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Wilco Tango Foxtrot | Lagunitas Brewing Company

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Wilco Tango FoxtrotWilco Tango Foxtrot

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.85%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
Imperial Brown Ale

Added by flexabull on 03-06-2010

For Trade:
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Reviews: 846 | Ratings: 2,582
Photo of hagbergl
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this big hoppy brown ale–WTF?, indeed–on a cool spring night. 22 oz. brown bottle poured in my Beer Geek Nation tulip glass. Delicious stuff...review details follow below.

Appearance (4/5): This dark brown ale is topped with a huge, billowy off-white head. The big head tells us this is one active, well-carbonated beer. Red highlights can be seen when the beer is held up to the light. This is a very good looking brown ale.

Smell (4/5): Sweet caramel malt and floral hops (Amarillo?) compete for dominance in this one, but not to the beer's detriment. Instead, they compliment one another well. Some people don't like the idea of hoppy brown ales, but let the doubters give this one a smell and maybe they would change their tune. Very interesting mixture of the light, nutty sweetness of traditional brown ales and the green, floral hops of a pale ale or IPA.

Taste (4/5): At the front of the mouth you get smacked with some light, oily hop bitterness, but towards the back, brown ale characteristics come through. The brown characteristics consist of some powdery cocoa, light coffee bean, and dark chocolate. As with the aroma, the beer's brown and IPA characteristics work well together to make a very interesting and fairly unique beer. Good tasting stuff.

Mouthfeel (4/5): This beer definitely has a solid brown's mouthfeel: it's nice and creamy and the finish is dry (not to say chalky). A smooth, clean ale that is very drinkable. Medium carbonation and medium body.

Overall (4/5): Lagunitas Wilco Tango Foxtrot is one of those weird beers that exceeds expectations and is more than just a novelty beer. The hoppy imperial brown ale idea really does work in practice, despite the doubts of narrow-minded purists. Excellent stuff by a brewery that's never afraid to step outside the box and get weird with it.

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Photo of Profchaos20
4.29/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed 3/23/13 22oz bomber in LFDM tulip

A - Pours a clear brownish red with a two finger light tan head. Nice lacing.

S - Citrusy hops upfront with flower and pine. Notes of spice, malt, brown and burnt sugar in the background.

T - Light citrus hops upfront, sweet malty, molasses, medium bitterness. Smooth. Burnt sugar notes.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation. Lighter than the abv would indicate. Dry.

O - Tasty beer, I really liked the aroma and enjoyed the beer overall. Would definitely buy again.

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Photo of Minkybut
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this outstanding beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. The beer was auburn colored and poured a really big head. The head was nice and creamy. The beer smelled a little hoppy but did not taste too hoppy. It was a really nice beer from them and received a GREAT rating in my book. I would certainly buy this again.

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Photo of utopiajane
3.28/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours ruby brown with a decent head that fell off to some sticky lace. Crystal clear and very attractive. Nose is Lagunitas hop profile all the way. Spicy rye, ripe fruits behind that and pine. Big caramel malt, some bread and a nice touch of chocolate to tempt the palate. As it warms you can notice a little soy quality that ultimately detracts. Taste upfront is big sweet malt , the rye spiciness and some toasted bread. The chocolate is very nice on top of that. Delicate and fruity hops come in with some bitter and oily resin to coat the mouth and it goes down easy and a little nutty. Finishes a little sticky and slightly dry. It’s a plucky little ale that I would have rated higher had it not become salty after a while and had it not tasted so very similar to all the other lagunitas beers.

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Photo of sporr
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This actually one of my all time favorite beers. I think Lagunitas does a great job in general with all their beers and this one is right up there. I especially like how they got this to taste fresh and have the body of a aged beer. I'm going to just kick back now and enjoy this puppy. I suggest you do the same.

