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Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale)Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,496 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,496
Hads: 9,639
Avg: 4.32
pDev: 25%
Wants: 598
Gots: 2,202 | FT: 31
Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  7.85% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jules11788 on 11-07-2011

This sad holiday season we didn’t have the brewing capacity to make our favorite seasonal brew, the widely feared BrownShugga’ Ale. You see we had a couple of really good years (thank you very much) and so heading into this season while we are awaiting the January delivery of a new brewhouse we are jammin’ along brewing 80 barrels of IPA and PILS and such every 3 hours. A couple of months back we realized that since we can only brew a mere 60 barrels of Shugga’ every 5 hours, that we were seriously screwed. For every case of Shugga’ brewed, we’d short 3 cases of our favorite daily beers. It’s a drag. This year, we brewed something that we think is also cool and brews more like our daily brews. The new brewhouse will help insure this kind of failure never happens again. It’s a mess that we can not brew our BrownShugga’ this year and we suck for not doing it. There is nothing cool about screwing this up this badly and we know it. Maybe we can sue our own sorry selves. There is no joy in our hearts this holiday and the best we can hope for is a quick and merciful end. F*@& us. This totally blows. Whatever. We freaking munch moldy donkey butt and we just want it to be all over...
So this substitute beer is a ‘Cereal Medley’ of Barley, Rye, Wheat, and Oats…. Full of complexishness from the 4 grains, and weighing in at 7.85% abv, Then joyously dry-hopped for that big aroma and resinous hop flavor.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,496 | Hads: 9,639
Reviews by Rifugium:
Photo of Rifugium
2.94/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First had: on tap at Pinocchio's, Media, PA

Poured a clear golden color with a few stray bubbles wandering on top. Sticky hop aroma, citrus, pine, some oily funk. More of the same in the taste, with a combination of hops being the dominant factor, and a bready, caramel malt base in the background, and the lingering bland cardboard flavor that seems to be present in every Lagunitas beer. A citrus twinge lingers on the palate, and gives way to a sweeter taste of melon and mango, making you almost forget about the unctuous funk quality. Light-medium in the mouthfeel department, and fairly drinkable, but not something I'd revisit. Typical Lagunitas: okay, but nothing special, and always that stale and seemingly inescapable house flavor that continues to make me wonder why people like their beers, and why there's a hype over this one in particular.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of TimZebGir
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Jungle in the summer,
Mango plantation someone smoking,
Marijuana on the porch,
The sweetness puts feet on the ground,
The hops take me away.

A: Pours a clear amber with a very thick head, that retains very well, receding almost like soap bubbles (3/3)
S: Mango and pine dominate with a good deal of floral and marijuana notes speckled throughout (10/12)
T: Sweetness in the beginning with a tropical fruit basket toward the end: mango, stone fruit, and a little grapefruit (18/20)
M: Starts very wet and sweet with a medium amount of dryness on finish (5/5)
O: One of my favorite IPAs, and certainly my favorite for what it is: a well-balanced sweetness to complement the hoppy character. Could certainly drink every day. (9/10)

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Photo of largadeer
4.4/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle into a tulip. According to the Julian date on the bottle neck, this is about 3 weeks old.

Clear, bright orange with a golden tint. The head is sticky, lasting.

Following the trend of the last few Lagunitas IPAs, this has a big mouthwatering dry hop presence. Heavy on the tropical fruit, it brings to mind guava, pineapple and melon, with faint honeysuckle behind the bold fruit notes. Sweetness is moderate, and integrates nicely with the hops.

The palate is a slight letdown from the great aroma, but that's not to say it isn't good. It's quite subdued and dry; it could actually use a touch more sweetness to highlight the fruitiness of the hops. Citrus is dominant, pineappe in particular with more grapefruit toward the finish. There's a slight chalkiness to the mouthfeel, but it's a minor detraction to an otherwise very clean beer. Remarkably easy to drink, the malt doesn't lend much heft and bitterness is fairy mild.

Overall this doesn't quite live up to some of the draft-only specialties Lagunitas did last year (Waldos, SF Fusion), but it's a damn good beer and an outstanding value.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

And the audacity to admit that their beer sucks is s profound that they wear it on their label like an ill-conceived tattoo, I'm most insulted that they actually pass off a pretty nice beer as something that sucks.

