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Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Undercover Investigation Shut-down AleUndercover Investigation Shut-down Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,291 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2291
Reviews: 677
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 10.12%

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  9.70% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
ABV varies slightly from 9.0 to 9.8

(Beer added by: GilGarp on 03-10-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,291 | Reviews: 677 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of TheMarkE


4.19/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Dark amber with a good head and excellent lacing.

Smell: Caramel and grassy malts, hints of citrus.

Taste: Caramel, grass, chocolate, booze, brown sugar, citrus.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy bodied and creamy, with a bitter hop aftertaste.

The Verdict: Delicious. Complex and well balanced, this is another great example of Lagunitas’ stand out American Strong Ales. I’d love to down the six pack, but I don’t think I’d make it through two of them. Maybe I should have eaten something.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2014 19:00:08 | More by TheMarkE
Photo of threeviews

New Jersey

4.65/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I am re-reviewing from last year...Poured from a bottle (Julian date of 051, which translates to February 20, 2014) into a tulip glass.

A- Although my last experience (circa Spring 2013) yeilded an absolutely clear, cognac bronze, this year's bottles poured with some sediment and produced about 1/2-1 finger head that deteriorates rather quickly...I am guessing a 'dirty' filter (perhaps the Lagunitas Cellar Team trying to figure out the intracacies of the new brewery in Chicago?). (3.75)

S- Hop aroma dominates with sweet (candied) citrus, floral and piney notes. However, a hefty caramel malt sweetness is also prominent and evidence that UIS-DA is clearly more of an American Strong Ale (i.e. Hop-forward Barleywine) instead of a Double IPA. (4.75)

T- Hops and malt collide on the palate in harmony balancing each other out. However, the malt backbone prevents the published 66.6 IBU's from ever becoming astrigent. As a matter of fact, the balance of hops and crystal malt is quite nice. I enjoy the fact that this falls somewhere between a Double India Pale Ale and an American Strong Ale...nicely done. (4.75)

M- A full-bodied ale with enough carbonation to move the flavors across the palate and eliminate this offering from being excessively cloying. (4.75)

O- For the style, this is an exceptional beer. However, this is too reminiscent of Lagunitas' Brown Shugga' to make it stand out in their profile. However, being an absolute fan of the latter, I am fortunate to have a similar (yet seasonal) offering without having to wait an entire year. If you assume that UCIS-DA is yet another Double IPA, then think again. If you are a fan of (fresh) Brown Shugga', then you can revel in a second round come this Spring Seasonal. (4.5)

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2014 20:09:30 | More by threeviews
Photo of GeoJ


1.5/5  rDev -63%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Short and sweet: Bleeech ...

One of the single worst tasting beverages I've ever had. Slick, oily mouthfeel coats the tongue and doesn't let go. Cloyingly piney, "What the hell am I drinking?" reaction after first sip. Overdone on every level - I don't understand what this beer is trying to be.

Too boozy tasting on top of it all.

A two-sip drain-pour.

Simply horrific.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2014 15:38:27 | More by GeoJ
Photo of Aaron_Ramson


4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dark Amber in color with a fantastic head that left a pretty sticky web of lacing on the glass. Nose is sweet with tropical fruits and pine; resin, a sweet maple candy note, boozy and warm smelling at the end. The maple candy flavor is at the forefront along with tropical fruit and resin from the hops. Sweet and boozy with very little back end bitterness. Warms the chest once it's down. Full mouthfeel with ample carbonation to keep it from feeling like syrup. While there is definitely hop bitterness at the end, there is not quite enough to give this beer balance, and it comes across as rather too sweet and heavy. While it's not perfect, it is definitely unique and has it's own signature flavor. Lagunitas makes my favorite beers, hands down. Little sumpin, sumpin, Brown Sugga, Lagunitas Sucks are all amazing brews, and Undercover Investigation is set to join the line of winners from this brewery.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2014 21:40:47 | More by Aaron_Ramson
Photo of hopflyer


4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 2/23/14

Poured with some vigor and yields one finger head. Rich golden honey color and great clarity.
Aroma is earthy hops, floral, and some burnt caramel. Smells sweet.

Nice little hop bite up front and sugary going down. I get a sugary honey flavor. Reminds me of honey smacks cereal. Balanced with floral hops with a touch of citrus. Bitter aftertaste really rounds out all aspects of the brew.

Pretty thick feel, moderate carbonation and some boozy burn. Sticky.

This beer has it all. Much like brown sugga but I think this one has a bit more bitterness from whatever hop profile was used. The sweetness is also a bit more cane sugar and honey where brown sugga is what it says. Really been liking lagunitas lately and this one boosts my overall impression of them.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2014 11:16:58 | More by hopflyer
Photo of ThisWangsChung


2.88/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear copper color. The head is a little over two fingers high, and off-white in coloring. It not only retains nicely, but has a rugged texture suggesting a good hoppiness. Rings of lacing are left on the glass.

