Waldo’s Special Ale is an American Double IPA brewed by Lagunitas Brewing Company, and for the purposes of this craft beer review, the ale was served in an IPA glass from a bottle.
The DIPA pours a cloudy golden orange and is topped by an inch-thick cap of frothy off-white foam that shows modest retention.
The aroma is dank with resin and pine; backed by a hint of ripe stone fruit. As the beer warms, a scent of booze also appears.
The palate begins with a mild dose of pine that mellows to a base of toasted bread. Resinous, earthy, herbal, and more piney hops are picked up from there. As the beer warms, there’s also a taste of mild citrus hops as well. Flushed with booze, their bitterness lingers well beyond the finish. Syrupy notes of tropical fruit counter on the swallow.
Its feel is smooth and slick. It coats the tongue with its medium body and moderate carbonation. It’s very dry and finishes with a mild astringency and a moderate warming sensation.
The appearance is lackluster but that’s nitpicking when considering the whole of the brew. The aroma is pleasant and enticing. The IBU meter registers 100+ and yet this brew is so well balanced, you’d think it was half of that. Or perhaps it’s the high alcohol content that conceals it. Regardless, the palate is delightfully layered with its multiple flavors of hoppy goodness. Booze is allowed a space to run amok, adding to the complexity. Waldo’s Special Ale is indeed that: special. Definitely well worth a try.