Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

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.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

947 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 947
Hads: 3,928
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 9.98%
Wants: 108
Gots: 727 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 947 | Hads: 3,928
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, bronze appearance, slim whitehead.

Mild fruit in aroma ,apple mostly, a little spicy, minor bitterness. Nice and malty. A little sour.

Tasting, it really feels like a good dark English malty mild ale, but one with a beast in it's belly. You can feel the fire coming up. Really gentle, mellow...and then a nip,a bite...a 9% mild? Here we go...

Very nice, well done, but don't think I could have more than one. Are mild supposed to be 9%?Not sure...not...sure... (471 characters)

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

Differerent from the "Sneak relase" version in some ways. Labeled as an "imperial mild" on their website, it's best described as a very hoppy strong ale. Darker and richer than a DIPA but not as big as a barleywine.

"Limited release" on the bottle along with all the important information: O.G. 1.092, 9.03% ABV, 72.41 IBU. Strangely, all three statistics vary from what is printed on the six-pack carton.

Pours a dark amber red color with great clarity. I can even see my own fingerprints on the other side of the glass! Great sticky white head that leaves all sorts of lacing down the glass.

Aroma is very hoppy and sweet with a brown sugar quality to it. Lots of pine and honey too.

Flavor is big hoppy bitterness with a healthy dose of malty sweetness. It's almost barleywine but the hops take center stage on this one. There is lots of great west-coast style grapefrtui and piney hops in there.

Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with sweetness up front followed by a bitter dry(er) finish. Good lower level of carbonation.

Drinkability is hindered only by the strength. It's a great beer that I will probabaly be buying another sixpack of just to see how it ages. (1,184 characters)

Photo of BeerSox
3.63/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz twist-off bottle into nonic.

Dark amber hue with a one finger off-white head that slowly settles to a thin cap. Rings of sticky lacing along the glass.

Plenty of sharp hop aroma, giving strong grapefruit-like citrus notes.

The malts are slightly thin, not adding much to the flavor. It's pretty much all hops with some strong citrus spice. Medium-full bodied with slightly lower carbonation.

A good DIPA, but seems just a little thin for the style. However, it's highly drinkable which is a little dangerous for this one considering it's 9+%ABV. Proceed with caution. Recommended. (591 characters)

Photo of SaintPeter
5/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a luscious multi-finger thick tan head which dissipates slowly until it has a jagged, rocky top. Resembles a root beer float--thick and creamy! Head stays like a ice burg.

Dark cigar brown in color, oxidized copper in the light with tiny effervescent bubbles and visible floating sediment.

Wow!! Complex! Nutmeg, dried orange peels, cloves, hints of molasses, candied fruit, bourbon oak barrels, pine tar, soy sauce and a dusting of yeast.

Wow, again!! Extremely smooth throughout, buttery mouth feel. Like Heaven!

Mellow hops up front and even through the whole experience. Flavors of dark dried fruits like prunes, barley wine sweetness, luscious with a caramelized tone. Starts like a fine English ale, but never gets there, maltiness comes in later and the two unite in hop and malt matrimony. A perfect harmony of blend, the malt finishing in the end where the hops started. Hint of spice in the finish.

If I would ever want a last beer before I was executed, this would be it! Even more fragrant when you swirl and tip the sediment. You couldn't get a more perfect marriage of malt and hops in such a pleasant medium. Above and beyond! Would never be able to tell it was 9%+ it's smoothness.

A world class beer! (1,231 characters)

Photo of beachbum1975
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On the same note as CrellMoset - thanks for the great extra beer numbeercruncher!!! I was under the impression this was an ESB after taking a brief look at the bottle. Oh well, DIPAs are some of my favs, as well!!!

22 ounce bomber poured into a standard pint glass. No freshness date to be seen... Served just above fridge temps (38 degrees in the fridge).

Pours a a slightly cloudy, rusty orange with an eggshell white 1 inch head. After the head settles, a THICK row of lacing sticks to the sides of my glass.

Sweet, carmelized malts take the front on the nose. After a deeper whiff, I snag some floral hop goodness.

Medium bodied and medium-full flavored DIPA. Sweet malts mixed with light bready yeasts are definitely playing a major role in this beer with the expected bittering and citrus hops in the background. The hops are nice... I'd guess centennial is a player as it's reminiscent of Bell's Two Hearted (and I know that beer VERY WELL). It's syrupy in body, much like Two Hearted, as well.

Overall, this was easy to put down and enjoyable. Some will argue this is a "well balanced Double IPA" and I hear ya, but I am one who wants a HOPS-forward IPA, not a MALT-forward one. But, to each their own... (1,217 characters)

Photo of CrellMoset
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle as an extra from numbeercruncher - thanks!!! Fantastic bonus from a great trader. Gave a portion of this one to dkachur, and poured the rest into a 22 oz. Terrapin snifter.

