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Wilco Tango Foxtrot - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Wilco Tango FoxtrotWilco Tango Foxtrot

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very good

2,250 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,250
Reviews: 786
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.22%
Wants: 50
Gots: 108 | 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: 2,250 | Reviews: 786 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jwc215
3.08/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle -
Pours mahongany/brown with a thin white head that stays for a bit, then thin to barely a cover. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is piney/resiny/fruity with some brown sugar. A hoppy aroma - but somewhat too piney/perfumy...especially as it is billed as "malty" on the label, and when I purchased it expected a brew (according to the description).

The taste is even more perfumy than in the nose. It is piney/resiny, and while not necessarily "bitter", the perfumy hoppiness clashes with the brown-sugar like maltiness (which is not quite the "Malty, robust..." that was promised on the label. I do like my hoppy beers, and while there is maltiness - and is not overly bitter, there is something that clashes here. Raw.

It has a medium-to-medium-full body with some slickness. Carbonation is about right. Not crazy about chemical-ish aftertaste that clings on the palate. Astringent.

Sharp. Clashing. Not bad, but not good enough to have again, though at a reasonable price. Different. I'm usually impressed with this brewery - not so much here.

jwc215, Apr 01, 2010
Photo of SShelly
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at blue palms.

Comes out dark brown, big poofy white head with little retention.

Big hop nose, citurus and vegetale(what word am I looking for???)

again big hops, nice upfront bitterness, rounded out with biscuty malt.

Pretty darn drinkable, highly hopped, probably the last glass of this I'll have.

SShelly, Mar 31, 2010
Photo of coastiefish
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 into pint glass. The color when pouring was an interesting yellow/brown. After settling in the glass, reddish copper with no head.

Nose comes off like sweet sugary candy accompanied with a very faint pine.

Sweet pine candy from the nose is lost in the beginning of a taste, but reappears and lingers towards the end. A warm and welcomed alcoholly feeling settles in my stomach, but doesn't present itself more than a bit in the taste. Because of the sweetness, and tightly carbonated body, it is reminiscent of soda. Another rater mentioned tea flavor, I can agree, for me I would say, a sweet tea.
The hops and malt are pleasantly mild and balanced.

Slick with tight carbonation makes for an interesting feel. A bit oily, very nice.

This beer is extremely drinkable, for it being classified as an American Strong Ale, I feel like it is tame to others in this style.

I wish I had another 22 of this, its quite a good brew. I'm sure I will be purchasing it again, bonus on an awesome price point ($3.99).

coastiefish, Mar 31, 2010
Photo of katelovesbeer
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a 16oz pint glass

Appearance: Poured almost yellow-brown but is actually a deep ruby amber brown. Very pretty. Clear. Little to no head that quickly disappeared.

Smell: Piney, resiney hops jump out immediately; however a strong sweet malty backbone that is almost candy-like in scent makes the complexity alluring.

Taste: Very similar to smell, but milder and more complex. The caramel, brown sugar malt base is thick and sweet, however well balance resin hops pop on the back of the tongue as a nice bitey finish. Both hops and malt are very strong and yet very well balanced.

Mouthfeel: thick yet maintains a crispness. Kind of slick feeling. Surprisingly carbonated for such a dark beer.

Drinkability: This beer is FUN. Its well balance, fascinating and totally worth a try whether you're a hops or a malt lover.

katelovesbeer, Mar 31, 2010
Photo of kgs
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Nice auburn color, some lacing

S: Very hoppy, but some malt in there too. Not huge in this area.

T: More on the malt and hops than the citrusy flavors, but they do warn you. Vaguely like a brown IPA.

M: Medium body with a soft feel, not too carbonated.

D: If it weren't so big it would be very drinkable. Another beer I'd like to see more widely available in smaller bottles.

I would love to try this on tap, but for a beer available in the local grocery store, it was very enjoyable.

kgs, Mar 30, 2010
Photo of elgiacomo
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle. 1st half served cold from the fridge, 2nd half left on the counter to warm up.

Pours copper brown, red under light with a one finger very light tan head that maintains a whispy cap and leaves some noticeable spots of lacing.

Aroma is quite hoppy at first, citrus, floral hops, but the toasty caramel malts start to present themselves more and more as you work through the glass, ultimately lending some dark fruit to the aroma.

The flavor has more sweet malts, especially up front, caramel, toffee, nutty, dark fruits, with the citrus, resinous hops coming in and ending with a bittersweet finish.

