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The Waldos' Special Ale | Lagunitas Brewing Company

324 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: 324 | Ratings: 1,539
Photo of twizzard
4.81/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

What an absolute dank, weedy, juice bomb. And 11.5% ABV....are you kidding me?! I passed on it originally when my local recommended it but now I have to load the boat! The absolute best Lagunitas, hands down

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Photo of imstimpy
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

My first taste was straight from the bottle in my workshop. I'll properly pour and review the beer soon.
For now, I can confirm it is impressively hoptastic. As with all Lagunitas, the bottle humor is great- I think they list "hops" in the ingredient list six or seven times.

The first taste had a touch of lime and a lot of hop. The lime faded to the hops after a few sips. My first guess at IBUs would have it well north of 100, but it isn't too sharp.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.1/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear amber color. The head is two fingers high and white in shade. Retention isn't particularly good, and the texture becomes rougher the longer it sits. Some streaks of lacing also stick to the glass.

Let's cut to the chase: this is aggressive, over-the-top, and beastly - I feel like the aroma just punched me in the face with peach, tangerine, grapefruit, guava, and weed. Does this have Mosaic? If it doesn't, I'll eat a hat. When combined with the textbook Lagunitas character, it really seems dank as hell. It's 11.5%, so there's also a hefty caramel sweetness. I just love how big and unsubtle it smells.

It tastes weed-like at first. This dankness slowly subsides, being replaced by notes of tangerine, peach, pineapple, and grapefruit. The finish is faintly boozy, about what I'd expect from something so massive. The maltiness is every bit as sweet and heavy as I expected (although it never overpowers the hop profile by any stretch). It has that classic "boozy pineapple juice" vibe many mega IPAs feature. Plus, it's so damn OTT, it's charming.

Big and thick, the finish is just light enough to make it drink a little easier than it could have otherwise. It's still a sipper up in this realm of gravity, though. The texture is slightly syrupy and the carbonation is lowish. All told, it pairs up with the flavor profile very well.

I'm a big fan of subtlety, nuance, and delicacy - and then something like this comes across along. Those three terms are pretty much the opposite of what this beer is about. And hell, that's why I love this one so much. One is enough, but one is far more satisfying than 3 mediocre IPAs in a row.

4.1/5: Drink this instead of the bong water

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear bright amber orange with a frothy off-white head. Smells like caramel, honey, papaya, dank guava, passionfruit, pineapple, bitter citrus, with fresh pine and earthy grass. Tastes like sweet caramel honey malt, bitter pine, grapefruit, orange citrus, pineapple, big papaya, onion, with fresh dank earthy grass. Feels light bodied, slick with moderate carbonation. Overall a nice malty DIPA.

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Photo of Chcshammonde
4.09/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Picked this up due to the excitement people on BA were spreading on this. $10.99 for a sixer at Bianchini's Market, San Carlos CA. 11.5% ABV marked on the bottle. Dayum! L: Burnt orange. S: Sweet malt, tingling hops, a bit piney, smells a bit sweet. T: The best way I can describe the taste of this one is a hop cupcake with a full inch of sweet icing on top. it's nice, but it's a little too sweet for me. F: Medium-thick feel on this, but easy going down. O: Enjoyed having it, but it's too sweet for my tastes. Will share the sixer.

EDIT: had 2nd bottle. Sweetness is way subdued and the hops on this are terrific. Updated rating, would have this again.

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Photo of Mongrel
4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Massive nose on this one - you can smell it as soon as you pop the top. Candied orange, mango, papaya, mint, pine. As big as the aroma is, it's also kind of delicate and breezy, and undoubtedly fresh.

Flavor brings some of those big, bright tropical notes from the nose, but also some dank, resinous character. Bitter orange rind comes later, some vinous, grapey flavors play around in the background, and there's even a little savory onion on the finish. Finishes surprisingly dry and peppery.

Overall, a huge flavor profile with signature Lagunitas estery sweetness at the center that stops just short of cloying. Aggressive, yet well rounded an dangerously crushable. Virtually no trace of the 11.5 ABV aside from the dry, peppery finish.

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Photo of Chris585
4.58/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Slight hop haze. Slim head but lasting. Smells piney fruity and clean malt. Taste. WOW ! Didn't expect to taste such complexity. Peach juice, dankness, super dry and slightly sticky. Small burn at the back but Abv hidden quite nicely. Over the top basically triple IPA but done superbly. Lots of dank flavors, peach, mango orange zest alcohol heat at the back but not nearly noticeable and a small sweetness from the malt to balance this out. I didn't have high expectations from this as I have only had a few from lagunitas that I thought were excellent, but this one is a solid A beer. Very tasty beer

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Photo of bubseymour
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is all about the super dank and the most dank smelling beer that just blasts out in smell. Taste is big and hoppy. Dank taste as well. A touch bitter in the finish. Smooth creamy mouthfeel. Overall this is a huge beer with what seems to be a ton of IBUs. Good beer but not as good as Sucks fresh.