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Photo of Bear1964
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a Pint glass showed a beautiful clear copper color and a nice 2 1/2 finger head that stayed a long time. The aroma was tell tale Lagunitas with spicy hops front and center, taste flashed the hops and took it to citrus/pit fruit tang that I love from the brand. This Strong Ale has all the good points of a IPA and the ABV of a Barley Wine, solid mouthfeel that lets you know you are drinking something. Overall I'm glad I tried this and always grab new stuff from this brand.

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Photo of LampertLand
3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Lagunitas Brewing 'Wilco Tango Foxtrot' @ 7.8% an American Strong Ale served from a 650 ml bottle purchased for $8

A-pour is a dark golden amber , with a medium size off white head that is leaving a streaky lace along the pint glass

S-smells similar to a Cascadian Dark Ale/American Black Ale

T-again similar to a Cascadian Dark Ale/American Black Ale

MF-ok carbonation , full bodied , bitterness lingers on the palate

Ov-big beer , too much like a CDA/ABA for me to enjoy , another lesson learned

prost LampertLand

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.74/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- it pours a deep mahogany with a 2 finger head of foam, a long lasting head of foam. Nice lacing.

S- isn't very aromatic. I get some malt that's on the sweet side, a bit of ...nothing else. As drab a smell in may a brew I've had over the years.

T- the malt does a fine job here. Nice caramel sweetness, some notes of bread..err..could be toasted malt, and as it's warming, some pretty good citrus flavours. Grapefruit, some pinyness.
After tasting, I went back and took a few more whiffs..yeah, now I'm getting what I'm mentioning in the taste.

M- Medium body, same for the carbonation.

O- an enjoyable 7.85 %abv brew. At the less than $5(pre tax) it's good value for the money.

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Photo of BelgiumBill
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bomber into a Duvel tulip glass. A deep mahogany brown with amber hues. A semi-sticky burlap colored 1 finger head that quickly dissipated to a bubbly blanket clinging to the side of the glass.
Lots of malty bouquet underpinned by piney hop. Maybe some caramel or butterscotch.
Subdued first sip that makes you search to find the sweet malty and bread flavors surrounded by a frame of hops. The hops are more pronounced than expected and almost hold down any malty complexity. Serving it around 40 degrees and hoping it opens up as it warms.
In the mouth it is round and full with a nice sweetish coating that doesn't linger long before the carbonation cleans up leaving a bit of dry hop bitterness on the tongue. The alcohol is on the mark - not boozy but present and slightly warming.
Well done all purpose beer I will enjoy to the end.

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Photo of Ranz
4.36/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From a bomber.

A: In my Firewheel tall tulip, the ale has a sanguine, copper tone. The head is about a half-finger thick. It really has great color and presentation, but I would like a more robust head. Lacing is thick yet uneven.

S: Notes of grapefruit, bready malt, and maybe even a hint of cinnamon are present.

T: The malt is much more apparent here, but the prickly carbonation belies the slightly hoppy profile. It's got a thick, bready bite that gives it a bunch of character. The aftertaste has some nice singe to it.

M: As already stated, it has a nice prickly sensation going on. It starts thick, but the alcohol singe makes it nice and dry for the finish. It's really nice here.

O: For about $8, this is a solid strong ale bomber purchase. It's not quite as flavorful as Double Bastard or Velvet Hammer, but it'll certainly do in a pinch.

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Photo of magictacosinus
4.21/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured out of a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass. Held onto this bottle longer than I should have, but it was finally opened recently. Review is from my notes.

Pours a darkened, deep amber reddish color complete with a ridiculous amount of head, that rises four fingers high in the tulip. Carbonation streams across the edges of the glass, although even as it dies down the head never truly does - a half finger remained on top the entire time. TONS of lacing coats the walls here, almost to the point of foamy, frothy thickness that was out of control but pretty awesome overall. Very viscous and syrupy. This is a big beer here indeed.

The aroma is pretty damn intense here, consisting of plums, cherries, caramelized brown sugar, piney, citrusy hop residue, and a huge boozy, stinging sensation from the alcohol. I definitely expected this to be slightly menacing, but the alcohol sting definitely was too much for me at one point. The caramel malty, lightly roasted character is at an all time high here, and combined with the resinous, piney flavor, it's almost like a strong black IPA, or typical American strong ale like AB, except in some ways it's nothing like either. Can't put my finger on it - is it the caramelized brown sugar? The sweetened currants that show up later on? This isn't sweet as it may sound, but it's very intense. Sometimes in ways that is pretty riveting, and sometimes simply cloying.

