1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Undercover Investigation Shut-down AleUndercover Investigation Shut-down Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,307 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2307
Reviews: 679
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 10.12%

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

(Beer added by: GilGarp on 03-10-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
Ratings: 2,307 | Reviews: 679 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of 100floods


3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark copper hue with a rolling cream white head that starts out pretty hefty but then slowly mellows out. Nice alcohol and hop aromas cut through the head. Doesn't smell hot, but definitely a good combo. I'm drinking this one a little warm, I usually like stronger ales warm. The texture is medium bodied. The alcohol leaves a nice feeling on the edges of my tongue. Classic Lagunitas hop characteristics, very earthy and dry flavors seem to disagree just a little with the malt notes. I like this beer, I would drink it again. I think this beer would be awesome served from a cask. Aside from Hop Stoopid I've never been a huge fan of what Lagunitas does with their hops, it's never bad, just something about it. However, this beer does a good job of not making things too sweet or too hoppy.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2010 18:32:13 | More by 100floods
Photo of JordanEllwanger


4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A nice rich dark amber color with lots of transparency. A small but thick head floats on the surface leaving tiny ridges of off white foam lacing the edge of the glass. Smell is predominantly hops. opening the bottle will tell you that. There rests a sweet wet sent that I love in my hoppy bears. Tasting gives more of the malt presence with the hop aftertaste. A great, slightly toasted malt flavor up front and greater hop flavor, especially after. Feels remarkably smooth for such a strong beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2010 03:44:18 | More by JordanEllwanger
Photo of woosterbill


3.65/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Brilliant, crystal clear copper body beneath an inch of off-white foam. Good retention and some light rings of lace. Straightforward, simply attractive beer.

S: Toffee, raisins, cinnamon, and rich malty sweetness. Quite nice, if not all that distinctive.

T: Sweet, sweet malts: caramel, toffee, and just a touch of candied fruit. I keep waiting for some hops to balance things out, but instead find a significant ethanol burn on the finish - this does cut the sweetness, but not quite in the way I was hoping.

M: Nice medium body with plenty of rich, soft carbonation. Excellent.

D: Not too bad for the significant ABV, but the prominence of booze on the finish and aftertaste make this one less than great for drinkability.

Notes: Delicious at first (if a bit too sweet), this one really drops the ball on the tail end. Overall, it's pretty much what I'm come to expect from Lagunitas: tasty, but ultimately not quite cohesive.


Serving type: bottle

06-06-2010 01:58:15 | More by woosterbill
Photo of yemenmocha


3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful deep amber with off-white head that is enormous and pillowy soft. Nose has a big caramel & malt aroma with some cherry notes. Cherry is on the palate as well, with a big sweet syrupy malt character with hops near the finish to round it out somewhat. Comes across as barleywine-like to me, but just not quite as hoppy.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2010 02:24:49 | More by yemenmocha
Photo of chickenflea


4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours with a frothy, three-finger thick, tan colored head and leaves a good bit of lacing on the sides of the glass. The beer is a brilliantly clear, concentrated amber color.

S - The aroma is a heady mix of malt, but mostly hops that is noticeable as soon as I start to pour this brew. Notes of candied orange peel mix with citrus flavored caramel toffees, some notes of apricot and even some tangerine notes. There is a tiny bit of alcohol in the nose as well, and when mixed with the citrus. A touch of herbaceous pine rounds out the aroma. Reminds me of Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale.

M - The beer is hefty enough, as it tends to linger on the palate and even has a bit of stickiness to it.

T - The beer is sweet and malty up front, which really amplifies the fruity-citrusy hop notes. However the hops are the dominant note in this beer, with notes of red grapefruit, apricot and tangerine found up front. Towards the end an herbal, almost pine like, solid bitterness starts to take hold and lingers on in a long bitter finish.

D - And the beer is not so thick and rich as to keep this from being pretty drinkable. It has a definite warming effect like a trippel but with more hops. A very nice brew.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2010 22:51:12 | More by chickenflea
Photo of billshmeinke


4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. No freshness date, but my guy Sam at Whole Foods gave me a six pack right off the truck.