Mouthfeel features strong, prickly carbonation, oily and slick, medium bodied.

This is pretty hoppy. Then again, this is Lagunitas. Still, I can't help but wish for a little more of a malt profile out of this one...

elgiacomo, Mar 30, 2010
Photo of mdfb79
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 3/27 notes.

a - Pours a murky brown color with an inch of white head and nice froth.

s - Has a fruity smell, mostly citrus. Some hops and toasted malts as well.

t - Taste follows the nose. Fruit, hops, and some malts. A nice balance with a bitter aftertase.

m - Creamy and light to medium body.

d - Pretty nice ale. Hops weren't as prominent as I was expecting, but was a nice combination. Would try again.

mdfb79, Mar 30, 2010
Photo of pwoody11
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

from notes...

I've never tried Lagunitas before. I saw this at the store and the name did it for me being a military man and all. There is some discrepancies with the name. By military phonetic standards it should be Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. I can only assume TTB would not allow whiskey in the name, so Lagunitas, staying on the military kick, went with Wilco, which is short for will comply, as in, will comply with the TTB.

Anyway, this beer was pretty cheap, as was all of the Lagunitas at the store, so I picked up one of everything from them. This is the only one I've drank to date though.

This one poured a good looking copper color with a decent amount of head from a semi aggressive pour.

The typical citrus and tropical fruits from a hoppy beer is what I picked up most from the aroma. I also detected some brown sugar and molasses.

I expected a huge hop character from the taste, but it was actually pretty balanced with a toasted malt flavor. I detected just a little more heat than I would've liked, but no so much to affect how much I liked the beer.

This beer was pretty good and I'm glad I picked it up. Looking forward to trying the other Lagunitas in my haul now.

pwoody11, Mar 29, 2010
Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a clear chestnut brown color with a 1.5-finger tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of muted caramel malts with large amounts of citrus and tropical fruit hop aromas.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Light caramel malt flavors up front are augmented with small amounts of toastiness. Soon afterward large amounts of citrus and tropical fruit hop flavors join in and carry through to a mildly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall this is a much better strong ale than it is an American brown. If you like most other Lagunitas beers chances are you'll be a fan of this one - worth a shot.

glid02, Mar 29, 2010
Photo of Xul
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a translucent brown with some amber hues, capped by a one to one and half finger off-white head.

S: Lots of hop character up front - very sharp citrus hints along with some hints of floral hops - balanced by a caramel and grainy base.

T: Hops aren't quite as strong as in the nose, but carry similar characteristics - grapefruit, along with some slightly spicy floral hops. The malt base is more nuanced than in the nose, with more sweetness coming through - caramel, brown sugar, grain, and a hint of vanilla.

M: Medium bodied, feels creamy up front but seems to get lighter and a bit thinner in the mouth.

D: Easy drinking and well balanced, but doesn't excel at anything in particular. Good, but not something I'd really want more than one of.

Xul, Mar 29, 2010
Photo of IrieJackalope
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bottle into a pint glass. The label describes this brew as a "Malty, Robust, Recovery Ale," however when I popped the cap on this bad it was almost entirely hops. No complaints though. The brew pours a copper/brown color with an off white head. The aroma is heavy on the hops with a touch of sweet malt. Taste is amazing, right up my alley. It's almost like a brown IPA, something you don't see very often, but beers like this make you wish you did. In the end, this is very drinkable and a definite win from the lads at Lagunitas.

IrieJackalope, Mar 29, 2010
Photo of Docer
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Buddy told me this was good, so I finally found a bottle at Whole Foods up in LaCamas WA...

- Clear, but hard to see through in my tall narrow pint mug... nice dark brown ale.. off white foamy head... leaves a nice thin full layer on top.

- Nicely sweetened amd malty scent with some sweet citrus hops, brown sugar.. molasses.. grainy, and bright.

- Smooth and tea-like... nice sweet grains... grassy hops... earthy... citrus... a hint of most of their other beers... but this one is better balanced, and rather smooth. Interesting how I always manage to get a tea sort of flavor.

- Medium to light bodied... watering the mouth... not oily or chewy really... quite nice.

- Easy to drink, balanced... and tasty... a bit of a better offering from Lagunitas. Worth trying. And almost a step away from their dominant and unique hop additions.

