Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale | Lagunitas Brewing Company

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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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 1,028 | Ratings: 4,331
Photo of ummswimmin
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a pretty good beer. There is decent body and a good mix of flavoring. I like the roasted malts and hop presence.

It is really nice just to even look at this beer. It is deep amber with really good lacing. THe lacing stays really nicely in the glass.

I'm glad I have five more of these beers to go through.

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Photo of Duff27
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Two fingered light tan head on a dark red/brown beer. Great drink-by-drink step lacing and a nice retentive head to boot.

S- Brown sugar and citrus hops penetrate my nostrils.

T- Pungent hops, caramel malts. Cinnamon? I don't know what that is but I think I may love it. Very well hidden nearly 10%abv...dayum.

M- Medium mouthfeel, kinda creamy. Decent enough carbonation.

D/O- I don't know if I'd go so far as to say I was blown away by this beer but whatever a notch down from that is...well, say that. Thanks for the try PTMcB!

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Photo of drpimento
2.9/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Expected better, given the ratings. Served with a fine, creamy, off white head and good lace. Color is a clear medium amber. Aroma is bright citrus, hop, a little yeast. Flavor is very intense grapefruit. Too intense for me. Body is ok and carbonation is a shade light. Finish is like flavor. Not a session for me.

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Photo of BigPlay1824
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass

A: Pours a nice medium brown that's quite clear, pours with a nice bubbly head that is tan and lingers nicely, leaves no lacing
S: nice scent, maltiness, slight oak/whiskey scent, possibly dark fruit
T: great taste, light whiskey, maltiness, smoked wood
M: incredibly smooth on the palate although i didnt expect it to be
O: really quite enjoyable, loved the taste and the depth, the alcohol content didnt hurt a bit either

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Photo of Tree43088
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear copper with decent head

Smells sweet with some piney hops but citrus hops steal the show on this one. definitely some caramel malt

Sweet and citrus up front with some spices. Can definetly taste the caramel malt. Finishes with a bitter after taste but extremely smooth. It's hard to taste the alcohol on this one. There's is a slight warming sensation in my stomach but drinking wise the ale goes down very smooth.

light to medium bodied with good carbonation. Very smooth

Overall I freaking love this beer. I'm a fan of the citrus hops mixed with the malt but both are in balance and for a 10% ABV I could let this get away from me

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Photo of ShogoKawada
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is like drinking a ginger snap. Lagunitas calls it (playfully) an imperial mild ale.

A- Nice copper beer with a big sticky white head. Really nice pour.

S- Resiny hops jump forward, and there's a big spicy caramel malt base behind it. Like mulling spices.

T- The immense malt hits me first- again a bit spicy, which cuts through the sweetness. The pine sap/diesel hops come through in the finish and pound the tongue into submission (in a good way). Really heavy-handed, an assault on the tongue... good thing there are nothing but tasty flavors to be found!

M- Full-bodied, complex, and rich, really a unique and hefty mouthfeel. Ample carbonation.

O- Very enjoyable. I've gone through most of the sixer in the last few days and can see myself reaching for more next time I'm at the store. I really like this beer- Lagunitas makes great strong ales.

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Photo of russwbeck
3.58/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reddish brown pour with a nicely sized white head. The head both laces and is retained very well. The smell is hoppy, more of piney hops than grassy, with a caramel malt backbone. Those same piney hops start off the taste and is followed by the maltiness. Dry hops finish the taste off nicely. The beer is light with a good amount of carbonation and a very dry finish, devoid of any alcohol taste. Again a very drinkable choice!

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Photo of BeerdedEric
3.96/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got my growler filled at Joe Canal's Liquor Outlet.

A creamy off-white head that turns into a film and then a ring around the glass. The body color is that of a copper penny. Some slow moving bubbles. Nice lacing on the glass as well.

Sweet malts mixing with some citrus and pine hops. The aroma is a little weak.

Wow! This is very tasty. Sweetness upfront, then Pine, citrus, dark fruits, caramel, chocalate, vanilla, and toffee. There is a bitter ending. I detect some booze but it highlights the flavors well, it works with it, instead of against it, like some high abv. beers.

Light to medium carbonation. Medium body that leaves the mouth a little sticky. Some alcohol heat is noticeable while going down.

What a complex brew that is so easy to drink, despite the high abv. Flavorful, feels nice and looks nice as well. I have a feeling I'm going to regret drinking this whole growler for two reasons: I'm not going to have anymore for tomorrow and this is going to give me one hell of a hangover. But, it's going to be worth it.

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Photo of Rutager
3.53/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance. Pours a clear, deep amber-red with a half finger of bubbly white head that leaves a little lacing.

Smell. Sweet caramel and a little bit of mixed fruits ...oranges, apples, grapes. A little sour smelling.

Taste. Sweet roasty caramel malts, A little funky and a bit of bitterness. Very little alcohol taste for the abv.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body with medium-low, but slightly prickly carbonation.

