Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale | Lagunitas Brewing Company

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Undercover Investigation Shut-down AleUndercover Investigation Shut-down Ale
4,443 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: 4,443 |  Reviews: 1,067
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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Photo of BearsSox
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into my Surly Darkness goblet.

Nice head, creamy, looks like froth on a cappuccino, but dlisappears quite quickly.

The smell is interesting - piney hops, some sweet caramel, and boy, some alcohol. Reminds me a bit of brandy.

Wow, this beer is something else. There is a strong hop character, but it seems as if the hops are swimming in a pool of brown sugar and bourbon. Whoo-hoo! This beer is hot. Which I like - 9.0%+ abv beer should taste that way.

I love the texture of this beer. Really fine carbonation, and the flavor seems to gently coat my tongue.

I could drink this beer a lot, but I shouldn't drink a lot of this beer, if that makes sense. It's boozey, but the flavor and smoothness make you want to pound quite a few back. Probably not a good idea.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Lagunitas- Undercover Investigation Ale

A- Golden copper, clear, with a huge thick chunky lacing head.
S- Big sweet bitter green hops, whiskey, and alc.
T- Bitter hops, slight vinegar, charcoal/ whiskey, and big hot messy booze.
M- Very alc. laden. Good thick caramelized malt and oily bitter green pine hops meld and finish this 1 off a bit smoother.

Overall- The alcohol is too present and too hot. Flavors take a back seat here. Won't have again.

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Photo of WalterSobchak
4.39/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear amber with a one finger off-white head, full cap, solid lacing.
This is a terrific smelling beer right out of the bottle getting bolder but not more complex as it warms. Strong floral hops and grapefruit are dominant.
Big bitter hops packed up front with a clean maltiness fading back into a sweet floral hops.
Warming alcohol, minimal carbonation and a buttery mouthfeel.
Love this one.

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Photo of Kraken
2.8/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed 3/24/09
Loved the story behind why this was brewed, had to pick up a 6'er. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 16oz pint glass. Exceedingly firm pour yields 1/8 inch head, bright white in color. Head fades quickly leaving no sign of lace. Color is a clear copper amber.

Nose- Piney, pithy grapefruit. Some pronounced caramel notes. Very dry, with some brown sugar sweetness. Plenty of bitterness in the finish. Very Hot. Kind of a hopped up sugary hot mess.

Mouthfeel- Very dry, and bitter.

Drinkability- Very strong, and confused.

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Photo of pinotboy007
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Bright, clear copper with a khaki-colored, thick, bubly head that leaves nice lacing and sip rings. Modest carbonation stream - no floaties.

S - Pine, grapefruit, oak and caramel; some peat aromas, too.

T - Nice. Much like it smells with a sweetness that seems in-check with the hop flavor, which is prominent. Alcohol follows it up.

M - Slick with a touch of creaminess as it warms; carbonation is nice making this rather refreshing.

D - Good for year 'round, I think. Probably is food friendly, too. The ABV is pushing the envelope, however.

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Photo of aforbes10
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish brown with a little white foam forming on the top. Spiderweb lacing. Smells of piney hops, some hint of citrus, sweet malt. Flavor is a strong sweet hoppy smackdown with pine, cane sugar and caramel. Sticky and syrupy but in a way that makes me think of hop resins, so i guess thats ok. A bit messy and a bit over the top with the hops, though it manages to approach some kind of balance because the malt and alcohol are why out there too. This is about what I expect from Lagunitas...good, not great, but worthwhile...usually.

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Photo of itcomesnpints
4.37/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bronze, clear, could be more head, residual glob on glass.

NW hops lay heavy oils. Strong herbal, pine aroma. Very close to a 5 for smell.

Taste is filled with hops. The bitterness might be out of your jurisdiction. Just enough malt to ensure balance. Sweet finish.

Exceptionally well-hidden abv. Creamy smooth finish.

A fantastic American Strongle Ale/DIPA that deserves more recognition than it's getting.

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Photo of SeanRedd
3.81/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another sugar bomb. A marshmellow merengue head floats atop a burnt amber body. The aroma is faint, but cookies and hop spice jump out the pint. The body is crisp for a heavy ale, bubbly thick syrup with plenty of residual sugar lacing. Light caramel, mineral, blood sap, and confectionary sugar. A balanced center that goes candided hop imbalance toward the end. The bubbles help to scrub out the booze. Interesting but I wont be stopping by for another.

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Photo of JRed
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear amber with fizzy white head that leaves some lacing. A strong hop presence in scent: aggressive on pine notes, some alcoholic sting, slight fruit tang. Alcoholic booze bullies around the hops in taste from start to finish. Some notes of citrus poke their heads out from the chaos and then hide when big bad ABV comes back. Hop bitterness lasts in the aftertaste. Carbonation is on the attack as well stinging the tongue until it is swallowed down. Drinkable but a bit mouthfeel can be rather annoying.

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Photo of dsa7783
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

More of an American Strong Ale than a Double IPA, this still packs a flavorful and powerful punch... Another great sample from Lagunitas...
Hints of rich malts with well-balanced hops dominate this brew along with subtle nuances of cherries and strawberries...
Rich, full-bodied, flavorful stuff with a warming alcohol glow...
Easily drinkable with the alcohol hard-to-detect...
I liked this interesting and unique brew...

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Photo of northaustin
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

i was lucky enough to have experienced this "sneak release" it was great. a nice double hopped i.p.a. a little more carbonated than i would have liked but no biggie. the story behind it is cool and i feel honored to have gotten to try it. i bought three six packs of it so if anyone wants some within the next month or so then let me know.

