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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)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

6,969 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,969
Reviews: 1,252
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 9.63%
Wants: 302
Gots: 686 | FT: 22
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:
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 added by: Jules11788 on 11-07-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,969 | Reviews: 1,252 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of timmy2b

New York

4.84/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle poured into a pint glass for this review.

Pours a yellow/dark orange color with an off white head that was about a finger deep. As I drink the head lingers a little bit and clings to the edges of the glass.

Smell of heavy of citrus, Grapefruit and many others.

Taste is light but is a wonderful balance of citrus, hops and bitterness.

Light in the mouth with a very mild bitter aftertaste.

I look forward to this beer every year and it does not disappoint!

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2014 01:28:16 | More by timmy2b
Photo of beatenbyjacks


4.83/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - Nice straw colored beer with a great foamy head

Smell - Wow, just wow. Lots of piney, citrus, and delicious

Taste - OK, why have I not tried this already? Just perfect

Mouthfeel - Nice and well balanced and so smooth!

Overall - I am really upset I never tried this before. What a great beer! Cannot wait to try more of it!

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2014 23:25:30 | More by beatenbyjacks
Photo of distantmantra


4.83/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Russian River tulip.

A: The beer is gold, pure gold. There is nice head of off-white foam that has very strong lacing.

S: Very strong, tangy tropical fruits along with aromatic pine hops and a hint of malt.

T: The flavor is very similar with tangy/astringent tropical fruits such as pineapple and mango. Pine bitterness also present, but the malt isn't really noticeable.

M: Very easy going medium body with a smooth mouthfeel and fantastic carbonation.

O: Lagunitas needs to screw up more. This is a fantastic Imperial IPA. Need to buy more while I still can.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2012 06:09:02 | More by distantmantra
Photo of WoodBrew


4.83/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow....I never realized that Sucks Holiday Ale could be so awesome!!! This beer is Zombie Dust on Steroids. The beer pours a golden clear copper with thin white head that is lacing quite nice. The smell is citra hops and subtle spice. The taste brings a great mixture of pine and citrus with enough malt to balance the beer which leaves a nice coating on the tongue....which Semco hops usually do nicely. The mouthfeel is a full body with good carbonation. Overall this is a fantastic beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2011 22:16:17 | More by WoodBrew
Photo of Rukasu

District of Columbia

4.83/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Move over Hopslam, ye have been dethroned in my book.

A - Beautiful, clear ruddy-amber, thin white head.

S - Interesting mix of pine, pineapple, straw, orange rind, slightly funky cheese hints linger in the nose on the end, but not at all off-putting.

T - Big hops up front, tastes match the smell fairly well. More of the orange rind, and a mix of savory bitterness and sweet.

M - Fairly heavy, has a chewiness to it, and well carbonated.

O - I found 2013's Hopslam to be off from year's past, and luckily discovered Sucks just in time to fill the gap. One of the best DIPA's I've had in a long time. Haven't had many Lagunitas, but this beer converted me.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2013 22:22:51 | More by Rukasu
Photo of Oakenator


4.83/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a brownish yellow color - somewhat deep hue but could be deceiving. Solid head and lively - carbonation continues from the bottom of the glass a long while after pour and maintains a nice thin layer of head on top of the beer even 30 minutes later. Smell is hoppy yet sweet - strong pine, grass and brown sugar - the aroma is really a treat. Taste doesn't disappoint - really solid and would like to see this one brewed regularly. Grassy bitter hops up front - maybe a tad of spice but then finishes with brown sugar sweetness. Really nicely balanced and really accentuates the hops when fresh.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2013 23:04:02 | More by Oakenator
Photo of Ohmmygawd


4.83/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A- Clear gold color, nice thick soapy head.

S- Pineapple, Bananas, tangerines, very floral

T- Pineapple, tangerines, wheat, and a sweet yet bitter aftertaste

M- Carbonated with a nice medium body. Clean finish with a little bitterness.

O- YUM! This beer lives up to the hype.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2014 23:08:31 | More by Ohmmygawd
Photo of challenja


4.83/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served On Tap at Jack Rose in Adams Morgan DC

A: The only boo part to this amazing beer. Light for an Imperial IPA. Very light orange lemon zesty haze. Frothy two finger full carbo head on this badboy.

S: This is the most tropical smelling IPA of all time!!! This a tropical pineapple dipped in grapefruit and smeared on a christmas tree pine cone. AMAZING NOSE! WOW.. Totally award winning!!

