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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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605 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 605
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: 605 | Reviews: 170 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of doppelmeup
4.53/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

doppelmeup, Sep 16, 2007
Photo of atsprings
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

atsprings, Sep 12, 2007
Photo of TechMyst
2.73/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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...

TechMyst, Sep 05, 2007
Photo of tpd975
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

tpd975, Aug 31, 2007
Photo of hijjt
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a red/amber color with a good sized tan head.

Smell: Hoppy citrus smell with a hint of banana, and a touch of alcohol.

Taste: Not nearly the bitterness of a double IPA, the hops is there, however the malty sweetness easily takes over the flavor. Citrus hoppiness and slight bitterness is quickly taken over by the strong caramel malt. The alcohol is easily masked even for its high content.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, the carbonation is masked and doesn't overpower.

Drinkability: Good drinkability, more than expected.

Overall, I really liked it; I am not sure that it fits in the genera in which it was placed here, but definitely worth a try.

hijjt, Aug 23, 2007
Photo of Drew966
3.68/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lagunitas Sneak Release Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale pours a dark, reddish copper color with an of white head from a brown twenty two ounce bottle. The aroma is a bit milder than I would like, it is primarily hops. There is a strong hop flavor up front that fades to a strong malt flavor toward the end. Pretty decent, worth a try.

Drew966, Aug 19, 2007
Photo of number1bum
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber pours a nice clear copper color with a big and fluffy three finger cream colored head. Leaves a ton of lace and ample amount of stick on the sides.

Smell is hoppy but more piney than citrusy for my nose. Smell suggests to me that there will be pretty ample bitterness (the label suggests that, as well). There is some sweet caramel malt and alcohol in the nose, as well.

Taste starts off with some bitter, pine flavored hops, adds in a bit of grapefruit and citrus, and then finishes with some more hop bitterness. There is a pretty solid malt backbone (subtle caramel sweetness but really just robustly malty) to keep the hops in line for the most part. I'd consider it a bit of a little bit of a hop bomb in terms of bitterness but not in the league of a Hop Wallop by any means. Mouthfeel is medium and the carbonation is pretty crisp. Alcohol is mostly well hidden although it does come out a bit in the nose and just a touch in the taste.

Enjoyable brew for sure, but not my favorite DIPA (and I should point out that the label never refers to it as an IPA or Double IPA - only an "especially bitter ale." I'm really not even sure it's a DIPA. It shares some characteristics but it's got more malt flavor and less hop flavor than most DIPAs). Definitely worth a try though.

number1bum, Aug 15, 2007
Photo of shaebs99
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Overall I did enjoy this beer, but I may be biased to more hoppy DIPA's.

Poured from bomber into a tulip. Nice sized off white head over a deep rich amber. It just really looked good after the proper pour I gave it with swirling carbonation.

Aroma is mostly of citrusy grapefruit hops. Nothing really strong and overpowering. Not a hop-bomb probably will be the same for the taste.

Taste is a pretty well-balanced offering between the malt and citrusy hops. The hops win in the end, but a lot closer than most DIPA's out there

Medium bodied and smooth. Very drinkable.
Considering the price tag is a bit (in some cases quite) lower than other DIPA's definitely something I would get again.

shaebs99, Aug 14, 2007
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 macster
3.98/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brown color with some amber-orange hues. Forms a 1" frothy off-white head with decent retention of some wispy foam throughout. Minimal spotty lacing.

Nicely balanced aroma profile with competing notes of dark caramel, chocolate malt balls, raisins, spices and a touch of citrus-like hops in the background.

Medium body on the palate with a nice slick, smooth feel as it passes over the tongue.

Flavors are also very well balanced with notes of sweet caramel candy, toffee, dark fruits and toasted malt combined with a subtle spicy-citrusy hop contribution. The body and balanced flavor seems to keep the 9.9% alcohol almost unoticeable.

Perhaps not a classic but a solid, drinkable American Strong for sure.

macster, Aug 13, 2007
Photo of bluegrassbrew
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a pint glass.

Poured a very deep amber color with a long lasting white head that left good lacing.

Smell was of grapefruit and some sweet malt.

Taste was very good! Grapefruit and nice bitter hops but was balance very well by the malty sweetness.

