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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): 9.30%

Availability: Rotating

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

Added by GilGarp on 03-10-2009

For Trade:
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Reviews: 988 | Ratings: 4,216
Photo of Libeertarian
4.46/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Look is a clear burnt orange. Darker than copper, I'd say. Tannish, thick, long-lasting head. Smell is of hops, quite perfumy. Makes it hard to wait for the tasting. Taste is balanced very much in favor of hops, so this ale's as bitter as a standard IPA, but it's sweet and peppery, and therefore fairly well balanced (excepting malt qualities) probably owing as much to the high alcohol (says 9.3% on my bottle, not 9.7%) as it is to the variety of hops. A strong and more bitter aftertaste, but still sweet and peppery. Somewhat like a vegetable broth, but not overwhelming like you'd notice in Bridgeport's Hop Czar Imperial IPA, for example. It's warming as and after it goes down. There's a slight chewy/oily sensation on my teeth as it lingers and even after it's gone. Leaves the mouth fairly dry and constricted, especially if you wait a few minutes. The combination of the bitter, warming, and drying qualities causes my lips, tongue, teeth and hard palate to feel pleasantly numb. My brain is probably next. Thank you, alcohol! At least let me finish my review before you set in! I really took my time writing it and managed to drink the whole thing before it was completed. Oops!

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Photo of obrike
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good looking beer...reddish, brown copper; no clouds in my glass...quite clear....lace does not last, but leaves pretty spots of lacing with each sip.

Wow...that's a fetching scent! Booze, up front...but not in a bad way. Sweet malt, dark fruits, raisins...reminds me of a doppel bock/dipa combo.

Man, interesting. I got a bit of banana, pear, raisin, sweet sugary barley...quite a mix. Good, but I can't see drinking more than one a night. Have a feeling this combo of tastes and booze could leave one feeling a tad off kilter the next day if you over do it on this one.

Carbonation is a bit high...most beers with this much booze are a bit lighter in this department. Still...very drinkable for such a high abv beer...just be careful!

Lagunitas has come up with yet another unique, drinkable, affordable brew. I wish they would go public so i could buy their stock.

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Photo of mattsander
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Deep copper, excellent clarity, lots of bubbles, thin but tenacious head.

S: Juicy-fruit malt, caramelized sugar, orange and mango hop character, smells great. A bit of booze but otherwise very nice.

T: Sweet caramely malts at the base with a nice bubblegum/cotton candy hop finish. Very easy to drink for a beer of this strength.

M: Full bodied, creamy, very nice to drink.

Undercover Investigation offers all the typical Lagunitas flavors with a big booze punch. Far too easy to drink this huge beer.

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

Presentation: 12 oz bottle into a nonic.

A- Deep copper / amber, and slightly hazy. Pours with ~1 finger of creamy tan head, which fades very slowly to an island of bubbles.

S- Surprising amount of citrusy hops are noticed first, followed by a sturdy caramel maltiness.

T- Citrus hops flavors, fruity notes, sweet malts, and a bit of booze. Sturdy hop bitterness, and moderate sweetness.

M- Slightly low carbonation with a medium feel. A bit of alcohol warming.

D- Good. All around quality brew that is an easy drinker for it's 9.75% ABV.

Future outlook: Very nice beer obtained at a very modest price. Might have to snag a few of these to stow away.

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Photo of bucklemyshoe
3.86/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle at 45 degrees into a Stone IRS tulip.

A: It pours a mostly clear red color with a two finger head of dirty white foam that holds and laces very well.

S: Strong maltiness, red apples, a little toffee, and dark fruits.

T: Buttered popcorn, caramel, strong hoppiness, dark fruits, and some tangy citrus.

M: This has a medium-thick body with average carbonation and some stickiness.

O: This is tasty and strong, yet pretty easy to drink.

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Photo of GallowsThief
3.6/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A – Deep golden brown on pour with about one finger of fluffy off white head that is pretty damn sticky with lacing.