S: Huh. I hardly smell anything. I'd wonder if my glass was dirty, but I also get very little from out of the bottle. The typical Lagunitas character and some brown sugar-esque malts are there, along with just a touch of piny hops - and that's about it. The aroma is amplified slightly once it warms up, revealing some nice fruity notes. My patience is paying off: this is developing into an enjoyable nose.

T: A gentle combination of piny hops and dark fruit notes open this up. The finish, on the other hand, is caramel-y to the point of obstruction. Touches of minty bitterness can't save this beer from being positively choked down by toffee, toffee, and more toffee. Let it warms up, and it even becomes quite boozy. Meh.

M: Even though it's too sweet, and not even that enjoyable tasting, I'll give it some credit - it goes down easily in that way only a Lagunitas strong ale can go down easily. I'm only picking up traces of its alcohol presence on the tongue; the 9.7% is hidden quite well. Actually, once it warms up, it isn't hidden well at all - basically, this is one to drink cold.

O: This is the probably the first Lagunitas beer I actually don't like. Still, it's not exactly bad - there are whispers of a good strong ale to be found, what a shame the extensive caramel backbone runs roughshod over everything. That, and it becomes rather harsh when warmed up sufficiently. I won't be returning to this one when just about everything else from Lagunitas shows off their (awesome) house character better.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2014 21:49:28 | More by ThisWangsChung
Photo of lochef81


4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another offering from one of my favorite breweries. This one pours a beautiful reddish light mahogany color with an ample and lasting off white head that leaves very substantial lacing. The aroma is a perfect blend of west coast hops and rich malty sweetness. The nose is quite dank with citrus, pine, and grass hops as well as a very nice amount of malt to balance the beer. The mouthfeel is smooth but thick and coating in the best way. The flavor is everything the nose promises but not quite so balanced. It is a very well crafted beer but the hops slightly overtake the malt in the mouth. It is sweet but not the rich sweetness that you get from a well made barleywine, almost unnecessarily sweet. This is good but not my favorite from Lagunitas.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2014 04:30:52 | More by lochef81
Photo of thedoubler55

New Jersey

4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A dark amber color almost brown, with a nice transparency, a little bit of a tan head at the top that leaves some nice lacing as you drink it.

S: Citrus and flowery hops hit you right up front, slight hints of caramel and soe roastyness as well, back end some brown sugar also.

T: Up front its a little sweet, nothing over powering though, a nice sweetness from the brown sugar and caramel, and nice kick at the end from the hops.

M: Medium bodied, with a good amount of carbonation, sticky and somewhat on the light side.

O: Lagunitas did a great job with this beer, not overpowering for a strong ale and the abv content is not that noticeable.

Serving type: on-tap

04-07-2014 14:08:48 | More by thedoubler55
Photo of 57md


3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark copper color with over a finger of off-white head that retains for some time. The nose is mildly hoppy. The hop bitterness is there in the flavor, but the driving force of this beer is certainly the malt. The body is light considering the ABV and malt forward nature of the offering. The finish is semi-dry and the alcohol warmth rears its head slightly.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2014 02:53:17 | More by 57md
Photo of NiceTaps

New Jersey

3.91/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle in a nonic pint glass.

A- Beautifully clean, clear copper color with a billowy 2f head, cream colored. That's a hearty look that leaves plenty of sticky lacing. Carbonation via very tiny bubbles.

S- Floral hops, caramelized sugar, bready malts- they're all there, but topped off by burnt alcohol aroma.

T-Floral hops, bready and caramel malts, some sugar. I expected syrupy sweetness, instead it is quite bitter, and it works.

M- Solid body and tingly carbonation soften the bitterness. A touch of sweetness in the back end. Lots of malt body.

O- This might be one of those "on the fence" beers. While not perfect, it falls on the right side of the fence for me.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2014 22:21:09 | More by NiceTaps
Photo of Mongrel


3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a dark copper color with good clarity and a nice finger of white head. Tons of lacing. Good looking beer.

Smells bright and mildly hoppy in a nondescript sort of way. With some effort I'm able to pick out grass, orange and grape.

Taste is reminiscent of Brown Shugga, but more mellow and subdued, yet possibly more bitter. Bright, copper-y malt center, surrounded by those cool hop notes of orange, tangerine, grape and pine. Rich, tasty and surprisingly smooth, but not terribly complex.

Overall, this is a rich, tasty brew with some nice vinuous grape notes. It's got a bright, bitter copper penny streak running through it. An enjoyable strong ale, but I think I prefer Brown Shugga.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2014 02:08:17 | More by Mongrel
Photo of username


3.89/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

A - Solid, finger-thick foam. Not especially dense, but quite frothy, many small bubbles. Minimal lacing. A darker amber, leaning towards reddish-brown. Clear.

