1. One Hundred Mags (Rule). Check out the sneak peek of BeerAdvocate magazine #100, plus some of the changes coming your way.

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.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

8,912 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,912
Reviews: 1,444
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 9.91%
Wants: 526
Gots: 1,629 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 8,912 | Reviews: 1,444
Reviews by scootpolute:
Photo of scootpolute
3.9/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This one is great!! I’m impressed indeed, YUM!!! The last couple of Lagunitas I’ve had have been less than desirable compared the NW rivals, espacially the growing WA beers!!! Appearance is OK, pretty clean, good lacing... Much lighter than the typical DIPA... I think what make this beer so good is the fine line of not over-doing ’it’ in any particular area (hops, fruity-flavor, pine/spice, carbonation, and last but not least, alcohol level). VERY refreshing and will get again and...…Goin’ to look for a tap ASAP!!!

More User Reviews:
Photo of TimZebGir
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

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)
45/50

Photo of largadeer
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Photo of tectactoe
4.36/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of brentk56
4.47/5  rDev +3%
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

Photo of FUMath
5/5  rDev +15.2%
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.

Photo of dmgeng
4.77/5  rDev +9.9%
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

Photo of oberon
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

Photo of ExtraStout
3.95/5  rDev -9%
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.

Photo of MadScientist
4.62/5  rDev +6.5%
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!

Photo of hbensinger
4.36/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle.

A- Pours a very light golden color with a thin white foam head that leaves a few rings of lace.

S- Great floral and tropical smells in the nose.

T- A good deal of bitterness upfront with a nice smooth fruity hop flavor present throughout. Pear, pinneapple, lemon, and red grapefruit all make an appearance. The finish is slightly sweet and actually balances this brew quite nicely. The hop flavor isn't as pungent as the nose lead me to believe but I enjoy the complexity more than an all out one dimensional hop bomb. Even at nearly 8% the alcohol doesn't show up much at all in the flavor profile.

M- Light bodied with good carbonation.

O- This was quite a tasty brew and I'm lucky to have gotten some when I did as they were unable to brew it this year.

Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
4.85/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Crystal clear golden pour with a thin white cap. Beautifully active carbonation.

The aroma is like sticking your nose straight into a fresh grapefruit. My mouth began to water instantly.

Every taste receptor on my tongue is freaking out! The skin on the insides of my checks got a little numb. Citrus! Citrus! Citrus! This is a hop heads nirvana.

Juicy light bodied glass of beer with a wonderful crisp finish and very pleasant aftertaste. I think I have found a new favorite. I will deeply mourn the passing of this holiday ale.

Photo of claytong25
4.08/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I never had the original, but Sucks does not suck, but it does have a strong flavor

Photo of wrycon
3.6/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Really clear and clean looking. A seemingly transparent light orange. No real head to speak of. After swirling, half of a finger appears and dissipates quickly, leaving sticky lacing. Smells great. Huge tropical and grapefruit notes. Nose is thick and you can smell some resinous pine underneath. Tastes different than expected. Quite bitter at the outset. Heavy carbonation. I expected a much sweeter taste, but there's hardly any sweetness to speak of. A quite dry, quite bitter IPA. That said, there are some tarter citrus notes on the back end. There are large cedar tones In the back also that dominate over the fruit. It's a good beer, just not what I expected.

Like It? Yeah

Photo of sdsimkins
4.18/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Heard these were outstanding so I got a couple to try out

A - Pours to a golden amber, very thin white head that lasts a while, unbelievable lacing

S - overpowering smell of grapefruit, maybe apple, lots of pine accents

T - Amazing, starts with sweetness and mild hops, slowly rolls into stronger hops, pine hits are there as well

M - Mouthfeel is great, standard carbonation; not too much not too little

O - One awesome beer. Great example of what an DIPA should taste like

Photo of bulldogg915
4.24/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- gold bottle pour with nice head retention and lacing sticks. Smell- sweet pine and hops are very prevalent- slight caramel. Taste- great hops up front- the dry hopping is great. Mouthfeel- lingering and slight carbonation. Overall- one of my fav IPAs. I've tasted literally thousands of beers in the past few years- and this is my first rating as I sit here- so hopefully I get better at this.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.03/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a snifter this beer was gold in color. There was a thick white head and a lot of lace.

