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): 9.60%

Availability: Rotating

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

Added by GilGarp on 03-10-2009

For Trade:
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Reviews: 1,022 | Ratings: 4,312
Photo of Spikester
3.97/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep copper with a white modest head. Fair amount of lacings. Nice butterscotch and floral hop aroma. Taste is candy sweet with a big bitter hop partner. Mouthfeel is somewhat thick and has a good amount of pink grapefruit on the back of the tongue. Carbonation is minimal. A trace of alcohol in the taste but pretty well hidden for the 9%abv. Has some scottish ale qualities. All too drinkable. Not a style I would drink frequently but nice for a change.

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Photo of illidurit
3.53/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Bright copper color with a hazy body. Ecru head leaves some decent lacing. Hoppy aroma with notes of lemon meringue, grapefruit, and brown sugar. Flavor is sweet with lots of maple syrup and pink grapefruit. Moderate bitterness and some astringency. Body is medium-full with a soft carbonation. Not as hoppy or bitter as advertised.

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Photo of kaseydad
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a caramel brown color with a nice foamy head that lingers. Major lacing on my snifter.

The smell is nothing to get very excited about. It's pretty subdued with some fruits and a mild malty aroma.

The taste is different. There is a nice blend of hops, malt, sticky sweet/candy-like and bitterness on the swallow. The brewers did a great job of combining all the effects. There is a small aftertaste but nothing serious.

Dangerous drinkability as this is WAY to easy to drink. The alcohol is hidden very well though you must be careful on the easy consumption.

I had never tried this beer from a local brewery but I am very happy I did. Another great beer from the Lagunitas crew.

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Photo of djeucalyptus
3.77/5  rDev -6.2%
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 Aradan
4.57/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Meant to try one of these the other night. My eyes widened at the first sip, and I ended up having three. Gave it another go round tonight, hopefully I can stick to just one while I write this review.

Pours a nice orangey-red color with a thick, sticky head.

Smells sweet like caramel and beautiful, fragrant, grapey hop notes, very enticing.

Tastes the way it smells, only more so. Big, sweet, delicious malt transitions incredibly smoothly into a whole lot of citrusy hops. Not bitter per se, but very hoppy in the finish. Hard to tell where one ends and the other begins; very nice balance between the two.

Mouthfeel is rich and smooth, carbonation does its job and keeps its head down.

This one is a temptress. Each sip is so good you can't wait to have another, and the flavor lingers just enough to remind you of what you're missing when the glass is empty. I was well into my second the other night before noticing the 9.03% abv printed on the bottle. Went for a third anyway.

This is a really terrific beer with a really terrific name from a brewery I will most certainly be keeping an eye on. Have one and it will take care of the rest.

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Photo of washburnkid
4.24/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in a snifter.

A: Dark orange/red with a very small head. Some dots of foam on the glass.
S: Aroma of hops consisting mostly of florals, dark ripe citrus, pine, with a sweet malt undertone to balance.
T: Similar to aroma. Drinks like a mix between a DIPA (hoppy characters as described in aroma) and a barleywine/Belgian (sweet/candy-like sugar). Mellow biscuity flavor pulls through, and the sip ends in a mild bitter note. Delicious!
M: Light-bodied for such heavy, bold flavors.
D: An easy beer considering the ABV. I'll be reaching for this one again soon.

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Photo of drlumps62
4.82/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark brownish red color. 1/2" white head moderately gives way to a thin white ring. Nice lacing.

S: I don't want to do this right now.

T: Malty base. Citrus hops jump in. Then they jump in again. Barely any bitterness at the end. Followed up with a very sweet grape taste. I was doing double takes. I really feel like this one has taken me somewhere I've never been before.

M: Like a Double IPA. Bold to heavy.

D: This is so smooth. I don't reccomend making a night of it. But do it anyway.

S: Ok. I'm ready. This is the most inticing beer that I have ever smelled. I am not going to try to explain it. Just smell it. I was so taken by the smell, I actually inhaled some.

I think that this may be my favorite beer to date. It was given to me by my daughters boyfriend. I was not expecting to even have a beer tonight. Lagunitus keeps one-uping themselves. This is a beer that other brewers mighjt have taken too far. Lagunitus has found the proper balance.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.54/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle with no date poured into a Pint Glass at the Barley House in Algonquin, IL

A - A clear copper color poured topped by an extremely short-lived head that left a fairly small ring. Almost no visible carbonation.

S - Crisp refreshing hops overflow from the beer with a slight pine aroma. Huge on the hops for sure. Everything else seems absent.

T - A good balance of malt and hops. Starts malty and sweet but almost instantly overtaken by its strong hop character.

M - With almost no visible carbonation this beer sure is bubbly and light. Light-bodied I would say.

D - Not incredibly drinkable but for an overly hoppy beer its certainly an easier drink than some with this amount of hops.

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Photo of beer2day
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep copper color with red undertones. Nice two-finger head. Good lacing.

Nice hop presence in the nose. Some mild fruitiness - picking up strawberry, but it's very mild.

Hits with a malty sweetness. Some brown sugar and a twinge of caramel. Finishes flowery bitter with a slight tart aftertaste. A little thinner than expected, but nice.

All in all, a very good strong ale.

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Photo of BigMike
3.23/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark crimson red with orange highlights. Three fingers worth of white creamy head.

Complex nose. Caramel, dried fruit, a malts.

Taste is of slightly roasted malts with caramel and some floral undertones. Some spices and vanilla are also there.

Mouthfeel is a bit thick. Some chewyness going on. Medium carbonation. Sweet and finishes with some bitterness.

This is pretty much one or two and done. It's kind of oily and coats the tongue.

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Photo of bhalter8
3.92/5  rDev -2.5%
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 +7.5%
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 +11.2%
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 0%
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 +2%
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 0%
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 -23.9%
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 +3.2%
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 -14.4%
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 +6.7%
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 -7.2%
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 -9.2%
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 +5.5%
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 -37.6%
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 -15.9%
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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Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4.02 out of 5 based on 4,312 ratings.
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