Overall, more hoppy than malty. That is a rare occasion for a DIPA nowadays it seems. Very good. Highly recommended!

bluegrassbrew, Aug 11, 2007
Photo of Stoneman78
3.65/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a- pours a clear, brown hue with a creamy white head that is mostly diminishing with fair lacing throughout
s- aroma of sweet citrus hops and caramel malts
t- fairly well-balanced ale that is slightly underwhelming for a DIPA, initial flavor is of citrus and pine hops, followed by caramel/toffee malts, subtle alcohol in the finish
m- medium-bodied ale with adequate carbonation
d- Balanced and warm DIPA that is smooth drinking, the abv is very well-masked, not the hoppiest DIPA, but a solid entrant in this category

Stoneman78, Aug 11, 2007
Photo of vtfan77
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A- Deep copper with a decent head and good lacing

S- Extremely hoppy; smells mainly of pine with a bit of a metallic aroma. The malt is also quite evident with a nice toasty character.

T- The pine character is very prominent and pretty much dominates the taste. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing; it does taste good. The malt does a pretty good job of holding up to the hop onslaught; the ample bitterness is balanced just enough to not become overpowering.

M- Medium- full body, decent carbonation; the mouthfeel fits the beer perfectly.

D- The high alcohol definitely limits the drinkability of this bad boy. I can finish the bomber no problem, but certainly wouldn't want any more. Pretty average in this department.

This is a good, solid beer, but it failed to wow me. There's not really anything terribly unique or distinctive about it. It's still very good and pretty cheap. I may get it again if the mood strikes me. Recommended.

vtfan77, Aug 10, 2007
Photo of BretSikkink
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tawny amber color, nice appearance with a light tan head. Foams up about an inch, nothing special, but the retention is great and lacing solid.

Upfront, a hoppy nose, although some caramelized malt peeks in. Grapefruit and other citric aromas waft initially although as things warm up I noticed more of a piney scent, that complemented the flavor. There is enough malt to stand up to the hop assault, and it has a pleasant sweetness that counterbalances the bitter hops and peppery alcohol - not quite as thick and solid as molasses, but leaning toward that flavor.

Hops, however, do run the show. There is some fresh grassiness amongst the citrics, but the deeper bitterness of pine resin is the overall impression. This is aided by the high, sharp alcohol content, which is nicely integrated into the flavor, but is not hidden.

The mouthfeel is thinned by the hops, although there is a syrupy sweet film left over that is all malt. It's fine by any standard, not superb, about the same as the drinkability: good for 9 per cent, but definitely apparent.

Flavorful, gets me my hop fix. I wish I had an Arrogant Bastard to sip against it; I think this might lean a little towards a Strong Ale, although it is quite good either way.

BretSikkink, Aug 07, 2007
Photo of ppoitras
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Julio's, Marlboro, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" beige head over the clear coppery amber brew. Head lasts well, with tons of sticky lace froth. Aroma is fresh citrusy hops with twinges of pine as well. Taste is ample maltiness to start, which is quickly balanced and overpowered a bit by the dominant hops flavor. Particularly the pine lingers, and there is warming after toughts as well. Mouthfeel is a bit prickly due to the strength of hops character, but this one remains plenty drinkable.

ppoitras, Aug 05, 2007
Photo of Shaw
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber in color with an foamy head. This beer is much more brown than other Double IPA's I've had.

It smells powerfully of citrus hops, dried fruit and caramel. Wow.

The taste is -- of course -- big and hoppy with a strong flavor of alcohol. This is a pretty smooth Double IPA, its bitterness is not as harsh as others of the style.

With a slick mouthfeel that's just about perfect, this is quite the drinkable beer, considering its 9 percent ABV.

This is a very accomplished and polished Double IPA and a nice spin on a style that many believe has just one note.

Shaw, Aug 05, 2007
Photo of sloejams
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this when it was initially released, I guess just over a year ago. It didn't seem like a DIPA to me then and it doesn't really now. I guess it leans toward the YuleSmith Winter side of DIPA, almost a Double Red. Fuck it, this is a tasty beer and that is what is important.

