The story of Lagunitas Brewing Company begins in 1993 with Tony Magee and his hobby of brewing his own beer at home. Eventually it grew and the California company was born. The story of their Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale dates back to 2005 and the company’s shut down which lasted for 20 days. As Lagunitas states, they did the crime, they did the time, and now they have the bragging rights. If you are really interested in the backstory of this interesting brew click here.
Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale pours a deep amber with a fairly thick, slightly off-white head that rose to one finger at its height. The aroma is unique. It features some hop notes but there is an added note which is hard to place. It reminds me of old wine barrels to a degree, an earthy sweetness. There is some noticeable carbonation rising to the top.
The first sip is unique. I don’t know if I have had a beer similar to this. There is a mellow start, almost malty. That is quickly followed by this interesting note that might be best described as oaky and dank at the same time, like a red wine or whiskey barrel. There is also a slight citrus undertone with notes of hops and malt. The taste is really unique and the nose and flavor complement each other well here. It feels very light in the mouth and finishes dry. There is a slight alcohol taste on the backend but that is to be expected since this brew clocks in at 9.7% ABV. Despite the alcohol taste that comes through it is finishes with a nice warmth similar to the one you get when drinking red wine.
There is some nice lacing on the glass as the brew drinks. There is also a consistent flavor profile. You get the same taste with each sip and you keep sipping because it is so unique.
Overall, this is one of the most original beers I have ever tasted. It is a little sophisticated but also somewhat familiar. This brew has some bite so making this a session beer could result in unforeseen consequences. This is a good sipping beer with a unique and interesting taste. This is a limited release but worth giving a try.