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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)

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1,462 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,462
Hads: 9,453
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 8.08%
Wants: 572
Gots: 2,015 | FT: 27
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: 1,462 | Hads: 9,453
Photo of Cstromberg57
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Ralphs66 - sent as an extra in a trade.

A - pours golden with a slight head that last only for a moment.

S - definite citrus aroma, smells clean and fresh.

T - Great!! Tastes as it smells, citrusy, full of flavor.

M - not overly carbonated, very light, crisp.

O - Excellent! This beer has not been overhyped at all.

I am going to have to get some more. Can't wait to share the other bottle that I got. (417 characters)

Photo of robbrandes
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 12oz into a tulip

brilliant clear copper, somewhat marginal head recedes to the thin ring. big resinous nose, hops are trying to fade a bit, but still quite clear of barleywine territory.
taste - boom, there's the hops! great juicy punch of pine, that unmistakable lagunitas yeast/malt profile.
would like a bit more body on this thing, turning up the carb just a hint would help backstop the slight thinness.
regardless, this is an amazing beer. and at the price, cannot be topped. (498 characters)

Photo of billab914
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Ithaca glass. It poured a bright, clear, amber color with a half inch of frothy white foam filling the top of the glass. Great head retention and nice lacing as I drank it as well.

The aroma has a fantastic juicy, tropical fruit like hoppiness to it. I get some notes of peach, pineapple and come mango to it. I love the juiciness to it.

The taste also shows some very nice tropical fruit hoppiness to it throughout the beer. I get a little more of a bitter grapefruit presence mixing in with the peach and mango then I did in the aroma. It also really helps the keep the sweet, juiciness of it in check.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation being moderate. Overall I thought it was a fantastic hoppy beer. I really loved the juicy, fruity, hoppy flavors. Very easy drinking, flavorful and at a very reasonable price as well. Lagunitas nailed it on this one. I'd buy this all the time if they decide to make it more often. (972 characters)

Photo of MDDMD
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-a clear gold color with an off-white head and nice lacing

S-lots of tropical fruit aromas with some citrus and hints of malt

T-loads of tropical fruit and citrus with some pine accents with a nice bitter finish

F-medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a smooth feel

O-an excellent DIPA with great flavor and good balance (331 characters)

Photo of Viciousknishs
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- pours a golden amber color with uncanny clarity. A finger and a half of off white head emerges from an average pour. Good head retention.

S- huge citrusy hops of tangerine and grapefruit peel blend with tropical fruit notes of pineapple an mango. Floral hops on the finish with a whisper of dry biscuity malt.

T- starts off with super juicy tangerine and grapefruity hop flavor with notes of mango and pineapple in the middle. Dry biscuity malt with a chaulky characteristic. Finishes dry with a subtle hop bitterness and floral notes that lingers on the palate. This beer is hops, hops and more hops!

MF- juicy slick mouthfeel with a light medium body and average carbonation.

D- quenching and superbly drinkable.

Overall one hoppy mother that more than makes up for the lack of Brown Shugga'... D-lish! (812 characters)

Photo of wvsabbath
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Light fizzy golden yellow, but has a real nice creamy thick 2 inch head with tons of lacing.

Smell - Hops, pine, alcohol, malts, pineapple, watermelon, some spices, very pleasant aroma.

Taste - Wow, west coast style for sure, lots of bitter hops, mixed with some sweetness. Hop oil flavor also with some malt backbone. Plenty of floral fruits, and a little alcohol warmth round this fantastic drink out.

Mouthfeel - Tounge gets crushed by bitter hoppy goodness, but then gets coated with steet fruits, and some bold carmel-like malts. Palate gets some hop oil, malts, and a little booze. Aftertaste is bitter and a little dry, but the hops remain for many minutes after.

Overall - Well this was just awesome. One of the best new beers ive had this year. Fantastic hop bitterness, floral sweetness, and killer balance. Already plan on getting more and hop(e) this becomes a annual beer. (925 characters)

Photo of nickfl
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured with one finger of white foam on a clear, copper colored body. The head settles slowly and leaves thick lace.

S - Grapefruit, orange, and pine with some strong toffee in the background.

T - Bready malt up front with orange, grapefruit, pine and pineapple hop notes. Some light caramel and sweet malt in the middle with more tropical fruit hop character in the finish.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - Nicely done, a very fruity IPA. The malt stays in the background, allowing the hops to shine through despite the relatively low bitterness. (586 characters)

Photo of pigc
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a light golden blond with massive three finger head.

