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Waldo's Special Ale - Lagunitas Brewing Company

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Waldo's Special Ale
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99 Reviews
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Reviews: 99
Hads: 714
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 20.89%
Wants: 80
Gots: 107 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 99 | Hads: 714
Photo of TheRealColby
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the best IPAs I've tried. On tap at the Liberty Craft House. Color was a polished Brass. First aroma was pine and herb with subtle citrus following.

The mouth feel and balanced tastes were great but the finish was what made this beer special: felt like a lemon honey cough drop going down.

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Photo of Roguer
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Beautiful beer; very clear coppery/orange brew, topped with a fairly thin white head with excellent retention and nice flat fields of lacing.

Extremely juicy: tropical and citrus in equal doses, with a kiss of dank hops on the back end. Extremely hoppy, but entirely in a juicy way.

A little syrupy on the mouthfeel, almost certainly due to the high ABV. Definitely a TIPA all the way.

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

Pours a reddish orange color with excellent clarity and soapy head ontop. The aroma had tropical notes from West Coast hops employed generously and perhaps copiously throughout. Pine, herb, caramel and toast also arise after initial citrus burst. Perhaps there is alcoholic fruit aromas mingling with the hops, but it would be difficult for most to ascertain.

The flavor is quite tasty indeed, with fresh pineapple, mango, grapefruit, and pine lasting well into the flavor with some earthy bitterness appearing briefly, once again finishing with hop and alcohol driven citrus and fruit flavors, respectively. Malt sweetness checks in and provides the backbone for the big time hop flavors.

Full bodied, chewy beer that has hops and tropical notes dancing happily upon the tongue. Bitterness is at a good level and keeps the beer from being a big sweet mess, and the alcohol is deceptively well hidden.

Overall, consider this a must try from Lagunitas. Perhaps the best they have done.

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

On tap at Track 84 in Warwick, RI:

Appearance: Copper-amber with a thick, frothy head. Medium retention, but leaves a nice thick ring along the edges of the glass. Lacing was really thick and sudsy.

Aroma: Wow, really fresh and pleasant. Lots of tropical fruit, mixed with a grassy, refreshing undertone.

Taste: Lots of citrus, but well-balanced with some fresh, bready notes. Got some tangerine, but also plenty of bitterness on the finish.

Feel: Crisp and creamy, with a very resinous, thick finish.

Overall: Holy moly, when I was drinking this, I had no idea of the ABV. Now that I'm home, and relatively buzzed after drinking a couple, I'm amazed at this beer. Incredibly well-balanced and nicely hopped, but I can't believe it clocks in at almost 11%! For $5 on tap, this is an amazing beer and an even better bargain.

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Photo of ClayPA
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is so hoppy, so smooth, and so flavorful with wonderful finish that you will wonder why you ever drank anything else. Please bottle and send to me weekly.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on-tap at Wayside Grill Asheville. Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

A- Pours medium amber color with a 1/2 inch off-white head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a half sheet of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves small clots behind.

S- Intense citrus blast in the aroma with lots of lemon, grapefruit and pineapple.

T- Tropical fruit flavors lead to a sharp bitterness and ends at a sweet cereal grain malt base. Lingering resinous hop bite. Notes of mango, peach and guava.

M- So sharp, it cuts like a knife but in a way that's somehow pleasant and not overbearing. Medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the lighter side.

O- So glad I happened upon this one. Yeah, it's got the same signature flavor profile as every other Lagunitas DIPA I've ever had, but it's still phenomenal and the ABV is so incredibly well concealed.

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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.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap 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.

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Photo of Sintech
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On Tap

Appearance - Dark orange hue.

Smell - Tropical, citrus, honey and dankness.

Taste - Tropical, citrus, mango and pine. Delicious.

Mouthfeel - Perfect carbonation. Low attenuation. Very chewy.

Overall - Perfect IPA. Highly recommended!

Grade (A+)

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Photo of RyanK252
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
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!