Docer, Mar 29, 2010
Photo of KeefD
2.95/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Listening to/watching a live version of Impossible Germany from the Sky Blue Sky DVD as I drink this. Pours a dark amber color, was hoping for a little more brown, but this'll do, no head or lacing. Aroma is mostly hops off the bat. Getting some brown malts as it warms, but still hoppy. Taste is the same. Too much hops for me. The label says "malty (and) robust," but I'm not getting a whole lot of malts, and certainly not much robustness. This is hoppy, and one-dimensional in it's malt character. There is some nice balance in there as it warms up, some sweetness starts to show through, light caramel and breadiness with maybe (just maybe) a hint of chocolate. Overall, not digging it too much. This falls under the category of the so-called "India Brown Ale" but this misses the mark when comparing to what others have done. It tastes like a typical West Coast IPA with a little chocolate malt thrown in. I really felt this was one-dimensional and unimpressive. I thought jamming to some Wilco would save the experience, but even one of my favorite bands in the world could do this beer no justice.

KeefD, Mar 29, 2010
Photo of woosterbill
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Prime 16 into a 3/4 pint glass.

A: Clear reddish-brown body with a finger of creamy tan head. Good retention and tons of lace. Great.

S: Hops jump out, with smoothly spicy floral and grapefruit notes; a little caramel malt underneath. Smells like a nicely balanced DIPA.

T: Lots of citrus and spice, with a bit of sweet, toasty malt on the finish. Clean, bitter aftertaste with just a hint of booze. Delicious.

M: Medium body with tons of soft carbonation. Nice, if a bit thin.

D: Well balanced and tasty. If there weren't so many other tasty things on tap, I'd happily order another.

Notes: This is a beautifully balanced dose of hoppy goodness. Good show, Lagunitas.


woosterbill, Mar 29, 2010
Photo of kaseydad
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured the bomber into a snifter and a pint glass and am met with a cola brown brew with some nice burgundy highlights and a small beige head. Right off the bat I am hit with some sweet piney smells, some fruit (pear, grapes) and also some faint floral whiffs. The taste is much more hoppy than I anticipated. There is some grapefruit bite on the swallow and a bittering aftertaste like a Double IPA. Some grapefruit bitterness on the buds after the swallow and a lingering (long) flavor of the brew well after the swallow. Full bodied feel. Drinkability is high as a bomber was easily consumed and a rapid pace.

Overall I am really unsure this is an Imperial Brown, as the label states, but nonetheless I really liked it. If the majority of brown ales tasted like this, I would be a much bigger fan of the style. Whether Wilco was a play on the name or not, I hope they appreciate the effort that was put into the creation of this brew as it is worthy of their (and your) immediate attention. Excellent work again by one of my favorite breweries.

kaseydad, Mar 28, 2010
Photo of vacax
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich reddish brown with close to two fingers of cream colored head. Retention is high with huge amounts of weblike lacing. Visually great. The aroma has dates, grapefruit, bubblegum, citrus, and phenols.

Flavor has grapefruit and geranium hoppiness with a phenolic and cookielike maltiness to it. The malts are not as rich as expected, but the hops and phenols go in an interesting direction. Lingering cookie finish.

Body is moderate with a full level of carbonation, but not overdone. Relatively tasty stuff though, different from expected, and not necessarily in a bad way. Lagunitas is quite experimental and I dig it, though this one is not quite as tasty of most of their nice brews.

vacax, Mar 28, 2010
Photo of trekbiker3000
4.6/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lagunitas outdid themselves with this limited release. I purchased only one 22 oz bottle and wished I would have purchased more, considering the $6 price. The appearance was a clear mahoganey brown with about a 1 finger tan head. The foam slowly settled leaving a thin film of bubbles on the surface. There is a strong roasted malt aroma. The flavor is very balanced between the roasted malt and the hops. At 64.2 IBUs it satisfies the cravings for bitterness but provides the maltiness of a lager. The bitterness also lingers long on the palate. The mouthfeel is rather even, not very sharp on the tongue. Medium bodied, in that you get a full flavor profile throughout. As opposed to thinner beers that you don't know you're even drinking. As far as drinkability, I could go back to this beer again and again. I'll have to see where it may be on draft.

trekbiker3000, Mar 27, 2010
Photo of bluejacket74
4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22 ounce bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown with about a half inch off-white head. Had retention is OK, lacing is good. Nice aroma, the beer smells like chocolate, caramel, toffee, and pine and citrusy hops. The brew tastes like caramel malt, citrus (grapefruit) and pine hops, bready malt, and some chocolate and brown sugar. Great balance between the hops and malt in the flavor of this brew, although I think the hops flavors are stronger. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit slick with light/moderate carbonation. Drinkability is excellent, it's very smooth and easy to drink. I think this is a good overall brew. I'll definitely buy this again, especially considering the low price (I think it was just $4.99 a bomber). That's another reason I like Lagunitas a lot, they have great beer at affordable prices.

bluejacket74, Mar 27, 2010
Photo of plaid75
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Mr. Beery, Bethpage, NY.

