Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale - Lagunitas Brewing Company

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Undercover Investigation Shut-down AleUndercover Investigation Shut-down Ale

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940 Reviews
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Reviews: 940
Hads: 3,892
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 9.98%
Wants: 104
Gots: 695 | FT: 6
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
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Reviews: 940 | Hads: 3,892
Photo of WestValleyIPA
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into my Zatec fluted glass. Got about 2 fingers of slow dying, white, nice lacing head. Smells a bit of sweet malt, stinky cheese, and typical Lagunitas hop. Tastes a bit sweet, some baking spices and a nice medium long bitter finish. Be careful, as the near 10 percent abv will sneak up on you. Definitely a once a year buy. (332 characters)

Photo of silentjay
3.77/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a ruby brown color with a relatively small one-finger almost white head that leaves quick, but leaves a film on the glass.

smell is strong and at first of piney, grassy, spicey hops with some citrus not all that different from an IPA. some caramellly and toffee smelling malt and a bit of booze hits the nose as well to differentiate it.

taste at first is boozy. it is supported by the hops, but they aren't nearly as dominant as in the aroma. plenty of malt sweetness is there, but some fruit flavors appear as well. maybe black cherries, plums, grapes, and apples. finishes with a peppery spice that tries to offset the alcohol a bit.

mouthfeel is relatively light for the style though its still pretty full-bodied. low on carbonation which goes well with the strong flavors. finishes smooth, but has a lingering aftertaste.

a sipper, for sure. alcohol is present, but at a high ABV and in the style, it is expected and adds to the flavors. Overall a very good beer, but it falls a bit below the expectations set by the aroma. (1,032 characters)

Photo of misinformed
4.69/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Picked up a 6 pack of this a week or so ago and am on my 5th bottle, so I figured it was about time to review it. Poured in to a Lucifer tulip.

A- Deep red/mahogany. Dark enough not be able to see through clearly. More orange when looking straight down into the glass. Poured with a small off-white head that quickly disappeared.

S- Sweet citrus hops, very much like grapefruit. Some alcohol later.

T- Starts with a very nice citrus/hops flavor. Reminds me a lot of grapefruit. The hops drop off quickly for a nice sweet, malty finish that is not too strong. Really, really well balanced. Starts off with the nice hoppy punch followed by the sweet finish which is not overpowering at all.

M- Medium bodied. Smooth with some light carbonation. There is a mild and pleasant prickly alcohol burn present if it warms up that much.

D- Very nice! I like this one a lot. The flavor is balanced so nicely between the citrusy hops at the start and the mellow sweetness of the finish. I could drink this all the time. (1,012 characters)

Photo of SpecialK088
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Balooon glass from the bottle

A-Very deep amber to the point of nearly having a red hue, nice thin but creamy head that laces very sticky

S-Hops and sweet malt dominate the nose. But has slight undertones of some sweet fruit as well almost like a grape.

T-The flavor is very suprising given the nose, while hops are very present they do not dominate what stsys on your palate like the sweetness from teh rich malts and grains. Slight alcohol burn is nice going down and it stays with you from drink to drink with a killer bittersweet finish

M-I'm gonna hit this one pretty hard here as it comes off pretty thin and slightly overcarbonated. Very complex beer tho and the flavors blend together very well.

D-Very easy to drink. In fact untill I pulled this one up to review I had no idea it was such a high ABV. This one could get me in trouble in a hurry (872 characters)

Photo of MeisterBurger
2.88/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear brownish copper topped by a thin off white head. Minimal lacing.

The aroma is bright citrus hops, slightly grassy with a hint of sulphur. Caramel malt comes out little by little.

The taste is lighter than you'd expect, with a sweetness followed by an oddly grassy bitterness in the finish. Piney. But mostly grassy. Some of the sulphur is in the taste too. A bit of alcohol heat in the back of the throat. Not really much going on but light sweet caramel washed away by a leafy bitterness.

The body is also lighter that you'd expect for something so bitter with noticeable malt, but it's very light with low carbonation.