Semi hard pour yields a one finger off head. Dark amber in color that is clear with some bubbles drifting up. Head retains very well with a thick layer of foam that remains. Very nice lacing left behind.

Smells a bit of caramel and toffee. Strong citrus (oranges), pine and dank hops.

Taste follows smell. There is tons of citrus orange zest, pine, resin and dank hops.

On the heavier side of medium bodied, smooth, creamy, medium carbonation. A slight hop bite. A tiny bit hot on the way down.

Alcohol is very well hidden. It kinda reminds me of an imperial amber (Nugget Nectar comes to mind). Very nice.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2010 04:13:02 | More by billshmeinke
Photo of zeff80


3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a mahogany color with ruby highlights. It had a very small, tan head of foam that left soapy residue on the glass.

S - It smelled very malty and somewhat boozy. It had a muted floral aroma.

T - This one grabs you with spicy bitter hops and backs it up with a rich malty taste. There is a boozy alcohol flavor, too.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a slightly sticky mouthfeel. A medium to full bodied beer that requires some slow sipping.

D - This is a pretty good ale. It brings a great maltiness and booziness with just enough hop bitterness. Almost like an English Barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2010 21:31:30 | More by zeff80
Photo of Mora2000


4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to hudsonphotog for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours and orange-amber color with a white head. The aroma is caramel, pine and alcohol. The flavor is more of the same with the pine and caramel malts being fairly well balanced. The alcohol is very present. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2010 03:48:32 | More by Mora2000
Photo of farrago

New Jersey

4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Moderate aggression gets you a finger of eggshell white form, fairly dense and frothy, what's there possesses decent retention, multiple patches of lacing scattered across the glass insides. Clear bronzed orange color, red rust tinge, loose, widely spread bubble beads. The nose is locked and loaded to please, juicy pink grapefruit, tangerine and lime citrus, honey, fully ripened peach, apricot, nectarine, pineapple scents, mere brush of caramel, light sweet spiciness, under it all an herbaceous earthiness and mutter of charcoal ash. Full-bodied, that earthiness and tar adds some needed rigidity, the carbonation helps as well by tightening up its game and percolating without fluffiness. At the same time, doesn't lose any of that sweetly ripened pink grapefruit, tangelo citrus nor bountiful peach, apricot, nectarine, pineapple, mango flavors. Here more cocoa and mocha than caramel, drier and powdery. Not suave per se, but manages to work the room completely and then exeunt without anyone noticing but everyone wants to say goodnight before leaving themselves. Having a six-pack on hand is a dangerous thing.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2010 00:53:20 | More by farrago
Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne


4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought a six pack at a small corner store for $10.
- It pours a nice coppery color with not much head, carbonation or lacing.
- Up front in the smell is a rich caramel. This is quickly followed by a lot of fresh orange and lemon citrus background. Wow.
- Great balance in the taste. The hops are heavy but nicely sedated by smooth sweet background. Tastes like an Imperial IPA.
- The mouth lacks a bit. Could be a little less syrupy.
- Way too drinkable for being such a big beer. Two will put you right past buzzed easily. I look forward to next years release.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2010 17:00:17 | More by OBeerMeGreatOne
Photo of jeffjeff1


4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up as soon as I saw it in stores.

Appearance- amber color, thin head, decent lacing

Smell- malt, very nice

Taste- malt, spices, some bitterness

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- I thought it was really good. I need more. I should try to find some more.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2010 19:26:53 | More by jeffjeff1
Photo of Zekezilla


4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tried this at my new favorite dive, Racer's in Baltimore. I've come to realize that trying something from Lagunitas is pretty much a sure bet. This one was no exception. Nice amber color, hoppy pine in smell and taste. Some grapefruit comes through too. The malt/dark fruit is there too but more toward the end. I would not drink more than one in a setting, due to the alcohol content but I'll be looking forward to trying another one of these soon.

Serving type: on-tap

05-30-2010 16:45:06 | More by Zekezilla
Photo of Dan2165


3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Serving type: Bottle poured into glass.

