Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) - Lagunitas Brewing Company

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Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale)Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale)

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9,223 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,223
Reviews: 1,523
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 9.91%
Wants: 558
Gots: 1,829 | FT: 29
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
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Ratings: 9,223 | Reviews: 1,523
Photo of leaddog
4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Pours an amber with two fingers of fluffy white head.

Smell - citrus hops, bready caramalts, tropical fruits (mango, passionfruit, pineapple), and orange.

Taste - Pleasant punch from the citrus hops followed by the bready caramalts, tons of tropical fruit notes (mango, passionfruit, pineapple) and the orange.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Finishes dry with a lingering bitterness from the citrus hops.

Overall - A well crafted DIPA from Lagunitas. The citrus hop profile in this one is done very well. I wish the malts were a little more predominate to balance some of the tropical fruit flavours. Other than that, a solid brew.

Photo of Beerney
4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best beer that I've had in a long time. I was expecting something much heavier from Lagunitas at 7.8%. Great hop aros woma and hop burst. Very well balanced. Not overly bitter as you'd expect from 63 IBUs. Great beer. Lagunitas sucks for not making this beer year round.

Photo of gford217
4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle.

Pours a light, clear golden orange with a fluffy white head that leaves really nice lacing.

Aroma is pungent and in a good way. Tons of juicy citrus with pineapple and grapefruit leading the way. There is some pine resin but much less than the tap version which smelled like an evergreen forest.

Taste is not quite as big on the citrus with a little less grapefruit and a little more floral hops. The finish definitely has some pine and a sticky resinous bitterness that lingers on the palate. The taste also has a bigger bready malt backbone than the aroma.

The mouthfeel is excellent, medium bodied, strong carbonation and really sticky through the finish.

This is undoubtedly one of the best things I've had from Lagunitas. I'm not sure why they're never put something like this out before as it is better than any other IPA they've produced. Excellent beer.

Photo of Stevedore
4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased late March, poured vigorously into a Bell's tulip. Based on today's consumption and that of multiple six packs. Surprised I never reviewed this beer despite drinking half a case of it, mainly fresh.

Aroma: By far the best part of this beer. Did a blind tasting of this vs NG IIPA and this definitely smelled better. Lots of sweet sticky honey, toffee and biscuity maltiness. Big bouquet of floral and citrus hops. You're not going to miss smelling this nose when you have this beer. (5)

Colour: Perfectly clear, copper orange body that pours with a big 3cm white head when poured vigorously. It looks great. The collar is substantial but not the biggest I've seen. Tons of lacing on the opposite side of the glass I'm drinking from. Generally a very appealing looking beer and I'm not sure how that could be improved upon. (5)

Flavour: Big floral hop punch up front, some sweet bready maltiness in the middle, punctuated by floral and citrus hop bitterness. Really good standing on its own. Not gonna lie, when I drank this in a blind tasting aside a NG IIPA, this beer tasted like water after I drank some of what turned out to be the NG IIPA. It's entirely possible that its not fair to evaluate this beer next to an hoppier, probably fresher DIPA. But on its own, this definitely stands as a flavourful, delightfully hoppy beer. (4)

Mouthfeel: Nice! Medium-bodied on the thicker side. Resinous beer that coats the heck out of my tongue with the good carbonation making my tongue tingle with the bitter aftertaste. It runs a bit dry, which doesn't really quaff my thirst but makes me want to drink more. The problem is that its a 7.85% ABV brew and there are times when I don't really want to drink more. Nicely done. (4)

Overall: Great beer, great value for what amounts to a DIPA (I don't care what anyone says) at $9/6pk. On its own, it stands up to most of the other excellent DIPAs I've had, but it doesn't quite supplant them. It smells great, looks great and that goes a long way towards making this an enjoyable beer to drink. I'd probably take this over stuff like Hopslam and Double Crooked Tree, but maybe not over something such as Pliny the Elder. (4)

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours orange with yellow highlights. Light and transparent. Has that signature Lagunitas off-white cap. The head retains and leaves great sheets of lacing.

S-Wreaks of super juicy, fruity hops. Christmas tree pine needles. Oily, resiny, and ripe from the fruity hops. One of the best, if not the best smelling Lagunitas beers I have had.

T- Quite like the nose. Pineapple, citrus rind, grapefruit, and other tropical fruits. Nice dose of pine to add bitterness. Very ripe and very juicy. Super fresh taste. Quite like Little Sumpin Sumpin without the wheat.

