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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.

949 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 949
Hads: 3,948
Avg: 4.01
pDev: 10.22%
Wants: 110
Gots: 743 | 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: 949 | Hads: 3,948
Photo of John_M
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
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

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Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz. Bottle

Poured into a chalice a very nice slightly cloudy golden amber color, very nice carbonation, with a very nice one-finger fizzy/creamy off-white head, which leaves a nice big island in the glass with some nice sticky lacing as well. The nose is malty, with a nice touch of hops, picking up some cherries, figs, plums. The taste is very very nice, sweet, hoppy, with some nice malt notes, dark fruits. Medium body, ABV is hidden very well, but still watch out. Overall a very tasty brew, glad to see this one in Utah.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

TGI Thursday!!!! Couple beers...why not. Trying the Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale...it's a mouthfull...and so is the beer! This beer can shut down evening operations quickly with its hig ABV. The appearance is good! A nice rich Amber with creamy off-white head that is lacing suburbly. The smell has a sweet malt character with hints of pine/earth. The first sip brings a wash of ABV, followed by sweet malt. The ABV numbs the tongue slightly and the sweetness holds on to the pallete. The mouthfeel was down graded just a bit due to the high ABV. Overall its a good beer...reminds me a little of the Brown Shugga that they produce(d), and the sweetness reminds me slightly of Two Brothers Cane & Ebel.

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Photo of Duff27
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Two fingered light tan head on a dark red/brown beer. Great drink-by-drink step lacing and a nice retentive head to boot.

S- Brown sugar and citrus hops penetrate my nostrils.

T- Pungent hops, caramel malts. Cinnamon? I don't know what that is but I think I may love it. Very well hidden nearly 10%abv...dayum.

M- Medium mouthfeel, kinda creamy. Decent enough carbonation.

D/O- I don't know if I'd go so far as to say I was blown away by this beer but whatever a notch down from that is...well, say that. Thanks for the try PTMcB!

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75


How the heck have I NEVER reviewed this one?!?! 12oz bottle picked up tonight at Whole Foods... Clear light amber brew shows a persistent light tan head that leaves great sheets of lacing. Sharp pithy hoppiness and dry toast in the nose... Expected big bitterness up front and on the finish is only punctuated briefly mid-palate by the pithy grapefruit hops and dry toast/dark caramel notes... Body is medium but accentuated by a lighter carbonation.. Drinkability is a little light for me just because it is a bitter bruiser... Still an obviously well made brew and one of the best stories from any brewery ever.


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Photo of vfgccp
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A – Amber, light grade maple syrup. Off-white head pours with a nice creaminess, ok retention, and poor lace.

S – Soft pine behind a big honey, honeysuckle, and pineapple.

T – Opens dead and build slowly into malt, molasses, brown sugar and booze. Herbal-forward middle with rosemary and sage, and a supporting orange zest / citrus note. Climaxes in a big, rolling pine bitterness matched with molasses.

M – Medium full body. Boozy bitter backend.

O – Balanced sweet and boozy. Almost barleywine-like.

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Photo of Tone
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, copper color. 1/2 inch head of a pale tan color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of strong hops, sweet malt, hint of syrup, yeast, slight citrus, hint of roasted malt, and a hint of citrus. Fits the style of a Strong Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and thick with an average carbonation level. Wow, the body if bold, but not too complex. Strong hops up front, slight alcohol is noticeable, sweet malt, and slight yeast. Overall, good appearance, great aroma, but the blend and complexity are lacking.

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Photo of Axnjxn
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

bottle into teku glass. rereview 9/28/13

dark copper color, big white head. the smell is mildly hoppy but more malty and caramely. The taste is big on toffee/caramel , typical strong ale characteristics. a very sweet beer. Malts dominate the palate, hops arent too prevalent. Drinkability is very high for the style... no way this is 9.7% ABV! higher side of medium bodied, medium carbonation.

overall much better than i remembered. like it a lot!

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from 5/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Dark orange brown with a nice white head and lacing. Hoppy, caramel malt aroma, similar to a barley wine. Nice creamy, malty body with toasted and caramel malt and dark fruit. Fairly understated, but complex and well balanced. Hops are forward but not aggressive. The ABV is well covered. I like this one. Close to a DIPA.

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Photo of aasher
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle

Appearance: rich dark amber color with cream colored head, which laced the glass

Smell: smelled like an American strong ale, very aromatic and powerful, good hoppiness

Taste: tasted similar to a lot of Stone's beers, tasted like an American strong ale too, good hoppiness and malt flavor, the alcohol was well hidden, I was surprised to see it was an imperial IPA

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, good amount of carbonation that tingled on the tongue, alcohol not present in the aftertaste

Drinkability: more drinkable than you'd think by reading this beers info, it had very good flavor and smelled great, it was thirst quenching

I'd recommend picking one of this up if possible, very good beer.

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Crystal clear amber, with no bubbling carbonation visible. Thin, foamy almond colored head.

S - Spiced tree sap with bitter grapefruit zest. Very sweet molasses nose. Warm spruce and alcohol notes.

T - Bitter hops up front with a warming spruce flavored alcohol. Hop leaf and and citrus peel. White grapefruit meat.

M - Clean, crisp and fresh with some sweet stickiness.

O - Nice strong ale, reminding me of a sweet double IPA.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: rich amber color with a depth suggesting hints of gold. Head is a finger of somewhat rapidly dissipating ivory foam which leaves an attractive lace. There is just the absolute slightest touch of haze to the body, but it is mostly clear. This beer looks like it means business.

Smell: aroma is that of a strong ale, but the aroma itself is not particularly strong. Thick malt with hints of caramel and funky, piney hops are the aromas with which I'm greeted. Nice, but can we turn up the volume?

