Lagunitas The Waldos' Special Ale

Lagunitas is a tiny little part of a great big corporate macrobrew machine. It wasn't that way when I first started trying their wares, and so far it seems like their corporate overlords have not screwed with their particular and peculiar take on life and the way to make beers, so I still look forward to every bottle of it I get my hands on.

The very clear honey colored beer has a somewhat sticky head that leaves a familiar (to those of us who have had a few Lagunitas before) patchy cap. The aroma of funky yeast, dirty grapefruit hops, and vague spices is pervasive. I can't say that it is a particularly nice smell, but smell isn't everything.

First sip is better than the smell, but not a far way off. The kind of dirty, spicy, funky taste is more mellow than the smell, and it has so many damn hidden depths that I feel like I'm drowning in flavors that I can't even enjoy with a fairly quick sip. Fortunately, I have a process that figures this kind of stuff out.

Tip-in is citrus hops and very light carbonation tingle with hidden talents coming from the yeast and a somewhat unexpectedly sweet malt. The middle is an expanse of caramel smoothness, toffee, grass, spices, and a more genteel mix of hops. The finish is off-putting with sour mash, funk, and dust as a wave of discontent.

Bottom Line: There is promise, and I can see what people really like in it, but the funk is too much.



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