Overall. Decent tasting and really easy to drink. Abv is well hidden and the strong point of this beer for me.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.53/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Growler poured into a mug on 4/29/11

Clear, tobacco amber. Billowy, sandy colored head. Impressive retention and pretty good clumps of lace.

The malts and hops seem balanced for Lagunitas. Dense citrus and pine. Caramel, bread and some dough; it's a sweet aroma. The flavor has some pine tar bitterness and sporadic zestiness. Solid malt base; same as the nose - caramel and bread. Between medium and full body and slick. Just below average carbonation. Noticeable alcohol. Residual bitterness and sugars.

Overall impression: pretty good, if perhaps a bit one dimensional. Tasty sipper, though.

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Photo of fsvan
3.71/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into New Belgium globe. 9.78% abv says the bottle.

A- Dark, copperish red. Middling amounts of head with slight lacing.

S- Soy sauce 1st and foremost. A good dose of it actually. Some caramel malt. A hint of peaty-ness to it. The soy seems to be fading a little as it warms. This is a good thing.

T- Lots of caramel malty-ness. A nice hop bitterness, but the hop flavors are overwhelmed by the malts. The caramel taste clings to the mouth, hanging around long after the beer. The alcohol is very hidden.

M- Medium bodied. Surprisingly light for the style, abv, etc.

O- This is a good, albeit unspectacular strong ale. I'm happy to have brought one back from vacation, but don't really need another.

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Photo of Jdmpolk
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Caramel colored with two fingers worth of white, fluffy head.

S- Syrupy sweet, fruity, and piney. Brings to mind cocktail fruit.

T- Rich drank fruit with hints of tropical brightness. The focus is more on the fruitiness of the hops instead of the bitterness.

M- Surprisingly rich and full bodied. Not as bright as I expected. Crisp carbonation, and alcohol blends, while a subtle burn in the back of the throat lets you know the alcohol is there.

O- A very delicious beer, that was much darker than I thought, but in a good way. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of shand
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a nonic.

This brew pours a brilliant deep red color with a tiny head that fades quickly. The aroma is full of piney hops and sweet, nutty caramel malts. The taste is very nice, reminiscant of a very hop-forward barleywine. It's huge in all aspects, there's huge, slightly nutty caramel malts, and huge piney hops with just a bit of citrus aspect. The mouthfeel is full and coating, and the drinkability is fairly good. An enjoyable brew from Lagunitas, for sure, that straddles the line between DIPA and Barleywine.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap in nc into a pint glass.

Rich dark brown in color and light ruby hints around the side and the bottom of the glass. Rich malty aroma, lots of caramel and hints of dee piney hops mixing in, really strong aroma here as it cuts through the air. For a beer over 9 percent it was remarkably smooth and subtle. I could have gone on drinking this one all day long, it was just that good. Huge notes of woody malts and mellow, sweet, syrup like flavor mixed with the lovely bitter piney hops

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Photo of ONUMello
4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Copper colored with a one-finger head.
S: Grapefruit, pine, toffee.
T: Similar to the smell- hops and their associated pine/citrus up front, then transitions to a bold toffee malt.
M: Fairlly smooth with a bit of a hops kick; surprisingly I'm not picking up any heat.
O: I like this. Usually I take time to contemplate the bigger beers, but this was so tasty it went down faster than it should have.

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Photo of eclipse54
3.45/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a translucent rust color with about a two-finger's breadth of foamy, bubbly, off-white head. Lots of lacing is left behind as it takes its time settling (and I drink it). Smells of citrusy hops, grapefruit, pine, caramel, and brown sugar. Tastes of alcohol, caramel malt, sugar, and citrus. The alcohol is rather overpowering in this one, and isnt masked nearly as well as I'd hoped. Mouth is warmly thinned from the alcohol and carbonation, and finishes relatively smooth. Overall, it lives up the strong ale name, but seemed a little out of balance. I'll probably reach for something else next time, but wouldn't necessarily be disappointed if I was stuck with this.

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Photo of d4114
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Reddish copper color, very clear. 2 fingers of off white to light tan head.

S- Big sweet malt with a piney hop aroma. Also a pretty big nuttiness.

T- Nutty malt sweetness is up front across most of the palate but is balanced out by the piney hops.

M- On the lighter side of medium; Doesn't totally match the bigness of the rest of the beer.

O- Similar to a american barleywine but instead of caramel or toffee notes it has nutty notes more like a brown ale. It also has a pretty big hop presence. For almost 10% it drinks really easy and i enjoyed it quite a bit.

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Photo of 1after909
4.67/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My Bottle says Limited Release so perhaps theyll make it a seasonal release.

Didn't taste as strong as the ABV would suggest. Went down cold & smooth. Two finger head which is what I look for and the head stayed for a while.

Another selection that I bought one bottle of in my Make Your Own 6 Pack emporium. Will definitely pick up a few more next time

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Photo of davey101
3.7/5  rDev -8%
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 Canibacea
5/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Delicious Brew for sure. Strong floral hop bouquet. I am drinking this along with the Hairy Eyeballs, and in comparison it is slightly less malty and slightly more hoppy. Both have a remarkably smooth and drinkable quality, yet an abundance of flavor. Nice goin Lagunitas.


