The Waldos' Special Ale
Lagunitas Brewing Company

The Waldos' Special AleThe Waldos' Special Ale
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Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States
IPA - Imperial
Ranked #195
Ranked #1,152
4.31 | pDev: 8.35%
Tuesday at 11:22 PM
Apr 21, 2011
The Waldos' Special AleThe Waldos' Special Ale
Notes: In 1971, the Waldos met one afteroon at 4:20 in the front courtyard of their school near the statue of Louis Pasteur. They set out in a '66 Impala armed with a "treasure map" on a journey to find a secret garden near Point Reyes. They met there at the same time every day and continued their quest. They never found the secret garden....But they keep lookin'. The dankest and hoppiest beer ever brewed at Lagunitas was made with help of the Waldos for all treasure hunters.

100 IBU
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4.5 by MonkeyPilates from Minnesota on Tuesday at 11:22 PM
4.54 by barrycothran from California on Jun 17, 2022
5 by MynamesRickJames from Minnesota on Jun 16, 2022
Photo of HipCzech
4.24/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by HipCzech from Texas

Serving: 12 oz bottle (“2022 one-hitter release) poured into a 9 oz Libbey Embassy snifter.

Appearance: Clear, deep amber with a frothy head of off white bubbles; modest lace.

Smell: Pine needles, resin, citrus rind, burnt caramel, and earth.

Taste: Bols but balanced. Plenty of toffee and caramel to counter the bitter, piney, dank and resinous hops.

Mouthfeel: Rich, slightly oily, medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall; A big, hoppy, malty IIPA with good alcoholic warmth for sipping.

Jun 12, 2022
3.96 by Beer_Goblin from New York on May 29, 2022
4.26 by JHeard79 from North Carolina on May 28, 2022
4.14 by Burgy from Minnesota on May 13, 2022
3.83 by ajdemma from New York on May 09, 2022
Photo of AcidCatfish
4.6/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by AcidCatfish

Poured from bottle into Spiegelau IPA glass.

Looks - Dark for an IPA. Almost honey or amber-like. The head is tan, looks puffy and pillowy. Some visible carbonation bubbles, but not too many. Minimal lacing, from what I notice.

Smell - Bright floral and Spring-time citrus fruits (tangerine and kumquats). Some spiciness in there as well and a hint of sweetness that isn't too pronounced. The floral scent is similar in experience to Rosewater - but does not smell at all like rosewater if that makes's a "nose feel" of rosewater...rosewater-adjacent. Some vegetative in there as well.

Taste - Taste follows nose. Kumquate-dominant before going into floral flavors. Muted maltiness in there as well. Dry spiciness and exceptional bitterness at the finish. Doesn't have as much dank in there as previous years. It doesn't scream "cannabis celebration" to me like previous iterations have. Alcohol is well hidden though - you get no burn. This is a beer you can't really finish as the beer warms it gives off a mild whiskey falvor experience, but again it is whiskey-adjacent and almost entirely, but not quite fully, unlike whiskey. Some vegetative flavors at the finish as well.

Feel - Thick, syrupy. Not very effervescent. The head is nice and soft - creates a pillow for your lips and palate. Thick as it goes down. Still drinkable. I have to say, this is thicker than past iterations and much more like syrup. It isn't unenjoyable, it is just different. Thins out as it warms, which is expected.

Overall, this is enjoyable as all hell. However, it is missing the dank that this beer is normally famous for. It is a bit syupy which can be overwhelming for some, but wasn't for me. There is no alcohol burn which is amazing considering the high ABV. I'd say, the alcohol is so well hidden that you may need to remind yourself to stick to one or be cautious when drinking this. It hits you quickly. When going up against other amazing Imperial IPA's such as Pliny Elder, this certainly sticks out on its own as a unexpected balance between exceptional bitter and mild malt with some fruitiness and floral in there - but is it as good? I'd say it is as drinkable as Pliny Elder but not as good. I'd love to see this brew completely revamp next year as I find this recipe is running its course a bit. Still enjoyable, I still recommend people go out and get this.

Apr 30, 2022
4.49 by Wrigfen from South Carolina on Apr 30, 2022
4.06 by rbrefbeerman from California on Apr 27, 2022
3.59 by Blogjackets from Ohio on Apr 25, 2022
Photo of Beaver13
4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Beaver13 from Colorado

12 oz bottle. Pours copper gold with a medium creamy white head that retains well and leaves some lacing.

The aroma is sweet caramel malts with fruit and resiny hops.

