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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.

2,310 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2310
Reviews: 680
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: 2,310 | Reviews: 680 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of thedoubler55

New Jersey

4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A dark amber color almost brown, with a nice transparency, a little bit of a tan head at the top that leaves some nice lacing as you drink it.

S: Citrus and flowery hops hit you right up front, slight hints of caramel and soe roastyness as well, back end some brown sugar also.

T: Up front its a little sweet, nothing over powering though, a nice sweetness from the brown sugar and caramel, and nice kick at the end from the hops.

M: Medium bodied, with a good amount of carbonation, sticky and somewhat on the light side.

O: Lagunitas did a great job with this beer, not overpowering for a strong ale and the abv content is not that noticeable.

Serving type: on-tap

04-07-2014 14:08:48 | More by thedoubler55
Photo of 57md


3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark copper color with over a finger of off-white head that retains for some time. The nose is mildly hoppy. The hop bitterness is there in the flavor, but the driving force of this beer is certainly the malt. The body is light considering the ABV and malt forward nature of the offering. The finish is semi-dry and the alcohol warmth rears its head slightly.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2014 02:53:17 | More by 57md
Photo of NiceTaps

New Jersey

3.91/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle in a nonic pint glass.

A- Beautifully clean, clear copper color with a billowy 2f head, cream colored. That's a hearty look that leaves plenty of sticky lacing. Carbonation via very tiny bubbles.

S- Floral hops, caramelized sugar, bready malts- they're all there, but topped off by burnt alcohol aroma.

T-Floral hops, bready and caramel malts, some sugar. I expected syrupy sweetness, instead it is quite bitter, and it works.

M- Solid body and tingly carbonation soften the bitterness. A touch of sweetness in the back end. Lots of malt body.

O- This might be one of those "on the fence" beers. While not perfect, it falls on the right side of the fence for me.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2014 22:21:09 | More by NiceTaps
Photo of Mongrel


3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a dark copper color with good clarity and a nice finger of white head. Tons of lacing. Good looking beer.

Smells bright and mildly hoppy in a nondescript sort of way. With some effort I'm able to pick out grass, orange and grape.

Taste is reminiscent of Brown Shugga, but more mellow and subdued, yet possibly more bitter. Bright, copper-y malt center, surrounded by those cool hop notes of orange, tangerine, grape and pine. Rich, tasty and surprisingly smooth, but not terribly complex.

Overall, this is a rich, tasty brew with some nice vinuous grape notes. It's got a bright, bitter copper penny streak running through it. An enjoyable strong ale, but I think I prefer Brown Shugga.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2014 02:08:17 | More by Mongrel
Photo of username


3.89/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

A - Solid, finger-thick foam. Not especially dense, but quite frothy, many small bubbles. Minimal lacing. A darker amber, leaning towards reddish-brown. Clear.

S - Grapefruit and lemon with a hint of pineapple in the back mixed with hops.

T - Bittering hops up front cascading into subtle grapefruit and lemon rind. Emphasis on the rind. No traces of sweet fruit to be found with the exception of the rare and buried hints of pineapple. Eventually a deeper musky, almost woody sensation but it's something one must search for.

M - So bitter it may be mistaken for carbonation, but it's not. It is actually very smooth; not too heavy, not too light – which is neat though this characteristic is arguably ruined by the bitterness. Finishes bitter, perhaps even a little sour and to the wet side however doesn't linger too long.

O - I feel this to be a 'simple and effective' brew. There is some complexity, but at the same time it's not trying to wow anyone with it. What is present is bold and "in-your-face". If it was a theme contest I'd give this a 5/5; the spirit of what is being commemorated with this brew has artfully made it into the bottle somehow. Very 'we know what we are doing here, and it's good, so we're going to keep doing it, despite what you say'. Abrasive and rewarding because it wants to and can be – but also because that's how you like it.

