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

2,904 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,904
Reviews: 728
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 10.1%
Wants: 46
Gots: 267 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,904 | Reviews: 728 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jman892
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a clear amber, with a soapy, foamy tan head. Nice lacing remains

S - Smell is a real nice citrus/peach. Very inviting smell. Smells like a grapefruit with sugar poured on top of it

T - Follows the nose, bitter, citrusy hops, with some earthiness on the back end. There is a noticeable alcohol kick to it which is not suprising given the ABV. A bit of caramel taste to it as well as a faint dark fruit as it warms

M - Clean, crisp, moderate carbonation, relatively easy drinker considering the punch it packs

O - Another solid offering from Lagunitas. Cant beat this for $12 for a 6 pack

jman892, Jun 07, 2011
Photo of diamondc
2.8/5  rDev -31%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Dark bronze, not much head, but there is a lingering cap of foam and some nice lacing.

S: Some light citrus aroma .. and that's it. Maybe some slight toastiness from the malt.

T: Very woodsy & pine-like hop bitterness. Booze is out in the open.

M: Despite the booziness, it doesnt drink harshly at all. Well-carbonated with no memorable hop or malt flavors.

O: Glad I only got a single. My least favorite Lagunitas beer.

diamondc, Jun 07, 2011
Photo of ehammond1
3.4/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On Tap

San Diego Brewing Co.
San Diego, CA

Dark amber and a thin tan head. Moderate lacing down the glass.

Citrus hops, caramel malts, and alcohol in the nose.

Citrus hops, caramel malts, some bready sweetness, and a distinct and biting, very strong alcohol bite on the finish. I expected more from this beer. Disappointing only because of my expectations, but overall relatively simple and still tasty.

A thin to medium mouthfeel. Ample carbonation.

A sweet, malty American strong ale with a little too much alcohol presence on the end. Not a particularly enjoyable beer, but nothing to complain about either.

ehammond1, Jun 07, 2011
Photo of zoso1967
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Undercover Investigation pours a deep cherry tinted amber with a nice parchment head that has good staying power. The beer leaves some nice lace on the sides of the snifter and the liquid itself appears to be nice and clear.

The aroma is extremely sweet and fruity with notes of cherry, fig and plenty of caramel and toffee. It also has a big dose of citrusy hops that make it smell bright and fresh.

The flavor has a great balance between the sweetness and the hops. The same fruity character colors the malty caramel flavors. This fruitiness blends amazingly with the citrusy and piney hops. There is just enough bitterness to keep the beer from getting too sweet, and a faint earthy spice near the end of the sips. The ABV is noticeable, but not overbearing.

The mouthfeel is somewhere between full and medium with a solid amount of carbonation that keeps it from being heavy on the palate. For as sweet as this beer is, I do not find it sticky at all with the sweet and bitter components mingling easily on my tongue after each sip.

I was really not sure what to expect with this beer and came away very impressed. This is a really well balanced strong ale with some great flavors. The fruity qualities make it very drinkable and the carbonation level makes it much more refreshing. This was recommended by a friend and I definitely second his recommendation.

zoso1967, Jun 06, 2011
Photo of rfgetz
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours the color of a tarnished penny, solid cap of off-white head, good sticky lacing. Scent is dominated by piney and grapefruity hops, not suprised since this is Lagunitas, sweet carmely malty backbone with a touch of apple. Taste follows scent, very hop forward, sweet carmely malt backbone has touches of nuts, note of apple and grape on the backent, slight nutty roast, slight booze burn to acompany bitterness. Medium bodied, palate coating and lingering bitterness. Another Lagunitas beer that showcases the hops. Cant argue too much if a majority are decent brews.

rfgetz, Jun 06, 2011
Photo of marvin213
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Depending on how I let the light hit it, the color varies from a super dark brown to a nice light tan. Not a whole lot of foam here, but the lacing looks serious...ly suggestive of hops. I get on BA here to confirm it's a Strong Ale (and not some sort of IPA).

