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Waldo's Special Ale - Lagunitas Brewing Company

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Waldo's Special AleWaldo's Special Ale

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365 Ratings
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Ratings: 365
Reviews: 68
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 8.1%
Wants: 63
Gots: 23 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  10.79% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: largadeer on 04-21-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 365 | Reviews: 68
Reviews by dmatsui:
Photo of dmatsui
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: medium/dark copper with low carbonation and a thin head with low retention. Some residual lacing.

Smell: Bright, floral and lemony hops hit you full in the face with an unmistakable dank presence (citrusy sativa aromatics, no joke.) This is one of the most aromatic IIPAs I have ever had, with other complexities including mango, grapefruit and pine.

Taste: Huge hit of weed flavor as expected (again, along the lines of a lemony, funky, skunky sativa.) Huge Chinook hop presence and a very light, sweet malt base that does not interfere with the hops. Lagunitas put the hops first and foremost as always, making the Waldo an unmistakable Norcal IIPA. Booze hits mid-palate with just a touch of warmth (almost untraceable even at 9.4% abv) that transitions into a dry, floral and sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Just perfect. The beer itself in glass appears to have very little carbonation, but seems to be activated once it hits your tongue, coating it in a very light layer of tiny bubbles that dance and delight your taste buds, along the lines of a slightly flat soda. The Waldo is also oily and feels nice and slick.
Extremely drinkable.

How Lagunitas managed to infuse the complexities of chronic Norcal bud is beyond me. There are very few beers that I enjoy as much as I enjoyed the Waldo.

More User Reviews:
Photo of otispdriftwood
4.52/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow. Lagunitas has done it again. Was at Rattle n Hum in NYC when this went up on the beer board. Since anything Lagunitas makes interests me, I tried it and was I glad I did. This beer reminds me of the Sucks! but more piney and floral. Super drinkability. I didn't know the ABV until I got home that evening and was blown away that it was 9.2%. My best guess would have been no more than 7 - 7.5%. The taste and mouthfeel followed the smell. Smooth, flavorful without any afterbite whatsoever. Where's Waldo?It's available at DeCicco's in Brewster in growlers so I'm cutting this review short and getting me some more. If you like Lagunitas' beer, and love hops, you'll love this one.

FYI - Last review was 4-21-12.

Fast forward to 4-21-14. The ABV went from 9.2% to 10.79% and it definitely changed the taste of the beer. Still good. Still a major hop bomb. But the increased alcohol muted the hoppiness, IMHO. Liked it better at 9.2%.

Photo of mikechance
4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Samuel Horne's Tavern in Folsom, CA.

A --- nice deep and thick orange/yellow with 1/2 foam

S --- lots of citrus and flowers

T --- sweet, hoppy and bitter

M --- full bodied and nicely carbinated

O --- As usual another excellent beer from Lagunitas. Very good, but not among their best.

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

Enjoyed on tap at the Birdsal House in Peekskill, NY, a few months ago (on 4/20?) and reviewed from notes...

Pours clear medium golden amber. The head is off white, with a thin tiny bubble film and fine tongues of lacing.
Hops crushing on the nose. This is a boldly flavorful and quite large DIPA. Notes of resiny pine infused hops some gin and mini flashes of yeasty phenolics. Aggressive, heady and large. Glad I was able to give it a try.

Photo of mctizzz
4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dank and citrusy with a big malt backbone. Exactly what I would expect an imperial Lagunitas IPA to taste like. Solide beer but I just want more Born Yesterday!

Photo of ehammond1
3.59/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Clear dark, burnt orange. Creamy, near-white head. A sticky beer.

Sweet crystal and caramel malts, biting citrus character, and some pine. Very hoppy, but also balanced by lots of sweet malt character as well.

The flavor is similar to the aroma. Sweet caramel and pine notes combine nicely, with biting, stinging citrus notes. Sweet biscuits and floral.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Tasty, but I wish Churchill's had served this beer a couple months earlier, as this beer was brewed to be enjoyed on 4/20. Perhaps I would have enjoyed it more if I'd had it 2 more months fresh.

Photo of MattyG85
4.37/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at The Groveland Tap in St. Paul, MN. Served in a Lagunitas Mason jar at exactly 4:20 pm on 4/20/13.

Appearance: Pours a bright copper golden orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. About one finger of white head which fades into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a decent amount of lacing.

Smell: Huge aroma of hops with lots of spicy pine and citrus fruit esters. Big scent of dank pine resin and grass. Floral and herbal hints. Big citrus presence with hints of ripe grapefruit, orange peel, tangerine, mango, apricot, pineapple, and lemon. Sweet bready malts in the background with hints of caramel, rye, wheat grains, biscuit, and yeast. Really sharp and oily aroma dominated by the big hops.

