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Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale - Lagunitas Brewing Company

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

3,389 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,389
Reviews: 873
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 10.1%
Wants: 72
Gots: 325 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  9.70% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: GilGarp on 03-10-2009

ABV varies slightly from 9.0 to 9.8
66.6 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,389 | Reviews: 873 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Phelps
2.24/5  rDev -44.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Served in a shaker pint at Tops.

Perfectly clear auburn with hints of burnt orange. One finger of frothy head the color of wet sand slowly fades to thick top layer, looking a little scummy.

Weird nose. Caramel, dry dog food, sweet wort. Also honey and hints of tangy apricot.

Ugh, the flavor is worse. Sweet, tangy apricot and perhaps some orange peel with floral notes give way to overly burnt caramel malt and hefty bitterness. Overly astringent and just weird. The tangy cleaning solution and burnt malt never meld.

Light yet prickly carbonation breaks into just a bit of fizz. Treacly medium body.

Weird, weird, weird. Competing flavors are fighting it out in my mouth, and I don’t appreciate it.

Photo of TheBigBoy
2.25/5  rDev -44.6%

Photo of f_raud
2.25/5  rDev -44.6%

Photo of vaughtex
2.32/5  rDev -42.9%

Photo of Atomicskis5
2.5/5  rDev -38.4%

Photo of tjsmith910
2.5/5  rDev -38.4%

Photo of maxwallace
2.5/5  rDev -38.4%

Photo of khargro2
2.5/5  rDev -38.4%

Photo of IchLiebeBier
2.5/5  rDev -38.4%

Photo of Zimm
2.5/5  rDev -38.4%

Photo of Offa
2.51/5  rDev -38.2%
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.

Photo of kojevergas
2.6/5  rDev -36%
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-

Photo of zeledonia
2.62/5  rDev -35.5%
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.

Photo of JDV
2.63/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a gorgeous rich mahagony color, with some nice lasting white head. Smell is pretty nice and hoppy with a slight touch of malt perhaps and a bit of noticeable alcohol present especially as it warms some. Moderately bittered for the style, and is nicely hopped, but the noticeable alcohol taste rather, is what caused me to not like it too much. Finish is mild lasting bitterness and chest warming alcohol. I don't like tasting the alcohol in my beer this much.

Photo of ONN8
2.75/5  rDev -32.3%

Photo of DeFaz
2.75/5  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.

Photo of TechMyst
2.75/5  rDev -32.3%
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...

Photo of VanKieft
2.75/5  rDev -32.3%

Photo of Waveoff
2.75/5  rDev -32.3%

Photo of Kraken
2.8/5  rDev -31%
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.

Photo of Arbitrator
2.8/5  rDev -31%
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.

Photo of diamondc
2.83/5  rDev -30.3%
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.

Photo of MeisterBurger
2.88/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear brownish copper topped by a thin off white head. Minimal lacing.

The aroma is bright citrus hops, slightly grassy with a hint of sulphur. Caramel malt comes out little by little.

The taste is lighter than you'd expect, with a sweetness followed by an oddly grassy bitterness in the finish. Piney. But mostly grassy. Some of the sulphur is in the taste too. A bit of alcohol heat in the back of the throat. Not really much going on but light sweet caramel washed away by a leafy bitterness.

The body is also lighter that you'd expect for something so bitter with noticeable malt, but it's very light with low carbonation.

Overall this wasn't great. Too grassy and unbalanced and slightly harsh. A rare disappointment from Lagunitas for me.

Photo of keokani
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.

Photo of drpimento
2.9/5  rDev -28.6%
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.

Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 3,389 ratings.