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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

601 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 601
Reviews: 170
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.44%
Wants: 43
Gots: 33 | 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: 601 | Reviews: 170 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bighuge


4.28/5  rDev +3.9%

Hazy scarlet red appearance. Thin dirty white head. Lace is weblike and quite intricate. Aroma is of juicy, plump hop nuances as well as thick caramel malt tones. First sip contains alcohol, biting hops and big caramel malt. The alcohol smooths out as it warms and the juicy hop flavor come out more. The bitterness is just right for a DIPA. This is very nicely balanced for a DIPA. But hops and bitterness still rule. Medium full body and moderately carbonated. This one's going down too damn fast. What a steal for 3.99 a bomber.

11-29-2007 04:15:13 | More by Bighuge
Photo of deanhead


3.95/5  rDev -4.1%

Appearance -mellow orange color with a rocky head.
Smell- Sticky hops with biscuity notes.
Taste- Sweet, yet hoppy, nice bitterness, yet tangy. This beer is unique.

Mouthfeel- There is something sour, yet citrusy about this full bodied bad-ass beer. It's sticky, and chewy. Very interesting.

Drinkability- It's a nice beer, but not an easy drinker given the ABV. Wile I did enjoy this beer, I did struggle my way through the end of it. I would likely choose to drink one of these during a a session, as it was pretty strong.

Heads up to Lagunitas for delivering yet another unique brew. I may have to pick up a few bottles to stash in my cellar

11-27-2007 21:10:30 | More by deanhead
Photo of PlaywrightSam

New York

4.43/5  rDev +7.5%

22 oz bomber purchased at the Wine Gallery in Brookline.

A: Red/amber, lots of very puffy head. Very active carbonation, moderate lacing. S: Really enticing; sweet up front with a lot of earthy hops. T: Very robust, but really nicely balanced. Much like the smell, it's got a lot of malt up front, but it's followed closely by some really delicious hops. The finish is pretty incredible; sort of like an emmentaler or gruyere. M: Pretty coarse, thick and chewy. D: All in all a really wonderful IIPA. I almost question the style designation, it's definitely hoppy but it's by no means overly aggressive. But whatever it is, it's a wonderfully balanced, enjoyable, delicious beer.

11-21-2007 03:52:51 | More by PlaywrightSam
Photo of WesWes

New York

4.1/5  rDev -0.5%

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.

11-17-2007 01:13:31 | More by WesWes
Photo of genog


3.98/5  rDev -3.4%

Pours an orange, redish color with a sparkling body, and foamy nice light brown colored head. Smell is grape, sweet malt, and borders on a little of a barleywine type of aroma. Taste is of honey, sweetness with a little bit of bitter after taste. Crisp carbonation followed by a warming alcohol presence. Nice beer, glad they were not shut down.

11-15-2007 03:57:39 | More by genog
Photo of williamherbert

New York

4.2/5  rDev +1.9%

Appearance is a dark copper red with a large puffy head. Clear and glassy with a minor orange tint.

The aroma is simply tremendous. Wet-smelling hop scent with floral and citric hops. Like a tremendous double-IPA with a ton of hop character. The hops are complex and not just overly bitter-smelling. Strong alcohol smell as well.

The taste is an excellent strong ale alcohol flavor. Has a heavy, thick top layer of heavy hops. Very bitter and heavy. The hops are also woody. The taste is good although couldn't possibly live up to the smell.

The feel is thick, creamy and bubbly. Leaves a thick film. A really substantial brew. Really delicious, and though it's heavy, it's a fast, easy drinker.

