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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.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

2,349 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2349
Reviews: 685
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 9.88%


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: 2,349 | Reviews: 685 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.51/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy copper with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus zest, herbal hops, and alcohol aromas. Taste is much the same with some herbal, dank hop flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but this one is super herbal and dank which makes sense with the story as to why this beer was created.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2013 03:04:47 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

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

on tap in nc into a pint glass.

Rich dark brown in color and light ruby hints around the side and the bottom of the glass. Rich malty aroma, lots of caramel and hints of dee piney hops mixing in, really strong aroma here as it cuts through the air. For a beer over 9 percent it was remarkably smooth and subtle. I could have gone on drinking this one all day long, it was just that good. Huge notes of woody malts and mellow, sweet, syrup like flavor mixed with the lovely bitter piney hops

Serving type: on-tap

07-17-2011 01:28:46 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear amber with a tightly packed head of two-finger width; excellent retention and multiple shards

Smell: Fruit salad (peaches, tangerines, apples), resin and caramel

Taste: Fruity on the taste buds as well, with the caramel undertones buttressing the fruity flavors; resinously bitter, by mid-palate, and both the hops and malts take it to another level in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; some burn as it descends into the gullet

Overall: I don't generally care for DIPAs with a big malt bill and I was a little wary of this beer but really like both the malt and hop profiles - surprised I haven't had it before

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2012 22:35:19 | More by brentk56
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.14/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When life gives you lemons... you still make beer! As Lagunitas receives the brunt of the legal system, that leaves an indelible die upon the conscious. How do you overcome this? The answer is to make a beer that both commemorates the unfortunate occasion and makes a mockery of it at the same time.

Its only obvious that some sort of obnoxious-ass brew steps forward. Its dark honey-amber appearance provides an ominous look, but its its dense blanket of foam- just off of white that retains the session with ease and laces the glass with highly decorative sheets of lace to decorate the glass.

Incredibly strong in its scent, the nose is lead by brown sugar, toffee and molasses. That fully sweet scent is nearly matched by citrus, pine and peppery alcohol. Even as esters of figs, dates, cherries, and apples waft about, the complexity attempts to balance the beer- yet it remains a malt-centric scent.

Savory molasses flavors fuse with brown sugar, toast, mild chocolate, maple and port for a sweeter upstart. But then there's a balance that rises in the middle that is chocked full of citrus- grapefruit peels, orange peels, lemon and pine sap all make their marks as the hops make their presence well known. But other intangibles help to shape the story: rum-like alcohol, copper-like mineral qualities and estery dark dried fruits ensure new flavors and new impressions with each and every sip.

Bitter-sweet in its finish, the beer isn't always like that. Its creamy-sweet introduction implies desserts... until the onslaught of bitterness and dry spiciness ensues. Incredible tranformations occur as the ale sheds of much its sugars and its deeply embedded bubbles to favor a hoppy-dry finish with resinous sticky texture and bold warmth.

Despite its chalky and minerally linger- this raw and rustic ale is much more refined than its inspiration would suggest. Sure- there's a chip on their shoulder and this ale squarely reflects that. But there's also an elegant masculinity that suggests that the brewery has gotten past that part of their history.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2013 06:31:12 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

G: Poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a dark amber with a thick, creamy head with a good amount of carbonation bubbles on top. Barely transparent.

S: Sweet, citrus hops. Hints of caramel and darker malts.

T: Hop character comes straight through. This might be listed as a strong ale, but it's definitely quite close to a DIPA. A little bit of caramel and candied sugars. Mild spice.

M: Medium-bodied with a mild alcohol presence. Goes down smooth with moderate levels of carbonation.