S – Earthy, piney and citrusy. Sweetness in the nose.

T – Has a nice hop bite to start. Citrus tastes next. Malt sweetness at the back end. Definitely feel a nice alcohol burn at the finish.

M – Medium to full bodied. Solid carbonation. Creamy.

O - Solid brew with a wild swing from hops to malt sweet. Liked it but did not love it.

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Photo of homebrewhawk
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle served in a shaker pint. Poured a clear dark gold with a finger of off white head. Piney hop aroma with plenty of caramel malt. Medium to full bodied. Lots of malt upfront with a fair amount of sweetness. There are plenty of hops to balance out the malt. Nice drying finish from the hops. Lagunitas brews a lot of strong malty, hoppy beers, and this one is pretty tasty.

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Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice copper brown orange color with some decent off-white head that laces pretty well. Smell is deeply floral and citrusy, though there was a hint of soapiness in there too that wasn't so good--if not for that, it was a really great aroma. Taste is a bit bigger on the malts, though the hops stuck around for a nice barleywine-type flavor profile. Big caramel and syrupy malts with some big pine and citrus hops to go along. Medium mouthfeel, coats ok, not particularly dry. It could potentially use a bit more carbonation. Good drinkability, dangerously so at almost 10% ABV.

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Photo of djeucalyptus
3.77/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bright dark amber, orange, and crimson. a thin light head of maybe a finger fades quickly and leaves some dabs of lacing here and there.

aroma of sweet malt, roasted, toasted, caramel and maple. brown sugar. then the hops pour in. pine, grapefruit, floral, herbal. delicious. powerful. yet balanced.

taste follows aroma - heavy sweet roasted malt with maple and brown sugar sweetness, followed by some strong yet neutral and balanced hops. pine, grapefruit, citrus, herbal, and floral all flow from the glass to balance the powerfully sweet malt. Well balanced, although comes across as a bit neutral. not necessarily bad, but not astounding.

mouthfeel is rich, full, and thick. hints at creamy, but the sugars and the bitter and astringent hops pull it away from the realm of luxuriously creamy. rich and vibrant with ample carbonation.

All in all, not a bad brew. fairly similar to a few of the other Lagunitas strong ales, which isn't necessarily bad. Really well balanced - almost too much so, as I'm left wanting something more. The alcohol is incredibly well hidden... I would have guessed 7% instead of 9+. Drinkability is high, although it's lacking just a bit of pop and uniqueness to make it incredibly desirable... all in all, can't really knock it.

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

12oz bottle served in a snifter.
ABV: 9.87%

pours a translucent deep amber/copper while yielding 3/4" beige head. fades unhurriedly into a thin cap, collar around the glass; some patchy lacing evident. all in all a nice looking brew.

aromatic nose is rife with pungent hops (citric, a bit floral) and a background caramel malty presence. great aroma.

taste is right in line with the aroma. very hoppy with more of that citric/floral, and a balancing but not overdone malt bill. bitter hoppiness persists through the finish. very tasty. a bit of alcohol discernible but pretty well hidden, esp. considering the ABV. reminiscent of arrogant bastard.

medium-bodied mouthfeel with average carbonation.

overall this beer comes as a very pleasant surprise. i was expecting a relatively enjoyable, B-range beer. what i got instead was A-worthy.

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Photo of seand
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy reddish brown, with just few clumps of off white head. What little is there retains around the edges of the glass well enough to leave small spots of lacing.

S: Sweet with a light graininess, notes of dried fruit and brown sugar, as well as a touch of booze.

T: Sweet, balanced by a big hoppy finish.

M: Medium to full body, medium carbonation.

A decent strong ale; it's sweet, boozy, and hoppy, but there's nothing particularly outstanding about it.

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Photo of ZenAgnostic
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tapped into a tulip. Was told by the bartender (apparently incorrectly) that this was an American Strong Ale.

