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Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale | Lagunitas Brewing Company

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988 Reviews
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Undercover Investigation Shut-down AleUndercover Investigation Shut-down Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States
lagunitas.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
988
Ratings:
4,216
Avg:
4.01
pDev:
10.22%
 
 
Wants:
134
Gots:
946
For Trade:
8
User Reviews
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Reviews: 988 | Ratings: 4,216
Photo of Bouleboubier
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

(bottle code: 005 6 2... purchased warm on the singles shelf... poured into a Chouffe tulip)

L: brilliant clarity within its medium-dark, orange-amber hue... some foam forms, but not nearly as much or even with the sticky-frothy structure and retention that an ostensibly boldly-hopped ale would have... the head does fall away rather fast, but it leaves a rocky collar... after pouring only a 1/3 of the bottle in the glass to start, the second pour brought with it some speckle-y sediment

S: sort of familiar, quintessential Lagunitas hop character - lemon, pineapple, orange, along with a delicate hint of menthol and maybe even raspberry... bit of an medicinal, tonic alcohol, although it doesn't stick out like a sore thumb... I would not mistake this for an ESB (or imperial mild, or whatever) by the smell, but it's nevertheless richly-fruity and quite appealing

T: richer, thicker malt than expected up front, vague tinge of brown sugar in the finish to go along with a zesty citrus spice... I might be reaching a bit here, but I could be getting a very mild vaguely molasses-y toasted cookie note in the aftertaste - but really it's all Trix-y hops atop a cordial underbelly, and the bitterness could be kicked up a few levels - it's undeniably a touch weak

F: quite apparent medium-full body up front, finishes out moderately resinous with a mellow dryness... fairly potent pop of prickly booze up front, with a lasting comforting warmth in the back of the throat down through the thorax - I'm kind of diggin this somewhat rough punch because otherwise the beer would be a bit oafish and lumbering across the palate

O: for whatever reason, Lagunitas essentially makes many beers that could be (and usually are) classified as (American) IPAs and double IPAs, etc, and markets them as mutations of other styles... there is, in my experience drinking them, very little variance between many of their brands, nothing to make any of them really stand out as truly unique... without going further through a rant - the collective hop flavors here are lovely, the aforementioned booze knock most welcome, but overall this beer offers nothing unique within itself nor within their portfolio - really don't see any reason to buy it again - clever names and style suggestions, little else... how do you feel about it?

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Photo of thedoubler55
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A dark amber color almost brown, with a nice transparency, a little bit of a tan head at the top that leaves some nice lacing as you drink it.

S: Citrus and flowery hops hit you right up front, slight hints of caramel and soe roastyness as well, back end some brown sugar also.

T: Up front its a little sweet, nothing over powering though, a nice sweetness from the brown sugar and caramel, and nice kick at the end from the hops.

M: Medium bodied, with a good amount of carbonation, sticky and somewhat on the light side.

O: Lagunitas did a great job with this beer, not overpowering for a strong ale and the abv content is not that noticeable.

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Photo of BastardKing24
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark orange with a 2 finger white head that sticks around. Looks nice

Smell is of floral hops, some danky pine and citrus, and fresh fruits like mango and pineapple.

Taste is similar with an abundance of fresh orange fruit. Apricot, Pineapple, mango, pine, citrus extract, melon, and ginger.

Feel is a little more carbonated than I would like it, but it's still ok.

Overall I like this beer just as much as the other hoppy offerings from Lagu~ they make some damn good beers. Theres something similar about their beers that just keeps them consistent and enjoyable. Cheers!

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass

9.87% ABV

72.41 IBU's

Appearance: Clear reddish-copper color with tiny bubbles roaring to the top. Initially, there is a creamy three finger head that slowly settles down to a one finger head. Superb head retention. Thick, sticky lacing is present throughout the entire drinking process.

