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 BrainDad
4.58/5  rDev +14.2%
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. (641 characters)

Photo of Aradan
4.57/5  rDev +14%
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. (1,152 characters)

Photo of jabel9
4.57/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is an extraordinary brew by a brewery that has recently claimed much of my attention. The aromas that come from this brew were floral hopped and a bit malty. Being imperial, I was a bit surprised with how watery the mouthfeel was, but don't let that deter you from enjoying this brew. The high alcohol content (9.5%) is hidden well and this beer is very smooth. I have had a few of the Lagunitas brews now and this has been my favorite. (441 characters)

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. (813 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 whatthehull
4.54/5  rDev +13.2%
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 (539 characters)

Photo of doppelmeup
4.53/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a spectacular looking beer! Pours a beautiful deep topaz color into a pint glass with a huge, pillowy head that lasts forever. Lacing all the way down the glass. One of the best looking beers I've ever seen!

Aromas of fresh hops. Not overpowering, but very fresh smelling. Slightly fruity and flowery.

Taste is very nice. Definitely bitter and hoppy, but not to the point of being overdone. A sweetness as well, but just enough to compliment the hops. I'm not sure I completely agree with the style for this beer. When I think of double IPAs, I think of over-the-top hoppiness and a very malty backbone. This beer seems more of a strong ale. But don't get me wrong; I really like this and think it is very good!!

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Some bitterness remains on the palate after enjoying a mouthful.

I have to say that as I write this review and drink this beer, the head is still amazing!!!

Overall, this beer is exceedingly drinkable, but I know the ABV will catch up to me. Even so, I have to give it a high drinkabiltiy score, because it goes down so easily!

Highly recommended. If you see it, pick it up and take it home. (1,152 characters)

Photo of Erish
4.52/5  rDev +12.7%
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. (656 characters)

Photo of McDude
4.52/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Copper, Amber red, beautiful. Really nice quarter inch foam head.

Smell: Maybe I was outside too long today with all the blooming flowers but I get floral, sweetness, maybe (brown) sugar.

Taste: Nice taste, exactly what I want when temperatures are in the 80s. Crisp. Taste of lemon, pine, mango, grapefruit and citrus flavor give it that summer feel. Taste like an DIPA, IMO

Mouthfeel: Got that mouthful type feel with this. Bitterness. mmmm

Overall: Good shit, nice brew cute story. (500 characters)

Photo of mweso2000
4.51/5  rDev +12.5%
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. (454 characters)

Photo of BarleyBoz
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
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. (702 characters)

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! (292 characters)

Photo of SenorBeaver
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
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. (319 characters)

Photo of ejimhof
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
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. (432 characters)

Photo of CVB_Mr_007
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Any review of this beer may be subject to intoxication. One pint of this ale will twist reality. Unlike many beers with the ABV of Undercover, you will want to pour another and enter the realm of 4.5 stars of pure enjoyment. (226 characters)

Photo of Edman5P
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep copper, brown color with an awesome hop taste.. Very nice lacing and a quickly dissipating head.. It tastes like their 'little sumpin' but darker (150 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 Mitchster
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$2.10 for a 10oz single at Jacks, although I bought a 6 pack. LaG's stuff is always great. They've never released a beer I didn't like. 2009 release, 9.03% ABV, OG=1.092, 72.41 IBU's.

Pours out to a clear deep garnet, forming a tall poofy light yellow head with excellent retention and nice chunky lacing with mild to moderate carbonation. The aroma is pungently hoppy, sweet and skunky, malty and big, suggesting candied almonds and brown sugar. Mouthfeel is big, bold, and dense bodied, with a pleasant syrupiness. Taste opens with pungent skunky hops (likely Amarillo) with mango and grapefruit notes, followed by a huge malt body, a lingering sweetness (almost like Belgian Candy sugar), and although the beer isn't all that bitter, as the sweetness fades, a herbal bitterness creeps back in and hangs on the tongue through the aftertaste. Packs a solid buzz and goes down quite nicely. Belches have an interesting bourbon twing.

