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

2,770 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,770
Reviews: 723
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 10.1%
Wants: 39
Gots: 229 | 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: 2,770 | Reviews: 723 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of twoheadedboy
twoheadedboy

Washington

3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A deep amber color poured into a snifter.

Smell is earthy, flowery hops with a sharp booziness. Taste is exceptionally sweetly alcoholic, with caramel notes and a tangy breadiness with a light, slightly chewy mouthfeel.

Overall a very solid brew, if a little one-note; very enjoyable but not super complex. Definitely a sipper, the alcohol is quite noticeable (and I rarely say that).

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2011 02:41:21 | More by twoheadedboy
Photo of ccm414
ccm414

Massachusetts

4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12oz bottle...

A- An interesting look... brownish with some amber and a little golden in color. Pours with a 2 finger head that settles down evenly leaving a nice lace around the entire glass.

S- Fruity, floral, and piney hops. Hops, hops, hops and I love it. The aromas this brew gives off are great. True to the Lagunitas Brewery. Some brown sugar and caramel notes are also poking through from the malt.

T- First comes off rather sweet with a nice bitter/hop balance and finishes with a nice slight bitterness, but still with some sweetness from the malt. The taste almost flip-flops while savoring it.

M- A medium bodied beer with a slightly lighter carbonation. The 9.70% abv does poke through with a little alcohol warmth.

D- Very drinkable. I really enjoyed this beer. Nothing special to look at, but the aromas and flavors it gives off are rather nice. I will be looking for this again.

Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2011 00:38:09 | More by ccm414
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 InebriatedJoker
InebriatedJoker

Ohio

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

Poured from 12oz bottle into tulip - No best by date visible.

A: Poured a translucent brown with amber hues,one finger head that dissipated into a thin lacing ,great webbing as it lowers,good carbonation.

S: Hops with some roasted malts,slight citrus.

T: Roasty malt with citrus hops , bready yeast hints , grapefruit with slight pine notes.

O: It says Limited Release and that's to bad, I could make this an everyday addition to my fridge - Has a great hop profile that is well balanced with malts and yeast, Tasty beer that goes down easy and packs a little punch.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2011 22:21:43 | More by InebriatedJoker
Photo of Fenris244
Fenris244

Texas

4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Last of the three on my quest for the day, on tap at the saucer

Dark amber in color, sticky as hell head, about 1 fingers worth and its clinging to the glass for dear life it seems

Very citrusy and floral in the nose, bits of lemon peel as well as a citrus like sweetness that very apperant

Good flavors the "imperial mild" descriptor they put on this beer is spot on, good amount of citrus sweetness, hops and some malt but it's all well balanced and super smooth

Almost light in body and the flavors lend a refreshing quality that a beer of this strength has no right to have, the alcohol is very well hidden, super smooth and refreshing beer.

Overall, very solid brew and I'd be happy to have a bottle of this everyday

Serving type: on-tap

05-16-2011 20:17:11 | More by Fenris244
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
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 BigDRS
BigDRS

Ohio

4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle to pint glass.

Appearance - Pours a clear copper/amber color. A bit of carbonation is present visually. Head pours 2 fingers and leaves a film that sticks around leaving a moderate amount of lace.

Smell - Very west coast like citrus/pine smell. Has a bit of malt on the end of the nose.

Taste - Fairly strong hop character with quite a bit of sweetness that I wasn't expecting.

Mouthfeel - Mid bodied. Has a moderate amount of alcohol present ... to be expected at nearly 10% I guess.

Overall - This beer goes down pretty easy for nearly 10% ABV. Very solid strong ale/DIPA

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2011 00:47:00 | More by BigDRS
Photo of Noxious26
Noxious26

Saskatchewan (Canada)

4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle poured in a pint glass. Purchased from Knightly Spirits in Orlando.

Orangey-copper and a little reddish. Off-white head is 1/4 inch on the pour but recedes to a thin cap. Decent lacing on the sides.

Strong and sweet aroma. Dried fruit, malty, grapefruit and other citrus.

Strongly hopped flavour. Malt and hops pummel one another at the start, but the hops win out after a couple of seconds and lead the way to a hoppy bitter finish. Caramel, hard candy, mandarin oranges, lime finish. After a few sips the alcohol shows up to the party.