Nose is fantastic--it's like a cross between that citrusy Hop Stoopid extract and a dark brown, malty strong ale. It's like a Backwoods Double Troubled Bastard minus a bourbon barrel.

The taste isn't quite as good as the smell, but it's a darn solid beer. It actually tastes as the senses thus far would reflect. It's a brown hopper! In the age of hop rules all, I'm a little disappointed I didn't get more of that citrusy...but, in all honesty, that wasn't what I was looking for when I grabbed the undercover. It's a hoppier Popskull. It may just be the hoppiest stong ale I've had--I'm diggin' it!

Mouthfeel might be a relative weakness. It doesn't have a malty sweetness like other strong ales, nor is tough like a forefather's beer a la Old Curmudgeon. It does, however, have a hop-pop, feel-appeal to it! :-)

As I figured when I picked up this single to throw in my box as I was leaving the beer store, this one's forgettable. It's neither a go-to strong nor a hopeful hop art. It is, though, yet another testament to the bad-assness that is Lagunitas Brewing Co. Never will I fear picking up some obscure beer from that place. It's still good work.

marvin213, Jun 05, 2011
Photo of AdamBear
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-dark amber with a nice cream colored head. great lacing

S-beautiful citrusy hops with a bit of breadiness to it. medium strength

T-comes in with a high quality amount of sweet citrusy hops. it then becomes very creamy with some vanilla flavor. the after-taste is straight orange. there's a lot of citrus to this, definitely good though.

M-very creamy medium carbonation with a semi-dry finish

O-pretty hoppy even for an Amercan Strong Ale. this drinks more like an IPA in my opinion. definitely a good beer though. too much citrus in my opinion though. i wouldn't mind having this again, but i won't search this out.

AdamBear, Jun 05, 2011
Photo of nrbw23
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a dark reddish orange color with a fairly small white head. Head has pretty solid retention and leaves a few spots of lacing.

S- The smell here is nothing really over the top and nothing is really jumping out at me either. Picking some citrus hops and caramel.

T- Molasses, caramel, and citrus hops all working well with each other. Quite a nice malt back bone here.

M- Medium in body and on the lower side of carbonation.

O- Not too bad at all.

nrbw23, Jun 05, 2011
Photo of Rifugium
3.33/5  rDev -18%
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.

Rifugium, Jun 05, 2011
Photo of MbpBugeye
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance
A deep red. Lots of copper and rusty hues. The head is dense and fine with a couple strong rings of lace.

Aroma
Lots of sweetened pine, oranges and a very dense, dank wild grass aroma. I'm thinking there is some Summit at play here, and its bringing it's oniony aromas. But, its quite complex and enjoyable. Malts are sturdy and caramelized.

Taste
Even better than the aroma, the taste looses most of that oniony, Summit character. Candied orange is predominate. Pine brings up the rear, riding over caramel and toffee.

Mouthfeel
Quite full, for the style. An element of syrupiness with a soft carbonation.

Overall
Quite enjoyable. One could put this in the same family as Arrogant Bastard. A big, hoppy, red IPA. I'd take this over Arrogant Bastard any day.

MbpBugeye, Jun 04, 2011
Photo of fourplayed
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

in pint glass. Deep Amber and Red color with nice off white head that leave good sticky lacing start to finish.

smells of citrus and pine hops and some sweet maple syrup. maybe some dark fruit buried in there...raisins? plums?

taste is earty with citrus and hops along with a good malt backbone balance. the citrus is more of a grapefruit. Some sweet notes come through. Alcohol is very well hidden!

Medium bodied, medium carbonation..no complaints. Nice dry finish with decent hop bite.