S - Heavy citrus, orange, grapefruit, pine, floral. Wow, this one is bursting on the nose!

T - Citrus hops abound with just a hint of malt backbone and faint spice with slight sweetness. So smooth and drinkable. Nearly 8% alcohol is not noticeable. Fantastically smooth, yet bitter and slightly spicy IPA. A true holiday treat that definitely does not suck!

M - Light to medium with good carbonation. Coats mouth nicely with hop bitterness and spice.

O - Again, great holiday brew. This one trumps celebration in my opinion. Fantastic. (602 characters)

Photo of Franziskaner
4.41/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep golden colored with vibrant carbonation and Brussels lacing. Quarter inch head of tightly knit white head. Excellent clarity. Nose is filled with pungent freshly picked grapefruit like hop aroma. I get just a whiff of that cereal grain mixture. The mouth seems weighted,dry,and sticky from the hops. I would describe the taste as a great blend of bitter citrus hops mixed with sweet and slightly nutty cereal grains. Like honey but Cheerios meets west coast IPA. (467 characters)

Photo of CloudStrife
4.41/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Pours a clear light golden amber with a 1 finger white head. Not a lot of visible carbonation in the body.

S: First thing to hit your nose is the hop, a sweet sticky fruity hop aroma. Good floral and earthiness to it. Almost like a biscuity malt.

T: Certainly a hoppy brew. Not super bitter but does have loads of fresh hop taste. Has hints of a sweet malt backbone but it is rather subdued. Booze is pretty well hidden in the bitters.

M: Medium body with low carbonation. Has a good nectar like quality I appreciate in good DIPA's. Isnt too sticky from the hops.

Overall a phenomenal brew. Is easy drinking and will satisfy any hop craving. Would recommend and try again. (717 characters)

Photo of pnelting
4.41/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Excellent DIPA! Clear deep amber, full white head and plenty of lacing. The aroma was wonderful citrus and pine hop goodness! Taste is just as good as the nose. (160 characters)

Photo of classixIII
4.41/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Clear dark gold to orange, minimal foam but great carbonation. Wonderful piney, citrus aroma. A little more hoppy bitter than I normally like but I find myself curiously liking this alot. Must be the "complexishness"! I'll buy more. (232 characters)

Photo of mvanaskie13
4.41/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a sam adams custom glass: color is straw, transparent, big, bright white head with some lacing - very nice, decent carbonation.

Smell is a huge hop punch, big pine, lighter grass and subtle citrus, light sweetness noted, maybe some toast.

Taste is again huge on hops, maybe more floral and grassy, but pine still plays huge role, again some subtle citrus like lemon. Malt is clean, no off flavors or over sweet, cloying flavors, pretty much clean pale malt and maybe toast, super simple but great.

Mouthfeel is also well done, great presence starting on the tongue, good carbonation and great bitter/sweet interplay quickly overtaken by the sucking dry hops, but thats what you want from this beer.

Overall, very impressive, very huge hop presence and clean malt taste make for a great dipa. (807 characters)

Photo of Cylinsier
4.41/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz.

Pours a rich golden color with a white lacing for a head.

Smells of piney hops with a hint of grapefruit citrus and buttered bread malts.

Tastes of piney hops, bready malts and some grassy and citrusy notes.

Medium to full body with a tingling carbonation on the tongue and in the back of the throat.

Certainly an above average imperial IPA. Great smell, great flavor, exceptional body. Hard to find fault with anything here. Easily one of the better IPAs, imperial or otherwise, I've ever had. (510 characters)

Photo of jacewg
4.41/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a light orange color with some gold hints. Nice and pale. A big pillowy white head that retains for awhile and leaves thick lacing.

Aroma: Hints of a doughy malt backbone. Mild toast and caramel. Hops join the party with tropical fruit and hints of citrus and melon.

Taste: Malts again provide a slightly sweet caramel backdrop to support big hop flavors of tropical fruit and citrus with a distinct melon note. Very zesty tasting with some candied hop flavors combined with the malt. Bitterness keeps everything in check but is about medium for this style of beer. Drinkability is high.

Mouthfeel: Drinkability is through the roof. Bitterness is pleasant but not palate wrecking. Beer is medium bodied. Mouthfeel starts creamy but finishes dry and a bit resiny. Crisp carbonation. Mouthfeel is on point.

