1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

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

Lagunitas Sneak Release Undercover Investigation Shut-Down AleLagunitas Sneak Release Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

550 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 550
Reviews: 170
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.44%


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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
Ratings: 550 | Reviews: 170 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Cyberkedi
Cyberkedi

Georgia

4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Comes out of the tap a dark translucent golden amber with a thick, pale tan, fine-bubbled head that persists. Strong aroma is surprisingly hoppy with an evergreen undertone and just a hint of apple. Lively flavor is hoppy, slightly malty, slightly fruity and just a teeny bit bitter. Strongly fizzy texture leaves behind a pleasant tingle.

Serving type: on-tap

05-31-2010 00:06:01 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of kraigguffey
kraigguffey

Georgia

4.83/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

After a recommendation from Rob at my local brew store I grabbed a sic pack of this Imperial. Wow, I own him a beer. This beer is the perfect summer Imperial IPA, maintaining the bite of an Imperial but still maintains a very crisp taste that goes down easy in the humid heat of the south.

I'm sad to see this beer as a "special release".

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2010 23:20:56 | More by kraigguffey
Photo of MeisterBurger
MeisterBurger

Ontario (Canada)

2.83/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear brownish copper topped by a thin off white head. Minimal lacing.

The aroma is bright citrus hops, slightly grassy with a hint of sulphur. Caramel malt comes out little by little.

The taste is lighter than you'd expect, with a sweetness followed by an oddly grassy bitterness in the finish. Piney. But mostly grassy. Some of the sulphur is in the taste too. A bit of alcohol heat in the back of the throat. Not really much going on but light sweet caramel washed away by a leafy bitterness.

The body is also lighter that you'd expect for something so bitter with noticeable malt, but it's very light with low carbonation.

Overall this wasn't great. Too grassy and unbalanced and slightly harsh. A rare disappointment from Lagunitas for me.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2010 01:56:30 | More by MeisterBurger
Photo of DrDemento456
DrDemento456

Pennsylvania

4.53/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Very nice deep amber tone with a inch of sticky white head. Lovely
S - Expected hops and got it. Wonderful grapefruit and citrus tickle the nose. Can't wait to drink
T - Hoppy yet sensibly malty almost like a brown ale. Bitter yet sweet. Awesome.
M - For 9.75 (damn it's almost like an imperial!) it sure tastes smooth.
D - Exceptionally affordable and drinkable. I will have to pick up two more bottles out in Wexford. A+

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2010 06:02:29 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of elgiacomo
elgiacomo

Georgia

3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sep 1, 2007

22oz. Sneak Release bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a dark amber, almost copper with a small head that retains well throughout with some nice lacing.

Aroma and flavor is a nice blend of citrus/pine hops and caramel malt. Well balanced.

Sweet and syrupy with mild carbonation. Nice mouthfeel. Goes down smooth and easy, and you hardly notice the 9+% ABV...well at least in the taste...you will feel it. You do taste the alcohol more as it warms.

A great bang for the buck. Another solid brew by Lagunitas. I'm a big fan of their Maximus IPA, and enjoyed the Lucky 13 as well. Kudos, Lagunitas, you've done it again.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2010 22:38:48 | More by elgiacomo
Photo of biophiliadude
biophiliadude

Pennsylvania

3.3/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bottle to pint.

A: Cloudy, red brown. 1/4 inch head with lacing.

S: hops and oak.

T: IPA but sweet over powers bitterness. Citrus. Pears.

M: Smooth fruits, then hops and bitter on the exhale but overall slightly watery.

D: Hoppy but with the water. Sweet and not as bitter. I look for more of a punch in my IIPA but this one I could drink more of because of it's watery nature. Still I prefer a heavier IIPA.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2009 06:41:31 | More by biophiliadude
Photo of Stinkypuss
Stinkypuss

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shutdown Ale poured on-tap into a snifter. A nice mahogony with ruby highlights, this beer looks decent some lace is noticed.

