1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Undercover Investigation Shut-down AleUndercover Investigation Shut-down Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

2,767 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,767
Reviews: 723
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 10.1%
Wants: 39
Gots: 228 | FT: 4
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
66.6 IBU

(Beer added by: GilGarp on 03-10-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,767 | Reviews: 723 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of zeledonia
zeledonia

Minnesota

2.48/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bottled 25 March 2011. Don't know enough about the beer to know if that's a problem. I'm going to assume it's not and forge boldly ahead.

Pours a deep amber color, reddish-tinged with gold highlights. Big pillowy two-finger off-white head, good retention and nice lacing. Some visible carbonation, but not much. Knocked down a bit by some tiny little particles floating around in it.

Smells round, fleshy, and golden. Fruity, but an odd, unidentifiable fruit. Kinda like melon. Or "soft" alcohol - meaning the alcohol is there, but its edges are smoothed out. Reminds me of another unclassifiable Lagunitas beer I had not too long ago - Little Sumpin' Wild. Regardless, I like it.

First taste is like the smell turned down a notch, with a little hop kick at the end. Second taste is... fine... but I think the alcohol is too much for the rest of the beer. I don't find enough flavor here to stand up to 10%, so half the time I just taste the alcohol. And that's not pleasant. I even had a couple of hard-liquor-style shudders after taking sips of it. It's lacking the warmth, softness, and fulness of the smell. After a few sips, I'm finding it nearly undrinkable. The sweetness still sneaks through a bit, but I think this one is destined for the drain.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, low carbonation. Not bad, but I'm having trouble enjoying it because of the taste.

What can I say? It smells real nice. I enjoyed smelling it. I did not enjoy drinking it. In fact, I drank very little of it. Not my cup of tea. Sharp alcohol and bitterness drown out any goodness.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2012 04:29:15 | More by zeledonia
Photo of Offa
Offa

California

2.48/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

This is rather rough and unbalanced, like a rougher, more astringent, less balanced, and generally less well-crafter relative of Lagunitas's own Lucky 13.

Deep reddish, it has a medium pale tan head steadily shrinking to a thin foamy top and leaving a little lace.

The aroma is hoppy with a lot of grapefruit an pine plus very strong alcohol notes.

The taste is similar, some candied fruit and rum, some caramel, and hop flavours, but with too much grapfefruit and too much rough alcohol. The elements do not marry well but conflict and ultimately it is too bitter, astringently hot, and harsh, with a very drying feel in the mouth.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2009 18:29:01 | More by Offa
Photo of Atomicskis5
Atomicskis5

Connecticut

2.5/5  rDev -38.4%

04-11-2013 02:40:20 | More by Atomicskis5
Photo of tjsmith910
tjsmith910

Florida

2.5/5  rDev -38.4%

07-10-2013 02:23:17 | More by tjsmith910
Photo of khargro2
khargro2

Kentucky

2.5/5  rDev -38.4%

04-01-2013 01:17:36 | More by khargro2
Photo of IchLiebeBier
IchLiebeBier

Virginia

2.5/5  rDev -38.4%

03-31-2014 19:04:57 | More by IchLiebeBier
Photo of Zimm
Zimm

New Jersey

2.5/5  rDev -38.4%

05-13-2013 00:21:08 | More by Zimm
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

2.58/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

9.8%. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a nonical Guinness pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are fairly high; I'm increasingly liking Lagunitas.

Served straight from the refrigerator and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger beige-light light khaki head of fair retention, nice thickness, and pretty decent cream. Lacing is mundane. Colour is a clear textbook copper. No yeast particles are visible. Translucent. No bubble show.

Sm: Nice floral hopping, caramel, clean malts, cream, toasted malt, toffee, and a hint of alcohol. A mild strength aroma. No yeast comes through.

T: Malt sweetness - especially on the climax. Toffee and caramelization are prominent. Some toasted malts. A boozy character, but not in an averse way. Clean malts. Floral hopping; it's indistinct and adds little. This is a messy beer; the balance is off and the flavours are haphazard. I like it for what it is, but it just isn't focused or well put together. No real complexity or subtlety.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Somewhat syrupy; too thick. Not overbearing, but too heavy on the palate for what it is. Carbonation is good, if a bit overdone.

Dr: Drinkable but far from excellent. A decent brew from Lagunitas, but not a great one. I wouldn't get it again. Hides its ABV pretty well, but some does come through. Decently priced here in California.

C-

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2012 02:59:36 | More by kojevergas
Photo of DeFaz
DeFaz

Ohio

2.74/5  rDev -32.5%
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
Photo of Kraken
Kraken

Maryland

2.75/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed 3/24/09
Loved the story behind why this was brewed, had to pick up a 6'er. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 16oz pint glass. Exceedingly firm pour yields 1/8 inch head, bright white in color. Head fades quickly leaving no sign of lace. Color is a clear copper amber.

Nose- Piney, pithy grapefruit. Some pronounced caramel notes. Very dry, with some brown sugar sweetness. Plenty of bitterness in the finish. Very Hot. Kind of a hopped up sugary hot mess.

Mouthfeel- Very dry, and bitter.

Drinkability- Very strong, and confused.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2009 01:19:13 | More by Kraken
Photo of ONN8
ONN8

New Jersey

2.75/5  rDev -32.3%

08-17-2012 03:12:17 | More by ONN8
Photo of Waveoff
Waveoff

Pennsylvania

2.75/5  rDev -32.3%

06-17-2014 04:32:45 | More by Waveoff
Photo of Arbitrator
Arbitrator

California

2.78/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Chilled 12oz into a glass. Purchased from Whole Foods in Los Altos.

A: Pours a clear dark amber / coppery shade. Has a half-finger off-white head that recedes into light filming and a donut on top of the drink. Leaves some lacing down the glass. Has nice bubbles up the center.

