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Wilco Tango Foxtrot - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Wilco Tango FoxtrotWilco Tango Foxtrot

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very good

2,276 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,276
Reviews: 787
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.22%
Wants: 51
Gots: 114 | 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: 2,276 | Reviews: 787 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of livewire78
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
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.

livewire78, Jul 26, 2010
Photo of halo21
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

halo21, Jul 25, 2010
Photo of Foxtrot
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
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!

Foxtrot, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of brownbeer
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
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?

brownbeer, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of seand
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

seand, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of scruffwhor
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

scruffwhor, Jul 21, 2010
Photo of irishking1977
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
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.

irishking1977, Jul 17, 2010
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

BuckeyeNation, Jul 16, 2010
Photo of mstyne
3.13/5  rDev -20.2%
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.

mstyne, Jul 15, 2010
Photo of alleykatking
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

alleykatking, Jul 13, 2010
Photo of GordonQuid
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into a 12 oz pilsner glass.

Light brown/amber in color with a nice two inch thick head. Nice thick lace that clings to the glass.

Smell is complex dark candied fruit a mix of piney hops and earthy roasted dark chocolate malts.

Taste is relative to the dark malts and heavey on the piney hops. A quaffable blend of dark raosted coffee and piney/earthy hops with just a slight presence of dark cadied sugar in the finish. The earthy hops linger... Damn good, inviting another sip.

This beer is a pleasure to drink, very satisfying all around. I would seek this one out...very good!

GordonQuid, Jul 13, 2010
Photo of MAB
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sip and type--wow, this is a great idea. Yum.

Poured (cold) into the glass. Nice dark color, tight brown-tinged white head. The head dies down quickly.
Aroma is fabulous, even at this temperature. Hop forward, which I wasn't expecting (although now that I think about it, why wouldn't Lagunitas have a nice hoppy beer?).
I let it warm up as I sip slowly. Malt and grains come through strongly. Getting a nice lace pattern down the glass.

Now that I'm at the keyboard, it's the perfect temperature (but half gone), which means the bitterness is intensified (more so than when cold) and the aromas are out-of-this-world.

Delicious. Well worth the $6 Canadian that I paid for it.

MAB, Jul 12, 2010
Photo of ZimZamZoom
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful clear dark cherry/chestnut color. Thick tan head that goes rocky as it fades and leaves nice globules of sticky lacing.

A nice piney and spicy hop-forward aroma. Some citrus notes to the hops as well, but to me this is one of those pine-forest smelling beers. Deep and rich. Slight roastiness and some caramel sweet maltiness are a good backing here. Hop flavor is more citrusy, but still has a decent piney spice to it. Sweet caramel malts balance nicely with it. Malts round out the middle nicely and then we get a nice bitter spicy finish that does have some nice residual sweetness.

Bigger bodied and somewhat filling, this has a nice smooth feel and just the right carb level.

A good American Strong!

ZimZamZoom, Jul 11, 2010
Photo of DovaliHops
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark, reddish-brown color with a pale, off-whit color head that looks very nice. I smell some unique malts along with some very different herbs and spices. I also get a very strange scent of meat. Initially, I get some very sweet malts with some molasses. Some smokiness and some woody flavors follow, ending with a smooth hop bitterness. The alcohol is also present as this beer warms up a bit. Very tasty as the flavors adapt to your palate and your mouth gets used to it. The mouthfeel is very nice. Very full-bodied and also very drinkable. I will have no problem whatsoever polishing off this bomber.

