Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale
Lagunitas Brewing Company

Undercover Investigation Shut-down AleUndercover Investigation Shut-down Ale
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American Strong Ale
Ranked #27
Ranked #3,290
4.09 | pDev: 10.02%
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States
Undercover Investigation Shut-down AleUndercover Investigation Shut-down Ale
Notes: Our malty and rich beer with a snappy hop finish truly defies style…Imperial Mild?...Uber ESB?... We do know for sure that it is Unforgiven and Unrepentant.

In remembrance of the 2005 St. Patrick's Day massacre and in commemoration of the 20-day suspension that followed, Lagunitas brewed this especially bitter ale. See, the ABC conducted an undercover investigation of our brewery, finding us guilty of operating a “Disorderly House.” We did the crime. We did the time. We got the bragging rights.
Reviews: 1,092 | Ratings: 4,541 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of IKR
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear amber color with a modest-sized light beige head that slowly faded. Nice looking beer.

Smell: Pine forward hop aromas with some mild fruit notes.

Taste: Moderate nondescript fruit notes with some moderate pine hop notes. The beer starts off mildly sweet but works its way to a fairly dry final finish.

Mouth-feel: On the light side of medium bodied with a medium level of carbonation.

Overall: A good easy drinking Strong Ale,

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Photo of manoshandsoffate
4.07/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a real treat, bought as part of a mix-a-six at Bartonsville Giant. Poured out of 12 oz. bottle into pint glass.

L: Pours a rich cascading copper amber, with a big solid head that slowly recedes, leaving plenty of sticky lacing behind. Hazier than most beers I drink.

Smell: Sweet but rich. I detect rye bread, malt, toasted caramel, and honey. Notes of vanilla and tobacco emerge as it warms. Also a very mild, almost stale fruit note.

Taste: Luscious and luxurious. At first the hops tingle your tongue with bitterness, then you get the sweetness of the caramel and malts. There's something complex and smokey towards the back of the throat, like beef jerky. No burn whatsoever, and no tricks to hide the booze. For a beer of this alcohol content it is remarkably well balanced.

Feel: Very little carbonation. Still, the beer doesn't feel flat or sticky at all. Very smooth and clean, somewhat chewy and thick but not overly heavy.

Overall: Great beer. Most of the time I'm too broke to buy stuff like this but I decided to treat myself tonight. I'm glad I did. This isn't the most refreshing beer but it might just be the most palatable high-ABV offering you can buy.

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Photo of penguinsgoboom
4.09/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a one finger head. Deep caramel amber.

S: Sugary piney hops. Molasses, dark citrus, a nice pungency that keeps it grounded. Lemon to balance it out. Alcohol is definitely present

T: Starts off with a bready sweetness, culminating in a spicy grapefruity taste before a mild hop bitterness creeps and fills the mouth. The hop sensation lingers for awhile, creating a slight warming sensation.

O: The alcohol is hidden well. This is a sticky sweet malty beer that's saved by a hop cleanse after every sip

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Photo of emyers
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Cloudy amber with a thin off-white head.

Nose: pine/floral hops, biscuity toasted malt, and caramelized sugar.

Taste: Caramel malt up front, floral hops, and a nice dose of buttering hops on the finish.

Feel: medium body, medium-low carbonation. Very drinkable.

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Photo of Bluerabbitbell
3.59/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Definitely defies what it is. On tap at Industry Public House with Leah. Hoppy, malty at the same time. Yes, rich. Heavy on caramel. Deep rich Amber color. Nice beer. Strong alcohol.

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Photo of beersampler6
4.09/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice strong ale made by an always-reliable brewery. Pours a copper-amber color with some nice-looking white foamy head and rings of spotty lingering lacing. Smells of some well-balanced fruity hops and malt, roasted nuttiness, and vanilla.
Tastes similarly, along with some plum, raisin, brown sugar and toffee. Not too sweet but I wish there were a little more hoppiness. Smooth, mild, slightly sticky mouthfeel and decent carbonation. Very tasty and the high ABV is extremely well-hidden - dangerously so!

