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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: 1,644
Photo of moundbz
4.56/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Not too much foam and a good color, nice smell but not overpowering. Real smooth taste with an aftertaste that lasts forever. smooth in the mouth as well,

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Photo of smakawhat
3.97/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a Spiegelau IPA glass.

Deep thick orange amber body color, slightly opaque with slow rising fine carbonation. Thick rich vanilla yellow three finger head. Billows up with a big soapy thickness, but pops pretty quickly. Thick bubbled and pill like lacing, and lots of fine swiss cheese head appearances.

Aroma manages quite a bit of hop mix. Dank and sweet earth. Lots of weed like aromas and sticky malt sweetness, with some lingering tropical hop qualities that bring out some more sweetness. Slightly hints towards tangerine and pineapple angles a bit as well. Sticky hints of honey and caramel going in the mix a bit large.

Palate is quite an adventure. Very large sweet notes of tangerine and honey on first sip. Lingering bitterness with more tropical mid palate flavors but also with some big earthy tones. Finishes a bit astringent and deep, with a syrupy mouthfeel that brings out quite a bit of caramel and almost toffee like sugars. Dank aromas follow the aftertaste and linger, nearly smokey as well.

Great varied hop profile mix but far too sweet for my tastes, definitely tastes like an IPA going for broke and crazy.

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Photo of larryarms847
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful sunburst golden orange with a pillowy head of slightly off-white foam that sticks.

Papaya, guava, mango, peach, grass, pine, citrus, dank. So citrusy, tropical, and dank and quite incredible.

Mango, guava, citrus, pineapple, slightly piney, simple caramelly malt backbone, and more dankness.

Medium-bodied, medium carbonation, tropical, piney, dank, resinous.

Overall, a very quaffable brew that really packs a punch in both aroma and flavor. A home run for Lagunitas.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

In a snifter the beer was a copper color. There was a small off-white head that left a bit of lace.
A strong dank, pine aroma. Some sweet malt lurking.
Dank doesn't begin to describe the taste. Healthy hit of pine. Caramel in the background.
Very oily and resinous in the mouth.
I loved it!

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.45/5  rDev +3%
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 mucsusn
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My goodness.....Dank and resinous....if you are a hophead, this is the shiznit! My first sip was like......WTF......then by the end of the first 12 oz., it started to make sense. No way to really describe that, other than it works for you or it doesn't. This is not a middle of the road brew. Which is nice.

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Photo of puck1225
4.46/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the draft into a snifter. A beautiful rich deep gold, nice head and lacing. Very pungent citrus smell and some floral notes as well. The taste vas of oranges and grapefruit with lemon and vanilla. Nicely sweet with subdued bitterness. Excellent!

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Photo of biboergosum
4.21/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle, called "The Waldos' Special Ale" on my instance. I had no idea that this was tied to 4/20, or I might have cracked this one this past Wednesday instead!

This beer pours a clear, medium copper amber colour, with two chubby-ass fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly ecru head, which leaves a bit of sudsy coral reef lace around the glass as it slowly and evenly sinks away.

It smells of rather dank pine resin, gritty and grainy caramel malt, a prominent flinty stoniness, muddled domestic citrus fruit, free-range discount store brown sugar, and some further leafy, grassy, and certainly perfumed floral hoppiness. The taste is bready and crackery caramel malt, a still fairly musty and kind of rotting green piney essence, hot-seeming pedestrian orange and white grapefruit peel, wet earthy chalk, some mixed tropical fruit, and further leafy, weedy (yeah), and floral hop bitters - the well-elevated booze keeping its respectful, if not exactly court-mandated distance.

The bubbles are fairly stringent in the assumption of their prescribed duties, via their complex frothiness (natch), the body a solid middleweight, with aspirations of punching up a class, and more or less smooth, if you just ignore that bristling alcohol about to punch through the paper facade. It finishes off-dry, lots of citrus, dank pine, and booze-addled caramel abounding.

Every new release from these guys purports to be something new and innovative, and it sort of is, usually, as well as just being a riff on what they are already famous for - I've already detailed it above, so I shan't be repeating it, but y'all know what I'm blathering about. Here, everything is dialed up to 11 (and a half, literally), and hah, my hearing and tastebuds freaking love it! As for killing a 20-dollar sixer (cheap, around here)? Maybe not.

