Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale | Lagunitas Brewing Company

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Undercover Investigation Shut-down AleUndercover Investigation Shut-down Ale
4,462 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,462 |  Reviews: 1,070
Photo of bhalter8
3.92/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked up a 6 pack of this, since its available here in GA, figuring it would be easy to fit in a review at some point. Here I am at the end of the six pack needing to review. Pours a deep red amber color, very dark, but very red, a bit of a diversion from the typical DIPA (I am surprised that is the style, really). A light, white 1 finger head rests atop. Another DIPA diversion would be the sweet malty aroma first, then followed by the hops. This comes through in the taste too, as it is quite bitter, but with a strong sweet counter flavor. Bitterness holds over in the mouthfeel, as well, but still a rather thick brew, with a syrupy sweetness. In the end, a very good beer, but in my opinion, somewhat unclassifiable. Definitely a stronger character to it than many Lagunitas offerings I have had to date.

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Photo of Beerking721
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased a 6'er of this last night and it was great!

A= Poured into a belgian tulip chalice, the beer exhibited a rich dark hazy amber color. The ample head relaxed into a fine white lace.

S= Aroma showed citrus concentration of hops, rich malt, brown sugar/caramel, and a hint of vanilla.

T= A very interesting combination of flavors somewhere between a barly wine and winter seasonal style. Rich and hoppy up front balanced with concentration of vanilla and caramel on mid palate with lingering essence of west coast cirtus.

M= A rich viscosity as represented by the "Imperial" style.

D= Easily qwaffed... this is a great stand-alone brew especially at the end of the day when a man wants to retire to his favorite easy chair! High ABV culminates in a "one and done!"

Again... Great job Lagunitas!!!

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Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep amber color reminiscent of a DIPA. Red/brown/orange color of autumn leaves. Decent head with OK lacing. Many streams of carbonation

S- Wide variety of hop aromas from spicy and peppery to tart and floral.

T- This is a well-balanced beer... if you're a hop head There is no doubt about it. Dark pale malt flavor of wheat bread and a big load of caramel malt flavors in the lighter lovibond range. Awesome bitter hopping, sticks around from start to finish. Refreshing fruity/floral aftertaste.

M- More balance. Not dry, but not thick. Carbonation is in moderation.

D- Damn drinkable for a "double" brew.

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Photo of sweetbrew82
4.02/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle into a snifter

How in the world this is listed as an American Strong Ale is completely beyond me. Make no qualms about it, this is a DIPA for sure!

P: Sits a glowing copper-colored liquid in the glass with a milky white, thick and creamy head of foam atop. Showed decent retention, sticking like hell as it subsided to leave some lace.

A: Pungeant tropical fruits, and some twangy citric notes hit the nasal passages first. It smells like pineapples, peaches, sweet oranges and grapefruit rinds. Lots of caramel underneath with barely a hint of the malts.

T: No doubt, being this fresh the hops are wall-to-wall in the flavor department. But, It's not an insanely-hopped brew, more like a balanced "extra" IPA like the SN Torpedo. Fruit profile consists of pineapples, peaches, oranges, and a big dose of brown sugar-crusted grapefruit rinds. Not to be outdone, the malt bill is behemoth in stature as well, delivering a thick caramel blast that puts it in the same category as Hopsickle just recently fell into, the "well-balanced" DIPA category that teeters on the edge of being an American Barleywine. Thankfully though, hops win out in the end when they slip in a late bittering jab on the finish to leave that hop-puckering taste in my mouth to barely save the day.

M: Lagunitas' Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale (one of the longest names ever) is a medium-bodied beer that is perfectly carbonated with a smooth, creamy texture that slathers the beer all over your tongue. But just like Hopsickle, it's a tad too thick for my preference in hoppy beers.

Notes: As stated before, this reminds me a lot of Sierra Nevada Torpedo. A well-balanced brew with some tropical hop flavors that satisfy my unrelenting cravings, if only for a moment. Just a little too much malt in the way of the hops for my taste. But don't take a hop-heads' word for it, try it for yourself and support a good local brewery while you're at it. If you like aggressively-hopped Barleywines, you will love this!