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Photo of RyanK252
4.02/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a Lagunitas Brewing Co mason jar

A: Pours copper amber with a frothy tan head that settles to a firm layer and laces nicely.

S: Rich, toasty bready malt, big caramel toffee sweetness, dried fruit, a hint of citrus, resinous pine, and just a hint of alcohol.

T: Malty goodness, slightly toasty bready base, big wave of sweetness, caramel, toffee, and honey, fruity notes, candied orange, overripe mango, fig, and a hint of grapefruit and berries, faint floral notes, some earthy pine, and a touch of alcohol that occasionally pokes through.

M: Medium to full body, moderate carbonation.

O: My bottle is about 3 months old, so slightly hard to gauge how hoppy it really is, but from what I get, it's a really solid strong ale.

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Photo of harrypowers
4.21/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a reddish orange with a nice head that diminishes quickly.

Nice hop aroma but the malt taste predominates with a mild hop bitterness at the finish.

Covers the high alcohol level well.

My first bottle of this beer. I am going to put this exceptional beer on my favorite list!

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Photo of izraelc
4.14/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Delightful. Pours red. Light foam. Strong hop smell but not as hoppy as I thought. It's a nice mix of malt and hops. Complex but we'll balanced. Doesn't taste strong for a strong ale. Pretty smooth.

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Photo of martinpfal
4.19/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Strong ale without being too boozy. Looks of dark amber, nearly copper. Taste has slight sweetness with strong hop notes. 9.7% so it’s a sipper. All in all very good!

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Photo of MackT
3.96/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a clear darkish amber. Nice head with fair retention. Lacing is minimal. Aroma is faintly citrusy. Mouthfeel is crisp and effervescent. Aftertaste lingers in back of the pallet. Nice hop compliment. 9.7% is a added plus for those that like that kind of thing. A pleasing ale, one I enjoyed.

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Photo of GreenDragonPurse
4.37/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fairly thick white head on dark orange liquid. A fresh, bright, orangey smell. Very bitter grapefruit flavor, but not just citrus juice, rather, citrus pith. Very bitter pithy taste and aftertaste.

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Photo of patre_tim
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Copper orange and filtered with loads of carbonation, and a finger of off white head.

Smells of pine, mandarin orange, tropical fruit like pineapple, and brown sugar.

Tastes of oranges, tropical fruit candy, a hint of pine and a little bitterness.

Medium to light, fluffy body with lots of pillowy carbonation.

I got this in Redding where I am drinking it March 1st, 2019. Really light feel, very ipa/ pale ale like.

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Photo of mothmanscott
4.04/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This one recommended to me by Zach Hembree the go-to Beer Guy at The Warehouse in Albany, Georgia. Thanks Zach!

Pours crystal clear coppery amber producing 2 strong fingers of beige, frothy, somewhat lasting head that recedes to a thin but clumpy surface cap and collar ring leaving behind thin lace. Aroma is cake-like bready, sweet caramel, roast, subtle raisin, pine and citrus with only a hint of alcohol. Taste is sweet caramel, sweet bready malt, fruity, dank earthy herbal and pine. Starts sweet and remains so for most of the sip with a faint peppery prickle appearing late. Bitterness also appears late in the finish. It predominates and intensifies in the aftertaste. Aftertaste is a caramel, malty, bitter pine, alcohol blend that becomes bitter, astringent and very long lasting! This stuff is SWEET especially for this brewery. Mouthfeel is moderately heavy bodied with medium carbonation, smooth and silky with an hint of oiliness. Chalkiness and an alcohol bite develop late in the aftertaste.

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Photo of DeerBeerFearDear
4.39/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Love the feel. A bit easier to chug down than the brown shugga. Have a medium to heavy feel but still light enough for me to enjoy. Deep down there I feel like I'm an undercover investigator who's about to investigate this devil's brewery called Lagunitas - their beers are too good to be true so that I smell something funky. I actually only drank Little sumpin ale until now from Lag, but now I think I'll enjoy this one too.

