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: 1,017 | Ratings: 4,305
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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Photo of AAxsom
3.72/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- dark amber color that looks very good. This may be a but darker than I like, but that's ok. Pours clear with just a tiny bit of head.

S- I get a good blend of hops and sweetness. Seems very balanced.

T- the fruit taste and the slightest bit of caramel on the end make this very tasty. The hops add a bit of citrus which adds to the fruity taste. I liked this much better than I anticipated.

M- the caramel and the malts left my mouth feeling a bit sticky. I definitely licked my lips several times.

O- very good effort from Lagunitas. I will drink and recommend this again. Easily my favorite of 5 new beers this evening.

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

Pours a dark mahogany/toffee color with a finger of off-white head. Visible carbonation in the glass. Plenty of lacing left on the glass.

Clear taste of slightly citrusy hops.

Some sweet malts flavoring, with some nice bitterness. Nice balance between the two, though the bitterness comes out a bit more at the end. Slight alcohol flavor, though it doesn't detract from the experience. Alcohol flavor becomes more apparent as the beverage warms up. Aftertaste is a slightly fuzzy bitterness.

Despite the slight alcohol taste, this went down quite smooth. Half my glass was gone before I realized it. Very tasty.

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Photo of drcarver
3.99/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - a clear deep amber color with a tiny white head. no real carbonation within the brew and head does not last. Little lacing

S - if it weren't for the initial citrus hoppiness I would have mistaken this for a quad. dark fruit with hints of spice.

T/M - hop is aromatic only. starts sweet but not overwhelming. moves into a nice fruity and spice flavor. finishes cleanly. no sign of alcohol.

O - very nice brew. couldn't have too many but it was a pleasure drinking it.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.97/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a plain tumbler pint glass at Eli Cannon's in Middletown, Conn.

A: Deep, reddish amber color with a thin, one-finger head of creamy, off-white foam. Carbonation looks ample and a bit of lacing is left on the glass.

S: Complex, fruity aroma with lots of citrusy hops, sweet, ripened berries and a spicy alcohol tinge.

T: Doses of sweet, fruity caramel malt carries a slightly roasted character into the juicy malt center. This is ushered on waves of spicy, lush, herbal and citrusy hops that bring out some of the plum, berry and apple brandy-like qualities of the brew. The finish is high gravity with a swallow of alcohol and spicy, fruity malts tinged with a searing, grassy hop aftertaste.

M: Full-bodied and rather viscous for a fruity, flavorful, yet complex strong ale. Satisfying flavors and a rather drinkable feel.

O: A well-crafted strong ale that relies a bit more on its hops and spicy alcohol qualities in the complex scheme of things. The near 10% ABV is detected, but doesn't step all over the fine, fruity nuances of the ale. Pretty well-balanced for a strong ale.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A slightly oily texture. Pours very little head that diminishes quickly. The beer itself is a nice clear brown with hints of red. Slight lacing.

Smell: the beer smells hoppy with a caramel dominate smell. The alcohol also makes a noticeable appearance. However, the hops come out more as the beer warms.

Taste: Citrus hops with sweet malts in the background. The alcohol also makes an appearance but not so much as it detracts from the beer.

Mouthfeel: Crisp with prickly feel. The beer also goes down cold, which is surprising considering the alcohol content.

Overall: A decent beer. The beer isn't that visually impressive but it certainly earns it label as a strong ale with an abv at around 10%.

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Photo of glid02
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a clear copper color with an off-white head leaving solid lacing.

Smells of pale malts with hints of darker caramel malts, overrun by juicy citrus hops. Hints of herbal hops lurk in the background.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Pale malts up front are joined quickly by loads of citrus and tropical fruit hops. Near the end of the sip slight earthy hops dry things up a bit. The ending is mildly bitter. Mouthfeel is good, with decent carbonation.

Overall I remember the Sneak Peek tasting a lot better – currently it seems as though the hops are too one-dimensional. Still, a tasty beer that’s worth a shot, especially for hopheads.

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Photo of mostpoetsdo
3.86/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a fantastic golden brown, with a dense light tan head. Great lacing, rings all the way down the glass.

S: A big dose of spice and citrus hops, a sweet toffee aroma.

T: Candy, caramel, citrus fruit. Not too alcoholic, but has nice warmth. Has that lagunitas yeasty quality to it. Good hop bite lurking in the background. Definitely a lot of malt and sweetness up front.

M: Nice carbonation, pretty creamy. Not too hot, but a noticeable alcohol burn. Full body.

O/D: It's a solid strong ale, Lagunitas always seems to do a good job...even if they kind of taste the same. Could have a couple of these tops, near 10% makes this a big beer.

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Photo of jayhawk73
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a copper color w/ a nice cocoa one finger head. Good lacing and carbonation. Somewhat hazy, and you can't see through it completely.

S- Hops, pineapple, orange, malt, and a touch of alcohol. Very pleasant smelling beer for sure. Wish the malt had more presence in the nose though.

T- Hops.. hops.. and hops. Malt makes a comeback here as well, with the fruit nose almost disappearing completely in the taste. A little alcohol burn in the aftertaste that I really like.

M- Definite bitter feel from the hops overwhelm everything else, although it's really not bad. I actually enjoyed the feel on this beer.

O- Pleasant beer, and easy to drink. Definitely pick it up if you haven't tried it yet.

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Photo of peacebone116
4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 Release, enjoyed in a Delirium snifter on 5/13/11.

A: Clear dark red copper with little retained head but lace that clings to the edges of the glass and wisps that swirl randomly on top.

N: Sweet candied sugar and pine sap.

T/M: Creamy, light body. Sweet malt center with a wonderful citrus front and a dry, resinous pine finish.

This is a very dangerously drinkable beer; only the heavy sweetness reminds me of its alcoholic strength. Overall, this beer reminds me of a hopped-up Brown Shugga'....very delicious and a great example of a balanced beer, expertly walking the line between sweet malt-forward ale & crisp hoppy beer.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer is a red-tinted copper coloring with a foamy, frothy, slim off-white head that settles quickly into a sparse coating of film atop the brew. The aromas are hoppy initially, with a sweet and peppery highlight to them. Further inspection gives off a slight citrus and sweet character, also. Flavors are round and forward, with a moderate wet, fresh hopping, and semisweet caramel tone, and a smokey, almost burnt/charred characteristic. The aftertaste has a grapefruit subtleness to it, with tangy caramel and bitter/drying hops throughout. The finish is a bit awkward, with the drying sensation being balanced off with a creamy and slick feel to it, all of which come crashing to a fairly quick stop at the end. Interesting brew, but a bit on the awkward side at the end, like a bad one-night stand. Sure, it was fun at first, but the ending is never pretty...

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Photo of minterro
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes. Consumed at Kalamazoo Beer Exchange.

A: about a half a finger of thick foamy yellow-white head that fades slowly. the head has great lacing on the glass! The beer is a deep ruby color.

S: very grassy, a bit sweet, and quite hoppy. It has pretty much the same smell as the aroma hops I put into the Imperial Pale Ale that I'm currently brewing.

T: similar to the nose. Not super complex, but it just straight up tastes great. I can taste the citrus and spice when I'm drinking it more then when it’s being smelt

M: medium to full body, medium to low carbonation. It’s heavy and a tad chewy. Pretty smooth.

O: I was very impressed by this beer and really really hope that my beer turns out half as good as this one. Hats off to the people at Lagunitas Brewing Company this was one heck of a beer. I would highly recommend this beer!

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Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4.02 out of 5 based on 4,305 ratings.
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