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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.

2,944 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,944
Reviews: 730
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 10.1%
Wants: 49
Gots: 282 | 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: 2,944 | Reviews: 730 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of d4114
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Reddish copper color, very clear. 2 fingers of off white to light tan head.

S- Big sweet malt with a piney hop aroma. Also a pretty big nuttiness.

T- Nutty malt sweetness is up front across most of the palate but is balanced out by the piney hops.

M- On the lighter side of medium; Doesn't totally match the bigness of the rest of the beer.

O- Similar to a american barleywine but instead of caramel or toffee notes it has nutty notes more like a brown ale. It also has a pretty big hop presence. For almost 10% it drinks really easy and i enjoyed it quite a bit.

d4114, Jul 11, 2011
Photo of davey101
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a DFH signature glass.

A - Nice copper red body with an off white head. Great lacing and retention.

S - Piney hops and sweet malts. Smells stereotypically lagunitas.

T - Really well balanced between the hop bitterness and sweet malts. Honey, bread, caramel, grapefruit, and a hint of spice. Fairly complex and the high abv is hidden well. Smooth and medium mouth feel.

O - Tasty beer, however it reminds me a bit too much of some other lagunitas stuff.

davey101, Jul 10, 2011
Photo of VelvetExtract
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Copper color. White head with only a hint of khaki. Patchy lacing clings along the glass. The liquid is extremely clear, no sediment or haze. I enjoy looking at the deep copper hue.

S-Sweet honey and caramel sugar combines with some very juicy fruity hops. Piney hops come into contact with my nose too. Has a very rich, sweet aroma to it. Very attractive. A 4.5 easily in the aroma. This is one of those beers that begs me to continue smelling it in order to decipher its various components. Lagunitas always hits the aroma. This one is no different

T-This one has some squishy juicy fruity hoppiness to it. I also find it to have a bit of Belgian yeast to it. Rich caramel sweetness adds to the flavor. Honey comb and a bit of spice. Bit I am very happy that this one has some serious hops. The malt and the hop both choke the palate. Balanced but big. There's a lot going on here, and it all pretty hardcore.

M-Medium bodied with a chewy feel. Drying bitterness. Big feel. Alcohol sits on the tongue a bit.

O/D-I have been a bit nervous to throw out $11 to try most of Lagunitas' bigger beers. I love Little Sumpin' Sumpin', Hop Stoopid and Dogtown. I really like their IPA and Maximus. But Hairy Eyeball didn't really do it for me. I saw this as another big beer that was had to put into a specific style. But I really liked this beer. Its a beast, and one six pack will floor you with both its flavor and its ABV. Syrupy sweet but still a pretty aggressive hop attack. Lagunitas is simply one of the best breweries in the world, and they are far from overpriced. Try this.

VelvetExtract, Jul 08, 2011
Photo of WoodBrew
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

TGI Thursday!!!! Couple beers...why not. Trying the Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale...it's a mouthfull...and so is the beer! This beer can shut down evening operations quickly with its hig ABV. The appearance is good! A nice rich Amber with creamy off-white head that is lacing suburbly. The smell has a sweet malt character with hints of pine/earth. The first sip brings a wash of ABV, followed by sweet malt. The ABV numbs the tongue slightly and the sweetness holds on to the pallete. The mouthfeel was down graded just a bit due to the high ABV. Overall its a good beer...reminds me a little of the Brown Shugga that they produce(d), and the sweetness reminds me slightly of Two Brothers Cane & Ebel.

WoodBrew, Jul 08, 2011
Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up last week since I hadn't had an American Strong Ale in quite some time. Most of the Lagunitas beers that I've had were pretty hoppy in the west coast tradition but this one was a bit more balanced than I had anticipated. I also thought that it would be a bit too strong to fully savor and sure enough, that turned out to be the case.

This poured a nice brown hue with a decent head that lasted for a little while. No lacing could be seen and there wasn't much of an aroma to this either. When I first tasted it, it felt like a Barleywine to me. Lots of rye and booze and a relatively full, balanced mouthfeel. There was just a hint of citrus up font and a large warming sensation to this too, which lingered all the way until the pine took over in the aftertaste. This wasn't something that I could get down quickly but the alcohol made me slow down and just enjoy it for what it was.

Yes, I know that this is an American Strong Ale but I didn't think that it would be overpowering. I felt the alcohol kick in pretty quickly on this and it stuck with me for a while. Unless this style is what you prefer, a six-pack of this is probably too much. By itself, this is fine after a long night will have just enough of a kick to satisfy hopheads, and differentiate it from Barleywines and other strong styles.

