The Waldos' Special Ale
Lagunitas Brewing Company

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American Imperial IPA
Ranked #67
Ranked #611
4.33 | pDev: 8.08%
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States
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: 548 | Ratings: 2,319 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by qchic:
Photo of qchic
4.01/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

More User Reviews:
Photo of rodbeermunch
4.88/5  rDev +12.7%
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 +4.6%
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 +11.1%
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 Zeeck
4.54/5  rDev +4.8%
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 MattyG85
4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
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 Benjolovesbeer
4.76/5  rDev +9.9%
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 Thecalmdrinker
5/5  rDev +15.5%
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 Celtics76
4.55/5  rDev +5.1%
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 H-TownMcBuck
4.34/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured out of bottle down side of glass. Minimal head and lacing. Look is orangish and lots of suspension making it kind of murky. Now to the good part, smell is sweet, fruity, and floral. Taste comes on strong like apricot and finishes fresh like orange. This beer is a flavor bomb to the tastebuds. May be overwhelming to some. I really enjoyed this beer and recommend as a single sipper

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Photo of HotDogBikeRide
5/5  rDev +15.5%
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 Dakin
4.38/5  rDev +1.2%
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 stakem
4.09/5  rDev -5.5%
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 Pray_For_Mojo
4.49/5  rDev +3.7%
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 martinpfal
4.88/5  rDev +12.7%
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 nlb802
4.71/5  rDev +8.8%
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 RaulMondesi
4.44/5  rDev +2.5%
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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Photo of muchos
4.34/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L. Light dull orange, slightly hazy, medium sized white head of all different sizes of bubbles which reduces to patches and a fine lacing.
S. Smells sweet, piney, mango, peachy, somewhat herbal and floral.
T. Sweet toffee and honey, mango, grapefruit, apricot, bitter flowers, sweet oranges and pine, finishes with all these flavors and some herbal spice like a touch of oregano.
F. Fairly full body, not too much carbonation, not quite syrupy.
O. Good humongous IPA with plenty of malt character and enough juicy and bitter hops flavor to satisfy the treasure hunter. Cheers!

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

Triple IPA with a funky backbone. Definite go to beer for this style. Wish it was available at least all month, as I usually can only find it for a week and its gone.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Being a fan of session triple IPAs, I couldn't help myself. Bottles from ABV.

A faintly hazy copper with a dense, large, white head with excellent retention and lacing, this looks great. The nose is fantastic. Very, very dank with plenty of pine and weed, this is brashly hoppy and pungent. Moderately sweet as well with caramel present, maybe a little more than I'd like but given the truly fresh, clean and spot on hop nose, I can't complain. The palate opens pleasantly pungent, bitter and dank with resiny hops, plenty of pine and wet herb. Dank as, eh, HMS Danky McDankface. The mid palate has a moderate sweetness present, but this really is dominated by the hops. Bitter, resiny on the finish, this beer is medium bodied, softly carbonated and has a long lasting bitter, resiny and weed like finish that lasts for days. Excellent. It is so nice to be able to buy a sixer of a triple IPA for$12.

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Photo of wumpshire
4.66/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Just shy of the perfect triple IPA. The flavor is spot on with piney dankness, West Coast IPA x10. Alcohol taste is very hidden. For big IPAs, I like there to be a softer mouth feel, but very minor issue. 9.75/10

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Photo of tbryan5
4.34/5  rDev +0.2%
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 LAp
4.78/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

On tap, served in a tulip (review of a beer had three days ago). A gorgeous beer, the nose and palate are strongly reminiscent of Enjoy By. Easily the biggest IPA from Lagunitas. Dank, hoppy, and bitter but with a sweet undertone. World class.

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Photo of Rogerlb
4.15/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's spring and the Waldo's has shown up again.

A Lagunitas DIPA. pours a beautiful orange, slightly opaque color. Hardly any head, but alcohol lacing when you swirl the glass.

Aroma is fantastic, an orangy citrus with just enough dank and hops to make it not too juicy. Not as tart as grapefruit, more tangerine. Bit of malt in the back.

Taste has that typical Lagunitas sweet boozy taste, almost sickly. This is 11.3% and it feels like it although it's not "hot." Malty cream, orange rind. Hops introduce earth, dank, some pine (but not a lot), some bitterness that doesn't overpower but won't leave. Lingers rather than palate-wrecks.

Hop Stoopid or Dogfish 90 Minute, other DIPAs push the hops almost to their detriment. This brew seems to be more interested in the balance between hops and maltiness. And yet the sweet malt is not forgiving. Especially as it warms the sickly sweet alcohol intrudes over any hop nuance.

Body is relatively thin, bright and sticky. It's just strong. Easy to sip but with every taste I'm asking, should I be drinking this this fast? Like bad pot, you smoke one bowl too many and can't decide when you should have stopped.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.1/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear amber color. The head is two fingers high and white in shade. Retention isn't particularly good, and the texture becomes rougher the longer it sits. Some streaks of lacing also stick to the glass.

Let's cut to the chase: this is aggressive, over-the-top, and beastly - I feel like the aroma just punched me in the face with peach, tangerine, grapefruit, guava, and weed. Does this have Mosaic? If it doesn't, I'll eat a hat. When combined with the textbook Lagunitas character, it really seems dank as hell. It's 11.5%, so there's also a hefty caramel sweetness. I just love how big and unsubtle it smells.

It tastes weed-like at first. This dankness slowly subsides, being replaced by notes of tangerine, peach, pineapple, and grapefruit. The finish is faintly boozy, about what I'd expect from something so massive. The maltiness is every bit as sweet and heavy as I expected (although it never overpowers the hop profile by any stretch). It has that classic "boozy pineapple juice" vibe many mega IPAs feature. Plus, it's so damn OTT, it's charming.

Big and thick, the finish is just light enough to make it drink a little easier than it could have otherwise. It's still a sipper up in this realm of gravity, though. The texture is slightly syrupy and the carbonation is lowish. All told, it pairs up with the flavor profile very well.

I'm a big fan of subtlety, nuance, and delicacy - and then something like this comes across along. Those three terms are pretty much the opposite of what this beer is about. And hell, that's why I love this one so much. One is enough, but one is far more satisfying than 3 mediocre IPAs in a row.

4.1/5: Drink this instead of the bong water

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The Waldos' Special Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 2319 ratings