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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): 9.30%

Availability: Rotating

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

Added by GilGarp on 03-10-2009

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 988 | Ratings: 4,216
Photo of phiberoptik
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this by accident! Well technically my beer store got it by accident. Lagunitas is only distributed in the Columbus area, but the distributor accidentally sent it with an order down here to Cincinnati. Lucky me!

Pours a nice rich amber color with a rich creamy head.

Smell is very hop forward, clean, fresh, and citrusy. I get more sweet fruit than pine. For a "mild", there is really nothing mild about it.

Taste is wonderful. Bursting with hops and very well balanced. Slight bitterness in the finish but very mild for the amount of hops that come out in the nose and taste. A nice alcohol finish as you would expect from a near 10%'er. For a "mild", there is really nothing mild about it.

Great mouthfeel with medium body, good covering of the tongue and a nice level of carbonation.

Overall this is a great beer. One I would definitely buy again. It gives you a ton of hops without a sticky mouth or a lasting bitterness in the back of your mouth.

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Photo of Heritage02Rider
3.87/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: poured into chilled glass from my hermetic growler. Color is medium amber, not brown, not red; amber. I like the color. The head was full and thick and creamy. Oddly for as thick as it was it dissipated quite quickly to a foam ring, thus the 3.5.

S: the smell was slightly hoppy; not malty as the color would dictate. The odor was very reminiscent of Stone's Arrogant Bastard.

T: the beer is slightly hoppy with a sweet malty overtone. Again reminiscent of Stone.

M: beer is clean and smooth. It doesn't make you cringe nor does it make you smack you lips from sweetness. It does have a slight citrus hoppy after taste.

D: drinkability is good. The beer has a 9.7 ABV but goes down easy like a much lighter beer. You can drink many of these, but the higher alcohol will catch up to you.

O: a decent beer very close to their southern CA brothers Arrogant Bastard. My choice goes to Stone, but this is a decent runner up for a summer dark beer.

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Photo of jeremy2027
3.2/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

1. Poured into Sam Adams "perfect pint" glass.

2. Light brown a shade above a good amber, quite clear.

3. Grapefruit right off the bat with a little sweet malty notes.

4. First sip you could taste more of the malt character and some hop bitterness. After a few sips the bitterness is quite apparent and hits you right in the back of the mouth.

5. It was ok I have had much better beers from Lagunitas, I probably wouldn't buy this again.

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Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear amber in color and has a light amount of carbonation. It poured with a finger high beige head that died down rather quickly but left a thin film of bubbles covering the surface and a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of pine resin hops in the nose along with some notes of citrus and hints of caramel.
T: The taste has flavors of caramel malts and pine resin hops and is accompanied by a moderate to high amount of bitterness. There are some initial hints of malty sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and slightly sticky on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: Although the alcohol is well masked from the taste, this beer is definitely one that needs to be sipped given its strength and the high amount of bitterness.

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Photo of ejimhof
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
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 daledeee
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a clear dark chestnut brown. Minimal head with a ring and lacing that stayed nicely.

S; Apricot, sugars, spice and hops

T: Really hoppy with lots of malt. This beer is loaded with flavor. Rather syrupy and doses of apricot.

M: Very high gravity and warming.

O: This is a good beer but not quite balanced enough. I mean this thing is really loaded with flavor but has a little less balance than I am used to.

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Photo of Arbitrator
2.8/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Chilled 12oz into a glass. Purchased from Whole Foods in Los Altos.

A: Pours a clear dark amber / coppery shade. Has a half-finger off-white head that recedes into light filming and a donut on top of the drink. Leaves some lacing down the glass. Has nice bubbles up the center.

S: MALT. MALT. MALT. A surprising amount of toast, brown sugar, raisins, and an arrangement of floral hops with a lighter grapefruit / citrus component. It honestly smells a lot to me like a doppelbock.

T: Following the nose, a dominant sweetness with toast, dark fruits (raisins, dates) with brown sugar and caramel malt supplementing. The finish takes a complete 180 into hop territory, with grapefruit acidity and floral bitterness. The aftertaste is fairly clean but has just a little lingering bitterness. Seems like the flavors need a little more time to meld.

M: It's medium-bodied, with a watery, unsatisfying finish. Medium carbonation that serves the style decently. Has a lingering bitter aftertaste, but after finishing the beer I had mostly malt burps. Good masking of the ABV.

D: Decent. While I'm glad I tried it, it's not mind-blowing, and I don't think I'd go out of my way to stock up before the season is over. It's more like a dependable and solid brew from a dependable and solid company.

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Photo of KomodoDragon
3.72/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a 25th anniversary Bells pint glass.

A - I had to recheck the bottle to be certain I did not have the Lagunitas copper ale. Copper red coloring with a small white head and fantastic lacing.

S - Ok. a bit odd. The alcohol - 9.87% ABV - smell came thru, and it was reminiscint of cough syrup.

