Dismiss Notice

Site Performance Updates: We're aware of the nightly site outage, and working on resolving the issue.

Follow our progress ...

The Waldos' Special Ale | Lagunitas Brewing Company

337 Reviews
For Trade:
The Waldos' Special AleThe Waldos' Special Ale

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by largadeer on 04-21-2011

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 337 | Ratings: 1,591
Photo of Sammy
4.01/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

On tap at pizza plant transit. Lace sheet. Bang on the style, tasty and dangerously drinkable dipa. They keep killing. A much better than average DIPA.

 151 characters

Photo of ccg
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2016-04-30: Waldo's special 2016

Look: Two inches of foam on first pour, immediately starts lacing the glass. Translucent, light orange. Huge bubbles. 4.25

Smell: Piney hops, but also some sweet fruit, like mango. 4.25

Taste: Plenty of hops, but not overly bitter. Pine, lemon, and honey. Minimal aftertaste. Well balanced. 4.25

Mouthfeel: Rich and full-bodied. Carbonation is spot-on. 4.5

Overall: One of the best IPA's I've had. 4.25

 440 characters

Photo of MAB
4.81/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Holy crap; this is almost the perfect IPA.
They claim to have made the hoppiest beer in their history. But it is more about the hop flavors than the bitterness that can be derived from them.
A bouquet of citrus aroma along with grassy notes greets your nose before you sip.
The flavor is bold but complex. Malt gets through, as does the alcohol. The hop flavors are heavenly.
An outstanding effort!

 398 characters

Photo of dbl_delta
3.81/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Undated bottle into pint glass. Pours a clear amber with an eggshell-white head. Initial impression is pine resin, citrus rinds, malt present but subordinate to the hops. Mouthfeel is almosy oily. Finish is less bitter than you'd expect. Alcohol presence is also less evident than you might think at 11.5%. Overall, it's not too bad but if I was looking for an IIPA I'd actually enjoy, I'd look elsewhere.

 411 characters

Photo of buschbeer
4.29/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

12 FLUID OZ bottle
Served in a tulip glass

This beer pours a hazy amber color with burnt orange highlights. It is topped with two inches of sticky, beige head that clings to the sides of the glass.

The smell is wonderful. I get mango along with citrus and a little resin.

The taste doesn't disappoint. It is loaded with tropical and citrus fruit on the front end, and it finishes with some grapefruit and pine.

It has a full and velvety smooth mouthfeel.

This is a delicious beer, and one that lives up to its hype. I don't love a whole lot of IPA's outside of my home state. This is one outsider that is included.

 619 characters

Photo of mac31
4.47/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge, I mean huge tropical notes in he entry: mango, pineapple, guava-nectar like flavors. Sweet tangerine and orange notes as well. Grapefruit in the finish. Heavy malt balances out this brew. The malts are sweet, bready, heavy and chewy. Super dankiness just shy of the finish. Bitterness is modest and long on the palate. As the fruit and dank die off the resin, pine, and woody notes make their presence known. Creamy body. Light on the carbonation. Booze is apparent at times. For the most part the alcohol is well covered, especially for an 11.5% beer. At 11.5 this should be a sipper, but I could see someone trying to crush this. A fruity, resiny nectar that I wish I had more of. A great beer at a great value. I do not usually buy Lagunitas. IMO they are a little less authentic since they blew up a few years ago. However, this!?! This is fantastic. I hope there are equivalents to come in their One Hitter series. This is truly a one hitter quitter, any more than that and you may be picking yourself up off the floor in the morning. This stuff is potent.

 1,069 characters

Photo of jeffdr123
4.31/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Apricots. How about that. The first scent is apricots. Pretty, dark golden with very little head. A little syrupy, like a lot of high alcohol beers. Complrx layers. A good sipper. With David at the Tap and Cork, eating bruschetta from Made in Italy.

 249 characters

Photo of IpaBeerDrinkers
4.6/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow...what a beer. Juicy, resinous ibu explosion. Some heat on the back end, but nothing unacceptable for this abv level. Nice, firm body that maintains its prescence...trying to think back to a big ipa (10%+) ive had thats better than this, and struggling to do so. Simtra is the only one that jumps out

 304 characters

Photo of jopezu
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

pours a clear copper amber with a small head that poofs. nose; citrus hops, caramel, sugar, light ethanol, and a collection of massive sticky citrus fruit notes - orange, pineapple, mango, & grapefruit. taste; giant caramel malt, giant citrus hops, resinous pine, lemon pith, zests & pulp of mango, grapefruit, & orange. medium carbonation & heavy mouthfeel. a little thick, a little sweet... but, a world class fruit & hop bomb. this may be a one-and-done for most. the 11.5% abv does show up. ordinarily, i wouldn't rate an ipa this thick and sweet so highly, but i think a balancing miracle has been achieved here with the sweets & bitters. also, i'm blown away at getting these for $12 a six-pack at the moment. grab 'em now! go easy, because you won't want to.

