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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.

2,897 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,897
Reviews: 727
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 10.1%
Wants: 46
Gots: 265 | 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: 2,897 | Reviews: 727 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of surfer4life
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Pours a light copper, transparent wiht a small head of off white foam. Good Lacing.

S - Good malt backbone on this one, very good sweetness coming through in the form of raisins, and citrus fruits. A good floral boquet from the hops present as well.

T - Charcoaly which combines with the hop bitterness and gives it a unique and wonderful taste. The sweetness on the finish is a bit caramel a bit vanilla and a bit honey, but the up front hoppiness and alcohol on this on is it's ticket home.

M - Mouthfeel is medium body with medium carbonation. Nice a creamy, coats the mouth well with great alcohol warming. Not to drying with a good bite at the end.

D - Very drinkable. Had it on tap a few months ago and I am pleased to say it is just as good from the bottle.

surfer4life, Apr 25, 2009
Photo of DavoleBomb
3.23/5  rDev -20.4%

Poured into a snifter.

3.5 A: Translucent dark orange/amber color. Thick creamy head with average retention and lots of lacing. Some particulate suspended (bottle conditioned?).

4.0 S: Citrus and floral hops. Malty sweetness in the background. Very nice.

3.0 T: Big piney hop flavor. There seems to be some oaky tones as well. Citrus hop flavor follows. More bitterness than I'd like since there isn't a whole lot of malt going on. Not bad, but just okay.

3.0 M: Medium body. Good carbonation. Not as creamy as I'd like and there's a big aftertaste of tannins.

3.0 D: One's enough, but I'm not pissed I drank it.

DavoleBomb, Apr 25, 2009
Photo of LauraAlberts
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%

Appearance: Clear amber with off white head

Smell: Honey, Hops

Taste: Bitter at first then honey that is refreshing then bitter again with a warm toasty finish.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, mild tannins, smooth and bitter

Drinkability: Definitely sessionable. Enjoy as a refresher after working in the yard most def.

LauraAlberts, Apr 23, 2009
Photo of FatSean
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a English-style pint glass.

Ruby-gold color, head the color of bone. The head was only a finger in height but it has hung on for several sips...slowly diminishing but not disappearing. Much of the foam seems to remain clinging to the glass.

Smells of sweet malts and tangy, orangey hops. The smell hints of complexity to come.

The hops are quite present but well balanced by the slightly weaker malt flavors. Upon finishing my sip, the sweet caramel/molasses malt flavors linger on the tounge along with the spicy alcohol. It's not till the finish that one is warned of the potency of this brew.

Mouthfeel is very nice. Solid and hearty. Perhaps a bit too syrupy, so I only gave a 4.

Drinkablity, for style, is very very good. If not for the aformentioned syrupy clinginess of the sweet malt flavors, this would be a 5.0 (as far as American Strong Ales go, anyway).

The sixer is a bit pricey by me...$10.99, but if you like strong ales you should definitely try this one.

FatSean, Apr 22, 2009
Photo of ironlung
4/5  rDev -1.5%

12oz for 2 bucks from up the street. Into roor mug...

A: Perfect amber. Tiny head, leaves quick. Minmal Lace.

S:Spicy/Floral hops. Some malt sweetness. Not as strong as the hops.

T: Hoppy yet smooth. The 9% is completely hidden. Vary balanced and[too]easy to drink.

M: Somewhat crisp at first W/ lingering syrup-sweet notes.

D: This one could cause some trouble. If the label didn't say 9 I would've guessed 6. Thank god for disclosure!

ironlung, Apr 21, 2009
Photo of jsp2
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%

12 oz bottle poured into wine goblet. Golden amber with white foamy head, good retention.

Aroma is dominated by resiny hops with wonderful grapefruit, orange, floral aromas. There is a subtlety to it that seems vanilla. Very nice.

Taste is hoppy attack, followed by vanilla and wood, with a wonderfully sweet malty paired with bitter finish. There is a bit of fruitiness in with the vanilla/wood, and more wood on the aftertaste. Alcohol is present and there is something complex to it like licorice/tobacco that counterpoints the hops very nicely.

It is a very sweet beer and will be well suited to sipping, you could spend an hour enjoying this beer. I think a year in the cellar would be nice as well but it was enjoyable now. Carbonation is moderate.

For me, this one delivered on flavor. All the complexity I would expect from this style and I love the strong hop counterpoint. I will definitely buy this again. Good on all counts and excellent on flavor.

jsp2, Apr 21, 2009
Photo of elniko
4.1/5  rDev +1%

Poured into St Bernardus snifter.

A: Glowing rich amber with minimal head and less lacing than I would expect.

