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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.

2,787 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,787
Reviews: 724
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 9.85%
Wants: 40
Gots: 232 | 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
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Ratings: 2,787 | Reviews: 724 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of grittybrews


3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a ruddy copper into a Duvel tulip with a quick-receding touch of off-white head. Strong aroma of grapefruit and caramel with a touch of pineapple.

Intense carmel sweetness up front with a mouthfeel that might border on syrupy if it weren't for the slightly high carbonation. Increasingly bitter flavor that progresses from sweet lemonade to tart grapefruit on the finish.

Alcohol is present but not overpowering. The sweetness of this one can be a little much, but the lingering bitterness on the finish helps to balance this sipper.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2010 04:52:15 | More by grittybrews
Photo of Beejay


3.05/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Clear reddish brown with a small tan head.

S: Lightly hoppy, with an almost lemon lime scent? Grassy and citrus. Perhaps some toffee in there, and something I can't figure out.

T: Hops up front, grapefruit, and a touch of pine, perhaps a little bit of plum in the back. There isn't a lot to the finish. It kinda of blands out at the back end. The plus side is you can't taste the Abv. Hints of caramel, and lots of herbal notes, but is seems to lack balance or a clear progression of flavor.
Edit: as it warms a bit you more of a grassy hop flavor that is nice, though still not amazing.

M: Feels fairly thick, slightly syrupy. Decent carbonation.

D: Hop forward, but single note. I don't think there is enough balance for me. I feel like there should be a second act, but this beer left at intermission.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2010 03:59:10 | More by Beejay
Photo of WOTO97


3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Style above reads American Strong Ale, the good people at Lagunitas claim Imperial Mild (whatever that is); all I know is this is a very solid brew. A dense head floats on a deep amber body with great clarity. The nose loses some points for a having a bit too much booze coming through. Aside from the alcohol, hops leave a nice pine quality, which lingers beneath a nice dense malt character. As the beer reaches room temp, the booze is pretty prominent. Lots of doughy malt comes through on the back of the palate. The pine from the nose comes through on the back of the palate with some nice bitterness up front. Slight raisin and plum come through in the mid palate but very faintly. Mouthfeel on this beast really makes it for me: despite the big flavors, the body is relatively clean with a very dry finish (almost akin to what you'd expect from rye beer). The booze on the nose is the only detractor here for drinkability. Lots of great flavor components without the thick, dense body (perhaps a detractor if it were february, but in the summer this is a great big beer).

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2010 03:04:41 | More by WOTO97
Photo of david18

New York

4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had a twelve ounce pour of this at the Amsterdam Ale HOuse on Manhattan's upper west side. Strong ales are one of my favorite beer styles but not necessarily in the summer. It's also not the best strong ale from a brewery that has a lot of different versions of the style.

Dark brown color, good carbonation, very good aroma (malty and hoppy). ABV is high but the flavor is well balanced.

Serving type: on-tap

07-21-2010 19:48:15 | More by david18
Photo of edwino


4.65/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from lone hill liquors in la area.

Really a delish brew. Flavor has a nice sweetness to it,; noticeable alcohol but not overpowering.

Nice rom that to me opened with hops then settled down.

It Is decent abv, so maybe just a one off for the evening....

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2010 05:16:33 | More by edwino
Photo of jbone78


4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had this several times, but just now got around to rating it. Pours an amber color with a frothy head. not bad. smells hoppy, but what lagunita's beers don't? with an abv over 9%, you can taste it. it is subtle, but you can tell it is stiff. I would say this one is a borderline Imperial amber, but with 9%.


Serving type: bottle

07-21-2010 00:58:48 | More by jbone78
Photo of Erish


4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this 12 oz. bottle into an English pint glass.

A: reddish amber, the one finger head quickly falls into a thin cap with decent lace; if the appearance were just a tad better this would be an A+ beer.

S: caramel, fruity esters, whiff of pine.

T: caramel, candied orange, cherry pie, then the middle simply explodes with sweet candied fruit, dark raisins, sweetened condensed milk, the finish is tart cherries wrapped around a slowly emerging core of grass and bitterness. Amazing!

