The Undercover has no reason to hide
A Review of Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale by Lagunitas Brewing Co.
Posted on 4/19/2011 by Brew's Your Daddy
I think that it is fair to say that I have never been a huge fan of ales. I also think it is fair to say that my dislike of ales stems from the notion that everyone that's making an ale today in the craft brew market seems to simply be trying to pack as many hops as possible into a bottle. And in the process of this ''hops packing'', most seem to lose sight of the fact that it takes more than a boat load of hops to make a good beer. So one can see where I was very hesitant to try a beer that has the following printed on the side:

''Net contents: 12 Fluid Oz's...of Hops, Malt, Hops, Hops, Yeast, Hops, Water, and Hops.''

But I decided to push my fears aside and give this one a try. In my mind, I thought I was ''taking one for the team''. However I was quickly rewarded for my bravery.

Im trying more and more to stop with the ''in the bottle/out of the bottle'' approach these days when it comes to judging smells. Most all of your better beers need to be poured into an appropriate glass to fully release their wide range of aromas. I'm not saying that you cant enjoy them in the bottle, but I just find that the poured in a glass approach seems to be more enjoyable and really lets your sense of smell get in with the fun your sense of taste will be having.

That being said, I went right for the pour on this ale, and the color was awesome. I'm talking a deep amber color here folks. The head on this beer is a nice and creamy off white. And just as you start to really admire this picture of perfection visually, the aromas just jump out of the glass and slap you in the face, as if to tell you that you better wake up and get ready for this one. I immediately picked up on a strong pine mixed with grapefruit smell. I know both of these are attributed with the hops, but these are two of the aromas associated with hops that I'm totally fine with in my beer. When you take a little deeper dive into the smells leaping out of the glass, plum and licorice are there. Dark and fruity, but not over powering. I also detected an alcohol smell, and after investigating the bottle, it was understandable. This one clocks in at an advertised 9.87% ABV. Due to the fact that those hops smells walked right out of the glass and said hi to me, I cant believe that I'm saying this, but I really couldn't wait to taste this beer.

The first taste of this one confused me a little bit, but in a good way. I got a caramel taste right off. It was a weird but pleasant surprise to have that flavor dancing around with the pine and grapefruit smell you get as you take that first sip. As it goes down, the transition from the sweetness of the caramel gives way to the hops that have been loaded in. It works amazingly well. The hops aren't overly bitter, but there in a massive quantity. The alcohol taste lingers a little too long for me, but that just makes me want to drink more to get that crazy combination of the caramel and hops back in my mouth. If you let it sit for a moment in your mouth, you pick up those slight hints of plum and licorice I mentioned earlier. Very faint, but totally there. The longer you let the beer sit and settle down to room temperature, the alcohol tends to get a little more prominent, but I highly doubt you will allow this beer to sit long enough to get to this point.

As I said earlier, I'm not a huge fan of your typical ale. Luckily, this is not your typical ale by any means. I know its listed as a Strong American Ale, and its every bit of that and more. This beer goes down amazingly smooth, and it refreshes every step of the way. I would have no problem suggesting this to literally anyone who is wanting to try a great beer. Its not overly complex, nor is it boringly simple. Its one that you could easily sit around and discuss its many levels of deliciousness, or sit around and not have to think about it at all because its just easy to drink and enjoy. Do yourself a favor. Grab a few of these as they are a seasonal offering, and after you have one, you are gonna want more.

Share This Page:  The Undercover has no reason to hide, A Review of Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale by Lagunitas Brewing Co.
Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale by Lagunitas Brewing Co.
About  |  Terms  |  Privacy  |  Contact  |  Login
© Copyright 2011-2019  |  |  All Rights Reserved