Lagunitas Brewing Company – Undercover Investigation Shutdown Ale

lag undercover beer2The story behind the Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shutdown Ale is interesting to say the least, and one for the ages. The brewery, located in Petaluma in Sonoma County California, was holding regular tastings every Thursday night. This one particular event was advertised in a local newspaper as “420” – a number (time) synonymous with marijuana. A group of students showed up to the event and decided to smoke pot. That prompted the state Alcohol Beverage Control Board to launch an eight week “undercover investigation” of the brewery. During the investigation patrons of the brewery inadvertently offered pot to the undercover officers but the agents were looking for people selling pot. Frustrated with the outcome of their investigation, officers arrested patrons for possession on St. Patrick’s Day of 2005 and shut down Lagunitas for 20 days.

As a playful reminder of the laughable event, Lagunitas released the Undercover Investigation Shutdown Ale, a 9.9% ABV brew that is sure to satisfy those who enjoy a medium-bodied Ale high in alcohol content.

So here I am doing an investigation of my own – a review. Tonight I’m pairing the Undercover Investigation Shutdown Ale with the Nomad CT Fuerte cigar.

I toasted my cigar and poured my brew. The pour was majestic. It was deep amber in color with a thick foaming head that was light brown/tan in color. It had moderate lacing that was about ¾”. The nose picked up sweet aromas of caramel, lag undercover beercitrus and piney hops.

I didn’t want to disturb the beautiful picturesque glass inundated with such beauty, but I convinced myself that I bought her to drink, so done the hatch she went. I was immediately greeted with sweet citrus flavors that were rather malty. It balanced out nicely with the addition of piney hops and a hint of sweet caramel mixed with a dollop of spice to create a very favorable flavor profile that lasted through the finish like the taste of a sensual mistress. It left me longing for me. So I continued to sip the remainder until the very last drop glided down my throat and deposited itself in my ultra-satisfied gullet.

There was slight carbonation in the mouth and the finish was a warm, sweet and malty finish that enveloped my palate like a snuggly blanket on a stormy night. The beer is not too thick and leaves a nice, silky finish on the tongue. The journey down the hatch was smooth and well balanced as it hides the high alcohol content well. The malt and hops danced in harmony to fuse together a very pleasant experience on the palate. It is a very pleasant mouth feel to say the least.

lag undercover beerWhat an awesome beer. The aroma was great and the taste was even better, an all-around awesome ale – the perfect medium-bodied brew. It was sweet, high in alcohol content and extremely tasty. It is more of a sipping beer than a guzzler so take your time with her and treasure her flavors.


Brewery: Lagunitas Brewing Company, California USA

Alcohol by Volume: 9.9%

Style: American Strong Ale

Availability: Rotates throughout the year

Sold in bottles

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