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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: 9,647
Avg: 4.32
pDev: 25%
Wants: 599
Gots: 2,210 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,496 | Hads: 9,647
Photo of fezmeister
4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

After an initial glance at the bottle, without really reading the actual text for content, I was going to steer clear of this one entirely as it was sub-labeled a "Brown Shugga substitute". I hate Brown Shugga and all of its sweet, sticky little pals. Thank goodness someone wised me up that this one is TOTALLY different!!

Large bubble size of carbonation and golden-yellow color nearly hint at a lager of some kind, or a pale. Most IPAs (the stronger American sort I favor) normally seem to run much more toward the coppery end of the spectrum, so I was surprised upon decanting. The smell is similar to the stand-by Lagunitas IPA, with a hint of something...different. One taste revels that difference in its full glory. While a very similar hop profile to Lagunitas IPA, this brew has a wonderful clear hoppiness and strong, lingering tones of tropical fruits, notably pineapple. More rich citrus flavor than the IPA as well. Vaguely tacky to the palate, yet still fairly drinkable, which is well-motivated by the delicious flavors. This could be my favorite offering yet from Lagunitas.

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Photo of Beerandboards
4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Both straight from the bottle and also out of a pint glass

A - the classic golden, honey type color. Quite a bit of white foam, leaves plenty of lacing

S - subtle orange peel, lemon juice, some pine, a little bit of the malt in the background

T - hop forward but not overly bitter. Actually really balanced and drinkable. Easy drinking citrus notes with some tropical flavors in there as well. Not as in your face as hop stoopid or something like that. Could easily session a few, but for the 8% ABV.

M - nice oily hop presentation, not overly dry or quick on the finish.

O - killer smooth IPA. My favorite lagunitas by far. It's not as good as the hype, but its definitely in the neighborhood.

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Photo of theruckus33
4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Serving Type: Bottle

A: Beautiful head retention. Starts with a wonderful billowy white head with ample lacing throughout. Dark golden hue with good carbonation that creeps up to the top - wonderful.

S: Pine, Grapefruit, Clementines, Biscuit malt

T: Citrus, honey, ginger snap

M: Light but boy the head is super silky great mouth feel

Overall: Get it,

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Photo of grover37
4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a sixer from D'Vines for $11. Poured into a DCBeer.com becker.

Appearance (4): Pours a clear, light gold with a finger and a half of sparse white head. A coating of lacing all the way around the glass at the top, but none further down.

Aroma (5): Wow, this is where the beer shines. An extreme West Coast hop profile with loads and loads of what smells like Amarillo. Smells like sweet, resinous, pine with tangerine, grapefruit, and passionfruit. Maybe a touch of lemon grass and some light caramel round it out.

Taste (4): Hugely fruity up front with the citrus notes from the nose dominating: mango, passionfruit, and lemon. The bitterness doesn't show up until the finish along with an overwhelming sweetness. The same citrus notes stay through the middle but are then dominated by the sweetness and a lingering pine. Some mango shows up here too, but is not huge like the front end. This is just too sweet for me, especially when it warms up, but the hop flavors are second to none.

Mouthfeel (4): A touch slick but still smooth and a little creamy. Medium side of full bodied and medium-high carbonation which makes those hop flavors shine.

Overall (4.5): This would be a near perfect beer if not so damn sweet; a common complaint of mine with Lagunitas. The hop profile is phenomenal; it should probably be more balanced considering the residual sweetness, but the hops dominate any malt bill. Will be drinking this one all winter hopefully; lives up to the hype, particularly for those that don't mind the signature Lagunitas sweetness.

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Photo of hmf05
4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a crystal clear yellow color with a two finger head that sticks around. Aroma is perfect. Very reminiscent of LSS. I get tons of mango and papaya on the nose with some citrus as well. The taste is very similar to the nose. Tropical fruits all the way. Slight bitterness. Nice dry finish. Overall, the aroma far and away makes this beer for me. It's tasty, but the smell outweighs the taste. I prefer LSS, but this is not far behind. Great brew.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear light copper to golden, finger length head and good creamy lace retention. Worderful citric and tropical fruit aroma, some biscuit and honey. The taste is at first fruity, slightly syrupy and malty sweet. This is followed by a strong hops presence that is piney and leafy. Strong bitter herbal finish. Creamy, smooth, medium bodied and very drinkable.
This beer most definetely does not suck! I liked it a lot.