The flavor is sweet creamy malts with fruit and a big resiny piney bitter hop finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, big sweet and bitter boozy IPA.

Apr 25, 2022
Photo of Daniel0tx
4.96/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5
by Daniel0tx from Texas

I picked up a 4 pack of this one, the first thing I noticed was that floral hop smell in the glass. I expected it to be really bitter because it has a high ABV to cover the taste of the alcohol, but was pleasantly surprised by the smoothness, definitely taste the hops but it's not bitter on the finish like with some other IPA's. Probably my favorite beer that I've had recently.

Apr 24, 2022
Photo of frankdank
3.8/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
by frankdank from North Dakota

I used to really look forward to this beer arriving every spring but when it hit the shelves this year, I paused. It's not so much anything about The Waldos; it's a triple IPA, sticky, thick and resiny. Lagunitas has always been affordable but quality is lacking lately. Also, I remember when this beer came in a sixer for the same price.

What happened to Sucks? Their best IPA disappears. Maximus returns with a higher alcohol content at 9 percent but it is no longer a good beer. Heineken is sole owner of Lagunitas now and the brewery, in my opinion, is suffering.

Apr 22, 2022
4.25 by jtransel from Illinois on Apr 19, 2022
Photo of youngsloshy
3.35/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
by youngsloshy from Kentucky

I'm not an IPA guy, but I'd never had a triple so I wanted to give one a go. I was pleasantly surprised by this one. A lot of sweet fruity flavor sits with the hops as the forward flavor. The hops are cranked up so high that it ended up being its own kind of experience, and I'm surprised to be a fan. It's still hops, but this is quality use of hops. Pretty full body, it's almost syrupy especially with how sweet it is. I didn't notice the high ABV on the beer through the taste, so this could definitely creep up on me. Nice little experience. I might share another one next time instead of drink the whole thing.

Apr 19, 2022
4.25 by Dovers from Wisconsin on Apr 17, 2022
4.1 by bplabernie from Michigan on Apr 16, 2022
Photo of NevadaBill
4.48/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5
by NevadaBill

I didn't know this was an annual offering from Lagunitas! I guess it was just all bought up prior years. But this is another fantastic juicy, floral offering which has what I consider a Lagunitas-like IPA character. What a great drinker. It has a nice amber / orange color, but little to no head or lacing on mine. Mouthfeel is thin, and it does not have much body. But balance is super (piney, citrus'y, and has some decent maltiness to it). Considering that it is a balanced easy drinker, the ABV is downright dangerous. In the late Spring months with warm West-Coast weather that we've been having lately, at least it is for me it is a real easy drinker. Great for BBQ's and other outdoor outings!

Apr 13, 2022
Photo of BillAfromSoCal
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
by BillAfromSoCal from California

Beautiful beer upon pouring- nearly amber color, crystal clear, slight stream of small bubbles rising though the viscous goodness to form a bit less than 1 finger creamy white foam. Unfortunately, not a lot of lacing and the head does not stick around long. The smell just screams "complex goodness" with malts and hops overlapping. The flavor has a nicely balanced amount of hop bitterness (quite noticeable) with the malty backbone. Heavy body, as expected for a triple. Clean mouthfeel. Not overly boozy in taste or smell but packs a whallop on an empty stomach. A really nice triple, but definitely not for several at a sitting.

Apr 08, 2022
Photo of BigHopValley
1.81/5  rDev -58%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2
by BigHopValley from Washington

I figured I bought a bad 4pk
bottle on date is 073 2 1
Ive been buying The Waldos almost every spring for the past 15 years
and I have never had a problem with any of it, I always looked forward to the new one!
This batch reminds me of a fortified version of the new 9% Maximus
but the hops are even more muted ...extra boozy, extra syrupy with light carbonation which I usually dont mind at all if the hops are in the forefront

I contacted Lagunitas with the concerns and they just expressed how their "quality control" is next to none, but too bad for you if you think something is wrong with it
I guess its all about the $ now that it belongs to Heineken

They offered to send some "schwag"
this new recipe of The Waldos is some pretty BUNK schwag

Apr 07, 2022
Photo of MarshalLovesBeer
4.85/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
by MarshalLovesBeer

Duuuuuude…the heavenly dankness of this brew hits your nose at first sniff…pours a deep golden amber…head dissipates quickly but leaves a thin layer of froth that does leave some lacing. The taste…I’m tasting LOADS of citra; not sure what other hops, but, wow—amazing dankness heaven, and what also surprised me is the sweetness of this brew. It’s sweet enough to taste like it has sugar in it…does it have sugar in it?

