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: 1,003 | Ratings: 4,265
Photo of garymuchow
4.62/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The aroma starts this one off strongly. Great caramelized malt with pushing it to the limit without it becoming burnt. Seems to have that nice English toasty crackly aroma too. This aroma is something special. Just enough hop presence to know that it's there (and it couldn't be lagunitas without some hops).
Thin dense tan head. Clear orange brown amber. Ample lacing.
Very enjoyable complex malt flavors, but holding more hops in the flavor and balance than in the aroma. Soft warmth and nip from the alcohol, but no distraction with the fullness of the other flavors.
Big without being big or excessive. Moderately carbonated which adds a little to the prickliness of the drink. Somewhat sweet and somewhat rich, but again achieving that nice balance.
This is a pretty darn good beer. Close to the enjoyment I had with the Imperial Red.

thanks my brother.

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Photo of WankelEngine
4.62/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass

A: This beer pours a deep, clear amber-red with a thick white head of maybe one finger which diminishes slowly. I can see almost no carbonation.

S: The smell is fantastic. It is very balanced, having a smooth malt backbone with strong notes of piney hops. I can also detect wood and slight hints of smoke and cherry.

T: The taste is dominated by hops, mostly pine but also undertones of citrus. Despite being heavy on the hops (the ingredients listed on the bottle are "Hops, Malt, Hops, Hops, Yeast, Hops, Water, and Hops"), the flavor is very well balanced by the malt. This sweetness, almost caramel-like, does wonders to help temper the bitterness of hops. There is also a bit of spice to this beer which masks the taste of alcohol.

M: This is a medium bodied drink with a small amount of carbonation.

O: Delicious. I've been waiting all year for this seasonal. You can hardly taste the 10% ABV which makes this beer surprisingly drinkable. (EDIT: As the beer gets warmer, the taste of alcohol becomes much more noticeable) Strong on the hops yet relatively balanced.

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Photo of allergictomacros
4.62/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear red with an inch of sticky tan foam. Nose is tangerines, grapefruit and a hint of pine. Huge hoppy flavour right off the bat - lots of resinous grapefruit with a healthy dose of orange. There's a lot of sweetness is this one, but balances well against the ridiculous hoppiness. Body is appropriate - not too heavy and not too light with a medium-hard carbonation. I'm really liking this one - I would describe it as very smooth and very, very hoppy.

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Photo of umustdrink
4.6/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

An Imperial ESB
9.28% ABV

A - See through deep bloody red color, some bubbles flowing. Rocky off-white head, big and fluffy at about a half inch. Lots of lacing.

S - Sweet brown sugary malts, very bready and very slightly bitter, piny hops.

T/M - Starts out thin feeling with oily hoppy flavor, hops are balanced with sweet caramely brown sugar malts. Bitterness comes back tasting green and piny, finishing out the flavor.

D - Excellently balanced beer, hops and malts at perfect harmony which is my favorite kind of beer. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Mikecap
4.58/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Had this several times, finally getting around to writing a review.

Appearance: Poured from 12 oz bottle into my IPA glass. Pours a thick, probably four inch off-white head. The beer is a deep copper to medium brown.

Smell: I get some vanilla and also some fresh piney hops in there. Beautiful aroma from what seems to be fruit in the malt.

Taste: Very sweet on the front of the tongue with vanilla, caramel and maybe a hint of grapefruit. It finished very smooth with some hop character but nothing overpowering. The alcohol is almost too hidden for a beer at nearly 10% ABV. Very very easy drinking for such a bomb with a great taste.

Mouthfeel: Very easy drinking and not too heavy despite the massive amounts of malts and hops going into this thing. Solid creamy texture and not overly heavy yet still full-bodied and smooth.

Overall: A really really good offering by Lagunitas, but that doesn't come as much as a surprise. My biggest problem is that it goes down a bit too easy.

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Photo of tharper
4.58/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Pours with a 3" white head into 1-1/2" after 5 minutes. Lots of tiny bubbles and is clear as a bell.
S: Centennial (I'm guessing, could be cascade, etc.) hops and a strong 2-row, caramel malt backbone.
T: Strong resiny malt , slightly sweet, and slightly bitter to match. Pretty much perfect for the characteristics of this beer. The only detractor is the strength of the flavor, but how can you make a beer this strong without this intensity? Most folks should consider this as an asset unless they are looking for something with less taste. Pure and true.
M: Carbonation meets the taste. Seems to be high CO2 (around 3 vols) but this matches the taste very well in the USA sense. Lots of bubbles after ten minutes.

Overall: It should be clear. I am a very small brewer in NC who loves Lagunitas This beer is a perfect example of the Petalumas's crew to creating great beers for all of us. It is great and world class. Thanks guys! Beer speaks, people mumble. It is an honor repeating what your beer is speaking for you!