Appearance: Pours a hazy, tugid, dirty brown, hints of red, and a big, fluffy, foamy, Lagunitas-esque one-finger tan head that has good sticking power. The lacing eventually becomes pretty runny, evem though it's initially pretty impressive.

Aroma: Pleasant, and faint, though it's hard to pull particular notes out of it. The piney, sprucey notes and heavy, dense, thick citrus curtain, heavy on the tropical fruits and the thick, sticky, residual caramelized sugars.

Taste: Big, bold, dark, and hoppy. The malts on this one are big, heavy, thick, sticky, and roasty - relatively dry, with lots of dense caramelized sugars, complex without being distinguishable. The hoppiness is very Lagunitas-esque, as well, piney, and with heavy, dense citrus notes - tons of pineapple! - that meld well with the darker malts in a fruity, tropical punch/dark malt way. Good one-two.

Mouthfeel: Big carbonation and a medium to slightly above-medium-thickness body wth medium sized bubbles - this one's big, smooth, creamy.

Drinkability: An interesting and pleasant beer, heavy and dense with tons of residual sugar and tropical, citrusty, piney notes as many of the Lagunitas beers are ... it definitely doesn't feel like 9.28% abv, though, so I gotta give it that. Either way, I'd have liked to try this one in its fresh state - alas. Nonetheless, many, many thanks to numbeercruncher - this is a solid, tasty beer, delicious, malty, hoppy, everything a good beer should be. (1,647 characters)

Photo of magictrokini
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Interesting beer. Pours clear mahogany with a decent, but short-lived head. Floral, hoppy aroma with pine and nuts. Leads you to believe this will be more on the Imperial Red side. Its not. Lots of malt and caramel, with some woodiness. The hops are there, but very tempered, almost run over by the malt. In the end, this is still pretty good. (343 characters)

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber to a pint glass th e liquid is darkish brown, with good carbonation. The head is tan tall and leave good lace.

The smell is a caramel loads of malt and a huge earthy and mild citrus hops.

The taste is good a sweet caramel malt coupled with a big bitter hoppy bite. The taste begins with a light toasty caramel and then gives way to citrus notes of grapefruit and orange and earthy notes of pine and tree bark, could be juniper.

The mouthfeel is medium thick and has good carbonation.
The drinkability is nice, worth a try for the hophead.

Prosit, MK (575 characters)

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

A: Poured a deep, rich caramel-amber color with moderate off tan head that left a sticky lacing and lasted well into the drink.

S: hoppy with dried grapefruit and pine along with dried caramel.

T: dried grapefruit, pine, and a deed dry caramel flavor. There was a lingering grassiness as well. Was not as hoppy as one expected per style and drank more like a moderate ipa at best.

M: a tad thin with a light creaminess with a strong carbonation and finishes dry.

D: The abv was fairly well hidden making this a moderate drinking dipa. Liked it, but to closely resembled their other beers to truly stand out by itself and be different. (642 characters)

Photo of jwc215
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes from September, '07 that were lost and recently found:

Pours copper amber with a head that slowly becomes a lasting patch. Some lacing sticks. Nice retention for abv.

The smell is of aromatic citric/piney/resiny hops. Great hop profile!

The taste is of citric/piney/resiny hops with a firm sweet malt backbone that gives it a nice balance to the bitterness. The hop flavor stands out without the lingering bitterness, and without completely covering the maltiness. Alcohol reasonably (to say the least) well-covered.

The body is medium - approaching full. Smooth despite alcohol.

A delicious brew that is hoppy, yet well-balanced. A nicely done, drinkable DIPA. (686 characters)

Photo of Trueant1
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours reddish brown with an agressive pancake batter 1 inch head. Leaves sticky lacing. Has lots and lots of yiest floaties.

Smells of mellow hops with lemmony grassy hints.Alcoholic.

Taste is very smooth for an Impy IPA. I have aged this beer for a year. Lots of bitterness within the range of taste. Nice thick, sweet semi-burnt malts here. This is a very mellow, non- in your face impy IPA. Very smooth, very easy to drink. Exelent, but I would want more "in your face" from any "imperial".

Non the less, a very special brew! (532 characters)

Photo of PhageLab
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into a weizen glass.

A - Hazy brownish copper coloration wich produced a nice head of froth. Retention and lacing were both impressive. Gotta give props to the name too, it's pretty awesome.

S - Big hop nose, floral and a bit citrusy. Sweet notes and a bit of alcohol near the end.

T - Wow, this is a BIG beer. Nicely balanced for how potent it is. Nice big hop profile with a generous malt backing. Abv causes a hit here, because it gets to be a bit much, especially for the serving size.

