Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale | Lagunitas Brewing Company

Undercover Investigation Shut-down AleUndercover Investigation Shut-down Ale
Liked This Beer
4.07 w/ 4,372 ratings
Undercover Investigation Shut-down AleUndercover Investigation Shut-down Ale

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
ABV varies slightly from 9.0 to 9.8
66.6 IBU

Added by GilGarp on 03-10-2009

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,372 |  Reviews: 1,038
Photo of woosterbill
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Brilliant, crystal clear copper body beneath an inch of off-white foam. Good retention and some light rings of lace. Straightforward, simply attractive beer.

S: Toffee, raisins, cinnamon, and rich malty sweetness. Quite nice, if not all that distinctive.

T: Sweet, sweet malts: caramel, toffee, and just a touch of candied fruit. I keep waiting for some hops to balance things out, but instead find a significant ethanol burn on the finish - this does cut the sweetness, but not quite in the way I was hoping.

M: Nice medium body with plenty of rich, soft carbonation. Excellent.

D: Not too bad for the significant ABV, but the prominence of booze on the finish and aftertaste make this one less than great for drinkability.

Notes: Delicious at first (if a bit too sweet), this one really drops the ball on the tail end. Overall, it's pretty much what I'm come to expect from Lagunitas: tasty, but ultimately not quite cohesive.


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Photo of Arithmeticus
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured chilled in large glass

A: dark brownish red; modest head dissipates quickly; no carb streams
S: spritzy, brown sugary, hoppy--quite nice
T: robust, confrontational taste; somewhat like an English strong ale but with a very pronounced hop presence; not very complex--it just sort of aims a gun at your palate and shoots; very bitter

This is the perfect anti-session beer; a couple of these quick and you'll be off your feet.

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Photo of pmccallum86
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly transparent copper penny color with a thick bubbly head that dissipates very slowly.

Smell is that caramel malt aroma that is ubiquitous with all Lagunitas beers. Some floral hops come through as well.

Taste is is big caramel malt with a bitter hops finish. The malts give a bready flavor that works well with the hops bitterness. Alcohol is slightly detectable, as it usually is with a beer of this ABV.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, pretty good in this department.

Drinkabliity is good for such a big beer. Another tasty and unique offering from Lagunitas.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.69/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- pours a clear dark amber color with a small white creamy head that reduces to a thin layer skimming the top, no lace

S- pine and citrus hop with some flowery sweet aromas, a bit of alcohol, otherwise pretty contained

T- sweet malt up front, pronounced pine and citrus hop flavors with some tart grapefruit notes, transitions into floral hop notes, finishes slightly tart with big boozy notes.

M- medium body, high carbonation with a foamy mouthfeel, hot and boozy finish, definitely shows the 10%

O- very hop forward and boozy, but nice floral hop notes, definitely a slow sipper

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Photo of DesertFox24
3.69/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Nyrangersgrrl
3.69/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of FBarber
3.69/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BigTuna1066
3.69/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of scootercrabb
3.69/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of KChristie87
3.69/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of jbphoto88
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep ruby color leaning towards a leathery brown. The head is playsand tan and fast to fade. The brew is crystal clear and wonderful to look at.

The nose is heavy on the malts with subtle hops. A roasted grain body with elusions of a grand alcohol content reminescent of a barley wine. Hints of bitterness are there but not in the hop citrus/ piney way.

Taste is much like the nose with a strong malt backbone and flavors approaching the caramel/ toast side of things. The bitterness is present but the flavor of the hops are eclipsed by the malts.

The mouthfeel is good with a strong bitterness that dukes it out with the sweetness of the grains. Smooth and lightly carbonated with a dry finish makes this beer a pleasurable drink with a not so noticeable ABV. A good strong beer that tastes and feels good but doesn't have huge character. It's ok but gets boring, so worth checking out but not one I'd come back to.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured a finger and half of head on a amber colored body.
The aroma is rich caramel with some barnyard and bread thrown in.
The taste is a malty sweet bitterness with some bread to blend and balance it out.
The texture is smooth with low carbonation.
Overall a hefty ale but still easy to drink.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75


How the heck have I NEVER reviewed this one?!?! 12oz bottle picked up tonight at Whole Foods... Clear light amber brew shows a persistent light tan head that leaves great sheets of lacing. Sharp pithy hoppiness and dry toast in the nose... Expected big bitterness up front and on the finish is only punctuated briefly mid-palate by the pithy grapefruit hops and dry toast/dark caramel notes... Body is medium but accentuated by a lighter carbonation.. Drinkability is a little light for me just because it is a bitter bruiser... Still an obviously well made brew and one of the best stories from any brewery ever.