S: MALT. MALT. MALT. A surprising amount of toast, brown sugar, raisins, and an arrangement of floral hops with a lighter grapefruit / citrus component. It honestly smells a lot to me like a doppelbock.

T: Following the nose, a dominant sweetness with toast, dark fruits (raisins, dates) with brown sugar and caramel malt supplementing. The finish takes a complete 180 into hop territory, with grapefruit acidity and floral bitterness. The aftertaste is fairly clean but has just a little lingering bitterness. Seems like the flavors need a little more time to meld.

M: It's medium-bodied, with a watery, unsatisfying finish. Medium carbonation that serves the style decently. Has a lingering bitter aftertaste, but after finishing the beer I had mostly malt burps. Good masking of the ABV.

D: Decent. While I'm glad I tried it, it's not mind-blowing, and I don't think I'd go out of my way to stock up before the season is over. It's more like a dependable and solid brew from a dependable and solid company.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2011 06:15:53 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of diamondc
diamondc

Texas

2.8/5  rDev -31%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Dark bronze, not much head, but there is a lingering cap of foam and some nice lacing.

S: Some light citrus aroma .. and that's it. Maybe some slight toastiness from the malt.

T: Very woodsy & pine-like hop bitterness. Booze is out in the open.

M: Despite the booziness, it doesnt drink harshly at all. Well-carbonated with no memorable hop or malt flavors.

O: Glad I only got a single. My least favorite Lagunitas beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2011 10:25:34 | More by diamondc
Photo of drpimento
drpimento

Wisconsin

2.85/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Expected better, given the ratings. Served with a fine, creamy, off white head and good lace. Color is a clear medium amber. Aroma is bright citrus, hop, a little yeast. Flavor is very intense grapefruit. Too intense for me. Body is ok and carbonation is a shade light. Finish is like flavor. Not a session for me.

Serving type: on-tap

08-01-2011 05:14:41 | More by drpimento
Photo of ThisWangsChung
ThisWangsChung

Maryland

2.88/5  rDev -29.1%
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 keokani
keokani

Nevada

2.9/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: copper, clear, with frothy, sandy white head.

Smell: caramel, butterscotch.

Taste: heavy sweetness, medium bitterness.

Mouthfeel: medium body, somewhat sticky texture, soft carbonation, bitter finish.

Drinkability: The style of this beer is a combination of old ale and English barleywine. The flatness of the carbonation makes it a sweet and sticky beer, but with a noticeably bitter finish. So, your palate and stomach have to be in the mood for the simultaneous taste extremes, which do a very good job of masking the 9.75% alcohol content. Stylistically, this is the kind of beer that I can only handle for one or two rounds at the most, before the concentrated flavor profile gets to be too much.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2010 06:51:06 | More by keokani
Photo of JayS2629
JayS2629

Alabama

2.93/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

The color is a deep amber copper with thin white head that fades fast but leaves nice lace. The smell is like a new car. Polished leather, and mild soapy aromas mixed with floral and pine notes. Some citrus, orange and bitter grapefruit mixed in. The taste, unfortunately follows the taste with soapy leather and pine, but has strong caramel and butterscotch balancing it out. Perfume like essense with notes of brown sugar and citrus. Interesting balance with the hops leading the way. Overall, a little difficult to finish.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2011 00:06:02 | More by JayS2629
Photo of jujubeast6000
jujubeast6000

Texas

2.95/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed 5/31/2009 (Draft at Flying Saucer, Houston, Tx):

Pours a clear reddish brown colored body, foamy cream-colored head, very lasting. Sweet hoppy aroma, kind of a weird fruity aroma. Not very strong. Pale somewhat hoppy, sweet taste. A mild pale ale. Sweet fruity taste, almost like strawberry. Creamy mouthfeel.

Serving type: on-tap

07-11-2009 21:24:24 | More by jujubeast6000
Photo of BMoney575
BMoney575

Texas

2.98/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Sampled on 4-7-09

Pours a clear deep red/brown, with a huge, foamy, clingy, off-white head that leaves crazy thick lacing.

Smell is all fruity and grassy hops, with a strong malt in the back. Reminds me very much of an Arrogant Bastard.

Taste is sweet and hot, combining to create a cinnamon-like quality. Fruity hops on the finish, with slick alcohol.

Mouthfeel is super slicks, adds to the booziness.

Drinkability is poor, see above.

Overall, lots of booze, little else.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2009 23:58:11 | More by BMoney575
Photo of IMincedTheKing
IMincedTheKing

New Jersey

2.98/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours amber with a finger of sturdy, ecru head.

A huge blast of sweet citrus assaults the nose, orange rind and lemon. Obviously hoppy, and the ABV is given away by a trace of alcohol.

Very little hop bitterness is present. It opens with a load of hoppy citrus and caramel malts. That gives way on the swallow to a flavor reminding me of cheap gin, and then a half-gin/half-hop aftertaste lingers. It's almost tasty, but the huge alcohol presence is unforgivable, even at 9%. The mouthfeel is chewy and syrupy with light carbonation.

I don't think I can take any more of this.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2009 06:17:44 | More by IMincedTheKing
Photo of rolandboy
rolandboy

Michigan

3/5  rDev -26.1%

10-20-2012 03:29:19 | More by rolandboy
Photo of Lanstrum
Lanstrum

Ohio

3/5  rDev -26.1%

06-12-2013 03:12:20 | More by Lanstrum
Photo of Neffbeer
Neffbeer

Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev -26.1%

11-15-2011 00:55:05 | More by Neffbeer
Photo of Gfunk
Gfunk

Maine

3/5  rDev -26.1%

03-06-2014 14:29:28 | More by Gfunk
Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 2,767 ratings.