Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale | Lagunitas Brewing Company

1,028 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,028 | Ratings: 4,331
Photo of MrFabulous
4.84/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Got a large growler. Pours copper into a dogfish glass with a big creamy head. I have had several Belgian iPAs recently and while I do not think this is a Belgian yeast strain they have balanced well a malty 10 ABV with some California
hoppiness. This seems to me also a fairly food friendly selection . Lagunitas does a great job of crafting great beer at a reasonable privacy point. As I drink this my pool game seems to also be improving! Cheers

 449 characters

Photo of vikinggary28
3.84/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12 oz bottle into my trusty glass mug. Colour is copper/amber with an off white head and nice lacing. Smells of mild malts and hops combination. Tastes much like the aroma with slight fruity undertaste amongst the pine and some citrus. Mouthfeel is good but there is a lingering aftertaste. Be carefull, 9.6 abv but dosn't taste like it is. Not bad at all. In fact, I think I'll have another! Prost!

 411 characters

Photo of rmtrout
3.91/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bought a six pack at a convenience store, cold, for 9.99. Bottled 5 weeks ago.

Appearance: Nice thick foamy head.

Smell: Not exotic or wildly fruity, but a nice balanced grapefruit/pine with slight muskiness.

Taste: Some malt up front, but not syrupy. Not as heavy or sweet as Lagunitas Brown Shugga, so it goes well with food. Grapefruit, pine, and a hint of nutmeg in the taste. Not wildly hoppy like Enjoy By, not even as fruity or complex as Lagunitas SUCKS, nor as forward as a Stone IPA or Sculpin, but it has a IBU of 67 which is easily drinkable. The aftertaste is soft, and the slight hoppyness dissipates slowly.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is spot on.

Overall: I like it for the buzz, good taste, and very good balance between sweet and bitter. Great with food. It will appeal to lots of people who don't like really bitter IPA's but want a good buzz as the 9.6 ABV is well hidden. It does this so well I gave it 4.25 overall. Take it to a picnic if you want to give them a sneaky buzz. Not the one to impress hop aficionados though.

 1,056 characters

Photo of Fee
4.43/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very good education strong ale. Complex smell and taste with a good hop profile. Earthy and spicy best describe the complexity of the taste. Great color and the complexity can be picked in in the aroma of this beer.

 217 characters

Photo of horshamguy
4.29/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle poured into a tulip glass.
L--Clear copper with a nice off-white head that lasted a while and left excellent lacing throughout.
S--Hoppy with strong malts going on as well.
T--Sweeter than I expected from the strong hop nose. Piney, with some citrus as well.
F--Unfortunately, this feels drinkable, which is VERY dangerous at its ABV.
O--Excellent offering from an excellent brewer; I'll keep my eye out for it.

 428 characters

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.77/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz. Bottle poured into a Dogfish head signature glass. This is one beasty brew: O.G 1.085 9.6% abv.66.6 ibu.

Cross colors of golden amber. Substantial, thick foam cap with very slow dissipation. Thereis a constant, thin layer throughout the duration with a bit of long, stick lacing.

The nose is huge and very complex. A caramel-sweet malt, peppery and tangy scented yeast with a big pine and spicy hop. Smells very much like a funky Belgian yeast and the hops.....the hops smell amazing, lots of hetbs and spices but also tangy and citric. Later on, as the brew warms slightly (after all, this is a sipper) Big tropical fruity hop aroma's become very bold indeed.

The flavor is even more complex and impressive. The first thing I notice is a Zippy, earthy bite, herbal spice, sharp yeast, dry-leafy finish from the hops. The malt is much less sweet than the aroma would lead you to believe. The malt is very tasty, but not as 'big' as I had expected, providing a balance with some crisp sweetness for the intense hops. The hop flavor is multi-layered and very deep; with Rustic, earthy, spicy, herbal, dry-leafy and pine flavor's. The hops blend with a unique and fun yeast that seems to provide a certain Belgian-like sour edged funk.

The mouthfeel is certainly full with malty slickness but also with plenty of dry, earthy, semi-bitter, sharp edges. A crisp bite, but in a big, heavy way.

