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: 1,028 | Ratings: 4,331
Photo of ZebulonXZogg
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours the color of a copper penny with an seriously off white head. Lotsa nice lacing on the glass.
Citrus, piney resins and malts. Tastes matches nicely.
Smooth and creamy, goes down way to easily.
Another solid offering from Lagunitas.

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Photo of barczar
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a brilliantly clear deep copper/amber, with a lingering frothy cream head.

Muted citrus, resin, deeply caramelized malt, and notes of toffee form the aroma. Citrus dominates.

Flavor reveals candied citrus in the background, which lingers throughout. The bready caramel malt is no slouch. It's balanced nicely by the citrus hops, with a nicely bittered finish. Pine emerges in the aftertaste.

Body is full, with modest carbonation and noted alcohol warmth.

Very well balanced between flavoring hops, bittering hops, and malt. To the extreme in flavor and malt, perhaps just a touch you sweet. I love Lagunitas.

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Photo of Omnium
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle > Bowtie Glass

A - Deep amber gold with one finger of fizzy off white head, little lacing.
S - Really neat aroma. Immense tropical notes, super ripe mango, papaya, dragonfruit, some pear, melon, toasted caramels, sweet malt
T - Very sweet, lots of caramel malt, some grassiness to it, but the tropical flavors are dominant, tons of ripe papaya and mango, lots of melon.
M - Creamy and rich, a little clingy.
O - This in a lot of ways reminds me of a blend of Lake Erie Monster and Nugget Nectar. It has the booze and super ripe tropical notes of LEM with the bitter hop balance and malt profile of Nugget Nectar. Overall its a really good beer.

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Photo of MDDMD
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-dark amber color with a light tan head and good lacing

S-malt, citrus, pine caramel

T-citrus, pine, bready malt, caramel, toffee, nice bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, creamy and smooth mouthfeel

O-a nice strong ale with a good hop presence and overall interesting flavor profile

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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 Guppy314
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma of caramel, hops and a bit of floral. It has really welcome creamy tastes of hops, malt, and caramel, with a slight tartness of like grapefruit. But it's less fulsome and has less "body" or mouth-feel than a porter or stout.

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Photo of kbwalters
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured cold into a . Bottled on 2/26/15, consumed on
Look = 4.0 Pours a clear deep copper with a ton of floating fine precipitate, 3 fingers of frothy off white head and great retention and lace.
Aroma = 4.25 Spicy, earthy hop aroma built on a solid foundation of caramel malts, with a hint of booze. I didn’t get any fruitiness here, reminds me of brown sugga.
Taste = 4.0 Sweet backbone prominent throughout the taste, caramel with some hop balance, a little light fruitiness or candied sugar; moderate bitter finish
Feel = 4.25 Full bodied, thick and syrupy
Drinkability = 4.0 9.3% but easy drinking considering
Overall = 4.1 A very solid strong ale, balanced but I don’t think I liked it as much as brown sugga

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Photo of Blackop555
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours copper. Thick, tall, white head lasts a while with good lacing.

Smells piney, malts, earthy and light pepper.

Tastes pine, light caramel malt and light pepper at first then a nice floral and pine bitterness. Finish is dry with a strong pine linger that lasts a while. Medium body and creamy lower carbonation

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Photo of Stunner97
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- some sediment can be seen floating a mid slow amount low carbonation, white head fades rapidly to thin lacing, copper red color

Smell- slight hop and faint malt, having tough time pulling alot off the nose,

Taste- much stronger taste then i was getting on the nose, nice malt base up front which is rapidly and way over took by very strong dominating hop bitter mid palate and long bitter drying finish, very intersting beer in the aspect that up front is alot of malt and fun to see just how quickly that malt is squashed out, just really really nice balance and enjoyable flavor profile,

Mouthfeel- heavy thick and bordering syrupy, light carbonation, very smooth

Drinkability- dangerously drinkable considering just how strong this beer is, i have to say absolutely loved alot about this beer, its was able to walk that thin line where it was both neither to hoppy or to malty but having a very satisfactory level of both, a very very solid example of what a strong ale should be having firm hop but not killing all else in the flavor profile, a beer i certainly would recommend and get again, but shhhh... dont tell to many people keep it undercover

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Photo of gustavmahler-09
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark golden-brown, with two fingers of foamy head that lingers in the glass. Not much characteristic aroma. Tastes fruity, dates, malt? Stays on the palate. Feels a little thin, but smooth. ABV not obvious. Very enjoyable to sip.

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Photo of Aaron_Ramson
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dark Amber in color with a fantastic head that left a pretty sticky web of lacing on the glass. Nose is sweet with tropical fruits and pine; resin, a sweet maple candy note, boozy and warm smelling at the end. The maple candy flavor is at the forefront along with tropical fruit and resin from the hops. Sweet and boozy with very little back end bitterness. Warms the chest once it's down. Full mouthfeel with ample carbonation to keep it from feeling like syrup. While there is definitely hop bitterness at the end, there is not quite enough to give this beer balance, and it comes across as rather too sweet and heavy. While it's not perfect, it is definitely unique and has it's own signature flavor. Lagunitas makes my favorite beers, hands down. Little sumpin, sumpin, Brown Sugga, Lagunitas Sucks are all amazing brews, and Undercover Investigation is set to join the line of winners from this brewery.

