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 LAp
4.78/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

On tap, served in a tulip (review of a beer had three days ago). A gorgeous beer, the nose and palate are strongly reminiscent of Enjoy By. Easily the biggest IPA from Lagunitas. Dank, hoppy, and bitter but with a sweet undertone. World class.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.36/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Another fine beer handed to me by my coworker Tina. Once again, thanks! On to the beer:

Toasted orange colored and topped with a fluffy head which dissipates into a short froth within 30 seconds. I should have known that hop would be excellent, but even by Lagun it as standards, the aroma is off the hook! Waves and waves melons, kiwi, mango, papaya, pine, and citrus hit full force with little of the booze showing itself.

The Waldos' pushes itself into hoppy barleywine territory. Very intense with a clear malt base at the start, which slowing subsides into a hop frenzy. Despite its massive 11.5% ABV, the beer has an easy drinkability for its size, and that it also helped by a smooth mouthfeel and tickle of alcohol.

Talk about a kick in the pants. It also comes as a six-pack, so be careful not to mistake this as a sixer to pound during a sporting match.

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Photo of Sabtos
4.3/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Orange amber with a large white head and coral lacing that rings around only the top of the glass.

Waldos has an absurdly dank nose! You can smell this from a distance, enough to make you a little paranoid about the presence of the authorities. Sticky, nearly rotting fruit, in a delightful and refreshing way, with fresh, dew-covered, sticky ass hops that are abundantly cannabic. Pineapple, peach, mango, and a touch of red peppercorn attempt to make their way to your nose through all this sticky icky.

This explosive bouquet of aromas carries over so well in the taste, it's abundantly flavorful in so many different directions. There is a sort of curacao or triple sec attribute, at times giving Waldos a strong, Caribbean cocktail feel. At risk of disregarding all of these nuances, this is the most weed-like flavor I think I have ever experienced in a beer, but it's not off-putting and it's not even really piney or resiny. The bitterness is tolerable by some mysterious magic. It's refreshing, herbal, botanical, just how Lagunitas describes, seeming almost like a health drink designed by the hippy culture that inspired it. You can normally only get these attributes in aroma, but they've really managed something truly impressive here.

Velvety smooth but thin mouthfeel that goes down so easy it catches you off-guard. Even though it is very strong, it's so drinkable I got light headed after one glass because it was gone in less than five minutes--and I'm not even what I would call a hop head. This totally spoils me for most other IPAs.

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Photo of TBoneJones
4.14/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Orange-golden pour, plenty of bubbles, plenty of soapy white, big-bubbles head that soon settles.
Scent is tropical and dank, with some hint of the alcohol that undoubtedly lurks.
This is a big hop bomb. Sweet honeyed pineapple, orange zest, sticky, dank, oily/ resist/ syrupy hops.
The honey notes define this heavy-hitter, but the citrus flavors really shine the more I sip through it. At first I thought this would remain overly malty/ sweet, but it is quite tasty.
Feels medium-thick, chewy and sticky for sure. Hint of lingering pine as the heat wears down, but make no mistake this is a strong brew.
I don't try many dipas over 11% because they can be messy, and although this one doesn't peak at #1 for me (a beer with 120 in the name does it), this is one I'd revisit. The brewery makes solid experimental brews.

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Photo of woemad
4.22/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz snifter consumed at Blackbird in Spokane for $6.

Semi-clear, amber-orange hued, with minimal, off-white head. What head there was receded to a light foam collar fairly quickly.

Big nose of tropical fruits and wet, green, herbal notes. I picked out notes of honey as well.

The sweet, pineapply, fruity hop notes noted in the nose led the flavor charge. They were quickly followed up by a more bitter, grapefruity, resiny taste that kept things balanced. Both aspects were BIG. This is a bold beer that leaves a massive impression on the taste buds.

The body was at the high end of medium, fairly thick for an IPA. The mouthfeel was resiny and creamy.

This could have been a big, fruit-bomb of a beer, and actually comes kinda close, but there’s enough bitter, piney and herbal hop characteristics to provide excellent balance and keep things from getting cloying. It’s a massive beer, make no mistake, but I felt it masked the high alcohol content fairly well. I’m glad I got to try this, and would do so again.

