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.

2,791 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,791
Reviews: 724
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 9.85%
Wants: 40
Gots: 232 | 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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,791 | Reviews: 724 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of briman


3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear copper color, with a moderate cream colored head that dissipates quickly and leaves a light lace down the edges of the glass.

Aroma is malty, somewhat sugary with a moderate orange citrus note, and maybe a hint of pine.

Flavor presents a strong malt foundation upfront, with moderate citrus hop flavors coming out. Seems to lean towards the malt at first, but eventually some grapefruit rind hop flavor stands up and a moderate bitterness is evident into the finish. Alcohol makes and appearance as well in the aftertaste.

Medium-full body, coating, and having a slight chew. Carbonation seems high in this sample, and is a little biting. Balance seems ok, strong flavor elements from both sides but neither really takes over. Overall a decent strong ale, but could be better if the carbonation was leveled off some. Certainly would try again.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2010 04:14:45 | More by briman
Photo of flagmantho


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

Poured from 12oz bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: rich amber color with a depth suggesting hints of gold. Head is a finger of somewhat rapidly dissipating ivory foam which leaves an attractive lace. There is just the absolute slightest touch of haze to the body, but it is mostly clear. This beer looks like it means business.

Smell: aroma is that of a strong ale, but the aroma itself is not particularly strong. Thick malt with hints of caramel and funky, piney hops are the aromas with which I'm greeted. Nice, but can we turn up the volume?

Taste: rich malty flavor. There's caramel here, and even a little woodiness (though I don't know whether this beer is aged in wood at all). Bitterness is strong and well-rounded; for all its extremity, I feel like this beer reaches a good balance. Its flavor is on the milder side of the strong ale spectrum, but I think this makes it quite good.

Mouthfeel: low carbonation and a medium-thick body. This one hangs around for awhile. To me, it has a silky texture which I appreciate.

Drinkability: this is a worryingly drinkable beer. It's going down *way* more easily than a beer of this strength has any right to do. I would absolutely drink this again (and again, and again).

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2010 01:41:11 | More by flagmantho
Photo of GPHarris


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

a - poured a one finger thick off-white head into a snifter that left a thin ring throughout but billows nicely. the body was a bright brown with reddish hints.
s - malty with a hint of bananas and booze.
t - bready malts with a hint of hops and a slight alcohol burn. there are also some dark fruit flavors.
m - medium and slick and a little bubbly.
d - nice sipper that really mellows towards the finish.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2010 01:53:15 | More by GPHarris
Photo of gildobeer


3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Extremely drinkable for almost 10% ABV, but that also comes with a sweet/malty taste that gets old after about half a beer. I feel like it would be good with more hops, but the Lagunitas sweetness is there for sure. Not really my style but a decent way to get a buzz.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2010 05:58:56 | More by gildobeer
Photo of StoneBrewFanatic


4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - dark amber in color with about 1/2 inch of nice head

S - sweet caramel, malts, and a bit of hops

T - a delightful bitterness filled with caramel and toffee notes; sweet but not overwhelmingly so

M - well rounded and buttery, overall very nice

D - rating this on my first and going to enjoy another; recommend trying this one for sure

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2010 21:59:30 | More by StoneBrewFanatic
Photo of aerozeppl

New York

4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Super dark brown color. Light does get through. Looks like cola. All of the Lagunitas darker strong beers look sort of the same. That is ok in my book. Poured with a finger of white head. Sticky lacing which is impressive for a beer of this strength.

S: Bit of a strong hop nose up front. Not really much else. A touch of toffee which is something else you commonly find in the nose of their beers.

T: Tons of bitterness up front. This is a hoppy ass beer.Very smooth as part of the taste. Lots of malt comes through. The hops are the malt produce an interesting taste combination. Not bad just something a little different.

M: All things considered light. It has a bit of hop stickiness but the body itself it light condiering the ABV.

D: A fairly easy drinker. I really like their stuff and the price simply cannot be beat. I need to cellar a few of their bigger beers again.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2010 22:55:16 | More by aerozeppl
Photo of Atricapilla


3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into two goblets so I could split it with my lovely wife...Appearance was caramelly copper; kind of like Dr.Pepper. Fairly effervescent with a thin foamy white head. Smell was of pine and brown sugar, with a slight yeastiness. Flavor was a bit sweet, malty and hoppy. Not as bitter as expected from the description on the label.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2010 04:05:43 | More by Atricapilla
Photo of argock


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

Served on-tap in a clear pint glass at Michael's Bistro (Charlottesville, VA).