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Photo of seanbhudson
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy amber color with a large off-white head that dissipates slowly. A good amount of lacing.
Floral citrus (lemon, orange), pine and caramel.
Similar to aroma. Citrus, pine and caramel malt. As the beer warms up I get some earthy flavors too. A tad more bitter than sweet.
Medium bodied beer with. Soft carbonation. Relatively dry finish.
Very easy drinking beer. I hardly taste any alcohol at all in this 9% beer. If I were to rate this against a pale ale or IPA, I would say this is very good. It seems a bit simple and mild for an Imperial IPA.
NOTES: BBCSD-0904-Sean

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.02/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

G: Poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a dark amber with a thick, creamy head with a good amount of carbonation bubbles on top. Barely transparent.

S: Sweet, citrus hops. Hints of caramel and darker malts.

T: Hop character comes straight through. This might be listed as a strong ale, but it's definitely quite close to a DIPA. A little bit of caramel and candied sugars. Mild spice.

M: Medium-bodied with a mild alcohol presence. Goes down smooth with moderate levels of carbonation.

D: A little bit on the bitter side--I would like something that's a little more balanced, but overall quite good.

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Photo of BMoney575
3.06/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Sampled on 4-7-09

Pours a clear deep red/brown, with a huge, foamy, clingy, off-white head that leaves crazy thick lacing.

Smell is all fruity and grassy hops, with a strong malt in the back. Reminds me very much of an Arrogant Bastard.

Taste is sweet and hot, combining to create a cinnamon-like quality. Fruity hops on the finish, with slick alcohol.

Mouthfeel is super slicks, adds to the booziness.

Drinkability is poor, see above.

Overall, lots of booze, little else.

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Photo of KeefD
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice amber color, rather large off-white head, sticky lacing. Aroma of piney and citrus hops, alcohol, a bit of toasted, caramelized malty goodness. Flavor has a nice hop bite, there's plenty of IBUs to go around, sappy pine and grapefruit, great balance between the bitter and the sweet. Medium body. My only knock on this beer is it's pretty similar to every other hopped-up Lagunitas offerings. Not that it's bad thing, just nothing new. Good beer, though.

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Photo of sarahspat
3.44/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Crystal clear but dark amber red, with a considerable caramel head, which settles quickly, but leaves moderate amounts of lacing.

Smells like an IPA or DIPA. Very hoppy nose. Piney/earthy, very nice, strong pineapple, Gala apple, caramel. However, after it warms up a bit, an unpleasant musty scent almost completely takes over.

The musty scent thankfully does not make an appearance in the taste. Hops are herbal and piney, mostly. Tart apples linger on the palate long after the swallow. The pineapple gains prominence after warming. The hops definitely take center stage in this brew; it's very bitter with a minimal, barely noticeable caramel malt presence. The mouthfeel is on the light side, but there is ample carbonation. Slightly above average drinkability.

If I did not know that BA classified this as an American Strong Ale, I would probably have thought DIPA. Lagunitas calls it an "Imperial Mild"... whatever that is. At any rate, it tastes nothing like what I expected, but it's not bad.

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Photo of allengarvin
4.29/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Chimay chalice, this beer has a nice dark amber color, though with but a modest head atop it. The nose makes up for it, with a deliciously hoppy aroma, tending grassy, citrusy. The flavor is one big continuous blast of hops, hugely citrusy and resinous... the sweet malt only comes through if you concentrate on it. Very bitter and dry in the finish. At less than 9 bucks a 6 pack, a downright bargain for uberhoppy beers.

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Photo of morimech
3.73/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber color with a thick head that has excellant retention. Plenty of sticky lacing. A continous release of tiny carbonation bubbles makes this an attractive beer. Has a heavily hop aroma of pine and grapefruit. I also detect something like sulfer. I don't know where that is coming from. The hops dominate the flavor as well. Mostly pine flavored. Very bitter overall. Not much comes from the malt which this needs to balance things out. Has a nice body with a soft texture dispite the extreme bitterness. Carbonation is just enough to lift the body. Another very one dimensional beer from the West Coast.

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Photo of badmoon
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tulip from a bomber.

A: Bronze hue with orange highlights towards the edge. Started with a good finger of head that dissipated quickly. Very little lacing.

S: The nose is of pine and a spice that I can't quite put my finger on. I'm also picking up some nutmeg.

T: It's a big brew with an obvious pine influence. After taking a few sips, the alcohol warmth on the throat is evident. It's an attention-getter.

M: Medium body brew. The hops are definitely present at the back of the beer. The carbonation is just right.

D: I like it. This one is deceptively strong. I think this is one that you could over-do.

