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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

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Reviews: 352 | Ratings: 1,640
Photo of Jeffwildcat
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Maybe Im a little biased for Lags beers but I didnt not thing Sucks could be overthown in my book...well Waldos is awesome and better. Not boozy on the palete. Nice piny tropical where the ibus suttly appear....a great beer..

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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 ClayPA
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is so hoppy, so smooth, and so flavorful with wonderful finish that you will wonder why you ever drank anything else. Please bottle and send to me weekly.

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

How often does something come along that totally blows your mind? Happened upon this on tap today at a whole foods. Totally blown away.. Hoppy.. Then malty. Takes a moment experience all that's going on here.. The kicker.. $3 for a ten ounce draft!! Phenominal!

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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.

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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 Allaboutthosehops
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow. Regardless of the Abv, this beer smells and tastes amazing! The smell is so fresh and hoppy with big citrus notes. The taste is undoubtedly hoppy, but not bitter. There is also a dank sweetness of tropical fruit, with a crisp finish that makes you want to go in for another sip. The consistency is impressive at 11% and not too thick. This is hands down one of the best beers that I've ever had, and ranks with the best, without all the hype. The beer speaks for itself. If you like IPAs you have to try this.

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

Appearance: medium/dark copper with low carbonation and a thin head with low retention. Some residual lacing.

Smell: Bright, floral and lemony hops hit you full in the face with an unmistakable dank presence (citrusy sativa aromatics, no joke.) This is one of the most aromatic IIPAs I have ever had, with other complexities including mango, grapefruit and pine.

Taste: Huge hit of weed flavor as expected (again, along the lines of a lemony, funky, skunky sativa.) Huge Chinook hop presence and a very light, sweet malt base that does not interfere with the hops. Lagunitas put the hops first and foremost as always, making the Waldo an unmistakable Norcal IIPA. Booze hits mid-palate with just a touch of warmth (almost untraceable even at 9.4% abv) that transitions into a dry, floral and sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Just perfect. The beer itself in glass appears to have very little carbonation, but seems to be activated once it hits your tongue, coating it in a very light layer of tiny bubbles that dance and delight your taste buds, along the lines of a slightly flat soda. The Waldo is also oily and feels nice and slick.
Extremely drinkable.

How Lagunitas managed to infuse the complexities of chronic Norcal bud is beyond me. There are very few beers that I enjoy as much as I enjoyed the Waldo.

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

On Tap

Appearance - Dark orange hue.

Smell - Tropical, citrus, honey and dankness.

Taste - Tropical, citrus, mango and pine. Delicious.

Mouthfeel - Perfect carbonation. Low attenuation. Very chewy.

Overall - Perfect IPA. Highly recommended!

Grade (A+)

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Photo of turnerk3
4.99/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well, one thing Lagunitas knows best is a stupidly hopped beer, so a DIPA is way out of their wheelhouse. That's called "sarcasm" for the youngins.

Look: Have you ever gone 2 days without a drop water and taken a piss? If yes, proceed to smell. If not, have you ever had a bad hangover after a night of beer debauchery and taken a piss? If yes, proceed to smell. If not, what the hell are you doing here?

Smell: This is simple. Think about cutting fresh summer grass (if you thought about marijuana, proceed to taste because... yea, you get it). Now think about what it'd smell like if you threw oranges, grapefruits, and pinecones on that lawn before mowing it down, and you played a game where grapefruits are 50, pinecones 100, and oranges are 200. Okay, some pinecones are a bonus +50.

Taste: Dude stupid. Yea, you that actually thought about buying 20lbs. of grapefruits and oranges to mow over (marijuana people please refer to smell to understand...nevermind).
Stupid. Taste. If that's not a good description, find a hop tree (preferably on the west coast) take a fresh cone and put it in your mouth. We're done here.

Feel: Now proceed to chew that hop like it was a piece of venison from the one deer you managed to take on a deserted island. Thrill! Excitement! Joy! Those are your first thoughts, but as you continue to chew through the meat you begin to respect its toughness. You'll want to devour this animal, but you'll learn to respect it.

Overall: If you don't think this is a DIPA, please send me all of your beer to do a taste, possibly poison, check (it's a risk I'm willing to take for you). Just to be safe, you should probably send me 1/3 of any future beer purchases, too. For singles and bombers, I promise to return them with at least 8 oz and 15 oz (extra 1/3 oz), respectively.

I may be slightly stoopid (hah weed joke), but this is stupid + stoopid! This is just stewpt!

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Photo of CJCouillard
4.98/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

L: Bright golden copper out of the bottle.