DovaliHops, Jul 08, 2010
Photo of joemcgrath27
4.65/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - a clear deep amber, decent white head, retention was average but laces well
S - complex! Berries, citrus, spices, floral hops, and earthy malt
T - a very berry fruitiness, a ginger or nutmeg like spiciness, earthy roasty malts, and just a little floral hops on the finish. So many flavours that equal a great overall taste
M - bubbly sweetness gives way to tartness, then a warm spicy feel with just a little bitterness
D - this is just an amazing beverage. The rich malts balance perfectly with the sweet and spicy flavours. Rich, bubbly, and bitter feels all work. You would never guess it is a higher ABV at 7.83%. I could drink this all day!

joemcgrath27, Jul 05, 2010
Photo of smcolw
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thick, foamy white head. Chunky and rocky, leaving lots of ring lace on the glass. The color is a light brown or dark, dirty copper. Clear.

Smell: Great blend of mildly sweet (crystal?) malt and fresh bittering hop.

The taste resembles the smell--starts with a mildly sweet malt flavor and then slips into a strong hop finish; leaves a long aftertaste. Rich body with a good level of carbonation. Some alcohol warmth in the swallow.

smcolw, Jul 04, 2010
Photo of TheHoppiest
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into an oversized snifter. Pours a ruddy mahogany, with a creamy tan head that reduces to an icing over the beer. Nice legs as it is swirled.

Has a very piney-hop smell, resin and slight caramel malt tickle the nose as well.

Has a malty taste, some apple and pear taste in the middle, finishing slightly sweet, and not nearly as hoppy as it smells. Some bitters help finish it off, and eventually leave the tongue dry.

Mouthfeel is a bit sharp, partly from the carbonation, partly from the dry finish.

A relatively drinkable beer, from a great brewery. This is my second time having this beer, and would defintiely go for a third!

TheHoppiest, Jul 04, 2010
Photo of chickenflea
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22-oz bottle.
I am really starting to like this style.
A beautiful beer. Rich dark and red-tinted with a tall tan head and wonderful lacing and retention.
Aroma is all over the place with biscuit, red licorice, prune juice, and vanilla extract. Curiously, I wonder if there isn't a pinch of Belgian yeast in there as well.
The flavor is not so complicated. But it is very pleasant. Heavier fruity malts (there's that Belgian slant again.) A strong and balancing hoppiness. (I am so used to drinking hoppy beers that this beer seems normal to me.) Taste is consistent.
Mouthfeel is medium heavy. Couple with the malt is seems to border on syrupy. The only thing that saves this beer from being a little cloying is a medium carbonation that keeps the beer alive on the tongue.
Overall I think this is a really good beer. The label is funny as hell in a political way. Nice job, Lagunitas.

chickenflea, Jul 03, 2010
Photo of wordemupg
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle poured into tulip july2 2010

A clear deep amber with a massive light beige head that has great retention eventually forming a brain like island leaving plenty of lace all the way down the glass

S big grapefruit hops with a fair bit of sweet malt

T again loads of hops but with an unexpected mild nutty chocolate a little different but pretty good

M slightly sticky with enough carbonation to give it a slightly creamy feel

D a 4.25 option would have come in to play once or twice with this one so I drop the 4.5 here, for a strong ale it's very drinkable and I would drink it again without thinking twice

unique beer with no doubt, nice flavors from the hops and lots of malt character. WTF came to mind once or twice while drinking it and I rather like being confused while sipping a brew

wordemupg, Jul 03, 2010
Photo of bdupree
2.6/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I had this at Lagunitas on 6/13/2010 served as "English Style WTF" from a cask. First of all, this came on a very hot day in Petaluma. The beer was served in something like a Mason jar, and it was literally warm. I've been to England and had a bunch of true Ales over there served just cool... but this just was not right. I believe the cask got to warm, so it was unfortunate for my review here.

A: Cloudy, hazy brown... looked like chocolate milk. From the temperature of serving, I think this actually started to separate and go bad.

S: Caramel, roasted malts, some hops and a hint of alcohol. Casking cranked up the ABV quite a bit on this one.

T: Sour, sour, sour. Somewhere in there I detected a nutty taste, and there was quite a lot of hop still present. Alcohol was almost overpowering as well.

M: Warm and heavy, not the best on a 90 degree day. Not the easiest thing to choke down.

