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Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Undercover Investigation Shut-down AleUndercover Investigation Shut-down Ale

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3,401 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,401
Reviews: 874
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 10.1%
Wants: 77
Gots: 331 | 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:
Beer added by: GilGarp on 03-10-2009

ABV varies slightly from 9.0 to 9.8
66.6 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,401 | Reviews: 874 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DavidST
3.41/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

This pours a nice dark amber color with a large foamy slightly off white head which leaves a nice lacing and has good retention. The smell is loaded with toffee, caramel, sugar and some hops. Feel is medium. The taste has more hops than the smell, so I get lots of toffee and caramel with a nice bitter after taste and a pretty decent alcohol burn (this is hotter than some of their other offerings, almost makes it not enjoyable). Overall nothing I'd get again.

Photo of YouSkeete
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Rich caramel/amber in color, partially cloudy. Short off-white head with some nice centered lacing.

S: Caramel and bready malts, big hop aroma, rye spices, citrus. Notes of pine, bananas and grapefruit. A rich and intriguing aroma.

T/M: Smooth caramel and honey flavors, yeast, fresh hops and some light citrus fruits on the initial sip. Full, well rounded body with some decent complexity. Lots of earthy notes, like pine, fresh hops, and multigrains. Rye spices are definitely there, as they were in the nose. Smooth, rich, mildly creamy and mildly spicy mouthfeel.

D: Delicious. Delectable. Lagunitas rarely disappoints. A great example of what a strong ale should be.

Photo of DrewV
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Hazy amber-brown (18 deg SRM on the color scale) with a thin 1-finger head. Lacing sticks around a while.

S: Caramel malt, citrus hops, light citrus (grapefruit, tangerine, and pineapple mainly) aroma. Smells much like Stone Arrogant Bastard, with less pine and more tangerine. A classic strong ale aroma without the booze.

T: More of the same -- caramel malt up front, balanced by lightly bitter, but citrusy hops. A well-rounded flavor profile, nothing sticks out as overwhelming. Just a really pleasant flavor overall without being overly bitter or overly sweet.

M: Creamy, adequate carbonation. Slick mouthfeel, somewhat oily finish, but the finish is very clean with no aftertaste. Each sip is like a brand new experience.

O: A solid strong ale and a definite contender for my favorite in the category for the price. As it is only a seasonal, I can't wait for next spring to taste this one again. A solid A- in my book. If you like Stone's Arrogant Bastard, you'll love this brew.

EDITED 7/14/2012 for this year's release. So very close to last year's, it's impossible to distinguish between the two. One of my absolute favorite brews ever produced.

Photo of kennylopez
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from: 12 oz bottle into a globe glass

Appearance: golden brown with a fatty fingers worth of head which was nice and cream colored.

Aroma: smelled sweet with a fruity hop aroma that was almost floral.

Taste: well balanced as far as the malt and hop bitterness that the brew was meant to remember for their shutdown for a silly little sin as some say.

Mouthful: sweeter than the smell suggests and a extremely light presence of alcohol considering the content.

Overall: good beer wish it was a year round staple, but that might just be reason it's so good and be one of my favorites from Lagunitas.

Photo of TexIndy
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Julian date code of 6/1/11 brewed date. It was a clear orange amber color with lots of floaters and good carbonation . It had a good sized head that slowly settled into a constant foam cap. Good sheeting with some sticking.

The aroma was caramel malt, piney hops, citrus and a little booze. Liked the pine aroma alot. The taste was good as well with a good balance between the caramel malt and the pine. Booze showed a little but not as much as you'd expect on a 9.7% abv. Mouthfeel was full and a little creamy with good carb levels.

Overall, a really good strong ale that I highly recommend. This isn't one of my normal go to styles but this one was very good. Avail here in TX. Rotation - very good but don't me see me buying many of these except the rare single. [O;O]

Photo of JohnnyChicago
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A: Pours a clear, light amber with two fingers of white head.

S: Pungent, citrus hops jump out of the nose. Caramel and sugar are present as well.