Taste: As big and dank as it smells, huge hop flavors of pine and citrus. Spicy and oily pine resin upfront giving a dank, weed like taste. Some grass in the hop mix as well as some herbal and floral notes. Big taste of citrus fruit with notes of fresh grapefruit, pulpy orange peel, mango, tangerine, pineapple, apricot, and lemon. Behind the huge hops are some sweet bready malt with notes of biscuit, wheat grains, spicy rye, caramel, and yeast. Very hop forward and good.

Mouthfeel: Big bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very spicy, juicy, and oily. Very drying. Alcohol is hidden fairly well, the heat is from the hop attack.

Overall: Another great West Coast IPA from Lagunitas. A huge bath of dank and fruity hop flavors.

Photo of HankFinkel
4.17/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Draft pour in 12 ounce snifter. Great color and lacing, grapefruit nose, great up front taste with a very dry finish. Tasty selection but not one I would repeat in a single evening of sampling.

Photo of tdm168
4.14/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Ridgewood Wine and Beer Co.

A - opaque orange with a big, soft, off white head that has great retention

S - bready, very citrusy, faintly herbal, some alcohol

T - pine, huge citrus character, bread, very malty, alcohol in the finish

M - a bit viscous, chewy, full bodied, smooth

This is a really nice DIPA. I'm very glad I was able to try it. It had a tremendous hop character that gave it great drinkability. The malt is also very prevalent but well balanced with the hops. This is an all around pungent, delicious, hoppy DIPA that is definitely worth a try.

Photo of Glibber
3.92/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this beer in downtown Boise at Bitter creek. I really like Lagunitas, and even though many of their beers have a similar hopped flavor, this one was extremely good. A little more citrus tang, but as usual for Lagunits a good looking beer with a nice aroma, heavy lacing, and not nearly as hoppy as some of the other strong and imperial offerings. Somewhere between Little Sumpin and Maximus, both of which I love- I would definately drink more of these.
At a similar ABV to Hairy Eyeball, Undercover, and WTF, but I felt this was superior.

Photo of D-Pi-314
4.67/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had the opp to taste this fantastic brew at the Surly Goat in w hollywood. At $12 for 550ml. I would not be knocking down the door. Got to hand it to Lagunitas for producing another A+. Golden\Bronze appearence. Full body nose, grapefruit over a crisp floral undertone. Taste supports the nose. Full BODY hops with Lacey sold malty flavor. Backed by mild finish which vanishes after a short dry linger. Mouth fell is smooth like a pearl and soft like a summer breeze. Overal if you are a Lagunitas fan this is a must have. Waldo will be gone soon. He comes back each year for 4/20 special release.

Photo of emerge077
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 is 8.75%. Sampled 4/20/12.

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar pint glass. Bright orange with a delicate ring of drippy lacing around the edges and a lasting skim across the surface.

Truly capital-D dank aroma of funky mango and grapefruit, similar tropical fruit flavors with a resiny, sticky feel on the lips. Aftertaste of juicyfruit gum. Some sweetness, but balanced by a light maltiness, and not cloying at all. Comes off pretty much perfect, and if not for time constraints, I would have had 3 pints on the spot.

Basically an "imperial Sucks" which is awesome in itself.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.31/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Chub fill picked up this afternoon from the fine folks at Bar Gernika in downtown Boise... Poured tonight into my slim tulip... off white head has nice retention with good lacing for the entire glass... the brew is clear orange.

Nose shows tons of pithy grapefruit and almost as much piney hoppiness... slight maltiness shows bits of toast... but the malts are beat down by the hops... sweet tropical fruity hoppiness shows with warmth... loving this one.

Tropical fruit bowl hops on the palate remind me of mangoes and papaya.. tangerine zest, but still plenty of grapefruit.. the pale malts combine with some dry toast and deliver the hops nearly perfectly.. This is nearly perfect right now... fresh and wonderful.

Body is heavier than a standard West Coast DIPA.. but I honestly think it adds to the drinkability in this sense.. enjoy this one right now, because the malts will come out swinging as the hops die back.


Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.62/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On ta at Acme Bar and Pizza in Rochester, NY. A triple IPA for $3.25? As Gandhi once said, sign me the fuck up.

This one pours a clear golden yellow, with a tight quarter inch head, and globs of lacing everywhere.

This smells wonderful- a big heaping dose of grapefruity hops, some cat piss, a bit of booze, and tons of pine. I can't wait to drink this one.