It's obvious horrendous appearance begins with an eerily hazed burnt orange hue and culturing bubbles that rise from its depths to fuel a foamy froth of sea foam to cap the beer. Its cellular lacing clings to the glass with broken spider webbing for a peculiar and alluring look.

And its pungent aromas are of over-ripened citrus fruit, juicy and plump in its scent are the notes of oranges, grapefruits, mangoes, tangerines, kumquats, apricots, pineapples, and lemons- its culmination of aromas are saturated with light caramel for a candied scent similar to that of the candied apples you get at the circus.

And its flavors suck every bit as much as aromas. That pungent taste of citrus is so dominant that little else arises. It's a little sad that all of us malt-lovin' beer drinkers are subjected to such sharp, acidic, and resiny taste. It's too bad that the underlying malt taste only offers support to the hops and don't offer much resistance. Distracted by the zesty taste of mangoes, apricots, pineapple, and blood orange, the beer can't soely focus on bitterness but instead shares the stage with tropical and citrus fruits.

Its creamy upstart keeps the beer from dryness, just as its dry finish prevents the linger of fruit- you just cant' win with this beer. Its ultra-dry fruity finish is diffused by subtle bitterness and its warmth is circumvented by resin dryness. What's a guy to do but simply enjoy the beer!

Truth be told, it's hard to discuss the beer's taste in a condescending way while describing the attributes that makes it wonderful. If the beer does suck, then it sucks in the most wonderful of ways.

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Photo of tectactoe
4.36/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a pale, golden straw color with a very nice amount of clarity - only a very, very subtle amount of haze in the middle of the beer, but you can definitely see right through this one. Volatile on the pour, producing a gigantic, fluffy white head that lasts seemingly for days and leaves behind some fat lacing.

The aroma is fantastic, a convolution of wonderful hop aromas; light pine, heavy citrus, pineapple, pears, orange zest, and various other tropical fruits. Very juicy and fruity on the nose, broken up only by the slight pine, resin, and leafy notes that play just a bit-part here.

The taste is jam packed with many different things, even some things that weren't so detectable on the nose. Pine and resin are the first thing to hit your palate, but the profile quickly transforms; citrus, pineapple, pears, toast and crackers, buttery bread, slight onion, a touch of herbal tea and a faint hint of alcohol near the finish.

Bitterness is high, but tamed, expected, and welcomed. The malt flavors combine well with the hop profile and turn this beer into a very drinkable IPA. Slightly sweet finish, a bit dry and finishing with a faint bitterness over the fading malt construction. Medium bodied with a heavy dose of carbonation that really snaps the tongue at times.

Delicious beer, right here. Lagunitas knows their way around an IPA (see: Hop Stoopid) and this beer is no exception. A wonderfully fruity nose and a well-balanced body, complete with heavy hop bitterness and dry, bready malt, this IPA is sure to please any hop head. Wish it were more readily available.

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Photo of BeerDocT
4.43/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Let me get this out in the open. I hate "cutesy" beers. Sweetwater has a human derriere printed on the bottom of their cases. A waste of printing ink. Don't get me started about Magic Hat. So when I saw this beer's name and read the long, rambling reason they came up with it, I thought, "Ugh. Cutesy beer. Pass." But I was so impressed with Lagunitas' other beers that I had to try this one, especially since it is an IPA.

Appearance 4.25: Pours out a light golden color with a nice 1/2" head and excellent lacing. Some particulates swirling around, which is always a good thing.

Smell 4.25: Wow, gorgeous nose on this beer. Pine hops to the hilt. Also smell some lovely grapefruit hints here along with a certain rye-like spiciness. Promising.

Taste 4.5: Front is slightly sweet with a big hit of alkaline hops. Middle is sweet, but it is perfectly balanced by a huge wave of expertly mixed hops. Levels of pine, citrus rind, chlorophyll...just heavenly. Finish is wet and also sweet, but there is a spiciness here that balances it out and also balances out the heavy onslaught of hops. Aftertaste is long and almost minty, with delicious swirls of hops flavors fading in and out of focus.

