12th Anniversary Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale | Lagunitas Brewing Company

very good
176 Reviews
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12th Anniversary Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale12th Anniversary Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.90%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
This is the original recipe version.

Added by krberg on 05-01-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 176 | Ratings: 195
Reviews by ccrida:
Photo of ccrida
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into my Stoudt's APA shaker pint, the Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale is a clear, dark copper color with a very tall, burnt white head that is in fact tough to keep in check on the pour. It is creamy and slow to subside, leaving a very sticky, bubbly lace, that damn near crystallizes to the glass, enough that you can see it under the beer of the next pour.

The smell is nice but not at all what I was expecting from a Lagunitas DIPA. It is malty with subdued herbal hops, mint perhaps, but none of that pungent citrus I've become accustomed to. As it warms, it picks up more punch, but is still not very west coast. The alcohol asserts it's presence the more it warms as well, sweet and clean, as well as some fruity yeast esters. There's also a weird bit of sourness as it warms that is unlike any of the common brewing bacteria or anything I've smelled in a beer before. It is not bad nor dominant, but the funk is noticeable and adds to the depth of the nose.

The taste is pretty hot and boozy, and while clean, it dominates. The Shut-down ale is also extremely bitter. Or as it says on the label, "Especially Bitter Ale". In fact, I assume they were going for a Double ESB, not a DIPA as the first reviewer apparently categorized this. Beyond the booze and bitters is sweet bready malt, demerara and berry fruit, mainly grape. For the 2nd half of the 2nd glass in bottle, it is more balanced, I'm not sure if it's the warming of the beer or my palate numbing to the strong booze and bitterness. Either way, patience is rewarded, as I definitely enjoyed that last bit the most.

The mouthfeel is on the lighter side for so rich a beer, with a foamy creaminess from the carbonation.

This is moderately drinkable. At first, I was not too impressed, in spite of the difference in style from what I was expecting from Lagunitas. But by the end, I was thinking I could go for another pint. Another bomber, at 9.28% (as stated on my 'sneak release' reissue label), would have been too much, at least for a week night.

This is interesting and worth a try, but could use more work. I'm sure it would have been better at 8% ABV, or maybe a lower fermentation temp (although it's not really fuselly, just boozy). I wonder how it compares to the first release for the anniversary? In any case, I'd like to try more DESBs - the maltiness of a wee heavy, and american use of hops...hell yeah!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Unclederby I thinks has it right in saying this an "Imperial ESB",poured a deep clear copper with some deep reddish hue with a very nice creamy-like i/2 finger head that has great lasting power staying nice and creamy like.Right off the bat I picked a nice grapefruit hop profile in the nose that quickly melted into a caramel malt and intense juicy malty fruitiness.Now if your looking for a big hop bomb you will be dissapointed I was a little at first but took it for what it was a beefed up ESB and enjoyed it more,biscuity and caramelly sweet up front finishing with the hop profile I was lookin for somewhat piney and resiny.I think this would be a gem on cask where all the flavors would be magnified and the hops would show thru more,this is very English tasting except for the pine in the finish.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.07/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – This is a dark brownish-orange in color with a big, white head that clung well to the inside of my pint glass.

Smell – This nose is huge, monster hop pellets all the way. I can’t tell what kind but it seems for sure that there are some Columbus hops to this one, or something similar.

Taste – The big hop character comes over at the taste as well. I can pick up some malts here that I couldn’t at the nose, but they are small indeed compared to the giant hop flavors. They seem a little less complex though, more straight resin than anything else.

Mouthfeel – This is a bit thin for the flavors; I’d say shy of even medium-bodied. It is very dry though and not for the faint of heart.

Drinkability – This is a great hophead ale.

Comments – Thanks to skyhand for cracking this open at her First Annual Broken Sewage Party.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.51/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great bottle, great story, great name, decent beer. Clear chestnut with a gloriously thick beige head. Small but steady carbonation streams. Good lacing. Aroma of grapefruit, strawberry, and biscuits. Obviously hop loaded. Beyond the large grapefruit aromas and a subtle pine finish, the hops and malts seem very English. Malts are very pronounced for a DIPA. Alcohol is well concealed – it’s present, but not as one would expect for 9.9%. Very bitter. Kind of light bodied for the style. I don’t think this is a DIPA. This seems to be a beefed up ESB. Quite drinkable.

