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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.

7,382 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,382
Reviews: 1,272
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 9.63%
Wants: 366
Gots: 832 | 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: 7,382 | Reviews: 1,272 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mountdew1
3.95/5  rDev -9.4%

Poured into an imperial pint. Color was a medium dark amber, with a 2 finger white head. Head dissipated to a thin layer, and didn't cling at all. Aroma was slightly sweet, with a fair bit of hops. Flavor was a strange hybrid between an IPA and a winter warmer. Started off nicely sweet, then had a bit of spice, before finishing up with a solid mouthful of hops. Felt great in the mouth. Coated very nicely, and still finished with a bit of carbonated kick. Overall a strong beer.

mountdew1, Mar 12, 2012
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.95/5  rDev -9.4%

On-tap 12/4/2011 at Pour Farm in New Bedford, MA served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright gold color with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick on the glass.

S: The aroma contains piney hops, light caramelized malts and some citrus.

T: The taste starts out with a strong grassy hops bitterness followed by sweet flavors of citrus and caramel. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and brings some balance. The after-taste is hoppy and slightly sweet. Even for a hop-head like myself, this beer needs to sit for a few minutes to take some of the hop edge off.

M: Very crisp but not too smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down very easy, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, it’s a solid IPA but there are better beers in the style.

TheManiacalOne, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of Reidrover
3.95/5  rDev -9.4%

at long last i get round to this baby. 12 oz single from Fred Meyer, S.Salem $1.67 Clear orange body to the ale with a nice half inch sized white frothy head. Big strong,dank,heavy resiny hop aromas,herbal Again heavy hop taste but very well matched by the bready,caramel maltiness, but bright citric,lemon zest hops dominate in the end. Good on the palate keeps this heavy brew moving Another Lagunitas classic..to me though this is more a DIPA than an ASA

Reidrover, Jan 20, 2012
Photo of brystmar
3.95/5  rDev -9.4%

Golden pour. Heavily malty nose with tropical fruits, honey, mild spices, and hops.

Fruity and sweet with a strong malt character. Sharp, piney hops next, then caramel. Boozy as things finish up, ends a little sweet with honey & hop flavors lingering. Body is thick and creamy. An enjoyable brew.

brystmar, Mar 12, 2012
Photo of Mnigro
3.95/5  rDev -9.4%

Great beer when you can get it fresh. I've been drinking this for the past few months until all shops were out of it. Just found a 12pk at a liquor shop out in the boonies. It was not nearly as good as it was a few months ago but I guess that's to be expected with such a hopped up brew like this. Some of that up front citrus has faded and there is more of a bitter bite at the end.

For those who just popped their first samples, give a fresh batch a try at the next release.

A - golden orange
S- citrus hops and little Lagunitas funk that most of their brews carry
T - cirtrus forward and a little earthy in the middle. Super good stuff.
M - good carbonation, right in the middle. Sticky, lingering beer
O - one of my favorite DIPAs

Mnigro, May 10, 2014
Photo of yourefragile
3.95/5  rDev -9.4%

Draft at Friscos.

Clear golden color with a white head; ample lacing. Heavy citrus aroma with light floral hops; fairly sweet. Grapefruit and pineapple sugary sweetness from the start and throughout over a light caramel malt body and a mild resin bitter finish. Fairly simple, a little sweet, a little boozy and medium bodied. Ok, so I don't get the love for this other than the price. It tastes like any other Lagunitas IPA, which I typically don't enjoy. Happy to drink this fresh, but I'm pretty sure my pint at Friscos cost more than a 6 pack of it does (so maybe that's why I'm...wait for it...bitter).

yourefragile, Dec 29, 2011
Photo of Kshock
3.95/5  rDev -9.4%

A- Light golden color; very bright. Nice retention with lacing left on the glass.

S- Lots of hop aroma. Some citrus and pine, a little hint of summit in there. Very grassy.

T- Little malt character, lots of hops. Summit comes through, ends with a little citrus. very clean finish.

