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Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale | Lagunitas Brewing Company

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Undercover Investigation Shut-down AleUndercover Investigation Shut-down Ale

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
ABV varies slightly from 9.0 to 9.8
66.6 IBU

Added by GilGarp on 03-10-2009

User Reviews
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Reviews: 983 | Ratings: 4,181
Photo of babaracas
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brown tinted orange with amber edges and a two finger cream colored head that fades to a rim hugger with clumps of lace here and there. Smell: big resinous and pineapple hops with a little lemon zest thrown in. It's also bringing a big dose of brown sugar. Taste: pineapple and some pine/spruce, brown sugar, date bread, and a subdued citrus rind hit in the finish. This is pretty damn hoppy but incredibly well balanced. It's also obnoxiously sessionable for 9.75%, though that would be a bad idea. It's not as extreme as an AB (though in the same vein of ASAs), but that makes it more often enjoyable.

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

Pours a nice looking amber with a creamy off white head. The lacing is moderate. Overall an inviting looking beer.

The aroma has a nice balance of caramel maltiness along with a small hop citrus bite.

The taste is similar to the smell, with perhaps some cherry to sweeten things up a bit. Again it makes for a nicely balanced presentation.

The mouthfeel was slightly thinner than I prefer, but there was a fair amount of carbonation to give it a good crispness.

This is one of the better beers I've tried from Lagunitas and worth having again. The alcohol warmth is there but not overly so, and it makes for a pretty easy drinking brew.

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Photo of Zorro
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A clear brown colored ale with a medium sized off white colored head. This has a distinct reddish cast but is a little to dark to call red.

The smell is strongly hoppy as you would expect from a Lagunitas beer. Some malt and some wood, there is also a slight sour note from some sort of hop interaction.

Starts out malty and a little sweet with a woody and citrus aftertaste. A strongly hopped beer but it is pretty well balanced by the malt, nothing really out. Malt citrus and pine are the dominant flavors here. The balance is what makes this beer, it is balanced so that every sip tastes different, sometimes citrus or herbs and sometimes malt. I sometimes think my taste buds are jaded and expect too much from every beer then I find on like this that makes really perk up, this is the good stuff.

Good full mouthfeel.

REALLY drinkable beer here. Lagunitas isn't known for making bad beers and this one is no exception. This drinks like a mild pale ale, and kicks like a sledgehammer. There is absolutely no hint of haw strong this beer is from the taste.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into an oversized snifter. Pours a beautiful ruby-amber color with a thick creamy off-white head that leaves sticky lacin down the sides as it reduces.

Smells piney, citrusy and hoppy, like fresh-cut evergreen boughs. Reminds me of Lagunitas' maximus beer in it's smell, but slightly sweeter smelling.

Tastes wonderful; grapefruit, oranges, clover and a bit of honey up front, chased by bitter hops that squeezes the tongue on the way down. As the beer warms it sweetens. Very delicious!

Mouthfeel is quite pleasant, especially for me given my love of hoppy beers. I know it's been characterized as an American Strong Ale, but it really more of an IPA. Perhaps a Red IPA?

Extremely drinkable, I look forward to having this one again, and sharing it with like minded beer drinkers.

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Photo of velmalikevelvet
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into a chilled mug.

Beautiful clear coppery color without much head. Delightful aroma of grapefruit. Very s-m-o-o-t-h in the mouth, tangy, peppery, and packing a nice wallop. Clean & crisper than would have expected with all the popping hops!

This is one damn FINE beer!

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours a medium amber with a creamy finger of white head, good lace.

S: Crystal malt, some grassy hops, nice nose.

T: Red, but not particularly malty. The elegant grassy and light citrus of the hops take over early making a great complement to the slightly sweet, pastry-like malt. Tasty as hell.

M: Very clean for such an upfront hoppy beer as I found in the nose. Medium-bodied, light on the palate.

D: This is just straight up good beer. Lagunitas' red ales are something else, I love 'em.

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Photo of 100floods
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

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Photo of JordanEllwanger
4.37/5  rDev +9%
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.

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Photo of woosterbill
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
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.


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Photo of yemenmocha
3.81/5  rDev -5%
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.

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Photo of chickenflea
4.11/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

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Photo of billshmeinke
4.36/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

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

On tap into a pint

a- pours a deep dark brown color. Very opaque, but not hazy. Strong mocha head, well retained.

S- strong floral hop note. Grapefruit and some malts back it up.

T- starts off floral, but yet has a nice caramel malty background. Gets much more hoppy, chewy from a biting hop note Finishes with a thick and clinging note of floral hops and caramel malts.

M- very strong bodied. Thick and creamy. Coats the tongue. Carbonation is noticeable, but only a light hit to the palette.

D- very dangerous in it's drinkability. Not filling, smoothon the palette. Abv could be a problem.

Another solid ale from Lagunitas.

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Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev -4%
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.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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Photo of farrago
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

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Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4.34/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

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

Comes out of the tap a dark translucent golden amber with a thick, pale tan, fine-bubbled head that persists. Strong aroma is surprisingly hoppy with an evergreen undertone and just a hint of apple. Lively flavor is hoppy, slightly malty, slightly fruity and just a teeny bit bitter. Strongly fizzy texture leaves behind a pleasant tingle.

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Photo of jeffjeff1
4/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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Photo of Zekezilla
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

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Photo of Dan2165
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

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Photo of russpowell
3.91/5  rDev -2.5%
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,,,

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Photo of GregPearson33
3.43/5  rDev -14.5%
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.

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Photo of chaz410
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
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!

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Photo of pmccallum86
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

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Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 983 ratings.