T: Hops hit the palate hard, but certainly do not wreck it. The malt backbone holds everything together with superb balance.

D: Beers like this make me wish we still had a "drinkability" rating. This has perfect drinkability! I just cannot believe that it is nearly 10%!

Overall: Lagunitas calls it an "imperial mild" and I'd say that about sums it up. It is bursting with flavours, but everything is kept in check. One of the best seasonal offerings from this great brewery.

Photo of SawDog505
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my 13 oz tulip. A very attractive bright amber, with a inch in and a half of white sticky head, that lingers the entire beer. Big burst of caramel up front, with some breadyness, and grapefruit. All that and more intense, on the tongue. Nice body and plenty of carbonation.Once again Lagunitas has created a wonderfully different and enjoyable brew. Not for everyone, but for fans of hearty, yet approachable beers.

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

Bought this one in a mix pack of ales. Opened this evening and poured into a chilled mug. A nice medium copper color with a hint of haze to it. A nice white creamy dense lacey head.
Aroma is that of mild citrus and hops. I'm thinking dry hopped with Cascade? Drinks smoothly with a good mouth feel to it. Tastes of grapefruit and hops on the backside. Higher alcohol content than most but not noticeable. A good brew that would be great on a hot Summer day.

Photo of omnigrits
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a perfect pint glass. Despite having drunk many, many bottles and a fair few pints of this beer, I don't seem to have reviewed it... until now.

A. Dark copper colour with an off-white head. Lots of retention and lace.

S. The first impression I get is of a spicy rye bread. There's a lot of grainy aroma here, some citrusy hops maybe, but overwhelming spice.

T. A very full-flavoured beer. Sweet up front, lingering bitter finish, but in the middle a fantastic burst of spice, grapefruit and dark fruits.

M. Medium bodied, low on carbonation (a good thing I reckon), smooth.

O. This is one of those beers that I load up on when it's available. I drink most of them over the next month or two and put a few away for ageing. Although it's filed here under the American Strong Ale category, with a tweak or two this could easily be an old/Burton ale.

Photo of Holland
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: very little head, but served at about 40 degrees. Makes up for it with the beautiful color - clear, reddish brown. Looking good.

S: spicy hops, belgian yeast?, some thin malt flavor. With the bit of sweetness, it smells like a coffee cake. Is that cinnamon in there? Definitely some fruity esters.

T: tastes of a bit of fruity esters, bitter hops, and some sweetness. I don't get much malt presence, which surprised me - maybe it's overtaken by the other flavors.

M: thicker, but balanced with the hops and carbonation.

O: I aged this one for a while after picking up a 6 pack for around $10. Good price, if I recall, and the beer is solidly built. Just not spectacular. Their Lucky 13 is a better one in the category, but this one is going very well with my pizza.

Photo of marc956
4.67/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just an FYI bro's and readers, the one I got here in Texas is 9.87% abv.

A very good beer with LOTS of hops and flavor, drinking it you know it's not a session beer but it's very drinkable. Lagunitas is a quality product and I only wish more people could try this one! Went very well with pizza.

Photo of dgilks
3.71/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear dark copper colour with a large, creamy off-white head. Good lacing.

Sweet, nutty aroma with a slightly fruity hop edge. Nice.

Sweet, smooth malt with enough hop to balanced it out. Moderate bitterness.

Medium-full body with moderately-high carbonation. A touch too fizzy.

A sweet, darkish ale with a little bit more bitterness than expected. Not my favourite beer but not bad.

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

12oz bottle (no date) poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Coppery orange with the slightest of haze. Initial 1/4" rocky off-white foam died back to a ring at the edge, a paper thin island in the middle, and lots of delicate persistent lacing (strands and islands) on the sides. Bubbles moving up slowly through this beer.

Smell: Something spicy in here with a swirl. A bit boozy with some piney and citrus hops. A bit sweet as well. I want to say the spice I'm smelling is coriander....but I'm not sure about that either.