M - Medium bodied, mild carbonation level, nice hoppy residue coats the palate.

D - Pretty decent, not the best example of a double, but certainly worth a try. For the price (pretty sure this bomber was less than $5) it's a great deal. If you are a fan of really big brews, however, I would recommend this one. (824 characters)

Photo of Maudite
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Been in my beer cellar/cupboard for near a year. Yup.

A- Pours the color of a penny with a thick, frothy, hop sticky head that holds on for a whole bomber of brew, the color of latte foam. Head forms at about 3 fingers and fizzles down to 1 leaving a snail trail of lacing behind.

S- Lots of hops in the nose, subtle and delicate nuances... My first impression was astringent, like a cleaner, perhaps from the hops blending with the alcohol. A small amount of grapefruit citrus with some piney floral qualities. Some definite malty sweetness, a toasty roasty characteristic, some definite alcohol, and a nice, warming, oaky whiskey quality.

T- Comes on with sweet floral hops that rushes quickly into sweet, sweet malts, spilling over into an oaky spiciness, some alcohol, phenols, whiskey, and ends with a pleasant spicy bittering hop note. Well crafted. Big thumbs up to the great balance this beer has.

M- Sticky, malty, bitter from the roasty malts and sticky hops. The alcohol warms the tongue, throat, and belly pleasantly, goes down like a smooth whiskey or brandy. Leaves the mouth both dry and sticky if you can imagine that. Real nice mouth.

D- Honestly, I'm kind of feeling it after one. It's delicious and well balanced, so i highly recommend it, though moderately and carefully. I'll limit myself to one or two a month. (1,341 characters)

Photo of paulthebeerguru
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. brown bomber

Poured into a snifter. Very nice tan head, with good retention. Gorgeous reddish amber color with a nice halo effect after the head settles. Very nice lacing as well. Sweet rich malty aroma, with lead fruits such as apples, figs and raisins covered with a strong alcohol aroma. This beer has aged some. The extra time mellowed this one out perfectly. Flavors of figs and raisins with some spice. Very complex palate. A little fruity, but it is still a kick ass brew. The mouthfeel is unbelievably smooth, with a low to mild carbonation level. Beautiful palate. Overall, this beer was great the first day I had it, but the aging just makes this outstanding. (676 characters)

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

Lookin' good, Lagunitas! Fills my pint with a fat, fluffy tan head that's big 'n lumpy, beneath: clear amber beer! Good lacing and some solid retention to boot. Great.

Smells of sweet dense roasted malt, toffee, and a wallop of bitter pine hops! A variation on two smells here. Very sharp and intense.

Superb malt profile! Rich and chewy, roasted and singed grain, chocolate, sugary-sweet and bold. Bitter American hops (Cascade, surely) punch the palate and leave a clean, refreshing contrast to the rich candy-like malt. Mouthfeel is crisp and sharp and a little oily from the hops.

Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale (that just rolls off the tongue!) is a great beer, and very drinkable for being 9%. One of the better brews to come out of Lagunitas, this hefty red should become a staple of their lineup. You heard it here first, folks! (847 characters)

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

Pours a beautiful deep copper amber color, with a nice tan head. The head doesn't last real long but lacing is good.

Aroma of rich caramel malt, and big earthy hops. Some dark mysterious fruit lingers not quite in the background. Nice balance in this very big DIPA. The taste is big with sweet caramel malts, awesome hop earthiness, and a nice long bitter hops and alcohol finish. Some lovely dark fruits throughout. This is one well put-together beer.

Big body, very viscous, Great mouthfeel and highly drinkable. Wish I had the whole bomber to myself today. (561 characters)

Photo of dmamiano
4.21/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

deep amber almost "reddish "in color. Big head which leaves way to ample lacing. Smells of strong maltiness mixed with a strong infusion of hops.
First taste of this beer makes me say wow. Strong malt profile, balanced with just a powerfull hop backing.
Toast comes to mind and breadyness, Caramel and biscuit. Malt is impresing me more than the hops, butthe bitterness is there. (379 characters)

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

Poured from a 22oz bottle to traditional pint glass.

Moderate, creamy head with persistent cling. Very sweet aroma belies the balanced mouth feel and bitter (but very clean) aftertaste. Flavors blossomed as it warmed, but there was never an overpowering alcohol presence. Almost too drinkable for a 9+% ale.

Wonderful "change-of-pace" brew if you are used to drinking the western American Pales and IPA's. Imagine the understated sweetness of a Dogfish Head 90 coupled with the punchy finish of a quality barleywine style. I have no experience with this brewery, but this offering will definitely get me to try a few others. (628 characters)

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

Drank from a 22 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Julio's Liquors, Westboro, MA

Poured a medium amber-mahognay with a frothy, rocky, two-finger, light tan head that slowly faded to a clingy film. Definitely much darker than your average DIPA. Copious amounts of sticky lacing coated the glass.

