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Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale | Lagunitas Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
90
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985 Reviews
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Undercover Investigation Shut-down AleUndercover Investigation Shut-down Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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:
985
Ratings:
4,204
Avg:
4.01
pDev:
20.95%
 
 
Wants:
130
Gots:
939
For Trade:
8
User Reviews
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Reviews: 985 | Ratings: 4,204
Photo of dbrauneis
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a crystal clear dark amber in color with some garnet red hints when held up to the light. The beer has a half finger tall beige head that reduces to an extremely thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer with a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Strong aromas of pine/resin hops along with some lighter hints of citrus hops and caramel malts.

T: The beer starts out with some caramel malt sweetness before the huge flavors of pine/resin hops take over - contributing quite a lot of bitterness that lingers for a long time.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly sticky.

O: Very enjoyable but not the easiest beer in the world to drink, The taste, smell, and mouthfeel of the alcohol are well hidden in this beer but you can kind of tell this is a big beer. Definitely one for sipping with the high ABV and the moderately strong bitterness.

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Photo of smcolw
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Three pour bartender on this one. Lots of head and what was left on my glass lasted a very long time, leaving a blanket of lace. Deep, dirty copper color and very clear.

Predominant grapefruit rind aroma. A bit of candy sugar to the nose also.

Starts off malty with lots of Crystal and mild sweetness. You cannot anticipate the hop explosion that comes with the swallow. Both pepper and alcohol warmth show up in the aftertaste. Full bodied with low carbonation.

In short, this is an unexpectedly complex beer.

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Photo of billab914
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into my Dogfish shaped glass. It poured a darker amber color with a frothy, creamy, sticky head to it. Nice looking color and pretty good lacing as I drank it as well.

The aroma is not surprisingly, pretty hoppy for the style. I get some floral, pine and citrus notes to it. I'm getting a bit of a pineapple or peach flavor out of the hoppiness as well. There's also a pretty big malt presence with some caramel and candied fruit flavors blending pretty well wit the hoppiness. Pretty nice aroma overall.

The taste shows more of the bright, juicy hops to it. I get some peach and mango flavors up front, while some pine and grapefruit bitterness comes out a little more towards the finish. The sweet, malty, caramel flavors compliment very well and give it some really nice candied fruit flavors.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation being moderate. Overall, I thought it was a very good beer. The hoppiness was really good, and the malts compliment very well. It really comes together well, very nice overall.

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Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at a DC tasting thanks to nimbleprop. Bottle from 07-08.

a - Pours a murky amber brown color with one inch of white head and low carbonation evident.

s - Smells of caramel malts, sweet fruit, bready malts.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, fruity malts, sugar, and a hint of alcohol, but not much.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - I thought this was a really nice beer that was more like a barlewine to me. It's held up really well and I would love to try again.

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

Had it since the first year it was released, saw a single bottle for sale and picked one up. Copper deep amber body with a light colored white head. Fine speckled lacing. Aroma has a toffee toasted malt character with an earthy/citric hop nose going on as well. Big alcohol layers hidden in the sweet and hoppy notes I'm getting. Flavor, has a toasted malt character with sweet sugary notes and alcohol burn going on with a big massive hoppy resinous quality about it, grapefruit and citrus malts burst to blend the flavors into what we are drinking here. Mouthfeel, is medium to full bodied with the high burn of alcohol coming through. Resinous oily hop oils coming on with each sip, still not a bad beer just a bit bigger in alcohol than I typically care for. It stays away from the barleywine zone, but damn fine overall.

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Photo of stakem
3.59/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Josh for gifting me with this. 12oz bottle poured into a can glass. The brew appears clear copper in color with big frothy yellowish khaki head that fades leaving webby lace.

The smell includes caramel malt and fruity alcohol with a touch of herbal hops. It has a little solvent aspect to it.

The taste is fruity alcohol/hops with caramel to biscuit malt sweetness. A slightly herbal aspect before getting solvent with alcohol.

This is medium bodied and modestly carbonated. Overall a boozy, decent brew.

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Photo of jwc215
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes from September, '07 that were lost and recently found:

Pours copper amber with a head that slowly becomes a lasting patch. Some lacing sticks. Nice retention for abv.

The smell is of aromatic citric/piney/resiny hops. Great hop profile!

The taste is of citric/piney/resiny hops with a firm sweet malt backbone that gives it a nice balance to the bitterness. The hop flavor stands out without the lingering bitterness, and without completely covering the maltiness. Alcohol reasonably (to say the least) well-covered.

The body is medium - approaching full. Smooth despite alcohol.