Aroma is strongly malty, fruity and just a hint of hops.

Bitter grapefruit up front, with notes of pine. Resinous and earthy hop oils. Big time chewey malt flavor, dialing in caramel like sweetness but some dark fruit pits are also there. Hint of peat and slight astringency.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and a bit chewey as noted earlier. Strangely watery finish.

All in all, a good DIPA with a surprising bit of balance. Complex enough for contemplation. A sipper for sure, and strong as can be. Good though.

Serving type: on-tap

10-10-2009 16:53:49 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of jabel9
jabel9

New York

4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is an extraordinary brew by a brewery that has recently claimed much of my attention. The aromas that come from this brew were floral hopped and a bit malty. Being imperial, I was a bit surprised with how watery the mouthfeel was, but don't let that deter you from enjoying this brew. The high alcohol content (9.5%) is hidden well and this beer is very smooth. I have had a few of the Lagunitas brews now and this has been my favorite.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2009 18:34:03 | More by jabel9
Photo of magine
magine

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel glass.

Pours a dark copper, deep dark orange. With a nice creamy off white head that fades to a thick island. Nice sticky lacing.

Smells of hops and some malts. Some sweetness and maybe citrus or caramel is detected as well.

Tastes very hoppy, yet can still taste the malt balance. Very creamy and has a nice floral sweetness to it that is done perfectly. Nice bitter taste but not overly done. Has a nice warming vibe to it as well. Th high alcohol level is masked very well. Damn a fine tasting brew.

This brew is excellent - can be dangerous as well. The brew is smooth and creamy, has a sweet hoppy taste. Also has a very refreshing taste to it as well.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2009 01:26:59 | More by magine
Photo of far333
far333

Connecticut

4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear orangey honey color with a full inch of frothy foamy thick head that slowly settles.

Aroma of grapefruit, floral notes and brown sugar, plus a subtle hint of the ABV.

Rich flavor of pine and grapefruit rind, alcohol warmth, and firm malt backbone to balance it out. Notes of honey, ripe apple and pear, scorched brown sugar. Faint notes of phenols and smoke.

Substantial mouthfeel, full and chewy, some alcohol warmth, followed by a definite tingle across the tongue.

Good drinkability, but it will sneak up on you.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2009 00:03:46 | More by far333
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
LilBeerDoctor

New York

3.73/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Growler from Big Z's. Pours a semi hazy amber/brown with a small off-white head. Aroma of sweet caramel malt, grassy and citrus hops. Flavor is sweet malt, grapefruit, and citrus (lemon) with a grassy hops finish. Lots and lots of sweet malt in this one. A bit heavy on the palate. Overall a good ASA, just hard to get through a whole pint.

Serving type: growler

07-11-2009 14:52:36 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Photo of alkemy
alkemy

Ohio

4.72/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a copper amber shade with some hazing. Thick head laced all the way down the glass. Citrusy hops up front. For the style, this is actually very balanced. There is a distinct caramel malt sweetness that really levels off the almost sticky pine hops. The alcohol is really hidden well. Very smooth mouthfeel. This is one that I'll have to be careful with. I'd like to drink it all day, but with an ABV over 9% one could get dinged up pretty easily. My favorite from Lagunitas.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2009 14:22:35 | More by alkemy
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on-tap at the Brick Store in Atlanta.

Pours a clear light copper color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a thin pancake on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of citrus and pine hop aromas with hints of creamy pale malt.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Robust pale malt flavors up front are joined shortly by mild citrus and solid pine flavors. Midway through the sip there's a mild vanilla flavor, though with more of a creaminess than most vanilla flavors from oak flavors. The ending is mildly bitter.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a solid thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished the glass easily and could have a few more.

Overall this is another solid offering from Lagunitas. Slowly but surely they're becoming a smaller Sierra Nevada, with many hoppy offerings that never disappoint. This one is worth a shot.

