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Lagunitas Sneak Release Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Lagunitas Sneak Release Undercover Investigation Shut-Down AleLagunitas Sneak Release Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale

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608 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 608
Reviews: 170
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.44%
Wants: 43
Gots: 37 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  9.28% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: jdoncbus on 07-21-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 608 | Reviews: 170 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

t0rin0, Oct 20, 2012
Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -15%

djrn2, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -2.9%

zestar, Aug 01, 2014
Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

nmann08, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A – Poured a very hazy and cloudy brownish amber. This was almost a spiced pumpkin pie type of color, with a nice two inch plus head of sticky and foamy lace on the top. The head gradually faded and left behind nothing more then a half inch layer of lace across the top, but the side glass lace on this one was extraordinary. A full on blanket of it coating the entire side of the glass. Just really a tremendous amount of sticky lace that refused to go anywhere. The was some carbonation that was visible along with it, streaming up from the bottom. A good look overall and a nice looking glass when it was done.

S – Aroma was not as hoppy as the finished version. Not to say that there was not a lot of hope nose to it, as trust me there was more then an adequate amount of pine resin and citric hops in the nose, however there was a noticeable amount of spice to the smell as well. A good amount of cinnamon and almost a maple sugar type aroma was mixed in as well. Very sweet and combined with a nice grassy and earthy type aroma, it made this come off extremely balanced. I thought that compared to the final release this was much sweeter and spicier, especially in the aroma. Made for a nice change and gave it the impression of being more then just a hop bomb.

T – The flavor again came off to me very different then the final release, which I actually was able to try first. This was much more reliant on the balance of the sugary malts then on being just a hop explosion. There was a good amount of piney hops to it, however it was balanced very very well. Lots of sugar and spice mixed in wonderfully and left a great aftertaste. It was remarkable how balanced it actually was. You could not tell which was winning out, but what was really evident was the amount of spice in it. Lots of cinnamon was detected and this really had a very sweet taste to it. No hint of the ABV at all, I mean none at all. It could have been 2% for all I knew, really blended and covered up well. Quite impressed with this one so far, seems to be a winner.

M – The feel here to be honest is a little tricky. I actually have to admit that it did come off a little bit thin. Now not that bad that I would say it was a mark off, but it did not feel as full as I would have expected based on how big the flavors were. I think this may have been partly due to the lack of carbonation once you got to the second glass. It was however very sticky. Extremely so and you lips were literally sticking to your teeth with every sip. Still very nice overall, just thought it could have come off a tad bit fuller.

D – Superb, in a word that would some it up. It was so well balanced and blended that I could have just kept going with this one. I never really felt the abv sneak up, or really at all. And it was not soo heavy that you had to make it a sipper. This was almost sessionable it was soo smooth. I really was surprised by this and that is probably why it went down so quickly. A very solid drinker here.

Overall this was really great. The most shocking thing by far was how much it actually differed from the official release. They were definitely two distinct brews, but were close enough that you could tell there was the same overall idea behind them. It was a pleasure to have both, and hard to tell which one was better, but this was really a fine brew and I was very happy to be able to try it. Would have to say that I would definitely recommend this to anyone if they see it.

mikesgroove, Oct 05, 2007
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -2.9%

kjkinsey, Dec 05, 2011
Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Man I love the labels of the Lagunitas line of beers,this new Sneak Release pours a deep rich bronze with a pillowy 1 1/2 finger slight off white head that settles slowly almost into a creamy-like mass.At first sharp grapefruit and fresh cut grass hop aromas but they do fade quickly losing a bit of their punch but still very nice.I have to say the hops dont pack as much punch on the palate obviously there is quite a punch but not as much to be expected,somewhat dry and resiny up front with a real piney presence a sweetish caramel malt base shows itself in the finish as well the hops do linger a bit.Not as bitter as the label might suggest but still a solid brew from one of my favorite brewers,keep up the good work guys.

oberon, Aug 03, 2007
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -15%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of largadeer
3/5  rDev -27.2%

largadeer, Nov 28, 2013
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark reddish amber color, with a large off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of hops, caramelized malts, brown sugar and some citrus.

T: The taste is very well-balanced with strong flavors of floral hops bitterness and caramel & citrus sweetness blending together nicely. There's a slight alcohol burn and a hearty malt character. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easy, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, I like this better than the original release, but it's still not as good as Maximus. However, overall, this is a good beer that is worth drinking for a while.

TheManiacalOne, Jul 06, 2008
Photo of nickfl
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with a 3 finger creamy tan head that takes a while to settle down and leaves dense lace. The beer itself is a deep reddish-brown color with good clarity.

S - Resiny, piney hop aroma wiht notes of citrus and slight floral character.

T - Malty, with a nice roasted flavor that is followed up by strong hop flavors and big bitterness that drives the finish but isn't unpleasantly excessive as in some highly hopped beers.

M - Smooth, fairly heavy body and high carbonation.

D - This is a very enjoyable beer. I am always wary of hop-centric beers from the west coast, but this one is pleasant and well balanced. I also have to say that this may be one of the best uses of high alpha hops for flavor and aroma that I have experianced.

nickfl, Aug 13, 2007
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.43/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

"Sneak Release", Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale, Petaluma, CA

Pure orange color, lovely, slim off-white head.

Grapefruit aroma, with plenty of other citric association. Lemon and orange, a dash of spice, with verve and zest as well.

