Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale - Lagunitas Brewing Company

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

950 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 950
Hads: 3,970
Avg: 4.01
pDev: 20.95%
Wants: 111
Gots: 752 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  9.30% 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 950 | Hads: 3,970
Photo of IPAescotch
4.48/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: a light bronze illuminated the dusty stange beer glass

S: A plum and campfire smell, not overpowering.

T: Consistent hoppy back-flavor with some fruit and caramel malts.

M: Creamy and lovable.

D: Absolutely charming, and with an abv to be proud of

 254 characters

Photo of thetomG
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a reddish amber color that toes the line between being transparent and cloudy. Minimal amount of white head that lingers slightly leaving a little bit of lacing around the glass.

Not getting too much on the aroma - maybe just some small caramel notes but nothing else really stands out. Aroma is OK but not the strong suit of this beer... flavor on the other hand.... DELICIOUS!

There's a lot going on here but no single flavor overpowers the others too much - if I had to pick one I'd say that maybe the malty aspects shine through the most, but overall it is very well balanced and tends towards the sweet/boozy side of things.

The well balanced theme continues on the palate - not too sticky, not too thick, and nicely carbonated.

Already looking forward to drinking more of this one...

 799 characters

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

Nice brew, rich and long in line with the quality hoppy offerings of Lagunitas.

Presentation: 12 oz brow capped bottle. Offers a batch code but lacks any legible freshness or bottling date. Simple label with typographic design around the name of the brew and Lagunitas mascot, and framing narrative about the naming and commemorative nature of the brew. Notes O.G. (1.092), IBUs (72.41), and Alc. by Vol. (9.75%) Served on a tulip glass.

A - Pale to medium amber clear pour, with a fair head, medium retention and some lacing.

S - Nice hoppy nose with a nice malty touch. Fruity, citrus, and lightly resiny.

T - Nice hoppy range with alcohol well integrated. Range of the citrusy, and fruity hops with touches of caramel malt in the background.

M - Medium body and carbonation. Deceptively light at points before it picks up its finishing bite.

D - Rather nice drink, works pretty well.

Notes: Another nice one from Lagunitas, they also do other good stuff but they seem to be shine the strongest when working on hoppy brews and this one is actually there. Lacks a notch to make it to their best offerings but it is close.

 1,129 characters

Photo of whoneeds8
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Great Divide glass a transparent amber-brown with a thick froathy white head. Great head retention as it's not disappearing and great lacing. The scent is strong with carmel sweetness and some floral hops mixed in. The taste is much like a weak barley wine. There is strong carmel malts with brown sugar flavors and a nice amount of hoppy bitterness in the after taste.

 383 characters

Photo of adamette
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Live Review. Poured from the 12 oz. somewhat stubby but typical Lagunitas brown bottle that I bought as a single at Save-On Tobacco & Beverage in Mentor, Ohio last week for $1.69 into my Cooperstown Beverage Trail pint glass. No observed "best by" date.

A Generous 4 inch very light brown head over a dark copper but translucent body that reminds me of one of my favorite Lagunitas beers, the Hairy Eyeball. Good lacing too on the inside of the glass. I like the look of both beers. 4.0

S Very good malt sweetness that reminds me of the malt presence of a Belgian Dubbel. I do not pick up much hop bitterness despite the IBU stated on the label as being 72.41. I do pick up the warmth of the alcohol and at 9.75% ABV that is not a surprise. The smell is interesting and intriguing. 4.0

T My tastebuds are flooded with sweetness in the front, some bitterness that lingers on the back of my tongue and a slight burn of alcohol. There is a date or dark fruit taste that predominates as well. 4.0

M Big, syrupy, thick, bodacious. Love it. 4.0

D One and done for me due to many factors but the most significant is the relative size of this beer. 3.0

Notes: There is so much going on with this beer, it reminds me in that way to Arrogant Bastard. Upon further sips and contemplation, the closest beer that comes to mind is again Lagunitas' Hairy Eyeball. I think that it is a slightly hoppier version of H.E.

 1,408 characters

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a deep copper color with good carbonation and a nice dirty white head

S: Citrus hops, floral

T: Taste of caramel, booze in the back and floral/citrus upfront

M: Booze, medium body and sticky

D: Good now and really good next year after siome cellar time

 266 characters

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

A - Poured a browncolor with a white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of sweet caramel malt with a good bit of hops

T - Just like it smells sweet caramel malt and hops

M - This beer has a fuller body with medium carbonation to it

D - Well this is about as drinkable as you can get for a beer thats almost 10% good enjoyable taste that comes at a great price worth getting to try sometime

 396 characters

Photo of homebrewhawk
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle served in a shaker pint. Poured a clear dark gold with a finger of off white head. Piney hop aroma with plenty of caramel malt. Medium to full bodied. Lots of malt upfront with a fair amount of sweetness. There are plenty of hops to balance out the malt. Nice drying finish from the hops. Lagunitas brews a lot of strong malty, hoppy beers, and this one is pretty tasty.

 383 characters

Photo of jacobseyb
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

 450 characters

Photo of TheSarge
4.41/5  rDev +10%
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!

 595 characters

Photo of jorg2619
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

 572 characters

Photo of RomaniIteDomum
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

 258 characters

Photo of briman
3.87/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

 868 characters

Photo of flagmantho
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
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).

 1,227 characters

Photo of GPHarris
4/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

 406 characters

Photo of gildobeer
3.76/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

 267 characters

Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
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

 341 characters

Photo of aerozeppl
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

 884 characters

Photo of Atricapilla
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

 335 characters

Photo of argock
4.05/5  rDev +1%
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.

 980 characters

Photo of jagoffyinzer
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

 694 characters

Photo of Natural510
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

 539 characters

Photo of Seanibus
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
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.

 361 characters

Photo of MenloBeer
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

 1,054 characters

Photo of hoplover82
3.96/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

 608 characters

Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 950 ratings.