Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale
Lagunitas Brewing Company

Undercover Investigation Shut-down AleUndercover Investigation Shut-down Ale
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Strong Ale - American
Ranked #29
Ranked #3,854
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: 1,095 | Ratings: 4,553 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by NCbeerpirate:
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NCbeerpirate from North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +10%

Jun 16, 2012
More User Reviews:
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dmgeng from Indiana

4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love Lagunitas and I've never seen this one before so I had to pick it up.

A - Beautiful dark ruby color. Clear with a huge white head and stong lacing.

S - Sweet hop character that is fruity almost like fresh sweet blueberries. There are also the some of the more traditional citrus and herbal hop tones. There is a rich maltiness under the hops with some light alcohol and caramel in the background. It has a traditional ESB, fruity yeast character but to the next level.

T - The taste also has that almost berry taste with a sweet fruitiness that comes from the yeast, the malt, and the hops all melding together in one fine beer. It is definitely an American Strong ale with the richness and the hops to try and duke it out on your palate. The fruity yeast and hops are more predominant on the tongue with the malty, grainy, and caramel flavors mixing well together. There is a bitterness that attempts to compliment the sweetness and is clean on the finish.

M - High to medium mouth-feel with medium to high carbonation. For being almost 10% ABV and a very sweet flavor I would expect this beer to be almost cloying but with the higher carbonation and hop bitterness it does not stick but instead just teases your tongue asking for more.

Overall, a really delicious beer and definitely a unique American Strong ale. Not as overtly powerful as Bastard nor as malty as Hairy Eyeball but is very good and is balanced enough to have more than one of (although the alcohol will sneak up on you.) This is the perfect beer for early spring with plenty of flavor to awaken your soul but enough alcohol to warm you toes.

Glass- Tulip

Apr 07, 2015
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ruzzal from Texas

4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Laguintas rules. Great beers for great prices.

Jun 19, 2015
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Lorgeous from Minnesota

4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nice deep copper amber color with slight head. Hits the nose with a lot of booze and hops. The taste is roughly the same. A lot of hop forward with alcohol left over. Right up my alley. Mouthfeel is thick and oily.

= Another great offering for a hop head by Lagunitas. They never disappoint with ipas and strong ales. Goes down way too easily for its abv.

Apr 18, 2018
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Just-the-sip from California

4.89/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

You know, I always forget how great this beer is since us seasonal. Man, dies it just hit the spot! Sweet IPA. Mmmmm. Perfect beer to eat with. Great mouth feel. Amazing smell. Fruity and dank, citrus. No slouch at 9.6anv either. It creeps up. Let me tell ya.

Feb 09, 2017
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Wei-Jing from California

4.16/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I am not very familiar with beers but read that a good, hoppy one can increase breast milk production. I saw this at the store and have boughten the Lagunitas brand for my boss but hadn't seen the Undercover before. Had no idea it had higher alcohol content but could definitely taste it upon first sip. At first, I was like oh sh*t, this is too strong for my sorry mommy ass but by sip three, I was feeling A-OK. Flavors are good, pairs well with some buttery multi-grain toast at 4 a.m. I gave the look a 4 but didn't know if it's referring to bottle/label presentation or color of the beer. The 4 was for the label but it should probably be less. Whenever I buy a 6 pack of Lagunitas (for my boss), there seems to always be at least one with a jacked up label. Anyhoo, if you like strong beer with a lot of flavor, try Undercover Investigation and shut it downnn.

Mar 11, 2018
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timontheroad from Colorado

4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful clear copper color, with a fluffy two-finger head that lasted a good five minutes, great lacing all the way down the glass. Lots of flowery aromas up front, along with a touch of grapefruit and a slightly soapy smell. The flavor had lots of grapefruit and onion up front, with a sweet caramel flavor in the background, very nice combo, with a bit of lingering alcohol. The mouthfeel was medium bodied, with some good carbonation prickliness on the tongue. Overall, it really like this beer, bitter up front with a nice sweet backbone.

Apr 30, 2015
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Lucular from Maryland

2.66/5  rDev -35%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Sweet, cloying, and syrupy. The description claimed that the bitterness would be over-the-top, but the only characteristics that were over the top were the sweetness and booziness. Not a fan.

Nov 14, 2015
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rmtrout from California

3.91/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bought a six pack at a convenience store, cold, for 9.99. Bottled 5 weeks ago.

Appearance: Nice thick foamy head.

Smell: Not exotic or wildly fruity, but a nice balanced grapefruit/pine with slight muskiness.

