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Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Undercover Investigation Shut-down AleUndercover Investigation Shut-down Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

2,944 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,944
Reviews: 730
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 10.1%
Wants: 49
Gots: 282 | FT: 3
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
66.6 IBU

(Beer added by: GilGarp on 03-10-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,944 | Reviews: 730 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wrightst
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

wrightst, Aug 14, 2014
Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.96/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased from Berkeley Bowl West in Berkeley, CA. Shared with @LaitueGonflable and @tobeerornottobe in Sydney, Australia.

Pours a clear burnished amber colour with a loose but frothy head of pale, yellowish froth. Lots of fine pointed lace. Carbonation is tight and languid, despite the body being relatively light. Looks very good.

Nose is pleasant and green, with a strong hop profile that actually suggests German hops to me, with a noble, herbal character to go with some of the more expected West Coast citrus notes. Slight twang of booze, almost like very old balsamic vinegar, and a firm but fairly neutral malt basis. Very pleasant.

Taste is very nice. Rich, smooth entry, with plenty of malt, followed by a pleasant mingling of different counterpoints. There's the booze which sings with heat through to the back of the palate. There's the hops, which provide a sharp but clean vector down the centre and a slight zesty finish. But there's also an unusual note which suggests roasted malt or even coffee. It drifts in and out, so it may just be the conflagration of the booze and the hops, but it's an interesting twist.

Mouthfeel is light, but rounded with just enough weight to keep the flavours progressing.

Overall, this is a very good beer. It's big and full-flavoured, while maintaining a sanity to it that keeps it drinkable. I enjoyed it a great deal.

lacqueredmouse, Aug 03, 2013
Photo of dbrauneis
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a crystal clear dark amber in color with some garnet red hints when held up to the light. The beer has a half finger tall beige head that reduces to an extremely thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer with a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Strong aromas of pine/resin hops along with some lighter hints of citrus hops and caramel malts.

T: The beer starts out with some caramel malt sweetness before the huge flavors of pine/resin hops take over - contributing quite a lot of bitterness that lingers for a long time.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly sticky.

O: Very enjoyable but not the easiest beer in the world to drink, The taste, smell, and mouthfeel of the alcohol are well hidden in this beer but you can kind of tell this is a big beer. Definitely one for sipping with the high ABV and the moderately strong bitterness.

dbrauneis, Jul 26, 2012
Photo of Billolick
4.04/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle

Pours a nice rich glowing shade of almond hued amber. Khaki head stays nicely. Goes to a thick high collar and then a fine film and moderate low lacing strands.

The sniff reveals notes of rich malting and minty hops.

Full flavor malty brew with broad shoulders and a bold hoppy finish. Notes of maple malts, vanilla, honey and resinous hops sealing the finish.

Lagunitas all the way

Billolick, Jul 02, 2013
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a deep copper color with good carbonation and a nice dirty white head

S: Citrus hops, floral

T: Taste of caramel, booze in the back and floral/citrus upfront

M: Booze, medium body and sticky

D: Good now and really good next year after siome cellar time

barleywinefiend, Jul 06, 2010
Photo of Georgiabeer
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Georgiabeer, May 11, 2014
Photo of duceswild
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

duceswild, Dec 22, 2013
Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 3/14/2013. Pours moderately cloudy orange copper color with a 1-2 finger dense cream colored head with great retention; that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice dense soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, pine, orange zest, orange rind, pineapple, floral, grass, caramel, and floral earthiness. Excellent aromas with big hop presence and complexity with a fair amount of malt balance. Taste of orange zest, grapefruit, tangerine, orange rind, pineapple, floral, pine, grass, caramel, and floral earthiness. Fair amount of floral pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, citrus zest, pineapple, pine, floral, caramel, grass, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice hop flavor complexity; with a moderate malt balance that does not overpower the hop flavors; with zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy, slick, and moderately sticky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent hoppy strong ale. Great hop flavor complexity and moderate malt balance; and very smooth to drink for the ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

superspak, May 30, 2013
Photo of mothman
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Stub and Herbs on 5/15/09

Poured into pint glass.

Color is a dark golden copper. Left some splattered lace.