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Photo of indiapaleale
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Okay, whats the deal? Only 5 reviews of this stuff nationwide? I picked up an unassuming bottle in a mixed sixer not even knowing what it was and wow I am blown away!

Pours viscous, this is a high gravity beer based on its pout alone. Nice dark amber/golden color with nice carbonation and a nice looking thin white head.

Smell is super fresh hops, I was NOT expecting a super hoppy beer when I popped the cap but then again most of the Lagunitas beers seem to be slanted toward the hoppy end of the spectrum. These hops are super piney wow! Lots of resiny goodness eminates from my glass, it kills any other smells that might even be thinking of coming forward.

Wow, what a beer. Lots of piney hoppy goodness followed by some powdered sugar and caramel flavors and a nice malty backbone.

This ia very well balanced strong hoppy beer. I am very much in awe of just how good this beer was as I had no idea!

By far one of the best beer "surprises" I've had in awhile!!!

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Photo of optiontwo
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. poured into pint glass

Appearance: Clear orange with streaming lines of carbonation and a one inch white head.

Smell: Bitter citrus hops and some thick sweetness and a little bit of roasted caramel malts.

Taste: A lot sweeter than I would have expected but still with a good amount of bitter. Lots of grapefruit and pineapple flavors from the hops that almost comes of as resinous.

Mouthfeel: Not too thick and not too light.

Drinkability: Fairly high. I was surprised at how easy it was to get through this DIPA.

Overall: I'm really enjoying this one. This is something I'll definitely be picking up another six pack of.

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

Picked up a sixer of this today. Poured from a brown 12oz stubby into a tulip.
Forming an inch of white fizzy head, settling to a colar of retention. Nice drageage of lace lines the glass walls.
The color is a darker orange copper, mostly transparent with some chill haze. Nice even carbonation rise.

The aroma is a bready sourdough with sweet caramel, pine and fruity hops, with a hint of some spicie hops.

Oooh, lala this is delicious. Hoppy up front, with a bit of carbonation zing. Sweet through the middle, citrussy rind, pine bittering into the swallow. All the while a nice bready semi sweet flavor, pairing with butter scotch sweetness.
Finishing dry, minerally and full of hop linger.

No alcahol warming at the knose or in the taste. Outstanding beer!

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Photo of rowew
4.27/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz short bottle, label matches the other Lagunitas offerings, including the tiny description around the label. Date code is cryptic, but this just showed up in Colorado (and I suppose with that ABV it isn't a concern).

Appearance: Clear amber in color, thin head but good lacing.

Smell: Tons of sticky hop, with quite a bit of malt sweetness. Just a bit of dark fruit. Smells like half way between a barley wine and a big double IPA.

Taste: Strong hop flavor, with a good malt backbone behind it.. again, this is about half way between a DIPA and a BW, but its very drinkable.

Overall impression: Dangerous - the alcohol definitely isn't hidden, but its smooth and flavorful - I could drink several of these, but it would probably be a bad idea.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
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...

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Photo of GilGarp
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Differerent from the "Sneak relase" version in some ways. Labeled as an "imperial mild" on their website, it's best described as a very hoppy strong ale. Darker and richer than a DIPA but not as big as a barleywine.

"Limited release" on the bottle along with all the important information: O.G. 1.092, 9.03% ABV, 72.41 IBU. Strangely, all three statistics vary from what is printed on the six-pack carton.

Pours a dark amber red color with great clarity. I can even see my own fingerprints on the other side of the glass! Great sticky white head that leaves all sorts of lacing down the glass.

Aroma is very hoppy and sweet with a brown sugar quality to it. Lots of pine and honey too.

Flavor is big hoppy bitterness with a healthy dose of malty sweetness. It's almost barleywine but the hops take center stage on this one. There is lots of great west-coast style grapefrtui and piney hops in there.

Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with sweetness up front followed by a bitter dry(er) finish. Good lower level of carbonation.

Drinkability is hindered only by the strength. It's a great beer that I will probabaly be buying another sixpack of just to see how it ages.

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Photo of BeerSox
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz twist-off bottle into nonic.

Dark amber hue with a one finger off-white head that slowly settles to a thin cap. Rings of sticky lacing along the glass.

Plenty of sharp hop aroma, giving strong grapefruit-like citrus notes.

The malts are slightly thin, not adding much to the flavor. It's pretty much all hops with some strong citrus spice. Medium-full bodied with slightly lower carbonation.

A good DIPA, but seems just a little thin for the style. However, it's highly drinkable which is a little dangerous for this one considering it's 9+%ABV. Proceed with caution. Recommended.

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Photo of SaintPeter
5/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a luscious multi-finger thick tan head which dissipates slowly until it has a jagged, rocky top. Resembles a root beer float--thick and creamy! Head stays like a ice burg.

Dark cigar brown in color, oxidized copper in the light with tiny effervescent bubbles and visible floating sediment.

Wow!! Complex! Nutmeg, dried orange peels, cloves, hints of molasses, candied fruit, bourbon oak barrels, pine tar, soy sauce and a dusting of yeast.

Wow, again!! Extremely smooth throughout, buttery mouth feel. Like Heaven!

Mellow hops up front and even through the whole experience. Flavors of dark dried fruits like prunes, barley wine sweetness, luscious with a caramelized tone. Starts like a fine English ale, but never gets there, maltiness comes in later and the two unite in hop and malt matrimony. A perfect harmony of blend, the malt finishing in the end where the hops started. Hint of spice in the finish.

If I would ever want a last beer before I was executed, this would be it! Even more fragrant when you swirl and tip the sediment. You couldn't get a more perfect marriage of malt and hops in such a pleasant medium. Above and beyond! Would never be able to tell it was 9%+ it's smoothness.

A world class beer!

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Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 4,443 ratings