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Photo of BrainDad
4.58/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap, just arrived, at Hopcat in GR. Beautiful deep amber color like a good whisky. I've always thought Lagunitas takes it in the shorts with reviews because their beers are between styles. You should check out this beer!

The flavor is characteristic sweet malt with a nice hop tone. Very rich!! Tastes great and feels smooth on the tongue, especially for the ABV. I will be back here to drink more and buy a few bombers when I can find them around. Wish I could get to Petaluma this year but this will have to do.

If you like Lagunitas specialty brews you will like this. If you haven't had a strong ale this smooth you better try one.

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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 jabel9
4.57/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is an extraordinary brew by a brewery that has recently claimed much of my attention. The aromas that come from this brew were floral hopped and a bit malty. Being imperial, I was a bit surprised with how watery the mouthfeel was, but don't let that deter you from enjoying this brew. The high alcohol content (9.5%) is hidden well and this beer is very smooth. I have had a few of the Lagunitas brews now and this has been my favorite.

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Photo of TheHoppiest
4.57/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into an oversized snifter. Pours a beautiful ruby-amber color with a thick creamy off-white head that leaves sticky lacin down the sides as it reduces.

Smells piney, citrusy and hoppy, like fresh-cut evergreen boughs. Reminds me of Lagunitas' maximus beer in it's smell, but slightly sweeter smelling.

Tastes wonderful; grapefruit, oranges, clover and a bit of honey up front, chased by bitter hops that squeezes the tongue on the way down. As the beer warms it sweetens. Very delicious!

Mouthfeel is quite pleasant, especially for me given my love of hoppy beers. I know it's been characterized as an American Strong Ale, but it really more of an IPA. Perhaps a Red IPA?

Extremely drinkable, I look forward to having this one again, and sharing it with like minded beer drinkers.

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Photo of kramerjt
4.57/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass. Color is a deep amber, and a moderate cream colored head.

Hit with solid aromas from the start, big hits of lemon and grapefruit, very smooth mouth feel.

Like the high ABV, without the high alcohol notes.

Overall a great sipping beer, one I'll try again.

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Photo of whatthehull
4.54/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted May 13th 2011 (from notes)

A - redish/copper transparent, one finger off white head and some lacing

S - sweet yeast, fruity, bright malt, alcohol, sweet hops, slight bitterness and a slight grass and citrus

T - alcohol, hoppy, sweet yeast, citrus, floral, sweet malt and a caramel or molasses

M - chewy, huge profile, medium low acidity and a long finish

D - goes down like water even at almost 10%. big sweet and medium bitter. Well balanced

Final thought - got to get a sixer or four every year this seasonal comes out

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Photo of doppelmeup
4.53/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a spectacular looking beer! Pours a beautiful deep topaz color into a pint glass with a huge, pillowy head that lasts forever. Lacing all the way down the glass. One of the best looking beers I've ever seen!

Aromas of fresh hops. Not overpowering, but very fresh smelling. Slightly fruity and flowery.

Taste is very nice. Definitely bitter and hoppy, but not to the point of being overdone. A sweetness as well, but just enough to compliment the hops. I'm not sure I completely agree with the style for this beer. When I think of double IPAs, I think of over-the-top hoppiness and a very malty backbone. This beer seems more of a strong ale. But don't get me wrong; I really like this and think it is very good!!

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Some bitterness remains on the palate after enjoying a mouthful.

I have to say that as I write this review and drink this beer, the head is still amazing!!!

Overall, this beer is exceedingly drinkable, but I know the ABV will catch up to me. Even so, I have to give it a high drinkabiltiy score, because it goes down so easily!

Highly recommended. If you see it, pick it up and take it home.

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Photo of Erish
4.52/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this 12 oz. bottle into an English pint glass.

A: reddish amber, the one finger head quickly falls into a thin cap with decent lace; if the appearance were just a tad better this would be an A+ beer.

S: caramel, fruity esters, whiff of pine.

T: caramel, candied orange, cherry pie, then the middle simply explodes with sweet candied fruit, dark raisins, sweetened condensed milk, the finish is tart cherries wrapped around a slowly emerging core of grass and bitterness. Amazing!

M: creamy, almost milk-like, with light carbonation.

D: This nearly 10% ABV beer hides its alcohol well. I am going to try and score more of this at World Market.

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Photo of McDude
4.52/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Copper, Amber red, beautiful. Really nice quarter inch foam head.

Smell: Maybe I was outside too long today with all the blooming flowers but I get floral, sweetness, maybe (brown) sugar.