Poured a deep copper hue with a one finger frothy off white head. There was very good tetention and sticky lacing.

The smell featured a juicy citrus hop with a touch of pine.

The taste consisted of a full potent balmy citrus hop with a nice caramel backbone.

The mouthfeel was full and typical of the style.

Overall a superior ale.

plaid75, Mar 27, 2010
Photo of popery
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle, home. Good strong ale. Lagunitas decided to go maltier than usual with this beer, and it works pretty well, though I prefer their hop-centric offerings. The beer pours a deep reddish brown, maybe ruby... is that a real color? There's not much head on my pour perhaps because I'm drinking it a bit warm. The aroma has a whole mess of well-developed malt notes with some nice piney, citrusy hops. There's a bit of chocolate, but I'm getting more caramel fruit flavors with touches of rye spice and nuts. The flavor is a rich and could have easily gone too sweet but hops and yeast keep the malt in check. Full, thick feel. This beer drinks bigger than its abv. Another nice one from Lagunitas.

popery, Mar 27, 2010
Photo of Wildman
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a very dark clear amber color and formed a huge foamy light tan head that coated the glass with lace as it subsided. A medium amount of carbonation is present. An aroma of malt, caramel and chocolate. The flavor was of malt, coffee and hint of cocoa. The body was fairly light and the finish slightly dry yet sweet.

Wildman, Mar 27, 2010
Photo of chaz01
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sampled at a local beer tasting event -- served in a champagne flute. The website classifies this as an Imperial Brown Ale

A: Dark mahogany brown color, thick head, good lacing.

S: Heavy citrusy grapefruit hops smell

T: Lots of citrus, grapefruit hops similar to an IPA, but with an additional caramel malt flavor as well.

M: Medium bodied, well carbonated.

D: The malt and hops interaction makes this a very interesting beer, something complex enough to sip slowly, yet bitter enough to drink in lieu of an IPA.

chaz01, Mar 27, 2010
Photo of 1759Girl
4.93/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sooo stoked I found this, errr or BA Reviewer Kahlyle found it for me....

Appearance>Dark ruby in color, medium liveliness. Crystal clear, vanilla head which has decent retention. Lacy.

Smell> Brown sugar and malt, subtle notes of fresh hops

Tasty>Tangy, but surprisingly toasty start! Unusual, but lovely. Nice complexity. Hop burst that slowly creeps to the back of the mouf, leaving behind a resiny hang with a soft toastiness returning at the finish. Super.

Mouf>Perfect mix of silkiness and frothiness

Drinkability> Um.. Hello?!
I'd probably, just drink it for the name! The fact that it's delicious makes it even easier!

1759Girl, Mar 27, 2010
Photo of paco1029384756
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby color with a very short off white head.

Scent of sweet, juicy hops, sweet malts, sugar, and some citrus. A strong, but not overpowering sweetness and hop forward aroma make this a winner.

Taste of caramel, sweet malts, juicy, lightly citric hops, earth and a hint of bitter coffee. Finishes dry with a bitter earthy flavor and a slight alcohol burn. The flavor has a great balance of hoppiness and maltiness, but falls a little shy of the scent.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium heavy bodied with a hint of bubbly carbonation.

paco1029384756, Mar 26, 2010
Photo of Bierguy5
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a darker amber color, with a stable off white head. Pretty good head retention, and nice patches of lace.

A nice citrusy hop aroma with a layer of darker caramel. Nice fruity notes abound.

Nice malt base, similar to other Lagunitas beers, but maybe not as heavy. Slightly toasty, with a bit of a bready feel. Citrusy hops, not overbearing. A nice grapefruit, slightly piney flavor.

Medium body, good carbonation. Alcohol is very well hidden. This seems close to some others in the lineup. Very nice.

Bierguy5, Mar 26, 2010
Wilco Tango Foxtrot from Lagunitas Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,250 ratings.