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Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale | Lagunitas Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
90
outstanding
985 Reviews
THE BROS
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Undercover Investigation Shut-down AleUndercover Investigation Shut-down Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.30%

Availability: Rotating

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

Added by GilGarp on 03-10-2009

BEER STATS
Reviews:
985
Ratings:
4,202
Avg:
4.01
pDev:
10.22%
 
 
Wants:
130
Gots:
939
For Trade:
8
User Reviews
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Reviews: 985 | Ratings: 4,202
Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a mahogany color with ruby highlights. It had a very small, tan head of foam that left soapy residue on the glass.

S - It smelled very malty and somewhat boozy. It had a muted floral aroma.

T - This one grabs you with spicy bitter hops and backs it up with a rich malty taste. There is a boozy alcohol flavor, too.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a slightly sticky mouthfeel. A medium to full bodied beer that requires some slow sipping.

D - This is a pretty good ale. It brings a great maltiness and booziness with just enough hop bitterness. Almost like an English Barleywine.

 597 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.94/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

By far, this beer has the longest name out of any I have tried.

An ESB (according to their website) at 9.7% ABV.... this is why Lagunitas is one of my favorite breweries. Pours a light orange color, small head to it, small amount of lacing. First whiff.. all hops... ahh this is going to be a good one. Taste wise, nice mouthfeel to it... don't get hit by the hops too much which is a little surprising. Balanced very well, maybe more-so to the malt side. Hops are present, but are very much subdued, especially for the 9.7% ABV. Goes down very smooth and tastes like a 4% ABV type of beer... way too drinkable for 2X beer strength status. I would still prefer an Imperial Red or Brown Shugga but this is another home run for Lagunitas.

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Photo of oberon
3.48/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewing yet another Lagunitas American strong ale.Pourd into a tulip glass a clear bronze color with a thinner but well sustained slight off white head,aromas were a bit lighter than expected,mainly some resinous hop and sweetish alcohol.Thinner feel for a "bigger" beer and a little prickly.Flavors dont seem to pack enough punch although that could come from the lighter feel,resinous hop intertwined with a hefty caramel malt base,the alcohol creeps as the beer warms.I love this brewery, but I dont love this beer sad to say.

 531 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.67/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Another one of those that I'm pretty sure I reviewed and it got lost in one of the server crashes, cause I have no idea how this would have eluded my reviewing. Just had to beers that were pretty bad and I couldn't finish them, so I need one I know is good to wash that out of my mouth. Another beer with bottling code but no date, thanks for nothing.

Pouts a nice big creamy 1.5 finger fluffy head fades slowly, nice sticky soapy lacing, mostly clear slight hazy copper chestnut reddish-orange color. Great head for the abv.

Nose starts off with big copper malts, reddish amber toasty like malts, some caramel candy, nice creamy caramel thing. Then spicy earthy hops, a touch of pine, orange rind, big candied orange peel, some floral herbal spices from the hops interestingly, don't remember that before, no real booze but a touch of esters.

Taste brings sweet candy, reddish caramel flavors, candied sugar tree fruits, a little tanginess in there somehow. Hops are there, but aged, it's like an aged American barleywine where the hops fade but leave weird flavors... an herbal grassy hop, earthy and mild pine, tangy pine as well, with little candied orange zest. Finish is sticky, a hint of booze, lingering candy malt, little pine and citrus zest, earthy grassy thing.

Mouth is fuller bod, little syrupy note, decent carb, touch of warming booze.


I recently purchased this, so it must have been on the shelf for a while. Too bad as I know this beer is a whole lot better, and there is no date either.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz stubby bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear coppery amber with 2+ big fingers of frothy off-white head. This retains down into a thin yet creamy layer, which leaves some rich foamy lacing back. The aroma is floral, lightly resinous, and very spicy smelling. Thick roasty malts and citrus character mixes with the highter ABV to give this a sticky smelling heft in the nose.

The taste starts with a big base of dark roasted malts, which lies densely under some fairly aggressive hoppy notes of pine and spices, before ending with some lip smacking sweeter accents of toffee and toast. The mouthfeel is medium-fuller bodied with a more beefy and viscous to it but the 10% ABV is extremely well hidden. I'm getting a little bit of warmth on the breath but that's about it.