D: A little bit on the bitter side--I would like something that's a little more balanced, but overall quite good.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2009 00:57:39 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear amber in color and has a light amount of carbonation. It poured with a finger high beige head that died down rather quickly but left a thin film of bubbles covering the surface and a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of pine resin hops in the nose along with some notes of citrus and hints of caramel.
T: The taste has flavors of caramel malts and pine resin hops and is accompanied by a moderate to high amount of bitterness. There are some initial hints of malty sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and slightly sticky on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: Although the alcohol is well masked from the taste, this beer is definitely one that needs to be sipped given its strength and the high amount of bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2011 03:01:42 | More by metter98
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.48/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewing yet another Lagunitas American strong ale.Pourd into a tulip glass a clear bronze color with a thinner but well sustained slight off white head,aromas were a bit lighter than expected,mainly some resinous hop and sweetish alcohol.Thinner feel for a "bigger" beer and a little prickly.Flavors dont seem to pack enough punch although that could come from the lighter feel,resinous hop intertwined with a hefty caramel malt base,the alcohol creeps as the beer warms.I love this brewery, but I dont love this beer sad to say.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2010 01:05:53 | More by oberon
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

So I'm still not sure what this whole Undercover Investigation Shutdown was, but hey, it seems to have been a great advertisement, and has certainly brought about interest, so kudos to the TTB (I guess), and thanks for spawning this beer!

It pours a clear amber-copper beneath a longstanding head of bone white that maintains a solid surface covering and leaves short rocky 'cliffs' of foam rising above the surface of the beer.

The aroma is fruity/citrusy and spicy over a dark caramel maltiness.

In the mouth it's medium bodied and crisp, with a median carbonation.

The flavor adds some yeasty fruitiness to the hops and caramel maltiness already found in the nose. It displays apples, a hint of cherry, candied tangerine, dried apricot, and some mild citrus rind. A solid bitterness balances it, and it finishes drying as the fruit evaporates and the malt erodes, eventually leaving the mouth dry and dully bitter with just minor notes of fruitiness left behind.

Overall it's quite interesting, and surprisingly drinkable given its strength. It's not over-done, and the yeasty and hoppy fruitiness is compelling. Worth trying!

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2009 15:26:32 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

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

12oz bottle, nice to find a two dollar single in lovely Bellevue, WA, when this stuff goes for ~20 bucks a six-pack at home.

This beer pours a crystal clear medium bronze-amber hue, with
two fingers of foamy, thinly creamy off-white head, which leaves a solid paint job of lace around the glass in its wake. It smells of citrus hops right up front, and then some dark fruit, and an herbal, almost yeasty, character. The taste is bitter grapefruit and orange hops, substantial caramel and lesser toffee malt, and a menthol-like booze warming. I'm kind of wondering where the specific 72.41 IBUs absconded to, though. The carbonation is on the soft side, the body medium weight, a bit sticky, with a slight alcohol dryness cutting into the smoothness. It finishes still sweet, a bloom of booze and remnant bitter hops rounding things out.

Another decent strong ale from Lagunitas, though I'm having a harder and harder time sorting out the various incarnations. This one, I thought I had it, with the Belgian-esque nose - it was not to be. Still tasty though.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2011 01:40:28 | More by biboergosum
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, bronze appearance, slim whitehead.

Mild fruit in aroma ,apple mostly, a little spicy, minor bitterness. Nice and malty. A little sour.

Tasting, it really feels like a good dark English malty mild ale, but one with a beast in it's belly. You can feel the fire coming up. Really gentle, mellow...and then a nip,a bite...a 9% mild? Here we go...

Very nice, well done, but don't think I could have more than one. Are mild supposed to be 9%?Not sure...not...sure...

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2009 08:45:11 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a dark coppery brown, with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains fruity citrus, floral hops and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out with very sweet flavors of citrus and some caramel. Then a strong but not over-powering hops bitterness comes in. The malt character is hearty and brings a good balance. The after-taste is sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, strong kick, very good representation of style, this is very nice beer to drink for a long time.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2011 20:17:09 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an effervescent orange/caramel with 4 fingers of fluffy pearl colored head. Great head retention & lacing

S: Dark fruit, leafy & citrussy hops

T: Taste follows the nose, along with some brown sugar & toffee, plus dryness up front. Herbal & woody hops surface along with some booze bite as this warms, brown sugar & a slight oaky sourness is there as well, interesting... Finishes dry with caramel sweetness & herbal & tangerine hops

MF: Chewy with smooth carbonation, warmth builds as you drink it, a little more malt balance would've worked for me...