T: Tropical pineapple zesty grapefruit lemon rind. Sweet sugar pine sap. Orange rind pops that lingers nicely on the palate under a ripe ruby grapefruit. Subtle light Simone California hops almost cold mountain in hop character.

M: Full carbonation but light bodied which is unheard of in an imperial IPA on this sucker that plays on a nice lightly creamy backdrop to a bottom mouth suck finder leaving your throat lightly puckered but wet.

O: One hell of a unique imperial IPA. The hops don't seem to break 80 but I could be wrong (found it to be under 70). A delicious delicious summer IPA brewed in winter. I have to grab some to safe guard for hot summer nights. Lagunitas impresses once again!

Serving type: on-tap

01-21-2012 21:03:44 | More by challenja
Photo of kj8525


4.81/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bottle. Color is a golden yellow. Head is off white with lots of small bubbles.

Smells like pineapple, pine, and citrus. Lots of sweet tropical fruit.

Taste is similar to the smell. Very piney and grapefruity. Slight bitterness to aftertaste but well balanced.

Awesome beer overall. Love that you can buy this in a sixer and it's affordable. One of my favorite IPAs.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2014 00:48:45 | More by kj8525
Photo of Rutager

British Columbia (Canada)

4.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance. Pours a pretty clear, rich yellow gold with a hint of amber and 2 fingers of bubbly white head.

Smell. Nice citrusy hops, orange peel and persimmons. Pretty frikin' awesome.

Taste. Wow! Yellow grapefruit juice with a little pineapple and persimmon again. Nice easy bitter finish. Just a little sweet, but dry enough in the end. And what's with the abv?? Is that just a lie?

Mouthfeel. Medium body with above medium carbonation.

Overall. Blown away by this one. I have to say, I wasn't a huge fan of Brown Sugga but this, this is pretty sick. I don't think I've even tasted a persimmon in the last 10 years but it seems distinct in this brew. I need some more of this stuff. I was happy to see a single here in taxedupthepooper-Canada because $20 for 6 is just stupid. ...considering being stupid now.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2011 03:06:33 | More by Rutager
Photo of EricTKole


4.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I've been enjoying this beauty almost all of the crappy dark winter now and with what seemed to be and endless supply in my area now drying up I decided it's time time stock up and review. Poured from a bottle into a Lagunitas widemouth jar mug. Beautiful honey golden color with about a half finger head. The aromas will about knock you out, very floral with pine and plenty of hops as well as some honey. Taste is amazing nice sweet honey upfront followed but a bit of pine with hops galore. Great bitterness that is not overpower but lingers nicely. Good body without feeling filling or heavy. This is really a nice beer that won't let you down.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2014 02:33:57 | More by EricTKole
Photo of OWSLEY069


4.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a clean yellow to orange-ish color with an off white head. In the aroma, orange citrus hops. In the taste, a dry orange rind citrus, pineapple, mango and a touch of apricot. A small hop bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry orange citrus rind in the aftertaste. What a nice mistake, big hops and I loved it!

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2011 18:55:05 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of slim2043


4.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a nice brilliant gold/orange w frothy white head that diminishes but stays in a thin layer and clings to the glass w great rings of lacing.

The nose on this beer is out of this world. Grapefruit biscuits resiny grainy earthy floral rye sugar cookies. quite pungent in a good way w tiny traces of pine and soap.

Taste is great lots of grapefruit and very resinous nice biscuit like malt character a little bready very nice citrus in there too w a great crisp bitter yet smooth lip smacking finish. You can definitely taste the rye too which blends well w the sharp hop bitterness. The body is a little sticky sweet on your tongue like candy and a cookie combined.

Mouthfeel is great and highly quaffable. Nice carbonation and the body is fuller than most but also nice and dry in the finish. The mixing of oats and rye into this formula definitely enhances the body and helps the flavors have a party in your mouth.

Overall this beer does not suck. Very aromatic and complex. It's a grapefruit bomb but there's so much more to it. Seek it out. It will not disappoint.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2014 00:24:34 | More by slim2043
Photo of JednoPivoProsim


4.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12 FLUID OZ'S bottle into a pint glass. Bottled on day 351 (December 17) of 2013.

Appearance: Pours a gorgeous pale blond body with a thick white head.

Smell: Tropical and citrus aromas burst from the bottle. I can't remember a better smelling beer - 5/5 for sure.

Taste: A little more metallic and spicy and less smooth than the tap version I tried last night, but citrusy and tropical flavor none the less. Tastes of mango, melon, lychee - just fantastic. I'd guess this was late hopped with Citra and Nelson Sauvin, but somehow I feel I'd be wrong.