 774 characters

Photo of hopflyer
4.36/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled march 29

pours orange/copper with minimal head. Fades to sparse soapy film and thin collar.

Very strong orange, tangerine and a little apricot with a lot of fresh green herb. Some spiciness. Wife smelled this from the other room so it's hefty.

Taste is sharp acidic hop oil with flavors of orange and tangerine. Weedy and a little spice. Herbal. Some bitterness comes thru once it warms and the palate adjusts. Not much in way of bready or cracker malt and just about no sweetness but balance wasn't the goal here. maybe the last 1/3 of this when it warms lets out some cracker.

Medium body and medium carbonation. Some bitter aftertaste. Lingers on the palate. Little to no alcohol burn considering the big ABV.

Another good one from Lagunitas. Goes beyond a strong balanced DIPA to be a heavily hopped brew with no intentions of allowing any malts to show thru. Its not messy or anything but a bit over the top to become a mainstay or year round offering. Will seek this out again next year.

 1,019 characters

Photo of beerbully
4.45/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into HF snifter

L-Copper, clear, 1/2 inch head.....not much retention, medium lacing

S-Bursting with dank, fruity, catty hops, some sweetness from the malts..........

T-similar to the nose.........sweet malts......dank, piney hops......more pine than the nose......some tropical fruit / honeysuckle sweetness........apricot.......some alcohol burn in the finish.....citrus rind bitter finish......

F-medium + body, starts sweet-turns hoppy-bitter finish with some alcohol burn.......resinous bitter finish

O-Big sweet hoppy DIPA that is more drinkable than it should be with the high ABV.......Look forward to this each year its released

 649 characters

Photo of HopLover1
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a fantastic 3x! When these guys make a hoppy special release beer they always hit the mark. Some of their offerings tend to be on the malty side. This one in particular is probably the hoppiest 11+% beer I've tasted. So glad they put it in bottles.

 253 characters

Photo of winningwes91
3.25/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

What in the world is the hype with this one? It's very malty and boozy. Kinda a mess tbh. It smells and tastes like an old boozy ipa/barleywine. I've had no luck with ipas over 10%, and this is by far the worst. I'm actually being generous with the score.

 255 characters

Photo of Tucquan
3.57/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on 2016-04-31 in Lancaster, PA at The Fridge on-tap.

Looks like I'm the outlier on this one. It has an odd flavor IMHO, which includes umami, vegetal, sweet graham cracker and lots of hop bitterness. It is unique. I've not had this combination of flavors before but won't look to have this again.

 309 characters

Photo of BeerDawgs
4.41/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L - Bronze, with 1 finger of head

S - Dank, sweet, and hoppy. Great aroma! This one is not for the faint

T - Huge hoppy citrus bite. Sweet. Very tasty, but a sipper

F - Light body and well carbonated

O - An awesome brew, but definitely a sipper, it packs a punch!

 271 characters

Photo of snaotheus
4.18/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle served in a tulip. Bottle date is 088 61, so it's near two months old -- borderline for a Lagunitas beer for me. But, I had this a couple weeks ago at the Chicago Beer Classic and loved it, and couldn't pass up the chance to buy a six pack (Thirsty Hop, Kirkland, WA), and share it with my friends.

Pours moderately hazy golden with a moderate head and little carbonation. Smell is tropical heaven, from across the room. Closer to the nose, it's a little sharper, more of a floral hoppiness.

Taste is fruity up front and then a bitter slam at the end. Honeysuckle, tropical, hint of citrus, and then I'm chewing on grapefruit rind and pine needles.

Mouthfeel is thick but dry. Overall, excellent beer, it was better at the festival.

 758 characters

Photo of Skrumpy
4.08/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 12 oz bottle into standard pint glass. Nice, deep, orange/amber color. Creamy, white head with excellent retention & lacing. The aroma is very nice. Fruit forward, with mango, apricot, peach and honey. Smooth, sweet, malty is the flavor with some barley wine style warmth from higher alcohol content. The aftertaste has a bit of pine, citrus, and peppercorn hops bitterness. A juicy, and resinous mouthfeel. A very good beer.

 440 characters

Photo of PaulyB83
4.85/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a tulip glass. Bottled March 28, 2016.

L- Medium to deep amber color, great clarity, one finger slightly off white head that dissipated quickly to a ring.