Taste: Some malt up front, but not syrupy. Not as heavy or sweet as Lagunitas Brown Shugga, so it goes well with food. Grapefruit, pine, and a hint of nutmeg in the taste. Not wildly hoppy like Enjoy By, not even as fruity or complex as Lagunitas SUCKS, nor as forward as a Stone IPA or Sculpin, but it has a IBU of 67 which is easily drinkable. The aftertaste is soft, and the slight hoppyness dissipates slowly.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is spot on.

Overall: I like it for the buzz, good taste, and very good balance between sweet and bitter. Great with food. It will appeal to lots of people who don't like really bitter IPA's but want a good buzz as the 9.6 ABV is well hidden. It does this so well I gave it 4.25 overall. Take it to a picnic if you want to give them a sneaky buzz. Not the one to impress hop aficionados though.

Mar 01, 2017
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NolaHopHead from Louisiana

4.21/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle. Pours bright Amber with two finger head that lasts and eventually coats the glass. Breads fruity aroma. Toasted breads malt combined with piney hops combines for a powerful but pretty balanced flavor. The piney resiny bitterness hangs out for a while. A little boozy but not overly. Signature minerally, slick Lagunitas feel. Solid strong ale.

Sep 02, 2016
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bushbeer75 from Michigan

4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle

Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale [WOW! that is a long beer name] body color is an amber with a 1 1/2-finger creamy off-white head that had good retention. The head finally reduced to a latticework of lacing. The nose was dominated by citrus hops. The taste also had a dominate hop character [grapefruit, pine] with some peppery alcohol and just enough malt to keep the Ale from being too hoppy. The mouth feel was medium and smooth. There was a nice warming alcohol presence. The finish is dry and has a lingering hoppy and spicy bitterness.

If you like assertive hops, Undercover is for you. Nicely done Lagunitas..

Nov 06, 2015
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wordemupg from Canada (AB)

3.82/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

355ml bottle poured into tulip 28/12/15

A clear amber liquid with some very fine suspended particles, tiny slow bubbles throughout feeding two fingers of foam that hangs on for ages leaving lots of spider web lace all over the glass

S burnt brown sugar, caramel, smells sweet, has some hops going on, citric and herbal, faint pine, more sugars, smells like an old DIPA or a young BW

T not as sweet as the nose but still sweet, more citrus and pine but has some sweet malt balance working for it

M syrupy, bubbles cream it up, a little heat oily on the palate but sticky on the lips, brown sugar and pine linger

O one of those beers that can't decide if its a BW or a DIPA, not too shabby though and other then a little heat going down its drinkable for the strength

I guess some would call it "balance" a mix of sweet malt with plenty of hops, I think this one might do well with some age so I might throw one under the stairs and forget about it

Dec 29, 2015
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GeoJ from Virginia

1.56/5  rDev -61.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Short and sweet: Bleeech ...

One of the single worst tasting beverages I've ever had. Slick, oily mouthfeel coats the tongue and doesn't let go. Cloyingly piney, "What the hell am I drinking?" reaction after first sip. Overdone on every level - I don't understand what this beer is trying to be.

Too boozy tasting on top of it all.

A two-sip drain-pour.

Simply horrific.

Apr 13, 2014
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RickS95 from Indiana

4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

An amber brown pour that's much clearer than I would have guessed. It's not translucent, but it's only borderline opaque. The head is exquisite. A finger and a half thick with long legs. Very white and quite frothy. Really thick and sticky lace.

Early on I thought I picked up some IPA scents, but as I reviewed the appearance and went back for another whiff, I lost the pine and picked up bready, biscuity malts instead.

The hop presence is limited, this beer is all malt. This time it's caramel malts that are highlighted. There's an earthy taste I can't quite put my finger on.

Exceptionally smooth and almost creamy. The malts provide a gentle sweetness. Smooth throughout, it's very easy to drink, even with 9.3% ABV. Full bodied with an extremely faint bitter linger.

This isn't exactly what I expected, but as usual, it's really good. It's so smooth and the ABV s so well hidden, this beer could cause problems.

Jun 03, 2016
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untitledeuphoria from New York

4.07/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 4.29.15. Drank 7.24.15. Poured from a 12oz bottle to a Tulip.

A: Pours a clear burnt orange, leaning towards the dimmer side. Two fingers of light khaki head with an aggressive pour, slow to fade, and lots of sticky lacing. Classically good looking, just with some bonus head for a ASA.

S: Caramel malts, toffee, some tart hops...maybe tangerine in aroma. Very sweet and perky. Grassy, earthy.

T: Loads of sweet caramel malt, toasted biscuit, and a significant amount of hop bitterness as well. A drying citrus rind flavor, sharp... manages to cut into the malt without overpowering it.

M: Smooth with the faintest touch of carbonation. Thick and chewy without feeling heavy. If it wasn't for the high ABV I could easily put back a couple of these before feeling palette fatigue.

