The Waldos' Special Ale | Lagunitas Brewing Company

405 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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 405 | Ratings: 1,828
Photo of ryan1788a5
4.21/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Amber-orange color with great clarity. Head settles shortly. Tiny dots of lacing.

S: Tropical juice blend of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, blood orange, peach. Really dank with a strong pine and resin backing too. Big hop profile and lots of esters. Flashes of passion fruit and cherry. Whiff of alcohol lets you know this ain't no sissy beer. Sturdy caramel malt scents.

T: Juicy blend of passion fruit, mango, tangerine, pineapple, et al. Earth and pine. Oily resin slowly clamps down, like a vice grip being slowly turned. Bitterness gradually builds. Warming booze, though it isn't what I'd call hot. Estery and fruity. Toasty malt base with undercurrents of caramel. Hop oils and resin on the lingering finish.

M: Big, thick body. So chewy you could cut it with a fork and knife. Coating, though the prickling carbonation lifts it a little. Plenty of warming alcohol soothes all the way down into the pit of your chest.

O: Hoooo Daddy! This is a humongous double IPA. You know it when you smell it, when you taste it, and when it hits your stomach. Thing is, it's so delightfully fruity, sticky and hoppy that you can't help but take big greedy swigs. Then it hits you in the head. It delivers a big dose of hedonistic hop pleasure, then the soothing alcohol puts you in a state of mellow transcendence. Not unlike smoking a fat blunt rolled with the finest sticky icky, or so I'm told.

 1,439 characters

Photo of RyeSoSerious
4.31/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Golden-amber in color, slightly hazy, and standard pour yields 1/2" bubbly white head that reduces fairly quickly to thin ring with no lacing.

S: Fruit punch with notes of tangerine, citrus rind, pineapple, mango, and maybe just a hint of stone fruit.

T: Tropical flavors initially quickly giving way to a blast of citrus and some very dank/piney flavors on the finish tempered by just a hint of caramel sweetness from the malt. The citrusy and dank hop flavors really start to take over as the beer warms.

F: Creamy, slick, oily, mouth-coating body really sticks to the tongue. Nice and generally expected given the alcohol.

O: Very nice and one of my favorites from Lagunitas to be sure. Hits all the right notes, especially considering it is also known as Waldo's 420. Surprisingly drinkable given the abv.

 817 characters

Photo of WanderingFool
4.3/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The Waldos pours a clear light amber, with a small creamy head on top. The foam leaves behind a few spots on the glass as it dissipates. The aroma isn't as strong as I thought it would be. Notes of orange citrus, tangerine, and pine.

Each sip of this smooth chewy beer has moderate to full carbonation. The flavor is packed with bitter orange and tangerine citrus, mango, and pine. Sweet malts try to balance the bitter. It finishes somewhat medicinal from the alcohol. Once gone the bitter citrus lingers on the palate. If you like big, bitter IPAs seek this out.

 566 characters

Photo of citizencane
4.39/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dank. Hoppy but balanced and thick. Would never guess the alcohol content is as high as it is. Not an all-time favorite but still delicious and not by any means a letdown even with the hype.

 193 characters

Photo of HorseheadsHopHead
4.26/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look: Mostly clear, slightly hazy, deep gold to light copper color. Sticky, eggshell white head with surprising head retention and lacing for the abv.

Smell: Dankness, garlic/onion, peach, pineapple, sugar cookie, a bit of alcohol warmth.

Taste: Tons of tropical fruit upfront. Apricots, peaches, pineapple, mango. Lots of malt sweetness, but fairly nicely balanced. Biscuit, sugar cookie, and honey from the malts. Oat-like. Finishes with some lip-smacking residual sweetness, but there is just enough of a lingering hop finish to prevent it from being cloying. Dankness and onion balance it out just enough. The alcohol is a slight warmth near the finish, but still very well hidden.

Feel: Full-bodied, but not excessively thick or chewy. Very slick and creamy on the mid-palate, with a slightly sweet but balanced finish.