A delicious brew that is hoppy, yet well-balanced. A nicely done, drinkable DIPA.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, bronze appearance, slim whitehead.

Mild fruit in aroma ,apple mostly, a little spicy, minor bitterness. Nice and malty. A little sour.

Tasting, it really feels like a good dark English malty mild ale, but one with a beast in it's belly. You can feel the fire coming up. Really gentle, mellow...and then a nip,a bite...a 9% mild? Here we go...

Very nice, well done, but don't think I could have more than one. Are mild supposed to be 9%?Not sure...not...sure...

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Photo of tdm168
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - dark amber with a thin, dense, white head that has good retention

S - big floral hop aroma with fainter underlying orange and grapefruit notes

T - faint bread, big caramel, huge hop character - floral, citrusy, piny, herbal, bitter

M - full bodied, a bit crisp

This was a really solid beer. It had huge flavor. I think it could stand to be more malty but huge floral, citrusy hops and a laid back malt character is how Lagunitas seems to role. That being said I'm along for each and every ride. This reminds me quite a bit of their Imperial Red Ale. It has much the same hop character. The body and ABV are a bit bolder. Nonetheless, it's got solid flavor and drinkability. It's definitely worth a try.

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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 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 smakawhat
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a Funkwerks globe glass.

Real nice looking beer, super dark ruby red and clear with amber ruby and brown tinges. Head forms frothy at three fingers with a light tan color. Big retention and scattered lacing throughout the glass and leaving a big one finger puck and island.

Nose brings a nice mellow citrus grapefruit hop quality, soft and fleshy. Small faint caramel hides in the back, with a little dank earth.

Palate fills with a nice full caramel and mix of earthy hops. Swallow brings much of the mellow citrus grapefruit and fleshy tones. Chewy hop forward palate. Alcohol is really hidden on this for nearly ten percent. Mellow toasty and caramel tasting like malts come and match with subsequent sips.

Overall this comes off as just a big solid and controlled hoppy amber to me more than a strong ale, and that appeals greatly to me. Real well put together brew, and love the mix of fruit and dank earth hop profile on this as well.

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Photo of Billolick
4.01/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle

Pours a nice rich glowing shade of almond hued amber. Khaki head stays nicely. Goes to a thick high collar and then a fine film and moderate low lacing strands.

The sniff reveals notes of rich malting and minty hops.

Full flavor malty brew with broad shoulders and a bold hoppy finish. Notes of maple malts, vanilla, honey and resinous hops sealing the finish.

Lagunitas all the way

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

TGI Thursday!!!! Couple beers...why not. Trying the Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale...it's a mouthfull...and so is the beer! This beer can shut down evening operations quickly with its hig ABV. The appearance is good! A nice rich Amber with creamy off-white head that is lacing suburbly. The smell has a sweet malt character with hints of pine/earth. The first sip brings a wash of ABV, followed by sweet malt. The ABV numbs the tongue slightly and the sweetness holds on to the pallete. The mouthfeel was down graded just a bit due to the high ABV. Overall its a good beer...reminds me a little of the Brown Shugga that they produce(d), and the sweetness reminds me slightly of Two Brothers Cane & Ebel.

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

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer is a red-tinted copper coloring with a foamy, frothy, slim off-white head that settles quickly into a sparse coating of film atop the brew. The aromas are hoppy initially, with a sweet and peppery highlight to them. Further inspection gives off a slight citrus and sweet character, also. Flavors are round and forward, with a moderate wet, fresh hopping, and semisweet caramel tone, and a smokey, almost burnt/charred characteristic. The aftertaste has a grapefruit subtleness to it, with tangy caramel and bitter/drying hops throughout. The finish is a bit awkward, with the drying sensation being balanced off with a creamy and slick feel to it, all of which come crashing to a fairly quick stop at the end. Interesting brew, but a bit on the awkward side at the end, like a bad one-night stand. Sure, it was fun at first, but the ending is never pretty...

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Crystal clear amber, with no bubbling carbonation visible. Thin, foamy almond colored head.

S - Spiced tree sap with bitter grapefruit zest. Very sweet molasses nose. Warm spruce and alcohol notes.

T - Bitter hops up front with a warming spruce flavored alcohol. Hop leaf and and citrus peel. White grapefruit meat.

M - Clean, crisp and fresh with some sweet stickiness.

O - Nice strong ale, reminding me of a sweet double IPA.

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

A – Amber, light grade maple syrup. Off-white head pours with a nice creaminess, ok retention, and poor lace.

