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

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12th Anniversary Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale12th Anniversary Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale
Very Good
195 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 195 |  Reviews: 176
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 brentk56
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

AppearanceL Pours a hazy amber color with a huge, sturdy head that sticks well and laces beautifully

Smell: Caramel dominates but there is some pine forest, too

Taste: Very malty up front, with loads of caramel that is joined, mid-palate, by some piney bitterness and developing alcohol flavors; after the swallow, it gets quite boozy and that overwhelms the other flavors

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; considerable warmth

Drinkability: I recognize this is past its prime but it had been sitting in my cellar for a while and needed to be consumed; I tried to account that we were moving from an IPA to a barleywine as the hops faded but I was put off by the booziness, nevertheless

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.35/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of Bu11zeye: Poured a medium copper color ale with an average size head with some medium retention and no lacing. Aroma of dry bitter hops is dominating with very subtle caramel malt notes. Taste is also dominated by some dry bitter notes with very little else coming through expect subtle caramel malt. Average body with some medium carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Definitely not something I would want to have again, I thought this was one-dimensional and the malt profile was also indiscernible and no floral hops.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.09/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear. Chestnut brown. Solid, rocky off white head. Good retention, but it could be better. Spotty, splashy lacing. Could be better.

Smell: Citrusy. Piney. Herbal. Earthy. Sweetly malty. Toasty. Grassy. Apples. Mint.

Taste: The flavor combines each of its components together into one whole, but it also lets them come through on their own. The dark-caramel drizzled, biscuity malt is a wonderful bed for the herbal/piney/woody/citrusy hops. Leafy. Wet tree bark. Mint. Fruitiness enters as well: dried apricot, grapefruit peel, apple. (I wonder what this might be like as a standard sized beer). Bitter. Very bitter. But it never builds. Seemingly more than hop bitterness. Kind of like a quinine bitterness. Some alcohol shows but isn't overly distracting. Finishes dry, with a lingering bitterness, but relatively short.

Mouthfeel: Medium with a moderate carbonation. Very English in a way. I was expecting a fuller beer. I like it this way.

Drinkability: The alcohol hinders it, but apart from that I find it quite intriguing, and that keeps me coming back for another sip. I've never had a beer quite like this (and I've written over 2100 reviews and tasted a lot more than that!). It's certainly flavorful, but it's not overwhelming like some beers in the same general style. The complete attenuation works here. Kind of like a weird, super-charged English ale with a Pacific Northwest hop bent. Worth trying just based on uniqueness.

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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 TheManiacalOne
3.62/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a reddish amber with a thick foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The smell is of caramelized malt, hops (but not as much as I expected), tea & dark fruits.

T: The taste is malty & hoppy, very well balanced and contains caramel, berries and a floral taste to it. After-taste is bitter and dry. You could almost classify it as a Double English IPA, if there were such a style.

M: Very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, very dry finish.

D: Tasty, not too filling, but I'm not sure I'd be able to stay with this one for more than just a bomber.

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Photo of smcolw
3.6/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This bottle is being reviewed after "retirement". It pours a hazy burnt orange. Small head with great retention. Nice ring lace.

Nice blend of malt/hop but mild.

This is a heavily hoppy beer. The malt from the smell is largely missing in the taste. Relatively thin beer for the style with a high carbonation level. Long hoppy aftertaste.

This is a smooth beer that teeters on the extreme (bitter hop) side. Pleasant enough to drink regularly.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.23/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear, orange-brown body with a foamy, thick off-white head.

Smell: Aroma of lightly toasted grains amidst heavy hop scents of resin, grapefruit, and flowers.

Taste: Sugary caramel sweetness flush against the torrent of hop flavors and bitterness. Pine, grapefruit, and even some freshly-squeezed lemon juice. Finish acidic and bitter with some peppery ethanol lurking in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Moderately carbonated. Sticky, oily mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Another simplistic strong ale, and though its well priced, it just isn't my cup of tea.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Flawless ochre with some of the slowest bubbles I've ever seen. They eventually bump into the underside of an orange-tinted beige cap that is firmly creamy and impressively tacky. Other than some Belgian ales, are there any better heads in all of beerdom than those found on DIPAs? Thick sheets of bubbly lace are beginning to be laid down and look like they'll outlast the beer.

The nose is pleasantly hoppy without being a stunner. Candied citrus peel is dominant (orange especially), as well as pine and a whiff of spliff, if you get my drift. Although the hop bill is an odd combination, it works in the end. Horizon, Willamette, Centennial and Liberty play nicely in the sand box.

I wish I hadn't come so late to the 12th Anniversary party. At an estimated nine months of age, there's no doubt that some of the original hoppiness has mellowed. There's still a fair amount of bitterness on display. However, at this stage of its life, it's more balanced than tongue-shredding. Too much noticeable alcohol is a minor disappointment.