M-Medium body. Medium carbonation. Resinous and oily from the hops. Moderate bitterness. A bit dry.

O/D-Definitely enjoyed this more than I would have Brown Shugga. Another great Lagunitas IPA. Love the hop bouquet. Will be buying a few more 6 packs of this. Their special/seasonal 6 packs are regularly great.


This year's batch just as delicious. So damn tropical. Heavenly aroma.

Photo of argock
4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served on-tap in a Shaker pint at Beer Run (Charlottesville, VA).

A: Dusky amber with 1/2 finger of big-bubbled off-white head with average retention and a few scraps of lacing.

S: Big dry-hop aromas of pine, resin, and tropical fruit with some grapefruit aromas. The maltiness is light and crackery overall but with a bit more caramel than I remember from the bottle.

T: The flavor is big-time hoppy with orange, lemon, grapefruit citrus and a little bit of pineapple and mango also. THe maltiness is not quite enough despite the ABV to stand up in any meaningful way to this hops assault.

M: Slick but almost a little too dry with light-medium body.

O: I enjoyed my bottles last year more than this on-tap presentation. And while this is a solid beer and rightfully highly anticipated, I was a little let down by this on-tap.

Photo of Bendurgin
4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip. This one pours a clear golden straw color with about an inch of white head. Little bit of sticky lace.

The aroma starts of with grapefruit and mango. Hints of pine in the background. Mango and pine on the pallet with some hints hints of bready malt in the background.

The body is medium with sharp carbonation. A bit dry on the finish.

Overall this one is great. Easily one of the best IPAs I've had in a while.

Photo of Overlord
4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a splendid holiday ale.

Pours a light orange with some golden highlights. Large white foam head.

Smells like tangerine, some lighter sweet grapefruit, a bit of sugar-y pineapple/mango/tropical notes. Nice fresh cut grass/hay aroma.

Taste is, not surprisingly, quite sweet. Tropical flavors abound. Surprised a bit by how muted the grapefruit was. It's there, and juicy and sweet, but the tropics take over. Not so much malty as just ... sweet.

Very enjoyable. Wish it was year/round. Nice and chewy.

Photo of barczar
4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a chill hazed tangerine copper with a frothy cream head that lingers.

Aromas of peach, nectarines, floral hops, resin, grapefruit, pineapple, and fresh cut grass abound. There's a touch of earthy funk and cannabis. Sweet caramel malt ties it all together.

Flavor reveals similar tropical fruit character, with pineapple and mango at the start. Grapefruit takes over early, riding a wave of slightly sweet, lightly bready caramel malt into the moderately bitter finish. Resin kicks in in the aftertaste.

Body is a touch full, with moderate carbonation and noted alcohol warmth.

Great hop aroma and flavoring, with just enough bitterness to counter the malt sweetness. If the hops were just a touch more tart to tame the sweetness a bit!

Photo of aljskelton
4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Was given one bottle as a gift which was extremely tough as I tried to milk the lone soldier. Great taste, not overwhelming with a light golden appearance, along with an interesting story to the name. Smooth IPA (63.21 IBU) with a light piney nose that follows with a citrus taste. Salud!

Photo of danieelol
4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

With great thanks to Wyatt

Think it's about 1.5 months old looking at the bottle date.

Pours a nice filtered looking yellowish kind of chrome. Nice well-retaining head and good lacing.

Nose is white grapey. Also melon and pine and orange-y, slightly boozy malt. Gives an impression of paw paw.

Taste is more grapey. Flavours carry through well to the taste and the flavour is consistent throughout the palate, no watery spots. More melon to be found on the palate and a decent dose of balancing sweetness which renders this tasty and drinkable. Finishes only on a real subtle bitterness which is more than balanced by the sweetness, which lives up to Lagunitas' reputation. I like this actually.

Mouthfeel has the white grape coming in midway through and retaining. Otherwise just a wholesome sort of sweet melon flavour. Hint of bitter booze on the end, which isn't really a drawback.

Only "problem" is a mild booziness throughout which is a little bit surprising for the ABV, but it doesn't particularly bother me and the rest of the elements are exceptional.

Really good beer and firmly in the new school which emphasises aromatics over bitterness. Cheers Wyatt.

Photo of omnigrits
4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a straight pint glass.