Overall this wasn't great. Too grassy and unbalanced and slightly harsh. A rare disappointment from Lagunitas for me. (756 characters)

Photo of alkemy
4.67/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour is a medium mahogany/amber with a pretty thin off-white head. Lots of hops on the nose. It's a combo of floral and piney hops. Contrary to the taste, which is pine-centric, the floral note dominates the scent. As I said, pine dominates the taste with a sticky, prickly vibe. There's also a bit of chewy dough taste and caramel from the malts. There's also a citrus presence that intertwines with that piney opening. Nice viscosity and carbonation that pairs well with the biting pine notes. This is another winner from Lagunitas! (534 characters)

Photo of Metalmonk
4.37/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Color is ruby gone to rust. Head is thin and reduces to a skim and crown rather quickly.

Hops are huge in the nose, leaning on the spicy side yet also having a nice greenness about them. Cinnamon, white pepper and citrus peel round it out.

This is one juicy, spicy, bitter, sweet, just-about-perfect flavor. If it were a tad more malty, I'd rate it even more highly. There's a cherry liqueur thing happening here, resembling the stuff inside chocolate covered cherries, without the chocolate. The round, slick, creamy and buoyant mouthfeel carries the sweetness and bitterness a long way, and just when it threatens to become too astringent, a malty sweetness and cinnamon-like spice provide balance. Alcohol presence is such that it threatens to become medicinal, but the fruitier/spicier elements of the malt/hops teamwork keep it from sliding too far that way. So this beer is clearly all about balance, and how to cram a lot of flavor in without becoming messy and unbalanced.

U.I.S-d.A. (catchy!) is my kind of beer, "American Strong Ale" or otherwise. Big, flavorful, balanced, complex. Oh yeah. (1,106 characters)

Photo of silver0rlead
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish mahogany color with a thin tan head that retains as well as you could expect for a high ABV beer. The aroma has a huge piney and citrusy hops character upfront, followed by caramel and toffee, dark fruits, and some alcohol. The flavor also has a big hoppyness upfront with notes of pineapple, lime, and pine resin, as well as some juicy malts (caramel, toffee and red vines), dark fruits (fig, plums, raisins), and a decent alcohol presence. The mouthfeel is rich and luxurious without being heavy, and drinkability is decent. Pretty solid strong ale from Lagunitas, but the problem is that it doesn't do much to discriminate itself from their other hoppy strong ales. (684 characters)

Photo of kramerjt
4.57/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass. Color is a deep amber, and a moderate cream colored head.

Hit with solid aromas from the start, big hits of lemon and grapefruit, very smooth mouth feel.

Like the high ABV, without the high alcohol notes.

Overall a great sipping beer, one I'll try again. (306 characters)

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

Such a long named beer. The pour is a mild red copper golden color...if that is even a color. Just enough head to cover the surface area of the glass then goes away. Virtually no lacing, but a lovely cirrus cloud bubble pattern remains on the surface.

Lemon and grapefruit hops dominate the scent. A bit of orange is present with a subtle malt piece.

My palate is likely wrecked from BCCS, but I taste lemon, pine, and orange hops. A substantial malt middle kicks in preventing much hop bitterness/aftertaste. This is very similar to a DIPA but less Hops and more malt. There is also some oakiness in the chalky malt.

The mouthfeel is medium with a rich creamy consistency making it easy on the mouth.

Wow this is very drinkable. I feel this could be dangerous considering the ABV as the drink borders session worthy for a beer geek. I would drink this again, and will. (873 characters)

Photo of kshankar
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an amber with good levels of carbonation and a small tan foam that leaves plenty of lacing.

Aroma has a biscuit malt presence and plenty of floral and piney hops.

Taste is of the biscuit malts balancing with a somewhat aggressive hop profile. Well done.

Mouthfeel is buttery and creamy, and the carbonation adds a prickly sensation to it as well. Medium bodied

Drinkability is high simply because it tastes so good, but it is a bit high on the ABV. (459 characters)

Photo of dwilson01
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured from a 12oz bottle into my arrogant bastard pint glass, an amber coppery color, nice finger of head dissipates to a thin layer with nice lacing left on the glass. carbonation keeps it lively.

The smell is very fragrant, citrusy aroma hops, caramel sweetness, some maple as well. Fresh and springlike but also thick and malty.

