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

very good
176 Reviews
Read the review
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.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 176 | Ratings: 195
Photo of rajendra82
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reports of this being similar to a Arrogant Bastard put it firmly on my must get radar screen. During my last visit to Green's, I was able to pick up a bomber to fulfill my suppressed cravings for the unavailable Stone offering. When poured into a pint glass, the clear body looked a lovely shade of copper, and the head was beige and craggy. The aroma was fantastically hoppy, and a little alcoholic as well. The taste was almost as citric hoppy as a DIPA (which some might still consider this to be), but the malt backbone was toastier (which makes me think this is more of an American Strong Ale exemplar). The alcohol was proudly showcased in an “if you got it, flaunt it” manner. Apricots, peaches, and mangoes were recalled as the residual sugars made themselves evident. A big beer in every regard, so a definite sipper. Sticky clingy body, and a bitter aftertaste finished this neat limited release package. More similar to Bigfoot than Arrogant Bastard if you were to ask me, and that is just a fine place to be.

 1,023 characters

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

well from an earlier review i see that i had a cranial rectal insertion. i was reviewing a different beer.

that being cleared up, this beer is great. another great from Lagunitas. i had my second last night and i only wish the fridge was stocked with this stuff.

kicks ass and takes names. easy to drink. highly recomend that you have 2 or 10!

"Beer is proof that God loves man." B Franklin

and as i always say
suckem up and movem out


 457 characters

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.

 482 characters

Photo of ChazMania
3.3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bomber. Just bought this today and had not heard of it but admire some of Lagunitas offerings so I figured what the heck?! Pours well, nice 1 finger type head. Aroma seems earthy to me, not sure how to describe it. Flavor is resiny and bitter with a finish of hop and pine. In looking at the description of the beer, I wonder what is this 20 day suspension they mention? Nothing overtly special about this but not a bad beer either.

 432 characters

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.

 607 characters

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

From a 22 oz bottle this poured a deep ruby red with a nice fluffy white head that left good lacing. Nose of pine hops and fruits. Smooth full bodied mouthfeel. Flavor of hops, caramel, fruit, and there was a nice bitter finish. Alcohol is present, but is not obtrusive. Good brew.

 281 characters

Photo of crookedhalo
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a medium copper color with a thick light tan head that lasts for a good 30 seconds. Nice lacing and stickage. Leafy and sappy hop aroma with some light hints of caramel malt. Hops really the stand-out in the aroma, it's hard to detect any presence of malt, but it's there. Barrel aged? Sweet and malty initially, bitter and hoppy in the finish, light fruity aftertaste and residual stickiness. Rather typical of what one has come to expect from a double IPA, with a bit more fruitiness. A good DIPA brewed under an unfortunate circumstance; released on a better note...

 575 characters

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.

 406 characters

Photo of bosco7
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Obtained at the Market of Choice in Eugene,OR.

Dark copper color with a sticky white head.

Lots and lots of grapefruit, oak, and cedar aromas in the nose.

Big ester profile upfront; lots of plum and cherry flavors. This is followed by brown sugar, caramel, molasses, and slight oak flavors.

Oily hop mouthfeel. Carbonation is a little high leaving a harsh dry bitterness in the aftertaste. Pour vigorously.

Overall a very nice American Strong Ale that is very very drinkable for 9.9% ABV. Be careful.

 519 characters

Photo of NEhophead
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1 pt, 6 fl oz brown bottle, served in an oversized wine glass.

Light oak, tea with bright, brunette highlights. Carbonation-filled, foamy off-white head with average retention. Faint lines of lacing.

Lightly sweetened tea; mild cream. Oily, floral hop resin. Notes of citrus, but more spices of pine and floral hops than anything.

Clean, yet intense pine-infused hop presence over a delicate semi-sweet toasted malt backbone. The malt character is quickly over-run by the earthen-floral hop and pine robustness. Hints of lemon: a bit solvent-like, with a slick alcohol backing.

Medium in body; light and soft despite such earthen flavors.

Distinct flavor with such an inviting mouthfeel. The flavors become more complex as the ale warms. A pleasant DIPA.

 769 characters

Photo of mentor
3.34/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Delighted to see this beer in the store, so I picked it up for a try. 9.28% ABV (2007 release?). Pours a strong 3 finger white-yellow head over a crystal clear browned copper liquid. The head clings and caves wonderfully leaving spots of lacing on the inside of the glass. Smells of orange pith and orange blossom honey. A touch musty and a little bit of dried hay. Esters are mild, as is malt. Alcohol is nicely hidden, but then I'm not particularly sensitive to picking up alcohol aroma.