Nice aroma. caramel malt. Citrus and herbal hops. Sweet floral aroma

Caramel taste. Grapefruit, apricot. Sweet. A bit of herbal hops.

The beer was nicely balanced and very easy to drink.

I went back the next day for some more.

Photo of NWer
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Lucille pint glass. A very nice substitute. Good hop forward Winter Warmer as opposed to so many brews that get too carried away with spices and other stuff.
Nice flowery balance. For Lagunitas, this is a very balanced beer.
Well done for a substitute.

Photo of IPAFORPRESIDENT
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Surprising. This one was much different than what i was expecting, pours gold. Not much head, the aroma is strange, i get the caramel and hops followed by the malt, it's really hard to pin the exact flavors, but very sweet. The taste is what surprised me the most, so balanced, the malts and hops, and the ale goes down smooth as water. The flavors work so well together and i'm honesty so impressed with the drinkability of this guy, The bottle I got was also close to 2 months old, but man, i must have drank that thing in like 3 minutes.

Photo of SD-Alefan
4.1/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a lovely, clear gold with a foamy white head that leaves a sheet of lacing down the glass.
Nice but nit super-strong aroma. Lots of citrus, pineapple and some sweet biscuit as well. maybe a hint of spice.
Tasty brew. Lots of tropical fruit and citrus. Pineapple and peach and a little lemon on my palate. A fair amount of sweetness from the grain as well. A little piney, drying finish as well.
Mouthfeel is medium and a bit sticky with LOTS of carbonation.
Really tasty and easy drinking.

Photo of Kappakoosh
3.36/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Sampled again, a little better than last time.

Photo of warnerry
4.2/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a beautiful burnt orange with a steady stream of slow rising carbonation. One finger of off-white head has good retention but only small spots of lacing.

S - Big citrus and sweet pineapple aromas with a touch of pine. Also quite floral. Decent malt presence.

T - Similar to smell, there is a big citrus and sweet pineapple taste, though not that much bitterness. Also some other fruits, like mango, a some a pretty big malt presence, mostly caramel.

M - Medium mouthfeel that is quite creamy. Finishes dry with some slight bitterness.

O - A very enjoyable IPA, though some more bitterness would be welcome. Mouthfeel is very nice.

Photo of Beaver13
4.05/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours slightly hazy golden orange with a big fluffy white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is some bready malts and a little sweet fruit with a ton of piney, resiny and slightly dank hops.

The flavor is sweet watery / washed out malts with a good sized piney, dank and tropical fruity hop bitterness (not as much as expected from the nose though). The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation and a bit watery.

Overall, a very fine resiny, dank, fruity IPA - a little watery though.

Photo of mverity
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle into a large snifter. Pours a perfect pale gold. Healthy amount of just off-white head that held pretty well, and faded into a medium-thin collar and a thin head that held until the glass emptied. Lacing is spotty, but pretty good. Aroma is a really interesting dance between pine and citrus hops with a nice supporting cast of a medium malt base. Though, the more I sniff, the more I pick up on the citrus over the pine. Taste is surprisingly malt centered. I get some tropical hops character in the front, that moves into more of the grapefruit, then some pine, then back to citrus; all being held up by this really great malt sweetness. Carbonation is a bit high for an IPA, but I'm kinda digging that. Body is medium to full.

Photo of Doomcifer
4.54/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a bright orange marmalade color with decent head and lacing.

S - Pineapples, mangos, tropical fruitiness, tangerines, pears....very juicy with a tinge of resin. Phenomenal.

T - Tropical fruits, tangerines, resinous pine, bitter hoppy finish that lingers on and on.

M - Medium-Light. Perfect carbonation, slightly astringent without being overly dry and puckering.

O - I wasn't expecting this beer to be so damn great. I'll take this over Brown Shugga any and every year.

to view more.
Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 8,912 ratings.