Mouthfeel 4.5: Excellent, balanced mouthfeel for a beer this big. No hint of any alcohol and the beer is just expertly balanced on the palate at almost every level.

Overall 4.5: Excellent beer and an outstanding Imperial IPA. A fantastic sessioner and I imagine it would be excellent with food, especially greasy food. Would love to find this on tap somewhere nearby, especially with football season coming up. Lagunitas has yet to let me down with anything, "cutesy" or not. Recommended.

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Photo of YeahRightt
4.07/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Was excited to try this even though I had the chance to grab the bomber on multiple occasions and I did not (even though I had heard good things from a multitude of people). What can I say, I'm afraid of that kind of commitment.

Look: Pretty standard, a bit on the light side of things for as malty as it is. Golden.

Smell: Hops are a standout on the nose, the sweetness of the beer isn't as obvious when you sniff as it is on the tongue. Smells more boozy than 8% I would say

Taste: Tastes like a true double on the first sip with booze, hops, and malt all mingling together in a way that is hard to discern at first but then becomes a pattern with continued sippage. Carbonation cascading with the bitterness, sweet malt, and a booze heat aftertaste that is indicative on the nose. The beer didn't blow my hair back, to be honest, but there was no point where I thought it was bad or even close to subpar. I guess I had high expectations. The more I drank the more the malts became pronounced and the sweetness began to dominate the bitterness. I think it tastes a lot like Dogfish 90 Minute on the last few swigs.

Feel: Pretty wet. Slight stickiness from all the hops but not very drying on your palette. Pretty appetizing. It would probably be pretty great with some wings or a burger.

Overall: A good double IPA that I will likely drink again because 1. I trust Lagunitas 2. they are becoming very popular and readily available, and 3. it is in 6ers now and is a good beer to grab for a buddys house for a game or something. Try it if you like solid 2x IPAs without trying too hard.

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Photo of brentk56
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color (looks like a pils) with a creamy cap that leaves a few shards behind

Smell: Floral citrus, with pineapple and ruby red grapefruit tones

Taste: A hop bomb from the get-go, with citrusy flavors redolent of ruby red grapefruit and pineapple; slightly sugary, after the swallow, but the hops return to provide a bitter, citrusy finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate, but crisp, carbonation

Overall: The malts provide a neutral backdrop for the hops to work their magic and that is a great thing for a Double IPA to accomplish

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Photo of Beermanmiles
3.86/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

This is one of the weirdest beers I have ever tasted. When I tried it for the first time I had it out of a growler, I had no idea what color it was. I tasted it and the first vibe I got from it was pale; maybe an IPA. Then I felt an after bite of fruity caramel. It felt like fireworks in my mouth. It is a very powerful mix of tastes. It is definitely one of a kind. No other beer has this sort of pungent flavor. It tastes light though it is fairly high in alcohol content. The beer also has a beautiful light brown hue that is typical of lagers. I drink this beer a lot but it's mostly because a 32oz is 10 dollars. More breweries should make beer in that size. I highly recommend you give it a try, even though many of you may not like it. Some might even find it a monstrosity.

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Photo of FUMath
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I won't even dig deep into why I love this. It is singularly one of the best ipas that has been created by a brewery.

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Photo of katybee
3.9/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had this on tap at the recommendation of the small bar (Lair Hill Pub here in Portland)...I requested something like a doppelbock...this fit the bill.

Pours dark cola brown with barely any translucence, and a thick creamy brownish tan head spilling over the top...I wouldn't call it thick or creamy to the palate, but definitely hearty, chewy, and medium-bodied. Full flavored... with both citrus hopping and carmel maltiness, slight overtones towards molasses but not overly sweet... Quite a tasty to sip all night

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Photo of dmgeng
4.77/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I love everything from Lagunitas and anything in a 32oz bottle is worth a try!

A - Beautiful color somewhere between gold and orange. Fluffy bright white head and lacing that tracks down the side of the beer.

S - Great hop aroma with predominantly citrus but definitely some tropical fruits and some of the dankness that I've grown to love. Really just a hop showcase and really no other aromas.