If this ever actually does become a year-round beer, I'll be a very happy man. As drinkable as an 8% IPA gets and packed with flavor. (961 characters)

Photo of ferrari29
4.41/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer poured from bottle into a Tulip shaped glass

A - Beer pours with a well-carbonated orange, light amber colored body; one finger white colored head; didn't hold very well, but looked very healthy; streaky lacing formed on the side of the glass

S - Citrus orange nose; caramel malt scents; touch of sugary pine and nice blend of hop; wheat grass; very explosive floral smells of sweet rose water

T - Smooth caramel malt taste; citrus-orange; hop flavors of grass and pine; slight biscuit taste; brown sugar; pineapple; dry taste

M - Smooth and creamy; very bitter aftertaste and astringent feel; nice and tasty; not very effervescent; tart

D - I really liked this beer; this beer has the superb caramel and high-octane bitter hop taste that would make it extremely enjoyed by every hop loving beer drinker on the planet; great stuff; good work (851 characters)

Photo of WhiteHillsStore
4.41/5  rDev +1.8%

Exceptional. Pours a hazy dark yellow/orange with a thin head that trails the glass. The smell is full of hops but also a toasty aroma. The taste was full of different flavors. Started off mellow with a yeasty flavor which then exploded with piney flavors from the hops. The finish had a lot of malt in it making a very refreshing finish. Loved this one. (354 characters)

Photo of mabermud
4.41/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer appears golden in color with a white fluffy head, and clean. The froth is sticky. It has a sweet, floral, and hoppy aroma. The taste is world-class, I am impressed. Super clean taste. Mouthfeel is chewy with dense, smooth carbonation. With the taste, mouthfeel, and price point, this beer is up there with the big boys. This is a contender with HT, PtE, and Abrasive, more on par with Abrasive.

For the price, you cannot beat this American Double IPA (462 characters)

Photo of tarkulich
4.41/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer pours as yellow with a slight haze to it. Nose was fleeting, but it awakened a little as it warmed, giving off a very malty aroma with a slight fruity hop scent. Sweet maltiness on the tongue, bringing flavors of raisins and figs with a toasty caramel aftertaste. The brown sugar comes through more as it warms. There's a hop spice at the back end. It has a smooth medium body with moderate carbonation.

This is the second time I've had this and I enjoy it quite a bit. I don't know if I'd personally consider it a double or imperial IPA, but I'm not sure how else I'd classify it. But sometimes it's better to drink to than to classify (okay, it's ALWAYS better to drink). (686 characters)

Photo of Siriusfisherman
4.41/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Served at Cellar Temp

A: Deep gold with a slight touch of haze (wheat or hops?) with a frothy white head and excellent lacing. Good retention as well.

S: I would like to describe the aroma as a huge dose of Blueberry, Mango, Melon, Citrus, a touch of pine and onion spice. The hops dominate, but some toasty/sweet malt can be found lingering in the backdrop.

T/M: The bitterness hits right away, and a big full-bodied mouthfeel coats the mouth. The hops are slightly more astringent than the aroma, but they still scream of tropical and berry-like fruits. The malt makes and appearance in the flavor as well, giving an almost candy-like pilsner malt backbone with a slight touch of wheat and a little rye. Very little in the way of yeast character, typical chico ale strain profile.

Overall: A very interesting and very hoppy beer. The complexity of ingredients is astounding, so many hop and malt varieties playing roles in the final product. Also, as many have found, the hop character is intoxicating! I love this beer, would most definitely purchase it frequently if it were year round, few hop-bombs like this make it to my home-state of Montana. (1,155 characters)

Photo of Darkmagus82
4.41/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance – Served a golden amber color with a one finger white head. The head slowly fades over time to give a light level of lacing.

Smell – The aroma is a nice mix of citrus hop and tropical fruit. The tropical fruit is a nice mix of pineapple, mango and tangerine with the hop being mainly of a grapefruit aroma mixed with a hint of pine hop.

Taste – The taste begins with a nice bready and tropical fruit flavor of mango and papaya and some tangerine mixed within. With these flavors is a lighter caramel flavor which grows stronger more toward the middle and end of the taste. Also as the flavor advances, some hop flavors, mainly of a grapefruit nature, come to the tongue. While the hop flavors grow stronger in nature as the taste advances further, they never really drown out the sweeter and malty flavors as they seem to keep pace with the hop. In the end, a sweeter and malty hopped taste is left on the tongue. It is very balanced and very nice.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the thicker and creamier side with a carbonation level that is on the lower side. The thicker body helps the hop flavors stand out and is great for the bready body of the beer with the lower carbonation accentuating these flavors and helping to create a very soothing mouthfeel.