Medium bodied, but a bit oily. Low levels of carbonation.

This is a nice sipping ale. Everything works together, but there's something I can't put my finger on that keeps it from being really drinkable, which is a good thing given it's 9.79% abv. Would be a good once-in-a-while beer, but not a usual suspect.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2011 03:27:51 | More by Noxious26
Photo of sjverla
sjverla

Massachusetts

3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nose: Wicked citrusy. Big grapefruit here. Thick and caramelly malt. And booze.

Appearance: No head, but nice ruby color. Very clear, and pretty good lacing, depending on the glass. Not so much in an over-sized wine glass, but in a pint glass it sticks like glue.

Taste. Really well balanced, except for the booze. The hops, though present, take a little while to build. They are tempered, almost molasses-like sweetness that blends in. Dangerously easy to drink at nearly 10% ABV, but the alcohol sticks in the gums to remind you what you're drinking.

Overall: Very good. Surprisingly mild for a double. Then again, the lack of a date means the hops might have aged out somewhat. I really wish Lagunitas dated their bottles.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2011 03:04:40 | More by sjverla
Photo of perrymarcus
perrymarcus

Massachusetts

4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle served in a snifter.
ABV: 9.87%

pours a translucent deep amber/copper while yielding 3/4" beige head. fades unhurriedly into a thin cap, collar around the glass; some patchy lacing evident. all in all a nice looking brew.

aromatic nose is rife with pungent hops (citric, a bit floral) and a background caramel malty presence. great aroma.

taste is right in line with the aroma. very hoppy with more of that citric/floral, and a balancing but not overdone malt bill. bitter hoppiness persists through the finish. very tasty. a bit of alcohol discernible but pretty well hidden, esp. considering the ABV. reminiscent of arrogant bastard.

medium-bodied mouthfeel with average carbonation.

overall this beer comes as a very pleasant surprise. i was expecting a relatively enjoyable, B-range beer. what i got instead was A-worthy.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2011 01:13:11 | More by perrymarcus
Photo of zaphodchak
zaphodchak

Virginia

4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Red amber clear body with small offwhite head and decent lacing.

Nose is floral but with some cocoa

Body is marvelously smooth and balanced. There's floral hops and sweetness to match. It is both, so to say, imperial and mild. Bitter front, smooth sweet middle and floral aftertaste. There's something else here-- Pungent and slightly vegetal. After sipping water though, there's a faint cough syrup aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is rich, smooth and creamy and supports what might otherwise be overpowering taste.

This was a consolation prize to myself after a long voyage to an establishment where the thing i was looking for just kicked. Very pleasant surprise for something I'd never heard about.

Serving type: on-tap

05-15-2011 00:16:48 | More by zaphodchak
Photo of tjsamulis
tjsamulis

New Jersey

3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First review for no reason other than waiting at the bar for friends. I've had a couple different Lagunitas brews recently and have been impressed.

On tap at The Abbaye in NoLibs

A: Dark amber and a bit lighter than I expected. Brown with tan edges when held toward the light.

S: Northern Cali hops jump out but don't over power. A little sweet caramel too, but nothing overpowering.

T: Good hop bite in the front followed by the residual sweetness from the malts. This one got more boozy tasting as the temperature rose.

M: Fairly smooth, not too heavy or chewy.

O: An enjoyable, high alcohol, hoppy beer with a sweet finish. While it was good and I will order it again, there wasn't much that separated it from beers of similar style.

Ah, it feels good to get the first review under my belt :)

Serving type: on-tap

05-14-2011 23:26:40 | More by tjsamulis
Photo of challenja
challenja

Virginia

4.83/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

F*ck You.. this beer is good. real good. no beer snob here. Just a hardcore IPA head. This one was legendary in status. Longest lingering aftertaste of all time and it was lavender.. silky smooth..
Sweet, mighty tasty DIPA. Better than Maximus. Closest in taste and quality of Double Jack by Firestone..

Serving type: bottle

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2011 18:23:26 | More by challenja
Photo of mater
mater

Ohio

4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Stone imperial pint glass

A-Brown, orangeish copper color with a one finger head and pretty good lacing.