M: creamy, almost milk-like, with light carbonation.

D: This nearly 10% ABV beer hides its alcohol well. I am going to try and score more of this at World Market.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2010 00:19:45 | More by Erish
Photo of Stunner97

New Jersey

4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- some sediment can be seen floating a mid slow amount low carbonation, white head fades rapidly to thin lacing, copper red color

Smell- slight hop and faint malt, having tough time pulling alot off the nose,

Taste- much stronger taste then i was getting on the nose, nice malt base up front which is rapidly and way over took by very strong dominating hop bitter mid palate and long bitter drying finish, very intersting beer in the aspect that up front is alot of malt and fun to see just how quickly that malt is squashed out, just really really nice balance and enjoyable flavor profile,

Mouthfeel- heavy thick and bordering syrupy, light carbonation, very smooth

Drinkability- dangerously drinkable considering just how strong this beer is, i have to say absolutely loved alot about this beer, its was able to walk that thin line where it was both neither to hoppy or to malty but having a very satisfactory level of both, a very very solid example of what a strong ale should be having firm hop but not killing all else in the flavor profile, a beer i certainly would recommend and get again, but shhhh... dont tell to many people keep it undercover

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2010 05:51:58 | More by Stunner97
Photo of RiverRatJoe47


4.78/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm not a beer expert or beer brewer, just a beer drinker. But I'm 63 years old and have consumed a few beers. So I hope my review won't be deleted automatically on the grounds of "insufficient detail".

I just wanted to say that I tried my first-ever glass of this ale last week, and the thought instantly hit me that Undercover Shut-Down is the absolute best beer I've ever drank.

It tasted so wonderful and full -- and without being heavy -- that I found myself extending the experience by taking a drink of the beer and letting it sit in my mouth for five or ten seconds before swallowing it. After that swallow, I took a drink of water to clear the beer's taste from my mouth as much as possible just so that the next drink of the Undercover would hit my senses as powerfully as the first drink had.

The parallel I would draw is that Undercover Shut-Down is to the best beers I've had previously, as a fine single-malt Scotch whiskey is to domestic rotgut whiskeys. Undercover, to me, tasted this good. It is a beer to be savored in the same way that a fine Scotch would be sipped.

I'm visiting Boise, Idaho for six months. Before going home to Kansas I hope to find a supply of Undercover somewhere so that I can share it with my buddies in Kansas. Sorry for the absence of tech talk in this review; all I know is that this is a very fine beer that greatly appealed to me. At the restaurant where my son and I enjoyed this beer, as (bad) luck would have it we were served the last two glasses they had before the keg ran out. Broke our hearts. I hope the restaurant reloads soon.

Serving type: on-tap

07-18-2010 00:53:06 | More by RiverRatJoe47
Photo of semibaked


3.4/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a Goblet.

A - Pours a bit syrupy and a dark amber color with a thin layer of off white foam and leaves some lacing.

S - Syrupy sweetness, slight hops, and malts, pretty simple and nice smelling.

T - More syrupy sweetness, raisins, stronger hops than in the smell and they are definitely on the bitter side.

M - Medium bodied, thick like syrupy and pretty low carbonation.

D - This is pretty decent, nothing spectacular or bad about it. It is definitely sweet and heavy.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2010 00:43:02 | More by semibaked
Photo of StlHopHead77


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

Bought the last two of these that I saw at Food and Fermentation.

A-Beautiful rust-brown with two fingers of sturdy off-white head,good lacing and active carbonation.

S-Floral hops up front giving way to brown bread and caramel maltiness.

T-Silken,balanced hoppiness with hints of salted caramel and pine.A touch of Alc. warmth on the finish.

M-Assertive and medium-bodied with a lasting and enjoyable aftertaste.