S: Strong grapefruit tones with a tinge of alcohol as well.

T & M: Nicely balanced, wonderful hoppy finish. Major citrus tones as well. Mouthfeel is one the best that I've encountered; tart, full and very enjoyable.

D: Highly drinkable for the high ABV, Lagunitas continues to impress.

elniko, Apr 21, 2009
Photo of MisterClean
3.98/5  rDev -2%

On tap at Lagunitas night at Davis Grad

A - Light mahogany with a 4 fingered, off-white head. Dissipates slow and leaves no lacing.

S - Honey, caramel, flower, and pine.

T - Same as above, but with light alcohol.

M - Full-bodied, well-balanced, lightly dry, and light alcohol.

D - Good. Could age longer though.

MisterClean, Apr 19, 2009
Photo of Spikester
3.98/5  rDev -2%

Pours deep copper with a white modest head. Fair amount of lacings. Nice butterscotch and floral hop aroma. Taste is candy sweet with a big bitter hop partner. Mouthfeel is somewhat thick and has a good amount of pink grapefruit on the back of the tongue. Carbonation is minimal. A trace of alcohol in the taste but pretty well hidden for the 9%abv. Has some scottish ale qualities. All too drinkable. Not a style I would drink frequently but nice for a change.

Spikester, Apr 19, 2009
Photo of illidurit
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Bright copper color with a hazy body. Ecru head leaves some decent lacing. Hoppy aroma with notes of lemon meringue, grapefruit, and brown sugar. Flavor is sweet with lots of maple syrup and pink grapefruit. Moderate bitterness and some astringency. Body is medium-full with a soft carbonation. Not as hoppy or bitter as advertised.

illidurit, Apr 19, 2009
Photo of kaseydad
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%

Pours a caramel brown color with a nice foamy head that lingers. Major lacing on my snifter.

The smell is nothing to get very excited about. It's pretty subdued with some fruits and a mild malty aroma.

The taste is different. There is a nice blend of hops, malt, sticky sweet/candy-like and bitterness on the swallow. The brewers did a great job of combining all the effects. There is a small aftertaste but nothing serious.

Dangerous drinkability as this is WAY to easy to drink. The alcohol is hidden very well though you must be careful on the easy consumption.

I had never tried this beer from a local brewery but I am very happy I did. Another great beer from the Lagunitas crew.

kaseydad, Apr 18, 2009
Photo of djeucalyptus
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

bright dark amber, orange, and crimson. a thin light head of maybe a finger fades quickly and leaves some dabs of lacing here and there.

aroma of sweet malt, roasted, toasted, caramel and maple. brown sugar. then the hops pour in. pine, grapefruit, floral, herbal. delicious. powerful. yet balanced.

taste follows aroma - heavy sweet roasted malt with maple and brown sugar sweetness, followed by some strong yet neutral and balanced hops. pine, grapefruit, citrus, herbal, and floral all flow from the glass to balance the powerfully sweet malt. Well balanced, although comes across as a bit neutral. not necessarily bad, but not astounding.

mouthfeel is rich, full, and thick. hints at creamy, but the sugars and the bitter and astringent hops pull it away from the realm of luxuriously creamy. rich and vibrant with ample carbonation.

All in all, not a bad brew. fairly similar to a few of the other Lagunitas strong ales, which isn't necessarily bad. Really well balanced - almost too much so, as I'm left wanting something more. The alcohol is incredibly well hidden... I would have guessed 7% instead of 9+. Drinkability is high, although it's lacking just a bit of pop and uniqueness to make it incredibly desirable... all in all, can't really knock it.

djeucalyptus, Apr 18, 2009
Photo of Aradan
4.58/5  rDev +12.8%

Meant to try one of these the other night. My eyes widened at the first sip, and I ended up having three. Gave it another go round tonight, hopefully I can stick to just one while I write this review.

Pours a nice orangey-red color with a thick, sticky head.

Smells sweet like caramel and beautiful, fragrant, grapey hop notes, very enticing.

Tastes the way it smells, only more so. Big, sweet, delicious malt transitions incredibly smoothly into a whole lot of citrusy hops. Not bitter per se, but very hoppy in the finish. Hard to tell where one ends and the other begins; very nice balance between the two.

Mouthfeel is rich and smooth, carbonation does its job and keeps its head down.

This one is a temptress. Each sip is so good you can't wait to have another, and the flavor lingers just enough to remind you of what you're missing when the glass is empty. I was well into my second the other night before noticing the 9.03% abv printed on the bottle. Went for a third anyway.

This is a really terrific beer with a really terrific name from a brewery I will most certainly be keeping an eye on. Have one and it will take care of the rest.