Others have compared it to an IPA x barleywine brew, or a DIPA; both comparisons I strongly agree with.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2014 01:47:09 | More by username
Photo of DaveEcenrode


5/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Deep Orange slight haze with a foamy head and lacing all over the pint glass
Just pouring from the bottle had me salivating for this brew

S- Smells like what you expect heaven to look like ( just picture it)... Definitely can smell a pine needles to the face, downhill snowboarding, balls to the wall snow all over the place winter smell

T- My oh My!!! I am not sure what Lagunitas categorizes this as, but it tastes like a DIPA, to me! The hop forward profile slams the tongue with bitterness that leaves me wanting to chug this beast and take the next and keep chugging. God it's good

M- Hops Hops Hops, nice carbonation just enough on the tounge to keep you twitching, just want an endless supply.

O- Hands down, the most impressed I have ever been of any beer I've ever had!!!

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2014 00:47:59 | More by DaveEcenrode
Photo of Dsimenson


4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Draft poured into a sample glass. Crystal clear deep amber color with a nice head, mild lacing down the glass. The aroma is unique--a mixture of grapefruit and mandarin oranges, very rich and rewarding. Flavor is unique, mild to moderately bitter, mild citrus, with a bit of vanilla. Mouthfeel is medium, almost chewy. Overall this is an outstanding ale and I can't wait to try it again.

Serving type: on-tap

04-05-2014 00:30:27 | More by Dsimenson
Photo of BastardKing24


4.09/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark orange with a 2 finger white head that sticks around. Looks nice

Smell is of floral hops, some danky pine and citrus, and fresh fruits like mango and pineapple.

Taste is similar with an abundance of fresh orange fruit. Apricot, Pineapple, mango, pine, citrus extract, melon, and ginger.

Feel is a little more carbonated than I would like it, but it's still ok.

Overall I like this beer just as much as the other hoppy offerings from Lagu~ they make some damn good beers. Theres something similar about their beers that just keeps them consistent and enjoyable. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2014 02:57:21 | More by BastardKing24
Photo of sommersb


4.19/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tasted On: 04-01-2014
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Tulip pint
Purchased: Received from a friend

A nice looking beer, with a bright and clear copper color. The big off-white head leaves a pretty lacing on the glass.

Aromas are enticing -- floral and citrus hops fill the nose with a background of light malt sweetness.

Taste is of bitter hops, but they play well with other flavors from the yeast and malts so as not to be one-dimensional. The alcohol is noticeable as well, at almost 10%

Mouthfeel is full in body, plus a prickly carbonation. The beer finishes both dry and bitter.

Overall a real treat of a heavy, hoppy strong ale...recommended!

Thanks, Kirk, for the try!

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2014 04:11:17 | More by sommersb
Photo of Act25

New Jersey

4.14/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip, deserves a snifter. A lot here.

A: Pours a very dark amber with a thick dense head with a lot of rich, sticky lacing. nice color.

S: Sweet, floral, and citrus hops. Also nuances of caramel, wood, and darker malts.

T: Hops all the way, bitter but balanced, a beautiful sipper. I like this much better than Palate Wrecker, and anything stronger. It's a DIPA. Plenty of caramel, candied sugars. Mild spice and bitterness in a long finish.

M: Medium-bodied, mild alcohol presence. Smooth, lovely finish, this is a favorite DIPA up with the best. Strong - sip slowly. Warming.

D: Bitter. Sipper. Must try.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2014 02:54:46 | More by Act25
Photo of dank203

New Jersey

3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

pours dark red with finger or so of head . aromas of sweet sugary fruits and some hops. a bit west coasty. the flavor has the hops too, slightly bitter offset bit a big syrupy fruity maltiness. actually a lot of complexity to be taken. some darker fruits and lot of booze upon warming

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2014 02:34:15 | More by dank203
Photo of Bedrocker


4.24/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: The beer pours a nice clear copper color and has good off-white head that retains its size well. Nice lacing.

