The Motherlode: Lagunitas Wilco Tango Foxtrot

I have been very lucky lately, as I have been on a helluva good run of beers going down my gullet. Of course, that helps when you do a tiny bit of research and learn to trust the breweries you know and love.

First let’s get this out of the way: Lagunitas’s Wilco Tango Foxtrot has nothing to do with Wilco the band, at least as far as I know. Sorry hipsters, there will be no Tweedy’s Best summer twelve-pack. The beer is quasi-military code for the acronym du jour, “W.T.F.” (Technically, it should be Whisky-Tango-Foxtrot, but I’m pretty sure Lagunitas would have all sorts of issues putting the word “Whisky” on their bottle.) If you don’t know what “W.T.F.” means, then how did you get onto the internet in the first place?

In this case, the always-current Lagunitas folks are referring to the recent economic downturn and hopeful recovery, as in “WTF happened to my 401k??” (Lagunitas has some of the best copy around on their labels, and are usually at least worth a read in the beer store, even if you’re not gonna buy it.)

So when the 2010 NFL Draft rolled around, I thought to myself, “WTF, why not try one.” So I poured this ruby-red concoction into a nonic pint glass, and noticed a massive white head, which was probably caused by approximately fifty million bubbles slowly making their way upward and onward.

Tangerine, citrus and flowery perfume hops abound in the nose, which was a shocker since the label had trumpeted its “double malts” so proudly. Still, no complaints here. These lofty aromas are grounded in a roasted amber malt, which is coupled with a rye bread aroma. The balance is top-notch.

A surprisingly burnt stout-like malt is the first taste, followed appropriately by a hop reminiscent of tangerine and blood oranges. The malt dominates first, and then the sweetness comes in at the swallow. The flavors are rather simple, but rather delicious. Add this to a slick, oily texture and you have yourself a sipper for the rest of the evening.

The malts definitely don’t disappoint, but never sacrifices a sweet, unobtrusive hop. It’s one of the more drinkable beers I’ve had in a while in terms of sheer enjoyment. Feels like it might be a little out of season, but that doesn’t make it any less terrific.


~ by William H on April 30, 2010.

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