Taste: That spicy flavor right up front, blending quickly with a solid sweet flavor from all the malt, then finishing cleanly with those citrus (a bit of grapefruit) and mild pine flavor hops. Very balanced between the two extremes and quite nice. Hop flavors become a bit more pronounced by the end of the glass as the beer is nearly warm temperature. Indeed, the hops start to take on a oil of bergamot (earl gray tea) flavor as the beer warms up, making the beer even more herbal and spicy in flavor profile. As I saw someone else post on their review of this beer - there is a lot of shit going on here.

Mouthfeel: Just a hint of carbonation. Creamy and thick but very smooth and does not linger too long in the mouth or on the teeth.

Overall / Drinkability: Alcohol very well hidden so this beer is a bit dangerous but I definitely noticed the effects by the end of the glass. Complex flavored beer - definitely one for sipping and savoring. Definitely a strong ale with it's own unique character. Part DIPA and part spiced ale is how I would characterize this beer.

Photo of kagent777
3.67/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle from the Utah system. The beer guy at the Foothill SLC store and I are friends. I walk in one afternoon, he says Do i want to have a special beer. So I say sure and here is the review.

Appearance: Toasted marshmellow colored head fades quickly to leave a ring around the edge. The beer is a clear light amber and has little lacing.

Smell: Nice citric and floral hops with a slight metallic undertone pair nicely with caramel malts. This one is boozy in the nose, also.

Taste: This beer is strong like an IPA or DIPA, it certainly has the bitterness. But this one is not as hops forward as those styles. The hops is more in nose than a lingering finish. Actually, the finish is somewhat sweet at the very end. Toffee and caramel malt are the main drivers here. The malt is forward and in your face as much as malt can be. A nice change of pace.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is especially prickly on this beer, while the finish is long and drawn out.

Overall: While this one is a change of pace, some thing just is either missing or does not mesh correctly. Not sure that i can put my hand on it. It is solid but not great.

Photo of scones
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Cooper's Tavern in Madison. Reviewing after the fact.

A: Twice I've had it in Lagunitas mason jars, once in a regular pint glass. Disappointed with the latter. Looks like a legit strong ale, deep copper color but not opaque by any means. Not much head.

S: Can't remember too well. From what I remember, complex. Has a lot of stuff going on - fruits, malts, and booze.

T: A lot of shit going on. Sweet and fruity, with some dark fruits as well as apricot-y flavors coming through. A lot of sweetness, but hops to balance it out. Strong flavors overall.

M: Syrupy. Sweet. No crispness, quite thick.

O: Really enjoy this beer, but can see why others would not. Almost too syrupy, but I really like the aggressive flavors it has going on. I can't think of one thing that dominates, which is good for me because I like hops and malt and everything else, as long as I can really taste it. I'd buy again... which I already have multiple times.

Photo of Cmack15
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: nice light brown/amber color 2 finger head with lacing

Aroma: sweet citrusy tinge of pine grapefruit in there too, overall smells great

Taste: sweet start finishes nice and dry with the hops really coming through. the malt is balanced really well with all the hop goodness of this beer.

Mouthfeel: good carbonation and medium body well suited for this style

I really like this beer and wish it wasn't so strong only so I could session it.

Photo of rdub
3.3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I love Lagunitas. Poured from the stubby bottle into my Duvel tulip. Golden color and thick head dissipated rather quickly and became still. Kind of a nice looking brew though. Smell was strong. I don't even know what I was getting out of it. The alcohol wasn't very well hidden which was surprising for Lagunitas. The taste was a boozy mess for me as well. The mouthfeel was ok but once again, drinkability suffered due to the booziness. I'm sorry Lagunitas, I tried to love this but for me, just OK.

Photo of BeerPhan86
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured into my Lagunitas mason jar style glass of course. Pours a slightly hazy dark ruby amber with a half finger of light tan head. The head lingers with very sticky lacing, there just isn't much of it.

S - Heavy on sweet fruits, most notably grapefruit and apricot. Very sweet and malty already. Some resinous, earthy pine notes in the nose as well.