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Photo of MadScientist
4.51/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Very clear light copper/medium amber. An aggressive pour produces a light tan head about a finger high, which leaves some lacing on the glass.

Smell: Piney, citrus and spicy hops aroma with a fair amount of caramel aroma. There is a thick spicy sweetness that reminds me of a scotch ale.

Taste: Piney and spicy, I’d almost say there is some rye in there from the spiciness but that could be from the hops or fermentation. There's a lot of hops bitterness but there is a good amount of sweetness in front but not overwhelming. The hops bitterness and flavor linger into a very long and enjoyable finish

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body with light carbonation. There is a bit of warmth and little slickness which do not take away from the enjoyment of the beer.

Overall Impression: A very good beer that doesn’t quiet fit the DIPA category. I’d love to see this made with rye and a little more carbonation.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours from the 22oz bottle a deep amber red hue. Nice clarity and a half inch of creamy white head that sticks around. Aromas begin with a strong mix of citrusy hops along with a touch of pine. Sweet malts and a bit of caramel are there as well. Draws me into the brew.

First sip brings a somewhat sweet mix of caramel malts alongside a blast of fresh citric hops. Herbal notes with a touch of pine. The hop oils rush over the tongue as it flows down with a solid bitterness and a bit of noticeable alcohol as well. Finishes with a nice balance of sweetness and bitterness. Good stuff.

Mouthfeel is smooth with a nice chewy body. Goes down easy for a big double IPA. I could easily polish off this bottle no problem. A great tribute to Lagunitas...I wish I had more than this one bottle. Someday hopefully the laws will change so this sort of shutdown won't ever happen again! Keep bringing the Lagunitas brews to Illinois and I'll keep drinkin them!

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Photo of blitz134
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Recently arrived in Georgia, probably a little late if compared to its orginial release date. Oh well...glad to have it.

Nice, clear dark caramel color. Nearly white head on top, one inch thick initially but reduced to a scumy layer but left fingers of lace as it reduced.

Sugary, caramel, sweet bread malt aroma. Floral sweet hops with a touch of pine sap.

Flavor is the sweet bread malts and caramel. Pine resin and grassy sweet hops. A bit of biting alcohol. Just some resin lingering in the finish. Similar really to some of Lagunitas' other beers, their Lucky 13th comes to mind. Kind of American strong ale in character, but a bit unbalanced towards the hops.

Thinnish mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Flavor lingers for a bit but eventually leaves. Overall pretty drinkable. A decent beer but the alcohol notes and lean to the unbalanced in the flavor limits it.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle. Pours a reddish amber with a small off-white head that quickly dissipates to a thin film that leaves some lacing.

The aroma is sweet caramel, melon, and some metallic, slightly piney, hops.

The flavor is sweet sugary malts, some tangy fruits and then a big piney hop finish that lingers in the aftertaste. It's nicely balanced and blends well together. The alcohol is noticeable and warming, but not over the top. The mouthfeel is medium to full with soft (yet bitter) carbonation.

Overall, a tasty beer. It seems pretty similar to the Lucky #13 from what I remember, but not as good.

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Photo of Duster72
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark copper with a big head. Pine and floral hops dominate the nose with hints of citrus and sweet malts. Taste is very aggressive very bitter hops. Mostly earthy and floral hops, slightly dirty tasting. Reminds me a lot of the big red rye beers. Taste isn't as nice as the smell. A little too harsh for me, but not terrible. Interesting for an anniversary beer and definitely fits its description.

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Photo of Jason
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz brown bomber, freshness date? Who needs it, this puppy is 9.9% and has been in my cellar for several months.

A- Dense and lively rocky big bubbled head shows no fear. The deep copper color dances in the light.

S- Soft yet aromatic tropical fruit ... mango, papaya and star fruit. Semi-herbal hop with a sweet nectar like maltiness.

