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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.

7,730 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,730
Reviews: 1,295
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 9.89%
Wants: 375
Gots: 956 | FT: 19
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: 7,730 | Reviews: 1,295 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Celtics76
4.88/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

It's Friday, time to party. Poured this beaut into a Sierra Nevada balloon glass. Appearance is splendid - translucent gold with about a quarter inch of head which reduces to some heavy lacing around the glass.

Smells of pine and citrus. Taste is..wow. Magnificent. Perfectly balanced hops and malts - so easy to drink it's scary. Especially considering the abv of 7.85%. Has a very inviting piney/bitter aftertaste. Crispy finish helped by a perfect (there's that word again) level of carbonation.

This is the '86 Celtics of Double IPAs. Currently my favorite beer - glad it's readily available here in RI.

Celtics76, Feb 01, 2013
Photo of Alextricity
4.88/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottled January 4th. Poured January 29th into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

Appearance: A sunset orange sort of color. Very slight haze. Fantastic white, foamy head floating on top leaving tons of lacing. One hell of a sexy looking brew.

Smell: $#@&, that's GOOD. Trademark Lagunitas tea-like aroma (well, I think it smells like tea... reminds me of it...), with a wallop of grapefruit and maybe some pineapple as well. Really tropical. A nice, sweet, bright-as-all-hell, fresh picked hops. It smells phenomenal, to say the least. Nearly perfect.

Taste/feel: Again with that trademark reminds-me-of-tea Lagunitas flavor. That with the unbelievable blend of all the tropical fruit flavors you can think of (...not durian. That's tropical, right?), a hint of grass, resinous hops, and the absolute slightest alcohol warmth... this is... really almost unreal. I was worried that Sucks would be a bit too sweet, and it starts off that way, but then there's a perfect amount of bitterness on the back of the tongue on the finish that is unbelievable. The mouthfeel is medium in texture and carbonation. The carbonation really helps to "pop" the taste buds, and it works extremely well in this brew.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, here we have probably the best beer I've ever tasted. It pours beautifully, the smell is glorious, and the taste is a religious experience. I've tried to think of reasons not to give this beer my first perfect rating in taste and overall rating, but I can't think of one -- this is a double IPA that every single person needs to try. The sweet, tropical, tea flavors on the front, the incredible amount of bittering hops on the finish... Sucks is every bit as good as what the majority says it is. I'm kicking myself for only getting a single bottle. Lagunitas must make this year-round.

I'm a Michigan boy, so it pains me to say this, but... this is a better brew than Bell's Hopslam. I only had Hopslam this year once (on-tap), and it was GOOD, but it was harsher than I remember it being. I know this is 2% lower than Hopslam, but I really couldn't give a shit. This is THEE Imperial IPA.

Alextricity, Jan 29, 2014
Photo of samtrillo
4.86/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - Lite gold with a beauty of a white lacy head.

S - Smells like Lagunitas with added fruity sweet notes. Citrus orange, maybe some mango.

T - Sweet fruits. Liek the nose orange and mango mixed with the perfect amount Lagunitas hop character to balance it out. Can't taste the %8 ABV at all. So yum.

M - Medium to full with great carbonation and perfect balance of sweet, hop and alcohol.

O - One of the best IPAs out there. Aren't many big IPAs that you can drink a lot of but there's a reason this comes in a 32oz.

samtrillo, Apr 23, 2014
Photo of Qwest_35
4.86/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Sucks! this beer absolutely does not! It only sucks if you have not had this tasty little treat. Bottle date is 2-06-13, pretty fresh if you ask me. The aroma as soon as I popped one of these babies was so juicy and sweet! Up front pineapple, pear, apricot, citrus, pine, you know everything a great DIPA should smell like, well that x10.. This beer pours a pale orange-gold with two fingers of cream colored head. First sip is all hops, taste is just as dynamic as the aroma, but the more this beer warms, the more malt character begins to come through. Extremely drinkable, I am already done with my review sample bottle before I even finished this review. Overall, I gotta put "Sucks" right up there in my top 5 DIPA's of all time. Time for another!

Qwest_35, Feb 12, 2013
Photo of Cycle69
4.86/5  rDev +11.7%

Cycle69, Sep 20, 2014
Photo of milliCAN
4.86/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured in a pint glass.

This beer is insane. It's got everything I like in an Imperial IPA. The sweetness stays with you throughout the finish balancing perfectly the hops. It finishes perfectly with a nice dryness left on your tongue.