M- Very light

O- Pretty solid IPA

Kshock, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of kaseydad
3.95/5  rDev -9.4%

Finally found this after much waiting. Miss the Brown Shugga but I move forward. Pours a very clear apricot color with a nice cream colored foamy head and nice lacing. The aroma is great! Mango, grapefruit, lemon zest and orange rind. The taste is very hoppy, lemony and piney with a big bitterness on the back end. Slightly spicy on the swallow with a touch of more bitters on the aftertaste. Salivation a plenty. Mucho carbonation. Overall I enjoyed the session but it was a little too much for my buds. Too much of a good thing? Maybe. Even with a modest 7.85%, multiples would be tiresome on this palate. A good beer but better one's are out there from the Petaluma crew.

kaseydad, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of JulioH
3.96/5  rDev -9.2%

I had this IPA, and I wasn't sure what was all the hoopla about.

Pours a nice yellow beer. Has some foam forming. Aroma is very faint, almost inexistent. Taste is not of a hoppy beer. It tastes more like a lager. It does have a distinct sweetness, like brown sugar, or molasses, but it is not refined. It tastes a lot like a cheap beer with no hops.

JulioH, Jun 20, 2014
Photo of sulldaddy
3.96/5  rDev -9.2%

Sampling a cellar temp bottle poured into a snifter.
The beer pours a clear copper color with creamy bleached white head of jsut about .5 cm that fades to a sticky edge layer and wispy surface foam.
Aroma is citrus rind and pine sap with just a little bit of pineapple and general fruitiness. Very hoppy nose, but not just astringent bitterness.
First sip reveals an average body with fine rolling carbonation that is barely detectable on each sip.
The beer is very easy to drink, with no detected alcohol nor heavy presence to slow down consumption.
Flavor is some sweet caramel malt that gives way to citrus rind and pineapple hops with just a bit of astringency on the finish. The beer also finishes very dry and asks me to drink more. I dont get any booze on any stages of the beer and my glass is empty much sooner than i thought it would be for a beer just under 8%.

A tasty treat for the end of winter, definitely more a hopheader than a malty beer.

sulldaddy, Mar 01, 2014
Photo of AndyAvalanche
3.96/5  rDev -9.2%

12 oz. bottle poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass. While pouring the liquid it appears to be a light yellow color, but works its way to a light golden amber as it rises up in the glass. Like many beers I've had from Lagunitas, there's perfect clarity. You gotta take your time pouring this one. I gave it a hard pour and this one pretty much erupted and I had to pour it into the glass in 4-5 little segments. It's a white, maybe slight off white color and after awhile it wittles away to the slightest little skim. Not much in the way of lacing and glass retention though, just a little where your mouth hits the glass.

Well this is an IPA, so you can guess what it smells like…. hops. Floral, ruby red grapefruit citrus, grassy with a hint of onion at the end. A little bit in the way of malts but over powered by the hops.

Taste is good, but this is a hop head's beer. Ruby red grapefruit and blood orange citrus peel. Slight pine and chopped chives and maybe a hint of rye(though the bottle never specifies). A little bit of a candied/sugary flavor, but more like it's just candy coated hops.

Mouthfeel is very good. Good carbonation level. Gritty with a strong dry bitter finish. Sort of earthy at the end. Still like everything I've had from Lagunitas, it's extremely drinkable. Another great brew from a great brewery. I usually prefer a little more balance to my IPAs, but this is a perfect beer if you're in the mood for a hop bomb. Nice job Laguniats.

AndyAvalanche, Jan 06, 2014
Photo of TdLJg
3.96/5  rDev -9.2%

A: Poured a deep orange with bright white head.

S: Amazing citrus aroma. A treat for the nose.

T: Big wonderful punch of hops and citrus followed by a slight bitter feel in the back of the mouth.

M: Wonderful smooth feel on the mouth with a dry finish.

O: Very drinkable big ass beer. Excellent.

TdLJg, Aug 23, 2013
Photo of JordonHoltzman
3.96/5  rDev -9.2%

Jotted quick review in cellphone. Then did just a rating, but then decided to put down my subpar review anyway.

Golden body with a thick, white head, and very nice lacing.
Smells of pine and citrus. Well balanced. The taste matches but is predominately grapefruit. Mouthfeel is good, well carbonated.
Overall, a very enjoyable beer. Not quite as sessionable as I hoped, but I guess since it's up there in alcohol level, it's right where it should be in drinkability.
I haven't had the brown shugga that it's replacing, but I hope to.

JordonHoltzman, Apr 07, 2014
Photo of slipperysoup
3.96/5  rDev -9.2%

slipperysoup, Sep 04, 2014
Photo of Copernicus
3.96/5  rDev -9.2%

Poured a quart bottle into a Sam Adams custom.