Smell: Lemongrass, pine, orange rind, and ruby grapefruit are the first things to come to mind upon the initial whiff. Seems like a hop head's dream. There is a feint hint of caramel-like malt in the background. Slightly spicy, floral, and fruity.

Taste: Malt are apparent upon the arrival. There is a lot of pine notes on the palate. What a beautiful hop and malt marriage! The slightly dry lingering finish is best described as semi-bitter malty grapefruit. It definitely was not as hoppy as it smells. The alcohol is masked nicely, although you can definitely feel it.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, sticky, nice carbonation, which leads to a very crisp beer. The creamy head adds to the smoothness of this beer.

Ending notes: This limited release brew from Lagunitas was a gem. Definitely worth trying. Kicks like a bronco. Very interesting. It lived up to my expectations. Another splendid brew, Lagunitas!

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

Appearance: Clear amber with off white head

Smell: Honey, Hops

Taste: Bitter at first then honey that is refreshing then bitter again with a warm toasty finish.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, mild tannins, smooth and bitter

Drinkability: Definitely sessionable. Enjoy as a refresher after working in the yard most def.

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Photo of tpd975
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Since Lagunitas came to Florida I have been pounding their brews one after another. What you get is great taste for four dollar a bomber.

A: Pours a nice bronze color that almost looks like an amber ale. There is a huge rocky head that puffs up nicely and hangs around for sometime. What is left makes layer after layer of lacing, some of the best I have ever seen.

S: Resiny pine. pine needles, pine cones, pine sap, pine sol. No matter how you say it the aroma is pure pine.

T: As soon as this one passes your tongue you are hit with a subtle citrus taste which is quickly overrun by a nice strong piney bitterness. The bitterness fades and is then overtaken by a wonderful caramel malty sweetness.

M: Full bodied and pretty thick.

D: Nice brew. Of course because of the 9.28 ABV you may want to pass on that second bomber.

Overall: Another great beer by Lagunitas. For $4 a bomber their beers can not be beat. I spent the day relaxing at the beach and upon coming back inside the beach house I popped this one open. It was so smooth and refreshing, I think I may now lay down and take a nap. I'm gonna throw a Maximus in the fridge, it would be perfect this evening while enjoying one of west coast Florida's most beautiful sunsets from a chaise lounger on Longboat Key. If I'm not unconscious by then I may just be inclined to drink their newest release Kill Ugly Radio, as I think about my wonderful day, and what else lies ahead during my holiday / birthday weekend at the beach.

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Photo of SawDog505
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my 13 oz tulip. A very attractive bright amber, with a inch in and a half of white sticky head, that lingers the entire beer. Big burst of caramel up front, with some breadyness, and grapefruit. All that and more intense, on the tongue. Nice body and plenty of carbonation.Once again Lagunitas has created a wonderfully different and enjoyable brew. Not for everyone, but for fans of hearty, yet approachable beers.

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Photo of jmerloni
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Maple amber mahogony, translucent, nice off-white coloration. Looks buttery and delicious.

S - Oh man, ton of hops and a ton of brown sugar malt backbone. Citrus, floral notes.

T - Extremely hoppy, a bit of an oaky bitterness here, with maybe a touch of vanilla or anise, with alcohol coming through on the swallow. This beer could be better toned on on both ends of the hop/malt balance. It's a simple tasting beer that is trying to overdo itself by blasting the drinker with both hops and malt. If there were 33% less of both hops and malt (or at least malt), this could be a 5.0 on taste. Because the ingredients certainly are fresh.

M - Medium bodied. Leaves your tastebuds pretty numb. I'm on my third one of these and I can only taste it half as well as I could the first.

D - A sipper. You can't chug these by any means. Drink a 6 of these and you'll be as drunk as anyone at the party. Better as a slow sipper and could probably be sold in 4-packs with minimal complaint. This is a very solid beer, overall, better than Arrogant Bastard. It'd be a boon for Lagunitas to use west coast IPA hops, though. That'd make this beer an elite. Taste too much like an Atlantic coast DIPA.