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Photo of stephens101
4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Vociferous piney hops fill the room and won't keep quiet. The sticky, off-white head is large and in charge. Color is reddish-orange with brassy hues.

Getting more aroma of orange candy, caramel and nutmeg after deeper inspection.

Piney, earthy, sugary and spicey to the tongue. Some notes of yeast are noticed later.

Fluid all the way with an unexpected creaminess. Alcohol is extant but doesn't burn. Has a rarely found, finely tuned balance for a DIPA.

Sucks is an amiable beer that knows when to raise its voice and when to quiet down.

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Photo of MudDrinker
4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Straw golden-very light orange with a fluffy white head.

Smell - Grapefruit. Just a big ol' grapefruit, there's some other citrus and mango involved, but its pretty uncanny to me how much grapefruit hits you upfront. No resin or pine in the smell at all. That's a new one on me.

Taste - Whoa. Grapefruit, mango, bittersweet citrus. When cold, its hard to pick up any resin bitterness - it comes through as it warms but its never abrasive. Absolutely no alcohol presence. Sweetness from the malt is pretty much the best sidekick ever in this beer.

Mouthfeel - Light and creamy. Decent carbonation, making the head come across really fluffy. It really fits with the sweet grapefruit flavor. This beer is definitely worth pouring in a glass that has a turbulent shape for head retention.

Overall - Phenomenal. I pretty exclusively drink stuff on the malty side of the spectrum. I rarely like brews with pronounced hops, and definitely not IPAs/APAs/etc. but I'll be buying this as long as I can get it.

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Photo of Boomblaze
4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured this out of a 12oz. bottle into my Maudite snifter. Gave it a nice aggressive pour that produced a solid 1” thick head that lasted for a few minutes. The lacing the beer left behind was lovely, almost as if you could see every sip you took like the rings of a tree on the edge of the glass. The smell of the beer is pretty good with a nice dank resiny sent, I do have a slightly stuffy nose myself right now so my sense is a little off. The beer is truly a delight on the palate, with a wonderful sweetness reminiscent of a dank mango fruitiness that leaves a lasting impression on the tongue well after you’ve swallowed this treat of a beverage. Now I’m a huge fan of Lagunitas and this beer has that sweetness flavor to it that you’ll find in any hop forward offering from Lagunitas. So just another great beverage from a great a great brewery.

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Photo of mothman
4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This has to be one of the best DIPA for the price.

Half finger of off white head. Color is s a clear golden orange.

Taste profile is of big juicy hops. Grapefruit and citrus fruits mixed with some pineapple. Dank hops. A mix of floral and pine. Some bready malts to balance things out.

Mouthfeel is bitter, but not too bitter. Not very sticky which is nice.

Overall, this beer is rock solid. I normally don't like Lagunitas, but this beer will be in my fridge every winter.

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Photo of rodlavers
4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured Lagunitas Sucks into my favorite Founders snifter to enjoy for the first time this year (I did have it on tap last night, but this is my first bottle of the year).

It actually does look like someone urinated in my glass, someone so dehydrated they are on the verge of death. It's that pale orange, yellow color with tons of white bubbles and foam. It's very clear and bubbly from the carbonation. Only some lacing, think my glass has lost its ability to hold lacing.

Smells of intense passion fruit -- it's sweet, with orange, mango, pineapple, pine/floral hops. It also has a nice malty backbone in there as well.

Taste is more of the same, very good. It's also a bit resinous, too, which I like.

Feel is very nice, indeed. Smooth, balanced, and super fresh. Drinkability is high. Repeat, drinkability is high.

Overall, very good beer, maybe my favorite Lagunitas offering. Hopefully it becomes year-round eventually. Cheers.

