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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 damndirtyape
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle (no date) poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Coppery orange with the slightest of haze. Initial 1/4" rocky off-white foam died back to a ring at the edge, a paper thin island in the middle, and lots of delicate persistent lacing (strands and islands) on the sides. Bubbles moving up slowly through this beer.

Smell: Something spicy in here with a swirl. A bit boozy with some piney and citrus hops. A bit sweet as well. I want to say the spice I'm smelling is coriander....but I'm not sure about that either.

Taste: That spicy flavor right up front, blending quickly with a solid sweet flavor from all the malt, then finishing cleanly with those citrus (a bit of grapefruit) and mild pine flavor hops. Very balanced between the two extremes and quite nice. Hop flavors become a bit more pronounced by the end of the glass as the beer is nearly warm temperature. Indeed, the hops start to take on a oil of bergamot (earl gray tea) flavor as the beer warms up, making the beer even more herbal and spicy in flavor profile. As I saw someone else post on their review of this beer - there is a lot of shit going on here.

Mouthfeel: Just a hint of carbonation. Creamy and thick but very smooth and does not linger too long in the mouth or on the teeth.

Overall / Drinkability: Alcohol very well hidden so this beer is a bit dangerous but I definitely noticed the effects by the end of the glass. Complex flavored beer - definitely one for sipping and savoring. Definitely a strong ale with it's own unique character. Part DIPA and part spiced ale is how I would characterize this beer.

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Photo of kagent777
3.67/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle from the Utah system. The beer guy at the Foothill SLC store and I are friends. I walk in one afternoon, he says Do i want to have a special beer. So I say sure and here is the review.

Appearance: Toasted marshmellow colored head fades quickly to leave a ring around the edge. The beer is a clear light amber and has little lacing.

Smell: Nice citric and floral hops with a slight metallic undertone pair nicely with caramel malts. This one is boozy in the nose, also.

Taste: This beer is strong like an IPA or DIPA, it certainly has the bitterness. But this one is not as hops forward as those styles. The hops is more in nose than a lingering finish. Actually, the finish is somewhat sweet at the very end. Toffee and caramel malt are the main drivers here. The malt is forward and in your face as much as malt can be. A nice change of pace.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is especially prickly on this beer, while the finish is long and drawn out.

Overall: While this one is a change of pace, some thing just is either missing or does not mesh correctly. Not sure that i can put my hand on it. It is solid but not great.

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Photo of scones
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Cooper's Tavern in Madison. Reviewing after the fact.

A: Twice I've had it in Lagunitas mason jars, once in a regular pint glass. Disappointed with the latter. Looks like a legit strong ale, deep copper color but not opaque by any means. Not much head.

S: Can't remember too well. From what I remember, complex. Has a lot of stuff going on - fruits, malts, and booze.

T: A lot of shit going on. Sweet and fruity, with some dark fruits as well as apricot-y flavors coming through. A lot of sweetness, but hops to balance it out. Strong flavors overall.

M: Syrupy. Sweet. No crispness, quite thick.

O: Really enjoy this beer, but can see why others would not. Almost too syrupy, but I really like the aggressive flavors it has going on. I can't think of one thing that dominates, which is good for me because I like hops and malt and everything else, as long as I can really taste it. I'd buy again... which I already have multiple times.

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Photo of Cmack15
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: nice light brown/amber color 2 finger head with lacing

Aroma: sweet citrusy tinge of pine grapefruit in there too, overall smells great

Taste: sweet start finishes nice and dry with the hops really coming through. the malt is balanced really well with all the hop goodness of this beer.

Mouthfeel: good carbonation and medium body well suited for this style

I really like this beer and wish it wasn't so strong only so I could session it.

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Photo of rdub
3.3/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I love Lagunitas. Poured from the stubby bottle into my Duvel tulip. Golden color and thick head dissipated rather quickly and became still. Kind of a nice looking brew though. Smell was strong. I don't even know what I was getting out of it. The alcohol wasn't very well hidden which was surprising for Lagunitas. The taste was a boozy mess for me as well. The mouthfeel was ok but once again, drinkability suffered due to the booziness. I'm sorry Lagunitas, I tried to love this but for me, just OK.

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Photo of BeerPhan86
3.63/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured into my Lagunitas mason jar style glass of course. Pours a slightly hazy dark ruby amber with a half finger of light tan head. The head lingers with very sticky lacing, there just isn't much of it.

