Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

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
90
outstanding

947 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 947
Hads: 3,932
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 9.98%
Wants: 109
Gots: 730 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  9.30% 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 947 | Hads: 3,932
Photo of dacrza1
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

DATE TASTED: August 20, 2015 ... GLASSWARE: La fin du Monde... OCCASION: school prep wok--with The Desolation of Smaug... APPEARANCE: dark, amber brown body that is dense and imposing; head is off-white and creamy; lacing is impeccably dense and substantial... AROMA: a mellow suggestion of citrus, with a wet, biscuity malt balancing the promise nicely; flowery hints end the array ... PALATE: a coating, thick-as-molasses, warms the throat with a smooth, fulfilling consistency that could not further belie the 9.3 % ABV contained within it... TASTE: immediate impressions of a brown ale, dry, nutty as almonds or pecans, sugar, darker citrus, prunes, sweet and biscuit malts, and lighter citrus--mango and grapefruit, mostly... a strong, full-bodied, ale worthy of a snifter... OVERALL: High hopes for this one have not gone unmet--a powerful American answer to the Belgian and English strong ales that I so enjoy... the balance in its maltiness suggests a seasonal indeed, but this beer can thrive in any season that requires a beer of strength... by the second pint, a tingle is assured in the toes, with its strength surging...how this beer begs for a third bottle! what a blessing to live in a time when beer of this kind is available year round and across the country... I have little clue as to the meaning behind the name, but what a beautiful, bold, rewarding beer... (1,378 characters)

Photo of stakem
3.59/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Josh for gifting me with this. 12oz bottle poured into a can glass. The brew appears clear copper in color with big frothy yellowish khaki head that fades leaving webby lace.

The smell includes caramel malt and fruity alcohol with a touch of herbal hops. It has a little solvent aspect to it.

The taste is fruity alcohol/hops with caramel to biscuit malt sweetness. A slightly herbal aspect before getting solvent with alcohol.

This is medium bodied and modestly carbonated. Overall a boozy, decent brew. (514 characters)

Photo of 98green
4.17/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I'm not sure I could name a style on this one, but I like it a lot. There is something in the middle of the taste I can't place but it is totally unique. Would try again for sure (178 characters)

Photo of tlpresn
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A pint on draft
A: Dark copper with a good inch of brown/cream head

S: Malty, pretty strong hops, and a hint of alcohol

T: Malty up front, followed by herbal hops with a touch of citrus. A tinge of noticeable alcohol at the end, but only on the first sip. After that, malt and hops dominated.

F: Creamy mouth feel, with some moderate carbonation. This beer has a really nice texture, if that's the right word.

O: A really nicely balanced beer. All the components of a strong ale are very obviously present, as is to be expected, but none of them take center stage. Even the hops are nicely balanced between herbal, earthy, and citrusy. Overall a really enjoyable beer. (683 characters)

Photo of MLoxxer
2.12/5  rDev -47.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 2.5

I poured a 12oz bottle of Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shut-down into a tulip glass. A very lively head was produced. Although the foam began to dissipate in moments it left behind some very respectable lacing and a nice tuft of bubbles not normally seen in a US microbrew. The color was like that of a brown ale, slightly red with no haze. Without even bringing the beer to my face I could tell this one had a very hoppy aroma. In spite of being a 9.3% ABV brew the flavor is not very strong. And although it smelled hoppy from a distance I was pleased that its flavor wasn't that of another over-hopped US microbrew. The taste reminds me of a watered-down American barleywine with a slightly soapy aftertaste. Mouthfeel is very understated. This beer is certainly not terrible, but for what it is supposed to be (a strong ale) it's character is a bit short of the mark. (878 characters)

Photo of 4thFloyd
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clear copper color with a big cream colored head that breaks down slowly. A moderate aroma dominated by biscuit and caramel malts along with some more subtle earthy hops. Flavor is pretty sweet with low to moderate earthy and floral hops. Mild bitterness and a little booze but very little lingering aftertaste. A little lighter body than I expected, but still pretty smooth for a big beer. (396 characters)

Photo of untitledeuphoria
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 4.29.15. Drank 7.24.15. Poured from a 12oz bottle to a Tulip.

A: Pours a clear burnt orange, leaning towards the dimmer side. Two fingers of light khaki head with an aggressive pour, slow to fade, and lots of sticky lacing. Classically good looking, just with some bonus head for a ASA.

S: Caramel malts, toffee, some tart hops...maybe tangerine in aroma. Very sweet and perky. Grassy, earthy.

T: Loads of sweet caramel malt, toasted biscuit, and a significant amount of hop bitterness as well. A drying citrus rind flavor, sharp... manages to cut into the malt without overpowering it.

M: Smooth with the faintest touch of carbonation. Thick and chewy without feeling heavy. If it wasn't for the high ABV I could easily put back a couple of these before feeling palette fatigue.

