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The Waldos' Special Ale | Lagunitas Brewing Company

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352 Reviews
The Waldos' Special AleThe Waldos' Special Ale

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States

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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 352 | Ratings: 1,640
Photo of Jadjunk
3.95/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

"In 1971, The Waldos met one afternoon at 4:19 as to not be late and set out in a '66 Impala armed with a treasure map on a journey to find a spot near Point Reyes. They never found the spot...But they kept Lookin'. The Dankest and Hoppiest Beer ever Brewed at Lagunitas was made with the Help of The Waldos for all treasure hunters." Brewed in the style of an American Imperial IPA. Available in 12 oz. bottled 6 packs and on limited draft. Spring 2016 entry in the OneHitter series.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a tulip glass.

(Appearance) Pours a crisp, foamy head of a pale buttercream color over a moderately hazy caramel amber body with fine sediment and moderate carbonation. Retention is good and lacing is light and spotty. 4.5

(Smell) Dank, herbal, lemony and pithy citrus hop notes with a moderate bitterness atop a rich body of crystal malt syrups and toasted bread malts. Potency is moderate. 3.75

(Taste) A rich blend of hops to malts- Piney, resinous and softly citrusy hop notes with a sharp bitterness is met by a richly caramelized malt syrup body with a moderate bread malt body and toasted grain finish. Finishes aggressively bitter and softly grainy with some alcohol heat. 4

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, smooth, medium dry. Carbonation is light, generating a mild frothiness and a medium crisp finish. Body is medium/heavy for the style, medium/heavy overall. Balance is moderately hoppy bitter and grain alcohol over sweet. Alcohol presence is moderate and there are no off characters. 3.75

(Overall) A winner for lovers of aggressively bitter DIPAs, but many of the flavors that would give this beer a "dank" impression are shallow and underdeveloped, with mostly piney and sharp citrus notes remaining. Enjoyable beer nonetheless and a solid bargain buy for the quality going in- just not as quaffable as I had hoped for, but Lagunitas doesn't usually play softball with their hoppy and high gravity releases. 4

Lagunitas Brewing Company's
The Waldos' Special Ale

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Photo of JeffBlue
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

5/3/16 (Draft, 3rd Stop, Beverly Hills) Caught a nice whiff from a good 2 feet away, very fruity aroma upon closer inspection, first couple sips are malty then have a earthy hop character with faint sweetness. Super solid effort here. This one should become a Lagunitas staple, 4.25

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Photo of cwalter
4.51/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is light orange in color with a good clarity. Supports a fluffy white head two fingers in depth. The aroma is a beautiful medley of tropical fruits. You get grapefruit, pineapple, papaya, mango and nectarines. The taste a more muted mix of the tropical fruits mentioned before along with a syrupy sweetness. Toward the back end you get a bitterness that lingers but is not too overwhelming. You do get a bit of alcohol warmth, but at 11.5% this is understandable.

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Photo of BrennenTallman
4.69/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

had a 10oz poor on tap from final gravity in roseville ca, as well as 2 12oz bottles poured into snifter.
as you could expect hops and hops and hops. i had a tough time believing that its only a double. drinks, tastes like a triple.
despite what some have said i got alot of booze from this one, it did not hide it very well. but none the less this was a great beer.
i actually liked my bottles more so than the one i had on tap. looking forward to next years. this is one you should not miss.

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Photo of Meyers1023
4.71/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured an orangish amber color with one fingers worth of off white head. The nose has a very dank hoppy smell with citrus and pine leading the way but you get a good amount of malt as well. The flavor has a lot going on. There is tons of hoppy flavors with citrus and pine jumping forth but you have a very nice amount of malty sweetness to balance the bitterness of the hops. The feel is medium, you get less carbonation and a syrupyness from the alcohol. This is an outstanding triple IPA. I'm glad it made it out of the taproom.

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Photo of jlindros
3.53/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a big frothy bubbly 1 finger head that fades semi slowly with nice messy lacing, clear honey orange color.

Nose big sweet candy malt, candied orange peel, candied stone fruit, some sweet dried pear apple like things, little sweet syrupy like, hint of booze.

Taste brings lots of sweet malt, some candy syrupy flavors, plenty of candied fruits again, syrup sweet pear apple like, apricot, a little citrus orange rind marmalade, into some booze tingle, floral spice phenols as well as mild ester profile, then big spicy herbal earthy hops as well, briny even, with a huge bitter finish, spicy chewy hops lingering, more candied orange marmalade sweet fruit etc.

mouth is med to fuller bod, syrupy, sticky decent carb, warming tingly booze.

Overall eh, more of a beer that's just "throw everything in there and hope for the best:" but just meh.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.09/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2016 vintage served cold into a shaker pint glass.

Waldo's is definately hoppy but not in a super fresh "opening a bag of hop pellets" kind of way. Malt sweetness comes through here too.

Flavor is very bold and strongly hoppy bitter. It has some caramel malt sweetness up front but is resiny and dank with a mouth drying hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and nicely carbonated but not especially drinkable. One hitter series is an appropriate name on the label.

Overall a good American strong ale but not a great DIPA.

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Photo of Elimav
4.48/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Excellent "double" IPA. To me it's more of a triple IPA. Great nose and look. The taste is out of this world! Reminds me of Triple Sunshine. The finish has a great pineyness but turns to malty at the very end. I wish this beer came out more often!

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Photo of trygelski1
4.91/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle poured into a snifter glass:

Look: Pours an amazing golden orange color with about an inch of head present. Lacing is very present and the retention is great.

Smell: Dank hops galore! Strong notes of pine, citrus fruits, and grapefruit. The aroma on this brew is dank as can be!

Taste: Taste is dank as hell! This thing is amazing! All kinds of citrus notes and grapefruit along with some pine notes. A little bit of sweet malt backbone as well. The 11.5% ABV is well hidden in this beer which is very nice!

Feel: Medium bodied.

Overall: Amazing imperial IPA! One of the best I have ever had! Soo solid for clocking in at 11.5%. ABV is well hidden so not much alcohol burn. Glad I was able to score a 6 pack of this beer to try! I recommend that you get a hold of some of this beer next year if they brew and bottle it again!

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Photo of blackcompg
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Pours a quick finger of lite golden foam, body is a just slightly hazed golden orange amber, lots of steady carb rising through the body, distinct foam rings left after every quaff, keeps a solid cap for the entire session.

Smell - Wow, huge sticky citrus of blood orange, orange zests, tangerine and ruby red grapefruit, sweet pine, and hints of floral hops.

Taste - Very much like the nose, just an explosion of potent sweet citrus extracts over the tongue, blood orange and red ruby grapefruit, semi-sweet citrus piths, citrus rinds, pine along the edges of the tongue, barely enough carb to clean and then bitter citrus peels and dry citrus piths, floral hops join near the end, finishing with dried pith and fruit stones, pine at the back of the tongue.

Mouthfeel - Lots of weight here, but in a very good way - much of the weight is perceived in the sheer boldness of flavors here, they are bold and substantial, carb is lower side of medium, providing just enough scrub to transition and get through the initial sweeter citrus onslaught, a few nice bright edges as the carb recedes, finishes dry and bitter with pockets of semi-sweet concentrated citrus oils in the mouth corners.

Overall - I don't give many beers all 5's, but this one has it in spades. For my personal taste I love citrus, and this is a citrus nuke. I've never tasted such bold citrus flavors, while still providing distinct flavors, a wonderful transition, and a bitter drying finish that begs another sip. No alcohol presence here at all, which is obscene at 11.5% ABV. I LOVE this beer, and the next time it comes out I will purchase all of it everywhere - I'm smitten. This beer makes me feel selfish. Just phenomenal, and a MUST try for citrus lovers. Not for the faint either - you can't taste the alcohol, but you'll feel it, because you just cant stop sipping this wonderful brew!

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Photo of arizcards
4.29/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a sixer from TW Arrowhead in early April for $10.99. No visible bottling date.

Beer poured golden with a nice white head.

Nose is dank city!

Taste is dank hops forward with a big malt base. Alcohol is well hidden!

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and fairly refreshing.