11-03-2007 21:32:59 | More by williamherbert
Photo of Floydster


4.08/5  rDev -1%

22 ounce bottle purchased for three dollars on sale at Cooke's Market in El Segundo

Split with a friend last night and poured about twelve ounces into my pint glass

Color was a deep orange brown color with a whopping head, about an inch, that let the different smells through nicely, left good amount of lacing for a double IPA and head was present until I was done drinking this twenty minutes later

Smell was full of citrus and pine, seemed to be a lot sweeter than it actually was, some honey was present along with what smelled a lot like sour apples

For being eight months old, the beer was still extremely hoppy which was great, not really sweet like most Lagunitas products, lone of pine hits the mouth at first which turns into a citrus rush full of grapefruit and oranges, then a nice dry finish with lots of hops keeping a lasting impression, nice lemon zest in the aftertaste

This one packed a punch at a little over nine percent but was easy to drink, after too many the alcohol would eventually catch up to you, could have easily finished this bottle and then some though

Recommended if you can still find this anywhere, one of the better brews I have had from Lagunitas and definitely gave Kill Ugly Radio a run for its money

11-02-2007 19:51:39 | More by Floydster
Photo of Minkybut


3.78/5  rDev -8.3%

I poured this big beer into my tumbler at 50 degrees. This beer was an exciting brew. It was a bit red looking with a nice head and lacing. The smell was nice a little hoppy but very nice. The taste was a little bitt little hoppy but very tolerable. A bit strong this beer will put a hurtin on you for sure. But the high alcohol did not wast away the taste, so I will have to say I would buy again.

10-25-2007 17:38:32 | More by Minkybut
Photo of RockyTopHeel

North Carolina

3.85/5  rDev -6.6%

22 oz. bomber. Label reads "We brewed this especially bitter ale in remembrance of the 2005 St. Patrick's Day Massacre and in celebration of our 20-day suspension back in January of last year! O.G. Unforgiven, I.B.U. Unrepentant."

Deep copper-colored brew with a billowy, pocked beige head that quickly reduces to a thin layer of white foam that leaves a substantial lace on the glass.

The aroma is hoppy, but more balanced than a typical double IPA. The taste is similar -- but this seems much more like a barleywine than a double IPA. The malt profile balances the astringency of the hops nicely -- but the hops are still strong, bitter, wonderful. The alcohol is slick, and there's a cloying aftertaste.

This is all-around strong - strong hops, strong malts, strong alcohol. It's a nice taste, but one is more than enough at a time.

10-24-2007 02:45:01 | More by RockyTopHeel
Photo of Gusler


4.43/5  rDev +7.5%

Well, if the length of the name has anything to do with the beer, it should be great? lol

The beer makes good its escape from the 22 ounce bottle a cloudless burnished copper, the head perfection, the color light tan and the texture creamy, upon its inevitable demise, the lace forms a thick glutinous sheet to obfuscate the glass. Nose is chockablock with the hop flowery aroma, sweet malt supports the hops, hints of caramel, appetizing, nay mouth watering I say. Start has a pleasant malt profile, sweet with a definite hop spicy bitterness at the back, top is middling to full in its feel to the palate. Finish continues the big hop spicy bite, the acidity customary, the aftertaste dry as a bleached desert bone, my oh my if this ain’t a great beer, then I’m a teetotaler, and we know that ain’t so. lol

10-23-2007 21:12:51 | More by Gusler
Photo of Atron67


4.1/5  rDev -0.5%

A- poured a pretty dark amber, almost brown in the glass, with a two finger thick massive sticky head that stayed for a long time.

S- resiny heavy hoppy, grassy delicious smells

T- has a strong hoppy flavor, not much, little light on the malt, to balance or back up the malt, but its a delicious hop flavor, a little grainyness on the finish but its pretty good.

M- very light for a 9 % abv strong carbonation.

D- a solid IIPA, ill take some more

10-21-2007 00:27:16 | More by Atron67
Photo of abcsofbeer


4.15/5  rDev +0.7%

Poured from a 22oz bomber. The color is a red amber that is slightly cloudy and one that is topped by a 2 finger light tan head. The head has great retention and leaves a good amount of lacing. There is a pretty fair amount of rising bubbles. The aroma is sweet and hoppy at the same time with a good deal of potent pine oil. Flowery hops are the key.

The taste is a very good blend of hops and malts, stronger on the hops side with some good strong bitterness. I detect a slight alcohol burn but not over the top. It increases as it warms. This beer is excellent and has a very nice medium body.

10-19-2007 22:59:21 | More by abcsofbeer
Photo of Georgiabeer


4.28/5  rDev +3.9%

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.

