The Waldos' Special Ale | Lagunitas Brewing Company

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: 1,653
Photo of BranfordBound
4.36/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pouring from the 12oz bottle Waldos rolls out a darker shade of amber with honey hues, there's a slight haze to it, but the beer is still transparent. A small one finger head of densely packed bubbles slowly builds up and leaves spotty lacing.

The smell on this one is just awesome, there's a wallop of sweet tropical fruits, lots of pineapple. You also get big hop notes throughout: resin, dankness, and hops oils are so pronounced. It starts very sweet and malty, you get a lot of the fruit here, mangos and pineapple at the forefront. This bleeds into the raw hop flavors with a lingering resin and pine note. The finish is bold, there's some heat from the alcohol as well as a sucker punch of bitterness. It finishes somewhat clean, but the hop oils stick to the mouth for sometime after the sip.

Overall this is a big, bold, hoppy beer that pulls no punches. It is teetering into the Triple IPA category and does so confidently. It is by far one of the best DIPAs I've had that has topped 11% ABV. While I am much more of a fan of lighter bodied IPAs, I am thoroughly impressed by this one.

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Photo of DaverCS
4.44/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy orange color with 1/2 a finger of a white foamy head. Retention ring around the edge of the glass. Decent lacing.

Aroma is an absolute tropical bomb! So munch mango, grapefruit, pineapple, and generic citrus notes. Totally hop-centric with some nice pine character as well. Alcohol is detected in the aroma.

Taste is big and boisterous. Feel is thick and pretty juicy. The beer transitions from tropical and juicy to dank with onion and garlic notes. Moderate-high hop bitterness with a present alcohol heat on the finish with slight undertones throughout the sip.

Overall, this is a monster of a beer. It's a hop bomb that is all over the map: citrus, pine, tropical, and dank. For me, it's a bit thick and syrupy, but that's just personal preference I suppose. I don't see this pairing well with most foods, but I suppose something relatively bland would work, such as roasted chicken and white rice. The star of the show is the beer and all of the varying hop characters. It gets a 89/100.

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Photo of drew42e
4.03/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Triple IPA from Lagunitas pours dark straw color. Aroma is dankness personified. Taste is floral and overripe pineapple, and dank. Pretty hot the 11.5% is not only evident it' affects my rating a little. Good beer, I think I liked last years version better which was a little smoother.

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

2016 bottle.

Look is clear and copper, with an off-white head a couple fingers tall.

Smell is bright, lots of pine and resinous hops. Some rich fruits, I get grapefruit and the wife gets guava. It's sweet and you can sense some malts toward the finish, but it's balanced with a huge hop load.

Taste is similar to smell, except the sweet malts are much more present than in the smell.

Feel is medium to full, I've had thinner stouts. It's real sticky and the multiple layers of bitterness show up throughout. Very chewy.

Overall, this is a pretty wild DIPA or triple, or whatever you want to call it. Everything is a little over the top, but it works for me. I'm sure the typical beer drinker will be overwhelmed, but to the more adventurous it's a real treat.

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

12 oz. bottle into a New Belgium snifter. Settles into a deep copper once in the glass. 2 fingers of bubbly, white foam initially that receded down to a lacing after a couple minutes. Good clarity. Huge aroma of dank pine, hops, watermelon, grapefruit, mango, oranges, and a hint of bubblegum. Monsterously sweet and juicy.
The taste is somehow even better than the aroma. All those same notes - grapefruit, pineapple, mango, oranges, pawpaws, etc. are present and just about as in-your-face as they could be. There's a resting, constant bitterness in there as well. Dank, marijuanaesque hops and pine provide for a good balance, although this one is more fruity than anything. There's an unmistakable boozy sweetness that tells you this is a big beer. No alcohol burn whatsoever, though. Incredibly well crafted.
Big, sticky, slightly syrupy mouthfeel. This beer drinks like a barleywine, and rightfully so. Gotta have somethin' in there to cover that 11.5%.

Overall, a big boy's beer, surely. I can't say anything bad about this one. Delicious all the way through.

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Photo of Hyptochrons
4.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

great orange golden appearance, a finger of white head leaves some spots of lacing.

nose is dankk nugget, getting a touch of tropical, pineapple maybe. definite orange and grapefruit presence, some pine resin and a bit of alcohol.

taste follows with a pleasant citrus blast upfront, very fresh tasting. good amount of malty sweetness balances the bitter pine flavor. wow this is a great one for the palate. very easy drinking for 11.5%! quality mouthfeel as well.

overall this is the best beer ive had from lagunitas, straight hop bomb in the most excellent way! bring on more 4.20 IPAs!!!

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Photo of ivehadthatbrew
4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look (4): A pretty amber/golden hue that is slightly hazy. A nice white frothy head that slowly disipates and sticks quite a bit to the edges of the glass.