S - Heavy on sweet fruits, most notably grapefruit and apricot. Very sweet and malty already. Some resinous, earthy pine notes in the nose as well.

T - Initially a bitter hop blast that gives way to a fruity, malty finish. It's somewhat "syrupy" and I think that may have turned a lot of people off from it. It is both trying to be heavily hoppy and heavilty malty/sweet, and the two sides do not seem to balance as well as they could have. The sweet aspects seem to win out, whereas I'd like to savor more of the hop notes that momentarily appear in the front of the taste.

M - Heavy/syrupy and very warming. The high abv lends a slightly tingling sensation on the tongue. Slick and resinous on the lips.

O - Definitely the wrong choice for a summer day session beer, but very enjoyable when sipped around the campfire later on into the night. Not one I would choose to session but like the Brown Shugga, a really flavorful beer to sip on a holiday or special occasion. I'm glad I tried it but I prefer the Brown Shugga and even the Hairy Eyeball strong ales over this one.

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: 1/2" cream coloured head that left a slight lacing over light brown liquid with excellent clarity.

S: Malt and sugar.

T: Bitter at the start, the taste of floral and pine hops in the middle, with a dry malty finish. The hops that are used do not compliment the malt very well, and they only settle down near the end of the glass as the beer becomes warmer.

M: Medium viscosity and medium level of medium carbonation.

O: Not particularly well integrated or well balanced strong ale, likely because of the combination of hops and malt that are used.

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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 Phelps
2.24/5  rDev -44.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Served in a shaker pint at Tops.

Perfectly clear auburn with hints of burnt orange. One finger of frothy head the color of wet sand slowly fades to thick top layer, looking a little scummy.

Weird nose. Caramel, dry dog food, sweet wort. Also honey and hints of tangy apricot.

Ugh, the flavor is worse. Sweet, tangy apricot and perhaps some orange peel with floral notes give way to overly burnt caramel malt and hefty bitterness. Overly astringent and just weird. The tangy cleaning solution and burnt malt never meld.

Light yet prickly carbonation breaks into just a bit of fizz. Treacly medium body.

Weird, weird, weird. Competing flavors are fighting it out in my mouth, and I don’t appreciate it.

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

This is a pretty good beer. There is decent body and a good mix of flavoring. I like the roasted malts and hop presence.

It is really nice just to even look at this beer. It is deep amber with really good lacing. THe lacing stays really nicely in the glass.

I'm glad I have five more of these beers to go through.

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Photo of Duff27
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Two fingered light tan head on a dark red/brown beer. Great drink-by-drink step lacing and a nice retentive head to boot.

S- Brown sugar and citrus hops penetrate my nostrils.

T- Pungent hops, caramel malts. Cinnamon? I don't know what that is but I think I may love it. Very well hidden nearly 10%abv...dayum.

M- Medium mouthfeel, kinda creamy. Decent enough carbonation.

D/O- I don't know if I'd go so far as to say I was blown away by this beer but whatever a notch down from that is...well, say that. Thanks for the try PTMcB!

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Photo of drpimento
2.9/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Expected better, given the ratings. Served with a fine, creamy, off white head and good lace. Color is a clear medium amber. Aroma is bright citrus, hop, a little yeast. Flavor is very intense grapefruit. Too intense for me. Body is ok and carbonation is a shade light. Finish is like flavor. Not a session for me.

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Photo of BigPlay1824
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass

A: Pours a nice medium brown that's quite clear, pours with a nice bubbly head that is tan and lingers nicely, leaves no lacing
S: nice scent, maltiness, slight oak/whiskey scent, possibly dark fruit
T: great taste, light whiskey, maltiness, smoked wood
M: incredibly smooth on the palate although i didnt expect it to be
O: really quite enjoyable, loved the taste and the depth, the alcohol content didnt hurt a bit either

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Photo of Tree43088
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear copper with decent head

Smells sweet with some piney hops but citrus hops steal the show on this one. definitely some caramel malt

Sweet and citrus up front with some spices. Can definetly taste the caramel malt. Finishes with a bitter after taste but extremely smooth. It's hard to taste the alcohol on this one. There's is a slight warming sensation in my stomach but drinking wise the ale goes down very smooth.

light to medium bodied with good carbonation. Very smooth

Overall I freaking love this beer. I'm a fan of the citrus hops mixed with the malt but both are in balance and for a 10% ABV I could let this get away from me

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

This beer is like drinking a ginger snap. Lagunitas calls it (playfully) an imperial mild ale.