The taste is a gigantic blend of so many different flavors its pretty crazy. There is some woodiness to it, tiny bit of oak like it was made with oak chips, but also a bit of pine from the bittering hops. Multiple sweet flavors mingle in as well, maple syrup and caramel as well as some fruity fructose hints. I've settled on sweet super-ripe orange in the backround with an apricot nectar in the fore. Spiciness as well brought out by the carbonation which gives it a nice finish. There is SO much flavor here and what's crazy it that none of them clash, and I taste no alcohol whatsoever.

I enjoyed the mouthfeel quite a bit, kudos to Lagunitas for putting enough malt in this one! some of the others have great flavor like this one but lack a solid body-feel during the taste to lend enough balance to it, this one surpassed my expectations.

Definitely a sipper, it's sweet and no alcohol taste but it is also very thick in body which does inhibit you from drinking it too to fast. Although you could, if you start downing it you'll get a buzz quite quick I am sure.

Overall it was a great beer, quite recommendable and one of my favorites from Lagunitas for sure (1,504 characters)

Photo of paco1029384756
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber color, almost ruby, with a small sticky off white head.

Scent of sweet, ripe tropical fruit, sugar, caramel, and leafy juicy hops. A great scent, sweet and fruity with a nice hop presence, but not too sweet or too hoppy, and a touch of alcohol helps keep a nice potency.

Taste of sweet caramel, flowery hops, a hint of resin, ripe, sweet fruit and the same touch of alcohol on the end. A strong and tasty beer that is balanced very well, I will definitely buy this again.

Mouthfeel of fairly lively carbonation balances nicely with the smooth sweetness and is rounded out with a drying alcohol, very good. (627 characters)

Photo of pavyaz19
4.48/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The only con about this beer is that it's a seasonal release.

This is one of my favorite beers. What sets it apart for me is the color and richness. It has many IPA characteristics but is much darker in color and is very rich. IBUs are a little over 72 and the ABV is over 9%.

I love it. (289 characters)

Photo of WeezyBoPeep
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard pint glass.

A: Crystal clear dark cream soda color with a substantial head. A+ on the lacing. Very nice.

S: Superb hop quality with floral and piney hops pushing through a sweet, caramel malt body. Fragrant and balanced. I like.

T: Creamy mouthfeel with a semi-sweet, buttery front, hops in the middle and a piney, malty finish with traces of corn pops and earth.

D: Goes down dangerously easy.

Value: Amazing, as all Lagunitas beers have been so far, worth every penny of the $8.99 I spent on this sixer. (533 characters)

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

Pours orange/red, very hazy, thick white foamy head. Smells sweet, amber, with a strong West-Coast hop nose. Flavor is very hoppy, very dry on the finish, with a sweet and somewhat yeasty body. The alcohol is present but far from overpowering.

This is a beer that I like a lot, but just don't have a lot to say about. A nice bitter California-style ale. Average for Lagunitas, very good by the standards of brewers in general. (428 characters)

Photo of bearass
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

so i crack this beast open knowing fully what to expect from the brew gods at lagunitas lets start by letting you know that i just had gotten off work so i paired it with a nice nameless kind bud that had hints of lemon and a heavy staying power

taste- its lagunitas so you taste lots of hop and some carmel and then that sweet sweet booze flavor that lets you know that you have a healthy set of baby holsters down there

smell- well the smell made me think about drinking it so i did

drinkability- it is just as awesome as brown shugga but more drinkable in my opinion... imagine that

*this review was written to my morning jacket's wordless chorus (654 characters)

Photo of schoolboy
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought too many like beers to drink today. These are pretty heavy duty, and one cannot drink much of these and keep ones' wits. So while I can still type...

This one is pretty. Clearer than clear (but rich redish brown). Not much head. Unlike some of its' brethren, this one does not attempt to nor succeed in hiding the high alcohol content. But it tastes good. And smells good.

On all accounts, I think it could be better, and I have a feeling that this will hit me like a ton a bricks gastronomically (and in the head). But I am a fan of everything this brewery produces. They are never pedestrian - always on the edge, and thus they deserve us beer advocates' respect and patronage.