Smell (4.5): An amazingly intoxicating tropical aroma is coming off this. The kind of tropical smells that remind of you fresh pineapples, mangos and oranges! There's a bit of piney caramel perhaps too. Easily one of the best IPA's I've ever smelled.

Taste (4): All of those tropical smells are in your face and very delicious upon the first sip. Then the maltInes that's in there helps with that huge bitterness a bit, but I'd still say this is more on the unbalanced, but delicious side.

Mouthfeel (4.25): Silky with a crispness that is also deceptively smooth. One of the better IPA's I've had mouthfeel wise. Medium plus to full bodied, a big lingering earwax like aftertaste kind of makes this taste a step back.

Overall (4): Call me a horrible person, but I want to age at least one of the bottles I got this year. I'm excited to see how it will turn out in a year from now!

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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 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 beantown_hopster
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

cracked for the sox patriots day game which is currently tied up, based juiced, kimbrell on the mound throwing 98. tensions are high.

L - a moderately translucent deep orange color, retains a slight head that lines the snifter. very nice.

S - the nose is outstanding! citrus and floral.

T - at first I thought it was too piney, odd since the nose was so citrus to me. as I got more into it you started peeling the layers of this beer like an onion, the floral and piney resin are on top but underneath there is the citrus, mango , sticky sweetness. A bitter aftertaste lingers.

MF - Low carb, full, rich, quite good for an 11abv beer.

O - A solid spring sipper that creeps up on you at 11% since its sticky, sweet and rich. There's so much going here, the sweet, the citrus, the pine/dank resin. It's... intense. I'll thoroughly enjoy the six pack throughout the spring, it being the "one hitter" series is kind of correct as I can't imagine putting down more than one in a sitting! Great beer though.

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Photo of Onemoresolo
4.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated 090 6 (March 30th, 2016) Poured into a fluted wine glass, since that seems to be what's clean and appropriate.

Look: Slightly hazy bright coppery orange. It glows!

Smell: Intense! I get whiffs of peaches, mangoes, citrus, pineapple, guava, cantaloupe, floral, and pine. Very dense.

Taste: All the above, plus a pronounced grapefruit flavor on the finish. Like the nose, this is flavor dense. There's a lot happening here, but it's cohesive and absolutely freakin' delicious. Not much in the way of malt, but it's definitely a hop head's (pipe?) dream.

Feel: Approaching full bodied and sticky as hell, this goes down smooth! Just enough prickly carbonation to make this 11.5% beer go down like juice. Mmm!

Overall: This beer is ridiculous! It is so friggin' dense with flavors and aromas that all work so well together. I will enjoy the heck out of this 6pk and anxiously await its return next year.

This is obviously a specialty beer @ 11.5%ABV, and I've rated it as such. As someone who generally prefers 5%-7%ABV brews, this was a rich and tasty treat. That said, I highly recommended this if you come across it in the cooler of your local store!

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Photo of Buck89
4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Hazy orange-amber color. Big smells of cannabis, citrus, cigar ash, earth, caramel. Huge dank, sticky, hoppy taste: resin, orange, pine, ash, earth, spicy rye, pine. Full-bodied but not sweet. great huge IIPA.

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Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.4/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Look is a lighter amber color. Very clear with an inch frothy white head.

The aroma is lots of tropical pineapple with notes of bubble gum. Smells intensely delicious.

Taste matches aroma. HUGE hop flavor. Bubblegum and citrus and pineapple. absolutely amazing.

Such a intense awesome beer. Tastes amazing.

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Photo of JISurfer
4.52/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Easily my favorite beer from Lagunitas. I like my IIPAs floral, citrusy, and piney. This hits on them all. Hope to find it on tap around here at some point. Nice to see that it's easy to find too.

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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 gustavmahler-09
4.72/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours dark golden, with one finger of head. Smell explodes while pouring and goes straight up the nose. Pine, lemons, lawn clippings, oranges and some sweeter fruit I can't name. One of the strongest smells I've had. Taste fulfills the promise of the smell. Strong pine, citrus flavors, and a slight taste and feel of honey that reminds me of Hopslam. Taste lingers delightfully. Feels very smooth and creamy, and the alcohol is not very obvious, so be careful. A great, delicious IPA.

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Photo of MisSigsFan
4.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Cracked this bad boy open and I'm immediately greeted with an outstanding aroma. Poured into my Lost Abbey teku. Pours a slightly cloudy golden color with a frothy white head. The smell is huge mango, guava, pineapple, and dank hops. Very sweet smelling as well. Taste is equally aromatic. Insane amount of tropical fruitiness. Really dank and slightly oniony. Not boozy at all. This is like Sucks on steroids. Mouthfeel is stickier than the stickiest icky. Carbonation is slightly low, but it works very well for the style. Overall, an absolutely world class Triple IPA. I grabbed a single yesterday and after having that one I had to go find a shop selling 6ers. At $13 to $14 this is one hell of a deal. Lagunitas is just killing it with the hops.