This might be the best West Coast-style IPA I've ever had. It's the perfect marriage of intense piney bitterness, grapefruit, citrus, booze, and the ever-loved "dankness." It definitely fits with the 4/20 theme that this beer is pushing. Huge marijuana character here, along with zesty grapefruit. So, so good.

This is medium bodied, with a really crisp and juicy mouthfeel. Though it's a Triple IPA, there's none of the typical syrupy sweetness you tend to get with the style. It's cleanly fermented and well attenuated. There is a bit of alcohol on the finish, but it folds in nice and warmly with the other flavors.

This is definitely the best Lagunitas beer that I've had. So so good.

Photo of largadeer
4.62/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Rose and Crown, served in a 10 oz tulip.

Appearance: Effervescent golden-amber with a lasting head.

Smell: Incredibly fruity and citrusy, this is awesomely dank stuff. Stonefruit is at the forefront, but there's pineapple and tangerine right behind it. It's mildly sweet in a fruity way; there's little perceptible malt. Nectarine comes to mind after a while. The hop profile is great, and pretty unusual, too.

Taste & mouthfeel: Wow, Lagunitas is really stepping it up with their hoppy beers this year. This is a beautifully balanced DIPA, bursting with hop flavor that's backed by a near ideal level of malt. Ripe nectarine pops into my head again, which is followed by more citrusy grapefruit/pineapple hop flavor mid-palate. It opens sweet but ends dry, exhibiting a moderate level of bitterness that doesn't wear on the palate. There's not much malt flavor to speak of, more a raw grainy character buried beneath layers of hip flavor. Between this and Hop High, I've earned a new respect for Lagunitas. Hopefully they brew this again.

Photo of ThickNStout
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Barley's (Asheville, NC). Served in a 10oz goblet. 

Pours a vibrant clear orange-gold with 1 finger pale head. Nice, abundant lacing. 

Big mango orange citrus hops, sweet bread. More pine. Really nice. 

Dank mango, garlic, pine, citrus, pepper, biscuit. Nice mix with the alcohol well hidden. 

Medium full feel. Low carbonation. Nice sticky long dank hoppy aftertaste. 

Another excellent imperial IPA from Lagunitas. Kind of a cross between Deviant Dales and Double Trouble. I'm happy that I got to try this.

Photo of RyanK252
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at BC's Pizza and Beer

A: Pours deep golden orange amber with a creamy off white head that settles and laces very well.

S: Sweet tropical fruit, citrus, a little pine, and some caramel malt sweetness.

T: Juicy tropical fruit and citrus, mango passion fruit orange and grapefruit, backed with pine and a solid amount of caramel malt sweetness.

M: Towards the fuller end of medium body, moderate carbonation, creamy smooth.

O: I wonder if it's just this year's edition, but given the story behind this beer I was expecting a big time dank hit. Instead it's big time tropical. No complaints from me about it. Delicious!

Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.44/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Deciccos Brewster poured into tulip.
Pours a golden color. Not much head but sticky lacing. Smells of sweet fruity malts and sweet hops. Taste is like it smells but much more flavor than expected. Very fruity...mango and maybe passionfruit-like. Nice hop bite with a slightly bitter finish. This is such a great DIPA! Its not your typical over hopped brew but its so well balanced and full of flavor. Just get past the boring look and you will be pleasantly satisfied!

Photo of CenCalMario
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

ST: On tap at Eureka Burger Fresno.

A: Nice beautiful deep orange.

S: Yeah buddy! Hops, sweet citra, danky.

T: Resinous, piney, citrus, fruity, yummy. Sneaky 9.2% beer for sure.

MF: Liquid heaven

O: Superb double IPA, on the same path as Sucks/Holiday Ale. Resinous, sticky and sweet... I would drink this everyday!

Photo of dbrauneis
4.27/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Rattle N Hum in New York, NY

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden yellow/orange in color with some very light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a half finger tall white head that slowly reduces to an extremely thin film covering the entire surface of the beer with a much thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Significant lacing is observed.

S: The smell of this beer was dominated by the very intense aromas of tropical hops - specifically mango and pineapple. There were some lighter hints of peach and just the slightest hint of malt.

T: The taste very much followed the smell with tropical fruits from the hops dominating. There were huge flavors of mango and pineapple followed by some lighter notes of peach and just a hint of malt sweetness. There beer is very well balanced as there is little hop bitterness and/or bite.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Coats the inside of your mouth and tongue with a slight amount of slickness.

O: I found this beer to be very refreshing, very well balanced, and very easy to drink. The alcohol was extremely well hidden but at 9.2% ABV this is not a session beer. I loved the smell and the taste and would gladly get it again.