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Photo of boss302
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A amber decent head 4

S lots of hop aroma, with a little grassiness.  Malt is apparent in the aroma. 4

T good malt, hops are very forward, finishes a little sweet and astringent. A bit too cloying for my taste. 3.5

M med heavy, feels thick, good carbonation, balance is toward hops. 4. 

D a good beer, but would be difficult to follow with another. 3.5 

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Photo of JamesShoemaker
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into my Short's goblet. Bottled dated 67th day of 2014, so March 7th after a bit of Googling. I tried this beer once a while back and I really enjoyed it, so it'll be interesting to see how it's held up (in a refrigerated cooler) for the last few months.

UISDA pours a coppery, brassy orange out of the bottle and settles a little deeper in the glass with a predictable amount of head on the forced pour. The first thing I'm reminded of is a strong doppelbock with its deep ocher tone, limited translucency, and all-around prosaic appearance. The foam is off white, just a tinge of brown, and lingers on top of the beer in a thin layer in the middle of the surface and a thick band around the periphery. Some carbonation evident. This is an utterly "blah" beer, nothing special, nothing wrong, just plain.

The smell, by contrast, is relatively complex. The first thing I detect after a swirl and a deep whiff is hops, nothing citrusy or juicy, but dank and meaty, almost like a mosaic and nugget hop ate a piece of bacon before they were added to the boil. Speaking of pork, there's an almost spicy quality to the aroma too, like pepperoni, or even marijuana. There's little beneath the hop aroma, which is interesting considering that this is an aged specimen.

This relative dearth in the aroma carries through to the taste, which makes me suspect that this beer is better fresh. A hint of sugar presents itself, which makes me question the yeast strain; following it is a burst of bitter hop aroma, which doesn't pair well with the underlying sweetness from the alcohol and the yeast strain (Belgian pale, or something?). The combination yields a bitter citrusy flavor, like licking your fingers after handling a lime or the worst kind of grapefruit. In all, the taste is thin and one-dimensional.

Thinness, of course, is the enemy of mouthfeel. Bitterness is a close second. Unfortunately, UISDA presents both of these characteristics, leading to a less than desirable drinking experience. Despite the high alcohol content (which isn't part of the dramatis personae), the mouthfeel is thin and the ingredients are bitter.

UISDA is an interesting, but ultimately unconvincing experiment. There are a lot of styles being thrown around here, including DIPA, American Barleywine, and Weizenbock, which I assume is what led the brewers to label it as the nebulous "Strong Ale." Despite my negative comments, I'd like to revisit this beer afresh when it's less than a month old, as I think the desired flavors will be more present. Still, I expected better shelf-life from a 4-month-old, refrigerated, 9.5% ABV beer from an otherwise excellent brewery.

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Photo of PhageLab
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into a weizen glass.

A - Hazy brownish copper coloration wich produced a nice head of froth. Retention and lacing were both impressive. Gotta give props to the name too, it's pretty awesome.

S - Big hop nose, floral and a bit citrusy. Sweet notes and a bit of alcohol near the end.

T - Wow, this is a BIG beer. Nicely balanced for how potent it is. Nice big hop profile with a generous malt backing. Abv causes a hit here, because it gets to be a bit much, especially for the serving size.

M - Medium bodied, mild carbonation level, nice hoppy residue coats the palate.

D - Pretty decent, not the best example of a double, but certainly worth a try. For the price (pretty sure this bomber was less than $5) it's a great deal. If you are a fan of really big brews, however, I would recommend this one.

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Photo of davey101
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a DFH signature glass.

A - Nice copper red body with an off white head. Great lacing and retention.

S - Piney hops and sweet malts. Smells stereotypically lagunitas.

T - Really well balanced between the hop bitterness and sweet malts. Honey, bread, caramel, grapefruit, and a hint of spice. Fairly complex and the high abv is hidden well. Smooth and medium mouth feel.

O - Tasty beer, however it reminds me a bit too much of some other lagunitas stuff.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had a 12oz bottle that found it's way into my cellar. My mistake, so I better drink it.

