Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale - Lagunitas Brewing Company
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 2,787 | Reviews: 724 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by JamesMN:
3.96/5 rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Appearance: Crystal clear copper honey hue with visible effervescence slowly ascending towards a fluffy two finger off-white head. Exactly what I expect from the style and the clarity makes it very appealing.
Aroma: Sugary barley and an interesting blend of hop aromas that come together to form a sort of green tea or iced tea fragrance with a hint of lemon.
Taste: There is a lot going on here, some parts good and some not as good. It starts with a nice clean bitterness paired with amber malt flavor. The second half has the hop character developing giving the palate a lot of sweet herbal and some pine notes. The hops are slightly sticky making them the definite star of the show but their flavor can become monotonous because of how sweet they are. The malt is there to balance but doesn't really succeed because it does not have any strong flavor characteristics. The 9.7ish% ABV is completely hidden which makes this seem like a lighter brew. The bitterness reaches a high point in the finish which is smooth and slightly dry. Nice aftertaste of pine and some bitterness but lacking the afterburn of an imperial beer (which can be taken as a positive or negative depending on the drinker's preference).
Mouthfeel: As some others have mentioned, the body is a tad thin for the style. It is just below medium in body. Somewhat aggressive carbonation but not overdone. Easy drinking besides the somewhat cloying hop flavors.
Final Thoughts: I'm torn between a 4 and a 4.25 for the grade. In this type of situation I always opt for the lower number. Make no mistake, this is a good and enjoyable beer from one of my new favorite breweries, Lagunitus, that treads the style line between American Strong Ale and Double IPA. At $9.99 for a six-pack it is a fantastic deal that should not be passed up by any hop head. I was hoping to add three or four of these to my cellar but I expect they are best enjoyed fresh. Would I drink it again? Certainly.
Serving type: bottle
04-10-2013 01:23:57 | More by JamesMN
More User Reviews:
3.69/5 rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5
12 oz bottle poured into my Short's goblet. Bottled dated 67th day of 2014, so March 7th after a bit of Googling. I tried this beer once a while back and I really enjoyed it, so it'll be interesting to see how it's held up (in a refrigerated cooler) for the last few months.
UISDA pours a coppery, brassy orange out of the bottle and settles a little deeper in the glass with a predictable amount of head on the forced pour. The first thing I'm reminded of is a strong doppelbock with its deep ocher tone, limited translucency, and all-around prosaic appearance. The foam is off white, just a tinge of brown, and lingers on top of the beer in a thin layer in the middle of the surface and a thick band around the periphery. Some carbonation evident. This is an utterly "blah" beer, nothing special, nothing wrong, just plain.
The smell, by contrast, is relatively complex. The first thing I detect after a swirl and a deep whiff is hops, nothing citrusy or juicy, but dank and meaty, almost like a mosaic and nugget hop ate a piece of bacon before they were added to the boil. Speaking of pork, there's an almost spicy quality to the aroma too, like pepperoni, or even marijuana. There's little beneath the hop aroma, which is interesting considering that this is an aged specimen.
This relative dearth in the aroma carries through to the taste, which makes me suspect that this beer is better fresh. A hint of sugar presents itself, which makes me question the yeast strain; following it is a burst of bitter hop aroma, which doesn't pair well with the underlying sweetness from the alcohol and the yeast strain (Belgian pale, or something?). The combination yields a bitter citrusy flavor, like licking your fingers after handling a lime or the worst kind of grapefruit. In all, the taste is thin and one-dimensional.
Thinness, of course, is the enemy of mouthfeel. Bitterness is a close second. Unfortunately, UISDA presents both of these characteristics, leading to a less than desirable drinking experience. Despite the high alcohol content (which isn't part of the dramatis personae), the mouthfeel is thin and the ingredients are bitter.
UISDA is an interesting, but ultimately unconvincing experiment. There are a lot of styles being thrown around here, including DIPA, American Barleywine, and Weizenbock, which I assume is what led the brewers to label it as the nebulous "Strong Ale." Despite my negative comments, I'd like to revisit this beer afresh when it's less than a month old, as I think the desired flavors will be more present. Still, I expected better shelf-life from a 4-month-old, refrigerated, 9.5% ABV beer from an otherwise excellent brewery.
Serving type: bottle
07-25-2014 22:15:40 | More by JamesShoemaker
Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 2,787 ratings.