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.29/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

2015. This smells and tastes great - not as pure dank / weedy as they'd have you expect - but the mouthfeel is unreal. Totally unique. Somehow light - at least not cloying, viscous, or coating, though not crisp - but also strangely pillowy. It seems to thicken in your mouth as you drink it. A pretty wild feeling and something that distinguishes this from other beers of its ilk.

Photo of hoagzzz
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

How often does something come along that totally blows your mind? Happened upon this on tap today at a whole foods. Totally blown away.. Hoppy.. Then malty. Takes a moment experience all that's going on here.. The kicker.. $3 for a ten ounce draft!! Phenominal!

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

Was pleasantly surprised to see this on tap at a local wine bar.

Pours a slightly hazy and bright gold color with a pretty nice off white head.

Aromas are nice. Very resiny, with notes of sweet citrus, some mango, and pineapple.

Taste is pretty sweet up front. Notes of hard candies, sugars, and creamy malts. Finish is really resiny, with mangos, pineapple, and some hints of bitter grapefruits.

Mouthfeel is smooth, thick, full, with nice crisp carbonation.

Overall, a very nice DIPA. Leans too much too the sweet side for my liking. With some toned down malt sweetness, a more dry feel, this would be top notch. This is still no slouch as is, and I'm being a bit nit picky, because this is quite nice.

EDIT : From reading some other reviews, it sounds like this beer is dated, and past it's prime. Still very good, and I can tell that this would have been excellent really fresh.

Photo of John_M
4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's. Very surprised to see this beer here... when I saw it at the Apex in PDX, I was told this beer is very, very limited.

The beer pours an orange amber color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is attractive as well, as I pick up considerable tangerine, tropical fruit (mango, papaya and the like), light pine and underlying citrus. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely, and the beer is a bit sweeter and maltier than I tend to enjoy in an IPA/DIPA. Still, the beer has a goodly dose of hoppy bitterness as well, which keeps the tropical fruit from overwhelming the flavor profile. The finish is actually fairly dry and bitter. Mouthfeel is medium bodied to full, with a long, tropical fruit and bitter finish. There's a bit of heat from alcohol in the finish as well, but for the most part, the alcohol is very well integrated into the flavor profile.

Another solid beer from Lagunitas, but for my money, I'll take Hop Stoopid every time.

Photo of TheBrewo
4.31/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This beer was served from the tap at One-Eyed Betty’s in Ferndale, MI. It arrived in a generic tulip, showing a reddish pumpkin coloring. It held a one finger head of tannish bubbles that retained nicely, leaving sheets of lacing all around the glass. A mild chill haze distorted clarity, but no sediment was noted. Carbonation appeared to be moderate. The aroma was bright, with big hops off the bat giving earthy spice and sweet and sticky nectary grapefruit. This was cut harshly by fusel booze, nail polish remover, and the most insanely floral (independent of hops) quality we’ve ever whiffed, giving bittered earthiness against a background of a cooling but spicy perfumy cloud. The malts were pushed to the back, but were nicely inclusive and varied, with pales, heavy caramels, and toasty ambers. Our first impression was that the flavoring was strongly fusel, spicy, and phenolic, while remaining pleasantly fresh. As we sipped, the taste opened with honey sweetness, toasty caramel and redder malts, big bitterness of herbal and juicy citric hops, and fruity sugars of apricot and pineapple. Moving to the peak was an enhancement of the hops to spicier note and some resiny pine, with a mix of peppery booze, crisp tannic lemony twist, sugary sweet caramel malt balance, and more lightly toasted amber malts. The finish came with a wash of extremely fusel booze and spicy plastic phenols, with those bittered herbal hops, yeasty metallics, light pales, solid lemon rind, and a revival of that pineapple fruitiness as the sole source of balance here. The aftertaste breathed of black pepper, pale and white flour maltiness, herbal hop bitterness, spicy booze, curry spiciness, earthy mineral, raw honey, and strongly plastic phenols. The body was medium, and the carbonation was the same. Each sip gave excellent pop and glug, with nice slurp and smack, and beautifully soft cream and froth. The mouth was slickly coated with thick and sticky froth, with no real dryness other than a light tannic quality. The abv was big (10.5% this year according to the brewery rep) and present, but the beer drank easily.

Overall, the best things about this beer were the flavoring and the feel. The former displayed excellent juiciness and fruitiness to start, with dark and deep spicy strength, booze, sticky hops, and big malts to balance throughout the sip, striking a solid blend. The flavor is just massive. And then there was that nose. It had such a unique floral, perfume quality that both added to the depth of spiciness, while giving an air of freshness. Really everything is just so robust about this beer, making it highly memorable. As we’ve come to expect from Lagunitas, this guy is spicy, fresh, and amazingly drinkable.

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Waldo's Special Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 365 ratings.