There is some big alcohol vibes but the heat is well hidden and works with the multitude of ingredients and complexity of flavor.

I love a beer that tows the line between extreme and well balanced! The flavor spectrum is much to my liking and has many unique charecteristics that I really dig. Defying style and pushing limits but managing to keep it all in-check is a beautiful work of alchemy. Work of art.

 1,826 characters

Photo of mooonbeammike
4.64/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I drink in near darkness so I have no comment on color, lacing, etc. Purchased from 711 based on abv/price. Enjoyed a sixer over 2 nights, the second night at room temp. Smelled sweet and raisiny to me with a hint of the alcohol. Felt silky in my mouth and pretty light in body given the alcohol content. Little carbonation. Sweet and malty but bitter at the same time w a tinge of what fermented fruit leather might taste like. At nearly 10%, three of these back to back makes for a nice buzz. I imagine Id like one with a soft gingersnap or 2 w a rare piece off beef. 3 plus a toke in bed has me winking out before 2 episodes of the xfiles. Ill drink six in a row when I'm ready to start a 4 hour day before noon. IMO great taste, price, and volume economy on the lift/blanket you get.

 787 characters

Photo of TerryMills
4.37/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours copper with 1 finger white head..

Smell is a hint of hops but a big malt background.

Taste is malt sweetness upfront with a mildy bitter finish.

Feel is medium body, very drinkable..

Overall its like a much much cheaper knockoff of double bastard and I will probably visit it again at some point.

 306 characters

Photo of princessbay710
4.07/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pour is ruby copper with interesting lacing. Smell is much like anything else from Lagunitas, sweet caramel malts, but less astringent. Taste is about that, less sweet, slight alcohol. I must say that the dense mouthfeel is appealing, other than that it's just not exactly my cup of tea.

 289 characters

Photo of Skrumpy
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep copper color, mostly clear. Foamy head with streak lacing. Aroma is caramel malt with floral and citrus notes. The flavor is similar, with some pine and herbal qualities in the hops bitterness, which comes in the finish. Resinous mouthfeel. A very good ale overall.

 275 characters

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.

 237 characters

Photo of matcris
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A slightly hazy amber to red with a half finger of eggshell foam that slowly subsides and leaves a mild lacing. The beer smells hoppy. A little astringent, the usual citrus rind, mild pine, and a little floral note or honey. Nice maltiness to the flavor with all the hoppy characteristics mentioned in the aroma. The feel is full, with average carbonation, and a slightly slick feel that dries on the finish. Overall, a nice big brew, a little too much of the Simcoe-like astringency for my tastes.

 498 characters

Photo of Cfred371
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: Pours a medium brown, with a fingers worth of off white head. Carbonation bubbles can be seen heading towards the head, and the beer is clear, and appealing.

Smell: Sweet grapefruit notes hit me first, with some seemingly sweet boozy malt notes. I haven't had many strong ales, so the grapefruit being the most up front smell was a shocker.

Taste: Sweet grapefruit, followed by some bready malts mid palate, and the citrus hits in the finish. Nothing to complain here, just a well balanced beer.

Feel: Medium bodied, and slightly syrup like. You can tell it's 9% because there's some alcohol notes. The finish has a mild bitterness, but nothing in the realm of an IPA.

Overall: I bought this on a whim at my local store, and I'm glad to have tried it Undercover Investigation has a nice balance to it, and is quite flavorful.

 840 characters

Photo of Just-the-sip
4.89/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

You know, I always forget how great this beer is since us seasonal. Man, dies it just hit the spot! Sweet IPA. Mmmmm. Perfect beer to eat with. Great mouth feel. Amazing smell. Fruity and dank, citrus. No slouch at 9.6anv either. It creeps up. Let me tell ya.

 259 characters

Photo of Monkey-D-Luffy
3.73/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Purchased cold on 2-7-2017 - listed as 9.6% ABV - poured from the bottle into a flared pub glass.

L - Deep mahogany color, 1 finger head dissipates quickly. Laces the glass nicely as it goes down.

S - Resinous pine hop, a whiff of citrus and a strong malt backdrop.