S: Citrus and pine hop aromas are in the forefront on this one, and they mix well with caramel, spice, and a little bit of dark fruit to give a very balanced smell.

T: Sweet malts and citrus/pine, primarily. Balances well with the undertones of caramel, dark fruits, and brown sugar. Ends with a decent amount of bitterness and a little alcohol.

M: Medium body and carbonation. Slight warming from the alcohol on this one. Considering the light(er) body on this one with respect to its ABV, not bad at all.

O: Solid brew from Lagunitas. One of the more unique beers I've had, it seems like Lagunitas is trying to mix a few styles and they do it well. Very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2014 03:34:24 | More by Bedrocker
Photo of Celtics17


4.34/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Excellent mix of and IPA and Barleywine. Nice hops, with grapefruit, then with caramel tones in the taste, Great smell, fresh beer. Good head, the look is great, very balanced and good overall taste. Everything meshes well with each other.

The aroma , taste, are what you what u want from Lagunitas.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2014 08:44:34 | More by Celtics17
Photo of AwYeh


4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear golden amber color, with a good two fingers of frothy off-white head. Nice lacing left behind.

S: Strong and pretty unique smell. There are big bursts of pine and orange right away, backed up by a candy/caramel backbone and a slightly smoky/salty/musty smell that I just can't place. Maybe that final element is a result of one particular ingredient's combination with the others, but I'm really digging it.

T: Loads of caramel that are quickly balanced by pine and citrus, which linger nicely on the bitter finish. Raisins and toffee show up as well, without getting too sweet. Somewhat simple when compared to the smell, but just as good. Hint of alcohol as it warms.

M: Medium+ body, with nice lively carbonation for the ABV. Really smooth.

O: Another solid offering from Lagunitas, worth picking up.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2014 03:08:53 | More by AwYeh
Photo of RoamingGnome


3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shutdown Ale

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a shaker pint. Served chilled...

A) Golden Amber brew with a creamy finger of head. Nice retention as this holds at a dusting for the duration. Nice lacing... A very attractive beer...

S) A pretty sweet scent that mixes a little pine and citrus together as well. A little bit of alcohol.

T) Similar to the aroma. It's like caramel coated oranges. Mind you, I've never had a caramel coated orange in my life, but that's my take. There's brown sugar and butter too. Yes, that's what I'm getting here, brown sugar, butter and oranges. It's a little boozy, but not hot.

M) The mouthfeel is full with moderate carbonation. This is sticky, not quite syrupy. Has a bitter sweet finish...

O) I liked it, but didn't love it. It was a mild disappointment, given my expectations when drinking a Lagunitas beer. It just fell a little short in the flavor department for my tastes.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2014 11:38:28 | More by RoamingGnome
Photo of EdwardK77

New York

4.68/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This strong ale certainly lived up to its billing. There was very nice lacing left in the glass and the flavor was certainly complex. This was billed as a bitter ale but I feel that they did a great job of balancing the bitterness with other flavors that allowed for easier drinkability. I did notice that this left a pleasant sticky mouthfeel that made you feel like you were drinking something that was well made. I also enjoyed that this ale was high alcohol without hitting you over the head with it. Would definitely look for this ale again.

Serving type: growler

03-24-2014 15:56:31 | More by EdwardK77
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 DeFaz


2.74/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours an amber color with a medium head that leaves nice lacing. Good head retention.

Smell: Huge candy aroma along with alcohol (this smells like 9+% if not more), caramel, and orange. There's a lot going on, but the aromas don't work well together.

Taste: Again, there's a lot of flavors, but they don't blend well. This tastes way too sweet while being moderately bitter, and the alcohol seeps through. I find that oftentimes strong ales will be very sweet so as to cover up the alcohol, but this doesn't happen here. There's some fruit and brown sugar going on.

Mouthfeel: Chewy, thick, and slightly undercarbonated. This doesn't make things any better.

