The Waldos' Special Ale
Lagunitas Brewing Company

The Waldos' Special AleThe Waldos' Special Ale
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IPA - Imperial
Ranked #64
Ranked #680
4.33 | pDev: 8.08%
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States
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
Reviews: 612 | Ratings: 2,450 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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MikeWard from Pennsylvania

3.82/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle into a pint glass. Faint etching is impossible to read, even with magnifying glass, so age unknown.

Looks great in the glass. Faint haze to the copper/amber body. Small white head shrinks to a ring and faint covering, still leaves scattered lacing.

The aroma is a mix of hoppy, sweet, and a faint boozy hit.

Took a swig, damn this a strong tasting beer! Masses of bitter pine resin and grapefruit assault the palate. It does have a strong syrupy sweet malt base, but this only holds up a few seconds. (Oddly enough, it does put in a brief appearance in the finish) warm and boozy. Some dank notes.

Mouth closer to medium than full, finish bitter and sharp on the tongue.

Overall, a very aggressive beer, and too much for this palate. I appreciate that it is exactly as advertised, west coast anti haze bros will love this.

Friday at 08:12 PM
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mntlover from Tennessee

4.21/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear copper color small head leaves some spotty lace.

Aroma is old fashioned pine resin, grapefruit rind on sweet caramel base, light alcohol notes.

Taste is the nose big sweet malt base, citrus rind bitterness with a hefty dose of pine resin that leaves some tongue coating bitterness behind like the good ole days. Nice big and boozy without being to hot, really goes down to easy for this big of a beer.

Mouthfeel is a solid medium with average level of carbonation.

Overall not a bad easy drinking big IPA.

Thursday at 12:39 PM
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Bouleboubier from New Jersey

4.19/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

(12 oz bottle, 074 1 2 / 5123 2238; purchased cold 4-pack... poured into a fat tulip at around 55-60 F)

L: polished-clear, amber liquid; tall, messy, craggy foam sponge... head doesn't last long; laces a little

S: pineapple, fruit cocktail, hint of spruce... not terribly expressive; muddy... once sipping commences, the senses become stunned, a little more than a soft note of orange Ango is detected

T: syrupy resins; toasty aftertaste... evergreen sap; spicy, cordial-like booze... whole-flower hop leafy musk... later, a peculiar note of orange and mint building in the back of the palate... can't tell where the bitterness ends and the booze begins; each contributing to a peppery ping

F: basically tonic nectar... the hopping creates a menthol-like cooling sensation, while the alcohol enhances it as well as giving the palate a spanked, flushed sting

O: big, loud, static clarity... classic WC IPA hop flavors, amplified and intensified... took too long to get around to this... gonna grab that last 4-pack before someone else does, and share the spoils (1769)

May 24, 2021
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Thankin_Hank from Texas

4.65/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Pours a rather rich looking amber malt color. Minimal head but ample carbonation. The aroma is actually a lighter malt smell, than I expected. The taste follows the nose and it's malty but not too strong. No bitterness. Smooth and lays beautifully on the tongue. Too easy to drink as the alcohol isn't noticeable and should pack a wallop. Overall I'm impressed like crazy. I generally like a malty IPA and this one is balanced so well it blows my mind. Been anticipating finding this on the shelf here in Texas. It's way too popular on the WBAYDN to be ignored. I see why now. WTG LAGUNITA'S! Should've gotten the six pack.

May 14, 2021
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Troy-Hawaii from Hawaii

3.46/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought a single 2021 version 12oz bottle $3.50 Village Bottle Shop
57 days old
Smells are faint. Pine comes as it warms as well as alcohol.
Copper color
Heavy mouthfeel. Almost syrup like.
Medium-high carbonation
Taste of sweet citrus, tangerines, pine, resin, bitter after taste
Overall I feel it is worth what I paid, but one is enough for me. It basically seems like an IPA concentrate where if you add water it will become more balanced where the flavors are more distinguishable and enjoyable.

May 13, 2021
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AccipiterofBeer from New York

3.61/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Came across the 2020 version. 10.8% ABV. We're well into 2021 now, let's see how it holds up

L: 4. Deep orange. Translucent. Probably hazier than normal because of its age. Thin head that reforms with a swirl.
S: 3. I imagine the nose has been affected by the age. The hop profile has aged for sure. Papery. Malts and cirtusy fruits linger, so I think we're going to be OK.
T: 3.75. Yeah, not fresh, but not a drain pour either. Everything held together. A blast of sweetness up front ending bitter.
F: 4. Quite a lot to handle. Medium to thick mouthfeel. '
O: 3.75 Not bad for presumably over a year old. I'll be keeping an eye out for a fresher version.

