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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.

2,863 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,863
Reviews: 724
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 10.1%
Wants: 42
Gots: 255 | 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:
ABV varies slightly from 9.0 to 9.8
66.6 IBU

(Beer added by: GilGarp on 03-10-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,863 | Reviews: 724 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Noxious26

Saskatchewan (Canada)

4.22/5  rDev +3.9%

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.

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


3.9/5  rDev -3.9%

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.

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


4.43/5  rDev +9.1%

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.

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


4/5  rDev -1.5%

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.

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

New Jersey

3.63/5  rDev -10.6%

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 :)

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


4.83/5  rDev +19%

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

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


4.1/5  rDev +1%

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

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


3.95/5  rDev -2.7%

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

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

New Jersey

3.83/5  rDev -5.7%

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.

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


3.25/5  rDev -20%

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.

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


3.93/5  rDev -3.2%

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.

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


3/5  rDev -26.1%

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.

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


4.05/5  rDev -0.2%

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.

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

North Carolina

3.1/5  rDev -23.6%

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.

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


4.4/5  rDev +8.4%

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!

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


3.98/5  rDev -2%

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

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


3.68/5  rDev -9.4%

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.

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


3.53/5  rDev -13.1%

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.

05-06-2011 05:35:41 | More by Sensaray
Photo of DannyDan


4.4/5  rDev +8.4%

Pours out a reddish brown body with a thick white head that has really good retention, and great lacing on my beer mug. Carbonation seems to be moderate. The aroma of this beer when first cracking the bottle open and pouring it I could smell some fruits, brown sugar, molasses, and pine. The taste starts out with some brown sugar followed by a spicy peppery taste, than some pine and citrus hops kick in with some sweet fruits in the back. The aftertaste is the bitterness from the hops that stays until the next sip, but the sweetness of the fruit is also still there. Mouthfeel starts out with a smooth feel that ends up with some bite and a dry feel to it. Overall, a very good tasting beer that has a unique taste that is nice when feeling like something different than the norm, and the alcohol will make you feel warm while enjoying this brew. This is a must try beer.

05-06-2011 03:47:41 | More by DannyDan
Photo of LaCoursiere


4.38/5  rDev +7.9%

A - Poured into a wine glass. It formed a thin white head that receded to almost nothing fairly quickly. The color is somewhere between brown and amber. There is not much if any lacing.

S - Wow, it was sitting 16 inches away and I could smell it wafting. When I got my nose up close it was a great balance of floral, citrus and pine notes. You can definitely tell they must have used a complex hop profile.

T - Brown sugar and lemon pepper up front fades to caramel malt with resinous pine and some more fruity notes. The bitterness kicks the door in midway through the finish and stays around until the next sip.

M - Smooth yet slightly chewy with a a little bit of alcohol warmth

O/D - This one is really good. It's not much to look at but it makes up for it in the other categories. If they ever make beer air fresheners this would be one to emulate. The drinkability is high from a taste standpoint, but the abv keeps you in check. I will definitely be buying this again.

05-06-2011 01:50:45 | More by LaCoursiere
Photo of ujsplace


4.28/5  rDev +5.4%

Poured into an oversized tulip.

Pours a deep, dark burnt orange colored brew with a thick, chunky off-white head that is rocky and clings to the sides of the glass.

Smells of big citrus hops with a bit of an oily piney resin. Spiciness, there is also a descent toasted malt aroma in there as well.

Tastes nearly as I'd expect from the smell - big citrus hops, earthy, piney hops, mild frutiness - possibly apricot in there as well and some spiciness. Nice toasted malt balances out the hoppiness in the middle and then finishes dry and bitter - abv is pretty well hidden, but is more pronounced as it warms.

Robust and clean, medium - good carbonation.

Another very good brew from Lagunitas - a very drinkable brew in spite of the abv. Well worth a try.

05-06-2011 00:49:45 | More by ujsplace
Photo of obrike


4.06/5  rDev 0%

Good looking beer...reddish, brown copper; no clouds in my glass...quite clear....lace does not last, but leaves pretty spots of lacing with each sip.

Wow...that's a fetching scent! Booze, up front...but not in a bad way. Sweet malt, dark fruits, raisins...reminds me of a doppel bock/dipa combo.

Man, interesting. I got a bit of banana, pear, raisin, sweet sugary barley...quite a mix. Good, but I can't see drinking more than one a night. Have a feeling this combo of tastes and booze could leave one feeling a tad off kilter the next day if you over do it on this one.

Carbonation is a bit high...most beers with this much booze are a bit lighter in this department. Still...very drinkable for such a high abv beer...just be careful!

Lagunitas has come up with yet another unique, drinkable, affordable brew. I wish they would go public so i could buy their stock.

05-05-2011 23:56:09 | More by obrike
Photo of Rizalini


3.55/5  rDev -12.6%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Deschutes tulip...

A - Pours clear amber in color, with a 1 finger off-white head. Leaves some lacing as the head fades.

S - Big on hop aromas, with grapefruit and other citrus aromas. Smells almost like a dry hopped red ale.

T - Not as hoppy as the smell would lead on. More malty, and almost sweetet than expected. The pallete yields some brown sugar flavors, and even some dark fruits notes.

M - Has a medium mouthfeel, good carbonation.

O - A good cinco de mayo beer, because a couple of these would have you sideways. Smells like an IPA, tastes like a red. This, what ever it is, is a very different beer. Once again, Lagunitas never ceases to amaze me, with quiality, and price!

05-05-2011 07:34:09 | More by Rizalini
Photo of plfahey


4.15/5  rDev +2.2%

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Mahogany amber with brilliant clarity. Moderately thin beige head with decent retention.

Aroma-Powerful hop aroma with sweet notes of lemon, grapefruit, and pine. Malt is caramelly, raisiny, and a little grapey. Surprisingly there is very little hint of the alcoholic strength.

Flavor-Raisin caramel malt sweetness opens up to piney, grapefruity hops-the flavors meld seamlessly. Sweet at first before being dried by alcohol and moderately high hop bitterness. Finish is dry and raisiny with substantial resiny/piney hop flavor.

Mouthfeel-Moderately full to full body with some chewiness evident. Moderate carbonation. Smooth and silky. Slight alcohol warmth is really the only hint you get that this is a 10% beer. Dangerous.

I think this is a pretty damn good beer, and dangerously drinkable. The malt and hop aromas and flavors are excellent, and the high alcohol content blends seamlessly into the background. Well done Lagunitas.

05-04-2011 05:42:28 | More by plfahey
Photo of joemcgrath27

Alberta (Canada)

4.2/5  rDev +3.4%

A - crystal clear copper, solid thumb of tan head retained well, eventually leaving random sticky lacing
S - earthy and piney hops, butterscotch, spicy, and a hint of fresh mint
T - a shot of floral and earthy hops right away, giving way to caramel maltiness with light honey, brown sugar, cracked pepper and alcohol spiciness
M - medium carbonation, prominent alcohol heat and dryness, but remains somewhat sticky
O - what else can I say about this brewery, they never disappoint, another tasty treat that gives a quick kick of hops that gives way to a sweet malty base, the alcohol is well hidden on the taste but gives a warming kick on the feel, well done

04-30-2011 04:37:46 | More by joemcgrath27
Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 2,863 ratings.