Aroma: Darker hops, more dry. Some citrus notes that reminded me of an IPA. Bready like the Surly 16 Grit. Kind of sweet.

Taste: Bready malts. Massive floral hops. Nut brown nuts. Maple brown sugar. Citrus. A lot like an IPA.

Mouthfeel: IS very bitter, but smooths out. Medium bodied good carbonation. Ends very hoppy.

Overall at 9.02% this was pretty decent. Alcohol is hidden very well. Reminds me a lot like an IPA/DIPA. I could easily have more of this.

mothman, May 19, 2009
Photo of ejimhof
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

ejimhof, Jun 18, 2011
Photo of BARFLYB
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz single bottle into a Lancaster Brewing pint glass. It's been about two years since I had the sneak release of this beer.

A- Lagunitas UISDA is a nicely lit light bronze color with some brownish appearence to it. The head builds to about 3/4 of an inch and starts degressing before im done pouring the bottle. A nice beige film stays on the surface forever leaving spotty lace.

S- A wonderful scent coming from this bordering between a DIPA and a strong ale. As expected a lot of hops giving off piney smells as well as light citrus with grapefruit. A malt extravaganza gving off earthy smells with bread. some sweet caramel and a oily base coming off of the hops. More sweetness possibly from the addition of some sugars. Boozy.

T- This is good stuff and as I drink it im thinking it leads more into the strong ale category. Loads of west coast hops giving off a nice bitterness from the 72 IBU's. This is not a hop bomb because the sweetness comes from a nice malt addition and other sweetners, maybe some brown sugar. On the end i get a sense of some dark fruits although they are not pronounced. At 9% the alcohol is not a problem.

M- Some bitternes is all throughout this but it goes down smoother than expected. Undercover is two steps above medium bodied with a good dose of carbonation. I guess they tweaked the recipe some cause i remember this being more assauling in the past but that could be my expanding palette. This does not burn the tounge out with the hop addition.

D- Not sessionable, but i would not mind getting drunk off of a six pack. Hey, maybe i will try that on a lazy afternoon during the weekend. This stuff is good and cant be denied even with an apparent change in recipe additions. A lot of beers I get from lagunitas taste the same but this is a step in a different direction, one that I welcome with open arms.

BARFLYB, Apr 03, 2009
Photo of Zorro
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

Zorro, Jun 08, 2010
Photo of Gonzoillini
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

Gonzoillini, Apr 17, 2014
Photo of afsdan
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

afsdan, May 22, 2014
Photo of LXIXME
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

LXIXME, Sep 25, 2014
Photo of BillRoth
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

BillRoth, Dec 28, 2013
Photo of smakawhat
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a Funkwerks globe glass.

Real nice looking beer, super dark ruby red and clear with amber ruby and brown tinges. Head forms frothy at three fingers with a light tan color. Big retention and scattered lacing throughout the glass and leaving a big one finger puck and island.

Nose brings a nice mellow citrus grapefruit hop quality, soft and fleshy. Small faint caramel hides in the back, with a little dank earth.

Palate fills with a nice full caramel and mix of earthy hops. Swallow brings much of the mellow citrus grapefruit and fleshy tones. Chewy hop forward palate. Alcohol is really hidden on this for nearly ten percent. Mellow toasty and caramel tasting like malts come and match with subsequent sips.

Overall this comes off as just a big solid and controlled hoppy amber to me more than a strong ale, and that appeals greatly to me. Real well put together brew, and love the mix of fruit and dank earth hop profile on this as well.

smakawhat, Jun 02, 2013
Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev -1.5%

DrBier, Jul 27, 2014
Photo of John_M
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Mahaffey's the other day. I assume this is the "shutdown" ale I had, as the beer menu did have "investigation" as part of the name.

The beer pours a copper amber color with very good head retention and lacing. The nose on this beer is fairly attractive, consisting of almost a sweet lollipop nose, but with considerable underly citrus hoppiness. The flavors on the palate generally replicate the nose, except instead of candy, there is more of a sweet tropical fruit flavor, coupled with the considerable hoppy bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, and the alcohol wore on me a bit as I drank down my pint.

Another solid beer from Lagunitas. A bit too sweet and boozy for my tastes, but otherwise not bad at all.