Appearance - One finger offwhtie head with decent retention and low to medium stick. Medium amber brown clear body.

Smell - Strawberry maltiness. Grassy hop. Mild to moderate body. No alcohol presence.

Mouthfeel - Chewy. Slight alcoholic bite and moderate but balanced astringency.

Overall Drinkability - One of the most balanced and drinkable American Strong Ales I've had [ED: apparently wasn't an ASA]

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Photo of AC-Mivsek
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- Pours dark gold with a quickly fading white head leaving sticky lacing
S- Pine, hop resin, some floral/fruity notes,
T- Heavy on the bitter hops
M- full body, medium carbonation, slick and coats the tongue
O- A nice and hoppy strong ale, but nothing too over-the-top impressive, I'll still take a Sucks or Brown Shugga over this.

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Photo of silverking
4.29/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- pours a clear amber with a rocky tan head and lots of sticky lacing.

S- dank, woody, spicy, citrus. It truly smells fantastic.

T- ruby red grapefruit, pine, orange peel. There is a definite sweetness.

M- full bodied, creamy. Low amounts of prickly carbonation.

O- it's borderline sensory overload, and I love it.

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Photo of Lothore
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a clear copper hue with a fizzy, 2 finger, off white head.

S-Malty, spice, huge hop notes.

T- Very sweet all the way through. The hops hit hard towards the beginning and end with a grapefruit bitterness.

M- Medium bodied with decent carbonation.

D- This is a nice brew I just wish there was a little less residual sugar.

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4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Good cream nose with a good retention and lacing. Body a slight haze, with a deep amber color.

S: Pine and orange come through. A bold and robust aroma. A hint of single-malt scotch is present.

T: A hefty Abv, but not that you can tell by the taste. A pine, medium taste that shows a hint of booze at the end. The ABv is hidden very well behind a good complexity of hops and malt. The malts are present on the off tastes of this ale.

M: Creamy on the start, with a smooth finish. The lingering taste releases more malt flavors.

D: For the style and ABV, this is a very drinkable beer. I take them on bike rides to sip and enjoy during a ride. Easy going, does not leave you with a heavy and full feeling.

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

22oz. brown bomber

Poured into a snifter. Very nice tan head, with good retention. Gorgeous reddish amber color with a nice halo effect after the head settles. Very nice lacing as well. Sweet rich malty aroma, with lead fruits such as apples, figs and raisins covered with a strong alcohol aroma. This beer has aged some. The extra time mellowed this one out perfectly. Flavors of figs and raisins with some spice. Very complex palate. A little fruity, but it is still a kick ass brew. The mouthfeel is unbelievably smooth, with a low to mild carbonation level. Beautiful palate. Overall, this beer was great the first day I had it, but the aging just makes this outstanding.

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Photo of Nickls
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
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 Svyturys30
4.43/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

I had this beer out of a bottle poured into a snifter. This beer was aged about a year before it was broken out to enjoy. I thought that this beer was excellent and I hope to enjoy more of it at some point soon!

A-This beer is a darker orange/light brown appearance, almost like a new castle.

S- The smell is one of roasted grains and a bit of fruit

T- The taste was very mellow and wasn't hot at all. I was bummed when the bottle was finished!

M- Was a light viscosity and it felt light on the palate.

O- I thought this beer was outstanding and would recommend to anyone who like beer!


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Photo of obywan59
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a crystal clear reddish copper to amber in color with a 2 1/2 finger off white head that becomes chunky as it recedes. As the head starts to settle on the surface of the beer, it takes on the appearance of foaming yeast. Awesome thick, sticky lacing.

First impression of the aroma is yeasty as well. Yeasty bread dough. Caramelly and sweet with pine, ripe citrus, toasted grain and dark dried fruit..

Taste is borderline cloying at first, but mellows and is much improved as the beer warms. Sweet malts hinting of molasses. More caramel here, with citric tartness and a taste of alcohol that's rather strong but not harsh. A hint of cherries.

