The Waldos' Special Ale | Lagunitas Brewing Company

286 Reviews
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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
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Reviews: 286 | Ratings: 1,387
Photo of DudMan
4.64/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden orange with little lacing. Smells of sweet hops. Taste is very juicy with a slight piney finish. Mouthfeel is smooth with nice carbonation. A great beer!

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Photo of 81tillinfinity
4.88/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I think someone squeezed a handful of hops and tossed them into my beer. Pure hop bliss. A perfect blend of bitterness, dankness, hoppiness, and alcohol warming. A one and done beer for the record books. Oh yeah 9.99 a six pack.

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Photo of turnerk3
4.99/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well, one thing Lagunitas knows best is a stupidly hopped beer, so a DIPA is way out of their wheelhouse. That's called "sarcasm" for the youngins.

Look: Have you ever gone 2 days without a drop water and taken a piss? If yes, proceed to smell. If not, have you ever had a bad hangover after a night of beer debauchery and taken a piss? If yes, proceed to smell. If not, what the hell are you doing here?

Smell: This is simple. Think about cutting fresh summer grass (if you thought about marijuana, proceed to taste because... yea, you get it). Now think about what it'd smell like if you threw oranges, grapefruits, and pinecones on that lawn before mowing it down, and you played a game where grapefruits are 50, pinecones 100, and oranges are 200. Okay, some pinecones are a bonus +50.

Taste: Dude stupid. Yea, you that actually thought about buying 20lbs. of grapefruits and oranges to mow over (marijuana people please refer to smell to understand...nevermind).
Stupid. Taste. If that's not a good description, find a hop tree (preferably on the west coast) take a fresh cone and put it in your mouth. We're done here.

Feel: Now proceed to chew that hop like it was a piece of venison from the one deer you managed to take on a deserted island. Thrill! Excitement! Joy! Those are your first thoughts, but as you continue to chew through the meat you begin to respect its toughness. You'll want to devour this animal, but you'll learn to respect it.

Overall: If you don't think this is a DIPA, please send me all of your beer to do a taste, possibly poison, check (it's a risk I'm willing to take for you). Just to be safe, you should probably send me 1/3 of any future beer purchases, too. For singles and bombers, I promise to return them with at least 8 oz and 15 oz (extra 1/3 oz), respectively.

I may be slightly stoopid (hah weed joke), but this is stupid + stoopid! This is just stewpt!

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Photo of Antg8989
4.78/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Have you ever brewed your own beer? You know that feeling, that really good feeling you get from opening up a bag of hop pellets that just gets you excited to start brewing? Well that's the kind of aroma you'll get with this. Smooth, HOPPY and a perfect malt backbone on this one. My GOD it's good. Maybe Lagunitas best. Enjoy my friends!

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Photo of Czarkazm
4.17/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 3/29/2016. Pours clear with an orange, light amber color. The head is about two fingers worth of large, very rocky, off-white bubbles. The aroma has a lot of sweet candied orange, dank pine, overripe mango and pineapple, canned peaches, nice caramel maltiness, with some bubblegum, and a hint of booze. Full mouth feel with enough carbonation to keep this one from being too syrupy. Sweet caramel on the back end followed by bitter grapefruit pith in the aftertaste. Flavor profile is similar to what was going on in the nose. Lots of candied citrus, bitter pine, tropical fruit juice, honey, peaches, and a mild alcohol bite.

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Photo of Mdez
4.7/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I read about this and managed to get the last case (I shared it with a friend at work) from TW before it sold out 2 weeks ago. It has a very piney flavor with a lot of fruit; this really hit my spot. From what I recall, I liked this just a bit more than their Born Yesterday they made last year. This should be in their regular rotation. Good luck finding any, though; it's sold out everywhere I've been since I got it.

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Photo of stakem
4.09/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It seems as though everyone has been losing their shit over this beer this year. It kinda reminds me of hopslam circa 2010/11...this is supposedly the omg gotta have it beer of 2016. I promised myself I would not go hunting for this but low and behold, I was buying some groceries this weekend and there she was - a lonely sixpack just sitting there. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip appears a polished clear golden color with a white soapy cap.

This smells very fruity with hops: a little tropical like pineapple and mango and honestly not much else which is fine when the hops are this bright and enjoyable.

