Lagunitas Brewing was founded in 1993 by Tony Magee in Lagunitas, California. The company is very fast-growing, and they receive consistently high ratings on their beers. The company moved its facilities to Petaluma, California when it began to grow. But this year, Lagunitas announced that it will be buying facilities in Chicago: talk about hitting the big time! I am a big fan of Lagunitas, not because of their rather obnoxious, thesaurus-inspired descriptions on their bottles, but rather because they tend to regularly produce solid, high-quality beer.
The company’s own description of Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale (9.75% ABV) is as follows:
We brewed this especially bitter ale in remembrance of the 2005 St Patrick’s Day Massacre and in commemoration of our 20-day suspension that followed. The ABC conducted an undercover investigation of our brewery, finding us guilty of operating a “Disorderly House.” We did the crime. We did the time. We got the bragging rights.
This refers to a rather comical undercover police investigation. There were rumors that Lagunitas were selling marijuana at their brewery, so on St. Patrick’s Day in 2005, some undercover agents infiltrated the party and attempted to find marijuana. Apparently one or two customers offered it to them for free, so they charged the company with distribution of marijuana. The company was temporarily shut down. The truth is that the company had nothing to do with it: some individuals may have had some marijuana, but the investigation turned out to be a major flop. In celebration of their mufti-million dollar comeback and free publicity, Lagunitas offers us this ale.
Everything On Tap Review: Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale:
Bottle: The bottle is short and squat, of very dark-brown glass. The label is an off-white, tan combination. The lettering is red and black, and there is no graphic logo.
Pour: The body is an opaque amber. The head is calla lily, bubbly and foamy, and dissipates lowly, leaving moderate lacing.
Aroma: The bouquet opens with malted grain and a slight hint of caramel. This is followed by a ghostly whiff of dark fruit. The finish wafts citrus and pine bitterness from hops.
Flavor: The flavor profile begins as malted sweetness, with laces of caramel. This is followed by tropical essense of pineapple and passion fruit. A bit of grassy grapefruit follows and finishes. It is a nice balance, although all of the flavors — varied as they are — are not strong enough for my taste.
Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is full-bodied, creamy, rich, and fizzy. Carbonation is medium-to-high. The finish is bubbly and creamy.
Structure: The structure is stable and balanced. While the flavors are a bit weak for my preference, still they are balanced and broad.
Food Pairing: This ale would go very well with a delicious, juicy, made-from-scratch burger. It would also pair well with roast rabbit (bear with me) with a Hollandaise sauce. I would also pair it with medium-hot (but not super spicy) Indian or Thai curries.
Overall Rating Out of 5 Possible Beer Mugs: