The Waldos' Special Ale | Lagunitas Brewing Company

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The Waldos' Special AleThe Waldos' Special Ale
2,218 Ratings
The Waldos' Special AleThe Waldos' Special Ale

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.30%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed for all the treasure hunters.

Herbaceous. Botanical. Dank. Resinous.

Added by largadeer on 04-21-2011

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,218 |  Reviews: 518
Reviews by MusicBeer_1961:
Photo of MusicBeer_1961
4.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

More User Reviews:
Photo of rodbeermunch
4.88/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Well here it is (was), the first uploaded perfect score (there are more coming though).

Now, right off the bat, I want to say that I feel that this, PTY and Boneyard's Notorious are probably indistinguishable from each other when drank blindly. So why does this get a perfect score? Well, because its a world class beer, that is in a very convenient format (6 pack/12 oz beers) with an amazing price ($10.99/6 pack). Basically, unlike 90% of beeradvocate, I reward for producing something on a large scale instead of small batch bullshit.

With that said, let's begin substantively speaking.

Pours a dark golden color mixed with amber and orange, with amazing clarity and a small 1/2" white head that quickly moves downward due to the massive hop oils in this one.

Sure enough, this smells of perfection, a massive degree of late stage hops here of different, pungent varieties bringing the citrus, pine, juniper, tropical fruit vibe all over it. Super dank and resinous without being heavy or bitter.

Taste is perfect as well, perhaps a tad sweeter than Boneyard/PTY, but again, doubt I could tell blind. Hides alcohol amazingly, bitterness in check relatively speaking. So much vegetal hop mouthfeel, no heat. Peach also in here apparently flavor wise (not actual fruit). Smell's like the art teacher's office/jacket. Lots of pineapple like juice to it.

Now to try and buy as much of this as I can find. EDIT: 2018 wasn't quite as good, so unfortunately I can't rate this a perfect 5, as SNPA and CR have been perfect, every batch. Nonetheless, its still a great beer.

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Photo of eppCOS
4.53/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dear God, meet thy destroyer.... if you could throw yourself full speed at a wall of beer, this is it. If you could crash a top-speed into an IPA with your mouth open with a turbo on your back, this is it. Completely dangerous - smooth, resinous, dank, and hides the ABV (nearly 12% wth?) incredibly well. I struggle with big beers, anything over 8% really, but this is frankly worth it. Will be getting every year from now on. Promise. Not just the weed-i-ness in this monster talking.
I swear.
Wall. Of. Beer.

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

What an absolute dank, weedy, juice bomb. And 11.5% ABV....are you kidding me?! I passed on it originally when my local recommended it but now I have to load the boat! The absolute best Lagunitas, hands down

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Photo of MattyG85
4.52/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Lagunitas mason jar.

Appearance: Pours a bright golden orange with moderate amount of bubbles. About a finger of white head that settles into a thin patchy layer.

Smell: A very juicy and dank hop forward aroma with a scent of citrus fruit and pine. Big citrus hop presence with a scent of grapefruit, mango, orange peel, lemon zest, guava, tangerine, and pineapple. Herbal scent of pine resin and cannabis. Light malt hints of caramel and grains with some yeast. A really good dank aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a really juicy and dank hop driven taste with notes of citrus fruit and pine resin. Big juicy citrus notes of grapefruit, mango, guava, orange peel, tangerine, lemon, and pineapple. Earthy and herbal hop notes of pine resin, grass, and onion. Backing sweet malt notes of caramel, grains, and cracker along with some yeast. A very good juicy taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very juicy and oily with a drying finish. Alcohol heat is light for 11.5%.

Overall: A great juicy explosion of hop tones. Big citrus and pine flavors with a definite 420 scent.

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

Amazing brew! It's definitely one of the best IPA's I've tried!

L: A little bit hazy, with an "orangy", honey kind of color.

S: Amazingly dank! I get Mango, peaches, pine, Pineapple, Apricot, and a little bit of orange.

T: It follows the smell very well. You get all of what I pointed out above. It's sweet and bitter at the same time, which I personally love. It's balanced, but still strong. It is heavy with Lagunitas signature taste.

F: The mouthfeel is Medium heavy. It's very sticky, and it has medium to low carbonation.

O: It's easily a world class beer, with a low price and huge distribution. What more would you want. I recommend it to anyone who like Imperial IPA's.

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Photo of Zeeck
4.54/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Look - This has a beautiful copper color with a little bit of rusty-colored orange. It's slightly hazy and has a light head that dissipated very quickly.

Smell - This smells very hoppy and herbal, and very much like a Lagunitas beer. It has a certain citrus quality that's a mix of pineapple, orange and lemon. It also has a sweet smell to it, like cane sugar or white corn syrup.

Taste - The bitter hops are at the forefront and smack you in the mouth right away. However, that note almost immediately gives way to a sweet citrus mixed with vanilla note. This is all overlaid on a nice herbal note to give it a bit of an earthy quality. This stuff is very dank and yet very juicy.

Feel - This beer is creamy and almost chewy in texture, which really helps the flavors stick around for a while.

Overall - This is strong and hoppy but absolutely delicious. The higher alcohol content works well with the hoppy bitterness. This beer is very well done and so yummy!!

Pairs Well With - Taking a nap during family movie night.

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Photo of Benjolovesbeer
4.76/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Best beer I ever had from Lagunitas and @ Over 11% abv I have to say well done. Very piney and smooth can barely tell it's so potent. Taste might even be better than Hopslam.

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Photo of martinpfal
4.88/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Amazing! It's everything a dipa should be but is even smoother!
Pours a heavenly golden honey with very little head that dissipates quick. Smell of citrus and pine (perhaps even sage). The taste is bold and completely mellows out after a few seconds in the mouth. Great feel...almost tickling your tastebuds into wanting more. But the 11.9% says you should stay cool. Love the fact that it's not one of those overpriced competitors. This is truly world class!

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

Yessss, got to snag a couple sixers of this super rare limited release down in lil' old Beaumont, Texas. I LOVE this beer and it's concept, was incredibly stoked to try it as Lagunitas consistently delivers high quality beers, and this is no exception. Love the 420 friendliness of it and the art is just dope!

Pale gold, orange-ish color with a much more bubbly top then normal. Cool white head that splatters all over the sides with a spread of lacing. Smells DANK! Tons of hops crammed into this baby. Tropical, lemon, cannabis. The list goes on.

Taste blew my damn mind when I sipped this beer for the first time. I almost wasn't prepared - it comes at you super strong and hop forward but with a decent serving of pale ale malts to back it up. Just like the smell but with a little bite. My palate ain't used to this dank of a beer! A little heavy, but incredibly rewarding. By that, I mean I start feeling good from a couple gulps in. This beer delivers on the alcohol unlike probably any I've tried. Hard to find a beer down here that has more alcohol then some wines, this one takes the cake.

I LOVE that this beer comes in a six pack. I see four packs of lower performing beer for the 12.99 priceas well. What a cool opportunity to grab a couple sixers - no worries I saved about 2 that were sitting on the shelf for others.

Wish it came year round. Lagunitas's finest selection I've tried. I feel everyone should try at least one. As a lover of strong IPA's, this is up there with my favorites of all time. Big time cheers and thank you!

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Photo of Pray_For_Mojo
4.49/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured in a wine glass

Appearance: deep golden and bright. Very pretty. The color just seems to convey oily, dank hops. The head is a light-tan ¼-finger, which fades fairly quickly.

Aroma: deep, oily hops, but the aroma does not indicate how hoppy this beer really is.

Flavor: tremendous hops! Oily, dank, spicy. This is a concentrated 2X IPA – triple perhaps. This is as far beyond a 2X IPA as a 2X IPA is to a standard IPA - 11.9%! This is probably the hoppiest beer I’ve ever had.

Mouthfeel: heavy, so heavy you won’t likely drink more than 2 – a culinary jake-brake sort of.

Overall: Excellent – a standout in a year of quality competition. I’ve been recommending this beer since finishing my first bottle. I even had to give some away. $14 / 6-pack?! Sign me up for auto-withdrawal. I’m not original in saying this, but thank you Lagunitas for producing reasonably priced kick-ass beers. I was impressed with their High West; this is better!

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Photo of stakem
4.09/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It seems as though everyone has been losing their shit over this beer this year. It kinda reminds me of hopslam circa 2010/11...this is supposedly the omg gotta have it beer of 2016. I promised myself I would not go hunting for this but low and behold, I was buying some groceries this weekend and there she was - a lonely sixpack just sitting there. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip appears a polished clear golden color with a white soapy cap.

This smells very fruity with hops: a little tropical like pineapple and mango and honestly not much else which is fine when the hops are this bright and enjoyable.

The tastes is mutually hoppy with quite a fruit forward flavor like the nose suggests with mango and pineapple then herbal rindy and grassy with almost a green cantaloupe aftertaste that gets increasingly bitter. The alcohol is noticeable but not overstated.

This is medium to fuller bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. A very intense ipa with quite a bit residual sweetness to balance the hop and alcohol bite. Its good and im glad I got the chance to try it without going out of my way.