Another Lagunitas offering that I find to be a very worthy brew. Good hoppy brew with good malt balance and background of citrus and dark fruits...take your time to sip, the abv% is well hidden and will sneak up on you!

fourplayed, Jun 03, 2011
Photo of spinrsx
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle

Appearance - Clear copper/red colour with a large size frothy beige coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some really good lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, butterscotch, hops, raisins, raspberries, citrus, pine

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, butterscotch and a fair amount of hops. There is also some citrus mixed with dark fruits.. perhaps raisins and raspberries. I also picked up on a bit of a pine flavour. the beer finishes with a malty and fruity aftertaste with some lingering hop bitterness.

Overall - The alcohol was well hidden in my opinion and the taste was very well bodied. There are a lot of different flavours going on and I'm not sure I've ever had a beer that tasted quite like this one. I give it points for originality but this isn't something I'd want to drink very often.

spinrsx, Jun 03, 2011
Photo of StoutHunter
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The other day I picked up a bottle of Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale for $1.59 at The Lager Mill. Lately I have been making it a point to try all the Lagunitas beers that my local store has to offer, so when I saw one I haven't tried yet I quickly snatched it up. No visible bottling date. Poured from a short 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label on the beer is pretty damn plain, it would be nice if there was a little artwork on this bottle like on the Hairy Eyeball. It poured a nice clean and clear amber caramel color with two and a half fingers worth of off white head that died down to a thick later that stayed the rest of the time and left some nice rings of lacing.

S- Wow, I was expecting a sweet malty aroma similar to the Hairy eyeball, but instead I am pleasantly surprised by the dominating citrus hops aroma this beer has, it smells pretty similar to a heavy citrus DIPA. The aroma is pretty much dominated by citrus hops that impart lots of grapefruit, mango and blood orange aromas. There is also a nice presence of lightly toasted caramel malts that helps balance out all those citrus hops. The smell reminds me of those berry fruit by the foots.

T- The nose led me to believe the flavor was going to be all about the citrus hops but instead I am greeted with an extremely balanced brew. Up front I pick up the lightly toasted caramel malts that have just the right amount of sweetness to them and some nice biscuit like flavors. The malts are immediately followed by loads of citrus hops with grapefruits sticking out the most. The finish has some medium bitterness to it and is slightly dry. There is also a very slight presence of alcohol, for being 9.7% it is hidden pretty well.

M- Slightly dry, medium bodied and medium carbonation that suited this beer nicely.

Overall I thought this was a pretty damn good beer. I tried Hairy Eyeball yesterday and I felt like it needed some more hops to really be a great beer, well it seems like they answered my prayers and conjured this baby up. I find most American Strong Ales are either really malty or really hoppy, this beer fell right in the middle and I really liked that, it had great balance when it came to the flavor, neither hops or malts were overpowering and they were combined with great harmony. The alcohol was hidden really nicely and combined with great flavors made for some good drinkability, if I had another one I would drink it, it makes for a nice brew to crack open after a long hot day of yard work. I will be buying this again, in fact now that I just noticed it is a limited release I will be getting a six pack next time I go to the store. If your looking for an American Strong ale that has some great flavors and balance to it this is the beer for you. Great job with this brew Lagunitas, you guys really know what your doing, now I have to see what other beers I can track down from you guys.

StoutHunter, Jun 03, 2011
Photo of vfgccp
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A – Amber, light grade maple syrup. Off-white head pours with a nice creaminess, ok retention, and poor lace.

S – Soft pine behind a big honey, honeysuckle, and pineapple.

T – Opens dead and build slowly into malt, molasses, brown sugar and booze. Herbal-forward middle with rosemary and sage, and a supporting orange zest / citrus note. Climaxes in a big, rolling pine bitterness matched with molasses.

M – Medium full body. Boozy bitter backend.

O – Balanced sweet and boozy. Almost barleywine-like.

vfgccp, Jun 03, 2011
Photo of JCaweinstein
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into SA Perfect Pint glass, no bottle date or code that I could find.

