The Waldos' Special Ale | Lagunitas Brewing Company

BA SCORE
96
world-class
1,989 Ratings
The Waldos' Special AleThe Waldos' Special Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States
lagunitas.com

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Spring

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

Herbaceous. Botanical. Dank. Resinous.

Added by largadeer on 04-21-2011

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,989
Reviews:
456
Avg:
4.32
pDev:
7.87%
 
 
Wants:
143
Gots:
550
For Trade:
3
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 1,989 |  Reviews: 456
Reviews by tizride:
Photo of tizride
4.75/5  rDev +10%

More User Reviews:
Photo of rodbeermunch
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well here it is, 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.

 1,420 characters

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.

 1,143 characters

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

 209 characters

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.

 683 characters

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.

 177 characters

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.

 512 characters

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!

 469 characters

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!

 969 characters

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.

 1,110 characters

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

 246 characters

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.

 160 characters

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.

 573 characters

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.

 243 characters

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!

 874 characters

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.

 577 characters

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.

 545 characters

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 beermenus.com 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!

 638 characters

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.73/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The Waldo's Special Ale has a medium, off-white head, a mostly clear, honey-colored appearance, some bubbles, and a bit of lacing left behind. The aroma is of strong, apricot-like hop resin, up front, and background white bread, and a spice, of some sort, maybe. Taste is of those elements, with very intense and profound hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is high medium, and The Waldo's Special Ale finishes drying and strong.

RJT

 425 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
3.89/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Seeing this rated so highly I figured I would pull the trigger on the six pack for $13.99.

A - Despite this huge octane its actually quite a bright color being standard IPA orange amber with a 1/2 inch of head that slowly froths to nothing.
S - What surprised me the the most is the wave of sweet not herbal hops I got guava, papaya, and mango not a lick of ethanol or bittering hops to speak of.
T - What surprised me then was how boozy this beer is not 100% hiding the flavor or burn of the ethanol is kind of a turnoff but the sweet and bittering hops do make it somewhat enjoyable.
M - Medium to heavy somewhat easy to quaff once your tastebuds die a bit.

Overall this beer is extreme reminding me of 120 min IPA from Dogfish Head. Drinking more than two of these a sitting and you will be drunk off your ass. Try it but don't plan on enjoying it too much.

 863 characters

Photo of CHickman
4.51/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Lark, pours cloudy copper brownish color with a foamy tan head that faded slowly and left excellent foamy lacing coating the sides, rings as it went down.

Wow, smells of dank, oily fresh hop juice, grapefruit, oranges, tangerine, lemon zest, piney hops, graham cracker, brown sugar, caramel, light peppery spices, fresh floral hops and all things hoppy. Really fresh, really dank and damn impressive.

Tastes like it smells with dank citrus hops, oily fresh hop juice, grapefruit, oranges, tangerine, lemon, guava, pineapple, mango, piney hops, graham cracker, brown sugar, caramel, gummy bears, toffee, lightly toasted grains and a burst of fresh floral hop cones. Balanced, delicious and extremely hoppy this tasted great.

Smooth and buttery smooth, it's chewy and viscous with mild carbonation and a nice bitterness that screams of fresh oily hops but hides the ABV masterfully. One of the best Lagunitas beers I've ever had.

6/26/16-Cracked open a bottle tonight and the flavor and aroma are just as juicy as it was on tap. A delicious mix of dank citrus hops, fresh piney hops, graham cracker, toasted wheat bread, mild spices, a slight alcohol burn and a caramel malty sweetness. Really tasty and easy to drink.

 1,237 characters

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!

 1,552 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.87/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I recently visited The Foodery (Northern Liberties) in search of a laundry list of beers & I was elated to score seemingly the last one of this on the shelf in the singles cooler. How cool is that?!?

From the bottle: "2016 OneHitter Series"; "In 1971, The Waldos met one afternoon at 4:19 as not to be late and set out in a '66 Impala armed with a treasure map on a journey to find a sopt near Point Reyes. They never found the spot ... But they kept Lookin'. The Dankest and Hoppiest Beer ever Brewed at Lagunitas as made with the Help of the Waldos for all treasure hunters ..."; "Life is Uncertain, Don't Sip!"