JerzDevl2000, Jul 07, 2011
Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

biboergosum, Jul 05, 2011
Photo of AAxsom
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- dark amber color that looks very good. This may be a but darker than I like, but that's ok. Pours clear with just a tiny bit of head.

S- I get a good blend of hops and sweetness. Seems very balanced.

T- the fruit taste and the slightest bit of caramel on the end make this very tasty. The hops add a bit of citrus which adds to the fruity taste. I liked this much better than I anticipated.

M- the caramel and the malts left my mouth feeling a bit sticky. I definitely licked my lips several times.

O- very good effort from Lagunitas. I will drink and recommend this again. Easily my favorite of 5 new beers this evening.

AAxsom, Jul 04, 2011
Photo of Seanstoppable
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark mahogany/toffee color with a finger of off-white head. Visible carbonation in the glass. Plenty of lacing left on the glass.

Clear taste of slightly citrusy hops.

Some sweet malts flavoring, with some nice bitterness. Nice balance between the two, though the bitterness comes out a bit more at the end. Slight alcohol flavor, though it doesn't detract from the experience. Alcohol flavor becomes more apparent as the beverage warms up. Aftertaste is a slightly fuzzy bitterness.

Despite the slight alcohol taste, this went down quite smooth. Half my glass was gone before I realized it. Very tasty.

Seanstoppable, Jul 03, 2011
Photo of drcarver
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - a clear deep amber color with a tiny white head. no real carbonation within the brew and head does not last. Little lacing

S - if it weren't for the initial citrus hoppiness I would have mistaken this for a quad. dark fruit with hints of spice.

T/M - hop is aromatic only. starts sweet but not overwhelming. moves into a nice fruity and spice flavor. finishes cleanly. no sign of alcohol.

O - very nice brew. couldn't have too many but it was a pleasure drinking it.

drcarver, Jul 03, 2011
Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a plain tumbler pint glass at Eli Cannon's in Middletown, Conn.

A: Deep, reddish amber color with a thin, one-finger head of creamy, off-white foam. Carbonation looks ample and a bit of lacing is left on the glass.

S: Complex, fruity aroma with lots of citrusy hops, sweet, ripened berries and a spicy alcohol tinge.

T: Doses of sweet, fruity caramel malt carries a slightly roasted character into the juicy malt center. This is ushered on waves of spicy, lush, herbal and citrusy hops that bring out some of the plum, berry and apple brandy-like qualities of the brew. The finish is high gravity with a swallow of alcohol and spicy, fruity malts tinged with a searing, grassy hop aftertaste.

M: Full-bodied and rather viscous for a fruity, flavorful, yet complex strong ale. Satisfying flavors and a rather drinkable feel.

O: A well-crafted strong ale that relies a bit more on its hops and spicy alcohol qualities in the complex scheme of things. The near 10% ABV is detected, but doesn't step all over the fine, fruity nuances of the ale. Pretty well-balanced for a strong ale.

Gambrinus1184, Jul 02, 2011
Photo of HattedClassic
4.11/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A slightly oily texture. Pours very little head that diminishes quickly. The beer itself is a nice clear brown with hints of red. Slight lacing.

Smell: the beer smells hoppy with a caramel dominate smell. The alcohol also makes a noticeable appearance. However, the hops come out more as the beer warms.

Taste: Citrus hops with sweet malts in the background. The alcohol also makes an appearance but not so much as it detracts from the beer.

Mouthfeel: Crisp with prickly feel. The beer also goes down cold, which is surprising considering the alcohol content.

Overall: A decent beer. The beer isn't that visually impressive but it certainly earns it label as a strong ale with an abv at around 10%.

HattedClassic, Jul 01, 2011
Photo of glid02
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a clear copper color with an off-white head leaving solid lacing.

Smells of pale malts with hints of darker caramel malts, overrun by juicy citrus hops. Hints of herbal hops lurk in the background.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Pale malts up front are joined quickly by loads of citrus and tropical fruit hops. Near the end of the sip slight earthy hops dry things up a bit. The ending is mildly bitter. Mouthfeel is good, with decent carbonation.

Overall I remember the Sneak Peek tasting a lot better – currently it seems as though the hops are too one-dimensional. Still, a tasty beer that’s worth a shot, especially for hopheads.

glid02, Jun 30, 2011
Photo of mostpoetsdo
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a fantastic golden brown, with a dense light tan head. Great lacing, rings all the way down the glass.