Overall: Very interesting beer. I really liked it! I'm not sure I could have more than one or two but that's alright. I will be buying this again. Try it!

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Photo of xhcadamx
4.24/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark copper with a thick white head and excessive lacing

S - Pine, grapefruit, apple, malt - smells tasty

T - huge amounts of pine and grapefruit fighting for tastebud domination. Malt backs the bitterness with a solid foundation of chewiness

M - thick and chewy

D - its a little boozy but i like it

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Photo of Offa
2.51/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

This is rather rough and unbalanced, like a rougher, more astringent, less balanced, and generally less well-crafter relative of Lagunitas's own Lucky 13.

Deep reddish, it has a medium pale tan head steadily shrinking to a thin foamy top and leaving a little lace.

The aroma is hoppy with a lot of grapefruit an pine plus very strong alcohol notes.

The taste is similar, some candied fruit and rum, some caramel, and hop flavours, but with too much grapfefruit and too much rough alcohol. The elements do not marry well but conflict and ultimately it is too bitter, astringently hot, and harsh, with a very drying feel in the mouth.

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Photo of tigg924
3.38/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, medium carbonation, clear, amber

Smell:pine and hops dominate

Taste: pine, hops, caramel, and alcohol

Mouthfeel: nice combo of sweet and bitter with bitter dominating the finish medium carbonation on the tongue, medium body

Drinkability: I would have this again, but will not search for it. To me this is very hoppy--like a cross between and old ale and an IPA..If you love hops, go for it. I want something a bit more balanced

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz single bottle into a Lancaster Brewing pint glass. It's been about two years since I had the sneak release of this beer.

A- Lagunitas UISDA is a nicely lit light bronze color with some brownish appearence to it. The head builds to about 3/4 of an inch and starts degressing before im done pouring the bottle. A nice beige film stays on the surface forever leaving spotty lace.

S- A wonderful scent coming from this bordering between a DIPA and a strong ale. As expected a lot of hops giving off piney smells as well as light citrus with grapefruit. A malt extravaganza gving off earthy smells with bread. some sweet caramel and a oily base coming off of the hops. More sweetness possibly from the addition of some sugars. Boozy.

T- This is good stuff and as I drink it im thinking it leads more into the strong ale category. Loads of west coast hops giving off a nice bitterness from the 72 IBU's. This is not a hop bomb because the sweetness comes from a nice malt addition and other sweetners, maybe some brown sugar. On the end i get a sense of some dark fruits although they are not pronounced. At 9% the alcohol is not a problem.

M- Some bitternes is all throughout this but it goes down smoother than expected. Undercover is two steps above medium bodied with a good dose of carbonation. I guess they tweaked the recipe some cause i remember this being more assauling in the past but that could be my expanding palette. This does not burn the tounge out with the hop addition.

D- Not sessionable, but i would not mind getting drunk off of a six pack. Hey, maybe i will try that on a lazy afternoon during the weekend. This stuff is good and cant be denied even with an apparent change in recipe additions. A lot of beers I get from lagunitas taste the same but this is a step in a different direction, one that I welcome with open arms.

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle

Pours a clear medium-amber color with a small, creamy white head. Head fades leaving decent lacing on the glass.

Very aromatic citrusy hops escape the confines of the glass. Slightly sweet with just a hint of nectarine. No noticable malt.

Explosion of citrusy hops upfront, leading into a fairly aggressive bitterness that brings an exceptional balance. Finishes with just as many hops as it started, fairly dry and with only a faint bitterness that lingers.

Full body, mild carbonation.

As easy to drink as it is enoyable. The level of balance is very pleasing, and often lacking in this style. Worth seeking.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$2.10 for a 10oz single at Jacks, although I bought a 6 pack. LaG's stuff is always great. They've never released a beer I didn't like. 2009 release, 9.03% ABV, OG=1.092, 72.41 IBU's.

Pours out to a clear deep garnet, forming a tall poofy light yellow head with excellent retention and nice chunky lacing with mild to moderate carbonation. The aroma is pungently hoppy, sweet and skunky, malty and big, suggesting candied almonds and brown sugar. Mouthfeel is big, bold, and dense bodied, with a pleasant syrupiness. Taste opens with pungent skunky hops (likely Amarillo) with mango and grapefruit notes, followed by a huge malt body, a lingering sweetness (almost like Belgian Candy sugar), and although the beer isn't all that bitter, as the sweetness fades, a herbal bitterness creeps back in and hangs on the tongue through the aftertaste. Packs a solid buzz and goes down quite nicely. Belches have an interesting bourbon twing.