Overall: For its high abv being well hidden, this is one of the best TIPAs I've had. Comparable to Stone Enjoy By, particularly for its hop profile. Another winner from Lagunitas.

 1,019 characters

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.

 782 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.31/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a hazy, gold color with a foamy, fluffy, off-white head. Aromas of resinous pine, wet grass, tart grapefruit, subtle pepper spice, and floral highlights. Flavors are super dank and sticky hops characteristics forward, loaded with notes of pine, wet grass, sticky sweet grapefruit, and tropical fruit highlights. Hop heads rejoice! Bold, big, slick body, with a juicy, sticky aftertaste. Slick, smooth, slightly dry finish with a solid resinous linger and some subtle heat from the ABV. Very solid beer!

 555 characters

Photo of FriedSlug
4.31/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A light copper colored beer with a slightly yellowish head that leaves spots of lacing. The smell is malty sweet with ripe citrus and pine with a hint of onion. The taste is mainly orange with a pleasant sweetness and a piney bitter finish. This beer is very well balanced and the high ABV is hidden well. Very nice brew.

 321 characters

Photo of Sheppard
3.84/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A little darker than the IPAs I'm used to drinking. It smelled nice. There's a ton of tropical fruit and berries up front. Followed by some very dank spicy earthiness that sticks on your tongue. The first sip was the best sip by far though. In subsequent sips and as the beer warmed, the alcohol shone through more and more. This beer is hot. It became difficult to finish this beer, which is never a good feeling. Overall, it had some good qualities, but it seemed like window dressing, since the bad qualities became more prevalent after our introduction.

 557 characters

Photo of SHDoyle
3.81/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Description: Honey colored and a little bit cloudy with minimal white head and lacing. Smell is dank, resinous and almost "skunky" but not in that nasty, Heineken-esque way. Also underlying tropical fruit notes. Taste is thoroughly dank up front but that eventually gives way to a bitter finish, but it wasn't necessarily a pleasant, hoppy bitter. It might have been Nelson Sauvin hops, but the bitterness to me was almost a bit acrid and off-putting. The conspicuous alcohol presence may have contributed to what was not a pleasant finish for me. Finally, a bit of onion funk on the finish. Lot going on with the taste. Mouthfeel was nothing special: medium carbonation and body.

Suggested food pairing: Vanilla ice cream. Something sweet to balance out the wild flavors.

If you like this beer then you should also try: ReDANKulous

Overall: 3.75 (This beer is good but I would not likely drink it again) This one really has me all over the place. The smell and initial taste really indicated that this was going to be something special, but the way it finished really threw me. In fairness, I'm just not a big fan of that type of hops so I don't want to blame it all on the beer. But it really seemed overly bitter to me. Also, the high ABV was not a plus with this; the beer was hot and could definitely be toned down a bit. It felt so close to being an incredible beer, but in the end I'd have to say that this was a disappointment. I have a few more so I'll try it again and hopefully it'll grow on me.

 1,526 characters

Photo of RacerX5k
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Finished my second sixer yesterday this beer is really starting to impress more. Learned that poured into my big 12 oz tulip (as opposed to my 5 oz snifter) enhances the look, smell and taste. Also cuts down that herbaceous hop flavor that I've never cared for ...

Beautiful, opaque bright orange, creamy head doesn't hang around long due to the alcohol and hop oils I suppose. Big aroma followed by even bigger flavor, bitter grapefruiit and orange, little onion and garlic, pine and herbs. Long lasting very bitter puckering finish. Thick, syrupy, smooth and satisfying exactly how I like my double IPAs.

Big, beautiful, bitter beer.

 641 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.41/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a medium golden amber with copper notes and a fine half finger white head with great retention and lacing. Aroma of mild bready malt, big time dankness and onion, tropical fruit and citrus. Flavor is lightly caramel, somewhat sweet malt, tropical fruit, piney, dank and citrus hops, mild onion, amazing tropical fruit and resinous mixed flavor hop finish that lingers pleasantly for a while. Medium bodied with a great creaminess. A great, complex imperial IPA, with a varied, but integrated spectrum of hop flavors, big tropical fruit and lighter citrus. The onion flavor is less noticeable in the taste then in the aroma and adds the perfect odd note to the dank flavors. A dangerous IPA that invites repeated sips to identify flavors, but the ABV is so well covered it is necessary to sip judiciously. Lagunitas delivers another big, flavorful IIPA here. Meets all the hype expectations. Great. Hope this will be a seasonal.

