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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
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Ratings: 2,307 | Reviews: 679 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BrainDad


4.63/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap, just arrived, at Hopcat in GR. Beautiful deep amber color like a good whisky. I've always thought Lagunitas takes it in the shorts with reviews because their beers are between styles. You should check out this beer!

The flavor is characteristic sweet malt with a nice hop tone. Very rich!! Tastes great and feels smooth on the tongue, especially for the ABV. I will be back here to drink more and buy a few bombers when I can find them around. Wish I could get to Petaluma this year but this will have to do.

If you like Lagunitas specialty brews you will like this. If you haven't had a strong ale this smooth you better try one.

Serving type: on-tap

06-16-2011 02:00:21 | More by BrainDad
Photo of garymuchow


4.6/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The aroma starts this one off strongly. Great caramelized malt with pushing it to the limit without it becoming burnt. Seems to have that nice English toasty crackly aroma too. This aroma is something special. Just enough hop presence to know that it's there (and it couldn't be lagunitas without some hops).
Thin dense tan head. Clear orange brown amber. Ample lacing.
Very enjoyable complex malt flavors, but holding more hops in the flavor and balance than in the aroma. Soft warmth and nip from the alcohol, but no distraction with the fullness of the other flavors.
Big without being big or excessive. Moderately carbonated which adds a little to the prickliness of the drink. Somewhat sweet and somewhat rich, but again achieving that nice balance.
This is a pretty darn good beer. Close to the enjoyment I had with the Imperial Red.

thanks my brother.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2011 21:46:03 | More by garymuchow
Photo of Mikecap


4.6/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Had this several times, finally getting around to writing a review.

Appearance: Poured from 12 oz bottle into my IPA glass. Pours a thick, probably four inch off-white head. The beer is a deep copper to medium brown.

Smell: I get some vanilla and also some fresh piney hops in there. Beautiful aroma from what seems to be fruit in the malt.

Taste: Very sweet on the front of the tongue with vanilla, caramel and maybe a hint of grapefruit. It finished very smooth with some hop character but nothing overpowering. The alcohol is almost too hidden for a beer at nearly 10% ABV. Very very easy drinking for such a bomb with a great taste.

Mouthfeel: Very easy drinking and not too heavy despite the massive amounts of malts and hops going into this thing. Solid creamy texture and not overly heavy yet still full-bodied and smooth.

Overall: A really really good offering by Lagunitas, but that doesn't come as much as a surprise. My biggest problem is that it goes down a bit too easy.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2013 17:05:05 | More by Mikecap
Photo of Aradan


4.58/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Meant to try one of these the other night. My eyes widened at the first sip, and I ended up having three. Gave it another go round tonight, hopefully I can stick to just one while I write this review.

Pours a nice orangey-red color with a thick, sticky head.

Smells sweet like caramel and beautiful, fragrant, grapey hop notes, very enticing.

Tastes the way it smells, only more so. Big, sweet, delicious malt transitions incredibly smoothly into a whole lot of citrusy hops. Not bitter per se, but very hoppy in the finish. Hard to tell where one ends and the other begins; very nice balance between the two.

Mouthfeel is rich and smooth, carbonation does its job and keeps its head down.

This one is a temptress. Each sip is so good you can't wait to have another, and the flavor lingers just enough to remind you of what you're missing when the glass is empty. I was well into my second the other night before noticing the 9.03% abv printed on the bottle. Went for a third anyway.

This is a really terrific beer with a really terrific name from a brewery I will most certainly be keeping an eye on. Have one and it will take care of the rest.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2009 06:46:44 | More by Aradan
Photo of Erish


4.58/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this 12 oz. bottle into an English pint glass.

A: reddish amber, the one finger head quickly falls into a thin cap with decent lace; if the appearance were just a tad better this would be an A+ beer.

S: caramel, fruity esters, whiff of pine.

T: caramel, candied orange, cherry pie, then the middle simply explodes with sweet candied fruit, dark raisins, sweetened condensed milk, the finish is tart cherries wrapped around a slowly emerging core of grass and bitterness. Amazing!

M: creamy, almost milk-like, with light carbonation.

D: This nearly 10% ABV beer hides its alcohol well. I am going to try and score more of this at World Market.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2010 00:19:45 | More by Erish
Photo of tharper

North Carolina

4.58/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Pours with a 3" white head into 1-1/2" after 5 minutes. Lots of tiny bubbles and is clear as a bell.
S: Centennial (I'm guessing, could be cascade, etc.) hops and a strong 2-row, caramel malt backbone.
T: Strong resiny malt , slightly sweet, and slightly bitter to match. Pretty much perfect for the characteristics of this beer. The only detractor is the strength of the flavor, but how can you make a beer this strong without this intensity? Most folks should consider this as an asset unless they are looking for something with less taste. Pure and true.
M: Carbonation meets the taste. Seems to be high CO2 (around 3 vols) but this matches the taste very well in the USA sense. Lots of bubbles after ten minutes.