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Photo of Maxwell
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours a rusty brown-red with a small eggshell white head that fades quickly into a scrim with some big soapy bubbles floating around in it. In body, the beer appears clean of particles with a slight chill haze and a darkness from the thicker malts in the beer. It leaves a lacing network of thin, slippery, and wet dots and strands along the sides of the glass. On the nose, the beer smells like a big old pine tree was shoved into a bowl of pithy grapefruits. A smooth caramel malt with touches of toffee and biscuit sits beneath the huge hops, but really this beer is all about the big old piney bouquet that nearly drips from the nose and does have a touch of dankness to it, as well as some muted tropical fruit smells that blend with the sweet malts. On the tongue, the beer tastes hugely bitter from the hops with a good creamy sweet malt underneath, a light touch of acid, and a big, sweet, shivering punch from the alcohol in this beer. In flavor, the beer begins as sweet grapefruit juice with touches of pineapple and orange, working into resinous pine with big bitter shivers that wriggle over the tongue. The flavor displays sweet toffee and caramel in light splashes throughout the taste as the bitter flavors move in waves across the tongue, but the bitters are the stars of the flavor. Alcohol also adds a slightly cloying sweetness to the tongue, though it is balanced out by the huge bitters of the beer. The finish runs hot with alcohol and piney hops, which is not the most pleasant thing, and does cut back on what had been a very pleasing explosion of flavors. The aftertaste is bitter and slightly medicinal with very faint touches of sweet biscuit and pithy grapefruit on the tongue. In the mouth, the beer feels just slightly on the heavier side of medium with a creamy and weak carbonation that only provides a slight scrub against the big sweet alcoholic flavors of the beer. The mouth is left with a lovely bitter burn and some acid-neutralizing saliva on the sides of the tongue. Overall, this is a nice hoppy American strong ale. Its alcohol is a little out of check, but that is to be expected in the beer style. This beer displays beautiful amounts of hoppiness alongside nice mellowing malts, and that is quite nice. This beer is much more of a sipper than a chugger, but is lovely for the cool nights of early spring. I do wish there was a little more carbonation and a little less alcohol in the taste, but overall this is a good beer. Try it.

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Photo of untitledeuphoria
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 4.29.15. Drank 7.24.15. Poured from a 12oz bottle to a Tulip.

A: Pours a clear burnt orange, leaning towards the dimmer side. Two fingers of light khaki head with an aggressive pour, slow to fade, and lots of sticky lacing. Classically good looking, just with some bonus head for a ASA.

S: Caramel malts, toffee, some tart hops...maybe tangerine in aroma. Very sweet and perky. Grassy, earthy.

T: Loads of sweet caramel malt, toasted biscuit, and a significant amount of hop bitterness as well. A drying citrus rind flavor, sharp... manages to cut into the malt without overpowering it.

M: Smooth with the faintest touch of carbonation. Thick and chewy without feeling heavy. If it wasn't for the high ABV I could easily put back a couple of these before feeling palette fatigue.

O: Quite the interesting beer. A bit of a Jekyll and Hyde. A big, robust, malt bomb of a strong ale... with a hefty serving of hops thrown in for good measure. Mouth puckering sweetness, but also bitter drying citrus. I have always enjoyed this beer, but it is not one for the faint of heart. Its big, it changes minute by minute as it warms, and at 9+% it will end you before you know it.

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Photo of mothman
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Stub and Herbs on 5/15/09

Poured into pint glass.

Color is a dark golden copper. Left some splattered lace.

Aroma: Darker hops, more dry. Some citrus notes that reminded me of an IPA. Bready like the Surly 16 Grit. Kind of sweet.

Taste: Bready malts. Massive floral hops. Nut brown nuts. Maple brown sugar. Citrus. A lot like an IPA.

Mouthfeel: IS very bitter, but smooths out. Medium bodied good carbonation. Ends very hoppy.