The tastes is mutually hoppy with quite a fruit forward flavor like the nose suggests with mango and pineapple then herbal rindy and grassy with almost a green cantaloupe aftertaste that gets increasingly bitter. The alcohol is noticeable but not overstated.

This is medium to fuller bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. A very intense ipa with quite a bit residual sweetness to balance the hop and alcohol bite. Its good and im glad I got the chance to try it without going out of my way.

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Photo of rickrem
4.19/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a just slightly non clear burnt orange color with a alight off white head that quickly dissipates.

Aroma is crazy big with musty tropical fruit, some orange rind and something I just can't put my finger on. Maybe another one or two will help. Vegetal?

Flavors are like the aroma. Lots of heavy pine sap and lots of tropical fruit. Some bitterness of orange rind and like the smell, there was something I couldn't quite figure out until sifting through a few of the other reviews and there it was, onion. Maybe that's part of the 'vegetal' aroma I was getting?

Mouthfeel has a thickness too it with a bit of bite from the alcohol.

Overall, very interesting.Big aromas and flavors. Since it's limited, drink it while you can since it would not be an everydayer for me.

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - A clear orange body, slightly hazy, and a white head with some definite lacing.

S - Dank hop notes, with a line of warm alcohol, stone fruit.

T - The front opens big with peach, a hint of pine, earth and pine, a bit of honey, sweet bread, and a rapid turn to powerful bitterness in the close.

M - Slick and big, crunchy resin, and an abiding dry close that definitely builds.

O - Whoa is this a big hop beer. Lots of good stuff, full of fruit, sweetness, and a clearing bitter smack at the end to keep things moving along. The alcohol is well hidden, and lands with little to suggest the double digit ABV. An enjoyable ride.

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Photo of avalon07
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had a bright amber color and a clear texture. There was an inch of foamy head that lasted an average amount of time. OK lacing.

S: A big, enticing aroma of hops, citrus, pine, and some tropical fruits.

T: Tasted of a lot of hops, but this is balanced with the grapefruit, malt, mango, orange, and pineapple as well. A good shot of pine, which gives you a resiny quality. This is a big, complex, vibrant flavor that's perfectly balanced.

F: A well-carbonated beer with a sharp, yet slightly oily finish. Medium-bodied.

O: If you like DIPAs with big personalities, Waldo's Special is worth trying. A muscular, fruity, hoppy, powerhouse of a beer.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.21/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Amber-orange color with great clarity. Head settles shortly. Tiny dots of lacing.

S: Tropical juice blend of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, blood orange, peach. Really dank with a strong pine and resin backing too. Big hop profile and lots of esters. Flashes of passion fruit and cherry. Whiff of alcohol lets you know this ain't no sissy beer. Sturdy caramel malt scents.

T: Juicy blend of passion fruit, mango, tangerine, pineapple, et al. Earth and pine. Oily resin slowly clamps down, like a vice grip being slowly turned. Bitterness gradually builds. Warming booze, though it isn't what I'd call hot. Estery and fruity. Toasty malt base with undercurrents of caramel. Hop oils and resin on the lingering finish.

M: Big, thick body. So chewy you could cut it with a fork and knife. Coating, though the prickling carbonation lifts it a little. Plenty of warming alcohol soothes all the way down into the pit of your chest.

O: Hoooo Daddy! This is a humongous double IPA. You know it when you smell it, when you taste it, and when it hits your stomach. Thing is, it's so delightfully fruity, sticky and hoppy that you can't help but take big greedy swigs. Then it hits you in the head. It delivers a big dose of hedonistic hop pleasure, then the soothing alcohol puts you in a state of mellow transcendence. Not unlike smoking a fat blunt rolled with the finest sticky icky, or so I'm told.

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Photo of RyeSoSerious
4.31/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Golden-amber in color, slightly hazy, and standard pour yields 1/2" bubbly white head that reduces fairly quickly to thin ring with no lacing.

S: Fruit punch with notes of tangerine, citrus rind, pineapple, mango, and maybe just a hint of stone fruit.

T: Tropical flavors initially quickly giving way to a blast of citrus and some very dank/piney flavors on the finish tempered by just a hint of caramel sweetness from the malt. The citrusy and dank hop flavors really start to take over as the beer warms.