Overall, this is incredible quality for the dankness and high ABV; however, I didn’t give it 5’s across the board due to it being just a bit too on the sweet side for my taste.

After tasting “Waldos”—I still prefer “Simtra” by Knee Deep Brewing Co. for a citra-loaded, super dank triple IPA despite the price for one tall can of it.

Apr 02, 2022
Photo of 86sportster883
4.17/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by 86sportster883 from Maryland

Pours out beautifully with a tight foamy white head that sits atop a clear tangerine hued light amber body. The thick foam eventually recedes to thin white cap leaving a curtain of lace behind. The nose is dominated by a rich malt presence over a slightly boozy background and hints of resiny hops. The taste is big on hop resins, sappy with some spicy and boozy notes. The finish is assertively bitter, but it fades into a tongue coating spicy and piney hop residual. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and the carbonation present, but unnoticeable among everything else. Overall, I found this to be a kick ass, old school, eXtreme IPA.

Mar 27, 2022
Photo of KT3418
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by KT3418 from Colorado

Im not a huge fan of this place but don't mind their stuff. That said this is definitely the best beer I've had from them, aggressively bitter but that piney grapefruit/tangerine flavor is really locked in as well.

Mar 23, 2022
Photo of Newbeergeek1
4.18/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Newbeergeek1 from Maine

Just picked up one to try. Loved it, went back to get more! Gone bye bye. I will look for it now.

Mar 16, 2022
4.5 by Dutchcraftbeergeek from Netherlands on Feb 17, 2022
3.38 by TMoney2591 from Illinois on Jan 26, 2022
4.51 by bismarksays from Iowa on Jan 10, 2022
Photo of MCollins25
3.99/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by MCollins25

Strong odor of malt, alcohol and hops
A very boozy and malty taste. Quite sweet and not very bitter. Slight hops flavor, very dank. Honestly a little too boozy for my tastes.
The feel is very smooth, and quite thick for an ipa. Low carbonation

Dec 29, 2021
4.24 by HighwayChile from Kansas on Nov 22, 2021
Photo of RobertB412
4.24/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by RobertB412 from Pennsylvania

12 oz bottle. Pours an almost clear amber/orange color with a decent head and minimal lacing. Smells of sweet malt, some spice, citrus fruit and piney hops. Taste follows aroma with big sweet malt, pine resin, grapefruit. Boozy with a balance toward sweetness over bitterness, probably do to aging, Medium to full bodied with good carbonation and bittersweet finish. Overall, very good!

Sep 17, 2021
Photo of Raime
4.09/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Raime from Korea (North)

This beer sat in my wants since 2016 seeing as I just removed it from there since I at long last got ahold of a sixer. Man I am excited.

Look - Oranges galore with some sunset. Quickly dying quarter finger of head. Good stick.

Smell - Simcoe goodness and fruits to the brim. Malt is also very much in the charade.

Taste - Well balanced with pine and stone fruit with the malt there. Slight alcohol.

Feel - Weaker bodied than I had anticipated but honestly that's a good thing for this beer since it makes it go down smoother. Low carbonation. alcohol for 11.7% is only mildly apparent.

Overall - Smooth as can be for the ABV. Priced right. Tasty. Not exactly what I would call a beereligious experience but it is a very good beer. Filthy sneaky at its high alcohol content. Will add an additional 0.25 for the smoothness at the ABV.

Sep 11, 2021
Photo of tone77
3.56/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
by tone77 from Pennsylvania

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a bronze color with a 1 inch head. Smell is of pine, malts, hints of citrus. Taste is the same as the aroma, with the addition of plenty of alcohol, moderate to significant bitterness. Feels medium/full bodied in the mouth and overall it ain't bad, but it did not meet my expectations.

Sep 05, 2021
Photo of chinchill
4.21/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by chinchill from South Carolina

A 12 oz bottles from a 6-pack (1/day max.) of "2021 OneHItter Release".
Pours with a clear amber body and a decent white head.
This tastes like a "Triple IPA" with generous amounts of both hops and malts used in brewing. Sweet notes of caramel and honey mingle with note of spices and pine form the hops. Well balanced with fairly well hidden ABV.
Overall. Contrary to common expectations, I enjoyed this more after it had aged a few weeks under refrigeration.

Aug 24, 2021
3.79 by prototypic from Ohio on Aug 08, 2021
The Waldos' Special Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 2496 ratings