S – Soft pine behind a big honey, honeysuckle, and pineapple.

T – Opens dead and build slowly into malt, molasses, brown sugar and booze. Herbal-forward middle with rosemary and sage, and a supporting orange zest / citrus note. Climaxes in a big, rolling pine bitterness matched with molasses.

M – Medium full body. Boozy bitter backend.

O – Balanced sweet and boozy. Almost barleywine-like.

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

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has an excellent burnt toffee scent that boasts of caramelized pale malts and some caramel malts. The hop aroma is good as well. It has an intense piney bitterness that's works well with the malts. The taste is good also. It has a smooth burnt toffee flavor that goes down slow and bitter and finishes with a bit of alcohol warmth. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn good drinking strong ale. It has excellent hop character and a malt bill that rivals any old ale or barleywine.

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Photo of tempest
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Double IPA huh? My first thoughts were that it was a lighter barley with a touch of cocoa. It actually appears a bit like a dark amber, and the malts are sweet and fruity, and like I said, there's a touch of chocolate flavor. The hops didn't seem that big, citrus and peppery, but not nearly as big as Great Divide's Hercules DIPA. For a DIPA, it leaves hops to be desired, for a strong ale, it's pretty cool.

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Photo of Gavage
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: clear amber in color with a 1" head that lasts quite a while. Nice lacing develops during the session.

Smell: caramel, bread, and a strong hop bitterness is pleasant on the nose.

Taste: big caramel base here with some light breadiness. Pine, grapefruits, and a hint of fruit sweetness rounds it out. Alcohol is mildly noticable.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp at the start, smooth towards the finish. Long aftertaste as the bitterness is at the forefront. Medium to almost a heavy bodied beer.

Drinkability: kind of a slow sipping beer here as the alcohol is high and the bitterness is bold. Definitely worth giving this a shot.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to hudsonphotog for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours and orange-amber color with a white head. The aroma is caramel, pine and alcohol. The flavor is more of the same with the pine and caramel malts being fairly well balanced. The alcohol is very present. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of Tone
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, copper color. 1/2 inch head of a pale tan color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of strong hops, sweet malt, hint of syrup, yeast, slight citrus, hint of roasted malt, and a hint of citrus. Fits the style of a Strong Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and thick with an average carbonation level. Wow, the body if bold, but not too complex. Strong hops up front, slight alcohol is noticeable, sweet malt, and slight yeast. Overall, good appearance, great aroma, but the blend and complexity are lacking.

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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 BARFLYB
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz single bottle into a Lancaster Brewing pint glass. It's been about two years since I had the sneak release of this beer.

A- Lagunitas UISDA is a nicely lit light bronze color with some brownish appearence to it. The head builds to about 3/4 of an inch and starts degressing before im done pouring the bottle. A nice beige film stays on the surface forever leaving spotty lace.

S- A wonderful scent coming from this bordering between a DIPA and a strong ale. As expected a lot of hops giving off piney smells as well as light citrus with grapefruit. A malt extravaganza gving off earthy smells with bread. some sweet caramel and a oily base coming off of the hops. More sweetness possibly from the addition of some sugars. Boozy.

T- This is good stuff and as I drink it im thinking it leads more into the strong ale category. Loads of west coast hops giving off a nice bitterness from the 72 IBU's. This is not a hop bomb because the sweetness comes from a nice malt addition and other sweetners, maybe some brown sugar. On the end i get a sense of some dark fruits although they are not pronounced. At 9% the alcohol is not a problem.

M- Some bitternes is all throughout this but it goes down smoother than expected. Undercover is two steps above medium bodied with a good dose of carbonation. I guess they tweaked the recipe some cause i remember this being more assauling in the past but that could be my expanding palette. This does not burn the tounge out with the hop addition.

D- Not sessionable, but i would not mind getting drunk off of a six pack. Hey, maybe i will try that on a lazy afternoon during the weekend. This stuff is good and cant be denied even with an apparent change in recipe additions. A lot of beers I get from lagunitas taste the same but this is a step in a different direction, one that I welcome with open arms.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz. Bottle

Poured into a chalice a very nice slightly cloudy golden amber color, very nice carbonation, with a very nice one-finger fizzy/creamy off-white head, which leaves a nice big island in the glass with some nice sticky lacing as well. The nose is malty, with a nice touch of hops, picking up some cherries, figs, plums. The taste is very very nice, sweet, hoppy, with some nice malt notes, dark fruits. Medium body, ABV is hidden very well, but still watch out. Overall a very tasty brew, glad to see this one in Utah.

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Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 985 ratings.
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