S- Tons of big juicy dank tropical fruits and peach and citrus. When it's cold the alcohol really isn't that noticeable but it comes out as it warms. You call smell the sweetness.

T- Similar to aroma, like drinking peach and mango juice, medium bitterness, pretty sweet but really finishes clean.
When it's cold this is a very dangerous beer as you don't really get that it's 11.5%.

O- This is one of the best beers I've ever had. Huge aromas and flavors and super drinkable for the high alcohol content and it comes in 6 packs at the typical more than reasonable Lagunitas price point. I hope this comes out every year in 6 packs from now on.

 838 characters

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.73/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The Waldo's Special Ale has a medium, off-white head, a mostly clear, honey-colored appearance, some bubbles, and a bit of lacing left behind. The aroma is of strong, apricot-like hop resin, up front, and background white bread, and a spice, of some sort, maybe. Taste is of those elements, with very intense and profound hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is high medium, and The Waldo's Special Ale finishes drying and strong.


 425 characters

Photo of drtth
4.27/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours out into a Duvel class a clear dark amber color with a light chill haze and a 1/2" ivory head that soon recedes to a think film on the surface. Sipping creates a few scattered patches of lacing on the side of the glass.

The hop aromas jump out of the glass and include pine resin, lots of citrus zest and even a few tropical fruits. Some malt is in the background but clearly is in a supporting role.

The flavors are much as expected from the nose. There's pine resin and citrus pith bitterness softened a bit by some light caramel and in direct competition with the sweetness from the malt.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and lightly crisp with persistent gentle carbonation. The finish begins as the bitterness emerges from the background. While all flavors and sweetness seem to fade pretty much at the same time the bitterness fades more slowly so the beer reaches a dry finish with a touch of residual bitterness.

As with most beers from Lagunitas this is a well made IPA that I'm pleased to have tried. That said I'll probably not be having another both because of the ABV and because I am finding IPAs more and more enjoyable than the Imperial strength IPAs with their extra sweetness and sometimes excessive hops that attempt to conceal it.

 1,273 characters

Photo of draheim
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz into a tulip. Pours a deep juicy orange w/ a frothy rich white head, beautiful patches of lace.

Aroma is a huge burst of tropical juicy citrus, orange and pineapple and grapefruit. Bright and sticky.

Taste follows nose. So juicy and drinkable, at 11.5% dangerous. Orange, peach, pineapple over a layer of sweet malt. Just a touch of warming booze on the finish to remind you that this is a beast of an IPA.

Mouthfeel is smooth and slick, goes down way too easy. Again, dangerous.

Overall a nearly perfect DIPA. Truly outstanding.

 538 characters

Photo of nawpnawp
3.74/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice golden tint with thin but sticky head. The nose is all citrus (mostly grapefruit) and floral. The taste is much of the same. There is a sharp sweetness at the front, followed by a very nice finishing bitterness from the hops. I must say, this beer is extremely well balanced on each sip. However, I wish the sweetness lingered around as much at the bitters. The finish and lingering bitter is a bit much for me.

Overall, an excellent double IPA if you're looking for a hop bomb with a nice touch of sweet citrus. It compares closely to Hopslam.

 563 characters

Photo of Selz202
4.49/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice golden orange with a thick head that has good retention but even better lacing.

Smells like a hoppy citrus fruit, strong pineapple and some flowery hop characteristics. Oddly do also get that musty/dank scent everyone keeps describing.

Taste is pretty bitter but with a complex hoppy/citrus across the board. The hoppiness is all over, earthy, citrus, flowery, evergreen and a little fruity. The citrus is hard to describe but I would say big pineapple.

This beer does a great job of hiding the 11.5%, it doesn't taste a bit boozy. I'm really impressed by lagunitas ability to hide this considering how smooth it goes down.

First time I had this beer I had a hard time seeing the hype the complexity of this beer was very masked. The more I have had it another layer to it unwraps. I have to say dont judge the first taste.

 841 characters

Photo of scream
4.45/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is pretty subjective, but I really enjoyed this. Good hop aroma, great taste. Probably the best Lagunitas beer I have had. I will buy this again soon

 154 characters

Photo of donspublic
4.26/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into SN IPA glass from bottle, yields nice 3 finger soapy head that dissipates rather quickly. Somewhat cloudy golden in the glass. Smells of caramel and tropical fruit. Taste of caramel sweetness on the front end, bitterness sneaks up and shuts it down and you have a dank, bitter finish, with a little alcohol slipping thru. Mouthfeel is great on this beer, feels thick and resinous in the mouth.

 409 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
The Waldos' Special Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 337 ratings.