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Photo of WesMantooth
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Outstanding beer. Has that signature Lagunitas malt profile. A distinct musty fruit. Definitely a little more dank/medicinal green than the other hoppy offerings, but there still isn't a bunch of separation from Sumpin' Extra, Hop Stoopid, and Sucks. I think it tastes like a combo of Sucks and Hop Stoopid. Which is not a bad thing. My biggest knock is the abv. Wish it was a tad lower. It probably is their best imperial, especially if you consider the $11 6 pack price tag.

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Photo of AmeriCanadian
4.39/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Excited to try this one. Look is honestly somewhat pedestrian for a IIPA. Clear, golden-copper, with airy white head that dissipates quickly and leaves a little sticky lacing. But the smell is off the charts. Powerful pine resin, dank and musky, sweet tropical fruit, bright tea leaf, biscuity cracker, and alcohol vapors. On the tongue the first thing I notice is the booziness. This is a bomb of a beer, unabashedly boozy, but I'm not complaining. The taste doesn't quite live up to the smell, but it's very good. Starts brown sugar sweet, with a deep, dark citrus profile. Think grapefruit sprinkled with sugar that's been left in the sun and allowed to carmelize a little bit. Malt and hops tugging against one another initially, but the hops quickly win out, and a thick, long-lasting bitterness takes over. Very grassy. Notes of tobacco and spearmint. But the sharp bitterness lingers forever, more than any beer I've had recently. The feel is absolutely luscious. About as thick, heavy, and boozy as an IPA can get. Sticky, coating, resinous. Looking at the individual components, it's a shame the look is so un-noteworthy, because every other aspect of the beer is so big and bold. An earlier reviewer made a barleywine reference, and I think that's spot on: this beer feels aged and matured in ways that push the appealing limits of normal IPA rules. This is a real experience beer that you need to be focused on and thinking about while consuming, because it's complex and delicious. In other respects that makes for a once every now-and-again kind of appeal. I'm going to need to be in a specific mood to drink this beer, but when I'm there I'll really enjoy it. Fantastic slow-sipper.

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Photo of KenChuck
4.37/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: look mang this guy I know, Jesse, came over and had a like 8 or 9 of these. It was pretty cool cause Jesse usually sucks.

Smell: Dank, in a good way.

Taste: Taste how my armpit smells some time. But I like it.

Feel: after 4 I hit Jesse in the face with a can of Kodiak and he didn't feel nothing. True story.

Overall: i knew these guys who taught their dog how to smoke. It was pretty cool. This beer somehow made me feel as cool as that smoking dog.

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Photo of Kendo
4.18/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from the bottle into a Piraat tulip/snifter-type glass. Body is clear tangerine-orange with a half-finger of whitish head.

S: Brown sugary malt underneath the dank, citrusy hops. Boozy in the nose too.

T: All sorts of fruit come to mind at various times - tropical fruits like mango or papaya; citrus like oranges, tangerines and grapefruit and a more herbal, green taste. Underneath it all must be a shit-ton of malt; I'm getting brown sugar, honey and caramel malt for the sweetness. Finishes balanced between sweet malt and hops. Heat from the high ABV is noted on the back end of things as well.

M: Full-bodied with a slick, oily feel to it.

O: To be honest, I'm not as awestruck by this beer as some (many?) seem to be. A tad too boozy, and full-bodied and slick, it drinks in many ways more like a barleywine than a DIPA. I'm impressed by the tropical fruit salad of hops, but for this style, I think it's just too sweet and the booze is too prominent.

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Photo of oldn00b
4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a huge bitter bomb - much akin to Bell's oracle. Huge hop presence with a big malt bill brings a big lush sweetness. It's a nice huge west cost dipa that hides the abv well, but i don't thinks it's a 95.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.06/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden/amber color with a moderate head. The lace retains fairly well before disappearing towards the end.
A fresh grapefruit aroma hits the nose. Other tropical fruit abound. A strong scent of hop oils and a hint of alcohol.
Fruity, citric, syrupy and sweet on the tongue; the sweetness also provided by caramel malts. This is balanced by a strong piny and earthy hops mouthfeel that leaves a bitter finish and aftertaste. The alcohol is strong but not overpowering. Medium to full bodied; not a sipper but neither a chugger.
This is a strong drink! It is bittersweet. I liked it overall.