A: Caramel-amber brown with healthy 1/2 finger tightly bubbled beige head which leaves nice lacing.

S: Malty aromas of toffee and raisins combine with soft earthy hops and nutty, fruity yeast

T: A fine brew that emphasizes subtlety of the malt profile... until the alcohol anvil hits you. Toffee, raisin, and date combines with earthy, mildly floral hoppiness and more of the fruity yeast before the alcohol puts its big foot forward. It lends a fruity, berry presence which doesn't hurt or help the brew thankfully.

M: Smooth and creamy due to the fine carbonation with a mildly nutty, floral hops aftertaste. Goes down very nicely despite the 9+% ABV.

D: Another winner from Lagunitas -- highly drinkable but with power in all the right places. Undercover Shutdown Ale (along with Hairy Eyeball, Brown Shugga, and Maximus (balanced DIPA)) shows that hops is not the only thing they can do well.

Serving type: on-tap

06-28-2010 00:25:14 | More by argock
Photo of jagoffyinzer


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

A: Pours a thin head that remains through out drinking with some nice lacing. It's has a cooper color that is pretty murky but still some what transparent.

S: It's sweet and citric. It's got a caramel bite with a very faint smell of alcohol.

T: A bitterness coats your mouth the entire time tasting and plays off other components in the beer. Upfront is caramel and toffee and as it finishes, it has an underlying alcohol note just like the aroma.

M: It's light and thin, very smooth. It does a great job at coating your mouth so you can take it all in.

D: Another strong beer that doesn't feel so strong. It does a good job lying to your body that there really isn't that much abv here.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2010 19:22:43 | More by jagoffyinzer
Photo of Natural510


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

Pours a rose color with decent head; nice half-moon lace ring on the glass.

Strong aroma of hops and sweet malt with hints of honey and molasses.

Sticky sweet; noted mix of tropical & dark fruit, brown sugar and pine cone. Malt and hops in heavy doses creates its own balance I suppose.

As expected, very full in body. Cloying sweetness hurts the drinkability factor somewhat. Satisfying to anyone seeking a revved-up blast of hops.
May be better in the long run with a bit of age on it. Otherwise, another good offering from Lagunitas.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2010 04:00:41 | More by Natural510
Photo of Seanibus


4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a lovely, slightly hazy golden with a delicate head. The aroma is fruity and hoppy, quite strong, like an herby candy. Flavor is spicy and super hoppy, with citrus and pine and a musky rosemary-like herbyness. There is a sharp stinging bitterness on the finish. The mouthfeel is super prickly. This is like sticking your face in a sack of West Coast hops.

Serving type: on-tap

06-25-2010 23:34:19 | More by Seanibus
Photo of MenloBeer


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

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

A - Pours a reddish copper, with a little head that dissipated quickly, but the carbonation was such that there was still a foamy top throughout the beer. Spotty lacing.

S - Malty sweetness up front, sugar and caramel. Some molasses tones.

T - Bitter hop attitude at first, rounded out by the brown sugar, caramel, and molasses notes. Not overly sweet, but certainly not a bitter beer. Interesting composition.

M - A little more oily than I would have liked, but it fits the style. Thick on the palate, and a little buttery.

D - The ABV and sweetness take this beer out of the "multiple beers in one night" category for me. On a foggy summer night in the Bay Area, though, it's a nice little treat. I could do a bomber.

I like what Lagunitas cooks up. This didn't disappoint. Brewed in memory of their shut down, and released in Spring, it is a pretty solid Bay Area beer. The cool nights we get make a "winter warmer" like this a welcome addition to the fridge, even in warm weather months like June.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2010 02:48:15 | More by MenloBeer
Photo of hoplover82


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

A-Pours crystal clear deep amber with a medium creamy off white head with good retention and very nice and sticky lacing.

S-The aroma is pretty subtle with caramel up front and some faint floral, citrus and pine hops. But everthing is very faint and you really gotta look for it.

T-Much like the aroma, there is lots of caramel and the hops come through a little more in the flavor.

M-The mouthfeel is very creamy and full (as it warms), if it'sa cold, it seems a little watery. It has a very clean finish with a bitter earthy hoppiness.

D-Goes down pretty smooth indeed. I highly recommend this one.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2010 01:55:59 | More by hoplover82
Photo of djmichaelk


3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a perfect pint.

A - Nice pretty copper color, although lighter than I would've expected given the style. One-finger head doesn't stick around very long, but leaves a nice thick cap on top. Patchy lacing on the glass.

