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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
90
outstanding

947 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 947
Hads: 3,924
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 4.99%
Wants: 108
Gots: 725 | 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
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Reviews: 947 | Hads: 3,924
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.52/5  rDev -12.2%
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. (599 characters)

Photo of GRG1313
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

ON TAP at STONE; Pours a dark honey orange color with light orange edges. A nice white head with very heavy lacing.

Assertive orange essence and orange flowers in nose, very floral and elegant with hints of apricot.

Nice balance and fruity/hop character. Fruity, stone fruit flavors with hints of malt and underlying stone fruit flavors; hints of Belgian malts but with a big grapefruit hop finish. Good with food. (418 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
3.08/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thin head on a clear orange amber body. Aroma moves into barleywine territory with candy sugar, caramel malt, and syrup. Flavor follows the aroma with lots of candy sugar, tart citrus, caramel malts resin and terpentine. Medium to light body and light to moderate carbonation. Not excited about this one really. Tastes more like a barleywine but still not good for that style either. (383 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
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. (806 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
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. (602 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.47/5  rDev -13.5%
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. (1,209 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.45/5  rDev +11%
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 (683 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.13/5  rDev +3%
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. (2,065 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | 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, bright medium bronzed amber hue, with two chubby fingers of puffy, foamy, and thinly creamy off-white head, which leaves a solid paint job of setting concrete lace around the glass in its slow and meandering wake.

It smells of mildly overripe citrusy hops right up front, followed by some dark, fleshy orchard fruit, a touch of wayward brown sugar, and a strong herbal, almost yeasty phenolic character. The taste is bitter grapefruit and orange rind, substantial caramel and lesser toffee malt, muddled bruised drupe fruit, and a testy menthol-like booze warming. I'm kind of wondering where the overly specific 72.41 IBUs absconded to, however.

The carbonation is on the soft side, manifesting in a tame, wannabe frothiness, the body a solid-ass medium weight, a bit sticky, and with a slight alcohol dryness cutting into the otherwise dandy smoothness. It finishes still rather sweet, a bloom of booze and bitter hop remnants rounding things out.

Yet another decently rendered strong ale from Lagunitas, so much so, that I'm having a harder and harder time sorting out the various incarnations. This one, I thought I had it, with the ethereally sour, fruity Belgian-esque nose - it was not to be. Still tasty though, and worthy of seeking out another, should you have the chance. (1,446 characters)

Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev -4%
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. (597 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev -0.2%
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 (491 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.48/5  rDev -13.2%
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. (531 characters)

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

12 oz stubby bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear coppery amber with 2+ big fingers of frothy off-white head. This retains down into a thin yet creamy layer, which leaves some rich foamy lacing back. The aroma is floral, lightly resinous, and very spicy smelling. Thick roasty malts and citrus character mixes with the highter ABV to give this a sticky smelling heft in the nose.

The taste starts with a big base of dark roasted malts, which lies densely under some fairly aggressive hoppy notes of pine and spices, before ending with some lip smacking sweeter accents of toffee and toast. The mouthfeel is medium-fuller bodied with a more beefy and viscous to it but the 10% ABV is extremely well hidden. I'm getting a little bit of warmth on the breath but that's about it.

Big and ballsy beer here from Lagunitas that reminded me a good bit of Stone's Arrogant Bastard. Beefy and flavorful with a lot of presence on the palate but still really smooth for the size. I enjoyed this a lot. (1,006 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
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! (1,134 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 TheManiacalOne
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
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. (696 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
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. (404 characters)

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

I purchased this from Wegman's, enjoyed chilled from the 12oz brown bottle in a teku.

The color is brilliant bronze with great clarity and thick full pale cream with 2 fingers depth and fine bead with excellent retention and lace sticks in a camouflage type random pattern. The smell is a mix of citrus from the hops and light malt sweet scents with hints of berry and light alcohol odor. The feel is very good - emphasis on the bitterness fades into a more balanced feel with medium carbonation and slight sweetness mid palate with a nice amount of alcohol for the style and semi-dry finish.

The taste is a complex blend of citrus ans spice flavors from NW hops and some yeast in the taste which brings a fruity dark berry quality with moderately sweet almost caramel flavor in the malt which supports the hop bitterness. The alcohol is relatively subdued and emphasizes a slight spice/pine-like element more toward the finish but there is still enough sweetness to blanket the palate as it finishes smooth. Overall I like the intensity it is a little sweeter than most in this style, could almost be blurring the lines of English barleywine but is very hoppy which is why I think it fits the style of American Strong well - pretty drinkable but I would share this if possible. (1,283 characters)

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.94/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

By far, this beer has the longest name out of any I have tried.

An ESB (according to their website) at 9.7% ABV.... this is why Lagunitas is one of my favorite breweries. Pours a light orange color, small head to it, small amount of lacing. First whiff.. all hops... ahh this is going to be a good one. Taste wise, nice mouthfeel to it... don't get hit by the hops too much which is a little surprising. Balanced very well, maybe more-so to the malt side. Hops are present, but are very much subdued, especially for the 9.7% ABV. Goes down very smooth and tastes like a 4% ABV type of beer... way too drinkable for 2X beer strength status. I would still prefer an Imperial Red or Brown Shugga but this is another home run for Lagunitas. (737 characters)

Photo of russpowell
3.91/5  rDev -2.5%
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,,, (784 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
3.3/5  rDev -17.7%
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. (657 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
2.6/5  rDev -35.2%
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- (1,533 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.62/5  rDev -9.7%
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. (825 characters)

Photo of smcolw
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
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. (516 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.97/5  rDev -1%
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... (471 characters)

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Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 947 ratings.