A - Pours a clear, reddish-amber with a thin tan head. Decent retention and lacing.

S - Slight hoppy grass, carmel, and roasted malts.

T - Smooth carmel malts with a slight hop background. Nice balance.

D - Average carbonation and body. A very balanced presentation.

O - Sweeter, but not overly. Smooth drinker.

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Photo of Durge
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From six-pack into the pint glass, cold, this brings a dark amber brown color with a goodly, very light oatmeal colored head and decent blotchy lace. The aroma is mostly light citrus hop and brown sugar, a bit sharp but subtle and pleasant. The taste is primarily tart rhubarb citrus with caramel brown sugar malt. It's middle bodied, smooth with fair carbonation, fairly drinkable although I find it a bit more on the "rhubarb" side to invite sessioning. I also think it's a bit heavy in the sweetness, almost suggesting cotton candy at times, but it's an enjoyable refreshment, I just don't think I would pound these based on the flavor profile, interesting but not a "must have".

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Photo of TheTrevor
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a brownish copper with a single-finger head. The smell is lots of different hops with some pine and herbal scents. The taste starts off with some sweet malt that gives away very quickly to two or three different kinds of hops. The mouthfeel is slightly thick with some moderate carbonation. The alcohol content is dangerously hidden in this beer, but it may be a bit too hoppy for some people. Personally I'm glad I snagged a bottle of it,

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Photo of Nickls
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(From notes)

A - Poured with creamy, thinner slightly off-white head; deep copper brown color

S - Heavier maltiness and sweetness at first; then cedary hops come through; slight touch of alcohol

T - A more sugary sweetness is the dominant flavor to me; good bit of hops but would have been better if they cut through the sweet characteristics a little more. Rich maltiness

M - Creamy, medium to heavier overall; a touch oily and then dries out

D - Not the most drinkable I've had in the style, bit heavy on the maltiness against the hops in addition to the booziness

Overall, worth a look, but this isn't one of my favorites from Lagunitas.

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Photo of nrbw23
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a dark reddish orange color with a fairly small white head. Head has pretty solid retention and leaves a few spots of lacing.

S- The smell here is nothing really over the top and nothing is really jumping out at me either. Picking some citrus hops and caramel.

T- Molasses, caramel, and citrus hops all working well with each other. Quite a nice malt back bone here.

M- Medium in body and on the lower side of carbonation.

O- Not too bad at all.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass from a 12oz bottle.

Pours a strong copper color with nice amber hues. There is a nice 0.5 inch head that is off-white and slightly dense. Nice slight orange colors.

Piney and citrusy hop notes start this off with some nice hop juice sweetness. Quite citrusy with tangerine and grapefruit notes present. There is some slight malt and grainy notes but mostly a piney hoppy nose.

Taste starts off with juicy grapefruit notes with some tangerine in there as well. Citrusy and also piney and resinous. Nice slight carmel sweetness is present. As it warms some nice boozy heat can be perceived and at almost 10% this is expected. Still nice and hoppy with a sticky yet bitter finish.

Pretty good offering from Lagunitas. They do a good job with their hops and slightly balanced malt backbone.

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Photo of nukem5
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a great tea color slightly reddish with hardly any foam and after first half was poured made an aggressive attempt at some foamy goodness on top.

S: Aroma is a bit complex theres a good bit going on with some hefty malts and a woderful hoppy balance. Earthy yet some pine notes tucked away in there. Theres still a sense of spice in there that eludes me think its a bit like clove but not quite also is a mild peppery aroma.

T: Taste is a nice balance of malt and hops, a sweet starting sip and then the hops tickle the tongue splashing pine and zesty citrus all about the taste buds.

M: Mouthfeel is a medium bodied and lightly carbed.

O: Overall a great drinker... would love to be able to drink this bad mofo all day, but sadly because of the elevated ABV dont think I could hang with the big dogs...so I will just sit here on the porch and watch them while I sip away, or should I say slip away !

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a nonic pint glass. The ale appears a crystal clear rich crimson amber color with a finger of creamy off white foam. No lacing to speak of. Aromas and flavors consist of citrus notes like lemon, grapefruit pith, orange peel, quite bitter, sweet bready grain, and a light dose of caramel. A notch better than medium bodied and amply carbonated. Worth a shot.

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Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 87.1% out of 100 with 4,372 ratings
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