10-08-2007 19:47:56 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of wagenvolks


4.05/5  rDev -1.7%

Karma to atsprings for bringing this bottle my way. Bomber into a pint glass.

Pours an amber/copper hue with a 1/2" light tan head. Slight carbonation rises up through the translucent brew, fueling a well-retained head that leaves decent lacing.

I wasn't expecting the aroma; a malty onslaught mixed with big-time caramel notes, a touch of English IPA-style hops, toffee, and brown sugar.

The taste is smooth and sweet, with caramel and toffee malts paving the way. It's not nearly as hoppy as I would've liked (after all, it is a DIPA), but the finish produced a decent bitterness. Body is semi-viscous and perfectly carbonated with a decent bite that makes you perk up and take note. I can't say I'd seek out this one again, as there are many, better double IPA's out there, but it does go down smoothly and drinks amazingly well.

10-07-2007 06:45:01 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.3/5  rDev +4.4%

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.

10-05-2007 00:18:00 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of cjgator3


3.9/5  rDev -5.3%

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark copper colored amber with a nice creamy off-white head. The aroma is sweet malt with some citrusy hops. The aroma is very nice, but a little underwhelming for a IIPA. The taste starts out pretty smooth and malty but the hops quickly make their presence felt and stick around long after the sip. Overall, this is a pretty solid brew that is recommended.

09-27-2007 19:21:29 | More by cjgator3
Photo of warmstorage


4.35/5  rDev +5.6%

22 ounce bottle, $3.99 at Gold Rush Liquor, Anchorage.

Appearance: Deep copper to light red, with a big rocky off-white head. Big lacing, almost a thick wall of it. Outstanding appearance, almost a Belgian tripel-worthy rockiness.

Aroma: Deep malty, with notes of roast, and solid earthy hops. Almost like an American style barleywine.

Taste: Sweet tangy and deep spicy earthy hoppy, much like Bigfoot in character and hoppiness, especially the 2007 Bigfoot. Very nice, and finishes with strong sugars and hints of burnt sugar and wood. Distinct C hops. A delicious American style barleywine.

Mouth: Full but not thick, this is a solid, slightly slick finishing beer.

Overall: Finally, a Lagunitas specialty/seasonal that I can love! Delicious, American barleywine/American strong ale. Solid in almost every way, this is perhaps the best Lagunitas I've ever had (and you can see from my reviews that I've had a lot.)

09-26-2007 02:49:25 | More by warmstorage
Photo of tempest


3.98/5  rDev -3.4%

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.

09-26-2007 02:43:13 | More by tempest
Photo of arizcards


4.18/5  rDev +1.5%

Picked up a bomber at Sportsmans in mid-May for $3.39.

Beer poured a copper color with a well sustained head that is leaving rings behind in my glass. Nose is a wonderful blast of citrus and pine hops and caramel malts. Taste is well balanced, caramel malts predominate up front blending into a pine citrus hop finish. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, fairly chewy for the style. Drinkability is good. There is a little bit more emphasis on the piney hops so if that is your thing you need to try this beer! This is definitely a value, very comparably priced to offerings from Stone and Bear Republic.

09-22-2007 01:12:46 | More by arizcards
Photo of umustdrink


4.65/5  rDev +12.9%

An Imperial ESB
9.28% ABV

A - See through deep bloody red color, some bubbles flowing. Rocky off-white head, big and fluffy at about a half inch. Lots of lacing.

S - Sweet brown sugary malts, very bready and very slightly bitter, piny hops.

T/M - Starts out thin feeling with oily hoppy flavor, hops are balanced with sweet caramely brown sugar malts. Bitterness comes back tasting green and piny, finishing out the flavor.

D - Excellently balanced beer, hops and malts at perfect harmony which is my favorite kind of beer. Highly recommended.

09-21-2007 05:00:30 | More by umustdrink
Photo of irishkyle21

Ontario (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev +0.7%

I have been drinking a lot of amazing IPA's and DIAP's lately ( its starting to show around the waste line) and Shut Down Ale is a definite winner in my books. It pours with a huge rocky off white head that holds up extremely well and leaves behind large blobs of lacing. Has a clear rusty amber color if there is such a thing.