Big and ballsy beer here from Lagunitas that reminded me a good bit of Stone's Arrogant Bastard. Beefy and flavorful with a lot of presence on the palate but still really smooth for the size. I enjoyed this a lot.

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Photo of mactrail
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

When it's the time for a big alcoholic beer, this is one of my favorites. Not as heavy as a barley wine, though it does have plenty of sugar. Reminds me of ginger snaps, with the molasses flavor. Clear amber with a nice head. Very rich, spicy flavor but not that thick in the mouthfeel. Lots of fruit, dried mango, bitter raisiny taste. Fair amount of hops eventually show up. Best suited for a nightcap.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

So I'm still not sure what this whole Undercover Investigation Shutdown was, but hey, it seems to have been a great advertisement, and has certainly brought about interest, so kudos to the TTB (I guess), and thanks for spawning this beer!

It pours a clear amber-copper beneath a longstanding head of bone white that maintains a solid surface covering and leaves short rocky 'cliffs' of foam rising above the surface of the beer.

The aroma is fruity/citrusy and spicy over a dark caramel maltiness.

In the mouth it's medium bodied and crisp, with a median carbonation.

The flavor adds some yeasty fruitiness to the hops and caramel maltiness already found in the nose. It displays apples, a hint of cherry, candied tangerine, dried apricot, and some mild citrus rind. A solid bitterness balances it, and it finishes drying as the fruit evaporates and the malt erodes, eventually leaving the mouth dry and dully bitter with just minor notes of fruitiness left behind.

Overall it's quite interesting, and surprisingly drinkable given its strength. It's not over-done, and the yeasty and hoppy fruitiness is compelling. Worth trying!

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Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev -0.2%
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 TheManiacalOne
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a dark coppery brown, with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains fruity citrus, floral hops and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out with very sweet flavors of citrus and some caramel. Then a strong but not over-powering hops bitterness comes in. The malt character is hearty and brings a good balance. The after-taste is sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, strong kick, very good representation of style, this is very nice beer to drink for a long time.

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Photo of chinchill
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle in Belgian snifter, with label indicating ABV = 9.6%; IBU = 66.6

Appearance: Pours amber-copper with visible rising carbonation.

Aroma: Sweet malts and honey followed by a wallop of pungent hops.

Taste: Toasty sweet malts, honey, melon, floral/herbal hops. Great balance. A load of flavor without being challenging.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied. Very smooth. Light carbonation.

Overall: Very drinkable high ABV big beer. Quite sweet up front but a load of hops cuts the sweetness for an excellent finish. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.3/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at POPE, Philly, PA

Poured a clear, walnut brown, with reddish highlights, and a small white head that nonetheless laced rather well. Toasty malts and molasses on the nose. Taste was of nice toasted malts, nutty, woody, and a bitter pine sensation, with a subtle toffee flavor in there somewhere. I was kind of surprised when I looked up the ABV here, because I detected little to no alcohol bite at all. Not too out of the ordinary, but still a nice drink, and I suppose it'll get you hammered pretty fast if you're not careful, since the alcohol is masked so well. Light-medium mouthfeel, and easily drinkable, but not overly flavorful.

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Photo of superspak
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 3/14/2013. Pours moderately cloudy orange copper color with a 1-2 finger dense cream colored head with great retention; that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice dense soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, pine, orange zest, orange rind, pineapple, floral, grass, caramel, and floral earthiness. Excellent aromas with big hop presence and complexity with a fair amount of malt balance. Taste of orange zest, grapefruit, tangerine, orange rind, pineapple, floral, pine, grass, caramel, and floral earthiness. Fair amount of floral pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, citrus zest, pineapple, pine, floral, caramel, grass, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice hop flavor complexity; with a moderate malt balance that does not overpower the hop flavors; with zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy, slick, and moderately sticky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent hoppy strong ale. Great hop flavor complexity and moderate malt balance; and very smooth to drink for the ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

 1,294 characters

Photo of mothman
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Stub and Herbs on 5/15/09

Poured into pint glass.

Color is a dark golden copper. Left some splattered lace.

Aroma: Darker hops, more dry. Some citrus notes that reminded me of an IPA. Bready like the Surly 16 Grit. Kind of sweet.