T - Bitter up front with a piney hop bite, strong caramel malt character with a lingering bitterness. No hiding the ABV on this one.

F - Mouthfeel is light, slight carbonation, a bit resinous at best.

Overall - This is the kind of beer that would slap your grandmother and unapologetically urinate on your family's heirloom rug. Not a beer for weak willed lager swilling sissies. IMHO, not Lagunitas' finest offering, but it is quite enjoyable in moderation.

 729 characters

Photo of andrewh995
4.04/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Maltiness, dark fruits, bitterness from the hops and a great hilarious story to go along with the making of this beer. As usual, another incredible beer from Lagunitas.

 168 characters

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.46/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Honey colored with lots of head and lace.

Nose is fresh squeezed hop, resin, honey, citrus rinds, pale to amber malts.

Flavor is all lemon and orange rind. Still somewhat fruity but very rindy. Light malt character but it's faint.

Feel is resinous and sticky.

Overall not bad but not something I'd revisit.

 311 characters

Photo of duffman02
3.61/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nice look, smells like a basic hoppy beer. Creaminess when it first hits your mouth and then a bite of hops. Nothing too special with this beer in my opinion. At least it's almost 10%.

 184 characters

Photo of lastmango
4.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured a beautiful orange copper color with a 3 finger cream fluffy head. Heavy lacing. Aroma was sweet malt and sour hops. Medium to light body and carbonation. Very sweet malt with strong piney hops that slips away after a few sips. Alcohol is a bit hidden and sneaks up on you.

 283 characters

Photo of kerouac
4.27/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Nice fluffy foam, beautiful amber color, lots of different flavors, interesting after-taste. Strong beer (almost 10%) that can knock you out if you don't pay attention. I would call it the Mike Tyson of beers.

 209 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I dunno if its just the lighting but this one can range from a light orange to an amber color. Nice hoppy aroma to it. Pine.

Big beer, this one comes in sticky, hefty, caramel. Brings the pine and grapefruit bitterness. Hides alcohol well. Reminds me of a less bitter, less chinook specific arrogant bastard ale. Nice thing is this one is in a better format, slightly sweeter, more affordable.

 400 characters

Photo of NolaHopHead
4.21/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle. Pours bright Amber with two finger head that lasts and eventually coats the glass. Breads fruity aroma. Toasted breads malt combined with piney hops combines for a powerful but pretty balanced flavor. The piney resiny bitterness hangs out for a while. A little boozy but not overly. Signature minerally, slick Lagunitas feel. Solid strong ale.

 364 characters

Photo of stevoj
3.39/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Smooth and mild, belying the high ABV hidden underneath. Pours out dark amber with medium creamy head. Light aroma of malt, flavor kicks in with some piney hops, but they balance well with the malt. Lingering bitterness, dry finish.

 232 characters

Photo of jadpsu
4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours exceptionally clear light amber in color with a slightly off white head with superior side glass lace and good retention.
Aroma is of pine and and tart hops along with the balance of of some bread malts, but hops are most prominent.

Taste: Malts step forward but still get the aromatic piney hops that balance nicely.

Hops provide both Pale Ale and IPA characteristics, while the level of malts create a great solid and unique Ale.


 451 characters

Photo of RickS95
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

An amber brown pour that's much clearer than I would have guessed. It's not translucent, but it's only borderline opaque. The head is exquisite. A finger and a half thick with long legs. Very white and quite frothy. Really thick and sticky lace.

Early on I thought I picked up some IPA scents, but as I reviewed the appearance and went back for another whiff, I lost the pine and picked up bready, biscuity malts instead.

The hop presence is limited, this beer is all malt. This time it's caramel malts that are highlighted. There's an earthy taste I can't quite put my finger on.

Exceptionally smooth and almost creamy. The malts provide a gentle sweetness. Smooth throughout, it's very easy to drink, even with 9.3% ABV. Full bodied with an extremely faint bitter linger.

This isn't exactly what I expected, but as usual, it's really good. It's so smooth and the ABV s so well hidden, this beer could cause problems.

 935 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.