 933 characters

Photo of skeeterloveshops
3.75/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Disappointed. I consider triple IPAs my favorite genre of beers, and I would never consider this to be "world class." Certainly not in the same category as Younger, Exponential hoppiness, triple sunshine, or even notorious. It isn't bad by any means, as there are many bad 10% and up IPAs out there, but this maybe borderlines outstanding to me. A little bit of a mess. Not nearly as clean as the aforementioned brews. It's large distribution in april is the best part about this one. For a stock triple, not bad.

 513 characters

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

A: A medium orange amber with a nice white head on top.

S: Super dank with some orange peel, pine, and tropical fruit.

T: Taste follows, with notes of orange, pineapple, pine resin, and a touch of an herbal/earthy flavor. Some nice malt sweetness to balance out the considerable hop flavor.

M: Medium thick in body, with a slight syrup texture. Carbonation is plentiful, and a slightly dry finish. This beer keeps begging you to sip again.

O: Hop hop flavor, nice bitterness, and some sweetness to round it out. Pretty awesome.

 538 characters

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

12 oz bottle. Pours a nice Amber colour with a creamy white head. Aroma is a little grassy with a distinct grapefruit presence, quite citrusy. The citrus is also present in the taste and it’s neither too sweet nor too bitter. Light to medium body, lively carbonation, and a thin smooth mouth feel. Overall quite nice.

 319 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.85/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours out hazy and golden, with a fluffy head; a few spots of lace hang around

Smell: Overwhelmingly dank, with a sweet onion and tropical fruit character; mango, citrus pith and resinous hemp

Taste: Brace the tastebuds, as this beer assaults from the outset, bringing a bitter, resinous melange of mango, hemp and grapefruit pith; an oniony aspect takes over through the middle; while a honeyed sweetness struggles to build, underneath, it is not up to the task as the bitterness leaves the tongue worn out by the end of the bottle

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, sticky and moderately carbonated

Overall: Well, this DIPA tests the manhood of your tastebuds; some folks seem to really like it but the guy next to me at the bar said he would struggle to drink more than one and I would have to agree

 813 characters

Photo of mfnmbvp
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, no bottled on date, but the local shop just got more of this stuff in today. Was fortunate enough to grab 2 singles.

Poured into a Lagunitas mason jar.

A - Burnt sienna orange / golden body; typical color of A Little Sumpin' Sumpin' Ale. Finger or so of off-white head that leaves decent lacing. Semi-translucent. Appears adequately carbonated.

S - Aroma is big, bitter, & boozy. Big notes of piney resinous hops. Oily, somewhat harsh. Notes of alcohol heat from the high abv. Huge dank hops escape from this one the second it is uncapped.

T - Taste follows the nose: big, bitter, & boozy. Huge piney & resinous hop bitterness, very West Coast style IPA tasting. Big notes of pine, grapefruit, oranges, mango, peach, mixed berries. Very floral & fruity, with minimal alcohol presence. Huge grapefruit / citrus rind bitterness on the end.

M - A full-bodied beer, crisp carbonation, with big lingering resinous piney hop dankness. Dry & bitter. Very easy-drinking stuff for the high 11.50% abv.

Overall, a new classic from Lagunitas. Will definitely be a seasonal staple from here on in.

Lagunitas The Waldos' Special Ale -----4/5.

 1,165 characters

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

On tap at Millers Pub downtown Chicago. Thin head but wonderful aromas. Strong hops but not bitter in any definition. Very fine selection but not obviously a brew you can bang down all night or you won't make it home.