S: Smells of bright citrus, orange

T: Complex taste. Both Sweet with a cirtrusy kick, and bitter with a strong hop finish.

F: Very smooth for an imperial IPA

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Photo of leantom
4.97/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Truly beautiful beer. If this were a beer that never made it outside its source region, like those beers being made up in Vermont, it would have one of the highest ratings on beer advocate. Here goes:

A: Beautiful orange-amber. Alright head, but the lacing is great. Perfectly clear with decent carbonation.

S: Beautiful. Lots of oranges and mango. Faint hint of grapefruit, but mostly lighter tropical fruits. Superb - can't find anything wrong with it.

T: Same goes for the taste. Ton of oranges, tangerines, and mango. Also a lot of honey and caramel. Perfectly balanced between malt and hops. This beats Sucks by a mile.

F: Perfect. Dangerously light and drinkable.

O: This is a great beer. I would definitely get it again and again if it were year-round.

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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 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!

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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 EdwardAbbey
4.9/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I have loved this one every time I had it on draft the past couple years, because its drinkability belied its super-rich intensity and flavor. Now that they put it in 6-packs, at a ridiculous loss-leader price, I have to wonder if a better beer, at such an outstanding value, with wider distribution, has ever been produced...

Gainsay the Heineken merger all you want, but Lagunitas is still Lagunitas, and this 2016 release earns them a kind of immortality uniquely deserved, and uniquely their own.

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Photo of seagullbeer
4.88/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L- Nice orange with a some haze

S- If pine trees had fruit. You can smell a little bit of the 11.5%

T- Peachytropicalpinedank

F- Nice sweet pucker. Sugar and alcohol are strong but very well balanced.

O- Try this beer. With all the double, triple, imperial, mongo IPAs out there there is just a top tier of amazingly well balanced 10%+ beers that can juggle over the top hop flavors, IBU, sweetness and alcohol. The Pliny the Youngerkids. Destinguishing between them and saying this is the best beer in the world is kinda silly. This is one of those bonkers hyuge IPAs. Only complaint is a little bit of alcohol on the nose but it isn't a big

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Photo of 81tillinfinity
4.88/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I think someone squeezed a handful of hops and tossed them into my beer. Pure hop bliss. A perfect blend of bitterness, dankness, hoppiness, and alcohol warming. A one and done beer for the record books. Oh yeah 9.99 a six pack.

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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!

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

Believe it. This beer is the truth. Years from now when people are stabbing each other and hawking single bottles on craigslist for 20 bucks, we who were lucky enough to grab some will regale our children with tales of how we purchased it for $11.99 a six pack when it was first released. "Is it true Daddy?" the young ones will ask.. "Yes child" we will answer... "In the before-time... in the long long ago... before mankind traded in it's decency for the pursuit of liquid hoppy goldness. One beer was brewed in secret..... and given to the palates of men..One beer to rule them all.... This is the one beer... It is...precious to me...

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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 Homers_Beer_Odyssey
4.85/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

APPEARANCE - Opaque, 1FH, carbonation, amber, lacing.

AROMA/SCENT - Hops, citrus, pine.

TASTE - Hops, bitter, yeast, pine.

MOUTHFEEL/PALATE/TEXTURE - Thick, carbonation, smooth, creamy, lingering, bubbly.

VALUE - $8 for 12-oz draft. Decent.

OVERALL/DRINKABILITY - Great beer. Why the hell won't they bottle it?

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Photo of PaulyB83
4.85/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a tulip glass. Bottled March 28, 2016.

L- Medium to deep amber color, great clarity, one finger slightly off white head that dissipated quickly to a ring.

S- Tons of big juicy dank tropical fruits and peach and citrus. When it's cold the alcohol really isn't that noticeable but it comes out as it warms. You call smell the sweetness.

T- Similar to aroma, like drinking peach and mango juice, medium bitterness, pretty sweet but really finishes clean.
When it's cold this is a very dangerous beer as you don't really get that it's 11.5%.

O- This is one of the best beers I've ever had. Huge aromas and flavors and super drinkable for the high alcohol content and it comes in 6 packs at the typical more than reasonable Lagunitas price point. I hope this comes out every year in 6 packs from now on.

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Photo of DocJitsu
4.84/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden color with an off white head. It has a very clean, candied grapefruit bouquet. It has a wonderful grapefruit forward flavor. There's a nearly perfect mouthfeel for the style. It's very complimentary to the flavors. No discernible alcohol warmth. This is a magnificent 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 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.

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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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