O: Quite the interesting beer. A bit of a Jekyll and Hyde. A big, robust, malt bomb of a strong ale... with a hefty serving of hops thrown in for good measure. Mouth puckering sweetness, but also bitter drying citrus. I have always enjoyed this beer, but it is not one for the faint of heart. Its big, it changes minute by minute as it warms, and at 9+% it will end you before you know it. (1,183 characters)

Photo of SometimesIfart
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look - Burnt orangeish-amber with a two finger slightly off white head that sticks around for a bit before dissipating into a ring of froth. Leaves some alright lacing.

Smell - Biggggggg malt profile in here. A touch of grapefruit pith that I'm thinking will carry over into the flavor.

Taste - Yep, Bigggg malts with grapefruit pith and a touch of the juice.

Feel - Medium bodied, medium carbonation and a tad creamy.

Overall - Solid Strong Ale (449 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.67/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Another one of those that I'm pretty sure I reviewed and it got lost in one of the server crashes, cause I have no idea how this would have eluded my reviewing. Just had to beers that were pretty bad and I couldn't finish them, so I need one I know is good to wash that out of my mouth. Another beer with bottling code but no date, thanks for nothing.

Pouts a nice big creamy 1.5 finger fluffy head fades slowly, nice sticky soapy lacing, mostly clear slight hazy copper chestnut reddish-orange color. Great head for the abv.

Nose starts off with big copper malts, reddish amber toasty like malts, some caramel candy, nice creamy caramel thing. Then spicy earthy hops, a touch of pine, orange rind, big candied orange peel, some floral herbal spices from the hops interestingly, don't remember that before, no real booze but a touch of esters.

Taste brings sweet candy, reddish caramel flavors, candied sugar tree fruits, a little tanginess in there somehow. Hops are there, but aged, it's like an aged American barleywine where the hops fade but leave weird flavors... an herbal grassy hop, earthy and mild pine, tangy pine as well, with little candied orange zest. Finish is sticky, a hint of booze, lingering candy malt, little pine and citrus zest, earthy grassy thing.

Mouth is fuller bod, little syrupy note, decent carb, touch of warming booze.


I recently purchased this, so it must have been on the shelf for a while. Too bad as I know this beer is a whole lot better, and there is no date either. (1,511 characters)

Photo of infinitebruner
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

July 5, 2015

12 oz bottle, snifter

A – Medium amber and very clear. A thin layer of white bubbles dissipates quickly.

S – Caramel malt with some light toffee and bread crust. Low vanilla. Some grapefruit and pear impression, along with strong floral hop aroma. Caramel becomes more prominent as the beer warms.

T – Bread crust and caramel, slightly grainy-sweet. Hop flavor is a combination of herbal and (mostly) floral, with a touch of citrus fruit. High hop bitterness.

M – Moderately sweet up front, only light carbonation and a medium-thin body. Bitterness is fairly intense, lingering through the finish.

O – Somewhere between a double IPA and American Barleywine, with a major twist of English bitter, lies this brew. Sneaky with the alcohol, full of flavor. (791 characters)

Photo of ctylinebeer
4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass

L-dark amber with a good amount of foam

S-floral hops with malt in the background

T-very strong malt with a bitter finish. Slight alcohol burn

O-Typical strong ale. Tastes almost like a double IPA but more malt and less hops. You'll only need a few of these to feel real good hahaha. Very good beer, must-try (351 characters)

Photo of ProfessorKeon
4.39/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A tad boozey, but otherwise another exceptional beer from Lagunitas with their typical mix of high ABV & IBU. This one opens up marvelously as it warms and you can really appreciate the rich caramel and sweet malt that accent the floral hop bouquet. (249 characters)

Photo of Edman5P
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep copper, brown color with an awesome hop taste.. Very nice lacing and a quickly dissipating head.. It tastes like their 'little sumpin' but darker (150 characters)

Photo of MrUse
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Good looking beer. After smelling it i was expecting tons of hoppy bitterness. I was pleasantly suprised. Great mix of flavors with just the right amount of bitterness, and it packs a punch. I definitely will buy this again. (226 characters)

Photo of Suds
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Copper in color with medium off-white head, this brew is intensely strong. It tastes full, sweet, and hoppy, but the alcohol sneaks up after a few sips. Full in body, fruity, and bitter, the yer with a smooth body. Nice. (223 characters)

Photo of BethanyB
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: A clear, deep copper, with a solid, long-lasting, cream-colored head that leaves behind thick rings of lace. A good -ooking beer by any standards.

Smell: The aroma is strong in this one. The C-hops are of the forest variety. There is a good helping of grass, but plenty of moist earthiness as well. Coconut and whiskey come through as things warm up, but before the fragrance becomes liquor laden, butterscotch and caramel provide mellowing balance. It's a complex bouquet, but sort of sullen as well; I was expecting more citrus, something brighter.