D-Another brew with silly drinkability considering it's ABV.I am a huge fan of this beer and could see myself pushing the boundaries with this one.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2010 15:06:57 | More by StlHopHead77
Photo of cokes


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

Deep, clear copper hued with a squat dome of sandy white foam which dwindles quickly but sticks as a collar to leave solid lacing.
Green-ish nose full of pine sap and ferns. Some biscuit maltiness is noted, slathered in honey (and, later when in warms, caramel). As is the alcohol, but only slightly. For something of this constitution, the nose is a bit closed.
Caramelly malt usher through the mouth first. A little bready, then a fuller cherry fruitiness. The transition to hops is via copper and metals. Then it's a blast of pine sap bitterness, crushed, dead flowers, quinine, and grapefruit pulp. Alcohol adds a congruent back-end bitterness. It's big, broad, and not altogether realized. Simply big without a defined purpose.
Glossy, full bodied. Then it becomes increasingly syrupy. The carbonation is stunted. It drinks as big as it is, but not solely due to its strength. In the short term, that's fine, but the wall gets hit quickly.
There's an initial balance that fades away. Had it stuck around, this would be a solid entry in the margins between DIPA/Barleywine territory. As is, it waves the white flag too early, and flounders the rest of way without any hop or malt signposts for guidance.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2010 06:32:46 | More by cokes
Photo of benclimbs


4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours red brown with a huge thick head that doesn't go away and plenty of lacing throughout the glass

smell is very nice, woody caramel with a bunch of vanilla

taste is also very pleasant...some nice dry hops accompany the mix of bready and off-sweet malts finishing smooth and clean...not incredibly complex but goes down nice!

mouthfeel is rich and thick

very drinkable for a 10% strong ale, so many are overly hopped or overly sticky sweet, this is perrty solid!

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2010 05:06:06 | More by benclimbs
Photo of DoctorDog


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

Presentation: 12 oz bottle into a nonic.

A- Deep copper / amber, and slightly hazy. Pours with ~1 finger of creamy tan head, which fades very slowly to an island of bubbles.

S- Surprising amount of citrusy hops are noticed first, followed by a sturdy caramel maltiness.

T- Citrus hops flavors, fruity notes, sweet malts, and a bit of booze. Sturdy hop bitterness, and moderate sweetness.

M- Slightly low carbonation with a medium feel. A bit of alcohol warming.

D- Good. All around quality brew that is an easy drinker for it's 9.75% ABV.

Future outlook: Very nice beer obtained at a very modest price. Might have to snag a few of these to stow away.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2010 03:05:13 | More by DoctorDog
Photo of craytonic

District of Columbia

3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pour is a (chill) hazed amber-copper, huge foamy head that slowly fades.

Smell: Citrus/grapefruit/pine hops, followed by caramel maltiness

Taste: Similar, I am surprised to see this labeled as an "American Strong ale". Mostly citrus hops and caramel malts.

Mouthfeel: A bit too creamy and a touch over-carbonated, otherwise tasty.

Drinkability: very drinkable, alcohol well hidden. That said, not a standout.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2010 00:34:57 | More by craytonic
Photo of thetomG


4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a reddish amber color that toes the line between being transparent and cloudy. Minimal amount of white head that lingers slightly leaving a little bit of lacing around the glass.

Not getting too much on the aroma - maybe just some small caramel notes but nothing else really stands out. Aroma is OK but not the strong suit of this beer... flavor on the other hand.... DELICIOUS!

There's a lot going on here but no single flavor overpowers the others too much - if I had to pick one I'd say that maybe the malty aspects shine through the most, but overall it is very well balanced and tends towards the sweet/boozy side of things.

The well balanced theme continues on the palate - not too sticky, not too thick, and nicely carbonated.

Already looking forward to drinking more of this one...

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2010 23:56:18 | More by thetomG
Photo of Daniellobo

District of Columbia

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

Nice brew, rich and long in line with the quality hoppy offerings of Lagunitas.

Presentation: 12 oz brow capped bottle. Offers a batch code but lacks any legible freshness or bottling date. Simple label with typographic design around the name of the brew and Lagunitas mascot, and framing narrative about the naming and commemorative nature of the brew. Notes O.G. (1.092), IBUs (72.41), and Alc. by Vol. (9.75%) Served on a tulip glass.