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Photo of PorterLambic
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, no, hazy, coppery amber color with a fluffy, very light tan head. Retention is great as is the lacing left behind.
Smell is malt, some hops (it is Lagunitas), and a mix of light and dark fruits somewhat alcohol infused. Well balanced.
Taste is much like an Imperial IPA. Malt and hops mainly with fruits from the fruitcake, green tea, wood, and a solid but not quite over-the-top alcohol bloom. Good balance. Very nicely complex.
A nearly full bodied, medium effervesced brew. Warming from the middle on. Fairly smooth and pretty easy to drink even at 9.6% ABV. A solid brew. If it drank more like a strong ale instead of an Imperial IPA, I have rated it higher.

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Photo of mnphish
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Tumbler.

Appearance - dark orange/light red with a three finger foamy head and tons of lacing.

Smell - brings on lots of pine and citrus hops along with a big malt profile and maybe a hint of booze and darker fruits

Taste - I'm having a hard time explaining this one. It's got that fresh hop thing going on mixed with a lot of caramel malts, so similar to an IPA i guess. There is some toffee in there and the alcohol is very well hidden. The finish is mildly bitter although very well balanced.

Mouthfeel - light to medium body. Highly drinkable for the 9% abv. Lethal and delicious.

Another winner from Lagunitas. Really enjoying how fresh these hops taste right now but I would imagine it would balance out even more so with time.

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Photo of JohnnyMc
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a very nice deep amber with tons of ruby highlights and about 2 fingers of an off-white head.

The aroma is filled with hops right off the bat; citrus, pine and grapefruit followed by some caramel and toffee malt notes and a hint of bready malt too.

Just like in the aroma the hops pack a punch right away. A decent amount of pine, some grapefruit and citrus/orange notes as well and then that leads into the sweeter malt notes of caramel and toffee. It finishes decently bitter and with some bready malt.

The body is lighter side of full and the mouthfeel is very creamy. The alcohol is dangerously hidden, with only a hint of warming as it goes down.

This is not a mindblowing beer, but it's a great example of the American Strong Ale category. Very easy to drink and has a lot of nice flavors too while being cheap for a 9.6% beer. Definitely check it out.

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Photo of Squire123
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Nice deep gold color with good cap and lacing.

Rich smell of hops. Not floral, not quite spicy, yet a hop aroma with depth. Full malt presence rides alongside the hops.

On palate the hops override the malt but not by much. On entry the hops hit first but the malt carrier quickly follows and all that lasts to the finish. Something in the way of conifer hops in the aftertaste followed by a pleasant malty sweetness.

Full body with balancing carbonation and a creamy texture.

This one is surprising. I was expecting lotsa hops and lotsa malt and got both but didn't expect how competently they would be entwined in this very well balanced brew. Drinks so well I didn't realize how much alcohol was in there until halfway down the glass. Brewer's description of an Imperial Mild isn't off base because this is one strong rich dram like a mild with a college degree. It doesn't have that smack you upside the head hit (even though 9.6 ABV) so much as a sense of "moreish" in a good way. I could drink this all day but only if staying put and somebody else is doing the cooking.

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Photo of mthomp081
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - burnt-very deep orange, 2 finger foamy head, patchy lacing

S - pine, hops, citrus

T - great balance of alcohol, hops, pine, and some citrus fruits that have a sweetness

M - full bodied, medium carbonation

O - Delicious beer here. Fantastically balanced hops, alcohol, and sweetness from the citrus fruits that are perfectly complimenting each other. Full bodied and strong. 66 IBUs is hidden well with the sweetness that I can taste. Excellent flavor, aroma, and beautiful orange hue,

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Photo of hoptualBrew
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep red in color, clear and descent head retention. No yeast sediment out of the bottle, looks beautiful in the glass.

Aroma is a ton of dark caramel malts; sweet intense plum, slight raisin, toffee. These malt aromas come paired with a floral and pine hop character. There is also an English character that is there in the background that lends an identity of a barleywine almost.

Flavor follows the aroma. This is not as hop forward as other Lagunitas beers, but rather the big dose of hops is kept in check by a balancing presence of sweet malt. Tastes like a barleywine to me, with each sip confirming that thought more and more.

Feel is right on. Enough carbonation to keep this easily drinkable, but the sticky hop oils and sweet malts coat the palate to keep the flavor around for a while.

Overall, this is a good barleywine offering from Lagunitas. I'm impressed by the balance offered here.

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Photo of mtomlins
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Dark copper in color with a huge white cloudy head that lasts forever. No collar or lacing to speak of.

S: Huge sweet, sticky hop nose; mostly American bittering hops with spicey, floral notes with some sweet fruit in the background (oranges?). A bit of bready malt.