A- Nice copper beer with a big sticky white head. Really nice pour.

S- Resiny hops jump forward, and there's a big spicy caramel malt base behind it. Like mulling spices.

T- The immense malt hits me first- again a bit spicy, which cuts through the sweetness. The pine sap/diesel hops come through in the finish and pound the tongue into submission (in a good way). Really heavy-handed, an assault on the tongue... good thing there are nothing but tasty flavors to be found!

M- Full-bodied, complex, and rich, really a unique and hefty mouthfeel. Ample carbonation.

O- Very enjoyable. I've gone through most of the sixer in the last few days and can see myself reaching for more next time I'm at the store. I really like this beer- Lagunitas makes great strong ales.

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Photo of russwbeck
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reddish brown pour with a nicely sized white head. The head both laces and is retained very well. The smell is hoppy, more of piney hops than grassy, with a caramel malt backbone. Those same piney hops start off the taste and is followed by the maltiness. Dry hops finish the taste off nicely. The beer is light with a good amount of carbonation and a very dry finish, devoid of any alcohol taste. Again a very drinkable choice!

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Photo of 9InchNails
3.96/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got my growler filled at Joe Canal's Liquor Outlet.

A creamy off-white head that turns into a film and then a ring around the glass. The body color is that of a copper penny. Some slow moving bubbles. Nice lacing on the glass as well.

Sweet malts mixing with some citrus and pine hops. The aroma is a little weak.

Wow! This is very tasty. Sweetness upfront, then Pine, citrus, dark fruits, caramel, chocalate, vanilla, and toffee. There is a bitter ending. I detect some booze but it highlights the flavors well, it works with it, instead of against it, like some high abv. beers.

Light to medium carbonation. Medium body that leaves the mouth a little sticky. Some alcohol heat is noticeable while going down.

What a complex brew that is so easy to drink, despite the high abv. Flavorful, feels nice and looks nice as well. I have a feeling I'm going to regret drinking this whole growler for two reasons: I'm not going to have anymore for tomorrow and this is going to give me one hell of a hangover. But, it's going to be worth it.

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Photo of Rutager
3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance. Pours a clear, deep amber-red with a half finger of bubbly white head that leaves a little lacing.

Smell. Sweet caramel and a little bit of mixed fruits ...oranges, apples, grapes. A little sour smelling.

Taste. Sweet roasty caramel malts, A little funky and a bit of bitterness. Very little alcohol taste for the abv.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body with medium-low, but slightly prickly carbonation.

Overall. Decent tasting and really easy to drink. Abv is well hidden and the strong point of this beer for me.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Growler poured into a mug on 4/29/11

Clear, tobacco amber. Billowy, sandy colored head. Impressive retention and pretty good clumps of lace.

The malts and hops seem balanced for Lagunitas. Dense citrus and pine. Caramel, bread and some dough; it's a sweet aroma. The flavor has some pine tar bitterness and sporadic zestiness. Solid malt base; same as the nose - caramel and bread. Between medium and full body and slick. Just below average carbonation. Noticeable alcohol. Residual bitterness and sugars.

Overall impression: pretty good, if perhaps a bit one dimensional. Tasty sipper, though.

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Photo of fsvan
3.71/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into New Belgium globe. 9.78% abv says the bottle.

A- Dark, copperish red. Middling amounts of head with slight lacing.

S- Soy sauce 1st and foremost. A good dose of it actually. Some caramel malt. A hint of peaty-ness to it. The soy seems to be fading a little as it warms. This is a good thing.

T- Lots of caramel malty-ness. A nice hop bitterness, but the hop flavors are overwhelmed by the malts. The caramel taste clings to the mouth, hanging around long after the beer. The alcohol is very hidden.

M- Medium bodied. Surprisingly light for the style, abv, etc.

O- This is a good, albeit unspectacular strong ale. I'm happy to have brought one back from vacation, but don't really need another.

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Photo of Jdmpolk
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
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 +4.7%
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 -0.2%
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 ONUMello
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
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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Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4.01 out of 5 based on 4,216 ratings.
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