A - Pale to medium amber clear pour, with a fair head, medium retention and some lacing.

S - Nice hoppy nose with a nice malty touch. Fruity, citrus, and lightly resiny.

T - Nice hoppy range with alcohol well integrated. Range of the citrusy, and fruity hops with touches of caramel malt in the background.

M - Medium body and carbonation. Deceptively light at points before it picks up its finishing bite.

D - Rather nice drink, works pretty well.

Notes: Another nice one from Lagunitas, they also do other good stuff but they seem to be shine the strongest when working on hoppy brews and this one is actually there. Lacks a notch to make it to their best offerings but it is close.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2010 12:46:07 | More by Daniellobo
Photo of whoneeds8


4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Great Divide glass a transparent amber-brown with a thick froathy white head. Great head retention as it's not disappearing and great lacing. The scent is strong with carmel sweetness and some floral hops mixed in. The taste is much like a weak barley wine. There is strong carmel malts with brown sugar flavors and a nice amount of hoppy bitterness in the after taste.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2010 21:51:51 | More by whoneeds8
Photo of barleywinefiend


3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
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 armock

New York

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

A - Poured a browncolor with a white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of sweet caramel malt with a good bit of hops

T - Just like it smells sweet caramel malt and hops

M - This beer has a fuller body with medium carbonation to it

D - Well this is about as drinkable as you can get for a beer thats almost 10% good enjoyable taste that comes at a great price worth getting to try sometime

Serving type: on-tap

07-05-2010 21:36:20 | More by armock
Photo of homebrewhawk


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

12oz. bottle served in a shaker pint. Poured a clear dark gold with a finger of off white head. Piney hop aroma with plenty of caramel malt. Medium to full bodied. Lots of malt upfront with a fair amount of sweetness. There are plenty of hops to balance out the malt. Nice drying finish from the hops. Lagunitas brews a lot of strong malty, hoppy beers, and this one is pretty tasty.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2010 16:19:11 | More by homebrewhawk
Photo of jacobseyb


3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a snifter a deep ruby brown color. Aroma is primarily of malts with caramel and some roasted malts, bitterness of pine sneaks through at the end. Taste is very similar to the smell with more roasted malt flavor, and more piney hops. Feel is slightly on the crisp side with a good bite, and some slight warming from the alcohol. Overall a very drinkable strong ale, and definitely one I'll have again given the opportunity.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2010 03:42:23 | More by jacobseyb
Photo of TheSarge


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

I've been sipping on this brew for over an hour, and have loved every minute of it. This beer produces some of the best appearance of any beer I've had, to include mounds of clumpy off white head, a copper and clear body, and amazing lacing.

The aroma is filled with perfumy hops aroma, and a hint of toffee and caramel qualities.

The taste is kind of the same. It has a strong malty backbone of the toffee and slightly nutty characteristics, but has plenty of hops to kill Zeus.

MF is full, chewy, oily, and warming in the end. This is a highly complex beer and should be enjoyed by all BAs!

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2010 23:20:53 | More by TheSarge
Photo of jorg2619


4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I bought this bottle on a whim. Beer pours a clean amber with some head that recedes into a ring of white bubbles. I smelled booze and malt from the glass. The boozy smell is strong yet not off putting. A smooth American strong ale yet still tastes best in small drinks or sips. Boozy front end on this beer followed by citrus like hop flavors some sweet malt notes with a boozy aftertaste. Undercover Shutdown is a powerful ale. I think the boozy notes are a good element of the beer that lets the drinker know that this beer is no joke yet still pleasing to the palette.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2010 19:00:20 | More by jorg2619
Photo of RomaniIteDomum


4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours super dark amber with a nice frothy head.

Smells of hops and roasted malt. Almost like BBQ and hops.

Sweet with some citrus and pine up front. Kind of like a barleywine, but not.

The feel has a nice body and creamy feel.

refreshing and interesting.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2010 06:07:27 | More by RomaniIteDomum
Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 2,787 ratings.