The flavor is luckily not as strong on the booze, although the syrupy, fruity, sweetened, pine-laden flavors all follow together. Right at the front, there's an instant citrus profile melded with plums, slight raisins, and bit of dried pine hoppiness. Afterwards, the hops settle, eventually being replaced by the toasted, malty flavor and then intertwined with herbs of all kinds, from rosemary to clove to basil. The finish is sweetened with the currants and plums, and is superbly dry. This is most definitely a sipping beer based on the large flavor profile that changes over time, although the lack of alcohol in the body (other than way at the end of the finish) makes this a deadly choice indeed. Carbonation is good. Body is syrupy, very astringent on the tongue, but by no means difficult to drink. It took us some time to finish it off, but it was well worth it.

This takes their other strong ales and puts them right in the basket for me. At the price of $4, this is a ridiculously difficult offer to beat. It's all over the place in terms of flavors, and at times is a little intimidating to finish, but it has tremendous shelf life and definitely could reduce any heat over time, but it also would reduce the forward citrus/pine hop profile going on here as well. I enjoy it fresh, although some time sitting around as settled a lot of the intensity. Great stuff yet again from Lagunitas.

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.51/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

22oz bottle from Sprayberry Bottle Shop (Marietta, GA). 4.99. No bottling date. Served in a Sweetwater snifter.

Pours tea brown with a half finger of pale head. Very little lacing.

Smells of citrus hops and a bit of caramel malt.

Taste follows the nose. Citrus rind, pine, caramel malt, mild nuttyness and slight toffee. A little nip of booze towards the finish.

A tad oily, medium thin body with moderate carbonation. Short, dry, bitter pine toffee aftertaste.

A solid offering but far from outstanding. Neither hoppy nor malty enough to fully commit to being either. Still a tasty occassional buy.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.72/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark chestnut color. The head is a towering four-finger pale brown shade. It features an incredibly thick, soapy texture, along with some beautiful lacing.

S: Citrusy hops befitting a Lagunitas product jump out at me first. Sadly, I kind of wish more of the brown ale qualities jumped out at me. Still, it has a decent nutty tone beneath all the grapefruit - but there's also an acidic note to the hops that's somewhat overbearing.

T: The first sensation on the palate is tons of citrusy hops. It comes across as if you're biting into a grapefruit. Just like I feared in the aroma, there isn't much 'brown ale' to be found (maybe a touch of caramel, toffee, and nuts in the middle of the palate), yet there's just enough to balance out the (excellent) hops without overshadowing them.

M: I love the crisp lightness of this. I really thought this would be sweet and heavy, and instead it goes down superbly. It does become a bit sweeter as it warms up, though - nothing that's a dealbreaker, though.

O: This drinks more like an IPA with darker malts instead of a brown ale with a bit of hoppiness. The aroma threw me for a loop, but once I accepted it was the former instead of the latter, I really grew to like this one a lot. I have to wonder: does Lagunitas make anything that sucks? Don't answer that.

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Photo of Dope
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Don't see any date on this, approximately 2 years old.

A: Pours a nice medium brown with a big fluffy and fizzy light light brown head. Closer to an off-white than brown I guess. Head fades surprisingly slowly with a nice island remaining behind. Tufts of light lacing everywhere.

S: Lots of nice caramel and a little bit of roasted nuts.

T: Sweet caramel. Some nuttiness and a little bit of toasted bread into the middle. Nice touch of brown sugar in the finish. Drying toffee and toast lingers between sips.

M: Medium bodied, smooth.

O: A nice mellow brown ale. Age seems to have made this silky smooth. Goes down like water, very drinkable. Sweet and smooth, I enjoyed it a lot.

