Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale

American Strong Ale Lagunitas Brewing Company


Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale, an American Strong Ale by Lagunitas Brewing Company

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Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale is an American Strong Ale brewed by Lagunitas Brewing Company, and for the purposes of this craft beer review, the ale was served in a snifter from a bottle.


The ale pours a crystal-clear amber and is topped by an inch-thick cap of rocky off-white foam that shows fine retention. Patches of lace cling to the sides of the glass.


The aroma is bright with a scent of pine needles and perfumey alcohol. A bit of stone fruit appears as the beer warms.


Malt leads the tasting with flavors of toasted bread and biscuit. And then the palate is assaulted with a strong hop bitterness of orange peel, lemon twist, and grapefruit. Pine and resin are mixed in for good measure. Along with a mild dose of booze. The bitterness lingers through the finish but is undercut slightly by a sweet note of stone fruit. There’s a bit of earthy dankness middling in the base.


Its feel is slick and warming with a medium-full body and moderate carbonation. Finishes dry and somewhat astringent.


Presents fairly well and feels about right. Strong hops and booze drive the aroma and palate but there’s a subtle complexity that appears once the beer warms. The Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale is a power-bomb of a beer that demands and gets attention.


On St. Patrick’s Day back in 2005, an undercover investigation at Lagunitas concluded that illicit activities were taking place on the premises. The brewery was punished with a 20-day suspension and became more notorious than ever. The Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale was crafted in honor of the occasion. Watch the video below for a recap of that special day.

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About the American Strong Ale

The modern American Strong Ale originated from “Imperial” versions that were crafted of the American Amber Ale and American Red Ale styles. The Strong Ale ranges in color from a deep copper to brown, has a significant malt backbone and is highly hopped with considerable alcohol strength. Its palate is more aggressive and challenging than the American Double IPA but it’s not as strong as an American Barleywine.