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: 1,652
Photo of beerbully
4.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into HF snifter

L-Copper, clear, 1/2 inch head.....not much retention, medium lacing

S-Bursting with dank, fruity, catty hops, some sweetness from the malts..........

T-similar to the nose.........sweet malts......dank, piney hops......more pine than the nose......some tropical fruit / honeysuckle sweetness........apricot.......some alcohol burn in the finish.....citrus rind bitter finish......

F-medium + body, starts sweet-turns hoppy-bitter finish with some alcohol burn.......resinous bitter finish

O-Big sweet hoppy DIPA that is more drinkable than it should be with the high ABV.......Look forward to this each year its released

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Photo of HopLover1
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a fantastic 3x! When these guys make a hoppy special release beer they always hit the mark. Some of their offerings tend to be on the malty side. This one in particular is probably the hoppiest 11+% beer I've tasted. So glad they put it in bottles.

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Photo of winningwes91
3.25/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

What in the world is the hype with this one? It's very malty and boozy. Kinda a mess tbh. It smells and tastes like an old boozy ipa/barleywine. I've had no luck with ipas over 10%, and this is by far the worst. I'm actually being generous with the score.

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Photo of Tucquan
3.57/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on 2016-04-31 in Lancaster, PA at The Fridge on-tap.

Looks like I'm the outlier on this one. It has an odd flavor IMHO, which includes umami, vegetal, sweet graham cracker and lots of hop bitterness. It is unique. I've not had this combination of flavors before but won't look to have this again.

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

L - Bronze, with 1 finger of head

S - Dank, sweet, and hoppy. Great aroma! This one is not for the faint

T - Huge hoppy citrus bite. Sweet. Very tasty, but a sipper

F - Light body and well carbonated

O - An awesome brew, but definitely a sipper, it packs a punch!

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Photo of snaotheus
4.18/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle served in a tulip. Bottle date is 088 61, so it's near two months old -- borderline for a Lagunitas beer for me. But, I had this a couple weeks ago at the Chicago Beer Classic and loved it, and couldn't pass up the chance to buy a six pack (Thirsty Hop, Kirkland, WA), and share it with my friends.

Pours moderately hazy golden with a moderate head and little carbonation. Smell is tropical heaven, from across the room. Closer to the nose, it's a little sharper, more of a floral hoppiness.

Taste is fruity up front and then a bitter slam at the end. Honeysuckle, tropical, hint of citrus, and then I'm chewing on grapefruit rind and pine needles.

Mouthfeel is thick but dry. Overall, excellent beer, it was better at the festival.

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Photo of Skrumpy
4.08/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 12 oz bottle into standard pint glass. Nice, deep, orange/amber color. Creamy, white head with excellent retention & lacing. The aroma is very nice. Fruit forward, with mango, apricot, peach and honey. Smooth, sweet, malty is the flavor with some barley wine style warmth from higher alcohol content. The aftertaste has a bit of pine, citrus, and peppercorn hops bitterness. A juicy, and resinous mouthfeel. A very good beer.

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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 RonaldTheriot
4.73/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The Waldo's Special Ale has a medium, off-white head, a mostly clear, honey-colored appearance, some bubbles, and a bit of lacing left behind. The aroma is of strong, apricot-like hop resin, up front, and background white bread, and a spice, of some sort, maybe. Taste is of those elements, with very intense and profound hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is high medium, and The Waldo's Special Ale finishes drying and strong.


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

The beer pours out into a Duvel class a clear dark amber color with a light chill haze and a 1/2" ivory head that soon recedes to a think film on the surface. Sipping creates a few scattered patches of lacing on the side of the glass.

The hop aromas jump out of the glass and include pine resin, lots of citrus zest and even a few tropical fruits. Some malt is in the background but clearly is in a supporting role.

The flavors are much as expected from the nose. There's pine resin and citrus pith bitterness softened a bit by some light caramel and in direct competition with the sweetness from the malt.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and lightly crisp with persistent gentle carbonation. The finish begins as the bitterness emerges from the background. While all flavors and sweetness seem to fade pretty much at the same time the bitterness fades more slowly so the beer reaches a dry finish with a touch of residual bitterness.

As with most beers from Lagunitas this is a well made IPA that I'm pleased to have tried. That said I'll probably not be having another both because of the ABV and because I am finding IPAs more and more enjoyable than the Imperial strength IPAs with their extra sweetness and sometimes excessive hops that attempt to conceal it.