T&M- Semi-chewy malty mouth feel, full bodied. Very smooth. Right away the bitterness of the hops and warmth of the alcohol lovingly sting and burn the palate. Minty hops, with an evergreen and herbal quality in the back ... warming alcohol dons a clean solvent and expressively fruity character. Spicy and herbal yet semi-dry finish lingers for a long time.

D- The brew does not hold back at all, it pretty much says "I here and I am not going anywhere ... what are you going to do about it!" I have a few more bottles which I will lay down ... but I don't think this one is going to mellow for a good while.

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Photo of Billolick
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle, no freshness dating to be found. Pours a darkish honey amber, fairly clear, with a typical tan head and leaving scattered lacing upon a swirl. Grapefruit and fresh bready malt nose. Grainy hops present here, but not much else, this one lacks the typical meaty body of other DIPAs, this one is tasty and nicely crafted, but it seems a bit slim compared to other top models. Lacks the oomph and hop crunch expected. Could this one be called an English DIPA??

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bomber courtesy of AKSmokedPorter. Helluva house-warming collection, Flash! Thanks!

Poured a clear iced-tea color. Thin layer of off-white lace around the edges. There's some sparse lacing of the glass between sips. Aromas are an intriguing mix of grassy and piney hops, sweet malt, crushed mint leaves. Flavors mirror the aromas. Up front sweetness swept aside quickly by a leafy hop bitterness. Loads of bitterness drown out of the flavor profile and remain on the palate for an eternity. The ABV only pokes through in bits. 9.9%? Not noted by me until the end of the bottle. Nice level of carbonation. Chalky, bitter mouthfeel (but in a good way). Double ESB or double IPA? I know not, my liege.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is a copper amber tone with a large creamish beige head leaves nice strands of even lacing, which coincide with each sip good head retention is noted with this hoppy jewel. Aroma contains an upfront pine cone, citrus, and skunk weed tones from those juicy hop buds thrown in to this big West Coast style DIPA with some evident balancing caramel notes in there as well. Flavor has a sugary coated whole hop leaf tone definite aggressive hop bitterness, a bit alcohol laden high gravity with fruity over ripened almost barleywine in nature notes infamous west coast hopping definitely an E.B.A as the label states Especially Bitter Ale. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, texture is definitely oily with resinous hops putting a film on the the teeth and tongue carbonations is low but adequate to deliver this big brew. Drinkability...22oz is no problem especially at 5 dollars a bottle I will gladley welcome more my way while supplies last tasty and in your face and ready to please.

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Photo of OStrungT
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a golden brown with a silght red tint to it. It has a white head that fades fast, leaving many laces.

This beer has a slight grassy hop aroma. It smells slightly citrusy also. The alcohol is slightly apparent in the aroma.

This beer tastes much like it smells. Grassy hop flavor with some citrus to it. This beer is more malty than I expected. It is well balanced.

This beer goes down smooth, leaving a slight grassy hop aftertaste. It is well carbonated.

I think this beer would make a decent session beer. Although high in alcohol, this might be one of the least aggressive Double IPA's I have ever had. It is very good.

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Photo of stereosforgeeks
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of ByTor2112
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my Samuel Smith Imperial Pint Glass
Nice big head that lingers and leaves spotty lacing. The color was somewhere between light brown and Copper, Siena even!
Aroma-a deep inhale gets a nice piney hop aroma, and it is almost deceiving as to how wonderfully bitter this brew is going to be.
Mouthfeel- Whoa! This year's version is way hoppier and this time the malt is trying to get past the hop profile that is immediate and constant through to the finish. Thick resiny mouthfeel. Alcohol is present, almost medicinal with the very astringent hop profile. This is bold and aggressive and has more edge than last year's release, IMHO. A good froth elicits some citrus hop flavors and you can get a good feel as to how much malt is actually in this brew as well. This Imp/Dub IPA lest you know right up front that it has something to say. Very bitter and packs a nice malty hit at 9.9%.
Lagunitas has become one of favorite West Coast brews lately and I look forward to enjoying more. Cheers!