Taste: Lots of hop bitterness but plenty of hop flavor to balance--citrus rinds turn to tropical punch and back again, with biting and lasting grapefruit sharpness. But there is a heartiness as well, due to a caramel malt backbone that grows nuttier and more complex as time goes on.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and deceptively light, with moderate carbonation and a dry finish. The alcohol is nearly undetectable in spite of a 9.7 ABV.

Overall: The malt is complex, the hops are aggressive, it seems as if one should play a supporting role. But it is an interesting beer and one whose popularity I can understand-- this clash of the Titans is a novelty, perhaps. And as frustrated as I was by this beer's ambiguity, by the end, I wanted another. Even if the colors didn't go well together, they were all very nice on their own. (1,384 characters)

Photo of Moose90
3.62/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Served from 12oz bottle

A — Pours a deep amber/coppery hue, there is a great bit of clarity. As well as a puffy, khaki colored head that sits atop the beer. Leaves behind some quite nice lacing.

S — Smells bold and rich, lots of bit and sweet malt tones. Little bit of hop bitterness.

T — Tastes very strong, rich, malty, bold, and sweet, lots of malt complexities and a bit of an earthy hop balance to it.

M — Medium-Full bodied, with a big and sticky finish.

O — Nice overall, just very, very malty and strong, which is good, just a total change of pace from Lagunitas. (589 characters)

Photo of El_Farto_Magico
4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Boozy, but not in a bad way. Sweet aroma. Brief citrus notes in the front, followed by malty flavor in the middle. An almost smokey aftertaste that subsides. Solid beer. (169 characters)

Photo of archyquaffer
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A moderate pour from a stubby 12 ounce bottle into a shaker pint produces a sticky, chunky off-white head of about an inch. The beer is a ruddy golden color with medium carbonation.

The aroma suggests leafy, citrusy hops with just a slight vegetal note and a subtle malt presence (but you know it's there). The flavor is complex, with brown shugga and caramel notes underlying a vigorous but not overbearing hop presence that balances floral and citrus notes and a touch of earthiness. A lingering pungency rests on the middle and back of the tongue, providing a bridge between sips. Some pleasant alcohol warming and just a slight alcohol bite in the aftertaste are really the only hints of the strength of this downright dangerous brew.

This brew is well-crafted, extremely drinkable, and readily available at a very reasonable price. The quality and price point would be difficult to match. Outstanding, as usual. Kudos to this brewery for producing world class beer that any schmuck can afford. Bravo! (1,015 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz. Bottle

Poured into a chalice a very nice slightly cloudy golden amber color, very nice carbonation, with a very nice one-finger fizzy/creamy off-white head, which leaves a nice big island in the glass with some nice sticky lacing as well. The nose is malty, with a nice touch of hops, picking up some cherries, figs, plums. The taste is very very nice, sweet, hoppy, with some nice malt notes, dark fruits. Medium body, ABV is hidden very well, but still watch out. Overall a very tasty brew, glad to see this one in Utah. (529 characters)

Photo of Neorebel
3.77/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This one pours a very dark amber, with a minimal white head. The aroma is very sugary sweet. It's slightly boozy with a heavy malt flavor and coarse hops in the finish. Overall, I'd say it drinks a bit like a sweet Barleywine. (226 characters)

Photo of TBoneJones
4.21/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper/ light wood brown color. Rich off-white head. Lacing ends up nice all over the pint.
Smells of fruity hops, pineapple and floral. Great aroma.
Taste follows the nose, but with a sweet malt backbone for balance. Woody earth/ forest, sips clean, slight herbal tone as well.
Smooth sipping, creamy, medium feel, slight stickiness.
Solid strong ale. More medicinal/ herbal than I prefer, but great stuff nonetheless. (437 characters)

Photo of stephens101
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Oak and Oar. So nice to have a new heavyweight brewery in the state. Let's see how this one works.

Reddish-brown in color with a sturdy and lasting tan crown. Aroma involves some fruitiness and not much else. Tastes of persimmon, grain, syrup and taffy. Has a smooth and quick alcohol burn and goes down medium to heavy.

Not a superstar by far, but a tasty welcome to town for sure. (399 characters)

Photo of Totalpackage411
3.51/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Good beer with an even better back story. This one is a very strong ale. Doesn't taste refreshing like other beers, this one hits you almost immediately. I can maybe drink 2-3 in a row before the taste is just too overwhelming. A nice beer to relax and get a good buzz going but I wouldn't keep drinking them for the long haul. (332 characters)

Photo of SmashAdams
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Light hoppy sweet smell. Taste is strong, sweet, and bitter. Got smoother as it warmed up. This is a nice beer to sip from a snifter on a nice cool night. yb (157 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 947 ratings.