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

12oz into a tulip. Pours a deep juicy orange w/ a frothy rich white head, beautiful patches of lace.

Aroma is a huge burst of tropical juicy citrus, orange and pineapple and grapefruit. Bright and sticky.

Taste follows nose. So juicy and drinkable, at 11.5% dangerous. Orange, peach, pineapple over a layer of sweet malt. Just a touch of warming booze on the finish to remind you that this is a beast of an IPA.

Mouthfeel is smooth and slick, goes down way too easy. Again, dangerous.

Overall a nearly perfect DIPA. Truly outstanding.

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Photo of nawpnawp
3.74/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice golden tint with thin but sticky head. The nose is all citrus (mostly grapefruit) and floral. The taste is much of the same. There is a sharp sweetness at the front, followed by a very nice finishing bitterness from the hops. I must say, this beer is extremely well balanced on each sip. However, I wish the sweetness lingered around as much at the bitters. The finish and lingering bitter is a bit much for me.

Overall, an excellent double IPA if you're looking for a hop bomb with a nice touch of sweet citrus. It compares closely to Hopslam.

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Photo of Selz202
4.49/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice golden orange with a thick head that has good retention but even better lacing.

Smells like a hoppy citrus fruit, strong pineapple and some flowery hop characteristics. Oddly do also get that musty/dank scent everyone keeps describing.

Taste is pretty bitter but with a complex hoppy/citrus across the board. The hoppiness is all over, earthy, citrus, flowery, evergreen and a little fruity. The citrus is hard to describe but I would say big pineapple.

This beer does a great job of hiding the 11.5%, it doesn't taste a bit boozy. I'm really impressed by lagunitas ability to hide this considering how smooth it goes down.

First time I had this beer I had a hard time seeing the hype the complexity of this beer was very masked. The more I have had it another layer to it unwraps. I have to say dont judge the first taste.

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Photo of scream
4.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is pretty subjective, but I really enjoyed this. Good hop aroma, great taste. Probably the best Lagunitas beer I have had. I will buy this again soon

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

Poured into SN IPA glass from bottle, yields nice 3 finger soapy head that dissipates rather quickly. Somewhat cloudy golden in the glass. Smells of caramel and tropical fruit. Taste of caramel sweetness on the front end, bitterness sneaks up and shuts it down and you have a dank, bitter finish, with a little alcohol slipping thru. Mouthfeel is great on this beer, feels thick and resinous in the mouth.

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

Well the bottling date is 111/16 i.e. 4/20, so that's neat. Pours a clear orange with fluffy off-white cap that settles in a minute trailing substantial chunks of lace down the glass. Smell: dank city...catty, resinous, sugared papaya, overripe apricot, honeydew, booze note. Taste: milk caramel, pine, sugared grapefruit peel, honeydew, dried sugared papaya-ish, grassy. Fat bottomed, syrupy plus creamy into sticky drying hop strewn finish. Ballersauce. Only on the most high of high holidays can one grab a 6er of such fantastical DIPA for what amounts to pennies on the IBU.

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Photo of Spikester
4.48/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Hazy golden orange with two fingers of cream color head that lasts about ten minutes. Rings of lace follow the skim coat of head toward the bottom of the glass.
Smell is fruity and dank.
Taste is dank hops with tropical fruit notes. Hop oil resin with plenty of rich bready malts trying to keep up with all the bitter flavors.
Mouthfeel is full like a Barleywine. Good carbonation. The finish is slightly to the bitter and eventually dry.
Overall a tasty and really big beer. Not for the faint of heart. Alcohol noted but not much in the flavor.
Well recommended if this type of beer appeals to you.

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Photo of tbryan5
4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This beer is super dank and really smooth. You have to be careful because it goes down VERY easy but packs a whopping well hidden 11.5% ABV. So, it will sneak up on you. This has to be my favorite beer from Lagunitas so far. Truly exceptional.

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Photo of puffthestuff
4.36/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Great beer I liked it a lot. Nice smile almost sweet. Dark amber and 2 finger white head in color. Taste is hope upfront but sweetness comes through midway. Nice bitter finish. Great onehitter series I would stock up a few of isn't wasn't so hard to get in the area right now. Definitely worth a try good a DIPA ABV is a little noticeable but awesome.