This is a big beer. Complexity & dryness are slowing me down a bit, but a super-solid offering to be sure. I am enjoying this in my cool air conditioned basement, bet it's better by a roaring fire in the dead of winter,,,

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2010 00:36:09 | More by russpowell
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has an excellent burnt toffee scent that boasts of caramelized pale malts and some caramel malts. The hop aroma is good as well. It has an intense piney bitterness that's works well with the malts. The taste is good also. It has a smooth burnt toffee flavor that goes down slow and bitter and finishes with a bit of alcohol warmth. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn good drinking strong ale. It has excellent hop character and a malt bill that rivals any old ale or barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2010 00:49:18 | More by WesWes
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

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

Thanks to hudsonphotog for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours and orange-amber color with a white head. The aroma is caramel, pine and alcohol. The flavor is more of the same with the pine and caramel malts being fairly well balanced. The alcohol is very present. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2010 03:48:32 | More by Mora2000
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a mahogany color with ruby highlights. It had a very small, tan head of foam that left soapy residue on the glass.

S - It smelled very malty and somewhat boozy. It had a muted floral aroma.

T - This one grabs you with spicy bitter hops and backs it up with a rich malty taste. There is a boozy alcohol flavor, too.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a slightly sticky mouthfeel. A medium to full bodied beer that requires some slow sipping.

D - This is a pretty good ale. It brings a great maltiness and booziness with just enough hop bitterness. Almost like an English Barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2010 21:31:30 | More by zeff80
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

Ohio

3.6/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had it since the first year it was released, saw a single bottle for sale and picked one up. Copper deep amber body with a light colored white head. Fine speckled lacing. Aroma has a toffee toasted malt character with an earthy/citric hop nose going on as well. Big alcohol layers hidden in the sweet and hoppy notes I'm getting. Flavor, has a toasted malt character with sweet sugary notes and alcohol burn going on with a big massive hoppy resinous quality about it, grapefruit and citrus malts burst to blend the flavors into what we are drinking here. Mouthfeel, is medium to full bodied with the high burn of alcohol coming through. Resinous oily hop oils coming on with each sip, still not a bad beer just a bit bigger in alcohol than I typically care for. It stays away from the barleywine zone, but damn fine overall.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2012 08:53:24 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Three pour bartender on this one. Lots of head and what was left on my glass lasted a very long time, leaving a blanket of lace. Deep, dirty copper color and very clear.

Predominant grapefruit rind aroma. A bit of candy sugar to the nose also.

Starts off malty with lots of Crystal and mild sweetness. You cannot anticipate the hop explosion that comes with the swallow. Both pepper and alcohol warmth show up in the aftertaste. Full bodied with low carbonation.

In short, this is an unexpectedly complex beer.

Serving type: on-tap

04-14-2013 18:23:52 | More by smcolw
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours a medium amber with a creamy finger of white head, good lace.

S: Crystal malt, some grassy hops, nice nose.

T: Red, but not particularly malty. The elegant grassy and light citrus of the hops take over early making a great complement to the slightly sweet, pastry-like malt. Tasty as hell.

M: Very clean for such an upfront hoppy beer as I found in the nose. Medium-bodied, light on the palate.

D: This is just straight up good beer. Lagunitas' red ales are something else, I love 'em.