T - Aye, but get past the smell and the taste is wonderful. Malty goodness, some fruit flavors, maybe apricot. 72 IBUs of northwest hop is evident but not overpowering. And a welcomed smooth warm finish.

M - Matly, chewy, great.

Well done - again - Lagunitas. A smooth beer that begs you to sip and appreciate.

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Photo of BrainDad
4.58/5  rDev +14.2%
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 jbphoto88
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep ruby color leaning towards a leathery brown. The head is playsand tan and fast to fade. The brew is crystal clear and wonderful to look at.

The nose is heavy on the malts with subtle hops. A roasted grain body with elusions of a grand alcohol content reminescent of a barley wine. Hints of bitterness are there but not in the hop citrus/ piney way.

Taste is much like the nose with a strong malt backbone and flavors approaching the caramel/ toast side of things. The bitterness is present but the flavor of the hops are eclipsed by the malts.

The mouthfeel is good with a strong bitterness that dukes it out with the sweetness of the grains. Smooth and lightly carbonated with a dry finish makes this beer a pleasurable drink with a not so noticeable ABV. A good strong beer that tastes and feels good but doesn't have huge character. It's ok but gets boring, so worth checking out but not one I'd come back to.

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Photo of alamode
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2011 release.
12oz bottle poured into an American Pint.

A: a transparent, deep gold color...like a thick piece of amber. slightly off-white head that reduces to a ring, leaving a thin film of bubbles and plenty of lacing.

S: pine, pineapple, sugared malt and a hint of booze.

T: signature Lagunitas hops play nicely with an alcohol bitterness. a fading citrus & some over-ripe grapefruit with sugar also come through. a slight solvent-like flavor comes in the finish when it reaches room temp.

M: moderate carbonation. oily, but pleasent.

D: I had this back in May and was a big fan of it being more fresh. It was close to fantastic in every aspect and I def would have scored it higher, had I taken notes. Even with as little as 2 mos on it, I am noticing signs of age. A very nice spring offering that I plan to celebrate annually.

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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 mjw06
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Velvety off-white two finger size head that leaves a light liquidy lacing. Dark cherry-rustik transparent color.

Wonderful in the nose. A surgary red plum, maraschino cherry and brown sugar.

The taste was that of cherries, sugary almost vodka tasting alcohol warmness and malt. The body was thin and a little light on the carbonation for my liking. Not much hop bitterness and overall it was along the lines of a barleywine, except not as strong.

Lagunitas is one of my favorite breweries, and judging this selection subjectively based on their catalog, I was a little disappointed. Very little distinguished this beer and it was definitely not worthy of its long name and "special edition" status. Reminded me of their "Brown Shugga" selection, which I'm actually very fond of, except this lacked character.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Interesting little six pack called out to me the other day while perusing the isles of a store I don't normally shop at. Pours a deep copper color with a fluffy off white head that dissipates slowly but leaves lots of sticky lace on my glass. Lots of caramelly sweet malt aromas fly north of my glass barely tamed by the spicy pine of the hops. Taste is sweeter than I expected up front there is a ton of sweet malt mostly caramel and toffee. Taste turns earthy and pine bitter about midway through and that flavor lingers into the finish and long after each sip. Thick body, resinous and sticky sweet mouthfeel, moderate level of carbonation. I enjoyed the hell out of this brew. Its a big sweet thick monster of a beer with barely enough hops to keep it from cloying, but for my taste buds it worked.

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Photo of Scotchboy
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ Brewers Haven in Boise. Served in a pint glass.

A: Light see-thru brown with a finger of off-white approaching yellow head. Good sticky lacing.

S: Sweet toasted malt, caramel malt, earthy hops, some nuttiness. Maybe just a touch of alcohol but it all blends pleasantly. A unique smelling beer.

T: Similar to the nose plus a nice sweet woody character that accents the toasted malt well. Middle of the tongue there is touch of orange from the hops, and there is a significant amount of hop bitterness and dryness without being overwhelming. Some chocolate candy sweetness and cocoa powder.

MF: Medium bodied and crisp, light medium carbonation and that dry finish.

O: A pleasant surprise for a brown ale, with about medium drinkability as it warms and the booze emerges a touch. The hops and sweetness are a nice change from a normal malty brown ale.

A nice change of pace.

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Photo of DoktorZee
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a schooner. No obvious best before date.

A - brown/amber in color with a very small head that dissipates very quickly. Very little lacing. Clear with a moderate amount of carbonation on inspection.

S - Nose is interesting with a bit of grain, but also a fair amount of ripe fruit and a hint of caramel.

T - not much bitterness, but a powerful malt combo of licorice, caramel and ripe fruit (much like the nose). Definitely some boozy warming. Very muscular beer!

M - slow uptake on the carbonation, but it does cut the velvety texture of the ale quite well. Not quite a mouth-coater, but on the thicker side.

D - With the strong booziness this one is more of a sipper, but definitely a nice drink.

Strong, muscular ale that reveals its near 10% alcohol content but stays drinkable. Primarily a strong malt profile and without the hoppy bitterness you get in some of the other strong ales (e.g Arrogant Bastard). Solid!