S: A big dose of spice and citrus hops, a sweet toffee aroma.

T: Candy, caramel, citrus fruit. Not too alcoholic, but has nice warmth. Has that lagunitas yeasty quality to it. Good hop bite lurking in the background. Definitely a lot of malt and sweetness up front.

M: Nice carbonation, pretty creamy. Not too hot, but a noticeable alcohol burn. Full body.

O/D: It's a solid strong ale, Lagunitas always seems to do a good job...even if they kind of taste the same. Could have a couple of these tops, near 10% makes this a big beer.

mostpoetsdo, Jun 30, 2011
Photo of jayhawk73
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a copper color w/ a nice cocoa one finger head. Good lacing and carbonation. Somewhat hazy, and you can't see through it completely.

S- Hops, pineapple, orange, malt, and a touch of alcohol. Very pleasant smelling beer for sure. Wish the malt had more presence in the nose though.

T- Hops.. hops.. and hops. Malt makes a comeback here as well, with the fruit nose almost disappearing completely in the taste. A little alcohol burn in the aftertaste that I really like.

M- Definite bitter feel from the hops overwhelm everything else, although it's really not bad. I actually enjoyed the feel on this beer.

O- Pleasant beer, and easy to drink. Definitely pick it up if you haven't tried it yet.

jayhawk73, Jun 29, 2011
Photo of peacebone116
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 Release, enjoyed in a Delirium snifter on 5/13/11.

A: Clear dark red copper with little retained head but lace that clings to the edges of the glass and wisps that swirl randomly on top.

N: Sweet candied sugar and pine sap.

T/M: Creamy, light body. Sweet malt center with a wonderful citrus front and a dry, resinous pine finish.

This is a very dangerously drinkable beer; only the heavy sweetness reminds me of its alcoholic strength. Overall, this beer reminds me of a hopped-up Brown Shugga'....very delicious and a great example of a balanced beer, expertly walking the line between sweet malt-forward ale & crisp hoppy beer.

peacebone116, Jun 29, 2011
Photo of GarthDanielson
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer is a red-tinted copper coloring with a foamy, frothy, slim off-white head that settles quickly into a sparse coating of film atop the brew. The aromas are hoppy initially, with a sweet and peppery highlight to them. Further inspection gives off a slight citrus and sweet character, also. Flavors are round and forward, with a moderate wet, fresh hopping, and semisweet caramel tone, and a smokey, almost burnt/charred characteristic. The aftertaste has a grapefruit subtleness to it, with tangy caramel and bitter/drying hops throughout. The finish is a bit awkward, with the drying sensation being balanced off with a creamy and slick feel to it, all of which come crashing to a fairly quick stop at the end. Interesting brew, but a bit on the awkward side at the end, like a bad one-night stand. Sure, it was fun at first, but the ending is never pretty...

GarthDanielson, Jun 29, 2011
Photo of minterro
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes. Consumed at Kalamazoo Beer Exchange.

A: about a half a finger of thick foamy yellow-white head that fades slowly. the head has great lacing on the glass! The beer is a deep ruby color.

S: very grassy, a bit sweet, and quite hoppy. It has pretty much the same smell as the aroma hops I put into the Imperial Pale Ale that I'm currently brewing.

T: similar to the nose. Not super complex, but it just straight up tastes great. I can taste the citrus and spice when I'm drinking it more then when it’s being smelt

M: medium to full body, medium to low carbonation. It’s heavy and a tad chewy. Pretty smooth.

O: I was very impressed by this beer and really really hope that my beer turns out half as good as this one. Hats off to the people at Lagunitas Brewing Company this was one heck of a beer. I would highly recommend this beer!

minterro, Jun 27, 2011
Photo of chilly460
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a deep cherry tinted amber with a nice tan head that sticks around nicely. Leaves plenty of lace to the bottom of the glass.

S - The aroma is extremely sweet with brown sugar notes. Different fruits are there as well, cherry, fig come to mind. Plenty of caramel and toffee. It also has a big dose of earthy hops at the finish.

T - Great balance between the sweetness and the hops. Immediate attention grabber is the brown sugar taste, but it's done in a way that doesn't get overdone. It's sort of like good southern sweet tea, it's an art form. This is complemented by more of the fig and cherries picked up in the nose, and then cleaned up with the nice earthy, grassy style hops.