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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 K-Dog
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Everything about this beer is fantastic. Great orange and copper look to it. Citrusy smell and if you smell it close enough has a slight weed like aroma. Taste is just awesome especially for 11.5 percent. Most ipas of this strength taste more like a barley wine with devil dancer and double crooked tree coming to mind. Some how lagunitas made this beast to still taste like an ipa. And the price 11.99 a sixer are you kidding me. Hopslam cost 16.99 a sixer of you lucky. This is a much better value for such a superior beer. Hopefully this a yearly regular release. By this while u can. A word of caution. This is a dangerous beer. Drank 3 last night in about an hour and a half and woke up this morning with one of the worst hangovers I've had in quite awhile. You have been warned.

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

2016 release
~2 weeks since bottling

Appearance- Pours a deep golden, slight orange color. Clean and transparent. Half finger of white colored head, dissipates quickly. Lots of sticky alcohol legs and spotty head lacing.

Aroma- Sugary sweet tropical fruits, pineapple, mango. Tons of peach. Melon, and bright citrus notes. Substantial malty sweetness, sugary, slight alcohol.

Taste- Sweet melon, peach, pineapple, orange juice. Huge punch of dank, herbal hops, bitter and lingers far in the aftertaste. Syrupy sweetness and sugary malts. But the dank hops really fight it off to create a good balance.

Feel- For the style its a full feel, syrupy and sticky sweet, heavy in the mouth. Lower carbonation.

Overall- Intense and flavorful beer. Such a huge punch of bitterness, dankness. But in comes the sweet tropical notes and citrus, with a balancing malt body and sugary sweetness. Really glad i got to try this.

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Photo of NiceTaps
4.05/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle in a tulip glass.

Pours a translucent golden copper color, nearly clear. A fluffy head, slightly off-white, fades quickly and leaves small patches of lacing.

Smells of pine syrup, tropical fruits, and alcohol. In accordance with the name, the Waldos are definitely meeting at 420, ;-).

Pine resin and tropical fruit juice to start. Then some citrus to finish, slightly candied.

It's a full bodied brew although not malt heavy. Dry hoppy, not overly bitter. No alcohol burn. The flavors hang around for a while.

Leave it to Lags to get it right: a DIPA with flavor and feel without the sweet and booze bomb traits. Nice!

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Photo of superspak
4.32/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 3/28/2016. Pours slightly hazy golden orange color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense and fluffy off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of huge mango, melon, peach, pineapple, passion fruit, papaya, grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, orange peel, citrus rind, light pepper, pine, honey, spicy rye, bread, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Incredible aromas with awesome complexity and balance of juicy/dank citrus/tropical/pine hops and moderate bready malt notes; with great strength. Taste of huge mango, melon, peach, pineapple, passion fruit, papaya, grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, orange peel, citrus rind, light pepper, pine, honey, spicy rye, bread, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Good amount of pine/citrus rind/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of mango, melon, peach, pineapple, passion fruit, papaya, grapefruit, tangerine, lemon/orange rind, pine, spicy rye, bread, and herbal/floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of juicy/dank citrus/tropical/pine hops and moderate bready malt flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and minimal astringent hop flavors after the finish. Moderate dryness from bitterness that increases through the glass. Medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth, sticky/resinous, and lightly creamy/grainy/bready balanced mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is an incredible big imperial IPA! All around fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of juicy/dank citrus/tropical/pine hops and moderate bready malt flavors; and very smooth and dangerously easy to drink for the huge ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

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

Bottled March 28. Poured into a tulip glass.

L: Pours a deep clear golden with a short off-white head that quickly disappears. Splotchy lacing. Lots of tiny bubbles heading upward.

S: Very freshly mowed lawn with some apricot. The freshness of the smell is truly incredible for a bottled beer.

T: Citrus, apricot, mango, pine up front. A hint of alcohol in the middle, and drying at the end. Minimal bitterness. The alcohol isn't totally hidden, but I can't believe it's 11.5%.

F: Medium, a bit sticky. Plenty of carbonation.

O: Just outstanding. Fresh and flavorful, with its own identity.

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Photo of ocelot2500
4.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a hazy peach color with a tight, white head that leaves little bits of lacing.

Smells of bright, piny, and tropical hops.

Tastes of juicy hops layered over a well done malt backbone. Hops lead off with notes of grapefruit. pineapple, mango, apricot, and pine notes. Fairly bitter. Malts come next and add syrupy sweetness along with some caramel. Sweetness definitely balances out the bitterness. More hops add towards the end with more of a pine and herbal character. Finishes with a lingering, piny bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is a tasty DIPA and is very close to perfect in my book.

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The Waldos' Special Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4.32 out of 5 based on 1,653 ratings.
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