Edit 5-13-2011 - This is better than I remember. Still strong tasting, but better. Nice stuff. I have to tell myself - Bob, buy this every time you see it. (847 characters)

Photo of emmasdad
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a medium-dirty penny color, with a pretty decent ecru colored head that lingers atop the beer for quite awhile. Big bubblegum-y hop nose, a little caramel/toffee as well. On the palate I get a lot of spicy/bubblegum hop flavor, along with caramel, a little sweetness and a nice bitter finish. Another great effort from Lagunitas. (335 characters)

Photo of aubuc1
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a amber red brown with a quickly disappearing tan head.
Big sweet smell of piney citrus with a biscuity malt presence.

Taste is initially hop forward but then mellows quickly in to a biscuity malt.

Good mouthfeel and dryness make it pretty drinkable.

Not too discernable from most lagunitas. (304 characters)

Photo of BB1313
4.26/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another nice one from Lagunitas. Poured from a 12oz bottle. They really excel w/ these kind of brews. Pours a great copper color w/ decent head and amazing lacing. The smell is superb, the taste is bittersweet. Caramel malts are subtle, but there. Lots of pungent grapefruit, lemon zest, and a touch of pine resin. Slightly warm and sticky. Hoppy! Smooth! The alcohol is pretty well hidden. Great value, would seek this one out soon with it being seasonal.

This can hang w/ the best that Lagunitas has to offer. Highly enjoyable beer right here.. (547 characters)

Photo of msubulldog25
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz. bottle (purchased April 2010), shows an ABV of 9.75%. Popped the cap and poured to a pint glass.

A: Lovely deep auburn pour, nearly clear with plentiful streaming carbonation. Head isn't tall (under 1-finger) but holds steady, leaving an ivory-cream coating and languishing lace - the prettiest kind that sticks in seafoam sheets.

S: 'Wow' on the hops, sweet and pine-y and full of gooey caramel. Robust (rises from a couple feet away) and enticing.

T: Flowery and fruity and full of evergreen hops, caramel sweetness under the layers. Bracing hopping, an uber-spiced blast of intense 'greenness'. Ends with an odd soapiness, perfumed and rosey.

M: Smooth and creamy, yet a crisp bite of hops/spicing. Heavy feel, a velveteen syrup. Last hop bitterness, more than a bit. Alcohol is less-than-subtle, a warmth that builds gradually.

D: Not so easy to consume when considering the hefty strength, a flavorful punch of citrus and zesty hops. Big flavor and that heavy 'booziness', just one bottle is more than enough. Good, but not so good that I'm dieing to return... (1,079 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.48/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewing yet another Lagunitas American strong ale.Pourd into a tulip glass a clear bronze color with a thinner but well sustained slight off white head,aromas were a bit lighter than expected,mainly some resinous hop and sweetish alcohol.Thinner feel for a "bigger" beer and a little prickly.Flavors dont seem to pack enough punch although that could come from the lighter feel,resinous hop intertwined with a hefty caramel malt base,the alcohol creeps as the beer warms.I love this brewery, but I dont love this beer sad to say. (531 characters)

Photo of dino213aa
3.31/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: a fairly generic copper brown with some decent loose head and exceptional lacing.

S: faint but slightly rancid. is tart a smell?

T&M: malts and malts with a slight hop finish. Honestly this brew has several flavors that I've tasted in some IPA's usually underneath the bitterness. Take a generic IPA, strip out most of the hop bitter, and those underlying flavors is this brew. Kinda tends to the syrupy side. I will say that the malts give this an exceptionally smooth mouthfeel.

D: I'd say two or three max. This is a flavor that will wear out its welcome beyond that. (576 characters)

Photo of Lerxst
3.35/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Pours a pale copper color with a 1/4" off white head that receded quickly and left little lacing.

S-Sweet malt smacks me immediately, followed by a fruity aroma, with traces of pine resin. Smells very sweet.

T-Follows the nose-Sweet malt at the forefront along with a banana & peaches flavor, a bit of caramel and faint pine hops. Taste sweet too.

M-Medium body. Nothing to spectacular. Doesn't stand out in any way.

D-If you like sweet brews, this should be right up your alley. Its too sweet for me to want more than one. (529 characters)

Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 940 ratings.