M - The mouthfeel is somewhere between full and medium with a solid amount of carbonation that helps keeping it from being heavy, despite the sweetness.

O - If someone had described this beer to me, I'd have said it wasn't something I'd enjoy. Not so, loved this beer...they keep the sweet/hoppy balance going perfectly, and end with a very interesting beer that is easy to drink and delicious. Never too much sweetness, if you're looking for a "different" beer, this is one for you.

chilly460, Jun 27, 2011
Photo of droomyster
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This massive bear of a beer. Pours a brown body with some light head that exudes massive aromas of molasses, pine hops, and summer camp breakfast an open air tree grove. Flavors have more brown sugar and pancake syrup than the nose, but are sufficiently balanced balanced by the hops so that they aren't cloying. Extremely full bodied and as rich and mouth-filling as they come. If you like the flavor of such a heavy beer as much as I do, then this will be your nirvana. Otherwise it's not your cup of tea. I love brews that unabashedly choose to sink or swim. A nice brew to take your time with.

droomyster, Jun 25, 2011
Photo of genitempo
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Once again, consistency with labeling always is a good strategy. Lagunitas shows this with trademark dog and choice of label paper. Decent pour. Rich, copper body with minimal head. Practically no lacing whatsoever.

Smell - on the cusp of stronger hops, but not overbearing.

Taste - nice hoppy and rich flavor. Really strong up front, then ends abruptly (a beer that would go with a good meal to prevent taste overlap).

Mouthfeel - medium body. a little too much carbonation.

Overall - This is middle of the road for Lagunitas (which is still a level above most attempts made by other breweries).

genitempo, Jun 24, 2011
Photo of enfield249
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours dark honey too copper red color, with a small head of off white foam

S - Malty and slightly spicy aroma

T - Sweet malt, grain, roast

M - Medium full, slightly astringent, not to much hop bitterness.

O - I would describe it as a IPA minus the hops. Very nice strong ale.

enfield249, Jun 24, 2011
Photo of phiberoptik
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this by accident! Well technically my beer store got it by accident. Lagunitas is only distributed in the Columbus area, but the distributor accidentally sent it with an order down here to Cincinnati. Lucky me!

Pours a nice rich amber color with a rich creamy head.

Smell is very hop forward, clean, fresh, and citrusy. I get more sweet fruit than pine. For a "mild", there is really nothing mild about it.

Taste is wonderful. Bursting with hops and very well balanced. Slight bitterness in the finish but very mild for the amount of hops that come out in the nose and taste. A nice alcohol finish as you would expect from a near 10%'er. For a "mild", there is really nothing mild about it.

Great mouthfeel with medium body, good covering of the tongue and a nice level of carbonation.

Overall this is a great beer. One I would definitely buy again. It gives you a ton of hops without a sticky mouth or a lasting bitterness in the back of your mouth.

phiberoptik, Jun 23, 2011
Photo of Heritage02Rider
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: poured into chilled glass from my hermetic growler. Color is medium amber, not brown, not red; amber. I like the color. The head was full and thick and creamy. Oddly for as thick as it was it dissipated quite quickly to a foam ring, thus the 3.5.

S: the smell was slightly hoppy; not malty as the color would dictate. The odor was very reminiscent of Stone's Arrogant Bastard.

T: the beer is slightly hoppy with a sweet malty overtone. Again reminiscent of Stone.

M: beer is clean and smooth. It doesn't make you cringe nor does it make you smack you lips from sweetness. It does have a slight citrus hoppy after taste.

D: drinkability is good. The beer has a 9.7 ABV but goes down easy like a much lighter beer. You can drink many of these, but the higher alcohol will catch up to you.

O: a decent beer very close to their southern CA brothers Arrogant Bastard. My choice goes to Stone, but this is a decent runner up for a summer dark beer.

Heritage02Rider, Jun 22, 2011
Photo of jeremy2027
3.15/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

1. Poured into Sam Adams "perfect pint" glass.

2. Light brown a shade above a good amber, quite clear.

3. Grapefruit right off the bat with a little sweet malty notes.

4. First sip you could taste more of the malt character and some hop bitterness. After a few sips the bitterness is quite apparent and hits you right in the back of the mouth.

5. It was ok I have had much better beers from Lagunitas, I probably wouldn't buy this again.

jeremy2027, Jun 20, 2011
Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

metter98, Jun 20, 2011
Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 2,944 ratings.