//A: Unique copper/amber color with a nice off-white head.

//S: Malt, some spice, lots of hops, some fruit/citrus in there as well.

//T: Sweet and hoppy. A definite caramel start with the hops finishing it off. Accents the alcohol flavor well.

//M: Smooth.

//D: Very good drinkability. For the high ABV this was delicious.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2010 14:38:18 | More by Dan2165
Photo of russpowell


3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an effervescent orange/caramel with 4 fingers of fluffy pearl colored head. Great head retention & lacing

S: Dark fruit, leafy & citrussy hops

T: Taste follows the nose, along with some brown sugar & toffee, plus dryness up front. Herbal & woody hops surface along with some booze bite as this warms, brown sugar & a slight oaky sourness is there as well, interesting... Finishes dry with caramel sweetness & herbal & tangerine hops

MF: Chewy with smooth carbonation, warmth builds as you drink it, a little more malt balance would've worked for me...

This is a big beer. Complexity & dryness are slowing me down a bit, but a super-solid offering to be sure. I am enjoying this in my cool air conditioned basement, bet it's better by a roaring fire in the dead of winter,,,

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2010 00:36:09 | More by russpowell
Photo of GregPearson33


3.38/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a dark copper color with a thick 2-finger beige head of tightly laced, thick foam that held amazingly well (4.5)The aroma is heavily citrus-hop based (sharp grapefruit) with a sweet caramel background. (4.0)

Taste starts out bready with malty caramel tones that give way to a sharp hop bite. I think its extremely palatable but the abruptness with which the hops appear and disappear is strange - there is relatively little mouth coating and no weighty lingering aftertaste as I've come to expect with strong ales (or is this a IIPA?). (3.0)

The body is somewhat thick and there is low-moderate carbonation. Taking into account its ABV I'd say that one of these would be pleasant, but plenty. (3.0)

Would say, "you should definitely try that" if it were available, but probably wouldn't actively seek it out.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2010 00:34:14 | More by GregPearson33
Photo of chaz410

North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this beer at one of my favorite spots, Common Market!
Pours a dark amber body with a medium white head.
Smells like little summtin extra with darker malt character. Some citris hops and grapefruit with a slight grassy character along with heavy caramel and slight roasted malts.
There's a huge amount of sweet caramel on the taste. Lost of brown sugar, beet, and dark fruit character that is quickly blended out by the tart hops and citris hop notes. Finishes dry and grassy from the hop balance at the end.
One of my favorites from Lagunitas and I really could drink it all night long, it is robust but it's so balanced from malt and hops while still lending heavily to the main notes from the hops and malts!

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2010 03:17:43 | More by chaz410
Photo of pmccallum86


3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly transparent copper penny color with a thick bubbly head that dissipates very slowly.

Smell is that caramel malt aroma that is ubiquitous with all Lagunitas beers. Some floral hops come through as well.

Taste is is big caramel malt with a bitter hops finish. The malts give a bready flavor that works well with the hops bitterness. Alcohol is slightly detectable, as it usually is with a beer of this ABV.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, pretty good in this department.

Drinkabliity is good for such a big beer. Another tasty and unique offering from Lagunitas.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2010 02:34:43 | More by pmccallum86
Photo of Lothore


3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a clear copper hue with a fizzy, 2 finger, off white head.

S-Malty, spice, huge hop notes.

T- Very sweet all the way through. The hops hit hard towards the beginning and end with a grapefruit bitterness.

M- Medium bodied with decent carbonation.

D- This is a nice brew I just wish there was a little less residual sugar.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2010 01:57:56 | More by Lothore
Photo of bonsreeb85


4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is that of a cherry cola colored liquid with crimson red along the sides of the glass and an ivory head to top it off.

The aroma factor is a big-un. Hop forward, barleywine sweetness. Tons of caramel, fruits(cherry/tangerine) leafy and citrus hops with a touch of pine.

The flavor follows the nose's lead. Very rich malt backs this insanely hopped(citrus mostly) brew. A good amount of cake sweetness in the middle, but the hops close the show and linger on the taste buds.

