Friday, July 27, 2007

LAGUNITAS BREWING’S “UNDERCOVER INVESTIGATION SHUTDOWN ALE”

Is LAGUNITAS BREWING one of the United States’ most severely underrated brewers? If you’ve only tried the sub-standard, barely-passable LAGUNITAS IPA, which 9 times out of 10 is the one you’re going to see in the store or on tap, you’re gonna say no-way-jose. I postulate that outside of that one-dimensional brew, these guys are totally on fire. I’ve never had a Lagunitas besides that one that I’ve thought was anything less than excellent, and that goes for this UNDERCOVER INVESTIGATION SHUTDOWN ALE as well. Said beer, a hopped-up double IPA, is available both on tap and in bottles. It commemorates a twenty-day license suspension the brewery received for some ridiculous transgression of some kind. Now this is the third Lagunitas souped-up IPA I’ve totally adored, the others being FREAK OUT and MAXIMUS. I learned that the former, a Frank Zappa tribute ale (!), is never to be produced again, while the latter is still regularly available in your finer retail beer establishments.

Anyway, UNDERCOVER INVESTIGATION SHUTDOWN ALE is a dark amber/ruby ale that I honestly thought was just an “Imperial Amber” until I learned otherwise. It tastes very hoppy, of course. It pours with a large head and has a delicious, almost eye-watering scent, but it’s not that citrus/floral scent you typically get with such beers. I don’t really know what it is, I was too busy drinking the thing. It’s a little bit bitter but only if you’re not ready for such a thing – if your palate has been readied for double IPAs in the past then you’re ready for this. It’s actually “smooth” by the standards of the form. Man, it was really, really good. I’m going with 8/10 and picking up a sixer or two when I can.

3 comments:

KevBrews said...

My brother-in-law just brought me two bombers from CA--can't wait to try them!

the fakepurseninja said...

I agree with Lagunitas being under-rated. Their reputation for putting out big, great bombers in my opinion is unmatched and their attitude embodies what I see as the spirit of non-pretentious craft brewers. While the Pils and IPA are a tad bland, if they (along with The Kronik - thats a real six-pack) enable them to keep the 220z'rs coming then by all means continue.

Anonymous said...

Jay,
2 questions: when are you coming up to Petaluma for a Lagunitas tour, and have you tried their Sonoma Farmhouse Saison? The only thing wrong with their bomber beers is that they don't sell 'em in 6-packs.

-Selvig