Overall a nice beer that I am glad to have had a chance to try.

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Photo of CaptCleveland
4.4/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz pour into tulip for $6 at 101 Bottles, in Kent, OH.

Clear, dark orange brew, one finger, white foamy head to a rim as the tasting proceeds.

The aroma is all hops with fresh, sweet tropical fruits married with sticky, dank pine and earth notes. Wonderful.

Mangoes, tangerines, and lemons thrown together with a nice smooth/sticky dank, pine back end.

Medium body with the dank, sticky hops leaving a path of destruction on the buds. Subtle alcohol notes.

This is a really well done hop explosion, providing copious amounts of aroma and bittering nuggets, creating a hop head's dream. Don't expect balance.

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Photo of Ichigo_Kurosaki
4.86/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I really enjoyed this beer, the hops were not overwhelming it was well balanced the flavor was exceptional. Anybody who enjoys a great IPA needs to try this good head on the pour, taste is on point with so called dank flavor. Smell is fantastic easily get the scent of he different hops that are being used even with the high ABV % it is not boozy or the alcohol is not over powering the drink what so ever

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Photo of MMOSNN
4.09/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look - a deep orangish amber color with a thin white head and spotty lacing.
Smell - hops for days, so pungent. The pine resin and dank hop nuggets overpower everything, but you can pick up on some citrus notes as well.
Taste - similar to the nose, but every sip is slightly different. Sometimes I only notice the dank resin, but others end with juicy citrus notes.
Feel - decent carbonation, sticky, relatively smooth mouthfeel.
Overall, this is a total hop bomb. The dank piney resin hits you like a ton of bricks, but somehow you're left wanting more.

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Photo of Sammy
4.01/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

On tap at pizza plant transit. Lace sheet. Bang on the style, tasty and dangerously drinkable dipa. They keep killing. A much better than average DIPA.

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Photo of ccg
4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2016-04-30: Waldo's special 2016

Look: Two inches of foam on first pour, immediately starts lacing the glass. Translucent, light orange. Huge bubbles. 4.25

Smell: Piney hops, but also some sweet fruit, like mango. 4.25

Taste: Plenty of hops, but not overly bitter. Pine, lemon, and honey. Minimal aftertaste. Well balanced. 4.25

Mouthfeel: Rich and full-bodied. Carbonation is spot-on. 4.5

Overall: One of the best IPA's I've had. 4.25

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Photo of MAB
4.81/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Holy crap; this is almost the perfect IPA.
They claim to have made the hoppiest beer in their history. But it is more about the hop flavors than the bitterness that can be derived from them.
A bouquet of citrus aroma along with grassy notes greets your nose before you sip.
The flavor is bold but complex. Malt gets through, as does the alcohol. The hop flavors are heavenly.
An outstanding effort!

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Photo of dbl_delta
3.81/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Undated bottle into pint glass. Pours a clear amber with an eggshell-white head. Initial impression is pine resin, citrus rinds, malt present but subordinate to the hops. Mouthfeel is almosy oily. Finish is less bitter than you'd expect. Alcohol presence is also less evident than you might think at 11.5%. Overall, it's not too bad but if I was looking for an IIPA I'd actually enjoy, I'd look elsewhere.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.29/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

12 FLUID OZ bottle
Served in a tulip glass

This beer pours a hazy amber color with burnt orange highlights. It is topped with two inches of sticky, beige head that clings to the sides of the glass.

The smell is wonderful. I get mango along with citrus and a little resin.

The taste doesn't disappoint. It is loaded with tropical and citrus fruit on the front end, and it finishes with some grapefruit and pine.

It has a full and velvety smooth mouthfeel.

This is a delicious beer, and one that lives up to its hype. I don't love a whole lot of IPA's outside of my home state. This is one outsider that is included.