S-This thing has a strange smell. A get a hoppy grapefruit smell at first, then I get a caramel malt smell with a sort of granny smith apple thing going on.

T-The caramel malts hit you first, then the hops finish things off and leave a nice bitterness on your tongue. I can't taste any alcohol.

M-Thought it would be heavier, but had a nice medium mouthfeel.

O-Never would of guessed this was 9.7 abv. This was a really solid brew and I'll definitely buy another sixer before it's gone

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2011 06:23:29 | More by mater
Photo of klkatz
klkatz

Pennsylvania

3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

impressive dark amber - slight hops and malty nose.

smooth taste, nice bitter finish...
drinkability is above average for a high gravity... 9.87%... smooth enough to have a few...

mouthfeel is good.
Lagunitas seems to get it right all the time... kudos to the california brewery

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2011 02:33:29 | More by klkatz
Photo of FickleBeast
FickleBeast

New Jersey

3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a goblet.

Pours a clear, dark amber color with one finger of sticky off white foam. Nice lacing on the sides of the glass. Aroma is quite hoppy, with a nice pineapple/papaya fruitiness in the nose as well.

First sip is a nice rush of hops, followed by a sharp alcohol bite, finishing with a long lingering bitterness. Body is surprisingly thin, with the beer finishing on the dry side for the style. Some caramel and toffee notes come through, but the booze and bitterness quickly brings any malty sweetness into check.

I think this one could stand to age a bit to help wash out the hot alcohol and sharp bitterness. There is a nice underlying flavor, but it is hardly the dominant one. For as good as this beer smells, I was hoping for a little more balance. Still, that being said, this is a nice sipping beer, and I'm glad I have 5 more in my fridge.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2011 00:50:47 | More by FickleBeast
Photo of gopens44
gopens44

Virginia

3.25/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark murky coppery brown with very little head on a bit of an aggressive pour. Some lacing of the off white colored head remnants.

S - First thing that hits is the hop smell that gives way to a sweet malty smell.

T - Sweet at first with a bit of hop bitterness that finishes with a sweet tea thing going on. Last impression on the tongue is reminiscent of artificial sweetener or model glue. Can't really tell which.

M - Very little carbonation and creamy. Sweet and slightly bitter aftertaste.

O - Meh. Had much better from Lagunitas. At least this doesn't come across too hot. Barely taste any big alcohol taste despite the high ABV. May try it again, but I'd much rather give it another try on tap.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2011 23:31:33 | More by gopens44
Photo of IronLover
IronLover

Pennsylvania

3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled from a bottle with a March 2011 "bottled on" date. Deep copper with excellent clarity. Poured with very little foam, no head retention, and leaves a white ring of foam around the glass. Sweet, sugary caramel combine with intense grapefruit and orange hop aromas. On the thinner side of medium bodied with light carbonationa and an oily hop feel. Flavors are a nice balance of sweet caramel malt and intense citrus and floral hops. Finishes with a bit of alcoholic heat and a lingering bitter, floral hop aftertaste. Definitely a sipper. Lots of intense aroma and flavor if that's what your looking for.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2011 10:59:05 | More by IronLover
Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
BerkeleyBeerMan

California

3/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Burnt orange brown copper color. Paper thin head dissipates quickly leaving light white lacing along the sides of the glass.

Smell: The nose is good as the beer warms in the glass. Burnt malt smell. The bitterness and alcohol jump right out at me. Mild backing sweetness. The malts smell of molasses. Hints of dark fruits, figs, raisins, black cherry.

Taste: Heavy malt profile with a moderate hop bitterness. I expected a browner hopped up beer but this is more along the lines of an overpowered rendition of Mendocino's "eye of the hawk." The taste leaves me wanting more. It is a mildly sweetened blend of sugars and sour fruits with a strong warming alcohol presence. The hops don't do a lot for me. There is a decent hop presence but the alcohol tends to overpower the bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Light medium a bit chewy. Finishes fine. Nothing spectacular.