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Photo of ViggieMech
5/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked up a six pack at my local Publix after my interest was piqued by the name. Copper color in a chilled 16 oz. glass with a thin lacing of head. Nose is brown sugar and a strong malt. Taste is WOW, full and pleasureable! Sweet bread pudding after taste. I'll be heading back to pick up another six!

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Photo of southdenverhoo
4.4/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

When you’re in the mood for this, there is nothing else like it. I saw it in my store and said yes, I’ve been missing this. So, this rating is reflective of the fact that I was totally, if unconsciously, in the mood for this, without knowing it was coming in. (I’m the buyer but the owner has been buying because I’m covering night shifts for a missing guy.)

This is the kind of big hoppydank thing we used to drink back in the day, before we all decided we wanted the juice boxes our mommies gave us back in kindergarten, only with alcohol...maybe we ought to rethink that. Cause this fucking rocks.

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Photo of Thankin_Hank
4.41/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A nice amber red color typical of the style. Hop aroma is strong and rather excellent. Taste is yummy, hoppy and smooth. Has some fruit but can't name it. Maybe closer to figs and raisins. Goes down smooth as silk and no bitterness. Another fine brew from California. Nice job Lagunitas. Glad I grabbed a sixer of the Good Lord's elixir.

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Photo of jkblr
3.94/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottled 12/17/18 (25 days ago Chicago) poured into a snifter at fridge temp 9.7% ABV 66.6 IBU. The beer pours bright ruby amber in color with light khaki head. The head recedes to an island and thick ring leaving plenty of lacing. The aroma is barely sweet toffee and caramel malt. The taste is earthy, bitter, barely sweet toffee with a burnt caramel finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, adequately carbonated and mostly dry in the finish. Overall, very good. Uniquely Lagunitas in character. Can't name another beer like it.

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Photo of Troopintj
4.44/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep copper color, mild hops nose. Thin head disappears quickly. Long finish of grapefruit and gooseberry. Strong midpalette includes some ripe apricot and red apple. 9.8% abv, not to be taken lightly.

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Photo of bourbonNbeer
4.24/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is my first review on this site, so i’m trying to be safe in picking one of my favorite imperial IPA’s. Where I live, if it disappears from the grocery store, I can often still find it in the liquor store. I like to drink it at gatherings where I know I’m going to eat too much food. You don’t want to drink too many of these anyway. It looks fairly rich, but not dirty. I don’t smell anything too out of the ordinary for a hoppy beer. Considering it’s almost 10% ABV, it’s extraordinarily smooth. I love the taste, and it leaves very little aftertaste. Maybe it’s a little bitter, but my tastebuds don’t detect bitter well anymore. It feels slightly heavy at first, but again, for its potency, it’s really not. Drink three of these beers and you won’t notice. I like most Lagunitas, but this is my favorite.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Clear copper color with beige head. Aroma has resiny hop notes and spruce syrup on a toasted/caramelized malt base. Taste is bittersweet at first with lots of pine flavors, wood and burnt sugar. Finish is more bitter but not astringent or overpowering in any way, nor does it linger too much. Medium body and carbonation. Really well balanced beer with well hidden ABV.

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Photo of dukeandduke
3.42/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

7/8/18: $1.66 12 oz bottle purchased 3/4 at Binny's Niles poured into pint glass. Clear copper pour, quickly dissipating carbonation, Thin white lacing. Light citrus hops aroma. Light hops and citrus taste, balanced. Dry, slick mouth feel and finish. Overall nice offering.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.31/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale has a thick, off-white head, a semi-clear, copper appearance, with powdery sediment, lazy bubbles, and some lacing. Aroma is of fruity, bright hop oils, with white bread crust. Taste is of brown bread crust, some caramel, and odd, fleshy hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is high medium, and U.T.S.A. finishes medium dry. It reminds me of one of those Voodoo Ranger IPAs.


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Photo of Awtman86
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Oddly enough this beer has the characteristics of a summer beer. Dangerous if you ask me. Very delicious and relatively light in mouth feel. Be careful, this beer will mess you up if you are with others!!

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Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 4541 ratings