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Photo of bsp77
4.03/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Massively hoppy and sweet DIPA. Big aroma of citrus - oily, bitter and sweet. Taste includes orange, grapefruit, light tropical flourishes, pine and a sweet malt core. Very oily and full bodied, almost chewy, slightly boozy, with a finish that isn't as dry as I would like due to a lingering sweet orange taste. This beer takes the signature Lagunitas taste to the extreme, maybe a titch too far.

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Photo of dream
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look: A beautiful honey gold. It looks thick too, like a swamp of a beer, with little visibility. One of the more beautiful IPA's I've seen.

Smell: Tropical Fruit, Oranges, Tangerines, Forest Funk, Nectar, Freshly Mowed Grass, Papaya, Pineapple, and even a slight very subtle wine characteristic. As I smell more I'm wondering If I should even drink it? Smelling this beer is addicting, can someone make a cologne out of it?

Taste: Impressive. Same as the smell. Once the palate accommodates, An almost perfectly sweet and bitter combination. Bitter start, perfectly balanced malty mid, and a funky danky satisfying finish.

Feel: Candy Coating. Like a good barrel aged stout really.

Overall: In my top 5 IPA's, and probably my favorite triple IPA (this is 11.5% right?). I'm not sure I've seen another triple IPA such as this available. Very cool beer, but unfortunately once a year and limited I'm told.

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Photo of thepenguin
3.97/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: Pours a clear, very deep golden-copper with a minimal head. Really a nice hue.

S: Jesus Christ that smells like weed, more than any other beer that comes to mind. Really just a glass of resinous hempy dankness, some mild grapefruit/clementine, perfumy nop notes and a substantial bready malt character. There’s a bit of an earthy dirt character that accentuates the herbaceousness.

T: Extremely resinous and hoppy with some sharp citrus and a lot of doughy malt behind it. There’s a decent amount of perceptible ethanol and the same earthy dirt character I found in the aroma. The bitterness really catches up to the beer in the finish – it finishes sweet with very intense grapefruit rind character. This is a palate-destroyer of a DIPA.

F: Just under full-bodied and very slick and chewy, with very minimal carbonation and packing a decent amount of heat.

Thoughts: Great nose on this massive DIPA, with very nuanced, complex classic American hop notes. I found the taste to be a bit overbearing, but this was a solid beer in my book – not one I'd likely purchase again, but one I'm glad I purchased at least once.

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Photo of LocestLXCX
4.78/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pretty solid beer. Was pretty jaded on ipas and never was a big fan of Lagunitas. Had to try this and after 2 6ers I must say I am very impressed. This is the closest to the Younger that I have tried. Get it if you see it. Worth the money

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

secured locally after hearing all that buzz. definitely made my eyes pop out of my head on the first sip but once I got over the palate shock I found it quite tasty. very solidly made IIIPA. the Mrs loved it too.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.16/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice white head that dissipates fairly quickly. The beer itself is a nice and clear deep gold color that has a very nice orange hue to it. It's a nice look for the Tripel IPA and looks fairly appealing.

The beer has a very nice smell to it. It consists mainly of a fairly strong hop bitterness with only a slight sweetness to it. The hop notes are fairly interesting. They're a mixture of a dankness with some orange and grapefruit to it. The end result is a mix between the drier and more bitter dankness and a sweet fruit that takes the bitter edge off that works very well.

The taste is strongly similar to the smell. It has a strong pine note with hints of dankess around the edges along with a sweeter and more fruity note. The fruity note is mainly orange with a slight hint of grapefruit, which takes off a bit of the edge from the pine notes.

The feel is what you would expect. It has a heavy body that is surprisingly smooth and drinkable. The body feels a little thin but that doesn't detract too much from the beer. The beer also has some biting carbonation to it that gives a fluffier feel to go along with the smoothness.

Overall, this is a pretty good beer and good example of the style. Why it isn't as super pine or hoppy, it still has a nice bitterness to it but not such that it isn't drinkable for the average drinker. Go for it.