Overall – This is a fantastic, slightly sweeter but very balanced IPA. A great drinking brew and one I will certainly seek out more often. (1,462 characters)

Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.41/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Review taken 3rd Saturday in Feb.(2014)

12 oz short brown bottle with one of my favorite labels so far in 2014. A bit plain, but gets its point across nicely with a lovely story on its origination. It's just a label that does it for me. Poured into a standard American pint glass.

A - somewhat hazy golden with a yellow tone to it. This really pops with all sorts of glowing liquid when held in the light. Beautiful. Nice sized white head on the pour really blended well and right away made me feel comfortable that I was about to taste pure class from this bottle. Head mellows out into a creamy splotched lacing leaving fine stick caked the the sides of my pint glass.

S - up front there are some really amazing whiffs going on. Loads of fruitiness with tangerine, juicy orange, grapefruit, and fresh pineapple. Slight hint of west coast pine sap and a dank hop funk adds even more brilliance in this nose. A swift bready give it just the right balance of aromas and pushes itself in the territory that seperates the great from the very good. This is what an ipa is supposed to smell like.

T - lots of citrus and tropical fruits. Follows right in line with its nose. Big gushing fruitiness of tangerine, orange, pineapple, and grapefruit up front. The pine notes are straight up sap like but quickly fold before they punish you. It's a nice touch and allows for that very fresh, resinous, dank hop character you get toward the middle. Everything is balanced wonderfully with a Lagunitas style yeast and bready maltiness that never really takes control but adds top shelf class to this area of the flavor. Finish is carries a crisp semi bitterness that leaves a beautiful taste in the back end.

M - bigger medium body. Not huge, but flavorful and coats well. Texture and thickness are exceptional. Crazy drinkable and easy going considering the flavors it gushes out. It just feels right. Not sure anything is perfect, but this is sure close.

O - Hmm.. What can one say about Sucks? How about its great. I mean, truly grand. Something I could seriously drink every single day of the year. I get in moods where
I crave something then something different the next day. This is something I will crave daily. Thinking, waiting, and searching the next time its released. No doubt about it. This has loads of quality and class. The first taste lets you know this is something different, one of a kind, something you'll pick up any time you see it. (2,452 characters)

Photo of tillmac62
4.41/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

BOD 339/13. Golden pour with a nice head and lasting lacing. Very nice nose of grapefruit and other citrus against a slight spruce essence. Almost medium bodied with an average carbonation. The mouthfeel is almost creamy. An outstanding hop flavor with grapefruit the most forward. Spruce and a slight malt sweetness round out this well balanced ale. The alcohol content is totally hidden by the flavor. The finish is more smooth than crisp with a nice tartness and a soft bitterness. This is one of the best. (509 characters)

Photo of darthvohn
4.41/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Glass Used: Tulip

Appearance: A glorious crystal clear orange-yellow body with a fluffy white three finger head. Excellent lacing as the foam quickly disappears leaving a few spots of suds and a ring lingering around the sides of the glass.

Smell: Freaking amazing. Chock-full of citrus: Pineapple, orange, tangerine, lemon - plus blasts of tropical fruits like mango and papaya. I get some malty goodness and some floral scents as well. OUTSTANDING nose on this beauty.

Taste: Floral hops hit you up front along with that lovely bitterness I love in a Imperial IPA. Then comes the assortment of fruits from the nose along with other sweet varieties. Malt closes the palate nicely along with some of the linger of the bitter hops. Freaking fantastic beer.

Mouthfeel: Well carbonated; lip smacking good without being overly heavy, if that makes sense. Dry finish.

Overall: This has everything I love and then some in a Imperial IPA; complex and balanced with all the lovely hoppy fruitiness while being grounded with bready malt. If you haven't tried this and love rich, fruity IPAs, get this. Do not pass it up. (1,116 characters)

Photo of South2NW
4.41/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured to goblet

A: golden, translucent with a finger width creamy head that leaves great lacing.

S: lovely aroma of hops, citrus and pine that delight your sense of smell.

T: big bold citrus flavors, with a hint of piney resin. Slight bitter finish.

M: medium body, creamy. Very easy drinking.

O: wow! This is really tasty. I will be stocking up. (364 characters)

Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 1,462 ratings.