Has a scent of fresh hops, citrus, bread and caramel. I find the smells complement each other well.

Tastes of sweet malt then the hoppy piny bitterness hits you. Has a good clean bitter finish that holds on. A great beer to sip on as the alcohol is very warming but not that evident on my palate.

09-18-2007 06:32:31 | More by irishkyle21
Photo of doppelmeup

North Carolina

4.53/5  rDev +10%

This is a spectacular looking beer! Pours a beautiful deep topaz color into a pint glass with a huge, pillowy head that lasts forever. Lacing all the way down the glass. One of the best looking beers I've ever seen!

Aromas of fresh hops. Not overpowering, but very fresh smelling. Slightly fruity and flowery.

Taste is very nice. Definitely bitter and hoppy, but not to the point of being overdone. A sweetness as well, but just enough to compliment the hops. I'm not sure I completely agree with the style for this beer. When I think of double IPAs, I think of over-the-top hoppiness and a very malty backbone. This beer seems more of a strong ale. But don't get me wrong; I really like this and think it is very good!!

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Some bitterness remains on the palate after enjoying a mouthful.

I have to say that as I write this review and drink this beer, the head is still amazing!!!

Overall, this beer is exceedingly drinkable, but I know the ABV will catch up to me. Even so, I have to give it a high drinkabiltiy score, because it goes down so easily!

Highly recommended. If you see it, pick it up and take it home.

09-16-2007 23:00:28 | More by doppelmeup
Photo of atsprings

North Carolina

4.13/5  rDev +0.2%

Pours a deep amber almost brown with a decent head that lasts as a thin layer. The aroma is dominated by piney hops with a hint of caramel in the background. The taste is a very enjoyable blend of earthy pine hops and dark caramel malts. The beer is slightly on the heavy side with good warming alcohol. This one is certainly a sipper, but a very enjoyable one.

09-12-2007 02:07:29 | More by atsprings
Photo of TechMyst


2.73/5  rDev -33.7%

This is the "SNEAK RELEASE" not the "12th Anniversary" edition. Wouldn't put this in the IPA or IIPA genera; I'd like it in the Strong Ale category. Yes it is a hoppy beer, but the spice profile in the malts give this a big big boost. Not as good as Mendicino's Eye of the Hawk, but better than Stone's Arrogant Bastard. A bit chalky on the palate. Nice buzz though. Good, but I wouldn't rave about it...

09-05-2007 06:53:12 | More by TechMyst
Photo of tpd975


4.13/5  rDev +0.2%

Since Lagunitas came to Florida I have been pounding their brews one after another. What you get is great taste for four dollar a bomber.

A: Pours a nice bronze color that almost looks like an amber ale. There is a huge rocky head that puffs up nicely and hangs around for sometime. What is left makes layer after layer of lacing, some of the best I have ever seen.

S: Resiny pine. pine needles, pine cones, pine sap, pine sol. No matter how you say it the aroma is pure pine.

T: As soon as this one passes your tongue you are hit with a subtle citrus taste which is quickly overrun by a nice strong piney bitterness. The bitterness fades and is then overtaken by a wonderful caramel malty sweetness.

M: Full bodied and pretty thick.

D: Nice brew. Of course because of the 9.28 ABV you may want to pass on that second bomber.

Overall: Another great beer by Lagunitas. For $4 a bomber their beers can not be beat. I spent the day relaxing at the beach and upon coming back inside the beach house I popped this one open. It was so smooth and refreshing, I think I may now lay down and take a nap. I'm gonna throw a Maximus in the fridge, it would be perfect this evening while enjoying one of west coast Florida's most beautiful sunsets from a chaise lounger on Longboat Key. If I'm not unconscious by then I may just be inclined to drink their newest release Kill Ugly Radio, as I think about my wonderful day, and what else lies ahead during my holiday / birthday weekend at the beach.

08-31-2007 18:37:10 | More by tpd975
Lagunitas Sneak Release Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 601 ratings.