Tastes nice. Flavors do not bomb my mouth with intensity and carbonation is modest also. Grapefruit and pithy. Pears esters mingle with a darker ester (a heavier fruit than apricot) and malt sweet is present and quite supporting. Hop bitter is subtle and mixes with the clean alcohol burn that is most prominent at the end. Drying finish with a sour hint that may come from the alcohol or from the mild carbonation sting. Mouthfeel is md-thick. Alcohol gets a bit too much be the end of my glass, and I've got another glass to go. not so sure how this will all work out.

Nice beer. Nothing to get super excited about, but well worth the $5 I spend on this bomber.

 1,159 characters

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

the way this beer was explained to me before i tried it was, "i don't know, i think it's like a double ipa...". that's how i felt after i tried it... i don't know... is it an iipa or what??? good work lagunitas... defying style boundries and creating something unique... the thing i liked most about this beer is the rant in small print on the side of the bottle... the hops abound and the malt is nice... caramel came out big time as it warmed up... a little boozy, but not overly boozed out... the boys at lagunitas really brought together the best of a few worlds and really created an interesting beer that is hard to review and define... creativity is one of my favorite things about all this, so big ups lagun

 715 characters

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

This tastes like a West Coast Imperial IPA. I'm not sure how to talk about it without repeating myself about a lot of other double IPA's out there. Piney, resinous, but not overly so. A little more malt sweetness than the Maximus, but also more early-addition hop bitterness. A little tea-like flavor as it warms up. This is good. This is not great in light of the many other examples of the style.I'm not so sure Lagunitas really needed to make this. It's not radically different than their other DIPA.

 503 characters

Photo of phisig137
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber pours a burnished copper color, with orange highlights and a 1.5 finger head. Decent retention leaves behind abundant lace.

Aroma is chock full of piney, resinous hops. Big pine aromas, backed by a good amount of citrus as well. Very little malt makes it through, with a bit of brown sugar aroma.

Flavor is surprisingly balanced. Nice sweet malt presence up front with lots of crystal malts, caramel and biscuit flavors. Finish is a searing grapefruit hop bitterness. Nice balance between the two, with each being complex and well presented. Mouthfeel is full and creamy. Drinkability is fairly good considering the abv and hop level.

Another beer from a brewery that has never let me down. Perhaps not the greatest DIPA out there, but a damn fine one. I'll definitely buy it again... especially for the incredible price of $3.99 per bomber. Well worth picking up.

 880 characters

Photo of koolchas
4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bomber bottle poured in pint glass (i actually drank it before checking the recommending glassware assuming this was made for a pint glass since it's an dipa). mine was a "sneak release" and from what i understand this is the new release for 2007. avb 9.28%.

this brew really caught me off guard. i poured a nice deep copper with a very nice sized head ... i'd say 2".

the smell was quite hoppy but, the taste was not quite as hoppy as i expected. this was actually a very tasty brew more on the sweet side vs. bitter. the bitter does linger in the back of the mouth but, the sweetness on the front of the tounge dominates more than the bitter for me. a nice balance of carbonation and much lace was clinging to my glass.

what i will say is the abv catches you off guard. i too drank this bomber quite quick because it was so tasty; hence, use a tulip not a pint glass. should have sipped it a lot slower but, hey, this was just some good tasty stuff.

i am off to get more for sure!


 1,007 characters

Photo of WeisGuy
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a - pours a deep copper color, one-inch white head with retention around the edges, decent lacing, slightly hazy

s - nice, if not reserved, citrusy hop aroma, slight bready maltiness, a little alchol

t - piney and citrusy hops dominate up front, nice malty backbone, finish is bitter and has nice alcohol notes, alcohol is noticeable, but not overbearing

m - moderate carbonation, medium-bodied, dry finish

d - somewhat drinkable, the alcohol and dry finish limit somewhat

Decent DIPA overall. I think I prefer the brewery's Maximus though.

 555 characters

Photo of joecast
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

hmm. they must have re-released this beer maybe as a seasonal or something. their website says it is/was available as of may 07. bottle states 9.28% abv. see brewmonkey review below for a description of the bottle.

pours with a massive head which is probably 1/3 the height of the beer below it. good retention too so drinking takes patience. deep copper color with low carbonation. head is foamy and not-quite-tan.

sweet spicy hoppy piney aroma. good stuff. mellows a little as it warms and looses the spice and pine. the rest remains.

really smooth taste. i keep bracing myself for something harsh, but it doesnt eventuate. good bitterness but it comes on slowly, building up so you arent shocked. heavy malts keep things in line. slight heat from the alcohol wipes everything away in the finish, readying you for the next sip.

smooth mouthfeel, but not too heavy. complements the strength of the beer just right. not too sweet, and not too boozy. easily drinkable, which could be dangerous for this beer.

pretty impressed with this beer. was a bit sceptical after the ipa, but this puts the lagunitas name back in high regard with me.