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Photo of mryuk
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours an unfiltered nice amber with an inch of head.

smell is slightly sweet with citrus hops.

taste hits you like a punch. very forward with some sweetness and a lot of hops all the way trough. caramel and citrus undertones.

mouth is medium-full with good carbonation.

drinkability is very high, nice beer.

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Photo of seand
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy reddish brown, with just few clumps of off white head. What little is there retains around the edges of the glass well enough to leave small spots of lacing.

S: Sweet with a light graininess, notes of dried fruit and brown sugar, as well as a touch of booze.

T: Sweet, balanced by a big hoppy finish.

M: Medium to full body, medium carbonation.

A decent strong ale; it's sweet, boozy, and hoppy, but there's nothing particularly outstanding about it.

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Photo of Long813
3.62/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown body with two fingers of light mocha head. Retention is minimal as is lacing.

S: Nice front of citrus fruit and brown sugars. Smells very similar to a barely-wine.

T: As with the aroma, fronts of citrus with a load of hops. Earthiness is very strong with some nice malt character.

M - Medium bodied with medium-low carbonation. The texture is very full and together with a sticky malt aftertaste. I'm very surprised at the lack of alcohol I can taste. It's also 9.87% ABV as given on my bottle.

O: This is one of my more favorable barley-wines, I like the combination of citrus, hops and malts.

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Photo of jman892
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a clear amber, with a soapy, foamy tan head. Nice lacing remains

S - Smell is a real nice citrus/peach. Very inviting smell. Smells like a grapefruit with sugar poured on top of it

T - Follows the nose, bitter, citrusy hops, with some earthiness on the back end. There is a noticeable alcohol kick to it which is not suprising given the ABV. A bit of caramel taste to it as well as a faint dark fruit as it warms

M - Clean, crisp, moderate carbonation, relatively easy drinker considering the punch it packs

O - Another solid offering from Lagunitas. Cant beat this for $12 for a 6 pack

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Photo of diamondc
2.83/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Dark bronze, not much head, but there is a lingering cap of foam and some nice lacing.

S: Some light citrus aroma .. and that's it. Maybe some slight toastiness from the malt.

T: Very woodsy & pine-like hop bitterness. Booze is out in the open.

M: Despite the booziness, it doesnt drink harshly at all. Well-carbonated with no memorable hop or malt flavors.

O: Glad I only got a single. My least favorite Lagunitas beer.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.45/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On Tap

San Diego Brewing Co.
San Diego, CA

Dark amber and a thin tan head. Moderate lacing down the glass.

Citrus hops, caramel malts, and alcohol in the nose.

Citrus hops, caramel malts, some bready sweetness, and a distinct and biting, very strong alcohol bite on the finish. I expected more from this beer. Disappointing only because of my expectations, but overall relatively simple and still tasty.

A thin to medium mouthfeel. Ample carbonation.

A sweet, malty American strong ale with a little too much alcohol presence on the end. Not a particularly enjoyable beer, but nothing to complain about either.

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Photo of bamojr
3.94/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

smells super hoppy. Pours darker amber light white head. This one has a huge hop flavor and some really sweet flavors too. A bit tart, but the tartness compliments it quite well. I have to say that I was drawn to this one by its name but I did really like it.

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Photo of zoso1967
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Undercover Investigation pours a deep cherry tinted amber with a nice parchment head that has good staying power. The beer leaves some nice lace on the sides of the snifter and the liquid itself appears to be nice and clear.

The aroma is extremely sweet and fruity with notes of cherry, fig and plenty of caramel and toffee. It also has a big dose of citrusy hops that make it smell bright and fresh.

The flavor has a great balance between the sweetness and the hops. The same fruity character colors the malty caramel flavors. This fruitiness blends amazingly with the citrusy and piney hops. There is just enough bitterness to keep the beer from getting too sweet, and a faint earthy spice near the end of the sips. The ABV is noticeable, but not overbearing.

The mouthfeel is somewhere between full and medium with a solid amount of carbonation that keeps it from being heavy on the palate. For as sweet as this beer is, I do not find it sticky at all with the sweet and bitter components mingling easily on my tongue after each sip.

I was really not sure what to expect with this beer and came away very impressed. This is a really well balanced strong ale with some great flavors. The fruity qualities make it very drinkable and the carbonation level makes it much more refreshing. This was recommended by a friend and I definitely second his recommendation.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.87/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours the color of a tarnished penny, solid cap of off-white head, good sticky lacing. Scent is dominated by piney and grapefruity hops, not suprised since this is Lagunitas, sweet carmely malty backbone with a touch of apple. Taste follows scent, very hop forward, sweet carmely malt backbone has touches of nuts, note of apple and grape on the backent, slight nutty roast, slight booze burn to acompany bitterness. Medium bodied, palate coating and lingering bitterness. Another Lagunitas beer that showcases the hops. Cant argue too much if a majority are decent brews.

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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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