O: Quite the interesting beer. A bit of a Jekyll and Hyde. A big, robust, malt bomb of a strong ale... with a hefty serving of hops thrown in for good measure. Mouth puckering sweetness, but also bitter drying citrus. I have always enjoyed this beer, but it is not one for the faint of heart. Its big, it changes minute by minute as it warms, and at 9+% it will end you before you know it.

Jul 25, 2015
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Monkey-D-Luffy from Massachusetts

3.73/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Purchased cold on 2-7-2017 - listed as 9.6% ABV - poured from the bottle into a flared pub glass.

L - Deep mahogany color, 1 finger head dissipates quickly. Laces the glass nicely as it goes down.

S - Resinous pine hop, a whiff of citrus and a strong malt backdrop.

T - Bitter up front with a piney hop bite, strong caramel malt character with a lingering bitterness. No hiding the ABV on this one.

F - Mouthfeel is light, slight carbonation, a bit resinous at best.

Overall - This is the kind of beer that would slap your grandmother and unapologetically urinate on your family's heirloom rug. Not a beer for weak willed lager swilling sissies. IMHO, not Lagunitas' finest offering, but it is quite enjoyable in moderation.

Feb 07, 2017
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southdenverhoo from Colorado

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.

Feb 01, 2019
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thehooksman from North Carolina

4.39/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear, copper-colored with a couple fingers of cream colored head that laces the glass like crazy.

The nose reminds of a double IPA with notes of pine, sugar and alcohol.

The flavor is well balanced between bitter and sweet with just a little alcohol in the aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is medium body and smooth but the alcohol heat lingers for a nice numbing effect.

Glad I discovered this. It's a very refreshing brew despite the elevated abv.

Apr 09, 2015
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mooonbeammike from California

4.64/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I drink in near darkness so I have no comment on color, lacing, etc. Purchased from 711 based on abv/price. Enjoyed a sixer over 2 nights, the second night at room temp. Smelled sweet and raisiny to me with a hint of the alcohol. Felt silky in my mouth and pretty light in body given the alcohol content. Little carbonation. Sweet and malty but bitter at the same time w a tinge of what fermented fruit leather might taste like. At nearly 10%, three of these back to back makes for a nice buzz. I imagine Id like one with a soft gingersnap or 2 w a rare piece off beef. 3 plus a toke in bed has me winking out before 2 episodes of the xfiles. Ill drink six in a row when I'm ready to start a 4 hour day before noon. IMO great taste, price, and volume economy on the lift/blanket you get.

Feb 20, 2017
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BenwayPHD from California

4.06/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark orange red copper bronze color with a two finger white great. The nose reminds me a lot of belgian ale. Coriander, cloves, orange peel, brandy, hard candy. The flavor is equal parts spice and sweet. The mouthfeel is fairly thick and creamy. This is a unique beer. However, i find it a bit sweet for my taste. I could use some more IBU.

May 11, 2015
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spicoli00 from Indiana

4.48/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Tongue boner

Raw hop flavoe compliments a super sweet nose and overall sweet taste. The mouthfeel is very smooth as evident by the lacing. One of my favorite seasonals by Lagunitas. If you want a good kick to the dick, this will bend your skull. And I will see you in Hell.

This beer says, "I will skullfuck you." And it does.

Mar 29, 2013
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Atricapilla from Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into two goblets so I could split it with my lovely wife...Appearance was caramelly copper; kind of like Dr.Pepper. Fairly effervescent with a thin foamy white head. Smell was of pine and brown sugar, with a slight yeastiness. Flavor was a bit sweet, malty and hoppy. Not as bitter as expected from the description on the label.

Jun 28, 2010
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itzzzjmeee from Colorado

4.04/5  rDev -1.2%

Dec 12, 2014
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VAcrossr from Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +10%

May 30, 2013
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kbwalters from Wisconsin

4.09/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured cold into a . Bottled on 2/26/15, consumed on
Look = 4.0 Pours a clear deep copper with a ton of floating fine precipitate, 3 fingers of frothy off white head and great retention and lace.
Aroma = 4.25 Spicy, earthy hop aroma built on a solid foundation of caramel malts, with a hint of booze. I didn’t get any fruitiness here, reminds me of brown sugga.
Taste = 4.0 Sweet backbone prominent throughout the taste, caramel with some hop balance, a little light fruitiness or candied sugar; moderate bitter finish
Feel = 4.25 Full bodied, thick and syrupy
Drinkability = 4.0 9.3% but easy drinking considering
Overall = 4.1 A very solid strong ale, balanced but I don’t think I liked it as much as brown sugga

Sep 19, 2015
Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 4553 ratings