Serving type: on-tap

06-06-2010 21:51:44 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

California

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

When it's the time for a big alcoholic beer, this is one of my favorites. Not as heavy as a barley wine, though it does have plenty of sugar. Reminds me of ginger snaps, with the molasses flavor. Clear amber with a nice head. Very rich, spicy flavor but not that thick in the mouthfeel. Lots of fruit, dried mango, bitter raisiny taste. Fair amount of hops eventually show up. Best suited for a nightcap.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2011 04:43:49 | More by mactrail
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin

Colorado

3.46/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

not to be a buzzkill, because I think lagunitas has been trending in the right direction lately, but this beer is a step backwards in my opinion. it looks like a standard copper ale, but with a jovial white head an inch or so high, with excellent retention and some spotty lacing. it smells like camp according to my girlfriend, not summer camp from your youth, but like our hunting lodge on lake champlain that was built in the 30s and smells like aged wood and relaxation. I wouldn't be that kind. to me it smells like booze, cantaloupe, and hop oil. there is plenty of caramel malt and a gentle sweetness to the flavor, the hops are generically sweet, and yes, again, its the lagunitas generic yeast (if you've read my reviews of lagunitas, you know how much I harp on their blanket use of a single strain). to me, this is a generic strong ale, arrogantly named, and lacking the complexity and balance of their better offerings. fuller bodied, but not super dense, and carbonated on the relaxed side. im really glad I didn't get more than a single. although I don't hate it, im sort of fed up with this type of beer from this brewery, its obvious they have the skill to take it further, this was a letdown.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2013 02:34:53 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a deep copper color with good carbonation and a nice dirty white head

S: Citrus hops, floral

T: Taste of caramel, booze in the back and floral/citrus upfront

M: Booze, medium body and sticky

D: Good now and really good next year after siome cellar time

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2010 02:52:11 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

2.58/5  rDev -36.3%
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 Rifugium
Rifugium

Pennsylvania

3.33/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at POPE, Philly, PA

Poured a clear, walnut brown, with reddish highlights, and a small white head that nonetheless laced rather well. Toasty malts and molasses on the nose. Taste was of nice toasted malts, nutty, woody, and a bitter pine sensation, with a subtle toffee flavor in there somewhere. I was kind of surprised when I looked up the ABV here, because I detected little to no alcohol bite at all. Not too out of the ordinary, but still a nice drink, and I suppose it'll get you hammered pretty fast if you're not careful, since the alcohol is masked so well. Light-medium mouthfeel, and easily drinkable, but not overly flavorful.

Serving type: on-tap

06-05-2011 01:48:32 | More by Rifugium
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

4.04/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle

Pours a nice rich glowing shade of almond hued amber. Khaki head stays nicely. Goes to a thick high collar and then a fine film and moderate low lacing strands.

The sniff reveals notes of rich malting and minty hops.

Full flavor malty brew with broad shoulders and a bold hoppy finish. Notes of maple malts, vanilla, honey and resinous hops sealing the finish.

Lagunitas all the way

Serving type: growler

07-02-2013 03:06:34 | More by Billolick
Photo of lacqueredmouse
lacqueredmouse

Australia

3.96/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased from Berkeley Bowl West in Berkeley, CA. Shared with @LaitueGonflable and @tobeerornottobe in Sydney, Australia.

Pours a clear burnished amber colour with a loose but frothy head of pale, yellowish froth. Lots of fine pointed lace. Carbonation is tight and languid, despite the body being relatively light. Looks very good.

Nose is pleasant and green, with a strong hop profile that actually suggests German hops to me, with a noble, herbal character to go with some of the more expected West Coast citrus notes. Slight twang of booze, almost like very old balsamic vinegar, and a firm but fairly neutral malt basis. Very pleasant.

Taste is very nice. Rich, smooth entry, with plenty of malt, followed by a pleasant mingling of different counterpoints. There's the booze which sings with heat through to the back of the palate. There's the hops, which provide a sharp but clean vector down the centre and a slight zesty finish. But there's also an unusual note which suggests roasted malt or even coffee. It drifts in and out, so it may just be the conflagration of the booze and the hops, but it's an interesting twist.

Mouthfeel is light, but rounded with just enough weight to keep the flavours progressing.

Overall, this is a very good beer. It's big and full-flavoured, while maintaining a sanity to it that keeps it drinkable. I enjoyed it a great deal.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2013 02:29:40 | More by lacqueredmouse
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Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 2,349 ratings.