Pours an medium amber color, couldn't stop thinking of rust either when it came to the color. One finger creamy head that disappeared rather quickly. Lacing left at the top and the bottom of the glass.

I smell citrus and hops. The citrus is along the lines of grapefruit. The aromas are not the strongest atribute of this beer as I really had to work to pick up the aromas. Even as the beer warmed it was difficult to smell.

Taste is where this beer shines. Starts up front with the right amount of malty sweetness which is followed up by the grapefruity citrus and finally a strong hop finish. Very tasty indeed.

This is a medium bodied beer and has big alcohol content at 9.87%. The alcohol however barely makes itself known during the course of this glass.

One fine ale. I paired this with a mildly spicey chicken enchilada and it was near perfect. This beer looks and tastes great, one I will certainly be looking out for next spring.

JCaweinstein, Jun 03, 2011
Photo of boneboy
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - This beer pours a deep amber with orange tones. The finger width, off-white head quickly dissipates. Lacing is minimal.

S - Very hop dominate, with mostly citrus notes, especially
grapefruit. There is however a bit of pleasing sweetness.

T - The taste is similar to the aroma. Again, the hops are the star, but there is a nice bit of sweetness to balance. I also detect a bit of piney hops that my nose didn't pick up.

M - A pleasing medium/medium-full body with just the right amount of carbonation.

O - This hop-forward beer is quite enjoyable. It hides its high ABV nicely. This is definitely a good value, and I will revisit it in the future.

boneboy, Jun 02, 2011
Photo of hamilton23
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours amber in color with a fair amount of creamy off-white head.

S: Hops at first and then some citrus fruits.

T: Citrus hops, some grapefruit and a little lingering sweetness to balance out the hop profile.

M: Slightly dry, clean.

O: This is an interesting one...a hop-forward strong ale. The balance of the hop profile with the sweetness is nice. It hides the high ABV well.

hamilton23, Jun 01, 2011
Photo of beagle75
3.05/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Clear, medium amber color with one finger of diminishing off-white foam head. Scant lacing remains on the glass.

S: Toffee and bales of warm hay make for a prominently malt-influenced smell. There is a thread detectable that is volatile and herbaceous, suggesting a light but lively spiciness. Some heady ethanol fumes swirl about.

T: Begins almost sweet, with polished caramel malt, lively--but not especially potent--spicy hops, bright and airy carbonic acidity, and booziness that swells into the middle. Some diacetyl also emerges in the middle while sweetness begins to subside. The finish is husky and toasty, with moderate bitterness and a hint of lingering sweetness.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, acidic and warming on the palate, with low carbonation.

D/O: One of Lagunitas's seasonal strong ales, this spring release puts an increased emphasis on hops but still cannot move beyond malt, booze, and simplicity. It is slightly punishing on the palate, leaving it scorched from the combined effects of carbonic acid and ethanol. Hay and husky malt will reward the drinker that favors such qualities, but otherwise this is just a lot of unnecessary abv.

beagle75, May 29, 2011
Photo of alleykatking
3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle. Thanks for this beer VinnieVanGogh!

A- Pours a darker amber with hints of orange hues. One finger dirty white head shows light retention. Light specks of lace on the sides of the glass.

S- Citrus and bitter hops both show through the front of the aroma. There is a nice smei-sweet caramel malt base that also shows from the middle on. Hints of molasses in the backend with a stong warming alcohol hint as well.

T- Citrus hops in the front mix with brown sugar and caramel malts that give a overall well blended flavor. Middle of the beer shows hints of the alcohol creeping in. Also with this is hints of molasses and caramel malts. Ending of the beer shows some piney hops along with a light citrus hops. Caramel malts and interesting off flavor of butter popcorn. Alcohol comes back in the ending but never gets too hot as I thought it would.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Caramel malts, brown sugar, and citrus hops are left on the palate. Aftertaste is alcohol, hints of hops, and caramel malts. Flavors were well balanced for the style I thought with little jerk motion on the palate. Light butter flavor in the ending shows a little off flavor but that seemed to be about it. Heavy alcohol drying on the palate with each sip.