Rich, thick body. Prickly with carbonation and the sting of alcohol, but mellowing and developing a supple, smooth character as it warms. Warming in the throat and chest.

A sipper. A beer to savor. Tasty and full flavored, becoming elegant as it warms. A treat on a warm summer night, but this is also a beer that could hold it's own in the dead of winter.

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Photo of SolipsismalCat
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter.

A: Clear amber with giant, foamy, frothy, white head that lasted a long time. Fantastic lacing.

S: Citrus, grapefruit, hops, some caramel malt.

T: Moderate sweetness and light to moderate bitterness. More malt than the nose. Caramel malt. Alcoholic. Citrus hops.

M: Medium bodied with fizzy carbonation. Crisp and refreshing.

O: Great looking beer that has a great aroma too. Taste was not bad.

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Photo of Natural510
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rose color with decent head; nice half-moon lace ring on the glass.

Strong aroma of hops and sweet malt with hints of honey and molasses.

Sticky sweet; noted mix of tropical & dark fruit, brown sugar and pine cone. Malt and hops in heavy doses creates its own balance I suppose.

As expected, very full in body. Cloying sweetness hurts the drinkability factor somewhat. Satisfying to anyone seeking a revved-up blast of hops.
May be better in the long run with a bit of age on it. Otherwise, another good offering from Lagunitas.

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Photo of Magpie14
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: chestnut colored ruby with a touch of orange. The whipped top hoisted a soft mocha color that laced the walls of my glass thoroughly. Overall another nice fizzy concoction by Lagunitas

S: tart fruits of apple and oranges giving way to piney hops with a strong brown sugared malt presence. Smells like it is going to have a bite...if that is possible

T: citrusy, sweet buttery brown sugar, earthy floralesque, and pine laden hops. A soft spoken spiciness is concurrent in the mix. This brew boasts a strong malt propping with a hefty sweetness that melds everything together. I get the taste of mildly tart apples sprinkled with spices and drizzled with caramel
It really reminds me of the Brown Shugga in some respects. It is sweet, malty, fruity and boasting some good hops. This brew has a good balance of flavors and is not too sweet

M: a bit sticky on the tongue and yet retains a good smooth profile. Body is a medium full and washes down in gulps if your not careful. At just over 9% the alcohol is hidden for the most part and is never an issue

D: another great drinker from Lagunitas...yum

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Photo of Noxious26
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle poured in a pint glass. Purchased from Knightly Spirits in Orlando.

Orangey-copper and a little reddish. Off-white head is 1/4 inch on the pour but recedes to a thin cap. Decent lacing on the sides.

Strong and sweet aroma. Dried fruit, malty, grapefruit and other citrus.

Strongly hopped flavour. Malt and hops pummel one another at the start, but the hops win out after a couple of seconds and lead the way to a hoppy bitter finish. Caramel, hard candy, mandarin oranges, lime finish. After a few sips the alcohol shows up to the party.

Medium bodied, but a bit oily. Low levels of carbonation.

This is a nice sipping ale. Everything works together, but there's something I can't put my finger on that keeps it from being really drinkable, which is a good thing given it's 9.79% abv. Would be a good once-in-a-while beer, but not a usual suspect.

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Photo of uwmgdman
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The ale pours brilliantly clear copper color with moderate, sticky white head. The aroma is highly hoppy--spicy, citrus and pine; beneath the hops is a bit of earthy, nutty malt. The flavor is moderate-highly hoppy--citrus and pine, with moderate-high hop bitterness. The hop load is balanced out--at least partially, by a smooth, biscuity sweet malt and a belly warming presence of alcohol. The mouthfeel is quite smooth and silky with medium-full body. Overall this is a well-made, flavorful brew that is a bit different--pleasantly so. Pick it up!

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Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4.01 out of 5 based on 4,216 ratings.
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