A. Pale amber in colour with a white head that goes away pretty fast and leaves not a whole lot of lace.

S. Lots of hops with some sweet grains and even sweeter fruits in the background.

T. A decent hit of sweetness at first before the citrusy, orangey hops take over. Zesty. Lagunitas have piled a lot of flavour into this beer, and done it well.

M. On the full side of medium and with a nice dry finish.

O. A very good IPA and one I could drink at any time of the year, not just at Christmas. I hope they decide to make this 'limited release' again.

Photo of Daniellobo
4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very nice, rich and smooth flowing hoppy offering.

Presentation: 12 oz brown capped bottle. Lagunitas branded label with the image of a Santa star shaped cookie. Title and tongue-in-cheek narrative acknowledges messing up with the regular seasonal offering and pushing this instead. Shows IBUs (63.21), gravity at 1.085, and 7.85% Alc. by Vol. Poured into a tulip glass.

A - Clear gold pour with a rich frothy head, sturdy retention, nice surface memory and lacing.

S - Luscious hoppy nose, grapefruit, floral notes, touch of caramel, herbal hint...

T - Nice follow though on the palate with the same floral, grapefruit, tropical, mango and pineapple, slightly grassy range… Remote sweet hint as it folds…

M - Medium to medium-light body with moderate carbonation and a very smooth feel with very subdued bitterness.

O - Delicious hoppy profile… Long complex notes, without much bitterness, very pleasing.

Notes: Nothing wrong with Brown Shugga, that is/was a nice brew. But this is surely much more up my alley. The overblown joke of an apology making it rather memorable around this new offering works pretty well… Very nice holiday offering.

Photo of kgammell1
4.31/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Oh man, the mouthfeel is amazing. So creamy and delicious with a slight sharpness from the rye. One of my new favorite beers.

Photo of richj1970
4.31/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from cask into a tulip glass.

A: Poured vibrant orange color with nice 2-3 finger head that slowly settles to a thin lacing.

S: Strong hops, mostly pine but also some citrus like grapefruit and orange, mixed with a solid malts

T: Big hops while remaining suprisingly balanced. Blended hops up front but a very smooth full malt underneath, with a hint of sweetness to finish.

M: Medium bodied with fairly light carbonation that I attribute to the cask.

O: Very nice beer. Enjoyable IPA, being both hoppy & big malt but everything is unbelievably well balanced. I liked Dogfish 90 a bit more, but this one is solid nonetheless.

Edit: Found some recently in bottles, and adjusted scores up some. Fantastic tastes and aromas.

Photo of Chris585
4.31/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Malty/spicey/fruity/sharp/clean/thick flavors. Excellent mouthfeel. Awesome beer.

Photo of CraftEyeDoc
4.31/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Nice clear copper with 1 finger head poured into a pint glass.

S: Great aroma. Lots of super amount of pine and citrus. This is the best part of the beer.

T: Not as bitter as I would like for IIPA. But def very smooth. I wish this had as much taste as it does smell. More of an tangerine/melon/lime with a little bit of resinous taste on the backend.

M: Nice feel on the tongue with a good amount of body. Well carbonated.

O: This seems more like an IPA to me than a double. Could have used more hop bitterness up front. I do like the backend a lot. Still a very solid beer. I see how lots of people could enjoy this beer because its mod bitterness and smooth easily drinkability.

Photo of ExaltedNecrosis
4.31/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into Stella glass.

A - Pours a slightly hazy golden straw color. One and a half fingers of off white head. It's mostly clear but there is a bit of haze.

S - Very nice tropical fruit medley. I get pineapple, orange, and grapefruit in the aroma.

T - Much like the nose, this is an explosion of juicy tropical fruits. Pineapple is the foremost, followed by mango, orange, and grapefruit. There is a slight caramel sweetness. This helps balance out the bitterness, which seems to come mainly from the grapefruit.

M - Moderate body that tends to be sticky. The carbonation is moderate as well, and there is a lingering oiliness in the mouth after each sip. The alcohol is not noticeable at all, either.

O - I'm glad I finally got to try this beer about which I've heard so much. While it didn't completely live up to its huge amount of hype, it was still fantastic. The tropical fruitiness was superb and it was well balanced.

Photo of sloany
4.31/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is my first review, so please be gentle.

Bottle to Tulip

A- 1" head quickly dissipates. Medium carbonation. Nice lacing. Copper to orange in color.

S- Wow. Very agressive. Dank, resiny and piney with floral backnotes. What I would expect from a DIPA.

T- Again, Wow. Attacks the palate. Very hop forward with a nice restrained balance of sweetness. Grapefruit up front with a finish of pineapple.

