poured a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass. There was a bottling code, but
I couldn’t decipher it. I was given this bottle at #BBC13.
Appearance: Seemingly a murky brown shade, but actually a beautiful ruby
red color when examined closely. Forms a small, white, soapy head which
retains and laces rather well.
Smell: Clean, floral-like aroma with a hint of cocoa powder.
Taste: As I’ve stated many times, I enjoy beers that blur the lines
between styles. Though, simply being creative doesn’t equate to a great
beer. That’s kind of how I feel about Lagunitas Wilco Tango Foxtrot
(WTF) Ale, since it’s intended to be a hybrid between a red and a brown
ale, but the net result is just plain good rather than amazing.
Since this is a Californian beer, it’s no surprise that there’s a strong
hoppy presence to this palette. Red ales tend to be dry and bitter, but
this one opts more for a flowery hop presence than anything else. The
label indicates it’s only 59 IBUs, but it definitely tastes stronger
than that. There’s a light sweetness through the middle of the palette,
but it’s not a taste I would associate with a brown ale. Instead of a
confectionery character, it’s close to that of an amber or pale ale with
its malt base. There’s additional bitterness on the finish, followed by
a slightly tangy flavor. While the overall taste to this beer is good,
it’s not quite as special as I’d expect or prefer in a limited release
Drinkability: Technically a big beer at 7.85% ABV, Lagunitas WTF Ale is
not a challenge to drink or intimidating in any way. It has the crisp,
well-carbonated mouthfeel of a pale ale, but the smoothness of a brown
ale. Though noticeably bitter, the hops only linger momentarily and
eventually fade away clean. This beer is probably best enjoyed with a
meal like steak and sweet potatoes (like we had at #BBC13), though a
single serving is fine on its own.