Overall: This is a relatively bland outing by Lagunita's. I expected something much more exciting but this is a malt bomb that is too strong to appreciate much of. I'll pass on this one next time.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2011 04:58:46 | More by BerkeleyBeerMan
Photo of ChugginOil
ChugginOil

Illinois

4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Undercover Shutdown Ale

Served from a 12oz bottle into a Lagunitas Widemouth mason jar.

This brew appears orangish brown and has a fingers worth of off white head. Rings of lacing cling and mark the spaces between each sip.

The nose is full of those West Coast hops from head to toe. The usual malt present in brown ales is covered up by a citrus and pine bouquet.

The taste differs from the nose because it brings both IPA and brown ale characteristics to the table. First, a hoppy overload nails my palate and then slides into the nutty malt backbone shortly after. A boozy tingle wraps it up.

The mouthfeel is full-bodied and sticky. Bittersweetness is sent throughout the palate with an ample amount of carbonation.

Overall, awesome West Coast spin on a brown ale. Gotta thank good ol' reefer for making this one possible.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2011 04:08:41 | More by ChugginOil
Photo of n2185
n2185

North Carolina

3.1/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear, burnt orange color with two fingers of off-white head that recedes into a thin ring with little lacing.

S: Caramel malts up front followed by oranges and tangerines from the hops. I also get a bit of a sweet candy aroma every now and then.

T: Lots of thick, caramel malt flavor followed by piny hops and bitterness. There are some citrus notes in there as well, and a slight alcohol burn on the finish.

M: Medium-thick body with low carbonation, this beer has a sticky sweet and oily feel to it.

O: Not a bad beer, but I feel like this beer is almost identical to several other Lagunitas beers. Nothing makes it really stand out from the crowd. It's a good bargain, at least.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2011 23:18:10 | More by n2185
Photo of uwmgdman
uwmgdman

Wisconsin

4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The ale pours brilliantly clear copper color with moderate, sticky white head. The aroma is highly hoppy--spicy, citrus and pine; beneath the hops is a bit of earthy, nutty malt. The flavor is moderate-highly hoppy--citrus and pine, with moderate-high hop bitterness. The hop load is balanced out--at least partially, by a smooth, biscuity sweet malt and a belly warming presence of alcohol. The mouthfeel is quite smooth and silky with medium-full body. Overall this is a well-made, flavorful brew that is a bit different--pleasantly so. Pick it up!

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2011 02:04:33 | More by uwmgdman
Photo of afrokaze
afrokaze

California

3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Having this on tap at Wine Affairs in SJ

A- deep golden amber, 1/2 finger of head with great lacing

S- sweet maltiness, brown sugar, floral & fruity hops, toffee

T- copper sweet malt up front, followed by floral & fruit hops, moderately bitter, lots of brown sugar/toffee. Alcohol is warming but really balanced. Maybe a little herbs or anise

M- medium, on the heavier side with lower carbonation that works well

O- hard to pinpoint why, but this beer is really hearty & satisfying. Unbelievably drinkable for almost 10% abv

Serving type: on-tap

05-07-2011 03:31:00 | More by afrokaze
Photo of Arithmeticus
Arithmeticus

Maryland

3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured chilled in large glass

A: dark brownish red; modest head dissipates quickly; no carb streams
S: spritzy, brown sugary, hoppy--quite nice
T: robust, confrontational taste; somewhat like an English strong ale but with a very pronounced hop presence; not very complex--it just sort of aims a gun at your palate and shoots; very bitter

This is the perfect anti-session beer; a couple of these quick and you'll be off your feet.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2011 03:20:20 | More by Arithmeticus
Photo of Sensaray
Sensaray

Massachusetts

3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light fizzly/bubbly light tan head. Brownish amber body

Aromas come to the nose from a distance. It's somewhat fruity/hoppy. As I get closer theres a dark sweet malty fruity to it. Still sense the hops though they play a background role. Ummm, bubblegum? Yes. Bubblegum.

The malt is more caramel sweet in the taste. Orange chicken in the flavor at some points, brown sugar. Finishes with a hint of that bubblegum. The hops get more presence the more I drink this, which is good. Balances the sweetness out slightly.

I was expecting more from the mouthfeel. The alcohol is warming.

Overall, this beer is pretty good. A little too sweet for me.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2011 05:35:41 | More by Sensaray
Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 2,770 ratings.