M-A little syrupy. Carbonation does a nice job of distributing flavors across the palate.

O- Nothing subtle about this beer! Big hops all the way through. Bouquet develops nicely throughout (my nose has been stuck in the glass the entire time). All in all, a very nice West Coast DIPA.

Question- Does anyone know the hop profile on this? i'm thinking C's with maybe some Magnum?

Photo of Sandalwood
4.31/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a reddish amber color with a two finger off white head. There is a lot of carbonation and quite a bit of lacing. The odor is herbal, malty, sweet, a little bit of citrus orange, grapefruit, resin, pine, earthy. The taste is very malty, resin, some sweetness, grapefruit, spices, some dry bitterness throughout.

Photo of LampertLand
4.31/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Lagunitas Brewing 'Sucks Brown Shugga Substitute Ale' @ 7.85% , served from a 6pack of 331 ml bottles purchased for $19

A-pour is a clear gold with a good size off white head leaving a streaky lace along the pint glass

S-citrus grapefruit and pine

T-smooth and crisp tasting IPA , sweet fruit start , bitter hop finish , well balanced

MF-mild carbonation , full bodied , nice on the palate

Ov-good/great beer , buy far the best of the beers recently sampled , I can finally say I like an DIPA , pity its a limited release and expensive , but so worth it !!

sampled alongside Deschutes 'Hop Henge' , Driftwood's 'Twenty Pounder' & Phillip's 'Amnesiac'

prost LampertLand

Photo of KelsoSaaz
4.31/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into tulip

A: Light orange –golden color with an eggshell white, creamy 2 finger head

S: Tropical fruit dominates, grapefruit, passionfruit, along with bright pine notes. Sweet, doughy malts back the hops up. Prevalent aromas of honey as well.

T: Well balanced pine and citrus at the front followed by resin-y residual hop flavors. Noticeable amber and caramel malt backbone prevent the hops from blowing your head off. Finish is light hop bitterness combined with honey and faint brown sugar sweetness.

M: Medium body with slight soapy quality. Tingling carbonation.

O: A very good offering from Lagunitas. Unlike some other DIPAs, “Sucks” has a nice balance of huge hop flavors and malts. Although I’m not a huge hophead, I enjoyed this brew and will definitely have it again.

Photo of Zach136
4.31/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Original review amended. 12oz bottle poured into IPA glass.

A - Pours light straw with a beautiful 3 finger white head. Moderate carbonation shows throughout, incredible lacing.

S - Dank weed, heavy pine sap with a hint of citrus.

T - Grass clippings and pine with a hint of grapefruit - little to no astringency. Backbone is complex and hard to pin point, turns out its because they use barley, rye, wheat and oats for it. I must say, I'm a fan.

M - Dry and refreshing.

O - Extremely well put together IPA - lagunitas knows how to brew.

Photo of NoLeafClover44
4.31/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a Dogfish Head signature glass. I can't make out the smudged code on the neck.

A - Pours a bright tangerine color with perfect clarity. About a finger of bright white head lasts for a few minutes then holds steady at a thin film. Lacing paints the glass.

S - Smells of sweet and tangy citrus, highlighted by rotten grapefruit rind. Some sweet caramel, tropical fruits, and just a hint of grassy earth. Smells fresh.

T - Hits immediately with tart citrus and vibrant tropical fruits. The sweetness is continuous throughout, yet never overcomes the tangy and hoppy flavors. The bitterness of the hops is very mild, but pungent citrus hop flavors are strong. Easily one of the most full flavored, yet easy drinking IPAs I have had.

M - Creamy mouthfeel with good carbonation.

O - Great to see this on the shelf at Whole Foods after hearing a lot of good things. The tropical and citrus fruit is prominent on the nose and the tongue. Remarkably balanced and one of the easiest drinking "Double" IPAs I have come across. At 10.99/six, good bang for your buck, as all Lagunitas seem to be.

Photo of arfenhouse
4.31/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Golden orange with off white head. Good retention.

S: Pine and resin dominate. Ripe sweet tangerines and some grapefruit peel. Some sort of sweet bread in the background. A bit of spicy hops.

T: Good dose of grapefruit and pine. Tropical fruit, mainly pineapple. Some sweetness comes into play. Spicy hop and some orange in the aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Slightly dry.

O: Tasty DIPA. Very good for the price. Pick it up if you can.

Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 9,223 ratings.