Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale Review

Name: Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale
Style: American Strong Ale
ABV: 9.75%

Most people will name a beer after the place they live in, an inside joke, or a name suggested by a marketing firm. Lagunitas Brewing named a beer after an event which shut down their operations for 20 days by the California Alcohol Beverage Control in January 2006. This of course was a raid on the Lagunitas Premises during St. Patrick's Day in 2005, in which citations were issued to employees and guests for possession of marijuana. Even though the charges were later dropped, Lagunitas was forced to shutdown for 20 days by the Alcohol Board, though the brewery claims that they were going to shutdown anyways to upgrade their equipment.

So to celebrate their brush with the law, they released Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale, which sounds like the poorly translated title of a bootlegged copy of "Lethal Weapon" that you would expect to find in some marketplace in Hong Kong, minus the "Ale" part. Undercover is classified as an American Strong Ale with an ABV of 9.75%.

It pours a clear orange color with an off-white head and no carbonation, giving it a pretty nice unfiltered look.

The nose is primarily citrus & piney hops, caramel, toffee and yeasts. For a strong ale, this looks and smells alot like an Imperial IPA.

Upon tasting, my feelings about this being more like an Imperial IPA grew stronger. The flavor starts out with a strong hoppy taste with some spruce notes, and on the back of the palate there are grapefruit, toffee, caramel and an considerable malt backbone. There is some slight but noticeable booziness present in the flavor as well.

The body is considerably light and the carbonation is rather mild, which makes this strong ale a bit easy to drink.

Lets not fool ourselves here, this is an Imperial IPA. It's got the look, smell and taste of what you would expect from an Imperial IPA. Even with this revelation, it's still a good beer. Sure there are some imbalance issues with the boozy aspect of the flavor but this is still a pretty good beer!

Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale - 8/10

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