Medium bodied. hop oils leave it a bit slippery. moderate carbonation. nice.

Very rich, but tasty and overall quite drinkable despite high abv.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2010 01:31:16 | More by bonsreeb85
Photo of BarleyBoz

New York

4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am becoming more and more familiar with Lagunitas but this beer is hands down the best beer that I have had from them. Without knowing what I was opening, I was astonished by all characters of this brew. Beginning with its initial nose right from the bottle, I knew it was going to be delectable. After an aggressive pour, the nose really opened up and the hops jumped right out. The reddish color and clear clarity made this brew refreshing just to look at. The balance of the structure and the length that was evident from start to finish also amazed me. It left my palate satisfied but I could not wait for the next sip. This beverage has definitely climbed into my top three favorites as of late.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2010 03:15:31 | More by BarleyBoz
Photo of twiggamortis420


3.28/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle from the 2010 vintage pours a crystal clear copper color with a sedentary cap of creamy tan froth. Excellent lacing as the foam recedes at a snails pace.

Nose is citrusy, apple orchard hoppy and does not stray much at all from the typical Lagunitas aroma. Smells good, but the same shit over and over again from them is getting a bit old.

Taste is sweet and hoppy, with tropical fruit flavors from the hops and alcohol reigning supreme. There is some decent balancing from the caramel and sugary malts, but if someone put this in front of me blindfolded, I would have a myriad of Petaluma beers to rattle off. Alcohol is too much and becomes harsh fast. Sorry Lagunitas, if I would have had this before Lucky 13, Imperial Red, Correction Ale, WTF, etc... I would give it higher marks. But it feels like a been there, done that kind of brew.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2010 02:50:28 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of Fezfreak


3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber color and a decent head that left a nice lacing throughout; but could have been fuller had I agitated the pour a little better.

My first whiff of this was of malted rubbing alcohol. But thankfully it subsided and became more malty after a few minutes in the open air.

Taste is a well-rounded balance of hops and toasted malt with strong hints of rye, and as such I would almost bet there is a quantity of rye in the grain bill. Reminded me a lot of Hop Rod Rye, and as it warmed a little - it tasted more and more like Arrogant Bastard.

Mouthfeel is somewhat smooth and creamy; not as bold as I was expecting and so I nicked the score a little for that.

This would pair nicely with spicy food; particularly beef dishes. Also ideal as an after work, "pre-dinner" tonic, as long as you don't consume more than a couple.

However, at 9.75% abv, this is not a session beer. But if you wish to make it one, have a designated driver or drink it either at or within walking (ha ha - pun intended!) distance of your home.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2010 19:09:04 | More by Fezfreak
Photo of cindyjeffsmith


4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a DFH Pint.
appearance: Clear amber. Pretty sizeable creamy head.
smell: fruity, citrusy, bitter, sour with malty base. Impressive nose.
taste: Great balance! Like a strong ale and DIPA combination. Reminds me of a mild Burton.
mouthfeel: medium.
drinkability: Pretty amazing for as Lagunitas calls it an "oxymoronic Imperial Mild".

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2010 22:50:19 | More by cindyjeffsmith
Photo of Wildman


4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a clear dark amber color and formed a nice huge off white foam head that left latticed lace as it subsided. A small amount of carbonation is present. An aroma of malt, caramel and plums. The flavor was of malt, caramel, hops/citrus and a hint of pepper. The body was medium and a bit silky. The finish was bittersweet. Hides the alcohol well.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2010 19:47:22 | More by Wildman
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Usual copper appearance. Frothy head. Big hop aroma, so far, this is a typical Lagunitas beer (so I'm excited).

Big hops on the palate, rather dry, minimally fruit (cherry pie) enters and subsides quickly. I have serious doubts this is almost 10% alcohol. Bigger malt backbone to it than a lot of the Lagunitas family. Hop quality is the usual citrus feel, closest to grapefruit. Caramel. A little thicker, but nothing that creates that sweet approaching light syrup feel. Lagunitas is always cheap, which makes it a lot more drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2010 18:25:44 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 2,307 ratings.