May 13, 2021
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JohnniEMc from Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Advised of its potency, it shouldn't take much. A squat brown twelve ounce bottle has had its contents spilled into a clear pint glass. It shows a lovely copper color, more translucent than would be expected from such a heavy hitter. There's only a bit of a head, but that's common for beers with more than 10% ABVs. Rest assured, there won't be much glass lacing. The smell is rather mild for a brew bragging of big hops. The hop presence is mild on the nose, despite the promise of a big delivery. The taste is bold on three levels, but perhaps not in the hierarchy that's advertised. First, it's very sweet. No doubt the alcohol/malt combination is the root cause. Normal for a mega-IPA, but this is a little too sweet. Were the hops delivered with the same magnitude, this might be awesome. But they're not. There's not enough hoppiness to counterbalance the sweetness, or this would be among the all-time greats. The hops don't quite measure up, in fact, they're buried by the sweetness. That's the difference in this being great, instead of OK. The attempt to deliver one of the hoppiest beers failed. It is though, a delightful way to consume a big dose of alcohol pleasantly, if you like sweet things.

May 11, 2021
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Peach63 from New York

4.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours amber with a 1 inch cream-colored head, which slowly fades. Moderate lacing. Slight haze.

Aroma is caramel malt, citrus, pine, spice, pineapple, floral.

Taste is pine, grapefruit, orange, pineapple, earthy, slight spiciness, resinous.

Medium bodied, moderate carbonation. Dry, resinous finish.

Wow! This is a very tasty Imperial IPA. One of the best.

May 10, 2021
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frankdatank1337 from California

3.7/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

You got to try this beer. It's well crafted and full of hops and flavor. With that said, I wasn't a fan. It's just too tart for my taste. There smell is great the general flavor is great but it has this tart bite to it that Im not a fan of. Either way I still apreciate it.

May 06, 2021
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jimmah120 from Minnesota

4.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle, no date

The look is amber-orange, clear. The insignificant amount of head is an odd color that I dubbed 'mopbucket water brown'. Smells and tastes of a dank tropical hop wonderland. The almost 12% ABV is hidden to a very dangerous extent. I'd describe the taste (poorly) as 'green' and 'must'. Has top-tier drink-ability at 11.7% ABV, and that fact alone makes it a winner for me; but it also has it's share of issues. Sometimes the taste and smell become overwhelming, and go 'grey'. Also, the extreme amount of malt brings an overbearing sweetness to the beer as it warms. So it's not perfect, but when it drinks right, it nearly is The Perfect Beer™

I love this beer and wish it were infused with.... stuff. That's the only way that I can see it being improved upon

May 04, 2021
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IPAs_for_days_13 from Texas

4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours a deep amber color with a two-finger tan white head with awesome retention.
S: Smells rich of malts, pine, hoppy resin, alcohol on the end.
T: Follows the nose, the amount of hops in this beer perfectly balance out with the malt backbone.
F: Full-bodied, moderate carbonation, surprisingly smooth, biting, oily, warming...
O: Super impressed by this brew, definitely will buy again!

May 02, 2021
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loudmacleod from Ohio

4.27/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep orange color with a fine head. Slight floral sweetness on the nose. Blast of dank earthiness on the tongue with a bitter, malty finish that lingers.

Bottle / Snifter glass / No food pairing

May 01, 2021
Photo of DahliasBeloved

5/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I just entered into the world of craft beer a few weeks ago and spent these couple weeks sampling singles from many different breweries local and in the states. The place I work for has a serious and diverse collection of craft brews.

I can not describe these craft brews with as much detail and perfection as most of you but out of the couple dozens of crafts that I have tried this is by far the most beautiful tasting craft beer I have had this far.

It's very smooth, and feels perfect. The taste is unlike anything I have tried before. I feel very strongly towards Lagunitas The Waldo's Triple IPA. It is very special to me and I'll be devastated if it goes away forever.

I ended up buying most of my stores supply but we do have a few 4 packs left that I am eager to snatch up. I can not wait to bring a 4 back to a get together and show it off!