Aradan, Apr 18, 2009
Photo of washburnkid
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Enjoyed in a snifter.

A: Dark orange/red with a very small head. Some dots of foam on the glass.
S: Aroma of hops consisting mostly of florals, dark ripe citrus, pine, with a sweet malt undertone to balance.
T: Similar to aroma. Drinks like a mix between a DIPA (hoppy characters as described in aroma) and a barleywine/Belgian (sweet/candy-like sugar). Mellow biscuity flavor pulls through, and the sip ends in a mild bitter note. Delicious!
M: Light-bodied for such heavy, bold flavors.
D: An easy beer considering the ABV. I'll be reaching for this one again soon.

washburnkid, Apr 17, 2009
Photo of drlumps62
4.83/5  rDev +19%

A: Pours a dark brownish red color. 1/2" white head moderately gives way to a thin white ring. Nice lacing.

S: I don't want to do this right now.

T: Malty base. Citrus hops jump in. Then they jump in again. Barely any bitterness at the end. Followed up with a very sweet grape taste. I was doing double takes. I really feel like this one has taken me somewhere I've never been before.

M: Like a Double IPA. Bold to heavy.

D: This is so smooth. I don't reccomend making a night of it. But do it anyway.

S: Ok. I'm ready. This is the most inticing beer that I have ever smelled. I am not going to try to explain it. Just smell it. I was so taken by the smell, I actually inhaled some.

I think that this may be my favorite beer to date. It was given to me by my daughters boyfriend. I was not expecting to even have a beer tonight. Lagunitus keeps one-uping themselves. This is a beer that other brewers mighjt have taken too far. Lagunitus has found the proper balance.

drlumps62, Apr 17, 2009
Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%

12oz bottle with no date poured into a Pint Glass at the Barley House in Algonquin, IL

A - A clear copper color poured topped by an extremely short-lived head that left a fairly small ring. Almost no visible carbonation.

S - Crisp refreshing hops overflow from the beer with a slight pine aroma. Huge on the hops for sure. Everything else seems absent.

T - A good balance of malt and hops. Starts malty and sweet but almost instantly overtaken by its strong hop character.

M - With almost no visible carbonation this beer sure is bubbly and light. Light-bodied I would say.

D - Not incredibly drinkable but for an overly hoppy beer its certainly an easier drink than some with this amount of hops.

BeerFMAndy, Apr 15, 2009
Photo of beer2day
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%

Deep copper color with red undertones. Nice two-finger head. Good lacing.

Nice hop presence in the nose. Some mild fruitiness - picking up strawberry, but it's very mild.

Hits with a malty sweetness. Some brown sugar and a twinge of caramel. Finishes flowery bitter with a slight tart aftertaste. A little thinner than expected, but nice.

All in all, a very good strong ale.

beer2day, Apr 15, 2009
Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%

A- Deep amber color reminiscent of a DIPA. Red/brown/orange color of autumn leaves. Decent head with OK lacing. Many streams of carbonation

S- Wide variety of hop aromas from spicy and peppery to tart and floral.

T- This is a well-balanced beer... if you're a hop head There is no doubt about it. Dark pale malt flavor of wheat bread and a big load of caramel malt flavors in the lighter lovibond range. Awesome bitter hopping, sticks around from start to finish. Refreshing fruity/floral aftertaste.

M- More balance. Not dry, but not thick. Carbonation is in moderation.

D- Damn drinkable for a "double" brew.

EnojysAnyBeer, Apr 11, 2009
Photo of sweetbrew82
4/5  rDev -1.5%

12 oz. bottle into a snifter

How in the world this is listed as an American Strong Ale is completely beyond me. Make no qualms about it, this is a DIPA for sure!

P: Sits a glowing copper-colored liquid in the glass with a milky white, thick and creamy head of foam atop. Showed decent retention, sticking like hell as it subsided to leave some lace.

A: Pungeant tropical fruits, and some twangy citric notes hit the nasal passages first. It smells like pineapples, peaches, sweet oranges and grapefruit rinds. Lots of caramel underneath with barely a hint of the malts.

T: No doubt, being this fresh the hops are wall-to-wall in the flavor department. But, It's not an insanely-hopped brew, more like a balanced "extra" IPA like the SN Torpedo. Fruit profile consists of pineapples, peaches, oranges, and a big dose of brown sugar-crusted grapefruit rinds. Not to be outdone, the malt bill is behemoth in stature as well, delivering a thick caramel blast that puts it in the same category as Hopsickle just recently fell into, the "well-balanced" DIPA category that teeters on the edge of being an American Barleywine. Thankfully though, hops win out in the end when they slip in a late bittering jab on the finish to leave that hop-puckering taste in my mouth to barely save the day.