T - Lots of hop flavor ranging from the orange-like citrus to tropical fruit to herbal wrapped up in one beautiful package. The beer has a very subtle malt flavor in the middle with a nice middle finish and a perfect bitterness. There is also a light acidity from the carbonation that helps make the hops come alive. It's a very tasty IIPA as far as flavor.

M - Medium mouth-feel. The carbonation was strong trying to make up for the increase in body but it added an almost acidic hint which to my palate made the flavors seem like they were popping on your tongue. It finishes pretty crisp with the bitterness and carbonation queuing you up for another sip (since there is 32oz).

Overall, a delicious DIPA that drinks more like an IPA than a DIPA but with all the hops of the imperial. This Lagunitas' offering is very similar to their IPA and their "Hop Stoopid" ale but has a twist of its own hop greatness. I strongly recommend this and definitely look forward to getting this again next year.

Glass- 20oz craft pub glass

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Photo of EMV
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

L: Pours a deep semi transparent golden amber color. Thick creamy white head leaves generous lacing.

S: Big time malts and hops. Floral and biscuity with some evergreen and pine.

T/F: Lots of flavor in this one. Great Lagunitas style hop profile with a mix between floral and evergreen notes. Very strong and rich malt backbone. Biscuits and brown sugar. Strong ABV gives some warmth at the finish. Solid carbonation and goes down smooth.

O: Another big flavor Imperial IPA from Lagunitas. Not significantly better or worse than their other brews and this isn't a bad thing. You can always tell a Lagunitas beer and they always put out a good product. This is no exception. Would absolutely drink this again.

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Photo of oberon
4.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I like this offering more than Brown Shugga I gotta say.Poured into an imperial nonic a clear rich light to medium golden with a creamy 1/2 finger white head atop.Big pith citric hops in the nose,the aromas really jump out at ya,pine lends more hop complexity,a sweetish malt base is also well represented,light sugary sweet alcohol as well.To me this is almost DIPAish on the palate,big citric juicy hops over top of a sugary sweet base,the good thing here is the hops are much bigger than the sweetness.This is a great beer,maybe a DIPA mini-me,this is some good hop juice here.

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Photo of don1481
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of mojohawk21
4.9/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Photo of aszatk01
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of Bmm281
4.94/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of DanGeo
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of ExtraStout
3.95/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appears a light light peachy apricot with a hint of ruby to it. It almost looks like an apricot sucking candy. There's a very fluffy head, about half an inch, that is covering it entirely. I'm a bit surprised that a double IPA is coming in this light in color.

Smells Wonderful. Crazy tropical fruits here: pineapple, mango, and a little tangerine. Really nice and not too overpowering.

Taste is much more subtle than its nose. Extremely clean - maybe too much? I wish that its flavors were stronger.

Its mouthfeel is very crisp and short-lived. Here and gone in a second.

A good beer but definitely not what everyone is making it out to be. This is far from a Pliny and no where near a Heady Topper in my opinion. At the same time, I'd also rather have a Brown Sugga.

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Photo of t2grogan
3.5/5  rDev -19%

Photo of Diana
1/5  rDev -76.9%

Photo of OhioBobcat
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of MadScientist
4.62/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A golden beer with good clarity. A good head stand of mostly creamy, compact bubbles with a few big ones as well. The head is persistent

S: The huge citrus hops aroma ranks right up there with some of the best that I've had like Heady Topper, Ithaca IPA and Hoptimum. The hops aroma is strongly of citrus, pineapple and some mango along with a moderate herbaceous note from the dry hopping. There is a moderately light malt sweetness and a light alcohol aroma.

T: A very strong hops bitterness with a whole lot of hop flavor that reflects the aroma with strong citrus and pineapple moderate mango and grassy notes. The malt gives a clean, moderately-light sweetness. The balance is very bitter but not aggressively so. The finish is dry and the aftertaste is of a lingering hops bitterness.

M Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a bit of creaminess.

O: One heck of Double IPA, just a work of art. A happy, hoppy accident for certain!

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Photo of CavemanRamblin
4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 1,496 ratings.