Taste: Bready malts. Massive floral hops. Nut brown nuts. Maple brown sugar. Citrus. A lot like an IPA.

Mouthfeel: IS very bitter, but smooths out. Medium bodied good carbonation. Ends very hoppy.

Overall at 9.02% this was pretty decent. Alcohol is hidden very well. Reminds me a lot like an IPA/DIPA. I could easily have more of this.

 582 characters

Photo of Slatetank
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I purchased this from Wegman's, enjoyed chilled from the 12oz brown bottle in a teku.

The color is brilliant bronze with great clarity and thick full pale cream with 2 fingers depth and fine bead with excellent retention and lace sticks in a camouflage type random pattern. The smell is a mix of citrus from the hops and light malt sweet scents with hints of berry and light alcohol odor. The feel is very good - emphasis on the bitterness fades into a more balanced feel with medium carbonation and slight sweetness mid palate with a nice amount of alcohol for the style and semi-dry finish.

The taste is a complex blend of citrus ans spice flavors from NW hops and some yeast in the taste which brings a fruity dark berry quality with moderately sweet almost caramel flavor in the malt which supports the hop bitterness. The alcohol is relatively subdued and emphasizes a slight spice/pine-like element more toward the finish but there is still enough sweetness to blanket the palate as it finishes smooth. Overall I like the intensity it is a little sweeter than most in this style, could almost be blurring the lines of English barleywine but is very hoppy which is why I think it fits the style of American Strong well - pretty drinkable but I would share this if possible.

 1,283 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.91/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an effervescent orange/caramel with 4 fingers of fluffy pearl colored head. Great head retention & lacing

S: Dark fruit, leafy & citrussy hops

T: Taste follows the nose, along with some brown sugar & toffee, plus dryness up front. Herbal & woody hops surface along with some booze bite as this warms, brown sugar & a slight oaky sourness is there as well, interesting... Finishes dry with caramel sweetness & herbal & tangerine hops

MF: Chewy with smooth carbonation, warmth builds as you drink it, a little more malt balance would've worked for me...

This is a big beer. Complexity & dryness are slowing me down a bit, but a super-solid offering to be sure. I am enjoying this in my cool air conditioned basement, bet it's better by a roaring fire in the dead of winter,,,

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Photo of dbrauneis
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a crystal clear dark amber in color with some garnet red hints when held up to the light. The beer has a half finger tall beige head that reduces to an extremely thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer with a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Strong aromas of pine/resin hops along with some lighter hints of citrus hops and caramel malts.

T: The beer starts out with some caramel malt sweetness before the huge flavors of pine/resin hops take over - contributing quite a lot of bitterness that lingers for a long time.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly sticky.

O: Very enjoyable but not the easiest beer in the world to drink, The taste, smell, and mouthfeel of the alcohol are well hidden in this beer but you can kind of tell this is a big beer. Definitely one for sipping with the high ABV and the moderately strong bitterness.

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Photo of smcolw
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Three pour bartender on this one. Lots of head and what was left on my glass lasted a very long time, leaving a blanket of lace. Deep, dirty copper color and very clear.

Predominant grapefruit rind aroma. A bit of candy sugar to the nose also.

Starts off malty with lots of Crystal and mild sweetness. You cannot anticipate the hop explosion that comes with the swallow. Both pepper and alcohol warmth show up in the aftertaste. Full bodied with low carbonation.

In short, this is an unexpectedly complex beer.

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Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at a DC tasting thanks to nimbleprop. Bottle from 07-08.

a - Pours a murky amber brown color with one inch of white head and low carbonation evident.

s - Smells of caramel malts, sweet fruit, bready malts.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, fruity malts, sugar, and a hint of alcohol, but not much.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - I thought this was a really nice beer that was more like a barlewine to me. It's held up really well and I would love to try again.

 479 characters

Photo of billab914
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into my Dogfish shaped glass. It poured a darker amber color with a frothy, creamy, sticky head to it. Nice looking color and pretty good lacing as I drank it as well.

The aroma is not surprisingly, pretty hoppy for the style. I get some floral, pine and citrus notes to it. I'm getting a bit of a pineapple or peach flavor out of the hoppiness as well. There's also a pretty big malt presence with some caramel and candied fruit flavors blending pretty well wit the hoppiness. Pretty nice aroma overall.