Overall: I absolutely appreciate the effort to make a unique beer (that's why I seek out craft beers in the first place), but this really is tough to drink given the out of control sweetness. There are some good flavors here too, but the alcohol and candy flavors just squash everything for me.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2014 23:25:38 | More by DeFaz
Photo of smanders


3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Hadn't seen this one, but if it's from Lagunitas I'll give it a go. Poured into a pint-sized wide mouth Ball jar.

A: A clear, dark red with a billowy, cream-colored head. The lacing is extra sticky.

S: I get a lot of sweetness (i.e. caramel, brown sugar) with a hint of grassy hops.

T: I don't know if I've had anything like this; a 'sweet' IPA. Not citrusy sweet, but sugary. Good hops (spice/pine) backbone, and a warming sensation of 9.7% ABV.

M: I'd vote medium to oily, but that's to be expected with so much booze.

D: Max would be two. I would compare it to eating more than one bowl of ice cream; too much sweetness can cause damage...

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2014 21:17:23 | More by smanders
Photo of martyl1000


4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

I totally don't know what to make of this beer. I couldn't stand it the first time I tried it, on tap at the great SF beer bar, Monk's Kettle. Now it's a nice looking, clear, brownish amber into a tulip glass with a huge bright white head and great retention.

The aroma brings a tinny tartness, laying over some sweet malt . . .

In the mouth it's sweet and quite bitter, at once. But it's a strange, tart bitterness. I can't stop thinking of iodine and tin can. There's a sweetness that many reviews call "brown sugar", but I can't go with that descriptor. It's not caramel, either. It's some kind of sweet, exotic fruit, if anything. And that indefinable bitterness continues to haunt me. I think I like this! (But I'm not sure...)

Fairly stiff carbonation cuts the creamy texture perfectly.

I think I"ll buy this again. Got this out of the singles cooler, hoping to put the question to rest. Ha! It wasn't for lack of effort on my part.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2014 23:41:00 | More by martyl1000
Photo of Flounder57


4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a copper color with great clarity and vision of bubbles coming up through the glass. Spotty lacing as the beer was drank.

Smell: Super nice floral citrus and pine aroma followed by caramel, chocolate, toasted malts, and a little booze.

Taste: Resiny pine, grapefruit, tangerine, herbal, caramel, toasted, bitter chocolate, and a little booze.

Mouthfeel: Super smooth, medium bodied, a little booze, and mild tingly bitterness.

Overall: I look forward to this beer every year. Delicious stuff.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2014 06:40:41 | More by Flounder57
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 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 JerUrbans


4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours very clear light amber with sediment that looks like I shook up a snow globe, except the snow is just suspended, probably the most unusual pours I have seen... and I like it. 2" fluffy head with great lacing. Smell is alcohol and sweet coriander. Tastes like the smell except not a huge alcohol flavor. Well balanced grapefruit, malt, and hop. Mouthfeel is smooth and sweet with a light bitter at the end.

Overall, this is the last beer from a case I got last spring. An excellent beer I should have drank up fresh. I don't think the age has done anything for this one and possibly has hurt the flavor. Still it's very good today, but my next case will be gone before the the 4th of July.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2014 02:01:15 | More by JerUrbans
Photo of sulldaddy


4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper hue with lots of floating sediment and a frothy eggshell white head. Big hoppy aroma is present upon opening the cap of the bottle, with some grapefruit and pine.
There is some caramel and booze upon actually sniffing the glass. The hops are still citrusy and some grass. But overall the nose is mild but a nice mix of malt and hops.
First sip reveals an average body and fine gentle carbonation that lightly tingles on my palate. the texture is smooth and makes this beer easy to drink.
Flavor is a little bit of caramel and sweet fruit, but rolls to astringent citrus rind hops that dry out on the finish and linger after each sip. I dont get any booze on the flavor or finish and wonder about the almost 10% quoted on the label.
Very easy to drink and and interesting as well. QUite a nice beer that I would like to try again.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2014 04:51:56 | More by sulldaddy
Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 2,310 ratings.