F: Creamy, slick, oily, mouth-coating body really sticks to the tongue. Nice and generally expected given the alcohol.

O: Very nice and one of my favorites from Lagunitas to be sure. Hits all the right notes, especially considering it is also known as Waldo's 420. Surprisingly drinkable given the abv.

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.3/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The Waldos pours a clear light amber, with a small creamy head on top. The foam leaves behind a few spots on the glass as it dissipates. The aroma isn't as strong as I thought it would be. Notes of orange citrus, tangerine, and pine.

Each sip of this smooth chewy beer has moderate to full carbonation. The flavor is packed with bitter orange and tangerine citrus, mango, and pine. Sweet malts try to balance the bitter. It finishes somewhat medicinal from the alcohol. Once gone the bitter citrus lingers on the palate. If you like big, bitter IPAs seek this out.

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Photo of citizencane
4.39/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dank. Hoppy but balanced and thick. Would never guess the alcohol content is as high as it is. Not an all-time favorite but still delicious and not by any means a letdown even with the hype.

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Photo of HorseheadsHopHead
4.26/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look: Mostly clear, slightly hazy, deep gold to light copper color. Sticky, eggshell white head with surprising head retention and lacing for the abv.

Smell: Dankness, garlic/onion, peach, pineapple, sugar cookie, a bit of alcohol warmth.

Taste: Tons of tropical fruit upfront. Apricots, peaches, pineapple, mango. Lots of malt sweetness, but fairly nicely balanced. Biscuit, sugar cookie, and honey from the malts. Oat-like. Finishes with some lip-smacking residual sweetness, but there is just enough of a lingering hop finish to prevent it from being cloying. Dankness and onion balance it out just enough. The alcohol is a slight warmth near the finish, but still very well hidden.

Feel: Full-bodied, but not excessively thick or chewy. Very slick and creamy on the mid-palate, with a slightly sweet but balanced finish.

Overall: For its high abv being well hidden, this is one of the best TIPAs I've had. Comparable to Stone Enjoy By, particularly for its hop profile. Another winner from Lagunitas.

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Photo of leantom
4.97/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Truly beautiful beer. If this were a beer that never made it outside its source region, like those beers being made up in Vermont, it would have one of the highest ratings on beer advocate. Here goes:

A: Beautiful orange-amber. Alright head, but the lacing is great. Perfectly clear with decent carbonation.

S: Beautiful. Lots of oranges and mango. Faint hint of grapefruit, but mostly lighter tropical fruits. Superb - can't find anything wrong with it.

T: Same goes for the taste. Ton of oranges, tangerines, and mango. Also a lot of honey and caramel. Perfectly balanced between malt and hops. This beats Sucks by a mile.

F: Perfect. Dangerously light and drinkable.

O: This is a great beer. I would definitely get it again and again if it were year-round.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.31/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a hazy, gold color with a foamy, fluffy, off-white head. Aromas of resinous pine, wet grass, tart grapefruit, subtle pepper spice, and floral highlights. Flavors are super dank and sticky hops characteristics forward, loaded with notes of pine, wet grass, sticky sweet grapefruit, and tropical fruit highlights. Hop heads rejoice! Bold, big, slick body, with a juicy, sticky aftertaste. Slick, smooth, slightly dry finish with a solid resinous linger and some subtle heat from the ABV. Very solid beer!

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Photo of FriedSlug
4.31/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A light copper colored beer with a slightly yellowish head that leaves spots of lacing. The smell is malty sweet with ripe citrus and pine with a hint of onion. The taste is mainly orange with a pleasant sweetness and a piney bitter finish. This beer is very well balanced and the high ABV is hidden well. Very nice brew.

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Photo of Sheppard
3.84/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A little darker than the IPAs I'm used to drinking. It smelled nice. There's a ton of tropical fruit and berries up front. Followed by some very dank spicy earthiness that sticks on your tongue. The first sip was the best sip by far though. In subsequent sips and as the beer warmed, the alcohol shone through more and more. This beer is hot. It became difficult to finish this beer, which is never a good feeling. Overall, it had some good qualities, but it seemed like window dressing, since the bad qualities became more prevalent after our introduction.