D: WTF in bottle is really not bad, but in this method of cask serving I would never order another. Lagunitas might want to check out the casks on warm days out there. This was the ONLY bad beer we had at the brewery, though!

bdupree, Jul 03, 2010
Photo of donkeyrunner
3.33/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

@ the Indie, Somerville MA

Oh, I get it, WTF. As much as I like Lagunitas, their sense of humor irks me (i.e. the Kronic--with a K). Clear, deep chestnut color with a thin, white head. Persistent retention rides down the glass and foam along the way. A sexy lookin' beer.

Aroma is intense orange citrus and soft pine hops thrown up my nose by intense alcoholic heat. That wouldn't be bad in and of itself but the hops clash with chocolate and brown sugar malt. WTF indeed. Those are just 2 things that don't go together in my mind.

Taste is again intense orange citrus hops with a chocolate, brown sugar, and raisiny molasses iconoclast. My sister didn't like it.

I liked it enough to order another but it was too sweet for me to finish the second.

Full disclosure: I have a pet peeve of citrus hops in dark beers. If that's your thing then perhaps this beer is better suited you.

donkeyrunner, Jul 02, 2010
Photo of RoyalT
2.48/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - This one poured a rather boring, shiny brown in color with a mediocre head.

Smell - The malt seems rather thin and phony, contrary to the promise on the label, and a bit stale.

Taste - Again the malts disappoint. It's more like a weak bitter or American brown ale than a strong ale. The malt flavor lacks depth and distinction.

Mouthfeel - This is way too thin for the style. It's not even medium-bodied by my count and is clumsy in the cheeks.

Sinkability - I think this is the first ASA that I've dumped, and this from a well-regarded brewery. Oh the shame of it.

RoyalT, Jul 02, 2010
Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Appearance: Pours a clear brown color with touches of red amber. A 2 cm. white head forms upon pouring. Decent retention and light lacing down the glass.

Smell: Caramel malt, light nuttiness, with some piney hops.

Taste: Toffee sweet to start, with a medium bready consistency. A little bit boozy in the middle with a bit of walnut, before a full palette of hops kick in. Surprisingly off balance in favor of the hops, I was expecting something dominated a bit more by the malt. Maybe age would help? Hops are piney, with a touch of juicy citrus.

Mouthfeel: Creamy feel up front, and it is moderately smooth throughout. Slightly grainy in the middle, and there is some oily residue left in my mouth after each sip. A little bit light feeling in this medium body, especially given the ABV.

Drinkability: This falls outside the universe of either brown ales or strong ales. It is more of a sipper than a brown ale, but less boozy than most strong ales. A nice little offering from Lagunitas.

KickInTheChalice, Jul 02, 2010
Photo of parris
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beauteous, dark amber color, 1/2 inch brownish head. Medium carbonation.

Sweet, very malty smell, spicy hop aroma as well.

Malty up front, hints of vanilla or brown sugar, the spicy aroma comes through on the tongue. Very crisp and warming.

I think the bottle will be enough for me though, this would be an easy food pairing beer rather than a heavy drinking beer.

parris, Jun 28, 2010
Photo of berley31
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured with a very large, off-white, creamy, frothy head that seemed to last forever. Thick, clumpy lacing left on the glass. Body is a deep, ruby-red color, and extremely clear.

S: Very sweet, fruity aroma... bit of roasted character in there, too. But just a touch.

T: Lots of malt sweetness, here... some fruitiness, too, that seems to be derived mostly from the darker fruits (and cherries?). Some bitterness in the finish. Very drinkable, though... delicious.

M: Medium-full body, with soft-moderate carbonation. Just the slightest bit of alcohol warmth.

D: Lagunitas is one brewery that has never left me disappointed (at least not in the products I've been fortunate enough to try), and WTF is no exception.

berley31, Jun 28, 2010
Wilco Tango Foxtrot from Lagunitas Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,276 ratings.