This is a great brew. I'd gladly buy it again, and recommend it to anyone who loves DIPAS.

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Photo of GoGriz
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

For a beer that most have filed under "hoppy", I feel that the hops were manageable and well-balanced with a tasty maltiness. Generally, I don't care for extra hoppy beers and this was more than pleasantly great. Minimal head, piney -citrussy nose - soft amber in color, a beer that I wish I hadn't already finished!

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Photo of thebeeve
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is just awesome. Really, really nice. The only drawback was finding the 9% alcohol level. It'd be far to easy to drink about 6 of these without blinking an eye. Hoppy but with just enough hops to keep it appropriately balanced. Really nice find.

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Photo of LittleDon
3.87/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Copper colored and slightly hazy with low carbonation. It starts with a healthy off-white head that quickly disappears into nicely abundant lace.

S - A melange of bread, caramel, and hops

T - Sweet, yet well balanced by the hops. The alcohol does come through however and is somewhat noticeable. A slightly bitter finish, despite the sweet note up front and in the middle.

M - Medium bodied, leaning toward the heavier side

D - Good, would have been better if the alcohol wasn't so prominent.

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Photo of goatxpower
3.66/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- pours a nice, clear copper reddish brown. small head fades quick (might have been a bad pour on my end).

S- For just a second, you get the big hops that you expect from Lagunitas... then it utterly disappears. Sort of dissapointing.

T- Peachy, boozey, almost Southern Comfort-like tones, A little bit of toast and bread. A little bit of caramel, but nothing burnt. Much smoother then I expected.

M- Very sweet, like a Barleywine. Lingers with just a touch of hops. Almost thought that it may have been a Bizzaro interpretation of a ESB until I smelled the American hops. Despite comparison to barleywine, has a rather light body.

D- Stylistically, this is all over the place. But, this beer goes down too easily. I could easily drink a 6-er...and then pay the price in the morning.

Overall- a but restrained for what I'm used to from Lagunitas, but other then that, a great beer. Flavorful enough to drink several. Underwhelming, compared to the rest of this brewery's line-up. Do I have a problem if I consider this session-able?

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Photo of Morey
3.76/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer has an orangish hue when it's held up to the light. Nice frothy cream colored head with some stick that should be respected. Good clarity, not much haze at all.

Faint smells of alcohol, fruit, and hops (not citrusy like an IPA though).

Taste is a bit on the sweet side. This kind of reminds me of Oak-Aged Unearthly a bit. Not quite as hoppy though. The hops are there, but not as dominant as the fruity sweetness of this strong ale.

Mouthfeel is medium with an aggressive carbonation that bubbles on your tongue like someone slipped some pop-rocks into your brew.

I personally couldn't drink too many of these in one sitting though.

Morey's Bottom Line: If you're a fan of the style....this is a must try. A well made beer without a doubt. For me, it's a bit sweet though.

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Photo of John_M
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Mahaffey's the other day. I assume this is the "shutdown" ale I had, as the beer menu did have "investigation" as part of the name.

The beer pours a copper amber color with very good head retention and lacing. The nose on this beer is fairly attractive, consisting of almost a sweet lollipop nose, but with considerable underly citrus hoppiness. The flavors on the palate generally replicate the nose, except instead of candy, there is more of a sweet tropical fruit flavor, coupled with the considerable hoppy bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, and the alcohol wore on me a bit as I drank down my pint.

Another solid beer from Lagunitas. A bit too sweet and boozy for my tastes, but otherwise not bad at all.

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Photo of Proteus93
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Nice amber hue, slightly dark. Head is nice and foamy. Retention and lacing are both pretty nice. This good looking brew is off to a good start.

S: Pine, some notes of bark and maltiness. Certainly a big hop profile with just the softest sweetness.

T: Big hoppy flavour.... lots of piney tastes, some bitter citrus rind (grapefruit without the sugary flavours). Some tart fruit notes come out and make a nice addition. Quite tasty.

M + D: Sparkling and rather assertive carbonation. Medium body, with a slight bit of chewiness and a lasting flavour. This is a pretty good beer, and I would be happy to have another.

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Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 4,462 ratings