Mouthfeel: Light and smooth with a full body, everything a beer should be in my book. You would never guess this is a DIPA.

Overall: Drinkability is through the roof. I had this on tap last night at Oscar's Alehouse in Eldersburg, MD and I could have stayed there all night. At least on tap, Sucks is now in my top 3 of all time (along with Sierra Nevada Estate and Burley Oak's Bulletproof Tiger).

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2014 23:15:11 | More by JednoPivoProsim
Photo of Hoptometrist


4.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served from the bottle into an oversized wine glass

A- Poured a very clear light golden color with a big bubbly head, nice chunky lace

S- Huge aromatic pungent and juicy grapfruit, lots of pine, pretty dank, lots of hop sweetness. Smells like concentrated hops.

T- Tons of sweet tropical mango hops, pungent grapefruit, a little dank, and pineapple hops. Some cotton candy sweetness. This tastes like wonderful sweet hop syrup, no hop bitterness what so ever.

M- So so smooth, medium body, soft carbonation, dry finish

O-This is a sweet tropical hop paradise. Such an amazing and easy to drink beer with no alcohol presence. I have got to get more of this one.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2013 03:24:56 | More by Hoptometrist
Photo of JayCheG


4.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Pours a nice golden color with a one finger head than dissipates to a nice film. Lots of carbonation.
S: Lots of pine and hints of grapefruit and citrus hops.
T: A lot like the smell with a bit more grapefruit and citrus coming through but still a distinct pine.
M: Very smooth and fulfilling
O: Very good beer. Lots of good hops flavor and very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2014 00:09:47 | More by JayCheG
Photo of aubuc1


4.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle with no date.

Pours very clear yellow with a big foamy white head.

Huge citrus smell is spilling out. Smell's kind of like hopslam.

Very different taste. It is like pure citrus hops without the bitterness. Unlike anything I have had.

Mouthfeel is very thin, but in a good way.

Overall this is a great beer. Trully a unique beer (to me).

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2011 02:24:08 | More by aubuc1
Photo of smcnulty1981

Rhode Island

4.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a golden color fairly transparent with a good.ammounto of carbonation has about 2 fingers of a white head had with a good ammount of lacing on the glass

S: lots of citrus piney resin notes form the hopes with slight bit of mustiness followed by a good sweet malt character with some hints of caramel and molasses

T: hop resin flavor up front again which lingers to a sweet sugar caramel finish starts a bit bitter and then finishes sweet

M: medium bodied finishes with a lingering sweetness like a barley wine but doesn't coat the mouth as much

O: good overall has hints of brown sugga not as bitter and doesn't finish as sweet good beer overall not as good as brown sugga but stands up well on its own

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2013 05:38:13 | More by smcnulty1981
Photo of ironchefmiyagi13

New York

4.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bottle into a goblet wine glass

Great color and clarity with a great head with nice retention to the glass after a couple swirls to open it up and let the aroma off it's leash

Everything about this beer that makes it great is in the nose. It's like a punch in the face with all the aromas. At the forefront are of course pine and resin like every IPA should have. Citrus bouquet with lemon rind, lime juice and grape fruit all at the helm.

The flavor profile is off the hook as well. Nice firm body with the hops doing what they do best in terms of delivering a nice, dry finish. I like how the sweetness does not come in to play until after you swallow, leaving traces of brown sugar and simple syrup on the palate without being too overpowering.

This beer is definitely up there in terms of my favorite IPAs. Thank god my beer store just got in a big shipment. Gotta get more!

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2013 02:28:52 | More by ironchefmiyagi13
Photo of KDHicks1958


4.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Nice golden color, creamy head, nice lacing

S: beautiful hops, citrus, pine scent.

T: bright, fresh, light fruit, hops.

M: This is a failing on my part, I just like the way this feels in my mouth.

I'm pretty new to craft beers, but this is the best beer I've ever had. One thing I have noticed is that good beers get better as they warm up. And, do yourself a favor, let some of this come up to room temp. Fantastic.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2014 01:25:36 | More by KDHicks1958
Photo of Gambelli


4.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12 ounce bottle poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Thanks to Craftshack for expediting this out to the wilds of Nevada.

A- Light gold, mostly clear with a bit of chill haze. A constant 1/8" cap of off-white foam fueled
by a steady stream of medium carbonation arising from the bottom.