Characteristically, it appears very much like a red: deep amber in color with a finger head that laces quite nicely. There's a lot more malt than your traditional DIPA. There's plenty of hops there too, seems like it should be a strong ale. Again fuck it, it's a good beer. Enjoy one.

sloejams, Aug 04, 2007
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber, served in a pint glass.

A - clear, deep amber color with a good size tan head that settled down to a layer, leaving good lacing.

S - initial nose is hops, but as I sniff more, I'm smelling a sweet caramel type malt.

T - very well balanced brew, sweet malts/bitter hops, abv is only detected after the beer warms up. Burps are all hops.

M - medium bodied, mild carbonation.

D - good, drinkable DIPA. Be careful of the 9.3% abv.

JoeyBeerBelly, Aug 04, 2007
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 msubulldog25
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a pint glass, 9.28% ABV (gotta love when it's calculated to the 0.01%). "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".

A: Clear amber, thick with rising carbonation. Capped with a fairly soapy, light tan-colored 1/2 finger of sudsy head, this fades to a splotchy film. A little sticking lace, in thin sheets.

S: Another delicious-smelling boldly sugary/hoppy DIPA from Lagunitas. Absolutely no complaints about the full hops of pine and citrus busting out of this and the mildly caramel sweetness following.

T: So full of juicy citrus, pungent and resinous pine. A wallop of hops followed by a pleasingly sweet malt backing. pretty delicious, though finishing on the hoppy and slightly tart side...

M: Crisp, almost biting. I found this a little acerbic, a little too punishing and imbalanced on the taste buds. Warm, or hot in fact. Creamier mouthfeel with a low/moderate carbonation.

D: A sensual, warm and full-flavored DIPA. Not the most drinkable due to it's warmth and punishing bitterness, but still a good one I'd have again. Definitely a hop-head's dream - full-body, full-aroma, warm & creamy in the mouth. Very good.

msubulldog25, Aug 02, 2007
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 TurdFurgison
3.98/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass. The beer was crystal clear, dark copper color, thick white foam. The aroma was hoppy, actually it was just as I expected it to be (I like all the hoppy Lagunitas beers). The flavor was mostly malty as well, biting and citrus-like, very bitter in a good way. There was a significant malt base underneath the astringence, making a pleasing counterweight of sweet beneath the burn.

For $3.99 per 22oz bottle, you can't go wrong with Lagunitas.

TurdFurgison, Jul 29, 2007
Photo of Mdog
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Brownish amber, nice head and retention.

Smell: Citrus, juicy sweetness.

Taste: Sweet caramel, brown sugar and then some citrus hops kick in with some bite at the end.

Mouthfeel: Smooth.

Drinkability: Nicely balanced and very tasty.

Picked this up at Casanova's in Wisconsin-if it's a DIPA I must try it. This was a tasty beer, but reminds me more of a barleywine--more sweetness and maltiness than many DIPAs but quite good.

Mdog, Jul 29, 2007
Photo of andrewm190
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle. Purchased in Charlottesville, VA.

This is a delicious, strongly hopped beer. The beer is strong also, in alcohol content. 9.3 percent. The hops are the first thing you notice, followed quickly by the crispy, which surrounds your tongue. Both sensations stay with you long after you have imbibed a sip. There seems to be a hint of spicy, which gets stronger as you drink.

I am personally a fan dark beers, the muddier the better. I do enjoy this beer a great deal, I recommend a try.

andrewm190, Jul 28, 2007
Photo of Dukeofearl
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle purchased at LaBodega in Riverside, CA. in July 2007 for ??? (not on the bottle!).

Pours a nice dark amber with a solid off-white head on top. Aroma is a solid hop and malt mix, nothing that steps out and is unique, but a solid Double IPA/strong ale mix.

The flavor follows through, hop bitterness very satisfying, and a rich full malt profile. Malts have some rich molassas and dark German breads, but also a surprising (and pleasant) touch of sweetness. A winner. Even the little fly in the room seems to want some.

The alcohol is there, at 9.28% ABV (how precise can we be???), but it is generally very well hidden. Actually probably pretty scary how well hidden it is.

Good stuff to start the weekend after a long work week. Hopefully it's all uphill from here!

Dukeofearl, Jul 28, 2007
Lagunitas Sneak Release Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 605 ratings.