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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.

950 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 950
Hads: 3,973
Avg: 4.01
pDev: 20.95%
Wants: 112
Gots: 754 | FT: 5
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 950 | Hads: 3,973
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear rich copper with orange edges. Big thick creamy offwhite head. Great retention. Thick sticky laces.

Citrus-Orange, Tropical-Pineapple. Apple and PEar. Light toastiness. Sweet caramel. crackers.

Sweet toastiness infused with hops - pine, orange, and pineapple. Some Sour apple. Toasted barley, caramel and bread. Vanilla and a touch of booze. Big brutal bitterness with loads of piney resins.

Sticky, thick, med-full body. Some warming, and some drying. Well carbonated on the low end.

Pretty drinkable for 9.7%. Tasty, brutally bitter. Have one of these left aging.

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Photo of Neorebel
3.77/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This one pours a very dark amber, with a minimal white head. The aroma is very sugary sweet. It's slightly boozy with a heavy malt flavor and coarse hops in the finish. Overall, I'd say it drinks a bit like a sweet Barleywine.

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Photo of Soonami
3.38/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Did not know what to expect from the bottle, which was not very helpful except to tell me that it was over 9% abv

The beer poured a lighter color than I expected, but it was a bright cheery amber with a fluffy white head that did not last. I suspect the alcohol the culprit for dissipating the foam.

In the nose was a yeasty and caramel sweetness and the distinctive cloy of ethanol. There were hints of apple and fruit as the beer warms up.

The beer was sweet--caramel, toffee, and apple cider, with a lot of alcohol, a little hop bitterness and not much depth of flavor. The mouth feel was thin and dominated by carbonation and the drying astringency of the alcohol.

The beer was overall, not very enjoyable--too boozy and not much flavor other than malt sweetness.

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Photo of washburnkid
4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in a snifter.

A: Dark orange/red with a very small head. Some dots of foam on the glass.
S: Aroma of hops consisting mostly of florals, dark ripe citrus, pine, with a sweet malt undertone to balance.
T: Similar to aroma. Drinks like a mix between a DIPA (hoppy characters as described in aroma) and a barleywine/Belgian (sweet/candy-like sugar). Mellow biscuity flavor pulls through, and the sip ends in a mild bitter note. Delicious!
M: Light-bodied for such heavy, bold flavors.
D: An easy beer considering the ABV. I'll be reaching for this one again soon.

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

22oz bomber poured into a weizen glass.

A - Hazy brownish copper coloration wich produced a nice head of froth. Retention and lacing were both impressive. Gotta give props to the name too, it's pretty awesome.

S - Big hop nose, floral and a bit citrusy. Sweet notes and a bit of alcohol near the end.

T - Wow, this is a BIG beer. Nicely balanced for how potent it is. Nice big hop profile with a generous malt backing. Abv causes a hit here, because it gets to be a bit much, especially for the serving size.

M - Medium bodied, mild carbonation level, nice hoppy residue coats the palate.

D - Pretty decent, not the best example of a double, but certainly worth a try. For the price (pretty sure this bomber was less than $5) it's a great deal. If you are a fan of really big brews, however, I would recommend this one.

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Photo of Chickenhawk9932
4.36/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark amber with a frothy off white head - good retention & very nice lacing.

Smells like a barley wine with that thick resinous pine scent. It also has some nice floral notes and toffee.

Taste is resinous pine eased by sweet toffee with bitter herb in the back rounding it out. The bitter and sweet swing around the beautiful malt backbone. This is a big delicious beer.

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Photo of thedoubler55
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

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Photo of AwYeh
4/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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Photo of Stunner97
4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- some sediment can be seen floating a mid slow amount low carbonation, white head fades rapidly to thin lacing, copper red color

Smell- slight hop and faint malt, having tough time pulling alot off the nose,

Taste- much stronger taste then i was getting on the nose, nice malt base up front which is rapidly and way over took by very strong dominating hop bitter mid palate and long bitter drying finish, very intersting beer in the aspect that up front is alot of malt and fun to see just how quickly that malt is squashed out, just really really nice balance and enjoyable flavor profile,

Mouthfeel- heavy thick and bordering syrupy, light carbonation, very smooth

Drinkability- dangerously drinkable considering just how strong this beer is, i have to say absolutely loved alot about this beer, its was able to walk that thin line where it was both neither to hoppy or to malty but having a very satisfactory level of both, a very very solid example of what a strong ale should be having firm hop but not killing all else in the flavor profile, a beer i certainly would recommend and get again, but shhhh... dont tell to many people keep it undercover

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Photo of nukem5
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a great tea color slightly reddish with hardly any foam and after first half was poured made an aggressive attempt at some foamy goodness on top.

S: Aroma is a bit complex theres a good bit going on with some hefty malts and a woderful hoppy balance. Earthy yet some pine notes tucked away in there. Theres still a sense of spice in there that eludes me think its a bit like clove but not quite also is a mild peppery aroma.