A: The color surprises. It pours at a medium pale with a soft amber kiss. It's fairly clear and boasts a foamy, rocky head with thick lacing and great retention.

S: Oh boy. There's a confusing intermingling of hops and complex malt character. Tons of clean grains and toasty rye. The hop aroma is strongly on the citrus side with lots of grapefruit. There are surprisingly some nice fruity eters from the yeast. I get lots of peach, including the fuzzy quality of it's bitter earthy rind.

T: A bit disappointing considering the nose, but still good. The hop profile frames a thin and delicate malt of toasted grain and biscuit.

M: It drinks well with a medium body and a somewhat foamy texture. There is no bite or feel of the impressive alcohol level.

O: Good, not great. It's unique and incredibly drinkable, but doesn't have a whole lot of personality.

Copernicus, Feb 13, 2014
Photo of avwrite
3.96/5  rDev -9.2%

Brown sugar ale, but everyone knows this is an IPA. Tastes pretty similar to the regular Lagunitas IPA, but the taste is a little bit sweeter. That doesn't mean it's like molasses or caramel, it's definitely an IPA that kicks pretty hard but goes down nice. Good for a hearty meal, and versatile to drink in hot or cold weather.

avwrite, Jul 28, 2014
Photo of spicelab
3.98/5  rDev -8.7%

12oz bottle from a sixer purchased at Wholefoods Bend. Reviewed from notes.

Golden apricot, bright and clear, with a hearty two finger head that retains well and laces sporadically on its retreat to a slightly raised ring.

Candied orange, candied pineapple and candied tangerine above a milde oniony, sweatiness with a nice floral perfume twist.

Flavours show greater dankness and vegetal character amidst a chunky savoury malt backbone.

Chewiness on on the front palate is cleared out nicely by a bright and cleansing bitterness. Mildly spritzy carbonation.

Hugely drinkable and well rounded offering that pushes all the right buttons without challenging in any way - which is just fine.

spicelab, Mar 09, 2012
Photo of ThickNStout
3.98/5  rDev -8.7%

12oz bottle from Sprayberry Bottle Shop (Marietta, GA). 10.99/ 6-pack. Just released but no dicernable bottling date. Served in a Terrapin snifter.

Pours clear faded orange with a quarter finger pale head that leaves sheets of lace.

The nose is brimming with hops aromas- pine, tropical fruits, and grass with a hint of alcohol.

The taste is pretty close to what the nose indicates but the hops are even sharper. Grapefruit, pine, lemon zest, fresh cut wet grass, white peppercorns, biscuit and mildly sour grapes (but not in a bad way).

Oily, coating medium feel with pronounced carbonation. Long dry piney citrus finish.

While it may not be the best IPA I've had, it's certainly good enough that I'll be picking up more when I see it. An assertive tasty hop treat that deserves more of my time.

ThickNStout, Jan 08, 2013
Photo of gratefuld
3.98/5  rDev -8.7%

Side by side tasting with Pliny the Elder

A: With a minimally aggressive pour, I get about a 1 finger head that fades rather quickly into a thin layer of small white haze with some large bubbles forming. Beer is a golden orange and is clearly enticing me to drink! Good looking beer.

S: This is a very strong and dank if you will smelling beer. I get a lot of resin and pine with some faint citrus undertones. There is also a strong scent, I just cannot quite place. While not unpleasant, not what I was expecting. (As noted above I was doing this alongside Pliny. Pliny was the clear winner here for me.)

T: Good tasting beer. Obviously very hop forward, but it definitely has a malt kick in the back. Much like the smell I get a piny resiny flavor from Sucks that fades into a bitter (in a good way) aftertaste. There is almost what I would call an earthy flavor mixed in with the pine and resin followed by the malt. I kind of wish I had not reviewed this side by side with Pliny because I clearly like the Pliny better, but I know this is still a great tasting beer.

M: Very sharp and drying with a long lingering aftertaste. This beer is somewhat oily on the tongue after the initial sharp dryness....is that even possible? Anyhow, not bad on the palate.

O: Overall this is a solid beer. If I hadn't had the Pliny side by side it would probably get a higher rating, but still a good beer. I will probably come back in a few days and maybe update after I've only had this one. Anyhow, I recommend and I will certainly enjoy the rest of my six pack.

gratefuld, Dec 29, 2013
Photo of ZPB
3.98/5  rDev -8.7%

Shared a bottle with brother after a long day of holiday partying (love the brie and pear tarts George).

Poured a golden, VERY clean liquid with hardly any foamy head at all. Very little foam sticking to the glass.

Smell is strongly hoppy - some citrusy and flowal aromas. Mangos and a hint of sweet orange.

Taste matches the smell. Bright hops hit the tongue immediately. A citrusy hoppy bouquet for the mouth.

Mouth is full with a nice dry finish.

Overall this is a delicious beer that I would purchase and drink again.

ZPB, Dec 28, 2011
Photo of Rhettroactive
3.98/5  rDev -8.7%

From 12oz bottle to Bruges glass on 12/7/11
*From notes

A: A good pour yields a 1.25 finger white, tight head. Clean, slightly dark amber in color.

S: Fresh, citric hops pellets. Not even coned hops, I'm talking straight "face in the bag of pellets". Fairly one note, yet it's a nice note.

T: Fresh citrus. The mid is rounded with a touch of creamy golden malt, and the finish unmistakably screams "Lagunitas!" - just like every one of their beers.

M: Frothy stuff. It's well put together, and I do think this is part of the appeal. It's a bit bigger then most in the style, which perfectly suits the colder weather.

O: Lagunitas Sucks is a nice little beer. But it's waaayyy overhyped. Beer of the year? Are you off your fucking rocker? It taste like a rip off of Columbus' IPA, with a bit more body and that patented Lagunitas flavor profile. Would I have it again? Yeah...sure I would. But I've had better.

Rhettroactive, Jan 10, 2012
Photo of pcguitarwzrd
3.98/5  rDev -8.7%

Bottle to snifter.

A: Looks like a DIPA to me. Medium copper--check, hazy--check, off-white head--double-check.

S: Giant grapefruit note right up front, hops all around. Haven't smelled anything this nice in a while.

T: Piney hops front to back, a thin blanket of bready malt underneath. Was hoping for more of the tropical fruit flavors that the aroma promised. Still good though.

M: Creamy and not-too-heavy, not-too-light, as a DIPA should be.

O: Maybe not what it was hyped to be, but a solid DIPA. I'll still be buying my Unearthly and Hopslam.

pcguitarwzrd, Feb 15, 2013
Photo of WastingFreetime
3.98/5  rDev -8.7%

Reviewed from notes.

A. Golden-straw color with decent clarity, three fingers of soapy white head holds for about one and a half minutes and leaves intricate curtains of stuccoed foam behind on the glass. Slightly more retention time would have been awarded a perfect five in my opinion.

S. Pineapple, tropical fruits, booziness, citric peel, and even more mango with caramel sauce drizzled on top. Gains small amounts of burnt brown sugar aroma when the glass warms up, but of course nowhere near as much as Brown Shugga itself would have had...

T. Pine resin including a mouthful of pine bark in my mouth at first, gains a gradual fade-in of caramel candy that just barely counter-balances the bittering hops, tropical fruit flavor comes in to play with my tastebuds, finish is unfortunately slightly too sweet for my personal preferences.

M. Medium carbonation and body.

WastingFreetime, Mar 03, 2012
Photo of birderbeerer
3.98/5  rDev -8.7%

Mostly yellow, nearly translucent, with a one-finger white head. Decent lacing.

Smell is musty, sweet hops. Citrus edge to it. Nothing remarkable but very nice smelling.

Taste reminds me of Daisy Cutter--the musty hops and a citrus edge with a little bit of sweetness. Only the slightest taste of butter in the malt. It's nice but not something I'd seek out.

Also, like Daisy Cutter, it's pretty thin. Easy to drink and tasty enough.

birderbeerer, Dec 09, 2011
Photo of nrbw23
3.98/5  rDev -8.7%

A- Pours a pretty clear goldish yellow with a nice white head. Head has pretty solid retention, turns into a ring of bubble around the edge after a while and leaves a bit of spotty lacing at best.

S- Smell is quite a bit of tropical fruits. A hint of pine here too. A hint of a light spice.

T- Quite a bit of tropical fruit hops that have a nice balance of sweet malts. Malts are much more apparent here than in the nose, but the hops are the show here. A hint of alcohol.

M- Medium in body and carbonation.

O- Pretty solid beer here for sure.

nrbw23, Dec 12, 2011
Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 7,382 ratings.