Apr 29, 2021
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pyrametrical from New Jersey

5/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My all time ipa by far. Not just mine, but it was loved by a group of 6 of us. Very malty and not at all citrusy. (I’ll buy pineapple juice and dump it into Budweiser if I wanted it citrusy.) Mouthfeel was perfect - not bubbly nor flat. Drinkability was smooth and easy, as if it were a flat beer or a cask beer. I’m buying 10 more just this minute.

Apr 29, 2021
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skisonic from Maryland

4.71/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a lovely translucent medium amber with a thick frothy head. Smells is rich, pungent, piney with an undertone of pineappley sweetness that moistens the mouth with each whiff. Medium bodied, but has a bit of texture without cloying. Flavor is beautifully complex, truly remarkable and unique. Citrusy yet bitter, dank but sweet, an overwhelming mixture that manages to blend immaculately.

Apr 25, 2021
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Victory_Sabre1973 from Minnesota

4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm going to butcher this review, because I can't put to words all I get here.
The beer is a nice amber colored pour. There's a 1 finger white head when poured from the bottle. There's some stick, clingy, lacing on the glass.
This is where I can't fully explain - The nose is very hoppy. There's tropical notes here. There's also dank, and pine notes as well.
Taste - damn. So much here, I can not fully explain. There's tons of hops. Dank, tropical, pine hops. There's also a dark fruit taste here. Plum, and raisin. WTF?!? I know there's more I just can't describe.
This is a thick, and sticky beer. There's no burn, however.
I love this beer, but I can not do justice to it.

Apr 15, 2021
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damndirtyape from Ohio

4.44/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle served into a tulip glass. Couldn't quite make out the date stamp on the neck of the bottle, but the main label says 2021, and I just saw it in the store last week, so I'll assume it's mostly fresh.

Appearance: Mostly clear copper-amber color, with a bit of chill haze. Off white with a hint of tan rocky head, with some persistent strands and islands lacing even with the high ABV.

Smell: Lots of fresh cut citrus, with some berry, white grape, and tropical fruit. Quite nice.

Taste: Very hoppy, but well balanced with a good caramelized/bready malt. Grapefruit, orange, tropical fruit, strong pine finish.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and nicely thick. Good carbonation. A bit warming at the finish from the higher ABV.

Overall / Drinkability: A very rich and slow sipping beer, with quite a lot of hop power that starts to wear out my tongue by mid-way through the glass. Alcohol is well hidden but it does sneak up on me. Probably just one per evening, but I would not mind it in a 16oz format for a very nice evening.

Apr 11, 2021
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MNJR from Illinois

4.27/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Powerful stuff. Copper gold-orange color, murky to look through but not super hazy. Not much going on to smell it, alcohol is the first thing, then piney, nothing special. Resiny, chewy, thick feel with good carbonation. Flavors of honey, pine, fruit, sweetness, lemon, mango, pineapple,. Dry, prickly feeling hops with a touch of mint linger. Lots going on, lots to taste. Not chewy but sturdy. A 3X IPA that earns the designation for bold flavors that stay in tune, and a walloping ABV that means this is one to sip and savor.

Apr 11, 2021
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GeorgianBayPackr from Pennsylvania

4.09/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wow, this is an intense, dank hop assault for your senses. Somewhat off-putting at first because it is so dank, but as your taste buds adjust and the beer warms in the glass, it then softens, somewhat, after several sips into a spicy treat with a slightly sweet, medium body. Pepper and pine lingers. The high alcohol is well masked, but it is almost necessary to balance the intensity of this dank destroyer.

Apr 11, 2021
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RedBalloon from Washington

4.74/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle dated 3/15/21 poured into a Teku on 4/3/21.

Pours 1" of light creamy head. Translucent golden orange. Not a lot of retention or lacing.

Aromas of dank herb, pine, citrus, fresh cut grass, green onion, and garlic.

Tastes like cannabis, pine, citrus, and onion. Bitter hops all the way with a sweet caramel malt backbone.

Feels oily, sticky, and medium-bodied. Good effervescence, not too astringent.

Excellent triple IPA showcasing the dank, piney, and herbal hop characteristics. Assertive and unbalanced, but easy drinking for hop lovers. Outstanding. It's unfortunate that this has moved from a 6-pack to a 4-pack of 12oz bottles, but still worth the price.

Apr 04, 2021
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mikeinportc from New York

4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2021 version. I've had this multiple time over the years, but have somehow missed reviewing it .