The taste shows more of the bright, juicy hops to it. I get some peach and mango flavors up front, while some pine and grapefruit bitterness comes out a little more towards the finish. The sweet, malty, caramel flavors compliment very well and give it some really nice candied fruit flavors.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation being moderate. Overall, I thought it was a very good beer. The hoppiness was really good, and the malts compliment very well. It really comes together well, very nice overall.

 1,046 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.62/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had it since the first year it was released, saw a single bottle for sale and picked one up. Copper deep amber body with a light colored white head. Fine speckled lacing. Aroma has a toffee toasted malt character with an earthy/citric hop nose going on as well. Big alcohol layers hidden in the sweet and hoppy notes I'm getting. Flavor, has a toasted malt character with sweet sugary notes and alcohol burn going on with a big massive hoppy resinous quality about it, grapefruit and citrus malts burst to blend the flavors into what we are drinking here. Mouthfeel, is medium to full bodied with the high burn of alcohol coming through. Resinous oily hop oils coming on with each sip, still not a bad beer just a bit bigger in alcohol than I typically care for. It stays away from the barleywine zone, but damn fine overall.

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Photo of stakem
3.59/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Josh for gifting me with this. 12oz bottle poured into a can glass. The brew appears clear copper in color with big frothy yellowish khaki head that fades leaving webby lace.

The smell includes caramel malt and fruity alcohol with a touch of herbal hops. It has a little solvent aspect to it.

The taste is fruity alcohol/hops with caramel to biscuit malt sweetness. A slightly herbal aspect before getting solvent with alcohol.

This is medium bodied and modestly carbonated. Overall a boozy, decent brew.

 514 characters

Photo of jwc215
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes from September, '07 that were lost and recently found:

Pours copper amber with a head that slowly becomes a lasting patch. Some lacing sticks. Nice retention for abv.

The smell is of aromatic citric/piney/resiny hops. Great hop profile!

The taste is of citric/piney/resiny hops with a firm sweet malt backbone that gives it a nice balance to the bitterness. The hop flavor stands out without the lingering bitterness, and without completely covering the maltiness. Alcohol reasonably (to say the least) well-covered.

The body is medium - approaching full. Smooth despite alcohol.

A delicious brew that is hoppy, yet well-balanced. A nicely done, drinkable DIPA.

 686 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, bronze appearance, slim whitehead.

Mild fruit in aroma ,apple mostly, a little spicy, minor bitterness. Nice and malty. A little sour.

Tasting, it really feels like a good dark English malty mild ale, but one with a beast in it's belly. You can feel the fire coming up. Really gentle, mellow...and then a nip,a bite...a 9% mild? Here we go...

Very nice, well done, but don't think I could have more than one. Are mild supposed to be 9%?Not sure...not...sure...

 471 characters

Photo of tdm168
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - dark amber with a thin, dense, white head that has good retention

S - big floral hop aroma with fainter underlying orange and grapefruit notes

T - faint bread, big caramel, huge hop character - floral, citrusy, piny, herbal, bitter

M - full bodied, a bit crisp

This was a really solid beer. It had huge flavor. I think it could stand to be more malty but huge floral, citrusy hops and a laid back malt character is how Lagunitas seems to role. That being said I'm along for each and every ride. This reminds me quite a bit of their Imperial Red Ale. It has much the same hop character. The body and ABV are a bit bolder. Nonetheless, it's got solid flavor and drinkability. It's definitely worth a try.

 710 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Interesting little six pack called out to me the other day while perusing the isles of a store I don't normally shop at. Pours a deep copper color with a fluffy off white head that dissipates slowly but leaves lots of sticky lace on my glass. Lots of caramelly sweet malt aromas fly north of my glass barely tamed by the spicy pine of the hops. Taste is sweeter than I expected up front there is a ton of sweet malt mostly caramel and toffee. Taste turns earthy and pine bitter about midway through and that flavor lingers into the finish and long after each sip. Thick body, resinous and sticky sweet mouthfeel, moderate level of carbonation. I enjoyed the hell out of this brew. Its a big sweet thick monster of a beer with barely enough hops to keep it from cloying, but for my taste buds it worked.

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Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 985 ratings.
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