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Photo of moysauce
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap: 4/15/16


This was something special. For being 11% this thing went down so freaking smooth. Absolutely no alcohol. Masked beautifully. Absolutely gorgeous looking beer. Bright, tropical fruit aroma. The taste was really pleasant. Very bitter and resinous upfront, but left the mouth covered in citrus notes. It reminded me of the mango melon tropical starburst. Juicy. Really an excellent beer that I would highly recommend.

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Photo of robear
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

This beer is delicious. It's the most enjoyable Lagunitas I've had.

Bright, deep golden (almost orange) in color. Fierce aroma, a touch of alcohol heat on the nose. Abundance of hop oils and resins on the tongue, there is no way they didn't use hop oil in this beer. Finishes strong but palatable, not too sticky, not too sweet.

Really well done for such a mass produced IIPA.

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Photo of CraigP83
4.45/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Moderately clear honey coloration, giant head recedes leaving large soapy bubbles. Smells tropical, hop resin. Taste is face melting piney hops. Bitter and boozy with a lingering mouth coating stickiness. If you're craving a hop bomb this is a excellent choice but but beware the monster 11.5% ABV

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

This is a BIG beer and certainly worth the Triple IPA moniker. In typical Lagunitas fashion this is delicious, bold and relatively inexpensive. Sweet caramel malt, strong dank hops, light chive, pine, citrus, orange rind, tropical punch, sometimes sugary, and even limes. 11.5% and easy to drink.

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Photo of PsilohsaiBiN
4.72/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of the best 2xIPAs I've ever had. Oh so drinkable for the abv and dank to boot. Drinks like 8%...just dangerous. Piney, nuggy hops with a slight tropical element to it as well. Would definitely grab more of this.

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Photo of scotorum
4.11/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


A little sumpin sumpin new in Lagu's regular sixpack distribution.

Bottling code suggest this is from the end of last month, roughly two weeks old.

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Tree House stemmed tulip.

a: Clear amber with a frothy inch plus thick white head which receded to thin surface foam and patchy lacing.

s: Intense pine resin.

t: Follows the nose with mouth-cloying intensity, over a bready malt base. Throat burn on swallow. Dankly resiny finish with some strong grassy notes later underlying. Other than the throat burn, it does well enough cover its extremely high ABV.

m: Medium to full, great body, good carbonation tingle.

o: A mind-blower of powerful West Coast style hops, over the top and then some. Harsh as such; seemingly surpassing virtually all others which came before it in sheer hop blast is not necessarily a good thing. No question your attention will be rivetted on the flavor. Bought this single to see if a sixpack should follow. Still not sure, so far additional sips have not lessened the harsh intensity of the hop explosion. However if you like piney hops and high ABV brews this would be a helluva good buy at the $12-13 sixpack range I saw it at.

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Photo of Gigity7
4.67/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Very good, very strong beer with LOTS of citrus and a big finish. I like it best served on the cold side so it isn't dominated by the high alcohol content. Fun!

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Photo of GIN173
4.73/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Wow- this beer is so good it is making me post my first ever review. I have been an IPA fan for the last 5 years. I am an IPA snob, I like what I like and I will not drink an IPA that tastes like cr_p.

I can never tell if the beer is good from reviews because people describe the taste and there is too much variation.

My review is going a different road. I will say what IPAs I love and if you like the same ones then you should At least try this. It is $13 but it comes in a 6 pack. But it is 11.5% ABV!!! In a 6 pack? Unheard of. This is Lagunitas 420 special. Untapped even has a secret badge for it. For those that don't know, 420 or 4/20 is national weed day. This beer certainly has a dank hempish characteristic.

I love sip of sunshine, captains daughter, resin , heady topper, any green flash or founders IPA.

Don't shoot me but I haven't had a tree house beer I love yet but this Waldo IPA I swear is a merge between a tree house IPA and heady topper. And even though I don't like tree house, for some reason, when it is blended with a heady topper there is something magical that happens w the taste.

I love piney, resiny hoppy beer. I am ok with the Citrus twist on the top IPAs as well. This has it all

It is worth a try. Some will not like it but if your Tastes are similar to mine above then there is a good shot you will love this beer.