 1,153 characters

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

2007 Release

Appearance: It's transparent and a deep copper color. Head is a very thick and foamy two fingers. Retention and lacing were excellent.

Smell: Very strong piney hops coming off the top. Definitely a bit of sweet toffee malts in there. Grapefruit and other citrus scents are certainly noticeable. Very complex and fine smelling brew.

Taste: It's definitely sweet. Mostly a product of the citrus flavors. Grapefruit makes a little bitter initially, but once the hops kick in the bitterness is taken to a whole new level. Very bitter. There is a bit of malt, but it's not really balanced. Hops are very strong and bitter.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's on the lighter side of medium bodied. Carbonation is very good. At about 9.3%, it's not a session beer, but still very drinkable. Overall, it's very good.

 826 characters

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

Pours a dark copper color with a slight head. Aroma ranges from raisins and dark fruit to toasted malt. No born on date but I it is the 2007 version. I like the Zappa and Primus references in the description.

This brew has a solid malt backing with a hefty hop bitterness. Slightly dry, bready/chalky mouthfeel. Quite nice though. Drinkability is too good, thus I drank it too fast. Oh well. High marks in my book.

 417 characters

Photo of BrewMonkey
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My bottle must be a second iteration because the label is a bit different. Says "Sneak Release" instead of 12th Anniversary at the top, and doesn't have the "Whatever, we're still here" text at the bottom.

At any rate:

Aroma Heavy malt, toffee aroma with a mellow but present hop aroma. Citrus, brown sugar, fruit, honeydew.

Appearance- Pours light to medium copper/amber with a couple fingers of white light fluffy head. Pretty good retention, very clear.

Flavor - Smooth malt profile to start with complex bittering in the finish. Initial tones of malt, honey, toffee, brown sugar, followed by a strong but not over-the-top bitterness with citrus and a bit of pine to it. Alcohol flavor is suprisingly supressed.

Mouthfeel- Not as bubbly as the head would hint too, almost creamy. Mild to medium warming.

Overall- Really tasty offering. Not terribly drinkable due to high ABV and bitterness levels. Alcohol could be dangerous since its hidden pretty well except for the warmth.

 997 characters

Photo of ultralarry2006
4.53/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle. Leaves a two finger foamy tan head that has excellent retention and leaves webs of excellent sticky lacing. Body is a clear brown tinted amber with orange highlights. Very nice to look at.

Smell - citrus, more citrus, floral notes, and pine resin flood the nose - very, very hoppy. As for malt, some caramel comes through under the hops, with only hints of toasty malt biscuits. There is also a hint of spicy alcohol. More citrusy hops, and more citrusy hops.

Taste - much like the nose. Citrusy, floral, piney hops washing over the tongue, and they barely, just barely allow some malty caramel to present itself before they dominate again. A tea-like taste along with, of course, more delicous citrusy hops on the finish. Very well hidden alcohol. Very yummy.

Mouthfeel - medium to full bodied, a great deal of hop oil slickness coats the mouth, and somewhat semi-dry from both the hop bitterness and the alcohol.

Drinkability - this is very good ale, one that is definitely for hopheads, and only the high abv limits sessionability.

 1,075 characters

Photo of Reed415
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark Amber Color, Good head retention

S - Hoppy Pine, Sweet Sugar

T - Bitter Hops, Sugary Sweetness, Slight Alcohol

M - A little too much carbonation for me, but a nice full body

D - Good Taste, But I wouldn't want to drink too many at 9.9% alcohol.

 265 characters

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

This was truly a bitter beer. I'm not sure what the IBU's were but you could just taste the bitterness. The appearance was amber-orange with a very good white head. The smell is hoppy, definitely DIPA territory, yum. My only complaint is that it is a little sweet. Other than that, this is one of the better Lagunitas beers that I have had.

 340 characters

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!

 2,437 characters

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

So, I was glad to find this again, about a year after originally having it. I really thought this was a one time brew, but apparently not (or so I was told at Hollingshead's).

A first rate malty double. Nice and rich thick caramel - slightly wheaty - malt body. Almost approaching some of the double reds in malt profile - very nice. Hops are quite evident - nice and woodsy. Definitely not your standard West Coast Citric Hop Juice DIPA (which I love) - but a good, malty, piny DIPA. Nicely done too.

Mouthfeel and drinkability are both great - couldn't ask for too much more there.

Highly recommended.

 612 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.