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Photo of aty11b
4.7/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured in a Tulip glass.

A- pours a beautiful ruby red body with not much head retention.

S- Dark fruits, Fig, and hops

T- A combination of Grapefruit, Fig, Raisins, hops, and slight notes of orange and caramel. The hops are not to overwhelming leaving a satisfying bitter after taste in your mouth.

O- One of my new favorites from Lagunitas. A nice ruby body with fresh ingredients that do not overwhelm each other. Its a definite must have.

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Photo of Kuaff
4.31/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured at cellar temperature into a snifter.

This beer is a very dark, deep ruby color when poured. The head is a sizable off-white cloud of fine, compact foam. When held up to light, you can see a tiny bit of clarity and dark red accents.

This beer smells fantastic! There's the herbal hop aroma, a hint of citrus and some mysterious tropical fruits, as well as a sweet caramel-like malt smell. Truly a heavenly blend of great scents.

The best way I can describe the taste is to say that it parallels the aroma very closely. Reminds me a lot of Arrogant Bastard Ale, which is a very, very good thing. The after-taste leaves me with the lingering, deeply satisfying bitterness of a double IPA.

The carbonation is just right. Drinks real smooth.

This is really a wonderful ale. I'd call it a cross between Hop Stoopid and Arrogant Bastard, and everone knows how great those two are. Highly recommended!

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Photo of MDDMD
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-dark amber color with a nice off-white head and decent lacing

S-nice caramel malt, pine, hints of citrus

T-dominant caramel malt followed by some hoppy flavors of citrus and pine, slightly but not overly sweet, decent bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, crisp and smooth

O-interesting beer with features of and IPA and strong dark ale

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Photo of Chris_Mac
3.89/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

An aggressive pour yields 2 fingers of soft white head. Color is deep copper brown, smell is mild caramel malt, without much hop overtones. Lacing becomes apparent even before the first sip. The taste of the beer fills every corner of the mouth in a pleasant mix of carbonation, malt, and hops. No apparent bitterness for me, and it soothes the esophagus on the pleasing journey to the stomach. Very well balanced, with no overpowering elements, it can meld to fit almost any occasion.

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Photo of beepill
4.04/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I have had WTF many times, as I live in the Bay Area and it it readily available year round. Today is Friday and decided that this will be my after work beer for the NBA 2nd round playoff games tonight.

Poured into a tulip glass from a 22oz bottle probably purchased at the liquor store across the street a few weeks ago.

A - a dark dark amber color. Opaque when held up to the light. Thick head at first (about two finger widths) slowly going down to about 1/2 finger width. Nice foamy lacing on glass.

S - roasted maltiness with a slight hoppiness. A little bit of pine woodland and caramel.

T - you can definitely taste the robust roasted maltiness, followed by some piney hops. If you let it warm up a bit, you get some hints of chocolate and citrus. Nice taste.

M - perfect carbonation. Not too much to mask the favors, yet enough to not feel flat. Medium body that just feels right.

O - it's hard to classify this beer. Lagunitas calls it an Imperial Brown Aleand BA calls it a strong ale. It tastes likea cross between a brown ale and an IPA. It is a perfect kick back, feel good beer. Definitely worth trying and always having on hand in the cooler.

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Photo of gcamparone
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a Lagunitas wide mouth mason jar pint glass. Purchased in North Providence, RI.

A- Pours a beautiful deep cherry amber, clear body with an off-white sticky head that reduces slowly and leaves some thick leggy lacing. Very nice and inviting.

S- Like the label says, it smells malty and robust but there is some hoppyness in there. Has bread, caramel, toffee, and a spicy character on the nose with some pine and citrus in there too.

T- Starts off with some heavy malt character - lots of toasted malt and sweet caramel in there, coupled with a citrus, pine, and resin hop balance. The hops definitely make a presence here - there's a spicy zing on the finish. The aftertaste is slightly roasty.

M- Medium-heavy carbonation, medium-heavy body. A slow drinker for sure.

