Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale Review

Lagunitas Undercover

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.

Lagunitas Super Cluster Review

Lagunitas Super Cluster
The Sporting Brews

Lagunitas Brewing Company has been churning out craft brews since 1993. It is located in Lagunitas, Calif. but is now owned by Heineken International. Despite that they have stayed true to their craft roots and in 2017 became the third-best-selling craft beer in the United States. They were on the ground floor for the craft beer craze and have helped foster America’s renewed interest in beer. They produce a wide variety of beers but up for review today is their Super Cluster, an homage to the Citra hop.

Super Cluster pours an orange-tinted copper color. There was some sediment in the beer but not enough to kill it. The head was not huge, standing only at about one finger tall but it was nice and foamy. The aroma was one of hops and citrus, as one would expect with the Citra hops. There were some notes of biscuit as well.

The taste follows the nose for the most part. Up front there is a mellow sweetness, like a caramel with notes of biscuit. Then there are citrus notes of orange and grapefruit on the back end. It is a pretty interesting flavor profile that goes from mellow sweet to citrus sweet as the brew rolls over your tongue. It is kind of fun. The beer feels on the lighter side of true medium with a fair amount of carbonation. It finishes a little dry and a little refreshing, a result of the Citra hops.

This could have easily been heavy on the hops and been well into the IPA range. However, the up front notes and then the dominant citrus make this a really enjoyable brew that doesn’t sway too far into the IPA range. The hops still play a predominant role but they don’t kill the experience as some hops do to IPAs and the like. Also, for a beer that clocks in at 8% ABV there is very little alcohol taste to this beer. Super Cluster does a great job of showcasing the hops without killing the trip. This was a fun brew to drink.