O- This beer had turned out to be one that seemed a lot different that what I thought it was going to be. I really liked the flavors overall even with the light off flavor in the ending. ABV was high though which limits this beer.

alleykatking, May 29, 2011
Photo of ColdPoncho
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From baycat

A - Deep red/brown body, quickly dissipating taupe head.

S - nice hop profile, cinnamon, toffee malt.

T - Sweet, dry, fruits. bitter hops. Kind of odd.

M - Big, aggressive.

O (D) - This is somewhat interesting, It's ok. Nothing spectacular, but it's hoppy, and thats worth something.

ColdPoncho, May 28, 2011
Photo of SDtastentune
4.68/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Great Darker brown/amber look, great lacing.

S - Smells of malts/hops/alcohol.

T - Taste has a deep malty/sweet/alcohol thing close to a strong ale of some sort.

M - Goes down easy for a 9%'er, great aftertaste of robust'ness. Good medium carbonation.

O - Overall its a good strong ale, close to an arrogant bastard but not as hopped up/bitter, has a taste of its own... great brew!

SDtastentune, May 27, 2011
Photo of DrinkingDrake
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured out a brownish amber, a little on the red side. Barely any head formed and just left a couple puddles sitting on top. The nose is a lot of sweet and tangy malts with some darker notes. A lot of brown sugar and that Lagunitas hop character. A lot of citrus and some earthy tones. That hop character is right up front in the taste. Resinous tones along with some darker fruits from the malt and hop combination. The malt body shows through with a bready and dark malt characters. Cherry and a metallic twang. Finishes with a resinous pine flavor that lacks a big bitter kick.

DrinkingDrake, May 26, 2011
Photo of ChopperSmith
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a stubby brown 12 oz. bottle into a standard clear pint glass.

Appearance: A nice clear deep amber/orange color (like Baltic amber). A one and a half finger tan foamy head that left nice lacing as it receded to a frothy tan cap.

Smell: Very fruity and floral hops, grapefruit peel and pine. I could smell this one as I was pouring it into the glass, so it's anything but subtle.

Taste: Sweet malts up front give way to a bracing hops bite. Very fruity taste, with citrus and dried apricot and a great hops bitterness that mellows out on the finish. Really interesting flavors, and BOLD flavors, to this one. With the high ABV the alcohol is there, but it's masked well by the BIG flavors of hops and malts.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with good carbonation. Feels crisp and clean on the tongue.

Drinkability: Hell yeah! This is truly an All-American Strong Ale. Big hops and malts, big ABV, big hops aromas. Due to the high ABV and strong flavors, one or two of these go a long way...but could easily do a session as this one tastes better the more you drink. Just leave the driving to someone else.

ChopperSmith, May 26, 2011
Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Crystal clear amber, with no bubbling carbonation visible. Thin, foamy almond colored head.

S - Spiced tree sap with bitter grapefruit zest. Very sweet molasses nose. Warm spruce and alcohol notes.

T - Bitter hops up front with a warming spruce flavored alcohol. Hop leaf and and citrus peel. White grapefruit meat.

M - Clean, crisp and fresh with some sweet stickiness.

O - Nice strong ale, reminding me of a sweet double IPA.

BeerForMuscle, May 24, 2011
Photo of PonchoEquihua
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a recomendation of one guy in Sout Bay Liquor Store in Chula Vista Ca.

I was impressed with his 9.4 ABV and as soon i was in home poured it in 16 oz glass and

Very nice amber cooper with reds, almost a finger of head
Malty, fruity, caramel sweet and very handling in the aromatics and bittering hops.

Not for a session beer of course but it makes well in a evening watching a game.

I like it

PonchoEquihua, May 23, 2011
Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 2,904 ratings.