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Photo of nlb802
4.71/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This will knock your socks off. While the hop flavors are a bit overshadowed by the booze, they are delicious. Warning - if you drink more than 1 or 2 of these you are gonna have a bad time. I had one and left my empty beer glass in my bed :0

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Photo of Celtics76
4.55/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Whoa. What a powerhouse. Pure hop juice. I could smell this beer from 20 feet away. And at 11.5% abv, surprisingly easy to drink. Only for the seasoned hophead.

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Photo of Dakin
4.38/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Look: Nice tangerine juice color. Little head with steady carbonation.

Smell: Spices, citrus, lemon, pine, honey, Very dank and wet smelling. Very nice heavy feel.

Taste: Very smooth. The strong hops are there, but they don't jump out at you. Sticky and dank. Wow. Slight bite that fades out with the sip. Citrus, slight spices, a tinge of honey on the end. Very good. Not usually an IPA person but this is an exception.

Feel: Nice strong mouthfeel. Slightly acidic.

Overall: Very good Triple IPA. Smooth but with a bite. And at 12% you cant taste any alcohol. 8.5/10.

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Photo of tbryan5
4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This beer is super dank and really smooth. You have to be careful because it goes down VERY easy but packs a whopping well hidden 11.5% ABV. So, it will sneak up on you. This has to be my favorite beer from Lagunitas so far. Truly exceptional.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into an oversized tulip.

Copper and orange hazy body. Super frothy head, rings and rings of lace. Film over the body. Looking good.

This smells like a juice bomb. Pineapple, passionfruit, semi-ripe mango. Bitter and resinous on top of everything. Light onion and catty notes become more apparent but aren't in the offensive category. Overall, juicy and delicious.

Veers more into grapefruit territory on the taste but damn it's delicious. Still has some sweet mango in the mix, orange juice and some dank weed in the finish.

Let's just talk about the ABV. I know it's high cuz I've heard things but I wouldn't know from drinking this. Hardly detectable. Still has an incredibly juicy character to it, plus it's bitter and resinous and dank weed-like. How Sway?!? I don't got the answers!

I'm feeling this. Beeg time. $11 sixer? Good looks, Heineken!

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.78/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle 11.3 % abv! Imperial IPA poured into a fat Duvel tulip, widemouth glass.

A bright and clear honey amber color with golden highlights. The fluffy all-white foam top holds on tight, very active and lays down pretty fast. Plenty of fine white bubbly coverage is left over.

The aroma is amazingly pungent, with tons of dense hoppy aromatics that include : tangy, green herbs, freshly crushed cones, super seeet pineapple, tropical fruit punch, papaya, mango salsa, sweet summer flowers, boozy heat tingle, raw honey scented malt, black pepper, green grass and mint leaves. Obviously a very complex nose. Trust me, you will never forget the intense aroma from this one.

The first sip has a very fresh, peppery and dry hoppy kick. Black pepper and freshly dried hop cone comes on right behind it with dried grasses, Herbal concoction's, boozy alcohol heat bite that quickly becomes a very dry-hopped style bitterness and bite. The Ibu's seem cranked, the "green" tasting hoppy effect is excellent, like freshly crushed hop cones in a glass. Everything about this beastly ipa is huge. Sweet flavor's of raw honey and caramel within the rather light toned malt, is an excellent compliment to the massive hop array. Dried grasses and leafy aftertaste of the hops remind me very much of some of the "wet hopped" estate ipa's from Sierra Nevada. A clear, West coast connection in hop flavor and exacution. Peppery citrus with vodka, pineapple and red tropical fruits sums up the "fruity" aspect of the hop flavor.

The mouthfeel and texture is actually rather light, a dry, peppery tinge with a big, boozy heat that tingles and mingles with dry, earthy hop effects just dance all over the palate. The malt is very light and crisp in both appearance and feeling but has a big amount of sweet, sticky, sugar tones that actually leave your lips a bit sticky. The malt seems to slip and slide down, but the dry tones and crispness keeps it from becoming cloying or overly heavy feeling. The 11.3 % abv is no joke, a true sipper that has plenty of heat and peppery effects on top of that.

This thing is a beast, all around super complex, with some very unique aspects. If I was to try to create an "extreme" ipa....this would pretty much be what I would strive for. The way the hop complexity has nearly endless complexity, mutating and changing from fruity, earthy, peppery, green, dry....and the malt being light, yet sweet enough to provide excellent balance is worth some bonus points in my book. As a treasure hunter of sorts, I can fully appreciate the rarity of this brews over all complexity.

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Photo of brewerburgundy
4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, tulip, looks like Julian date 094.

The syrupy texture is obvious and numerous flakes of yeast are suspended within the goldenrod liquid. Head is sparse, but thick.

Dank, lemon peel, fresh peach, pungent oil, and tea.