Serving type: on-tap

06-06-2009 02:06:08 | More by glid02
Photo of hosehead83
hosehead83

Ohio

3.98/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass
Big two-inch head, amber-copper in color
Aroma-Earthy hops and subtle spiciness
Taste-Big bold hops and sweet malt nicely balanced-Pretty smooth and drinkable for the strength(9.28ABV)
Overall, a nice example of a double or Imperial IPA, with a bit more balanced approach to the style

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2009 14:27:42 | More by hosehead83
Photo of tedsox31
tedsox31

Illinois

3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a stange.

The appearance is copper in color, with a darker white head that is perhaps a half-finger in width. There is sticky lacing trailing down the side of the glass.

The aroma is first and foremost of hops. I also smell some yeast and caramel.

The taste is hops dominant. There is a spiciness and fruit from the hops. It is at the front and the back. I get more fruit at the front, followed by spiciness. The bitterness is at the back. In the middle there is a sweet flavor from the malt. Overall balanced and enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is medium: not too heavy nor too light. Good carbonation and a bit of dryness that makes me drink some more.

A very drinkable DIPA. This has a nice balance to it and doesn't leave me reeling from hops or alcohol. I would have a few of these over the length of a night.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2009 01:33:54 | More by tedsox31
Photo of mtbbaboon
mtbbaboon

Connecticut

4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a lighter shade of copper with decent head and lacing. Fruity and grassy in the nose with a nice balance of hops and malt. Not a very overpowering hoppy aroma that you get with a lot of double IPA's. The taste is a bit more hoppier than the aroma would lead me to believe. Nice balance though, with plenty of hops up front and citrus and sweet malt mixed in. Good amount of bitterness comes through after the swallow. Medium body with a modest amount of stickiness. Goes down rather easily for a double IPA. Overall, a very enjoyable beer. It's worth noting that the label on mine indicates 9.03% ABV.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2009 16:52:15 | More by mtbbaboon
Photo of WakeandBake
WakeandBake

Michigan

4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice bright light copper pour with a lasting frothy two finger head,leaving some lacing. Aroma of pine,hop resin,grapefruit,and lemon hints. Flavor is well balanced for the amount of hops,nice caramel and toasted grain sweetness but not overpowering spicy,and citrus hops ,alcohol is well hidden,medium to full body with a full,slightly sticky mouthfeel, a nice crisp hoppy aftertaste. I am going back to get more of this tomorrow. Nice !

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2009 02:00:41 | More by WakeandBake
Photo of soupyman10
soupyman10

District of Columbia

4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed a sixer of this from Wine Specialist - yet another solid, reasonably priced beer from Lagunitas.

Pour is nice, deep copper color with a smallish slightly off-white head that leaves surprisingly nice lacing as it drains.

Nose is huge fruity hops. Some breadiness, and balanced with appropriate levels of caramel malt. Nice nose, if not the most complex thing you've ever smelt.

Flavor is similar. This is a very well balanced DIPA, with spicy fruit hops dominating, but not totally overwhelming the malt balance. Really a nice beer. No alcohol issues, one of the only problems I've found with Lagunitas.

Body is appropriate for the style, nothing to complain about here.

Overall, it's exactly what I expected - a solid DIPA that doesn't really do anything new but is tasty and highly drinkable.

Wine Specialist/$10.99/Sixer

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2009 23:51:46 | More by soupyman10
Photo of westsideblaze
westsideblaze

California

3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Crimson red color. Great head that remains during the entire experience.

Mouthfeel is what makes this ale unique because it is light to medium body.

Balance is incredible and alcohol (9.3%) is integrated perfectly with malt.

Exceptonal ale.

Good Lord, this is a good beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2009 02:17:49 | More by westsideblaze
Photo of BigMike
BigMike

Pennsylvania

3.2/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark crimson red with orange highlights. Three fingers worth of white creamy head.

Complex nose. Caramel, dried fruit, a malts.

Taste is of slightly roasted malts with caramel and some floral undertones. Some spices and vanilla are also there.