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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-Copper color. White head with only a hint of khaki. Patchy lacing clings along the glass. The liquid is extremely clear, no sediment or haze. I enjoy looking at the deep copper hue.

S-Sweet honey and caramel sugar combines with some very juicy fruity hops. Piney hops come into contact with my nose too. Has a very rich, sweet aroma to it. Very attractive. A 4.5 easily in the aroma. This is one of those beers that begs me to continue smelling it in order to decipher its various components. Lagunitas always hits the aroma. This one is no different

T-This one has some squishy juicy fruity hoppiness to it. I also find it to have a bit of Belgian yeast to it. Rich caramel sweetness adds to the flavor. Honey comb and a bit of spice. Bit I am very happy that this one has some serious hops. The malt and the hop both choke the palate. Balanced but big. There's a lot going on here, and it all pretty hardcore.

M-Medium bodied with a chewy feel. Drying bitterness. Big feel. Alcohol sits on the tongue a bit.

O/D-I have been a bit nervous to throw out $11 to try most of Lagunitas' bigger beers. I love Little Sumpin' Sumpin', Hop Stoopid and Dogtown. I really like their IPA and Maximus. But Hairy Eyeball didn't really do it for me. I saw this as another big beer that was had to put into a specific style. But I really liked this beer. Its a beast, and one six pack will floor you with both its flavor and its ABV. Syrupy sweet but still a pretty aggressive hop attack.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

TGI Thursday!!!! Couple beers...why not. Trying the Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale...it's a mouthfull...and so is the beer! This beer can shut down evening operations quickly with its hig ABV. The appearance is good! A nice rich Amber with creamy off-white head that is lacing suburbly. The smell has a sweet malt character with hints of pine/earth. The first sip brings a wash of ABV, followed by sweet malt. The ABV numbs the tongue slightly and the sweetness holds on to the pallete. The mouthfeel was down graded just a bit due to the high ABV. Overall its a good beer...reminds me a little of the Brown Shugga that they produce(d), and the sweetness reminds me slightly of Two Brothers Cane & Ebel.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up last week since I hadn't had an American Strong Ale in quite some time. Most of the Lagunitas beers that I've had were pretty hoppy in the west coast tradition but this one was a bit more balanced than I had anticipated. I also thought that it would be a bit too strong to fully savor and sure enough, that turned out to be the case.

This poured a nice brown hue with a decent head that lasted for a little while. No lacing could be seen and there wasn't much of an aroma to this either. When I first tasted it, it felt like a Barleywine to me. Lots of rye and booze and a relatively full, balanced mouthfeel. There was just a hint of citrus up font and a large warming sensation to this too, which lingered all the way until the pine took over in the aftertaste. This wasn't something that I could get down quickly but the alcohol made me slow down and just enjoy it for what it was.

Yes, I know that this is an American Strong Ale but I didn't think that it would be overpowering. I felt the alcohol kick in pretty quickly on this and it stuck with me for a while. Unless this style is what you prefer, a six-pack of this is probably too much. By itself, this is fine after a long night will have just enough of a kick to satisfy hopheads, and differentiate it from Barleywines and other strong styles.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, nice to find a two dollar single in lovely Bellevue, WA, when this stuff goes for ~20 bucks a six-pack at home.

This beer pours a crystal clear, bright medium bronzed amber hue, with two chubby fingers of puffy, foamy, and thinly creamy off-white head, which leaves a solid paint job of setting concrete lace around the glass in its slow and meandering wake.

It smells of mildly overripe citrusy hops right up front, followed by some dark, fleshy orchard fruit, a touch of wayward brown sugar, and a strong herbal, almost yeasty phenolic character. The taste is bitter grapefruit and orange rind, substantial caramel and lesser toffee malt, muddled bruised drupe fruit, and a testy menthol-like booze warming. I'm kind of wondering where the overly specific 72.41 IBUs absconded to, however.

The carbonation is on the soft side, manifesting in a tame, wannabe frothiness, the body a solid-ass medium weight, a bit sticky, and with a slight alcohol dryness cutting into the otherwise dandy smoothness. It finishes still rather sweet, a bloom of booze and bitter hop remnants rounding things out.

Yet another decently rendered strong ale from Lagunitas, so much so, that I'm having a harder and harder time sorting out the various incarnations. This one, I thought I had it, with the ethereally sour, fruity Belgian-esque nose - it was not to be. Still tasty though, and worthy of seeking out another, should you have the chance.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

618th Review on BA
Bottle to Tulip

App- Very amber brown with a two finger head. Dots of cling and thats about it.

Smell- Similar to a lot of beers lately. Big malt profile with a damp citrus. A bit one sided.

Taste- Again one sided with the malt taking over. Damp citrus takes a back seat. Its okay but as excited as everyone gets this seems run of the mill.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonated. A bit thick but pretty good.

Drink- Well its okay but could better. Hype train is big on this one. Glad I got a 12 oz but would be very dissapointed in a 22 oz.

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Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4.02 out of 5 based on 4,331 ratings.
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