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Photo of Stevem68
4.23/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a golden coppery color. Aroma is super resiny hops with citrus notes. Flavor is really dense resiny pine hops. Had notes of citrus peel with a touch of bitterness. Has a crisp dry finish and overall this is really nice, especially at this abv level.

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

This beer represents for me both the best and worst things about Lagunitas, which happens to be the same thing. All of their hoppy beers taste REALLY similar. That's kind of a bummer but it's also good because I love that taste. This beer is like Sucks or Hop Stoopid (two of my favorite beers) jacked up past the socially acceptable limit. Huge flavor in this beer, it's like Lagunitas house flavor extract. Too much alcohol for me, I prefer their lower ABV hoppy beers. nb

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Photo of clayrock81
4.24/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a clear, golden body with one-finger head that didn't stick around too long. Aroma not only gave off some oil and resin along with citric but grapefruit and hint of pineapple sweetness. Taste mirrors the aroma as a light-bodied, smooth, easy drinking beer that is dangerously chuggable gives off inter-balanced notes of oily, piney, bitter citric hops along with notes of grapefruit, pineapple and caramel sweetness, all of which are complemented by a dry, crisp finish. There are better IPAs but those are few and far between.

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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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Photo of MJSFS
4.69/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Bottle dated 88th day of 2016 poured into a DFH snifter. L: clear blood orange with a finger and a half of white foamy head and patented Lagunitas crusty crystallized lacing S: sweet citrus, dank onions, slight pine T: sweet juicy grapefruit, onion/garlic, strong malt backbone, lingering pine bitterness F: thick and chewy with a moderate alcohol burn, IBU's left my tongue a little raw like sour patch kids O: an extreme west coast style IPA that hits on all the right notes. I'm blown away that this magnitude of beer is available for $12 for a 6 pack. ABV is incredibly well hidden on the nose and palette. Only complaint is this is "highly-limited".

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Photo of Beermeister69
4.81/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The aroma starts as citrusy but then turns to a hop Pungent aroma it is a very smooth tasting extremely hoppy powerful beer than initially taste like it's going to be overpowering but then Chills right out into a hopsicle goodness
Definitely lucky to find this but the only two sixpacks they had

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

Big dank dipa right here ! Appearance is lovely glowing golden orange almost hazy . . . aromas are tropical and citrus. Sweet and sugary in taste but still very well crafted. This beer is getting huge reviews and I can't deny this is a terrific dipa. I can't rate it as high as some but glad I tried it.

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Photo of Dragginballs76
4.32/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours - cloudy orange golden color nice white head quickly dissipates not much lacing.

Smell - Very nice grapefruit and orange peel very pine sticky smell. dank tropical fruit smell. hint of alcohol but not much.

Taste - nice hints of grapefruit and sweet fruit sightly bitter the 11.5% ABV is well hidden maybe too much!! Very nice double IPA well balance of fruit and dank hops.

Feel - Medium body slightly bitter little dry on the end.

Overall - This hits it out of the park, I could drink this quickly and it would sneak up fast!!!

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

That sticky icky icky!!! This beer is dank! Hoppy, resinous, piney, fruity, and strong. So glad they started bottling this because I never got to try this in the past and always wanted to. Get ready for a punch in the mouth with this one!! I'm a big fan of Lagunitas and IPAs especially. This was certainly a treat for me this year. Salud!

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

$10 and some change at Liquor Shed. Served warm.

As expected, serving warm produced a massive head of foam. Lacing is only so so.

Massive quantities of hop aromas in the smell producing extremely dank bitter notes. I sense the usual suspects like tropical fruit..pineapple, mango, grapefruit of course. Pretty much all of them bow down to Mr. Dank and squire onion.

Wow. It doesn't taste anything like the smell; I'm kidding of course. Tastes exactly like. With the added attraction of the noticeable abv.

Full bodied as a Double/Triple IPA can get. Smooth as silk mouthfeel.

I will certainly buy this again. The Lagunitas goal succeeds!

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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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The Waldos' Special Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4.32 out of 5 based on 1,644 ratings.
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