S - Grapefruit and lemon with a hint of pineapple in the back mixed with hops.

T - Bittering hops up front cascading into subtle grapefruit and lemon rind. Emphasis on the rind. No traces of sweet fruit to be found with the exception of the rare and buried hints of pineapple. Eventually a deeper musky, almost woody sensation but it's something one must search for.

M - So bitter it may be mistaken for carbonation, but it's not. It is actually very smooth; not too heavy, not too light – which is neat though this characteristic is arguably ruined by the bitterness. Finishes bitter, perhaps even a little sour and to the wet side however doesn't linger too long.

O - I feel this to be a 'simple and effective' brew. There is some complexity, but at the same time it's not trying to wow anyone with it. What is present is bold and "in-your-face". If it was a theme contest I'd give this a 5/5; the spirit of what is being commemorated with this brew has artfully made it into the bottle somehow. Very 'we know what we are doing here, and it's good, so we're going to keep doing it, despite what you say'. Abrasive and rewarding because it wants to and can be – but also because that's how you like it.

Others have compared it to an IPA x barleywine brew, or a DIPA; both comparisons I strongly agree with.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2014 01:47:09 | More by username
Photo of DaveEcenrode


5/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Deep Orange slight haze with a foamy head and lacing all over the pint glass
Just pouring from the bottle had me salivating for this brew

S- Smells like what you expect heaven to look like ( just picture it)... Definitely can smell a pine needles to the face, downhill snowboarding, balls to the wall snow all over the place winter smell

T- My oh My!!! I am not sure what Lagunitas categorizes this as, but it tastes like a DIPA, to me! The hop forward profile slams the tongue with bitterness that leaves me wanting to chug this beast and take the next and keep chugging. God it's good

M- Hops Hops Hops, nice carbonation just enough on the tounge to keep you twitching, just want an endless supply.

O- Hands down, the most impressed I have ever been of any beer I've ever had!!!

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2014 00:47:59 | More by DaveEcenrode
Photo of Dsimenson


4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Draft poured into a sample glass. Crystal clear deep amber color with a nice head, mild lacing down the glass. The aroma is unique--a mixture of grapefruit and mandarin oranges, very rich and rewarding. Flavor is unique, mild to moderately bitter, mild citrus, with a bit of vanilla. Mouthfeel is medium, almost chewy. Overall this is an outstanding ale and I can't wait to try it again.

Serving type: on-tap

04-05-2014 00:30:27 | More by Dsimenson
Photo of BastardKing24


4.09/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark orange with a 2 finger white head that sticks around. Looks nice

Smell is of floral hops, some danky pine and citrus, and fresh fruits like mango and pineapple.

Taste is similar with an abundance of fresh orange fruit. Apricot, Pineapple, mango, pine, citrus extract, melon, and ginger.

Feel is a little more carbonated than I would like it, but it's still ok.

Overall I like this beer just as much as the other hoppy offerings from Lagu~ they make some damn good beers. Theres something similar about their beers that just keeps them consistent and enjoyable. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2014 02:57:21 | More by BastardKing24
Photo of sommersb


4.19/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tasted On: 04-01-2014
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Tulip pint
Purchased: Received from a friend

A nice looking beer, with a bright and clear copper color. The big off-white head leaves a pretty lacing on the glass.

Aromas are enticing -- floral and citrus hops fill the nose with a background of light malt sweetness.

Taste is of bitter hops, but they play well with other flavors from the yeast and malts so as not to be one-dimensional. The alcohol is noticeable as well, at almost 10%

Mouthfeel is full in body, plus a prickly carbonation. The beer finishes both dry and bitter.

Overall a real treat of a heavy, hoppy strong ale...recommended!

Thanks, Kirk, for the try!

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2014 04:11:17 | More by sommersb
Photo of Act25

New Jersey

4.14/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip, deserves a snifter. A lot here.

A: Pours a very dark amber with a thick dense head with a lot of rich, sticky lacing. nice color.

S: Sweet, floral, and citrus hops. Also nuances of caramel, wood, and darker malts.

T: Hops all the way, bitter but balanced, a beautiful sipper. I like this much better than Palate Wrecker, and anything stronger. It's a DIPA. Plenty of caramel, candied sugars. Mild spice and bitterness in a long finish.

M: Medium-bodied, mild alcohol presence. Smooth, lovely finish, this is a favorite DIPA up with the best. Strong - sip slowly. Warming.

D: Bitter. Sipper. Must try.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2014 02:54:46 | More by Act25
Photo of dank203

New Jersey

3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

pours dark red with finger or so of head . aromas of sweet sugary fruits and some hops. a bit west coasty. the flavor has the hops too, slightly bitter offset bit a big syrupy fruity maltiness. actually a lot of complexity to be taken. some darker fruits and lot of booze upon warming

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2014 02:34:15 | More by dank203
Photo of Bedrocker


4.24/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: The beer pours a nice clear copper color and has good off-white head that retains its size well. Nice lacing.