John_M, Mar 28, 2009
Photo of biegaman
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The real beer indeed looks undercover, cleverly disguised as a long island iced tea that's been infused with a hefty dose of angostura bitters. Hey, a complexion as murky as this could hide just about anything behind it. Truth be told, it's not a very attractive beer what so ever. It is completely muddied and completely flat (less a few stripes of lace).

The aroma, on the other hand, is a thing of utmost beauty. A bouquet with this level of candied citrus, pine serum, broiled caramel malt and pure hop leafs belongs in a trophy case somewhere in the California brewers hall-of-fame (if such a thing is ever built, which it should be). It has a degree of tropical character I'm only ever used to drinking on a beach.

Alcohol content be damned, this is one easy beer to drink! So what if my head ends up swimming in it, I'm sure it'll have a good time splish-splashing around with its water-wings. This is a delicious and soothing drink. Its carbonation is low, which I like because it allows the sappy, serum-y flavours to linger (even though toasted biscuits have the last word).

I let out a sigh of relief once I had confirmed that it tastes almost, if not as good as it's aroma led me to anticipate. Let me clue you in on some of the goods: caramel custard, sharp grapefruit, maple sap, toasted grains, pineapple, muscat grape, lychee liqueur and a kind of neon, psychedelic floral quality that only hippies could claim to understand.

The hippie connection makes sense - not only because of the beer's psychedelically herbal qualities and that this, after all, Lagunitas - but because it takes a free spirit to come up with a recipe like this. I always felt the term 'American Strong Ale' was a bit of a self-aggrandizing and seemingly arbitrary style marker concocted by those who took it upon themselves to redefine the guidelines. But I have to admit now that I was wrong...

What else do you call something that blends more decadently sweet, nuanced maltiness than an old ale and as much brimming, zestful hoppiness as a double IPA? The result of which, I might add, has such a distinctive, often unparalleled character, the quantity and quality of which American brewers conceived, consummated and continue to cultivate virtually uncontested? Yea, beers like this require a title of their own. A.S.A. fits.

biegaman, Feb 18, 2011
Photo of rab53
4/5  rDev -1.5%

rab53, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a murky amber hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured an earthy caramel malt and heavy piney hop.

The taste was likewise earthy, with a deep caramel, charcoal and traces of dark fruit.

The mouthfeel was full with a smooth carbonation.

Overall a well balanced and surprisingly easy drinking ale.

plaid75, Oct 30, 2013
Photo of tdm168
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - dark amber with a thin, dense, white head that has good retention

S - big floral hop aroma with fainter underlying orange and grapefruit notes

T - faint bread, big caramel, huge hop character - floral, citrusy, piny, herbal, bitter

M - full bodied, a bit crisp

This was a really solid beer. It had huge flavor. I think it could stand to be more malty but huge floral, citrusy hops and a laid back malt character is how Lagunitas seems to role. That being said I'm along for each and every ride. This reminds me quite a bit of their Imperial Red Ale. It has much the same hop character. The body and ABV are a bit bolder. Nonetheless, it's got solid flavor and drinkability. It's definitely worth a try.

tdm168, Jun 20, 2012
Photo of Latarnik
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Latarnik, Jun 01, 2014
Photo of billab914
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into my Dogfish shaped glass. It poured a darker amber color with a frothy, creamy, sticky head to it. Nice looking color and pretty good lacing as I drank it as well.

The aroma is not surprisingly, pretty hoppy for the style. I get some floral, pine and citrus notes to it. I'm getting a bit of a pineapple or peach flavor out of the hoppiness as well. There's also a pretty big malt presence with some caramel and candied fruit flavors blending pretty well wit the hoppiness. Pretty nice aroma overall.

The taste shows more of the bright, juicy hops to it. I get some peach and mango flavors up front, while some pine and grapefruit bitterness comes out a little more towards the finish. The sweet, malty, caramel flavors compliment very well and give it some really nice candied fruit flavors.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation being moderate. Overall, I thought it was a very good beer. The hoppiness was really good, and the malts compliment very well. It really comes together well, very nice overall.

billab914, Jun 22, 2012
Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 2,944 ratings.