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Photo of Pencible
4.76/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.75

A: This poured a hazy gold with rocky white head.
S: It smelled like bursting fresh grapefruit and pineapple, with some dank herbal hops and bitter resin.
T: It tasted like bold pineapple and grapefruit and dank herbal hops, with some resin and papaya and a little honey malt. It had a clean bitter aftertaste.
M: It was watery with moderate carbonation. Decent body.
D: This was a top tier brew. The scent and taste were everything I love in an IPA. The body was a little weak, but the finish was ultra smooth. So it was really easy to drink, but should be sipped and savored. Highly recommended.

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

12 oz bottle poured into snifter bottled on March 29th

A: nice deep amber gold color soapy white head clarity is great

S: like grapefruit peel and tangerine with that slight rust character that lagunitas has

T: resiny and thick light fruit flavors play through but mostly booze and resin flavors

M: Thicker than I would have thought it is a heavy beer and it feels it on the tongue

O: it is an excellent beer. This beer is like Sucks almost but on steroids. This beer is rich and resiny its cloying on the tongue in the best possible way and still has a nice fruity character to it.

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Photo of MizzouBrew
4.57/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours typical ipa golden orange. Beautiful long lasting lacing. This is one insanely hoppy beer, with the best smell of any IPA I've had. Very oily and thick, with enough hops for 3 beers. This is definitely a sipper, sit back and enjoy. Very smooth for 11.5%, and a steal at $12.99 a six.

Using the Begnel formula, the Alcohol Score is 12 oz. x 11.5% = 138, or 2.7 Bud Lights.

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Photo of turfy
4.62/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright, semi hazy golden orange color, with a short lasting head that settles into a fine ring in the snifter. Aromas explode out of the glass, a tropical, sweet, grapefruity smell that I wish someone would make into a candle, or hell, even a bathroom spray. Just the smallest hint of green onion, too. The taste is a sweet, fruity blast with a nice lingering bitterness. Excellent. The mouthfeel is oily and syrupy....if it was just a little lighter it would make this beer just about perfect. Love Waldo's Special, one of the the top beers of the year so far for me.

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Photo of DudMan
4.64/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden orange with nice lacing. Smells of sweet hops. Taste is very juicy with a slight piney finish. Mouthfeel is smooth with nice carbonation. A great beer!

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Photo of 81tillinfinity
4.88/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I think someone squeezed a handful of hops and tossed them into my beer. Pure hop bliss. A perfect blend of bitterness, dankness, hoppiness, and alcohol warming. A one and done beer for the record books. Oh yeah 9.99 a six pack.

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Photo of turnerk3
4.99/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well, one thing Lagunitas knows best is a stupidly hopped beer, so a DIPA is way out of their wheelhouse. That's called "sarcasm" for the youngins.

Look: Have you ever gone 2 days without a drop water and taken a piss? If yes, proceed to smell. If not, have you ever had a bad hangover after a night of beer debauchery and taken a piss? If yes, proceed to smell. If not, what the hell are you doing here?

Smell: This is simple. Think about cutting fresh summer grass (if you thought about marijuana, proceed to taste because... yea, you get it). Now think about what it'd smell like if you threw oranges, grapefruits, and pinecones on that lawn before mowing it down, and you played a game where grapefruits are 50, pinecones 100, and oranges are 200. Okay, some pinecones are a bonus +50.

Taste: Dude stupid. Yea, you that actually thought about buying 20lbs. of grapefruits and oranges to mow over (marijuana people please refer to smell to understand...nevermind).
Stupid. Taste. If that's not a good description, find a hop tree (preferably on the west coast) take a fresh cone and put it in your mouth. We're done here.

Feel: Now proceed to chew that hop like it was a piece of venison from the one deer you managed to take on a deserted island. Thrill! Excitement! Joy! Those are your first thoughts, but as you continue to chew through the meat you begin to respect its toughness. You'll want to devour this animal, but you'll learn to respect it.

Overall: If you don't think this is a DIPA, please send me all of your beer to do a taste, possibly poison, check (it's a risk I'm willing to take for you). Just to be safe, you should probably send me 1/3 of any future beer purchases, too. For singles and bombers, I promise to return them with at least 8 oz and 15 oz (extra 1/3 oz), respectively.

I may be slightly stoopid (hah weed joke), but this is stupid + stoopid! This is just stewpt!