The malt backbone is supposed to be pale with a few handfuls of wheat. Could have fooled me. The beer tastes like melted caramel, with all the sweetness and stickiness that implies. Hop flavor isn't quite an afterthought, but I do believe it's subservient to both malt and alcohol (Absolut Orange). Undercover Investigation is almost as much barleywine as it is DIPA.

The mouthfeel goes from medium and well-bubbled early, to chewy and barely-bubbled late. Interestingly, that's true within each mouthful and from the top of the bottle to the bottom. While I don't mind either mouthfeel personality, I prefer the final version.

The origin of the name Lagunitas 12th Anniversary Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale is an interesting tale (and is too long to recount here). The beer itself is an acceptable DIPA that suffers from not enough hoppiness and a fraction too much unmasked alcohol. Age is probably responsible for the former and should have fixed the latter. There are too many other outstanding Lagunitas brews for me to care if they slap a different name on this one and release it on a regular basis.

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

Really cool to get this in one of my BDAY 07 BIF boxes from Tim. I had been eyeing this on the BA forums forever and really wanted to give it a try, only problem, it is not available anywhere near me, DOH..So after some begging and pleasing I was going to finally setup a trade for this, when it arrived in the box about a week and a half ago. Had it sitting in the fridge waiting for the right moment, which just happened to come out of nowhere last night. Bottle looks fantastic, great back story about how the brewery was shutdown and still managed to keep things going, old fashioned wanted poster type of label, really cool. I love beer that has this kinda look and story to it, anyway enough blabbering, and on towards the beer...

A - Poured a deep dark amber, with lots of reddish hues. Big off white head formed immediatly and then reluctantly settled down to just a thin film of lace that hung accross the top of the glass. Some very nice residual side of the glass lace was left around for the entire duration. Some good streaming carbonation bubbles could be seen coming up from the bottom of the glass, although it was a very mirk and hazy look to it. Very think looking beer, great looking consistency overall.

S - Deep hop smell, this lots of pine resin type of aromas and a decidedly citrus blend of pineapple, orange peel and some lemon and grapefruit mixed in as well. But as it warmed up some nice sugary notes started to co,me out, letting you know there was some definate balance to it. Notes of caramel and a nice all around malty presence balanced it out very nicely. A touch of alcohol was also noticeable as you got into the depth of it, but it was nowhere near overpowring at all.

T - Very bitter, pungent strong double IPA is my first impression. It seemed a little hot with the alcohol at first, but this calmed down significantly as I got further into it. Lots of citrus hops were the biggest player here, but t was also layered very well with the a nice balance of sugar and caramel in the back. A slightly earthy tone could be picked up twoards the end of the session. The alcohol was blended, however was still very noticeable, this might calm down with some time, it was not distracting at all though, just enough to remind you it was a sipper.

M - Very smooth, and clean. Had a nice carbonation that really let the flavors pop as you sipped it. Very long aftertaste, very dry and very bitter. Awesome. This was not thin in the least, nor was it oily or too thick. Just about right, really let the flavors work it out for themselves.

D - Very very nice. This was definatly a sipper though. There will be no chugging of this one. if you like complex hoppy IPA typle flavors, this has you written all over it.Not a gulper by any means, but it was a hardcore sipper, and damn enjoyable that way...

Overall this was a really, really good brew. Much more complex then just a straight Double IPA, this had alot of balance and character to it. Definatly fit to be an anniversary beer, and another gem from lagunitas. They just keep getting better. If this were available locally I would have a ton of it!

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Photo of rab53
5/5  rDev +25.6%

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 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 JAHMUR
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled 8-5-2007. Pours a clear, but pretty dark brown with a good sized crème-ish head. Nose is hopped with an almost cherry edge. Overall it is that sticky, syrupy hopped sweet fragrance that abounds here. Flavor is thick like you would expect the style to be, but not kicking your mouth that hard really. Thick hoppy texture. Pungent and slightly tangy with slight piney hops and a salty aftertaste. Feel has a good liquid body and a good carbonation to it as well. Drinkability is good and I was going to give it a 4.5 because it was going down so smooth, but the salty edge on it just made it a little less pleasant. Overall a good DIPA. Definitely has some solid character, but lacks some balance in some important areas I think. Still worth a shot for sure, though.

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

07/09/06- Purchased at Bottle Barn in Santa Rosa, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle, 2006 Limited Edition release. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Dark red, maybe a chestnut color overall. Medium 1/2 inch head, tight night bubbles, but not quite creamy looking. Patches and streaks of sticky goodness.

Smell- Was expecting more of a punch in the face with this one. Smelled bitter, but not the hop bomb that I was preparing for. Pine and fruit scented hops, maybe a nose of biscuit malt with a bit o' caramel.