I could probably drink a 6 pack of these one right after the other.

milliCAN, Mar 04, 2013
Photo of lnashsig
4.85/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into DFH snifter. Pours a crystal clear orange/yellow color- decent head and nice retention. Visible small bubbles from the bottom of the glass. Smell- WOW. Just a blast of citrus, tropical hop aroma, mango, pineapple, lemon zest. Taste- just a tropical fruit sweetness- definitely mango, papaya up front, a wave of nice hop bitterness on the side of the tongue, a perfectly balanced sweetness to counter the hop bitterness. This is an absolutely incredible IPA- perfectly balanced, full of all of my favorite tropical hops flavors. Perfect mouthfeel, medium bodied, appropriate carbonation. This is one of the best IPA's I have had recently, and I would pit this up against any of the top West Coast IPAs. Bravo guys- you can make this instead of Brown Shugga any day in my book.

lnashsig, Dec 06, 2011
Photo of runner440
4.85/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer is amazing. Super bitter hop punch at the front of the mouth and super juicy hop bite in the middle of the mouth. There is a sweet malty backbone that really makes this beer spectacular. The sweet malty goodness of a middle of the country IPA and the epic hopping of a west coast IPA. Epic! Kinda glad there is no Brown Sugga' this year. Kinda ... Cheers!

runner440, Dec 22, 2011
Photo of ciscohokie
4.85/5  rDev +11.5%

ciscohokie, Oct 11, 2014
Photo of KTeamLSU
4.85/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Hazy light yellow almost hay color; light fluffy white head that disappeared after a while but left lacing until the end.

S: Great smell, citrus, grapefruit, a little pine and resin, but the fruit was what I noticed

T: WOW... a nice fruit blast with a slight bitterness at the end. This was great. My first sip I had my doubts but as I worked through my glass this left me wanting more and more. Great DIPA.

M: Good carbonation although light

O: I thought it was going to be just another celebration, but this was magnificent. Believe the hype this is a great beer.

KTeamLSU, Dec 23, 2013
Photo of ChiPool
4.85/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Like La'G? You'll love this!!!

Smell & taste are definitely pine & citrus. The pine wins out, but not in a rout. Man, this is fresh! This is my kinda' holiday brew! One to savor...wish it was around all year!

Keep your "spiced" seasonals...I'll have this instead!

ChiPool, Nov 23, 2011
Photo of IPA_Chris
4.84/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Why do I love Lagunitas Sucks? Too many reasons, but here are a few. The brew is easy to find now that Lagunitas is producing their glass growlers year round. Sucks offers craft brewhouse flavors with a sweet, piney flavor that, personally, I adore. The citrus is mild, and the pine and sweet brown sugar are most present.

With the mass production of Sucks, Lagunitas is bringing craft brewhouse DIPA flavors to the mass market--and for a fair price. I could kiss the execs and brewers at Lagunitas for finally providing a beer that is always available and consistently amazing.

If you love a bold IPAs, try Sucks. I truly believe it will become your go-to IPA.

IPA_Chris, Jan 25, 2014
Photo of timmy2b
4.84/5  rDev +11.3%
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!

timmy2b, Feb 18, 2014
Photo of OB1
4.84/5  rDev +11.3%

OB1, Sep 16, 2014
Photo of beatenbyjacks
4.83/5  rDev +11%
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!

beatenbyjacks, Feb 07, 2014
Photo of distantmantra
4.83/5  rDev +11%
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.

distantmantra, Jan 20, 2012
Photo of WoodBrew
4.83/5  rDev +11%
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.

WoodBrew, Dec 31, 2011
Photo of Rukasu
4.83/5  rDev +11%
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.

Rukasu, Mar 18, 2013
Photo of Oakenator
4.83/5  rDev +11%
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.

Oakenator, Mar 30, 2013
Photo of Ohmmygawd
4.83/5  rDev +11%
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.

Ohmmygawd, Jan 30, 2014
Photo of challenja
4.83/5  rDev +11%
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!

challenja, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of bubseymour
4.82/5  rDev +10.8%

bubseymour, Feb 05, 2013
Photo of kj8525
4.81/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

kj8525, Jan 29, 2014
Photo of DenverBigRed
4.8/5  rDev +10.3%

DenverBigRed, Dec 18, 2013
Photo of Rutager
4.8/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

Rutager, Dec 11, 2011
Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 7,730 ratings.