Overall at 9.02% this was pretty decent. Alcohol is hidden very well. Reminds me a lot like an IPA/DIPA. I could easily have more of this.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Super dark brown color. Light does get through. Looks like cola. All of the Lagunitas darker strong beers look sort of the same. That is ok in my book. Poured with a finger of white head. Sticky lacing which is impressive for a beer of this strength.

S: Bit of a strong hop nose up front. Not really much else. A touch of toffee which is something else you commonly find in the nose of their beers.

T: Tons of bitterness up front. This is a hoppy ass beer.Very smooth as part of the taste. Lots of malt comes through. The hops are the malt produce an interesting taste combination. Not bad just something a little different.

M: All things considered light. It has a bit of hop stickiness but the body itself it light condiering the ABV.

D: A fairly easy drinker. I really like their stuff and the price simply cannot be beat. I need to cellar a few of their bigger beers again.

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Photo of secondtooth
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clean amber, with a huge head of off-white suds. Thick and detailed lace.

Aroma: Bitter hops, with some floral and pine (and grapefruit) tones.

Taste: Deliciously smooth, this “American Strong Ale” is centered around a huge hop bill, with lots of bitter grapefruit and pine notes alongside some big malts to balance it all out. A very flavorful ale, with a slight warming finish, yet masterfully masking the potent 9.3% ABV. A wonderful and easy-to-drink ale.

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Photo of tbraun1
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle to pint glass

A - Pours deep amber. Rich, frothy head without any effort. Great retention.

S - Rich and fruity. Citrus. Little alcohol bite to the nose.

T - Rich and bold brew here. Hops on the front end, slight alcohol as you would expect by the ABV, bit of spice and a subtle smoke malt back end. Best enjoyed as it warms.

M - Very satisfying. Definitely one to savor due to the high ABV. Slight carbonation, not too thin. Great aftertaste.

O - I really enjoyed this one. Great for a nightcap or when you want something with a bit more kick. Enjoy. Cheers.

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Photo of Chris33
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

grabbed this as a single bottle, poured into a pint glass.

nice 2 finger lingering head. Very nice dark caramel/almost red in color.
I got a strong spice and toasty feel to the nose with some brown sugar.
I didn't get the citrus flavors off the nose but are very present upfront on the palette. Maltiness turns to bitter at the end. Lingers a bit but overall this is a great offering as I typically expect from Lagunitas. ABV is hidden pretty well for this being 9+%
I would seek this out again for sure.

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Photo of BethanyB
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: A clear, deep copper, with a solid, long-lasting, cream-colored head that leaves behind thick rings of lace. A good -ooking beer by any standards.

Smell: The aroma is strong in this one. The C-hops are of the forest variety. There is a good helping of grass, but plenty of moist earthiness as well. Coconut and whiskey come through as things warm up, but before the fragrance becomes liquor laden, butterscotch and caramel provide mellowing balance. It's a complex bouquet, but sort of sullen as well; I was expecting more citrus, something brighter.

Taste: Lots of hop bitterness but plenty of hop flavor to balance--citrus rinds turn to tropical punch and back again, with biting and lasting grapefruit sharpness. But there is a heartiness as well, due to a caramel malt backbone that grows nuttier and more complex as time goes on.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and deceptively light, with moderate carbonation and a dry finish. The alcohol is nearly undetectable in spite of a 9.7 ABV.

Overall: The malt is complex, the hops are aggressive, it seems as if one should play a supporting role. But it is an interesting beer and one whose popularity I can understand-- this clash of the Titans is a novelty, perhaps. And as frustrated as I was by this beer's ambiguity, by the end, I wanted another. Even if the colors didn't go well together, they were all very nice on their own.