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Photo of gkatsoris
4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Strangely resembles a bud. Yellowy in color, with a bright white head. Lots of bubbles.

S: Lots and lots of hops. Faint brown sugar. Burnt sugar. Lemony and grapfruit rind. Sugary grapfruit. Holiday Ale???

T: Hoppy. Sugary. Graham cracker. Grapefruit rind. Not bittery hardly at all, except at thevery very end. Burnt grain.

M: Very balanced. This is actually pretty thin, but it feels so right!!

O: This is NOT a seasnal Xmas brew, for the record. But man is it good!

Thanks Preismj for the extra!

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Photo of PGD120
4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

poured from 32oz bottle into snifter

appearance: medium amber color, translucent, 2 finger white fluffy head
smell: grapfruit, orange, lemon, some pine, some peach ad apricot, little bit of alcohol
taste: lots of citrus, more sweet citrus but still nicely bitter. slight malty backbone with some pine late
feel: some lingering carbonation
overall: great ipa, but wish they wouldnt have gone to the 2 pint format bottles

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Type: Draft
Glass: Mason jar
From: Ciro’s Pizza in Pacific Beach (San Diego, Calif.), on Jan. 4, 2013
Price: $6.50
Misc.: As part of Lagunitas Tap Takeover Night at Ciro’s Pizza on Jan. 4, 2012; Got to keep the Lagunitas mason jar

Poured a golden orange color with one finger of white head when I got it. Good circular lacing on the sides all the way down. Average-to-above average retention on the top.

Holy bitter hops on the nose! Got healthy doses of pine, citrus (grapefruit, lemon) and floral hops. Also some resin. Very flavorful, definitely the best part of the beer.

Tasted bitter grapefruit hops right from the beginning, but not too lingering. Sweet floral taste as well. Also orange pulp. Reminded me a lot of the Daytime IPA.

Light body. Oily texture. Average carbonation. Bitter finish.

I really, really liked this beer. Nice and smooth and would love to have it again. Well done Lagunitas.

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Photo of Bartos
4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle

A - mostly clear, golden color. Nice thick, white head of foam. Moderate amount of lacing as the head dissipates

S - massive aromas of pine and tropical fruit. Sweet and bitter. Strong bottom notes of hops

T - aggressive front taste of bitter hops, followed by a smooth citrus and pine hop flavor mingling with sweet malt. Surprisingly cleaner and crisp finish with only mild bitter aftertaste of hop oil

M - slightly less carbonated than your average IPA. Medium bodies. Nice finish with mild lingering hop oil coating the tongue

O - a nice IPA, especially considering how widely it's distro is. Enjoyable as either a session beer or something to linger over

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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.

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Photo of Motleydrunk56
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%

32 oz Bottle.Poured into a 12 oz chimay goblet.Nice citrus smell.Solid brew from Lagunitas.It has everything you could want from a IPA.Great taste .A 7.8 ABV and a great price at 4.99 for 32 oz.I just wish this was a year round brew.I you find it,buy it.

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Photo of tjsdomer2
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Incredible lacing. Reminds me of California Steam. Great carbonation and a copper color.

Smell: Orange zest. Some brown sugar and cinnamon. Excellent balance.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Great combination of malty brown sugar sweetness and orange bitterness. Very promising mouthfeel initially...a lot like Zombie Dust. Unfortunately, it's a bit flat in the finish.

Overall Drinkability: Worth the hype.

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Photo of sfprint
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Completely transparent, light orangy brown, mild rising carbonation, not much of a head.
S: Ooooh holy crap. Instant 5! I knew I saved my 5's for something! It's like a japanese candy apple/peach/grapefruit/concord grape. Almost verbatim but way better! F'ing incredible! Pineapple as well.
T: Interesting flavor. It does have the japanese candy element, but it's not so powerful and sweet. The IPAness really comes through and the japanese candy flavor is tastefully tucked under a nice strong IPA. Moderately bitter, but not too bitter. Moderate spiciness sitting under the bitterness. Citrusy honey hops. Really nice balance. But doesn't have that "wowing" effect that the smell has.
M: Very light sting, medium body.
O: Unique, special, very interesting. I don't love it, but it's certainly really great.