This is a great brew. I'd gladly buy it again, and recommend it to anyone who loves DIPAS. (1,027 characters)

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

I love Lagunitas and I've never seen this one before so I had to pick it up.

A - Beautiful dark ruby color. Clear with a huge white head and stong lacing.

S - Sweet hop character that is fruity almost like fresh sweet blueberries. There are also the some of the more traditional citrus and herbal hop tones. There is a rich maltiness under the hops with some light alcohol and caramel in the background. It has a traditional ESB, fruity yeast character but to the next level.

T - The taste also has that almost berry taste with a sweet fruitiness that comes from the yeast, the malt, and the hops all melding together in one fine beer. It is definitely an American Strong ale with the richness and the hops to try and duke it out on your palate. The fruity yeast and hops are more predominant on the tongue with the malty, grainy, and caramel flavors mixing well together. There is a bitterness that attempts to compliment the sweetness and is clean on the finish.

M - High to medium mouth-feel with medium to high carbonation. For being almost 10% ABV and a very sweet flavor I would expect this beer to be almost cloying but with the higher carbonation and hop bitterness it does not stick but instead just teases your tongue asking for more.

Overall, a really delicious beer and definitely a unique American Strong ale. Not as overtly powerful as Bastard nor as malty as Hairy Eyeball but is very good and is balanced enough to have more than one of (although the alcohol will sneak up on you.) This is the perfect beer for early spring with plenty of flavor to awaken your soul but enough alcohol to warm you toes.

Glass- Tulip (1,637 characters)

Photo of yesyouam
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
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. (568 characters)

Photo of Libationguy
4.49/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep, clear, amber-reddish color with a rich off-white head. Head is a little frothy with strong retention. Tons of lacing across the glass.

Wonderfully warm, complex nose. Spice, nutmeg, citrus, pine, pastel flowers, brown sugar, molasses, ginger snaps and a very gentle dankness in the back end. On first nose, you feel like the beer is going to be sweet, but somehow you feel that it isn't.

Rich mahagony sweetness from the malt. Light brown sugar, molasses, baking spice on the entry; and then the hops kick in. Citrus zest and resin coming in and leaving a moderate level of bitterness across the palate in their wake. The finish has a the slightly slick feel of lanolin. Even with the the hops, the beer does end up finishing slightly sweet.

Medium-full bodied with a very rich, dense texture. Lots of mouthfeel (almost chewy) and lots of length. Soft bitterness and sweetness in the finish. Alcohol is nicely balanced in the frame of the beer's body.

A lot of beer. Big, intense and lasting. I would like a little less sweetness on the palate, but what a wonderful effort. (1,083 characters)

Photo of FocusDave
4.49/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Lagunitas plastic cup from last year's Beer Circus...because why not?

A - Pours a deep clear amber with about a finger of light tan foamy head. Retention is very short. Not seeing much lacing.

S - Earthy and citrusy hop aroma dominates. Hops, hops, and more hops.

T - Taste is much more balanced and complex than the smell. Still getting plenty of earthy hops, but there's a also a nice amount of malt sweetness. Finish is slightly spicy.

M - Full bodied with plenty of carbonation. Not too thick or syrupy. Finish is dry and bitter. Doesn't feel like a 9% beer.

O - Lagunitas always finds ways to make amazing beers that are both aggressively hoppy, yet smooth and balanced, and this is no exception. (740 characters)

Photo of bnes09
4.49/5  rDev +12%
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. (903 characters)

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

On tap at local Flying Saucer Emporium. Pours dark amber red. Little to no head with tan color. Lacing on glass very pronounced. Taste is malty and sweet with an alcohol warmth on the back end. Aroma is pine and grapefruit. Delicious DIPA will definitely try again. (265 characters)

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)

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