The Waldos' Special Ale | Lagunitas Brewing Company

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The Waldos' Special AleThe Waldos' Special Ale
2,215 Ratings
The Waldos' Special AleThe Waldos' Special Ale

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.30%

Availability: Spring

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

Herbaceous. Botanical. Dank. Resinous.

Added by largadeer on 04-21-2011

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,215 |  Reviews: 519
Photo of EastBay_Nick
4.75/5  rDev +10%

Photo of Zbeetleman
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of Anonymous1
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of akang
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of ebrifan
4/5  rDev -7.4%

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

Was pleasantly surprised to see this on tap at a local wine bar.

Pours a slightly hazy and bright gold color with a pretty nice off white head.

Aromas are nice. Very resiny, with notes of sweet citrus, some mango, and pineapple.

Taste is pretty sweet up front. Notes of hard candies, sugars, and creamy malts. Finish is really resiny, with mangos, pineapple, and some hints of bitter grapefruits.

Mouthfeel is smooth, thick, full, with nice crisp carbonation.

Overall, a very nice DIPA. Leans too much too the sweet side for my liking. With some toned down malt sweetness, a more dry feel, this would be top notch. This is still no slouch as is, and I'm being a bit nit picky, because this is quite nice.

EDIT : From reading some other reviews, it sounds like this beer is dated, and past it's prime. Still very good, and I can tell that this would have been excellent really fresh.

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Photo of codynevels
3.75/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of GeckoPunk
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of JTomczak
4/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of bouncepass
4/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of james582
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of hit728
3.75/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of zestar
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Jas45678
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of NathanMcIntyre
5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of BigLittleHokis
4.75/5  rDev +10%

Photo of ehammond1
3.59/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Clear dark, burnt orange. Creamy, near-white head. A sticky beer.

Sweet crystal and caramel malts, biting citrus character, and some pine. Very hoppy, but also balanced by lots of sweet malt character as well.

The flavor is similar to the aroma. Sweet caramel and pine notes combine nicely, with biting, stinging citrus notes. Sweet biscuits and floral.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Tasty, but I wish Churchill's had served this beer a couple months earlier, as this beer was brewed to be enjoyed on 4/20. Perhaps I would have enjoyed it more if I'd had it 2 more months fresh.

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Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been drinking this one now for over 6-7 years now, but getting around to a written review now that it has made it's way into bottles. Drinking this one bottled 12 days ago.

Classic house Laginitas profile but at this fresh, it hasn't turned into that overly sweet malty flavor all their hoppy offerings turn into after a month or so.

This one is straight up Marijuana and fresh squeezed orange juice & Apricots. Hop BOMB without being offensively so for sure. Very well done for the 11.5% ABV. Nose & taste tell you this is a big DIPA but somehow the booziness (which is there) fools you into thinking this is closer to 9%. Wow. Bright west coast citrus profile with Pine in the back, as they typically do.

This is an "A" beer for sure. Hop Stoopid on steroids, while tasting much better. Very highly Recommended.

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Photo of DenverBigRed
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of MJCVII
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of KevT
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of x37x
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of sblanton83
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of George1799
4.75/5  rDev +10%

Photo of kojevergas
3.37/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Served on-draught into a pilsner glass last night at Sunset Beer Co. Cost was $8.00. Reviewed from notes. Expectations were high given the brewery and this beer's current ratings.

A: Pours a half finger head of beige colour, decent cream, pretty decent thickness, and awful (~10 second) retention. Body colour is a clear tropical orange-amber. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. An arresting attractive vibrant hue. I can't wait try it. A damned impressive appearance for the style - excluding the lack of good retention.

Sm: Tropical fruit - including juicy citrus. Evocative floral hop character. Complex and deep. Quite inviting. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable. Light oily hop character. Some grapefruit zest. A moderate strength aroma. Some subtlety. A lovely aroma overall for an (imperial) IPA.

T: Lots of juicy citrus fruit and floral hop character. Gushing fruit - mango, tangerine, clementine, bright currant. Alcohol is noticeable but it isn't hot or boozy. Just a touch imbalanced. The usual distinctive Lagunitas hop oil note is present, but a bit more tame than I expected - certainly more restrained than in Sucks or IPA. There's a lot of flavour here. Adequate pale malts provide needed countering sweetness and a strong body. Nectary and sugary. Not piney at all. I'd prefer it with more oily character. Tasty, but the lack of balance is far from ideal. Not a lot of depth or subtlety, but good complexity. I'd like to see them bring the ABV down while retaining the flavours.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Lightly oily. Clean. Crisp. Good presence on the palate. Good thickness. Good carbonation. Smacky.

Dr: I had high expectations for this one, and while it doesn't disappoint, it also doesn't impress. Quite downable even if the noticeable alcohol does bring drinkability down a bit. Another good but not great beer from Lagunitas. I'd get it again, but honestly I may prefer Lagunitas IPA just for simple easy drinking. I wouldn't want more than three of these in a single night. Not worth seeking out, but very worthwhile if you chance across it.


04/15/17 2017 vintage on-draught at the Ginger Man, Manhattan:


04/24/18 2018 vintage bottle (11.3%):

Aggressive as hell with evident boozy warmth. Palate-scraping resinous and piney hop character mingles with an impression of warm fruit - pineapple and subdued mango. Pale malt holds down the fort, but I imagine there's crystal malt or caramalt in there as well to counteract the hop bitterness. It's less imbalanced than its high ABV might make on think, finishing with unpleasant bitterness.

Lacks the hop pungency one would anticipate in an 11.30% ABV. Is the point here to emphasize alcohol or hops? Lagunitas seems to tend towards the former.

Okay, I'll say it: it's a bit of a chore to drink. I wouldn't want more than one in a sitting, and even one 12oz bottle is a bit much. Sure, it's less undrinkable than one would expect an 11.3% ABV imperial IPA to be, but it's still noticeably boozy and the hops aren't expressive enough to justify it.

I don't dislike it, but it grows unpleasant as one forays deeper and deeper into the bottle. They've got to tone down the ABV and dial up the hops to make this really worthwhile. Difficult to drink.

One thing I will say to its credit that doesn't affect my rating is its sheer bang for the buck...a sixer ran me $11.69 USD plus tax, which isn't too shabby factoring in its massive 11.3% ABV. Lagunitas remains one of the best value breweries on Earth.


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The Waldos' Special Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.32 out of 5 with 2,215 ratings