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Photo of hoagzzz
5/5  rDev +17.4%
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!

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Photo of HankFinkel
4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

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Photo of Maverickdp
3.91/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just tapped at favorite local spot; of course, today... what a dank special this one is... piney, hoppy, tasty but get ready to eat a big ol' bag of herb... I love it...

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Photo of Slatetank
4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Amber hazed w/ light tan head.strong happy smell dank herb and floral odor w/ tropical aroma.feel is moderately bitter balanced with semi thick body of malt with medium carbonation and alcohol in feel w/ semi dry finish.

Taste is Tangy, spicy and juicy with tropical with slight grapefruit and mild pine accents with malt balancing some of the bitterness with a sweetness that compliments the hop tropical quality with mild alcohol in the finish.taste of hops in this double IPA are very fresh and the alcohol is gentle for the strength

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Photo of mctizzz
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
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!

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Photo of BryanReed
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy copper. Smells nice and piney. Taste is awesome. You get a huge hop bite up front, almost mellows out into a sweet-ish malt and some nice tart tingle, and then another surge of hops on the finish. This years batch is pretty boozy, but it's hidden fairly well. I'm still learning about IPAs, and haven't gotten out much, but this is the first non-fruity/tropical IPA thats knocked my socks off. Definitely a winner!

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

ACBF sample

A-Pours clear orange with a large head, especially for the sample cup.

S-It smells fresh and brightly hoppy with a lot of orange hoppiness. There is also a noticeable aroma of pine and weed.

T-Juicy citrus and resiny pine. It's straightforward but pretty tasty. Powerfully hopped. Just enough backing from the malt with little residual malty flavor.

M-Surprised the ABV is this high, it's hidden very well. Bitter. Medium bodied. Resiny.

O-Another well brewed hoppy beer from Lagunitas. Not as good as a few of their others but still a great beer to sample.

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Photo of rawfish
3.3/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

On tap at Hamilton's Tavern. Served in a bar chalice glass. Dark orange/amber and very hazy, a thin line of off white foam. Good retention and nice rings of lacing left on the glass.

Caramel malt, deeper notes of toffee and red fruit. Hops are dank with copious amounts of pine, canned peaches and orange citrus. Huge sweetness and booze on the back end.

Much like the nose, heavy honey bread, caramel and heavy doses of vinous fruit. Malt dominance is briefly cut by the pine and resiny forward hops that have a dull background of citrus and a grassy edge. One dimensional hops aren't enough to balance the sweetness and a medium bitterness and hot alcohol wash out through the finish.

Burdensome body with average carbonation. This beer should not be this boozy with the amount of malt that is here, also lacks drying. More bright flavors and bitterness would be useful.

Call me naive, I didn't know Waldo's Special was the Lagunitas 4.20 beer. So this DIPA is a month old, I just thought Lagunitas + IPA = winner. A big bodied and boozy DIPA, one dimensional profile and sluggish body doesn't help it either. Maybe if it wasn't 90+ degrees out I would like it more. Had to pass the glass around to get this one finished

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Photo of barczar
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a brilliant golden with a frothy cream head that lingers and leaves sheets of lacing as it dissipates.

Resin, pine, grass, and sharp citrus dominate the aroma. There's a hint of dank, catty hops.

Flavor is dominated by tart orange, lemon, and grapefruit pith, with resin and pine accenting nicely into the fairly bitter, resiny finish. Fruity notes surface with earthy hops in the finish.

Body is a touch light, with moderate carbonation and noted alcohol warmth.

Great fruity hop character, accented well by herbal, grassy, resiny hops. Bitterness is not overwhelming. Earthiness helps with that in the finish.

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Photo of artoolemomo
3.82/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance- Received with about half a finger's worth of head which has okay retention. The head is pure cotton white while the body is a pale to medium amber which appears as a pale amber in the light. Some lacingis left behind.