Overall: It should be clear. I am a very small brewer in NC who loves Lagunitas This beer is a perfect example of the Petalumas's crew to creating great beers for all of us. It is great and world class. Thanks guys! Beer speaks, people mumble. It is an honor repeating what your beer is speaking for you!


Serving type: bottle

04-01-2013 02:16:02 | More by tharper
Photo of kramerjt


4.55/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2010 23:01:36 | More by kramerjt
Photo of TheHoppiest


4.55/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2010 01:37:36 | More by TheHoppiest
Photo of whatthehull


4.53/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted May 13th 2011 (from notes)

A - redish/copper transparent, one finger off white head and some lacing

S - sweet yeast, fruity, bright malt, alcohol, sweet hops, slight bitterness and a slight grass and citrus

T - alcohol, hoppy, sweet yeast, citrus, floral, sweet malt and a caramel or molasses

M - chewy, huge profile, medium low acidity and a long finish

D - goes down like water even at almost 10%. big sweet and medium bitter. Well balanced

Final thought - got to get a sixer or four every year this seasonal comes out

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2011 06:37:04 | More by whatthehull
Photo of bnes09


4.51/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful red color that turns a transparent orange-amber when head to light. A few visible bubbles cascading along the glass. One finger head on the pour. Descent retention for the strength and a few lace spots.

Complex aroma. Tropical and citrus fruits, pine needles, rye bread, malty. Buttered toast with cherry spread. Excellent balance in the nose.

Rich, hoppy, complex and dynamic palate. Floral, herbal, pine-like hop bitterness right up front. Balanced with spicy rye and smooth wheat malt. Chewy biscuit character. Toasty. Just enough malt character to balance but not enough to make the beer sweet or syrupy. Hop bitterness lingers through the finish.

Bordering on full bodied with an oily texture that turns dry middle to end. Lively carbonation especially for the strength.

Now this is good! A highly complex and yet perfectly balanced American barley wine. I wish I had another bottle.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2013 06:33:12 | More by bnes09
Photo of yesyouam

New York

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

Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shutdown Ale is a crystal clear, rich amber ale with a dense, frothy, off-white head that thins and leaves outstanding lacing. Sweet, resiny malt and bright, fresh, wooden hops are strong and well balanced in the nose. It's medium-full bodied and silky smooth with a quick and slightly sticky finish. It tastes sweet, bitter and bold. The flavors are well balanced and blend together to provide a big, fruity (pineapple), wooden, resiny flavor. It's incredibly drinkable, even at this strength. A very solid American Strong Ale here.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2009 03:39:31 | More by yesyouam
Photo of pavyaz19


4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2010 13:23:30 | More by pavyaz19
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 velmalikevelvet


4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
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!

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2010 00:07:57 | More by velmalikevelvet
Photo of Seanibus


4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-25-2010 23:34:19 | More by Seanibus
Photo of ejimhof


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

Appearance: pours a two and a half inch frothy white head that dissipates slowly.Pours an orange color and leaves a slight lacing.

Smell: sweet malt with some hops is what I get out of this.

Taste: Creamy malty and sweet.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and easy drinking.

Overall: Very easy to drink strong ale has that combination of sweetnees and maltiness that I like. You need to watch how many of these you drink in a session.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2011 01:20:48 | More by ejimhof
Photo of mweso2000


4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a copper color with white head. A fragrant pine hop smell immediatly hits your nose. The taste is a little more sweet malt forward and not as hoppy as your typical Lagunitas beer, but a nice piney hop flavor and bitterness make this strong ale a perfectly balanced beer and a sure pleaser for any hop head. The 9.7% abv is almost non existent. Very dangerous! I don't think there is a brewer that puts out so many consistent winners like Lagunitas.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2013 21:49:41 | More by mweso2000
Photo of SenorBeaver


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

For such a high percentage beer it was nice body and a good taste. For me it wasn't to0 sweet or thick. Hoppiness was just fine with an IBU of 66? damn good.

I'm a big IPA fan. I like barley wines usually only on tap. This is somewhere in between an ipa and a barley wine.

High ratings from a west coast beach native.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2014 04:36:35 | More by SenorBeaver
Photo of samtrillo


4.49/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Amber caramel. Looks really neat. Decent head size.

S - Smells hoppy with some citrus and some caramel malt.