I was pretty impressed with this one. For the price it's a quality beer - it's superbly balanced and very flavorful. To me it almost tastes like a robust IPA that the hops have faded from.

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Photo of oi_scout_jessie
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: This beer was dark brown, almost copper in color. It had a light-brown head that was about a finger thick. It had some nice thick lacing that stuck around for a while.

Smell: It had a heavy Hop presence. Reminiscent of an IPA. I also sensed a nice piney aroma.

Taste: Contrary to the smell, the taste wasn’t as Hop heavy. I did, however, sense a nice roasted malt flavor. There was also a touch of citrus in the taste.

Mouthfeel: As for the mouthfeel, this had good carbonation. It was really smooth and easy drinking. And it was Medium to full bodied. It also had a slight bitterness from the Hops.

Overall: Overall, this was a good beer. It falls under the ‘American Strong Ale’ category, but can easily be categorized as a Brown Ale. In fact, I can go as far as to call it an ‘Imperial Brown Ale’. It has the taste and feel of a Brown Ale, but with a heavier Hop presence and a higher alcohol percentage. I also like the fact that it left a good aftertaste.

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Photo of phishsihq
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

When WTF doesn't stand for what you are thinking...

Wilco Tango Foxtrot from the folks at Lagunitas pours a murky copper with flashes of amber around the edges. An inch of creamy, tan head sticks around as well as to the glass. Hoppy aromas of grapefruit and pine are very noticeable, and very Lagunitas like. Muted caramel and toasted malt aromas provide some contrast to the hoppiness. The caramel malt sweetness, with just a touch of rye, opens the palate up to receive a wallop of citrus and piney hop that pulls through the finish. Medium in both body and carbonation, this Recovery ale weighs in at a hefty 7.8% ABV. Another winner from the folks in Petaluma!

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Photo of gabrielsyme
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Growler from Whole Foods poured into a pint glass. Deep, dark amber color with minimal carbonation/lacing. Taste is quite something, woody bitter pine hops with hints of cinnamon, caramel and clove in the finish. Stays complex and is fairly drinkable considering the ABV. Body could use some more carbonation, not sure if that's due to the serving type. Worth seeking out.

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Photo of dhannes
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a bourbon glass (by a friend).

A=Rich, dark brown but with very faint white head...looked more like Coca-Cola than a beer.

S=Maltiness present.

T=Rather unexpectedly sour, with some maltiness and some hops. Paired with cheap pepperoni pizza, and it actually complimented it rather well as a good contrast to bring out the saltiness of the pizza. It seemed to get less sour near the bottom.

M=Rather light bodied...little carbonation. Not really a session candidate due to the sourness.

O=For the style, this was a bit more sour than the few others I've tried. It seemed like it would be great if you were expecting and wanted a sour beer, but this one was okay...probably would not buy again.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.29/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep brownish amber orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. Huge four finger off white head which slowly fades into a smaller creamy layer. Leaves a lot of lacing around the glass.

Smell: Deep bready malts with a nice sharp spicy hop presence. Hoppy upfront with nice hints of spicy pine resin, earthy grassy hops, and a little citrus orange, grapefruit, and lemon. Big bready malt presence with hints of baked biscuit, caramel, toffee, roast chocolate, toast, grains, yeast, nuts, and a slight hint of rye. Some brown sugar sweetness in the mix as well. A very solid big hopped up brown ale smell.

Taste: Like it smells, a big hearty mix of earthy hops with a big taste of toasty malts. Starts out hoppy with some good notes of piney hop spice and earthy and floral notes of grass. A little citrus in the hop mix with notes of grapefruit, orange peel, and lemon. Big bready toasted malt taste with notes of biscuit, caramel, toffee, roast, chocolate, dark rye bread, grains, nuts, and yeast. Some sweet brown sugar. A very good balanced taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, spicy, and chewy with a fairly drying finish.

Overall: A very good and interesting brew. Its like an imperial brown ale that is given a big kick of hops.

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Wilco Tango Foxtrot from Lagunitas Brewing Company
3.92 out of 5 based on 2,582 ratings.
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