Nose- Starts off with a pretty even blend of citrus (orange, lemon, and grapefruit), peaches, slight hints of cherry, and caramel that tends toward a slightly burnt quality. Slight grassiness; dank. As it opens up, peach takes over and at points, it smells like freshly sliced peaches. Some honey, floral notes. Tropical fruits as well. Swirling reveals light grassiness and some herbal qualities.

Taste- This appears to be a mix of the newer style of IIPAs and the old style: a blend of bright citrus (orange and lemon), matchstick, tropical fruits, and a good amount of pine and resin on the finish. Some earwax, woodiness, and cracked pepper. Some cherry but none of the dominant peach of the nose and that's a shame. The more and more I drink this, the more it tastes old school. It's almost ashy and burnt from the profusion of pine, resin, and woodiness. This will definitely hit the spot with hopheads but for fans of Sucks, this might be a turn off. Beers like that have definitely changed my palate and have made beers like this one less enjoyable. Most fruit notes fade into the background as straight up lupulin takes over the palate. A solid, good beer and pretty good for the style that it is but I just can't rank it as highly as many others have. Too much of an earwax beer for me and something I would have loved 5 years ago. I'm very glad that I didn't get a growler of this last week.

Mouthfeel- Between light and medium bodied with appropriate carbonation. Maybe a little zing.

Drinkability- A bit of a task for me because of its focus on the more bitter hops but still pretty drinkable for such a beer. Four dollars is okay for a 12 oz pour of an imperial but seems a little expensive for a Lagunitas brew. But this is Apex and I don't think this is ever bottled.

Overall- A solid, good beer which would probably be great if the strong peach of the nose had any presence on the flavor profile. It would also be nice if there were more caramel and malt to balance out the sometimes simplistic hop presence. Still worth a try but I probably wouldn't get this again.

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Photo of raynmoon
4.46/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: clear golden, slightly on the lighter end of the honey - like orange color. Nice head retention and lacing.

S: "dank" first comes to mind. A very earthy, herbal citrus quality with that classic lagunitas aroma

T: taste follows the nose. I first get hit with a modest bitterness that is backed equaly byn the malt body. More on the medium heavy side for an ipa. Very "sticky".

Overall, very balanced and enjoyable. A winner for lagunitas.

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Photo of otispdriftwood
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
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%.

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Photo of itsscience
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Amber in color with a finger of white head that quickly settles. Dear lord, this beer is dank: there's maybe a little bit of sweet malt, sweet citrus, and grapefruit on the nose, but earthy hop notes take center stage. The smell of freshly cut grass, weed, and hop oil slaps you in the face. Given the back-story of this beer and the way it smells, I believe that Lagunitas set out to make a beer that smells as close to marijuana as possible. It tastes teeth-clenchingly bitter with herbal hops, grapefruit, peach, a sweet cracker malt presence, and the oniony finish of an extremely hopped beer or a beer made with Summit hops. It has a dry, medium body and is full of mouth-coating hop resin. At nearly 11% ABV, this beer is dangerously crushable, so watch out.

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Photo of corby112
3.09/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Pours a dark copper color with mahogany edges and a one finger, frothy off-white head that slowly settles into a lasting ring.  Glass is left coated with streaks of soapy lacing.  Looks great!  

Dank floral hop aroma with a decent balance of tropical fruit, earthy grass and sweet malt.  Malt presence is a bit stronger than expected with lots of caramel and toffee sweetness along with some dark fruit and cracker.  

Full bodied and surprisignly malty for the style.  Again, there is a lot of caramel sweetness along with fig, vinous fruit and biscuit.  The strong malt character takes away from the hops too much for my liking. Also, the hop profile is kind of one dimensional with dry bitterness lingering throughout.  Needs some sweetness to cut through.  All dry, earthy  bitterness with prominent grass and pine needle flavors.  Lacks balance and complexity.  A rare miss from Lagunitas.

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Photo of flexabull
4.09/5  rDev -4%
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.

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Waldo's Special Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 99 ratings.