Taste- More bitter than it smells. Hops vary in flavor. Very strange. I had some sips where it was fairly sweet with a fruity hop note and then I had a few sips that it tasted like I had just bit into a pine tree. Definite hops however you look at it. Mildly sweet caramel malt background. Seemed watery at times though.

Mouthfeel- A bit thin in the body, average carbonation.

Drinkability- Flavor was very good, a bit thin, but flavorful. A good output from Lagunitas. Would probably pick this up again.

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

Thanks goes to Boolshot for this brew.

Pours a nice clear golden amber color, nice carbonation, nice small creamy white head, lots of islands and sticky lacing afterwards. The nose is sweet/malty, nice hop tone, slight citrus, and some caramel thrown in. The taste is very sweet and hoppy, nice bitter slightly dry finish. Medium body. Very drinkable, I really I'm enjoying this brew, this brewery can put out some very nice brew's.

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Photo of plaid75
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep murky copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and laving.

The smell featured an upfront sweet caramel malt with a secondary resiny hop.

The taste was equal parts sweet malts and oily hops. Peppery hops held out through the finish. Mild warming alcohol.

The mouthfeel was of average fullness for the style.

Overall a good DIPA, but nothing too exciting. This style is becoming so common now that there is an abundance of average beers.

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Photo of brandoman63
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of Derek
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

More of an American strong ale?

A: Deep amber, off-white head, good retention, some lace.

S: Pine, citrus, toffee, cotton-candy.

T: Toffee, pine, citrus (orange & grapefruit), plenty of hop flavour (too much?); good bitterness; assertive alcohol.

M: Moderate body & carbonation, well-attenuated, acidic.

D: Big, with plenty of hop flavour; An American hop bomb.

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

Pours a deep copper with a decent initial head and some spotty lacing. The smell is somewhat alcoholic, but its pretty subtle. There are also nice citrusy hops and the usual Lagunitas malt backbone. The taste is similar, but the hops are more pronounced with a spicy hop flavor, more pronounced grapefruit and orange pith. The mouthfeel is very smooth and this one is very drinkable. I find this less spicy and more drinkable than Arrogant Bastard. Another great one from Lagunitas.

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

The beer pours a ruby red color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a rich malty scent that boasts of crystal, roasted, and bisquit malts along with a nice bitter hop aroma. The taste is good also. It has a complex malt flavor that adds a solid base for this bitter brew. The hops are mild in the mouth, but explode in the finish. It's dry with a nice malt flavor. It's roasted with bisquit notes. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn fine beer. It's maltier than most double ipas. The hops are present, but not as pronounced. This is a good drinker, even at 9.9%.

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Photo of Zorro
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

In the glass this is a clear very darkly amber colored ale bordering on brown. Head is white and quite good for a beer of this strength.

The smell is sweet and quite strong with a spicy alcohol aroma. Lots of pine and spruce aroma. Cedar, lemon and a little bit of tropical fruit rounds out the scent profile of this beer.

The taste begins neutral to just slightly sweet with a restrained woody flavor and a touch of lingering bitterness. There is a fair amount of melon and woody flavor here and the taste is more subtle than you would expect. This becomes a little sweeter as you drink it and a mild grapefruit and pine flavor develops.

The mouthfeel is good.

This is probably more drinkable than this was fresh, this has no raw edges at all and is a mellow strong ale at this point. It certainly has its charm but if you want raw hardcore hop rape this isn't your beer.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a frothy, three-finger thick, tan colored head that is largish bubbled and leaves a bit of lacing on the sides of the glass. The beer is a brilliantly clear, concentrated amber color. The aroma is a heady mix of malt, but mostly hops that is noticeable as soon as I start to pour this brew. Notes of candied orange peel mix with citrus flavored caramel toffees, some notes of apricot and even some tangerine notes. There is a bit of alcohol in the nose as well, and when mixed with the citrus notes sort of reminds me of an orange liquor. A touch of herbaceous pine rounds out the aromatics towards the end.

The beer is hefty enough, as it tends to linger on the palate and even has a bit of stickiness to it. The beer is sweet and malty up front, which really amplifies the fruity-citrusy hop notes. Hops are the dominant note in this beer, with notes of sweet grapefruit, apricot and tangerine found up front. Towards the end an herbal, almost pine like, but definitely with notes of menthol, solid bitterness starts to take hold and lingers on in a long astringently bitter finish. I really like how the sweetness of the malt combines with the ample citrus fruit notes of the hops; it makes for an enjoyable tipple. And the beer is not so thick and rich as to keep this from being pretty drinkable. By far the most enjoyable sip of this beer is the first, or if I have not taken a sip for a while. It is at it's most citrusy and quaffable at this point.

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12th Anniversary Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.98 out of 5 with 195 ratings