Translucent bright orange, with light, pale orange head.

Smell is candied orange rind, slight fresh grapefruit, some resinous,slightly boozy pine, and a slight bit of floral hop aroma.

Taste is close to the aroma, but with grapefruit flavor more prominent than orange. Slight, brief, bread crust note in the middle. Light lingering bitterness. Despite the 11.7% abv, any sense of it is almost non-existent. Maybe a hint of it after finish. Have to really concentrate on it to notice.

Feel is medium - surprisingly light for what it is -, initially with a moderately soft carbonation tingle, finishing with a lightly-slick feel , coating the the tongue. Slight warmth & astringency at the back of the throat. I expect that will fade in time. It's barely there.

Overall , good TIPA. It's what you'd expect it to be : malty backbone, with the pine,citrus, & bitterness that let's you know it's an IPA. From past experience I know that it will get better in the next 2-4 months (at least), but am rating it as-is, now. Will TRY! ;) to save some & revisit , after it has had a chance to mellow a bit. Even so, it's worthwhile right now.

Apr 04, 2021
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hreb from Washington

3.9/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2021 OneHitter release (12oz bottle) into a pint glass. Brassy amber color and a nice thick foam. Lagunitas says it's unfiltered, but it looks quite clear to me. Aroma is gentle, but really fresh, and has a classic pine/citrus profile to it. Flavor brings a big hop taste with bitter pine tar and resin, but also an ample malt backbone with a little bit of crystal and caramel flavor. Heady. Dangerously drinkable and daaaank.

Apr 03, 2021
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teromous from Virginia

3.67/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

There is some faded print on the neck of the bottle: "074 1 2 5123 0838"

Appearance: The body is hazy and copper colored. Clearly visible shapes appear through the glass but there are some small fuzzy particles that change the shape from time to time. The head is medium-short, off-white, and creamy with some medium-large bubbles creeping through.

Aroma: A strong aroma of citrus bursts from the glass; orange, grapefruit, and tangerine.

Taste: Up front there is a strong mixture of citrus and stone fruit, combining peach with orange and grapefruit. The middle of the mouth has a strong mixture of candy-like citrus flavors; peach and orange jolly ranchers. This sweet and citrusy flavor sustains thoroughout the drinking experience. It feels overly sweet with this strong caramel undertone but the beer seems to work well as a sipper.

Mouthfeel: It's a slow drinker, mostly due to the sweetness. The label states that this is "Alc. by Vol. 11.7%" and it does a ridiculously phenomenal job of masquerading the ABV.

Overall: It's an odd beer because the hop character is amazing and it does an unparalleled job of masking ABV, but it also feels overly sweet, even to the point that I question if this is fully attenuated. The ABV feels great as do the hops, but the sweetness brings down the beer. For this reason I would only recommend it to those with a serious sweet tooth who also happen to love hops. If you happen to love hops but don't have a sweet tooth it might be worth the risk. The beer is pretty awesome but it also feels like an early work in progress. I would, very likely, drink it again if it was re-brewed in another year for greater attenuation. In fact I would be very happy to, given the promise this beer poses; it has obvious potential but it's too sweet right now.

Apr 02, 2021
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UWDAWG from Washington

4.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2021 release:

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a snifter.

Look- Deep amber, light cream colored sudsy head, average head retention, above average lacing.

Smell- Pine resin, bready, citrus.

Taste- Citrus, bready, pine resin, sweet, nice balance.

Feel- Thin body, high bitterness, slightly below average carbonation, soft, slightly bready/pleasant finish.

Overall- Very flavorful West Coast IPA with a robust malt backbone and nice balance.

Mar 31, 2021
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bret27 from California

4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Fresh drop yesterday to Bay Area.
Can’t find exact bottling date on packaging.
Amber coloring. Clear. Nice head.
Smells like a malty hoppy dank west coast bomb. Rye notes.
Nicely balanced. Lots of hops and malt. Incredibly smooth and lacking in booze for a TIPA.
Medium dry mouthfeel.
Overall: very smooth and balanced. Highly recommended if you like West Coast TIPA’s
This has 2 subjective handicaps however.
1. Lagunitas isn’t a hyped or locally-owned brewery anymore.
2. It’s 100% west coast. No hazy, foggy, juicy, pillowy, stonefruity stuff.

Mar 25, 2021
The Waldos' Special Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 2450 ratings