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

Pours a clear darkish amber with 1/2 finger head. Minimal head retention. Smells boozy and sweet hops. Tastes moderately bitter, finishes sweet with a tiny bitterness. Would buy again. Sooooo good,

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

5/5/16 - Brad picked up a fresh 6-pack from the Chicago Brewery store. Downed two right from the bottle while waiting for the WSP show at the Chicago Theater. Not the best way to be introduced to this classic, but a memorable event none the less. Smooth, hoppy, fruity, and easy drinking. High ABV was not evident. Sure hope to find more of this back home in Philly.

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Photo of BrokenEdge
4.58/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I'm not normally a huge fan of Lagunitas beers (I find the high ABVs are not normally hidden well, although I appreciate them trying to give you the most bang for your buck as far as ABV and their low prices). This is far and away their best offering yet, imo.

The minute you pop the cap, the smell just floods the room. It's the first beer I've ever given a perfect score for smell! Smells like VERY overripe fruit, pine, caramel, and the dankest marijuana imaginable. Pours a deep copper with a huge, rocky head. Taste pretty much covers the entire spectrum of hoppy possibilities: it hits on earthy hops, floral hops, fruity hops (mango, cantaloupe, pineapple, grapefruit), resinous hops, grassy hops, oniony name it, and you can probably find that hop flavor in this beer. There's a hint of a caramely type sweetness to even out some of the more bitter hop characteristics. Feel is somewhat heavy and slick, but well carbed, so it feels lighter than it really is. Initially sweet on the palate with some drying bitterness towards the end. Alcohol is noticeable, but more palatable than in other Lagunitas brews I've had.

Drinks dangerously easy for 11.5%! Sad I could only find a single of this one this year, next year I'll stock up on it for sure.

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Photo of redresonatedragon
4.11/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I love the affordability of Lagi brews, great stuff at a reasonable price especially considering price of a sixer. This brew is probably a sum of all their great parts, it tastes like it embodies brown shugga,undercover, and maybe hop stoopid under one giant alcohol umbrella. This aggressively high alcohol content masked by that trademark Lagunitas flavor of dank hop and sugar malty quality works well. I say brew this on regular rotation, it's a laymans IIPA. Approachable, tasty, and humbling at the same time. Definitely not session-able unless you are a beer beast

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

Oh boy. Such a memorable, respectable, drinkable, beer. Chemistry - nay - cauldron witchcraft - at the very fringes of the finest.

Turns out to be a double IPA with sort of a roasty toasty barleywiney narrative. 6-pack purchased 5/11/16

Looks beautiful. Has the visual appearance of a nice Breakside Wanderlust. A rich, bounteous, burnished gold, opaque as the sun. This is an amazing looking beer.
Smells straight up bomb. Tropical, 100-p. Fuck, really mysterious. Mystic. Profound. A stiff summer wind through mountain pines.
Taste is very good. Super bitter, super sweet, perfect balance. I don't really like lemondrop, which this fucks with, sort of, in a really vague way. I can't believe i'm actually whining about it, but it's just citric in a specific way that is very very stay or leave for me. I'm sorry. Anyway the burst of brown sugar (classic lag), concussive hop poppiness (perhaps the strongest suit of the beer), masterful malt strut, and downright artful notes of fruit such as strawberry, grapefruit, and orange play in to put it right into the delicious territory. All aside; it tastes nice.
Feels really good. Rich, chewy, resin. Not quite creamy which i'm glad about. Comfortable like corduroy. Rough like a cat's tough. Bubbly. Again. for sure bitter. Generally an interesting sensation on the palate. Has a really unique finish. It ranges from very oaky, dry finishes, all the way to very fruity, wet tendencies, varying from sip to sip. Never had anything like it. There are major kicks and zings here from the deep-set carbonation and thundering alcohol presence. Fun feel.

Overall, dear reader, this beer exceeds all expectations. I personally prefer this beer at about 36-43 degrees F, and would recommend these lower temperatures for such a rambunctiously hopped and bitter brew.
Cop some, store some, drink some... cheers.

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Photo of gcasher
4.13/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Other reviews talk about the tropical fruit in the hops, but for me, they are overpowered by the funky and dank flavors, which together are not my favorite. With that said, I understand the nature of the beer and appreciate it for what it is trying to do. And boy does it pack a punch.

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The Waldos' Special Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4.32 out of 5 based on 1,652 ratings.
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