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.78/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in an Imperial pint glass)

A- This beer pours a clear warm amber brown body with a thick spongy off-white head. There is a good carbonation of tiny bubbles that keeps the head going and going.

S- The smell of green hops doesn't have a lot of depth but there is a faint sweet malt note that has a spice hint in the finish. The spice note is almost ginger or clove but it is too faint to really be identified and it is followed by an alcohol nose.

T- The taste of sweet graham cracker malt is soft with a nice flavor that is quickly followed by a big pure bitter hop flavor which is enhanced by an alcohol taste. The bitterness and the alcohol have a dry crisp quality to them in the finish.

M- The medium full mouthfeel has some alcohol heat that hangs on the tongue after each sip but it is not really a hot fusel alcohol note.

D- The malt has some nice flavor and the hops have their bitterness but it would be nice to taste some flavors to the hops or some aroma to the hops. This made it pretty one-dimensional.

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Photo of watermelonman
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured to a deep amber and brown color with a small head that lasted well. It left a good amount of lace.

The smell is full of both malts and hops. The taste starts with heavy caramel and malt, which is quickly replaced with bitterness. Bitterness lingers all the way through. Some alcohol comes through too. The mouthfeel is lighter than expected. Drinkability is good for the big alcohol content.

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Photo of Sara
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of IntriqKen
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden amber with a craggy single finger head that melts to heavy lacing.
Aroma is sweet malt and sharp hops with a touch of citrus.
Taste is super sweet malt and super sharp citrus hops. Not quite blended or balanced...both a little over sweet and over bitter at the same time.
Aftertaste is citrus rind hops with a little malty cloying.
Very unusual flavors....sort of an imperial red (if there is such a thing) but it doesn't quite seem balanced to me yet. I think 6 months more aging will blend these flavors together very well.

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Photo of tastybeer
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Looks like a nice delicious aubrun color with a very lacey off white head. Mmmm. Smell is all out citrus hoppy with a substantial touch of sweet malt. Taste has a lot of citrus as well, with some interesting British esb character. Its very sweet and hoppy but there is a good bitterness mixed in there, one which I can't discern from the smell. A crazy concoction to say the least. Mouthfeel is a little viscous and semi gritty/resinous. Drinkability suffers a little for me. Very sweet. You gotta take your time with this piece.

Hoppy hoptacular. Sugary oranges all over the place with a bristish malty back.

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Photo of ams4k
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A surprisingly excellent beer from Lagunitas, on par with Stone's Ruination. Lots of great floral hop aromas, and complex bitter flavours that fill the mouth. Not a big boozer in terms of taste, but you know the alcohol is there and it does its job. I am going back to Barzini's Grocery on the Upper West Side and buy more bottles. Really worth seeking out.

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Photo of Dewey0603
3.78/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy dark amber color with a large tan foamy head. The head lasts forever and leaves great lacing.Very nice looking. The smell is nice and pungent with hints of brown sugar,alcohol,and sweet malt. The taste is full of carbonation with citrus hops,sweet malt,"bisquity" bread yeast, and an aftertaste of bitter hops. Not bad,but nothing great. The m/f is medium with the flavors not mixing all that well making this beer a little of balanced. Not a bad beer,but I really expected a little better offering.

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Photo of Sammy
3.57/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A significant white head on yellow body. Pine resin significant aroma with malt. Very bitter and dry Irish style IPA, big everything with harsh malting. It was drinkable and a hop fix, but not excellent. Alcohol creeps up as it warms. OK for this style.

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Photo of ojclark
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper-colored with very good clarity. Medium light tan, fine head. Big resiny hop aroma with some alcohol and solvent notes. Flavor was inititially very solventy and alcoholic. After the beer warmed and breathed, the solvent notes became far less apparent. Huge, resiny, hoppy, alcohol flavor with a big malt body to support it. Fruity esters and alcohol in the finish along with lots of hop flavor and bitterness. Medium-full body but good carbonation level gave a lighter impression. Nice beer with a funny story behind its creation.

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12th Anniversary Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
3.98 out of 5 based on 195 ratings.
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