T: Taste is a nice balance of malt and hops, a sweet starting sip and then the hops tickle the tongue splashing pine and zesty citrus all about the taste buds.

M: Mouthfeel is a medium bodied and lightly carbed.

O: Overall a great drinker... would love to be able to drink this bad mofo all day, but sadly because of the elevated ABV dont think I could hang with the big dogs...so I will just sit here on the porch and watch them while I sip away, or should I say slip away !

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Photo of uwmgdman
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The ale pours brilliantly clear copper color with moderate, sticky white head. The aroma is highly hoppy--spicy, citrus and pine; beneath the hops is a bit of earthy, nutty malt. The flavor is moderate-highly hoppy--citrus and pine, with moderate-high hop bitterness. The hop load is balanced out--at least partially, by a smooth, biscuity sweet malt and a belly warming presence of alcohol. The mouthfeel is quite smooth and silky with medium-full body. Overall this is a well-made, flavorful brew that is a bit different--pleasantly so. Pick it up!

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Photo of beerphan
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz brown bomber -> nonic
no date

Pours a clear rusted amber with a huge full fluffy almost white head. Lots of chunky cliff lace lines the glass in sporadicy lined sheets. Carbonation appears as lush tiny constant bubbles.

Nose: Citrusy and floral, with a thick toffee like malt base.

Balanced and thick, with a full creamy mouthfeel. Starts with some floral tones and a thick rich caramel biscuity malt thunderclap. Sweetness remains present as a huge hop back slap rises from the depths. More bitterness than flavor. Citrus does appear with a piney bite. Bitterness lingers for some time. Although the alcohol does provide a warming affect, it doesn't show itself in the taste.

Raw and delicious. A best choice for the price ($3.99) and the complexity. Hope i can get my hands and the real deal soon.

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Photo of zdk9
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- This one is the darkest of oranges, like a creepy mystical orb. There's but a quarter of a finger of head, barely more than a whisp, but the lacing is strong with this one.

S- My first impression is canned pineapple, all the way. Then it gets more complex- there's caramel, dark wheat bread, and soy sauce, some oranges- possibly candied. More dark grain flavors comes out as it warms and my nose gets adjusted to the pineapple.

T- Not at all what I expected from the smell- the first sip is like grain husks, ryish, and also reminesent of kasha. A bit spicy. There's pine and grapefruit pith on the back of the mouth, and a malty sweetness on the front of the mouth- a bit like when a saltine sits in your mouth for a while and the starches turn into sugars.

M- Thick and quite syrupy. Just what I'd want out of this beer, and a good match for the flavors- the heavy grains just call out for a heavy beer.

O- Really nice stuff. From my first scent I was expecting a hoppy sweet bomb, but it really mellowed out and presented some interesting flavors and complexity.

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Photo of obywan59
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a crystal clear reddish copper to amber in color with a 2 1/2 finger off white head that becomes chunky as it recedes. As the head starts to settle on the surface of the beer, it takes on the appearance of foaming yeast. Awesome thick, sticky lacing.

First impression of the aroma is yeasty as well. Yeasty bread dough. Caramelly and sweet with pine, ripe citrus, toasted grain and dark dried fruit..

Taste is borderline cloying at first, but mellows and is much improved as the beer warms. Sweet malts hinting of molasses. More caramel here, with citric tartness and a taste of alcohol that's rather strong but not harsh. A hint of cherries.

Rich, thick body. Prickly with carbonation and the sting of alcohol, but mellowing and developing a supple, smooth character as it warms. Warming in the throat and chest.

A sipper. A beer to savor. Tasty and full flavored, becoming elegant as it warms. A treat on a warm summer night, but this is also a beer that could hold it's own in the dead of winter.

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Photo of ne0m00re
3.59/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

07/13/10- Had this one on-tap at Bodega.
A: Rusty copper orange, very thin creamy collar.
S: Caramel, alcohol, and lots of hops, which come off like grapefruit, green leaves, slightly moldy pine, along with apricot and honey nut characteristics.
T: Really nice hops profile, mixture of earthy, green, citrus, and pine. Sweet malt balance of brown sugar that lingers on the teeth.
M: Nice frothiness, and not quite syrupy.

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

pint glass.

a - pours copper in color and forms a thin cap of sudsy, tan head that calms to a film. leaves thick sheets of lacing in the glass.

s - nose of honey, citrus, apple, toffee malt.

t - toasty and sweet malt character with tons of fruity hop goodness. notes of honey, orange, berry. has a nice lingering piney bitterness and a slightly dry finish. very well balanced.

m - medium with the right amount of carbonation. finer co2 profile.

o - a damn fine beer and thoroughly enjoyable. seems almost in dipa territory despite being classified as a strong ale. i'm going to have to track down more of this.