A behemoth of bitterness boards the palate. A little slick and sweet, before being pummeled by bitter hops again. Stays long in the mouth, lip-smacking while puckering and challenging at once. Like drinking liquified orange-flavored aspirin.

That means, "I like it."

feloniousmonk, Aug 23, 2008
Photo of mactrail
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another big malt wonder from Lagunitas. Style? we don't need no stinking style. Warm amber color, lots of champagne bubbles in the chalice. Hops galore. Nose of sweet vermouth, leather. Really hot. Long rich malt flavor is the structure with the zingy hops and spicy hops on top. A favorite late night sipping beer for a long time.

This 12 oz must be a couple years old. I remember it was even better, but time to finish off the last one. Reading the label, not making this up, it says Alc. 9.87 by vol.

mactrail, Oct 30, 2011
Photo of WesWes
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark amber/brown color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a warm malty scent that boasts of crystal and roasted malts along with a kick ass hop aroma. It's bitter, but backed up with a solid malt bill. The taste is good. It is intensely bitter with a roasted malt element. It goes down easy and finishes warm and hoppy. It has a wonderful mix of crystal and roasted malts. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking beer. It's a hop monster for sure, but it has enough malt character to keep it interesting.

WesWes, Nov 17, 2007
Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at a DC tasting thanks to nimbleprop. Bottle from 07-08.

a - Pours a murky amber brown color with one inch of white head and low carbonation evident.

s - Smells of caramel malts, sweet fruit, bready malts.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, fruity malts, sugar, and a hint of alcohol, but not much.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - I thought this was a really nice beer that was more like a barlewine to me. It's held up really well and I would love to try again.

mdfb79, Aug 07, 2010
Photo of jwc215
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes from September, '07 that were lost and recently found:

Pours copper amber with a head that slowly becomes a lasting patch. Some lacing sticks. Nice retention for abv.

The smell is of aromatic citric/piney/resiny hops. Great hop profile!

The taste is of citric/piney/resiny hops with a firm sweet malt backbone that gives it a nice balance to the bitterness. The hop flavor stands out without the lingering bitterness, and without completely covering the maltiness. Alcohol reasonably (to say the least) well-covered.

The body is medium - approaching full. Smooth despite alcohol.

A delicious brew that is hoppy, yet well-balanced. A nicely done, drinkable DIPA.

jwc215, Jun 07, 2008
Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of DrunkinYogi
4/5  rDev -2.9%

DrunkinYogi, Sep 29, 2012
Photo of Gavage
3.58/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: clear amber in color with a 1" head that lasts quite a while. Nice lacing develops during the session.

Smell: caramel, bread, and a strong hop bitterness is pleasant on the nose.

Taste: big caramel base here with some light breadiness. Pine, grapefruits, and a hint of fruit sweetness rounds it out. Alcohol is mildly noticable.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp at the start, smooth towards the finish. Long aftertaste as the bitterness is at the forefront. Medium to almost a heavy bodied beer.

Drinkability: kind of a slow sipping beer here as the alcohol is high and the bitterness is bold. Definitely worth giving this a shot.

Gavage, Aug 01, 2007
Photo of GClarkage
3.5/5  rDev -15%

GClarkage, Jul 09, 2014
Photo of oriolesfan4
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

By far, this beer has the longest name out of any I have tried.

An ESB (according to their website) at 9.7% ABV.... this is why Lagunitas is one of my favorite breweries. Pours a light orange color, small head to it, small amount of lacing. First whiff.. all hops... ahh this is going to be a good one. Taste wise, nice mouthfeel to it... don't get hit by the hops too much which is a little surprising. Balanced very well, maybe more-so to the malt side. Hops are present, but are very much subdued, especially for the 9.7% ABV. Goes down very smooth and tastes like a 4% ABV type of beer... way too drinkable for 2X beer strength status. I would still prefer an Imperial Red or Brown Shugga but this is another home run for Lagunitas.

oriolesfan4, Mar 26, 2009
Photo of InspectorBob
4/5  rDev -2.9%

InspectorBob, Oct 30, 2013
Photo of tempest
3.98/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Double IPA huh? My first thoughts were that it was a lighter barley with a touch of cocoa. It actually appears a bit like a dark amber, and the malts are sweet and fruity, and like I said, there's a touch of chocolate flavor. The hops didn't seem that big, citrus and peppery, but not nearly as big as Great Divide's Hercules DIPA. For a DIPA, it leaves hops to be desired, for a strong ale, it's pretty cool.

tempest, Sep 26, 2007
Photo of Billolick
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Only $3.79 for a bomber @ Cable Beverage in Bardonia, NY (this place consistently has the goods)
Pours darker amber, pretty clear, typical darker tan head, leaves real nice striated lacing.
Grainy hop nose, leads to the expected and appreciated quite hoppy nectar. Grainy and resiny hop notes and I get a hint of mint. Pleasant enough, not in the ranks of the world class DIPAs but at that price, its a bargain.

Billolick, Jan 27, 2008
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark copper with good lacing and a wispy head that fades somewhat quickly. No big deal given the abv. The smell is alcoholic and warming with sweet malt and notes of cinammon. The taste is hoppy throughout with piney hops, spiciness, and sweet malt. Big, bold, and balanced sweetness and hoppiness. The mouthfeel is big and creamy, and overall this is just a delight to drink. This beer and Kill Ugly Radio have both jusst been homeruns for this brewery if you ask me.

Georgiabeer, Oct 08, 2007
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Lagunitas Sneak Release Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 608 ratings.