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Photo of JordanlikesAles
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium amber with strong citrus fruit on the nose. Strong initial bitter bite that intensifies on the back end with a very strong alcohol presence. I can taste some sweet malt, citrus & maybe a little syrup along with the bittering & flavoring hops. Intense & very well done.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampling right now on 6/16/14. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a Weissber vase glass. LOVE the name of this brew!

Pours a dark amber in color with a good finger+ foamy off-white head. A good amount of lacing is seen with each sip that sticks to the sides of the glass. The aroma is of ripe oranges at first with brown sugar. The taste is the same and starts out that way with a slightly bitter malt finish. But doesn't linger. You can also taste the higher alcohol content in as well. Perfect carbonation. A different brew but tasty. You aren't going to drink a bunch of these in one sitting, that is for sure. :)

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Photo of BenwayPHD
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark orange red copper bronze color with a two finger white great. The nose reminds me a lot of belgian ale. Coriander, cloves, orange peel, brandy, hard candy. The flavor is equal parts spice and sweet. The mouthfeel is fairly thick and creamy. This is a unique beer. However, i find it a bit sweet for my taste. I could use some more IBU.

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Photo of silver0rlead
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish mahogany color with a thin tan head that retains as well as you could expect for a high ABV beer. The aroma has a huge piney and citrusy hops character upfront, followed by caramel and toffee, dark fruits, and some alcohol. The flavor also has a big hoppyness upfront with notes of pineapple, lime, and pine resin, as well as some juicy malts (caramel, toffee and red vines), dark fruits (fig, plums, raisins), and a decent alcohol presence. The mouthfeel is rich and luxurious without being heavy, and drinkability is decent. Pretty solid strong ale from Lagunitas, but the problem is that it doesn't do much to discriminate itself from their other hoppy strong ales.

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Photo of HopHunter19
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - nice orange amber color with an off white head that sticks for days and leaves nice lacing
S - grapefruit, orange, fruity hops, bread malts, sweet, some grassy/floral hops in there too
T - sweet caramel malts, grapefruit, citrus rind, piney hops, some grassy and floral notes too, very distinctly an American strong ale.
M - medium mouthfeel, alcohol covered decently, aftertaste is grapefruit and bready malts
O - overall this is a decent offering, I don't think I would buy more than a six pack of this per season, but a good beer for sure

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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 zdk9
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- This one is the darkest of oranges, like a creepy mystical orb. There's but a quarter of a finger of head, barely more than a whisp, but the lacing is strong with this one.

S- My first impression is canned pineapple, all the way. Then it gets more complex- there's caramel, dark wheat bread, and soy sauce, some oranges- possibly candied. More dark grain flavors comes out as it warms and my nose gets adjusted to the pineapple.

T- Not at all what I expected from the smell- the first sip is like grain husks, ryish, and also reminesent of kasha. A bit spicy. There's pine and grapefruit pith on the back of the mouth, and a malty sweetness on the front of the mouth- a bit like when a saltine sits in your mouth for a while and the starches turn into sugars.

M- Thick and quite syrupy. Just what I'd want out of this beer, and a good match for the flavors- the heavy grains just call out for a heavy beer.

O- Really nice stuff. From my first scent I was expecting a hoppy sweet bomb, but it really mellowed out and presented some interesting flavors and complexity.

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Photo of BeeryMcbeerenstein
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Forgot about this sitting in the basement for a few months
Poured into a tulip.

A- Deep Amber, crystal clear with minimal head. Super clean looking beer.

S- Caramel, toffee, hops, all mixed together with some definite alcohol presence as well. Nice smell, just know that they punch is coming.

T- Boom. This beer is like a hammer. Boozy, hoppy and sweet all at once, but yet it's not cloying or abrasive. Definitely getting the booze in here. Less hoppy than what I remember drinking it fresh(er)

M- Enough body to hold it up, but dry enough to not be cloying and really heavy. Pretty solid crystal presence, but the beer seems to be as attenuated as it could get for the caramel.

Dig it. Can only drink 1 though. Shit's like a hammer

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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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