the ABV's a bit high to have too much.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2010 00:30:30 | More by seand
Photo of scruffwhor


3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium cola ruby and copper highlighted coper. The head is a craggy beige of two fingers, but recedes to nothing after two sips. Pretty good bubbling.

You get an orange peel with a little brown sugar backdrop that makes this a tantilizing sniff of sweet and hoppy goodness.

The taste has the same dichotomy of bitter orange peel caramelized in brown sugar for sme awesome sweet bready flavors. The alcohol adds a litte more depth to the flavor profile.

A little syrupy as well as warm for texture, but still very good and worth trying and picking up again.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2010 05:30:16 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of irishking1977

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark, ruby red/brown/black with a below average head and some lacing here and there.

S: Mild malt sweetness with a hint of soy sauce. Some faint hops are present as well.

T: In regards to style, I'm not quite sure what to compare this to. It's like a hybrid American strong ale and/or strong/imperial brown ale? Whatever it is, reminds me of a combination of New Castle brown ale, and a weak Arrogant Bastard. That's pretty lofty praise, but this one isn't as rich and full as Arrogant Bastard. It has a good malt background, mild hops presence, and a semi-sweet finish. Unusual in that the hops are detected first, and not in the finish.

M: Solid. Good carbonation, somewhat thick, malty and chewy.

D: Higher than average ABV, thus, not quite a session ale, but a pretty decent beer overall. Something I would try again, but wouldn't go out of my way for it since it didn't have that "Ah ha!" appeal or the light bulb appearing over my head.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2010 00:13:18 | More by irishking1977
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."


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.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2010 12:38:11 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mstyne

New York

3.13/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a pleasant brown-amber with substantial, lingering head and nice lace. Malt, hop, caramel scent -- very nice.

I feel like I can taste the alcohol a bit in this one. Really hard to place the flavors here -- maple? WTF indeed, this brew is appropriately named.

Not sure I'd seek it out again, but it's worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2010 02:11:27 | More by mstyne
Photo of alleykatking


3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz bottle. Once again been looking forward to this beer.

A- Pours a dark brown with amber hues to it. One and a half finger light tan colored head which capped the beer within a minute or two. Nice thicker lacing on the sides of the glass while I drink away.

S- Aroma is a mix between light bittering hops in the front and a sweet bready malt backbone. Light darker fruits in this as well but doesn't come over the top which is nice. I can pick up a sweetness but do not know how to describe it. A little faded in the overall aroma I think. Smells a little stale.

T- Nice bready malts in the front of this. Some lighter fruit tastes...apple and some lighter maybe plums or raisins in small amounts. The backing in hop forward but not as much as one would think with the aroma. Overall a little faded in flavors I might say...it had a almost older IPA fading taste to it.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation levels are good for the style. Sweet malts left on the palate and into the aftertaste with a rye like taste. Alcohol was warming and dryed the tounge out a bit. Flavors were faded but went together well.

D- This was a clean and easy drinking beer. The malts toward the end of the beer were just getting a little annoying to me. I was glad to have this beer and share it with someone who is just getting in the world of craft. This was almost a one and done for me though.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2010 22:57:10 | More by alleykatking
Wilco Tango Foxtrot from Lagunitas Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,191 ratings.