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Photo of nc41
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a bit thin, not much foam, lacing, but the head dies quick, no big deal really. The SMELL, nice, fruity grapefruit, pineapple, ranks near the top on nose alone. The taste almost follows, but a bit thin compared to what I smell. Decent finish but falls off a little ,no real boom on the backside. Really a well done brew, I hope it goes regular. I've heard comparisons to Pliny, well, no, but don't let that stop you from trying. I also like they didn't go the ultra sweet route and malt this one to death looking for depth.

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Photo of yamar68
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I'm finally getting around to reviewing this one - not sure what took me so long.

What a pretty beer... a glowing gold body that is stuffed from side to side with constant beading. A creamy finger of off-white head retains well and leaves behind drapes of lace from start to finish.

The aroma reminds me quite a bit of Sculpin or Dreadnaught. Juicy hop character defined by tropical fruits and some heady nugz. Nose-gasm.

Takes a slightly different direction on the palate. A bit more citrus and pine resin. More complex than the nose would suggest. Really tasty stuff.

This beats the piss outta Brown Sugga.

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Photo of Etan
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Last year's version was so good - let's see how this year's stacks up. 12oz into a tulip.

A: Pours a glassy dull orange with a sticky white head.

S: Huge tropical fruits in the nose. Passionfruit, mango, grapefruit, light pine and cracker malt.

T: The taste is less fruity, with some dryish leafiness, melon and slight orange, bready grain, light herbal bitterness.

M: Light-bodied, light carbonation, a bit sticky.

O: Great aroma here, definitely lives up to the first batch.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Orangish yellow in color with a 1/2+ inch head and great retention

Smell: Very strong hop aroma. Lots of floral, pine and resin on the nose

Taste: Based on the nose the flavor is a bit of a let down. Still has the good hop flavor but just a tad bit muted compared to the nose

Mouthfeel: Just under a medium body and mildly carbonated and slightly bitter

Overall: A very good dipa especially for the price and availability to me. This one just lacked just a touch in the flavor department to make it a great dipa. Highly recommended

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Photo of ghostwalker
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Didn't realize it was my 300th review until I started. Oh well, not everything has to be a true milestone. Still, at least Sucks is a semi-rare beer that is worth noting.

12 oz bottle, found it at Julio's, home of many great beers. Served in my Surly Darkness snifter, because it rocks!

A: Head? Yes, please, make it a double! Huge, thick, frothy white head on a golden body with a hint of reddish to it.

S: Nose is ...Simcoe? Sharp, piney, spicy, just really good smelling and nicely complex.

F: Tasty and quaffable. True West Coaster here. Light malt body is only a framework for big, gratuitous hopitude. Waves of citrus and pine. This is really the closest thing to Pliny that I can think of. Heady Topper may have stolen my heart, but I still carry a torch for Pliny, and this could be the kid sister.

M: Stripping and cleansing, done right.

O: Really, really good. I love Hop Stoopid and many of their other brews, but this one is somehow better. Glad to hear that this will be a new product.

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Photo of PDXHops
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Growler poured into a Maudite snifter. Bright gold with a fat, puffy head that immediately starts slinging the sticky lace all over. The nose features a blast of mango and pineapple with pine and floral hoppy notes in the background. Stray whiffs of bready malt and booze. And indeed, it's really the moderate booziness that keeps this stuff from being downright chuggable. Impressive oily hop goodness with a bitterness that makes one contemplate how powerful "only" 60-odd IBUs can be with the right malt backbone, which is very lightly toasty and bready in this case. Massive tropical fruitiness with a generous dose of resinous pine. Hints of fresh leafy flavors almost make me think of tobacco now and then.

Exceedingly tasty (D)IPAs don't typically come with an exceedingly reasonable price point. Lagunitas Sucks does, and is a no-brainer for hopheads to try.

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