M: Lagunitas' Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale (one of the longest names ever) is a medium-bodied beer that is perfectly carbonated with a smooth, creamy texture that slathers the beer all over your tongue. But just like Hopsickle, it's a tad too thick for my preference in hoppy beers.

Notes: As stated before, this reminds me a lot of Sierra Nevada Torpedo. A well-balanced brew with some tropical hop flavors that satisfy my unrelenting cravings, if only for a moment. Just a little too much malt in the way of the hops for my taste. But don't take a hop-heads' word for it, try it for yourself and support a good local brewery while you're at it. If you like aggressively-hopped Barleywines, you will love this!

sweetbrew82, Apr 10, 2009
Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev -1.5%

G: Poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a dark amber with a thick, creamy head with a good amount of carbonation bubbles on top. Barely transparent.

S: Sweet, citrus hops. Hints of caramel and darker malts.

T: Hop character comes straight through. This might be listed as a strong ale, but it's definitely quite close to a DIPA. A little bit of caramel and candied sugars. Mild spice.

M: Medium-bodied with a mild alcohol presence. Goes down smooth with moderate levels of carbonation.

D: A little bit on the bitter side--I would like something that's a little more balanced, but overall quite good.

Thorpe429, Apr 08, 2009
Photo of BMoney575
2.98/5  rDev -26.6%

Sampled on 4-7-09

Pours a clear deep red/brown, with a huge, foamy, clingy, off-white head that leaves crazy thick lacing.

Smell is all fruity and grassy hops, with a strong malt in the back. Reminds me very much of an Arrogant Bastard.

Taste is sweet and hot, combining to create a cinnamon-like quality. Fruity hops on the finish, with slick alcohol.

Mouthfeel is super slicks, adds to the booziness.

Drinkability is poor, see above.

Overall, lots of booze, little else.

BMoney575, Apr 07, 2009
Photo of KeefD
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%

Nice amber color, rather large off-white head, sticky lacing. Aroma of piney and citrus hops, alcohol, a bit of toasted, caramelized malty goodness. Flavor has a nice hop bite, there's plenty of IBUs to go around, sappy pine and grapefruit, great balance between the bitter and the sweet. Medium body. My only knock on this beer is it's pretty similar to every other hopped-up Lagunitas offerings. Not that it's bad thing, just nothing new. Good beer, though.

KeefD, Apr 07, 2009
Photo of sarahspat
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

Crystal clear but dark amber red, with a considerable caramel head, which settles quickly, but leaves moderate amounts of lacing.

Smells like an IPA or DIPA. Very hoppy nose. Piney/earthy, very nice, strong pineapple, Gala apple, caramel. However, after it warms up a bit, an unpleasant musty scent almost completely takes over.

The musty scent thankfully does not make an appearance in the taste. Hops are herbal and piney, mostly. Tart apples linger on the palate long after the swallow. The pineapple gains prominence after warming. The hops definitely take center stage in this brew; it's very bitter with a minimal, barely noticeable caramel malt presence. The mouthfeel is on the light side, but there is ample carbonation. Slightly above average drinkability.

If I did not know that BA classified this as an American Strong Ale, I would probably have thought DIPA. Lagunitas calls it an "Imperial Mild"... whatever that is. At any rate, it tastes nothing like what I expected, but it's not bad.

sarahspat, Apr 06, 2009
Photo of morimech
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%

Pours a clear amber color with a thick head that has excellant retention. Plenty of sticky lacing. A continous release of tiny carbonation bubbles makes this an attractive beer. Has a heavily hop aroma of pine and grapefruit. I also detect something like sulfer. I don't know where that is coming from. The hops dominate the flavor as well. Mostly pine flavored. Very bitter overall. Not much comes from the malt which this needs to balance things out. Has a nice body with a soft texture dispite the extreme bitterness. Carbonation is just enough to lift the body. Another very one dimensional beer from the West Coast.

morimech, Apr 05, 2009
Photo of badmoon
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%

Served in a tulip from a bomber.

A: Bronze hue with orange highlights towards the edge. Started with a good finger of head that dissipated quickly. Very little lacing.

S: The nose is of pine and a spice that I can't quite put my finger on. I'm also picking up some nutmeg.

T: It's a big brew with an obvious pine influence. After taking a few sips, the alcohol warmth on the throat is evident. It's an attention-getter.

M: Medium body brew. The hops are definitely present at the back of the beer. The carbonation is just right.

D: I like it. This one is deceptively strong. I think this is one that you could over-do.

Overall: Very interesting beer. I really liked it! I'm not sure I could have more than one or two but that's alright. I will be buying this again. Try it!

badmoon, Apr 05, 2009
Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 2,897 ratings.