Taste: rich malty flavor. There's caramel here, and even a little woodiness (though I don't know whether this beer is aged in wood at all). Bitterness is strong and well-rounded; for all its extremity, I feel like this beer reaches a good balance. Its flavor is on the milder side of the strong ale spectrum, but I think this makes it quite good.

Mouthfeel: low carbonation and a medium-thick body. This one hangs around for awhile. To me, it has a silky texture which I appreciate.

Drinkability: this is a worryingly drinkable beer. It's going down *way* more easily than a beer of this strength has any right to do. I would absolutely drink this again (and again, and again).

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

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Julio's, Marlboro, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" beige head over the clear coppery amber brew. Head lasts well, with tons of sticky lace froth. Aroma is fresh citrusy hops with twinges of pine as well. Taste is ample maltiness to start, which is quickly balanced and overpowered a bit by the dominant hops flavor. Particularly the pine lingers, and there is warming after toughts as well. Mouthfeel is a bit prickly due to the strength of hops character, but this one remains plenty drinkable.

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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.

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Photo of beertunes
3.08/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a nice clean, clear, reddish-brown color with just under an inch of tan head that had good retention and moderate lacing.

The aroma was mostly sweet, with an alcohol sharpness. Just a trace of hops hiding in the background. Alcohol is the dominant taste on the tongue, then malty sweetness and some hop bitterness on the back.

The body was OK, but not as full as I like in this style. Drinkability was OK, but like several other brews from these guys, I remeber this beer being better.

Overall, a decent but unspectacular beer. Worth trying.

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

I found this in the "bargain bin". I didn't know anything about it so I thought I'd give it a try. The code on the neck of the bottle says 15963414

A clear deep amber with a small and fast fading head of foam that leaves little lacing behind.

The smell is a nice mix of strong caramel malt and grapefruit. Some notes of alcohol as well.

The taste is of caramel malt with heaps of a graininess with the hops being very faded. The feel seems to be very sticky and the alcohol comes in big blasts during the session. It finishes almost a sickly sweet and grainy. Obviously this has been sitting around somewhere as whatever date it came out fresh, it was not on the shelves here. Too bad, I can see where this might be pretty impressive fresh...

Edit, I've had a few more bottles since and I've grown to like this son of a gun and apparently, freshness is not the issue I thought it was. Score adjusted.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From the 12 fl. oz bottle. Sampled on April 19, 2014.

The pour is amber-copper with a robust cream colored head that never really fades entirely. Great clarity.

On the nose I am getting a pleasant atmosphere of butterscotch and floral hops but the hops tends to take over rather quickly.

The body is in the medium to full range but also creamy.

The taste begins with a delightful toasted biscuit malt character but then the earthy hops really kick in and take everything over to result in a dry finish. Nice beer that is worth a try.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy scarlet red appearance. Thin dirty white head. Lace is weblike and quite intricate. Aroma is of juicy, plump hop nuances as well as thick caramel malt tones. First sip contains alcohol, biting hops and big caramel malt. The alcohol smooths out as it warms and the juicy hop flavor come out more. The bitterness is just right for a DIPA. This is very nicely balanced for a DIPA. But hops and bitterness still rule. Medium full body and moderately carbonated. This one's going down too damn fast. What a steal for 3.99 a bomber.

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

I had a 12oz bottle that found it's way into my cellar. My mistake, so I better drink it.

A - Pours a clear, reddish-amber with a thin tan head. Decent retention and lacing.

S - Slight hoppy grass, carmel, and roasted malts.

T - Smooth carmel malts with a slight hop background. Nice balance.

D - Average carbonation and body. A very balanced presentation.

O - Sweeter, but not overly. Smooth drinker.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Usual copper appearance. Frothy head. Big hop aroma, so far, this is a typical Lagunitas beer (so I'm excited).

Big hops on the palate, rather dry, minimally fruit (cherry pie) enters and subsides quickly. I have serious doubts this is almost 10% alcohol. Bigger malt backbone to it than a lot of the Lagunitas family. Hop quality is the usual citrus feel, closest to grapefruit. Caramel. A little thicker, but nothing that creates that sweet approaching light syrup feel. Lagunitas is always cheap, which makes it a lot more drinkable.

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Photo of dgilks
3.71/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear dark copper colour with a large, creamy off-white head. Good lacing.

Sweet, nutty aroma with a slightly fruity hop edge. Nice.

Sweet, smooth malt with enough hop to balanced it out. Moderate bitterness.

Medium-full body with moderately-high carbonation. A touch too fizzy.

A sweet, darkish ale with a little bit more bitterness than expected. Not my favourite beer but not bad.

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Photo of bark
3.36/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The colour is red with a tint of brown (30 EBC); the liquid clear. The two-finger beige head sinks very slowly leaving lots of lacing on the glass.

The smell is smooth with clean bitter notes, some caramel and dried fruits. Alcohol, dried fruits and fresh flowers. Very clean, perhaps a bit anonymous.

The taste is first bitter. Then, balancing clean sweet flavours emerge. Fruity notes; apricots and prunes. Somewhat citric hops. Medium to full body. The aftertaste got growing warming alcohol, dried fruits, caramel and harsh hoppy flavours. Alcohol dominates the finish.

The carbonation is medium strong, the many bubbles small and long lived. The liquid is quite light and dry for the style and strength.

A rather anonymous yet well crafted strong ale: I don’t really see the point.

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had on tap at the Pig & fiddle.
L: Pours brilliant garnet tinted amber under a 1” white foam cap that provides light lace.
S: Citrus, spice, malt. T: Spicy with a cola sweetness that dries out on the finish. Moderate hop bitterness is rounded and not harsh.
F: Medium to medium full body and medium to medium low carbonation. Silky smooth.
O: An easy to drink beer at a good price.

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Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 949 ratings.