Taste: Nice taste, exactly what I want when temperatures are in the 80s. Crisp. Taste of lemon, pine, mango, grapefruit and citrus flavor give it that summer feel. Taste like an DIPA, IMO

Mouthfeel: Got that mouthful type feel with this. Bitterness. mmmm

Overall: Good shit, nice brew cute story.

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Photo of mweso2000
4.51/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a copper color with white head. A fragrant pine hop smell immediatly hits your nose. The taste is a little more sweet malt forward and not as hoppy as your typical Lagunitas beer, but a nice piney hop flavor and bitterness make this strong ale a perfectly balanced beer and a sure pleaser for any hop head. The 9.7% abv is almost non existent. Very dangerous! I don't think there is a brewer that puts out so many consistent winners like Lagunitas.

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Photo of BarleyBoz
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am becoming more and more familiar with Lagunitas but this beer is hands down the best beer that I have had from them. Without knowing what I was opening, I was astonished by all characters of this brew. Beginning with its initial nose right from the bottle, I knew it was going to be delectable. After an aggressive pour, the nose really opened up and the hops jumped right out. The reddish color and clear clarity made this brew refreshing just to look at. The balance of the structure and the length that was evident from start to finish also amazed me. It left my palate satisfied but I could not wait for the next sip. This beverage has definitely climbed into my top three favorites as of late.

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Photo of velmalikevelvet
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into a chilled mug.

Beautiful clear coppery color without much head. Delightful aroma of grapefruit. Very s-m-o-o-t-h in the mouth, tangy, peppery, and packing a nice wallop. Clean & crisper than would have expected with all the popping hops!

This is one damn FINE beer!

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Photo of SenorBeaver
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

For such a high percentage beer it was nice body and a good taste. For me it wasn't to0 sweet or thick. Hoppiness was just fine with an IBU of 66? damn good.

I'm a big IPA fan. I like barley wines usually only on tap. This is somewhere in between an ipa and a barley wine.

High ratings from a west coast beach native.

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Photo of ejimhof
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours a two and a half inch frothy white head that dissipates slowly.Pours an orange color and leaves a slight lacing.

Smell: sweet malt with some hops is what I get out of this.

Taste: Creamy malty and sweet.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and easy drinking.

Overall: Very easy to drink strong ale has that combination of sweetnees and maltiness that I like. You need to watch how many of these you drink in a session.

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Photo of CVB_Mr_007
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Any review of this beer may be subject to intoxication. One pint of this ale will twist reality. Unlike many beers with the ABV of Undercover, you will want to pour another and enter the realm of 4.5 stars of pure enjoyment.

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Photo of daarkenford
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

First impression was not that great. I got a citrus after taste maybe grapefruit that I normally can't stand in an ale. But ...after half the first beer is gone ...you no longer taste the grapefruit at all. Overall...I rated the beer high because honestly the look and the smell mean very little to me. I drink beer to enjoy a beer. How it looks or smells means very little. This beer is too notch. It feels flying saucer familiar....which is where I go when I want to try a 27 dollar pint of some German underground ale I've never heard of. I had about half the beer drank before I realized my face was numb. It feels like delirium nocturnus...it's a worthy ale. Glad I picked it up.

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Photo of Edman5P
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep copper, brown color with an awesome hop taste.. Very nice lacing and a quickly dissipating head.. It tastes like their 'little sumpin' but darker

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Photo of Seanibus
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a lovely, slightly hazy golden with a delicate head. The aroma is fruity and hoppy, quite strong, like an herby candy. Flavor is spicy and super hoppy, with citrus and pine and a musky rosemary-like herbyness. There is a sharp stinging bitterness on the finish. The mouthfeel is super prickly. This is like sticking your face in a sack of West Coast hops.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$2.10 for a 10oz single at Jacks, although I bought a 6 pack. LaG's stuff is always great. They've never released a beer I didn't like. 2009 release, 9.03% ABV, OG=1.092, 72.41 IBU's.

Pours out to a clear deep garnet, forming a tall poofy light yellow head with excellent retention and nice chunky lacing with mild to moderate carbonation. The aroma is pungently hoppy, sweet and skunky, malty and big, suggesting candied almonds and brown sugar. Mouthfeel is big, bold, and dense bodied, with a pleasant syrupiness. Taste opens with pungent skunky hops (likely Amarillo) with mango and grapefruit notes, followed by a huge malt body, a lingering sweetness (almost like Belgian Candy sugar), and although the beer isn't all that bitter, as the sweetness fades, a herbal bitterness creeps back in and hangs on the tongue through the aftertaste. Packs a solid buzz and goes down quite nicely. Belches have an interesting bourbon twing.

This is a great brew. I'd gladly buy it again, and recommend it to anyone who loves DIPAS.

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Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4.02 out of 5 based on 4,265 ratings.
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