 220 characters

Photo of bound4er
4.48/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours to an amber appearance with a two finger white head. Laces well. Smells frickin fantastic - think dank earth meets sweet citrus with just a kiss of that signature Lagunitas alcohol-laced malt bill. Taste is almost on par with the nose - big and bold pine, citrus and creamy alcohol sweetness that is not obtrusive at all but actually adds to the great taste. Feel is big and rich with low to moderate carbonation. Lagunitas has hit this one out of the park. Well done!!

 475 characters

Photo of zimm421
4.21/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep orange to amber with a huge fluffy off white head, with touches of orange. The nose is strong. Dank, citrus and pine play the lead roles here, and there is a note of alcohol as it warms. The taste is slightly herbal at first, followed quickly by the dank, pine and citrus. There is a slight alcohol note on the back-end, along with the malt sweetness, but it isn't too distracting from the rest of the beer. Overall, it's an overwhelmingly flavorful and aromatic beer. It's not mean to be something subtle or nuanced, and it definitely is neither of those. Something worth trying a few times, but by no means a go to beer.

 635 characters

Photo of oberon
4.27/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours into a small tulip glass a clear burnt orange infused medium golden with a thinner but creamy-like white head atop.Big citric hops and vidalia onion aromas,tangerine and mango juicy notes,the onion is more pronounced on the palate to me.Sweet onion up front with tangerine notes on the palate and then the onion once again peaks thru in the finish.I get a hint of white pepper a to go along with some sugary alcohol sweetness and sweet dough to round out the non hop part of the beer.Very interesting,the onion flavors are big but the tropical fruits are just as big and the hop profile comes together very well.The sweetness does get bigger as you drink more but it should for a beer this big,fantastic and a good way.

 740 characters

Photo of Beanpole37
4.69/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

I am a big fan of big beers especially imperial IPAs and Waldo's does not disappoint. Pours clean not cloudy with a nice thick head. The heady citrusy hop aromas grab you by the nostrils and don't let go. The orange colored liquid feels smooth and luxurious to the palate with complex hop notes but not too bitey. It finishes sweet not bitter, similar to a DF Burton Baton in it's taste and finish. Loved it! Oh by the way, ABV over 11 % so caveat emptor. It will kick your ass!

 487 characters

Photo of Kazahkstan
4.71/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 12oz bottle into an IPA glass.
Look: Pours a hazy golden orange with a thin white head.
Smell: Wow, who lit a joint? Smells like dank Sativa, bright citrus, grass, and alcohol.
Taste: Also tastes like dank sativa. Noticeably bitter, and sour, with strong grapefruit flavor. Finishes dry with a taste of grass.
Feel: Very dry but hard to detect the abv of this, it sneaks up on you!
Overall: This beer is fantastic, one of the best I've ever had. Lagunitas hits it out of the park again with this iteration of Waldo's. It goes even better with a bowl.

 559 characters

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

Brew date: March 28th, 2016.

This brew was hard to find.
It's excellent, although not exceptional.

Poured a clear copper red color in a tulip with a 2F head.
Carbonation bubbles from the bottom.

I expected a stronger aroma. However, the aroma was quite good:
earthy, citrus.

The taste is excellent. For 100 IBUs, the taste and the bitterness are quite balanced.
This beer doesn't seem over-the-top hoppy. Superb balance in the flavor: tropical fruit, citrus,
and earthy.

The finish is mild bitterness. I was expecting more carbonation and hops.

Overall, an excellent DIPA. It doesn't stand out like Heady or Maharaja. It is well crafted, and worth looking for.

 667 characters

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

Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a small white head. Leaves some good lacing.

The aroma brings lots of sweet citrus balanced out by some bitter pine.

On the flavor I get lots of citrus and tropical fruits. Sweet orange and tangerine notes, with plenty of mango and honeydew melon. Finish is piney and nicely bitter.

Feel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. A bit sticky and syrupy. But very smooth.

Overall a very good DIPA that is a bit sweeter than I would prefer, but the flavors are great and nicely balanced.

 533 characters

The Waldos' Special Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4.32 out of 5 based on 1,828 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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