S: Citrus and pine hop aromas are in the forefront on this one, and they mix well with caramel, spice, and a little bit of dark fruit to give a very balanced smell.

T: Sweet malts and citrus/pine, primarily. Balances well with the undertones of caramel, dark fruits, and brown sugar. Ends with a decent amount of bitterness and a little alcohol.

M: Medium body and carbonation. Slight warming from the alcohol on this one. Considering the light(er) body on this one with respect to its ABV, not bad at all.

O: Solid brew from Lagunitas. One of the more unique beers I've had, it seems like Lagunitas is trying to mix a few styles and they do it well. Very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2014 03:34:24 | More by Bedrocker
Photo of Celtics17


4.34/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Excellent mix of and IPA and Barleywine. Nice hops, with grapefruit, then with caramel tones in the taste, Great smell, fresh beer. Good head, the look is great, very balanced and good overall taste. Everything meshes well with each other.

The aroma , taste, are what you what u want from Lagunitas.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2014 08:44:34 | More by Celtics17
Photo of AwYeh


4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear golden amber color, with a good two fingers of frothy off-white head. Nice lacing left behind.

S: Strong and pretty unique smell. There are big bursts of pine and orange right away, backed up by a candy/caramel backbone and a slightly smoky/salty/musty smell that I just can't place. Maybe that final element is a result of one particular ingredient's combination with the others, but I'm really digging it.

T: Loads of caramel that are quickly balanced by pine and citrus, which linger nicely on the bitter finish. Raisins and toffee show up as well, without getting too sweet. Somewhat simple when compared to the smell, but just as good. Hint of alcohol as it warms.

M: Medium+ body, with nice lively carbonation for the ABV. Really smooth.

O: Another solid offering from Lagunitas, worth picking up.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2014 03:08:53 | More by AwYeh
Photo of RoamingGnome


3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shutdown Ale

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a shaker pint. Served chilled...

A) Golden Amber brew with a creamy finger of head. Nice retention as this holds at a dusting for the duration. Nice lacing... A very attractive beer...

S) A pretty sweet scent that mixes a little pine and citrus together as well. A little bit of alcohol.

T) Similar to the aroma. It's like caramel coated oranges. Mind you, I've never had a caramel coated orange in my life, but that's my take. There's brown sugar and butter too. Yes, that's what I'm getting here, brown sugar, butter and oranges. It's a little boozy, but not hot.

M) The mouthfeel is full with moderate carbonation. This is sticky, not quite syrupy. Has a bitter sweet finish...

O) I liked it, but didn't love it. It was a mild disappointment, given my expectations when drinking a Lagunitas beer. It just fell a little short in the flavor department for my tastes.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2014 11:38:28 | More by RoamingGnome
Photo of EdwardK77

New York

4.68/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This strong ale certainly lived up to its billing. There was very nice lacing left in the glass and the flavor was certainly complex. This was billed as a bitter ale but I feel that they did a great job of balancing the bitterness with other flavors that allowed for easier drinkability. I did notice that this left a pleasant sticky mouthfeel that made you feel like you were drinking something that was well made. I also enjoyed that this ale was high alcohol without hitting you over the head with it. Would definitely look for this ale again.

Serving type: growler

03-24-2014 15:56:31 | More by EdwardK77
Photo of SenorBeaver


4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

For such a high percentage beer it was nice body and a good taste. For me it wasn't to0 sweet or thick. Hoppiness was just fine with an IBU of 66? damn good.

I'm a big IPA fan. I like barley wines usually only on tap. This is somewhere in between an ipa and a barley wine.

High ratings from a west coast beach native.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2014 04:36:35 | More by SenorBeaver
Photo of DeFaz


2.74/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours an amber color with a medium head that leaves nice lacing. Good head retention.

Smell: Huge candy aroma along with alcohol (this smells like 9+% if not more), caramel, and orange. There's a lot going on, but the aromas don't work well together.

Taste: Again, there's a lot of flavors, but they don't blend well. This tastes way too sweet while being moderately bitter, and the alcohol seeps through. I find that oftentimes strong ales will be very sweet so as to cover up the alcohol, but this doesn't happen here. There's some fruit and brown sugar going on.

Mouthfeel: Chewy, thick, and slightly undercarbonated. This doesn't make things any better.

Overall: I absolutely appreciate the effort to make a unique beer (that's why I seek out craft beers in the first place), but this really is tough to drink given the out of control sweetness. There are some good flavors here too, but the alcohol and candy flavors just squash everything for me.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2014 23:25:38 | More by DeFaz
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Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 2,291 ratings.