T - Initially a bitter hop blast that gives way to a fruity, malty finish. It's somewhat "syrupy" and I think that may have turned a lot of people off from it. It is both trying to be heavily hoppy and heavilty malty/sweet, and the two sides do not seem to balance as well as they could have. The sweet aspects seem to win out, whereas I'd like to savor more of the hop notes that momentarily appear in the front of the taste.

M - Heavy/syrupy and very warming. The high abv lends a slightly tingling sensation on the tongue. Slick and resinous on the lips.

O - Definitely the wrong choice for a summer day session beer, but very enjoyable when sipped around the campfire later on into the night. Not one I would choose to session but like the Brown Shugga, a really flavorful beer to sip on a holiday or special occasion. I'm glad I tried it but I prefer the Brown Shugga and even the Hairy Eyeball strong ales over this one.

Photo of DaftCaskBC
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: 1/2" cream coloured head that left a slight lacing over light brown liquid with excellent clarity.

S: Malt and sugar.

T: Bitter at the start, the taste of floral and pine hops in the middle, with a dry malty finish. The hops that are used do not compliment the malt very well, and they only settle down near the end of the glass as the beer becomes warmer.

M: Medium viscosity and medium level of medium carbonation.

O: Not particularly well integrated or well balanced strong ale, likely because of the combination of hops and malt that are used.

Photo of GallowsThief
3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A – Deep golden brown on pour with about one finger of fluffy off white head that is pretty damn sticky with lacing.

S – Earthy, piney and citrusy. Sweetness in the nose.

T – Has a nice hop bite to start. Citrus tastes next. Malt sweetness at the back end. Definitely feel a nice alcohol burn at the finish.

M – Medium to full bodied. Solid carbonation. Creamy.

O - Solid brew with a wild swing from hops to malt sweet. Liked it but did not love it.

Photo of Phelps
2.24/5  rDev -44.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Served in a shaker pint at Tops.

Perfectly clear auburn with hints of burnt orange. One finger of frothy head the color of wet sand slowly fades to thick top layer, looking a little scummy.

Weird nose. Caramel, dry dog food, sweet wort. Also honey and hints of tangy apricot.

Ugh, the flavor is worse. Sweet, tangy apricot and perhaps some orange peel with floral notes give way to overly burnt caramel malt and hefty bitterness. Overly astringent and just weird. The tangy cleaning solution and burnt malt never meld.

Light yet prickly carbonation breaks into just a bit of fizz. Treacly medium body.

Weird, weird, weird. Competing flavors are fighting it out in my mouth, and I don’t appreciate it.

Photo of mactrail
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

When it's the time for a big alcoholic beer, this is one of my favorites. Not as heavy as a barley wine, though it does have plenty of sugar. Reminds me of ginger snaps, with the molasses flavor. Clear amber with a nice head. Very rich, spicy flavor but not that thick in the mouthfeel. Lots of fruit, dried mango, bitter raisiny taste. Fair amount of hops eventually show up. Best suited for a nightcap.

Photo of ummswimmin
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a pretty good beer. There is decent body and a good mix of flavoring. I like the roasted malts and hop presence.

It is really nice just to even look at this beer. It is deep amber with really good lacing. THe lacing stays really nicely in the glass.

I'm glad I have five more of these beers to go through.

Photo of Duff27
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Two fingered light tan head on a dark red/brown beer. Great drink-by-drink step lacing and a nice retentive head to boot.

S- Brown sugar and citrus hops penetrate my nostrils.

T- Pungent hops, caramel malts. Cinnamon? I don't know what that is but I think I may love it. Very well hidden nearly 10%abv...dayum.

M- Medium mouthfeel, kinda creamy. Decent enough carbonation.

D/O- I don't know if I'd go so far as to say I was blown away by this beer but whatever a notch down from that is...well, say that. Thanks for the try PTMcB!

Photo of drpimento
2.9/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Expected better, given the ratings. Served with a fine, creamy, off white head and good lace. Color is a clear medium amber. Aroma is bright citrus, hop, a little yeast. Flavor is very intense grapefruit. Too intense for me. Body is ok and carbonation is a shade light. Finish is like flavor. Not a session for me.

Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 3,401 ratings.