T - Lots going here. Malty caramel with some sweet citrusy notes followed by some Lagunitas hops. Different and different temperatures. Can feel alcohol but it's enjoyable.

M - Surprisingly smooth. Perfect amount of carbonation.

O - I go between what is my favorite Lagunitas and for a time it was this. Great beer. Great Job.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2014 08:31:15 | More by samtrillo
Photo of spicoli00


4.48/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Tongue boner

Raw hop flavoe compliments a super sweet nose and overall sweet taste. The mouthfeel is very smooth as evident by the lacing. One of my favorite seasonals by Lagunitas. If you want a good kick to the dick, this will bend your skull. And I will see you in Hell.

This beer says, "I will skullfuck you." And it does.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2013 03:06:24 | More by spicoli00
Photo of ckollias


4.48/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a Belgian snifter glass.

A: Pours a copper hue with a thick, white, 2-finger head that slowly dissipates leaving a great trail and ending in a solid lace.

S: Hoppy aroma up front followed caramel malt scents.

T: Bitter hops meet sweet malt with a slight pine background.

M: Very strong and boozy. Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Excellent brew – great balance between the hops and malt.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2013 01:57:33 | More by ckollias
Photo of microbrewlover


4.48/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a bright red/brown with a fluffy two finger white head, good carbonation and medium to heavy lacing.

The smell is both malty and hoppy at the same time. Thick roasted and caramel malts and orange, citrus and piney hops dominate. There is also a sweet, fruity smell.

The taste follows the nose with sweet and roasted malts, then orange, grapefruit and piney hops. There is a thick caramel malt backbone and a piney hop finish. Despite the high alcohol content there is no alcohol bleeding through in the taste.

The feel is thick, bready and chewy with a slightly pine oil finish left on the tongue after swallowing.

Overall this is another winner from Lagunitas. A well balanced mix of malts and hops which masks its high alcohol content very well. A worthy representation of the style.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2013 20:29:22 | More by microbrewlover
Photo of godlessape


4.48/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this into a Samuel Smith Imperial Nonic. The crystal clear amber body gives up a creamy off white head that begs to be devoured.
The aroma has a powerful orange angle to it, coupled with a burnt sugar creme brulee sweetness that's absolutely mouthwatering.
The taste brings along a lot of tangy citrus, earthy tobacco, brown sugar sweetness, all topped off with a cutthroat bitterness that make me wonder why the beer is called a "strong ale" and not a DIPA.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a juicy aftertaste.
Overall, this is a masterpiece of a beer. The brew wizards and geniuses at Lagunitas struck gold with this one.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2014 04:20:40 | More by godlessape
Photo of EnojysAnyBeer


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

A- Deep amber color reminiscent of a DIPA. Red/brown/orange color of autumn leaves. Decent head with OK lacing. Many streams of carbonation

S- Wide variety of hop aromas from spicy and peppery to tart and floral.

T- This is a well-balanced beer... if you're a hop head There is no doubt about it. Dark pale malt flavor of wheat bread and a big load of caramel malt flavors in the lighter lovibond range. Awesome bitter hopping, sticks around from start to finish. Refreshing fruity/floral aftertaste.

M- More balance. Not dry, but not thick. Carbonation is in moderation.

D- Damn drinkable for a "double" brew.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2009 02:59:34 | More by EnojysAnyBeer
Photo of kiddynamite920


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

A: Actually lighter in color than expected. Poured a dark orange/red color with a sudsy head with big bubbles popping and sending small hints of the aroma my way. For a strong ale, the head is retaining just right. Still a bit fluffy but receding with some ease.

S: This is wonderfully complex smelling. Big citrus/grapefruit aroma upfront with some hints of alcohol, but I'm also picking up some bubble gum like aroma. Sweet malts for sure. Sweet fruits..banana, apples and tangerines. Great citrus and floral notes from the hops. Extraordinary.

T: Oh, that's nice. Getting that bubble gum note here as well, reminds me of when I used to put half a roll of Bubble Tape in my mouth. Huge sweetness, but not in the Belgian type of bubble gum taste. Not sure what that flavor would categorize as. Good citrus hit to keep the malts in check. Very crisp and easy to decipher the different complex flavors going on in there. Has a hop flavor similar to Nugget Nectar, clean and fruity. Absolutely delicious with no hint of the alcohol.

M: Good viscosity for the high alcohol, guessing there's a fair amount of sugar in this brew. Leaves a good amount of coating on the teeth that only gets sweeter as it settles. Loving this beer.

D: I hope cases of this are expensive, or I might see myself buying too much of this beer. Very malty, but very fruity and hoppy as well. Very refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2010 02:24:44 | More by kiddynamite920
Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 2,307 ratings.