S- MMMM! Fantastic juicy, ruby-red grapefruit predominates, along with pineapple, mango
and tropical fruit aromas. Spicy rye malt wafts up into the nose too. This brew really shines in the olfactory category.

T- Starts with sweet malts, quickly followed with citrusy, tropical hops. Medium bitterness
compliments the malt and hop profiles. Awesome west-coast style IPA with "cereal medley"
malts adding a wonderful touch to the mix.

M- Great bitterness. Never over the top or demanding. Spot on body for a nearly 8% brew.
Not too syrupy or heavy like some DIPA's. Medium carbonation level allows all facets of this
to work together for a super balance.

0- I had this beer last spring on the tail end of it's freshness threshold and it was great. I could not wait to try a freshie, and wow, it did not disappoint. IMO one of the top 2X IPA's available,
and at $10 a sixer, easy on the wallet. Sure glad this recipe was used as a "substitute brown
shugga'" batch by Lagunitas. It is one of my favorites. Try this one for sure.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2013 17:12:21 | More by Gambelli
Photo of HopBomb515

New Jersey

4.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - Beautiful deep clear orange and amber color. Thick white head settles quick and chunky lacing on the drink down.

S - Amazing bright citrus smell. Orange and grapefruit, little sweet. I could sniff this all day.

T - Sweet up front then big bright citrus notes hop resin and pine notes round out a slightly bitter and dry finish.

M - medium body with nice carbonation. Dry finish and a clean refreshing feeling on the palate.

O - You know I didn't want to believe this beers hype. To my surprise it surpasses my expectations. This is one of the best beers I've ever had and I might prefer it to Heady, yes I said it. Big citrus notes, surprising balance and an unbelievable level of drink ability. I bought a 6 pack and I'm going out tomorrow for another.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2014 01:11:58 | More by HopBomb515
Photo of SFNC

North Carolina

4.79/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I have longed to try this one for quite some time. The hype is strong, but as a fan of Lagunitas in general, I'd be surprised if this "Sucks".

Pours honey gold with a creamy white head that slowly deflates to a thin layer of foam and some impressive lacing. The smell is heavenly, a mix of tropical fruit, resins, pine and , uh, cat pee(?).

Taste is very nice, the smells are all transferred into the taste, save the cat pee. The floral hops are strong, but the balance of the malts are a strong ballast. For the upfront impact of the hops, this just has a tingle of biiterness on the backend. It fits the Lagunitas profile, but at a higher level than my other favorites. Yep, very nce.

This one is creamy and perfectly carbonated, Smooth with the alcohal slight considering the stregnth.

Overall, this one is a classic IPA that meets and beats the hype. Very tasty, I'd love to drink this until I got sick of it.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2014 23:47:57 | More by SFNC
Photo of Bones10


4.79/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is my first bottle, thanks to Mike Z. At work!

It's fantastic! Go get some if you can. I'm smiling because I know I have five more and the store where I made the purchase has more for tomorrow. Seriously though, this is something any IPA drinker should have. It is just plain great. Now get off your couch and get some!

I just had to add that the second is as good as the first. YeeHaw.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2013 01:45:28 | More by Bones10
Photo of Keffa


4.79/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle poured into my D&B thistle/tulip.

Thanks for the bottle, Travis!

Live review.

A: Pours a copperish tinged golden yellow, nice 2 finger head, settles to a small full cap, leaves sticky lacing EVERYWHERE as it settles. Beautiful beer, one of the best I've seen.

S: Pine, pineapple, citrus, floral notes, a tiny bit of alcohol, and a wee bit of caramel covering toast. Herbal and resiny notes come in behind that. Fantastic.

T: Holy shit! Right there with the smell, this one is herbal, resiny, piney, citric, floral, bitter, and smacks the palate around with ease. Alcohol is present, but doesn't detract. The weak malt that does show itself is slightly toasty and caramely sweet. Finishes bitter, lingering, and decently dry, but not overly so. Very, very good. Dare I say one of the best I've had?

M: Oily on the palate, medium carbonation is noticeable but not overwhelming, and the body is on the light side of medium.

O: This was a very welcome surprise. I've heard some talk about this one being sort of an apology for Brown Shugga not being available. Let me be the first (I'm probably not) to say this: BREW THIS YEAR ROUND! I'd buy this by the case. One of the single best hoppy beers I've had to date, and it's from a brewery that makes a hoppy beer I hate (Hop Stoopid). They got this one very, very, very right. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2012 05:31:56 | More by Keffa
Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 6,969 ratings.