I Pop!ped the cap & in my excitement, I gave it a heavier pour than I had intended. It foamed up like a rearing, roaring dragon, slightly overflowed my glass, stopped, formed two-plus fingers of foamy, light-tan head that quickly fell back to wisps, leaving sticky lacing in its wake. Color was Golden-Amber (SRM = > 5, < 7) with NE-quality clarity and this enticed the Gelt Gang of Mammon, Midas & Croesus to drop by for a visit & a taste. Nose was dank and resinous & I began to look around to make sure that my stash was still intact. Phew, it was! I did a quick one hit to calm my nerves & took a hit of this monster. Man, bringing it up to my nose, I got another blast of pine resin, tropical fruit, cattiness & just plain dank. Dave's not here, man! Mouthfeel was big, full, like a dollop had been laid on my tongue, man. Wow, is that f**kin' juicy! When the mall here in our metropolis first opened in the early-1970's, there used to be this groovy stand that made these wild fruit juice drinks while you waited. My favorite was the mango-tangerine-pineapple-papaya-banana mash-up. This was EXACTLY like that! Wow, man. Aw, man, I promised my 'rents that I was gonna (at least) cut down. Man, I have a hops jones like you would not believe & it is crazy s**t like this that puts me right back on the non-righteous path, dig? Aw, f**k it, I was bound to backslide eventually anyway. The finish was mellow, man. I mean, like fruity mellow, dig? This was really a groovy beer. Let's do this more often!

 2,123 characters

Photo of gshak
4.73/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I could just sum up this review in one word - Wow!
Bottled 088 6, which must mean 03/28/16, so about 11 days old at this point. I couldn't pass up a Lagunitas IPA that fresh!
A - Well, I did pour it gently so as to get as much carbonation in as possible. It is much needed for a beer of this heft.So I may not be entirely fair here giving it a 4/5; I'm sure it is deserving of a higher score, but what the heck.
S - Guava through the roof! Peaches, grapefruit and some papaya follow through. But the guava goodness is near-orgasmic!
T - Taste follows smell. It's like drinking a fruit punch with a medley of all fruits promised in the aroma. Lingering hoppy goodness with a bone dry finish. Simply brilliant!
M - Given that it is a 11.5% ABV beer, I did expect a heavy mouthfeel on this one, and I got it. It was tempered by the alcohol and the hoppiness, leading into a chalk-dry finish. The fact that Lagunitas managed a dry finish on a beer with such an immense malt bill is testament to their IPA-making prowess. Well done Lagunitas, very well done!

O - For a triple IPA which is what this beer truly is, it is remarkable that they were able to keep it so very drinkable. No alcohol overburn, no malty stickiness, no overbearing sugariness, just an incredibly crafted, true West-coast style IPA. Much as I shy away from IPAs north of 10% ABV, this 6-er was something I truly do not regret picking up.

 1,405 characters

Photo of imnodoctorbut
4.81/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

served chilled from 12 oz bottled to spiegelau glass. bottled 08/15.

A: clear orange gold with a little under two fingers of white foamy head, medium retention, and beautiful lacing.
S: dank, with plenty of hops, and a sublime citrus sweet at the front.
T: grapefruit and near-tropical lush citrus sweet that melds into a full malt note, and dank (and I mean DANK..sticky icky) hop kicker that drops in a welcomed bittersweetness with a touch of pine. bit of onion or maybe more like garlic character that brings it on home. full of funk - in the most beautiful way possible.
F: thick, juicy, full body. good amount of carbonation. packs enough booze heat to remind you that it's on the higher end of the alc % spectrum, but it feels more like a 8% than a whopping 11.5% - finishes nice and dry, leaving you to crave that lush juiciness again.

Bottom Line (aka personal opinion time):
this is it. this is the one to beat. an absolute prime example of the double ipa that brings the funk and manages to remain perfectly balanced. do yourself a favor and snag a full pack if you can - just mind the 11.5% bc it'll sneak up on you...the booze is extremely well hidden and (dare I say) sessionable. some of the dankest hop representation you'll find in a brew as well. I'm typically reserved and skeptic of lagunitas but they knocked it out of the park with this one.

 1,367 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
The Waldos' Special Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4.32 out of 5 based on 1,989 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.