Mouthfeel is a bit thick. Some chewyness going on. Medium carbonation. Sweet and finishes with some bitterness.

This is pretty much one or two and done. It's kind of oily and coats the tongue.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2009 02:57:18 | More by BigMike
Photo of bhalter8
bhalter8

Georgia

3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked up a 6 pack of this, since its available here in GA, figuring it would be easy to fit in a review at some point. Here I am at the end of the six pack needing to review. Pours a deep red amber color, very dark, but very red, a bit of a diversion from the typical DIPA (I am surprised that is the style, really). A light, white 1 finger head rests atop. Another DIPA diversion would be the sweet malty aroma first, then followed by the hops. This comes through in the taste too, as it is quite bitter, but with a strong sweet counter flavor. Bitterness holds over in the mouthfeel, as well, but still a rather thick brew, with a syrupy sweetness. In the end, a very good beer, but in my opinion, somewhat unclassifiable. Definitely a stronger character to it than many Lagunitas offerings I have had to date.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2009 23:44:44 | More by bhalter8
Photo of Beerking721
Beerking721

Minnesota

4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased a 6'er of this last night and it was great!

A= Poured into a belgian tulip chalice, the beer exhibited a rich dark hazy amber color. The ample head relaxed into a fine white lace.

S= Aroma showed citrus concentration of hops, rich malt, brown sugar/caramel, and a hint of vanilla.

T= A very interesting combination of flavors somewhere between a barly wine and winter seasonal style. Rich and hoppy up front balanced with concentration of vanilla and caramel on mid palate with lingering essence of west coast cirtus.

M= A rich viscosity as represented by the "Imperial" style.

D= Easily qwaffed... this is a great stand-alone brew especially at the end of the day when a man wants to retire to his favorite easy chair! High ABV culminates in a "one and done!"

Again... Great job Lagunitas!!!

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2009 12:08:17 | More by Beerking721
Photo of seanbhudson
seanbhudson

California

4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

APPEARANCE:
Pours a slightly hazy amber color with a large off-white head that dissipates slowly. A good amount of lacing.
AROMA:
Floral citrus (lemon, orange), pine and caramel.
FLAVOR:
Similar to aroma. Citrus, pine and caramel malt. As the beer warms up I get some earthy flavors too. A tad more bitter than sweet.
MOUTHFEEL:
Medium bodied beer with. Soft carbonation. Relatively dry finish.
DRINKABILITY:
Very easy drinking beer. I hardly taste any alcohol at all in this 9% beer. If I were to rate this against a pale ale or IPA, I would say this is very good. It seems a bit simple and mild for an Imperial IPA.
NOTES: BBCSD-0904-Sean

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2009 01:59:39 | More by seanbhudson
Photo of allengarvin
allengarvin

Texas

4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Chimay chalice, this beer has a nice dark amber color, though with but a modest head atop it. The nose makes up for it, with a deliciously hoppy aroma, tending grassy, citrusy. The flavor is one big continuous blast of hops, hugely citrusy and resinous... the sweet malt only comes through if you concentrate on it. Very bitter and dry in the finish. At less than 9 bucks a 6 pack, a downright bargain for uberhoppy beers.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2009 00:23:37 | More by allengarvin
Photo of MaltyGoodness
MaltyGoodness

Pennsylvania

4.43/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle

Pours a clear medium-amber color with a small, creamy white head. Head fades leaving decent lacing on the glass.

Very aromatic citrusy hops escape the confines of the glass. Slightly sweet with just a hint of nectarine. No noticable malt.

Explosion of citrusy hops upfront, leading into a fairly aggressive bitterness that brings an exceptional balance. Finishes with just as many hops as it started, fairly dry and with only a faint bitterness that lingers.

Full body, mild carbonation.

As easy to drink as it is enoyable. The level of balance is very pleasing, and often lacking in this style. Worth seeking.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2009 01:05:34 | More by MaltyGoodness
Lagunitas Sneak Release Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 550 ratings.