The aroma was outrageously sweet, malty and fruity, with some hops trailing in the background. Super caramel rich with brown sugar, maple syrup and a touch of oak.

The taste was rich and flavorful yet smooth, supple and extremely well-balanced for the style. Rich bready malts were apparent up front. A nutty, oakiness appearing mid-palate, along with peaches, apricots and ripe tropical fruits. The beer turned from being sweet and malty on the front end to crisp and hoppy on the finish. Piney, orangey, spicy hops came out strong, lasting into the bracing, semi-bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied yet fairly smooth and creamy.

Drinkability was simply off the charts. Between the extraordinarily well balanced nature of this brew and the barely noticeable 9.28% ABV, this beer went down like candy.

Is there a more sessionable DIPA out there? Probably not. Should this beer even be classfied as a DIPA? Probably not. It characteristics are more akin to that of a barleywine or a strong ale. But no matter how one may choose to describe it, it's a damn fine brew. (1,372 characters)

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

Red orange body, good clarity but with a degree of thickness to it, mild but steady caronation streams, all topped by three fingers of sticy, rocky, lively froth which rose above the rim.

Aroma bursting with fresh bread, sugar cookies, apricots, and sweet alcohol.

Sticky sweet malt slathers the tongue at first. Hops build and bite with enough authority to achieve balance with that thick malt just before the swallow. Earthy and herbal hops as opposed to the typical citrus notes.

Thick and rich mouthfeel oozes throughout. Big beer with solid drinkability.

Overall a nice effort which might have veered a bit toward Old ale/Strong ale or barleywine during an eight month hiatus as it was lost in my cellar with a few friends. (734 characters)

Photo of IPAcraig
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought this beer in Atlanta back during college football season.

It was poured from a bomber into a duvel tulip.

It has a murky ruby brown body with a nice off white head. It was big, but gone fast. A swirl of the tulip always would bring about another 2 inches of suds, though.

An awesome display of hops in the nose in all of its oily goodness, spectacular! Earth, grapefruit an alcohol all mingle to make for a very nice smelling beer.

A big beer to be sure. Hops can be found in all 3 corners of this beer. It has a big biting bitterness in the finish, and has great hop flavor throughout. However, this beer has more to offer in the may of a massive malt bill, with its nice light caramel sweetness.

Lightly carbonated, medium bodied goodness.

A very drinkable beer. I am really starting to love Lagunitas as more of it becomes available in my area. (862 characters)

Photo of Monkeyknife
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle a beautiful, clear mahogany color with a bubbly, but light off-white head.

Aroma has a deep maltiness to it along with piney hops and honey.

Like the aroma, the taste is a great balance of the caramel malts and hops. The alcohol is there but doesn't overwhelm.

Medium mouthfeel, smooth, creamy, and moderately carbonated.

Thank you, Lagunitas. You never disappoint. A beer to definitely try. (416 characters)

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

Pours a fairly clear copper color with a medium off-white head. The head fades to a covering of the glass. Sheets of lacing on the glass. The smell is exceptional, good hoppy and citrus aroma.

The taste is balanced, but not the wimpy "a little hops followed by a little malt". This beer features bold flavors and reminds me of 2 year old Bigfoot. The hops come first, bitter and citrusy with some Bigfoot like spiciness. The taste then fades and you notice strong caramel malt.

Mouthfeel is rich and creamy. A hint of alcohol up front, but the taste buds get overwhelmed with flavor after a few sips.

Drinkability is good. I drank this one way too fast because it was so tasty. Not a session beer by any means, but a very enjoyable experience. (746 characters)

Photo of JDV
2.63/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a gorgeous rich mahagony color, with some nice lasting white head. Smell is pretty nice and hoppy with a slight touch of malt perhaps and a bit of noticeable alcohol present especially as it warms some. Moderately bittered for the style, and is nicely hopped, but the noticeable alcohol taste rather, is what caused me to not like it too much. Finish is mild lasting bitterness and chest warming alcohol. I don't like tasting the alcohol in my beer this much. (465 characters)

Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.45/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - this DIPA pours a coppery brown body, with a thin creamy/filmy white head with moderate carbonation

S - malty, more than expected, some crystallized brown sugar, some alcohol, and a background pineyness, did not check this out on BA before tasting it, did not realize this was a DIPA, thought it was a Amer. Red Ale

T - taste like a highly hopped barleywine without the thick mouthfeel and raisin flavors, nice but nondescript

M&D - now that i see this is a DIPA, it makes a bit more sense, rather nice and easy to drink, a bit harsh at first, but finishes nicely (570 characters)

Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 947 ratings.