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Photo of Antg8989
4.78/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Have you ever brewed your own beer? You know that feeling, that really good feeling you get from opening up a bag of hop pellets that just gets you excited to start brewing? Well that's the kind of aroma you'll get with this. Smooth, HOPPY and a perfect malt backbone on this one. My GOD it's good. Maybe Lagunitas best. Enjoy my friends!

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Photo of Czarkazm
4.17/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 3/29/2016. Pours clear with an orange, light amber color. The head is about two fingers worth of large, very rocky, off-white bubbles. The aroma has a lot of sweet candied orange, dank pine, overripe mango and pineapple, canned peaches, nice caramel maltiness, with some bubblegum, and a hint of booze. Full mouth feel with enough carbonation to keep this one from being too syrupy. Sweet caramel on the back end followed by bitter grapefruit pith in the aftertaste. Flavor profile is similar to what was going on in the nose. Lots of candied citrus, bitter pine, tropical fruit juice, honey, peaches, and a mild alcohol bite.

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Photo of Mdez
4.7/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I read about this and managed to get the last case (I shared it with a friend at work) from TW before it sold out 2 weeks ago. It has a very piney flavor with a lot of fruit; this really hit my spot. From what I recall, I liked this just a bit more than their Born Yesterday they made last year. This should be in their regular rotation. Good luck finding any, though; it's sold out everywhere I've been since I got it.

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Photo of stakem
4.09/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It seems as though everyone has been losing their shit over this beer this year. It kinda reminds me of hopslam circa 2010/11...this is supposedly the omg gotta have it beer of 2016. I promised myself I would not go hunting for this but low and behold, I was buying some groceries this weekend and there she was - a lonely sixpack just sitting there. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip appears a polished clear golden color with a white soapy cap.

This smells very fruity with hops: a little tropical like pineapple and mango and honestly not much else which is fine when the hops are this bright and enjoyable.

The tastes is mutually hoppy with quite a fruit forward flavor like the nose suggests with mango and pineapple then herbal rindy and grassy with almost a green cantaloupe aftertaste that gets increasingly bitter. The alcohol is noticeable but not overstated.

This is medium to fuller bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. A very intense ipa with quite a bit residual sweetness to balance the hop and alcohol bite. Its good and im glad I got the chance to try it without going out of my way.

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Photo of rickrem
4.19/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a just slightly non clear burnt orange color with a alight off white head that quickly dissipates.

Aroma is crazy big with musty tropical fruit, some orange rind and something I just can't put my finger on. Maybe another one or two will help. Vegetal?

Flavors are like the aroma. Lots of heavy pine sap and lots of tropical fruit. Some bitterness of orange rind and like the smell, there was something I couldn't quite figure out until sifting through a few of the other reviews and there it was, onion. Maybe that's part of the 'vegetal' aroma I was getting?

Mouthfeel has a thickness too it with a bit of bite from the alcohol.

Overall, very interesting.Big aromas and flavors. Since it's limited, drink it while you can since it would not be an everydayer for me.

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

A - A clear orange body, slightly hazy, and a white head with some definite lacing.

S - Dank hop notes, with a line of warm alcohol, stone fruit.

T - The front opens big with peach, a hint of pine, earth and pine, a bit of honey, sweet bread, and a rapid turn to powerful bitterness in the close.

M - Slick and big, crunchy resin, and an abiding dry close that definitely builds.

O - Whoa is this a big hop beer. Lots of good stuff, full of fruit, sweetness, and a clearing bitter smack at the end to keep things moving along. The alcohol is well hidden, and lands with little to suggest the double digit ABV. An enjoyable ride.

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Photo of avalon07
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had a bright amber color and a clear texture. There was an inch of foamy head that lasted an average amount of time. OK lacing.

S: A big, enticing aroma of hops, citrus, pine, and some tropical fruits.

T: Tasted of a lot of hops, but this is balanced with the grapefruit, malt, mango, orange, and pineapple as well. A good shot of pine, which gives you a resiny quality. This is a big, complex, vibrant flavor that's perfectly balanced.

F: A well-carbonated beer with a sharp, yet slightly oily finish. Medium-bodied.

O: If you like DIPAs with big personalities, Waldo's Special is worth trying. A muscular, fruity, hoppy, powerhouse of a beer.

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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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