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Photo of mac31
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge, I mean huge tropical notes in he entry: mango, pineapple, guava-nectar like flavors. Sweet tangerine and orange notes as well. Grapefruit in the finish. Heavy malt balances out this brew. The malts are sweet, bready, heavy and chewy. Super dankiness just shy of the finish. Bitterness is modest and long on the palate. As the fruit and dank die off the resin, pine, and woody notes make their presence known. Creamy body. Light on the carbonation. Booze is apparent at times. For the most part the alcohol is well covered, especially for an 11.5% beer. At 11.5 this should be a sipper, but I could see someone trying to crush this. A fruity, resiny nectar that I wish I had more of. A great beer at a great value. I do not usually buy Lagunitas. IMO they are a little less authentic since they blew up a few years ago. However, this!?! This is fantastic. I hope there are equivalents to come in their One Hitter series. This is truly a one hitter quitter, any more than that and you may be picking yourself up off the floor in the morning. This stuff is potent.

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Photo of jeffdr123
4.31/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Apricots. How about that. The first scent is apricots. Pretty, dark golden with very little head. A little syrupy, like a lot of high alcohol beers. Complrx layers. A good sipper. With David at the Tap and Cork, eating bruschetta from Made in Italy.

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Photo of IpaBeerDrinkers
4.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow...what a beer. Juicy, resinous ibu explosion. Some heat on the back end, but nothing unacceptable for this abv level. Nice, firm body that maintains its prescence...trying to think back to a big ipa (10%+) ive had thats better than this, and struggling to do so. Simtra is the only one that jumps out

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Photo of jopezu
4.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

pours a clear copper amber with a small head that poofs. nose; citrus hops, caramel, sugar, light ethanol, and a collection of massive sticky citrus fruit notes - orange, pineapple, mango, & grapefruit. taste; giant caramel malt, giant citrus hops, resinous pine, lemon pith, zests & pulp of mango, grapefruit, & orange. medium carbonation & heavy mouthfeel. a little thick, a little sweet... but, a world class fruit & hop bomb. this may be a one-and-done for most. the 11.5% abv does show up. ordinarily, i wouldn't rate an ipa this thick and sweet so highly, but i think a balancing miracle has been achieved here with the sweets & bitters. also, i'm blown away at getting these for $12 a six-pack at the moment. grab 'em now! go easy, because you won't want to.

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Photo of hopflyer
4.36/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled march 29

pours orange/copper with minimal head. Fades to sparse soapy film and thin collar.

Very strong orange, tangerine and a little apricot with a lot of fresh green herb. Some spiciness. Wife smelled this from the other room so it's hefty.

Taste is sharp acidic hop oil with flavors of orange and tangerine. Weedy and a little spice. Herbal. Some bitterness comes thru once it warms and the palate adjusts. Not much in way of bready or cracker malt and just about no sweetness but balance wasn't the goal here. maybe the last 1/3 of this when it warms lets out some cracker.

Medium body and medium carbonation. Some bitter aftertaste. Lingers on the palate. Little to no alcohol burn considering the big ABV.

Another good one from Lagunitas. Goes beyond a strong balanced DIPA to be a heavily hopped brew with no intentions of allowing any malts to show thru. Its not messy or anything but a bit over the top to become a mainstay or year round offering. Will seek this out again next year.

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Photo of argock
4.19/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a clear glass tulip. No decipherable freshness date.

A: Burnished golden with 1-finger off-white head with majestic stripe of craggy lacing.

S: Dank plus tropical fruit hoppiness like guava, pineapple with a dagger of piney resin cutting through it all. Pale malt is evident with a light toasty note. Booze is in there but an all-out attack is in progress.

T: The assault continues in the flavor with a series of staunch whacks to the buds which include huge resiney pine, dankness with leafy pot/tobacco overtones, and fruity guava, passionfruit, and pineapple with floral touches. There are a few herbal, oniony notes in the finish with warming. Maltiness mainly serves as backup but there is a sweet undercurrent to this beer. High high bitterness enhanced by the booze character. Forward in all aspects to say the least.

M: Hefty and could use more carbonation. A little hard to drink but the finishing dryness carried by the huge bitterness helps somewhat.

O: An unapologetic full-nelson on both olfactory and gustatory systems -- one of these is enough. If they dialed this down to 8%, I think it would be hard to leave the house so I hope they don't do it.

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The Waldos' Special Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4.32 out of 5 based on 1,640 ratings.
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