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Photo of Profchaos20
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Reviewed 5/12/13, bottled 4/3/13. 12 OZ bottle in tulip.

A - Dark amber/light brown with reddish hues. Light tan head and leaves nice lacing.

S - Citrus and flowery hops are prominent. Sweet caramel malts are present also. Very pleasant aroma, not overpowering. Notes of burnt sugar and molasses.

T - Sweet at first, flower, pine and citrus hops. Medium bitterness that lingers a bit. A fair bit of malt in the profile as well as caramel, molasses, and a hint of alcohol.

M - Medium body but a bit on the light side which is surprising with the high ABV. Medium to light carbonation. Dry finish that makes it very drinkable for a strong ale.

O - Very good beer overall. Enjoy the appearance and aroma more than the taste.

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Photo of hoplover82
3.96/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours crystal clear deep amber with a medium creamy off white head with good retention and very nice and sticky lacing.

S-The aroma is pretty subtle with caramel up front and some faint floral, citrus and pine hops. But everthing is very faint and you really gotta look for it.

T-Much like the aroma, there is lots of caramel and the hops come through a little more in the flavor.

M-The mouthfeel is very creamy and full (as it warms), if it'sa cold, it seems a little watery. It has a very clean finish with a bitter earthy hoppiness.

D-Goes down pretty smooth indeed. I highly recommend this one.

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Photo of kshankar
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an amber with good levels of carbonation and a small tan foam that leaves plenty of lacing.

Aroma has a biscuit malt presence and plenty of floral and piney hops.

Taste is of the biscuit malts balancing with a somewhat aggressive hop profile. Well done.

Mouthfeel is buttery and creamy, and the carbonation adds a prickly sensation to it as well. Medium bodied

Drinkability is high simply because it tastes so good, but it is a bit high on the ABV.

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Photo of 1fastz28
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

lagunitas to me just means ipa, they make some great ones, but this to me seems like a mini-ipa, it has more kick than a standard pale ale, but not as much as their ipas. its color is a deep copper color with a nice lacing head. smell is of hops and some sweet malty aromas. taste has some strong fruit flavors, much more than many other ales, nice hop flavors also dance on the tongue.

really can never go wrong with lagunitas, a nice smooth yummy ale

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Photo of blakesell
4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22oz bottle into a very large beer mug.

Appearance- A reddish amber with a pillowy rocky head that dissapates very slowly to a swamp muck across the top of eggshell white. Lacing is glued to the glass.

Smell- Big citrus and pine hops with a nice grapefruit thickness. Pine hops are more of the backbone of the beer though and there seems to be a good malt tone in there as well.

Taste- Citrus grapefruity goodness with a nice piney linger. Wow this is balanced for a DIPA. Light malts come thru in the back to make this one solid beer. Not overly bitter, but quite hoppy.

Mouthfeel- Creamy and smooth like a good woman. Slightly sweet and syrupy, full bodied and well carbonated.

Drinkability- I had to ramp the drinkability and mouthfeel on this one. It went uphill by leaps and bounds giving more than I ever expected this beer to. On par with other hoppy offerings by Lagunitas, but this is one of the higher rating ones.

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Photo of Apellonious
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from six pack at CM.

A -Pours a ruby brown with orange highlights, very thin head,lacing hangs on the glass

S - Fruit (both dark and grapefruit), hops, fig, slight alcohol

T - Interesting. Both the hops and toasted malt appear upfront, then the bitterness hits on the finish. Picking some pepper as well. Definitely has the West Coast bite to it. The taste gets more bready and more straightforward and one dimensional as it warms.

M - Mouthfeel, balance, and carbonation are spot on.

O - An interesting offering from Lagunitas. Definitely worth giving a go.

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

Dark clover honey color with a frothy one-finger head that sticks.

Lots of honey in the nose, some alcohol, marzipan and vanilla.

Marzipan and caramely-sweet malt. Pretty malt dominant, it is balanced by some hops, but kind of a sweet, thick finish.

Creamy and soft carbonation in this one.

Due to the lack of hoppiness and prevalence of layered maltiness I would venture to guess this sample might not have been so fresh.

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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
3.99/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From the growler, it pours amber with a nice head. Pleasant scent that tickles the nostrils. The flavor caresses the tongue as you enjoy the beer. Another outstanding Lagunitas product. Enjoyable!

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Photo of mthomp081
4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - burnt-very deep orange, 2 finger foamy head, patchy lacing

S - pine, hops, citrus

T - great balance of alcohol, hops, pine, and some citrus fruits that have a sweetness

M - full bodied, medium carbonation

O - Delicious beer here. Fantastically balanced hops, alcohol, and sweetness from the citrus fruits that are perfectly complimenting each other. Full bodied and strong. 66 IBUs is hidden well with the sweetness that I can taste. Excellent flavor, aroma, and beautiful orange hue,

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Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 950 ratings.