Initially there is candy, peach ring sweetness and immediately it begins to bounce off of the bitterness that ranges from citrus pith to zingy oil. Oily, earthy, almost curry flavors mingle with alcohol long after every sip.

The balance is tipped towards the full body that the medium carbonation can’t keep up with.

The hopping is intense and the flavors linger. I enjoy the dank flavors, but question why this has to be over 11%.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.41/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Lagunitas Brewing Co. "The Waldos' Special Ale"
12 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, coded "095 8 2 2724 0208
$2.99 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Notes via stream of consciousness: Wow, what a great aroma. It smells like opening a bag of hops! They're pungent and resinous, herbal, and lightly citrusy. The body is a clear deep-golden/light amber although you can see particulate in suspension. The head is a densely creamy off-white. On to the flavor... another "wow"... this is one of the "dankest" beers I've ever tasted. It's just as the aroma suggests but even fuller with some floral character, some pine, lots of hop resins, earthiness, light spiciness, and herbs, including what I think marijuana might taste like as I've only ever smelled it. There's also ample malt to support it, golden and grainy, bready, and moderately caramelish but rich. It's the perfect support for the hops. But there's more... it's also solidly bitter, I don't know what the BUs are but they're up there, and the alcohol has a clear presence giving it a little heat and spiciness. It's a really intense beer, and although the label reads "Life is Uncertain, Don't Sip!" I'd have to disagree with that - you'd burn out your palate, or just kill what drinkability it has if you drank it too quickly. On the other hand it's not like a barleywine either, where you just nip at it here and there over the course of an hour or so, no, this one demands attention. To finish up, the head has held well and I still have an almost solid surface covering of creamy foam, and there's some very nice lacing left, mainly from where the head first began but also some from later on; and it's medium-full in body and gently crisp. Wow, stunning, one of the hoppiest beers I've ever tasted, and really nicely done as well.
Review# 5.984 4.25/4.5/4.5/4.25/4.25 =4.41

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Photo of turfy
4.62/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright, semi hazy golden orange color, with a short lasting head that settles into a fine ring in the snifter. Aromas explode out of the glass, a tropical, sweet, grapefruity smell that I wish someone would make into a candle, or hell, even a bathroom spray. Just the smallest hint of green onion, too. The taste is a sweet, fruity blast with a nice lingering bitterness. Excellent. The mouthfeel is oily and syrupy....if it was just a little lighter it would make this beer just about perfect. Love Waldo's Special, one of the the top beers of the year so far for me.

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Photo of Holderness
3.48/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

L — Pours a mostly clear deep orange body with some noticeable hop particulate in suspension. Tiny white head produced with well aerated pour that dissipates quickly and leaves minimal lacing
S — Very dank and herbaceous. Also getting some felt-tipped marker, new leather, and dried citrus peel
T — Brown sugar, caramel, herbaceous/botanical/woodsy hop, peach, dried grapefruit rind, digestive bitters
F — Syrupy sweet and quite cloying. Big mouthfeel, medium- carb. Carb could be upped a notch and the sweetness could definitely be dropped a few notches
O — Sweet, herbaceous triple IPA that is a bit too syrupy for me. Decent dank hop character for the volume of distribution and the price, though


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Photo of dspadaro
4.4/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

L - Deep and relatively clear reddish-gold. Slightly off-white head that tends to not stick around

S - Exceedingly fruit-forward: pineapple, passion fruit, plum or strawberry.

T - Pine and herbal, almost vegetable. Noticeably not very fruity. At 11.9% (!) only the slightest bit boozy.

F - Medium bodied with a remarkably dry finish.

O - To me, a very "technically" excellent beer. Not a daily sipper, but still very impressive. I can recognize how difficult it is to a make a beer this big taste this balanced, and not like pure booze.

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Photo of topofthehops
4.92/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

As much as I love just about everything Lagunitas brews, I'm ashamed to say I'd never heard of this until I spied it yesterday in a email. It had just been tapped at a very cool Downtown Baltimore (Federal Hill) joint called Metropolitan. And I just so happened to be going to Camden Yards to see the Orioles, a mere 10 minute walk away.

For my admittedly wrecked palate, this is as good as it gets. Has that classic Lagunitas profile. Like Hop Stoopid on steroids. Intense flavor and aroma (I could literally smell it a foot away). I'll be driving out of my way today to grab a couple of sixers. Love it, love it, love it!

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Photo of RaulMondesi
4.44/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! Awesome beer here, my peeps. I mean, this is as bad ass as Cinemax was after midnight in the 8th grade. Deep resin, deep fresh hops that smack you harder than your papa with a wooden spoon when you acted up as a youngin’.

Yep, I’d get this one again!

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The Waldos' Special Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.32 out of 5 with 2,218 ratings