T: Hit with both, malt and hops right out of the gate. Big floral American bittering hops, some pine and fruit as well. There is alsoi a pronounce malt character: sweet thick caramel and some deeper roasted notes.

M: Medium body and carbonation. Very full and round.

O: Huge hop nose and massive bittering hops on the palate with a sticky and sweet caramel malt backbone. For my personal preference, the hops overpower the beer; this was probably the intent and to that end it is successful; it is just a bit out of balance for me.

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Photo of tekstr1der
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear copper pour with nicely retained, clingy lacing of off-white top. Aroma is citrus-hoppy with some earthy tones and a bit of malt and booze coming through. Flavor is similar - a nice crisp bite of hop bitter up front, a malty mid-sip, followed by a bit of earthy hop lingering into the aftertaste. The latter being least enjoyable of the show. Not bad, but these guys do other, better brews.

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Photo of JohnnyChicago
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A: Pours a clear, light amber with two fingers of white head.

S: Pungent, citrus hops jump out of the nose. Caramel and sugar are present as well.

T: Hops hit the palate hard, but certainly do not wreck it. The malt backbone holds everything together with superb balance.

D: Beers like this make me wish we still had a "drinkability" rating. This has perfect drinkability! I just cannot believe that it is nearly 10%!

Overall: Lagunitas calls it an "imperial mild" and I'd say that about sums it up. It is bursting with flavours, but everything is kept in check. One of the best seasonal offerings from this great brewery.

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Photo of soupyman10
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed a sixer of this from Wine Specialist - yet another solid, reasonably priced beer from Lagunitas.

Pour is nice, deep copper color with a smallish slightly off-white head that leaves surprisingly nice lacing as it drains.

Nose is huge fruity hops. Some breadiness, and balanced with appropriate levels of caramel malt. Nice nose, if not the most complex thing you've ever smelt.

Flavor is similar. This is a very well balanced DIPA, with spicy fruit hops dominating, but not totally overwhelming the malt balance. Really a nice beer. No alcohol issues, one of the only problems I've found with Lagunitas.

Body is appropriate for the style, nothing to complain about here.

Overall, it's exactly what I expected - a solid DIPA that doesn't really do anything new but is tasty and highly drinkable.

Wine Specialist/$10.99/Sixer

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Photo of zac16125
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into a tulip
no bottling dates but assuming this is the latest vintage

A: Pours a clear dark copper with 2 fingers width of tan colored head. Head has good retention and leaves tons of lacing. Beautiful beer.

S: Lots of sweet malts, mainly caramel and candied sugar. Sweetness is accompanied by hop notes; citrus, piney, and even a bit of tropical fruits.

T: Follows the nose, except hop notes more present. Significant bitterness, piney and a bit of citrus rind. There is a pretty prominent boozy component as well, but I like it. Some candied sugar noted, but not as much sweetness at the nose.

M/D: Full bodied, maybe a touch syrupy, appropriate carbonation, booze is noticeable but its not hot. Drinkability is pretty good, all things considered.

O: Overall, a tasty beer, and for the price and availability I will almost certainly be drinking this one again in the future.

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Photo of lochef81
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another offering from one of my favorite breweries. This one pours a beautiful reddish light mahogany color with an ample and lasting off white head that leaves very substantial lacing. The aroma is a perfect blend of west coast hops and rich malty sweetness. The nose is quite dank with citrus, pine, and grass hops as well as a very nice amount of malt to balance the beer. The mouthfeel is smooth but thick and coating in the best way. The flavor is everything the nose promises but not quite so balanced. It is a very well crafted beer but the hops slightly overtake the malt in the mouth. It is sweet but not the rich sweetness that you get from a well made barleywine, almost unnecessarily sweet. This is good but not my favorite from Lagunitas.

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Photo of obrike
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
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 DCon
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought a 12 FL OZ bottle of this & added it to my Mix-A-Six Pack @ Naked Vine in Chesterfield, MO for $9.99. Poured from the Normal White Labeled Lagunitas bottle w/ "LIMITED RELEASE" on the side into a Clear 16oz Christmas Seidel Glass. Does not have an type of bottled/freshness date.

Aroma- A huge hop slam starts off this beer-nose rating category. There is also a very sweet maltiness and strong amount of alcohol. Who knows. Maybe this is going to be a Strong Ale?

Appearance- Pours a 1.5 finger head that is very frothy and lasts for a great amount of time. The body is a reddish/copper color and very clear. The glass keeps thick rings of lace on it from this wildly headed brew.

Flavor- Tons of alcohol, hops, and a slight mango flavor starts this one off and finishes in the same drink. Very well balanced and then has a medium bitterness level. Tons of complexity and flavor!

Mouthfeel- Full Bodied, Medium-High Carbonation, VERY creamy, and leaves nice hops and strength from brew on the palate.

Overall Impression- A very interesting Strong Ale... Very hoppy, creamy, and citrus flavored for one but didn't mind at all! Lagunitas always has a different side of things with their styles and I dig it! A tougher beer to drink so I would recommend splitting a 6-pack with 3 or more friends!

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Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4.02 out of 5 based on 4,331 ratings.
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