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Photo of SHDoyle
3.81/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Description: Honey colored and a little bit cloudy with minimal white head and lacing. Smell is dank, resinous and almost "skunky" but not in that nasty, Heineken-esque way. Also underlying tropical fruit notes. Taste is thoroughly dank up front but that eventually gives way to a bitter finish, but it wasn't necessarily a pleasant, hoppy bitter. It might have been Nelson Sauvin hops, but the bitterness to me was almost a bit acrid and off-putting. The conspicuous alcohol presence may have contributed to what was not a pleasant finish for me. Finally, a bit of onion funk on the finish. Lot going on with the taste. Mouthfeel was nothing special: medium carbonation and body.

Suggested food pairing: Vanilla ice cream. Something sweet to balance out the wild flavors.

If you like this beer then you should also try: ReDANKulous

Overall: 3.75 (This beer is good but I would not likely drink it again) This one really has me all over the place. The smell and initial taste really indicated that this was going to be something special, but the way it finished really threw me. In fairness, I'm just not a big fan of that type of hops so I don't want to blame it all on the beer. But it really seemed overly bitter to me. Also, the high ABV was not a plus with this; he beer was hot and could definitely be toned down a bit. It felt so close to being an incredible beer, but in the end I'd have to say that this was a disappointment. I have a few more so I'll try it again and hopefully it'll grow on me.

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Photo of RacerX5k
4.67/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Finished my second sixer yesterday this beer is really starting to impress more. Learned that poured into my big 12 oz tulip (as opposed to my 5 oz snifter) enhances the look, smell and taste to world class levels. Also cuts down that herbaceous hop flavor that I've never cared for ...

Beautiful, opaque bright orange, creamy head doesn't hang around long due to the alcohol and hop oils I suppose. Big aroma followed by even bigger flavor, bitter grapefruiit and orange, little onion and garlic, pine and herbs. Long lasting very bitter puckering finish. Thick, syrupy, smooth and satisfying exactly how I like my double IPAs.

Big, beautiful, bitter beer. Easily the best Lagunitas Iv'e had except for High Westified. Approaches my top ten list.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.41/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a medium golden amber with copper notes and a fine half finger white head with great retention and lacing. Aroma of mild bready malt, big time dankness and onion, tropical fruit and citrus. Flavor is lightly caramel, somewhat sweet malt, tropical fruit, piney, dank and citrus hops, mild onion, amazing tropical fruit and resinous mixed flavor hop finish that lingers pleasantly for a while. Medium bodied with a great creaminess. A great, complex imperial IPA, with a varied, but integrated spectrum of hop flavors, big tropical fruit and lighter citrus. The onion flavor is less noticeable in the taste then in the aroma and adds the perfect odd note to the dank flavors. A dangerous IPA that invites repeated sips to identify flavors, but the ABV is so well covered it is necessary to sip judiciously. Lagunitas delivers another big, flavorful IIPA here. Meets all the hype expectations. Great. Hope this will be a seasonal.

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Photo of skeeterloveshops
3.75/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Disappointed. I consider triple IPAs my favorite genre of beers, and I would never consider this to be "world class." Certainly not in the same category as Younger, Exponential hoppiness, triple sunshine, or even notorious. It isn't bad by any means, as there are many bad 10% and up IPAs out there, but this maybe borderlines outstanding to me. A little bit of a mess. Not nearly as clean as the aforementioned brews. It's large distribution in april is the best part about this one. For a stock triple, not bad.

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Photo of Beejay
4.23/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: A medium orange amber with a nice white head on top.

S: Super dank with some orange peel, pine, and tropical fruit.

T: Taste follows, with notes of orange, pineapple, pine resin, and a touch of an herbal/earthy flavor. Some nice malt sweetness to balance out the considerable hop flavor.

M: Medium thick in body, with a slight syrup texture. Carbonation is plentiful, and a slightly dry finish. This beer keeps begging you to sip again.

O: Hop hop flavor, nice bitterness, and some sweetness to round it out. Pretty awesome.

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Photo of basaywhat
4.06/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours a nice Amber colour with a creamy white head. Aroma is a little grassy with a distinct grapefruit presence, quite citrusy. The citrus is also present in the taste and it’s neither too sweet nor too bitter. Light to medium body, lively carbonation, and a thin smooth mouth feel. Overall quite nice.

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The Waldos' Special Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 286 ratings.