S - Piney and grassy right off the bat, with a burnt sugar undertone that reminds me of a barleywine.

T - Hops biting in the front, backed by dark sugar, more toffee than caramel. The bitterness of the hops keeps it from being cloyingly sweet, and helps keep it in balance -- well, as much as something like this can be. There's nothing really balanced about it, but the combination keeps it from being completely out of whack.

M - Thick and creamy, nicely coating. Would be a higher score but the dryness of it in the finish is just a bit off-putting.

D - Between the ABV and the drying hop finish, it's hard to see me downing more than a couple of these.

O - A solid offering from Lagunitas. This would be good as a winter seasonal, not sure why it gets released in spring.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2010 06:00:49 | More by djmichaelk
Photo of berpwillie


4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours a transparent copper color with good white head, good lacing, and average carbonation. floral piney hop smell, much the same in the taste with some fruity grapefruit hints. sweet bitter finish, and long flavor duration. medium bodied with a thin slick texture. absolutely fantastic beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2010 16:41:13 | More by berpwillie
Photo of oglmcdgl


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

On draft at ujs g-side yall.

A- cm or two of eggshell white head atop a copper orange brew that glows with perfect clarity.

S- sweet toffee and caramel with some candied fruit and a hint citrus. Very clean nose.

T- sweet malts up front with caramel and toasted honey wheat bread. Some citrus and tropical fruit follow the malts and balance things out nicely. Slightly bitter and piney in the finish.

M- medium to full bodied with a mid level carb. Semi dry.

D- well hidden abv and easy enough to drink. I like it.

Serving type: on-tap

06-21-2010 22:15:54 | More by oglmcdgl


4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Good cream nose with a good retention and lacing. Body a slight haze, with a deep amber color.

S: Pine and orange come through. A bold and robust aroma. A hint of single-malt scotch is present.

T: A hefty Abv, but not that you can tell by the taste. A pine, medium taste that shows a hint of booze at the end. The ABv is hidden very well behind a good complexity of hops and malt. The malts are present on the off tastes of this ale.

M: Creamy on the start, with a smooth finish. The lingering taste releases more malt flavors.

D: For the style and ABV, this is a very drinkable beer. I take them on bike rides to sip and enjoy during a ride. Easy going, does not leave you with a heavy and full feeling.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2010 20:08:46 | More by GDBEERMAN
Photo of atsprings

North Carolina

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

On-tap at Raleigh Times served in a 10oz glass and reviewed from notes. Served a crisp dark amber with a thin off-white head that diminishes to a ring and leaves slight lacing on the glass. Aroma was a nice blend of citrus hops and sweet malts. The taste is a nice amount of citrus hops with a good amount of sweet malts backing them up nicely. The beer is slightly heavy, but has a nice bitter dryness that smooths things out nicely. This is another great Double IPA from Lagunitas, one I will always get my share of when it's available.

Serving type: on-tap

06-20-2010 22:47:06 | More by atsprings
Photo of Elimination


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

Look: copper, penny shine of an orange, light hues shine with a thin foam on top

smell: sweet molasses, has a sourness but all these smells are quite faint

taste malt, barely, hops, a dryness disperses those flavors, a little nutmeg and pumpkin spice at the end

mouth: very warm, has a slight hotness to it, steamy feeling

drink: is good, but wouldnt slam to many at this abv.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2010 18:19:32 | More by Elimination
Photo of beertunes


3.08/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a nice clean, clear, reddish-brown color with just under an inch of tan head that had good retention and moderate lacing.

The aroma was mostly sweet, with an alcohol sharpness. Just a trace of hops hiding in the background. Alcohol is the dominant taste on the tongue, then malty sweetness and some hop bitterness on the back.

The body was OK, but not as full as I like in this style. Drinkability was OK, but like several other brews from these guys, I remeber this beer being better.

Overall, a decent but unspectacular beer. Worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2010 22:00:29 | More by beertunes
Photo of LordAdmNelson


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

Pours a nice copper brown orange color with some decent off-white head that laces pretty well. Smell is deeply floral and citrusy, though there was a hint of soapiness in there too that wasn't so good--if not for that, it was a really great aroma. Taste is a bit bigger on the malts, though the hops stuck around for a nice barleywine-type flavor profile. Big caramel and syrupy malts with some big pine and citrus hops to go along. Medium mouthfeel, coats ok, not particularly dry. It could potentially use a bit more carbonation. Good drinkability, dangerously so at almost 10% ABV.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2010 21:36:36 | More by LordAdmNelson
Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 2,791 ratings.