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Photo of Ri0
4.1/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 12oz bottle into snifter. Light amber and orange with a decent 2 finger white head. Good retention that dies to a thin collar. Webbed lacing decorates my glass. The aroma is quite tropical with pineapples, passion fruit, and mango. I also pick up some faint citrus of orange and tangerine along with caramel malts and some sweet honey drenched bread. The hops stand out with juicy mango, passion fruit, pineapple and tangerine flavor. It gets pretty sweet in the middle with massive honeycomb and caramel. The finish is less bitter and more tropical. Medium body with ample carbonation that is quite sticky. A beast of a IIPA that is very hoppy and very sweet.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm finding analogies to both Resin and Molotov Lite - it's got lotsa pine but also plenty of something tropically fruity, like mango - and the body has some heft - it is not a lean beer, but it is not as heavy as, say, things like (regular) Molotov, Devil Dancer, or a Double Bastard. The abv is considerable, and some still comes through in the drinking. The bitterness is potent, but there are a lot of sugars, too, which round things off. The "big-ness" of the beer will slow down the drinking, and allow you to enjoy some nice effects as it warms.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
4.13/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Peach, mango and papaya juice. Some pineapple, grapefruit zest and pine on the back end. Malt sweetness throughout. Rounded bitterness. Semi dry. Really solid.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.52/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Lagunitas mason jar.

Appearance: Pours a bright golden orange with moderate amount of bubbles. About a finger of white head that settles into a thin patchy layer.

Smell: A very juicy and dank hop forward aroma with a scent of citrus fruit and pine. Big citrus hop presence with a scent of grapefruit, mango, orange peel, lemon zest, guava, tangerine, and pineapple. Herbal scent of pine resin and cannabis. Light malt hints of caramel and grains with some yeast. A really good dank aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a really juicy and dank hop driven taste with notes of citrus fruit and pine resin. Big juicy citrus notes of grapefruit, mango, guava, orange peel, tangerine, lemon, and pineapple. Earthy and herbal hop notes of pine resin, grass, and onion. Backing sweet malt notes of caramel, grains, and cracker along with some yeast. A very good juicy taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very juicy and oily with a drying finish. Alcohol heat is light for 11.5%.

Overall: A great juicy explosion of hop tones. Big citrus and pine flavors with a definite 420 scent.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a golden orange color with 2 fingers of head that fairly quickly fades down to a thin right of lace around the glass. Not surprised given the abv

S: Huge notes of dank, citrusy hops up front with a solid malt backbone. Alcohol gives off some light esters as well. Pretty in your face

T: Follows the nose. The dankness fades slightly, but the citrus comes out a little more. Some pine in there as well. Malt stands strong and holds a good base for the onslaught of hops. Alcohol is nicely hidden, but is evident just enough to get some more fruitiness out of it. Finishes with malt sweetness and lingering bitterness

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation

O: An incredibly hoppy IIPA that somehow keeps its balance and remains deadly drinkable. Highly recommended if you like high-octane IPAs with a shit-ton of hops

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Photo of Ricelikesbeer
4.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

More hops from Lagunitas? Bring it on! Amazed yet again at the great price point- paying less than 12 bucks for an 11.5% double IPA? this is unheard of right now.

L: light gold, good clarity, whispy feint head. not great lacing or retention but looks good anyway

S:Lots of resinous hops in the nose. Booze is there too, with some sweet malt aroma

T: Very bold and bright. Range of floral, citrus, dank resinous flavor, and some pine. Nice range of hops. Booze adds rather than deducts from the flavor. Very clean for such a big beer. no off flavors

F:oily, medium bodied, not too thick or cloying

O: Wow this one is really impressive for a variety of reasons. Awesome price point, I gotta give it to them for that. Hope this becomes a permanent offering. Very bright, bold, clean gigantic IPA! one of the better 10+% IPA's ive had. does not cross into barleywine territory.

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Photo of B-Stad
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden color with one finger head, not much retention. The aroma has citrus, orange peel, some grapefruit and dank piney resin. Slight hint of booze. Initial taste is of orange and citrus. Super fresh. The middle starts to get a bit tart, like lemon zest or grapefruit which starts transitioning into the dankness! The back end is definitely dank. Piney resinous dank. Good bitter hop kick. Not too much though, just the right amount for my taste buds. They did a wonderful job of balancing this beer. Definitely up my alley as far as the Imperial IPA style goes. It's nicely carbonated so it goes down good. Thick in the mouth, very smooth. I'm impressed. I've spent far more for far less in the category. 93/100

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Photo of CJCouillard
4.88/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

L: Bright golden copper out of the bottle.

S: Smells of bright citrus, orange

T: Complex taste. Both Sweet with a cirtrusy kick, and bitter with a strong hop finish.

F: Very smooth for an imperial IPA

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Photo of frontrangefart
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The smell is hoppy and almost has notes of banana in it. Definitely just a teeny bit of booze on the undertone. Has a vibrant orange color with a bit of haze. Taste great. Not too bitter. Very pleasant texture, feels thicker than most IPAs. Notes of pine, citrus, and hop juice. Poured with about a finger's width of head.

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The Waldos' Special Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 324 ratings.