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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 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 NWer
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Lucille pint glass. A very nice substitute. Good hop forward Winter Warmer as opposed to so many brews that get too carried away with spices and other stuff.
Nice flowery balance. For Lagunitas, this is a very balanced beer.
Well done for a substitute.

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Photo of AdamF625
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lagunitas Sucks! 12oz poured into snifter

A- Clear and golden ale. Thin white head.

S- Faint aroma of floral hops.

M- Thin to medium body. Plenty of carbonation appropriate for the style.

T- Floral hops in the front slowly rolling into a fine malty balance. The alcohol reminds you it's there but by no means overwhelming.

O- A very good DIPA. Nice balance of hops and malt but is lacking aroma.

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Photo of ocelot2500
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden orange color with a tight white head that leaves chunks of lacing.

Smells of bright citrus and pine hops.

Tastes of the bright hops on top of a nice malt backbone. Hops lead off with notes of grapefruit, pine, and a bit of pineapple. Malts add in some sugary sweetness with sine white bread notes as well. Seems to lean a bit towards sweet, but that is not a complaint as it blends quite well with the fruit notes from the hops.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with a lush amount of carbonation.

Overall, I find this to be a very good IPA and would easily take this over the normal Lagunitas IPA, which itself is quite good.

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Photo of infinitebruner
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

June 18, 2015

12 oz bottle, tulip glass

A – Medium amber with some definite golden hues. Very clear. Slightly off-white foam with some larger bubbles, mostly low retention but a small amount of suds sticks around for a while.

S – Grapefruit and citrus, lemon-lime with a squeeze of orange. Some light, spicy papaya notes. Malt is subdued, bready-crackery.

T – Very strong orange/tangerine, with moderate lemon-lime. Low, low grapefruit and tropical fruit, just giving it a bit of a spicy bite. Malt is bready, slightly graham cracker sweet. Bitterness is very high, but so are the hops/malt, so very well balanced.

M – Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation, slightly sudsy. Sweet and juicy up front then a dry, bitter finish.

O – Man, I love this IPA. The right blend of sweet and bitter, with tons of hop aroma and flavor. Bold without obliterating the senses.

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Photo of mechamifune
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer has been getting a lot of love so I guess I will contribute to it.

Pours a clean looking gold/orange color with a slight white head. Strong lacing and carbonation evident in the glass.

Smell is hops upfront with lots of strong citrus flavors. Not anything I would call complex, but for the american IPA style, its very pleasant and not much else I would ask for.

Taste is in line with smell.... lots of hops and citrus flavors upfront. A slight sweet undercurrent is there but not that strong. Ends without any kind of stringent bitterness but rather with a little bit of an orange juice flavor.

Mouthfeel is smooth and crisp. Not particularly resinous at all.

Overall this is a great IPA and, I think, obviously superior to the other ipa's that lagunitas brews despite being at about the same price point. I like brown shugga (and, for that matter, all of the relatively similar "strong ales" that lagunitas puts out) but I hope they find a way to make this beer a mainstay so that I can add it to my IPA roation with Hop Notch and 2hearted.

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Photo of tipfortap
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

5 words to describe it: Grapefruit, Brulee, Tropical, Pine, Hops

Paired it with: Teriyaki Tofu with Broccoli

Should have paired it with: It was DELICIOUS with teriyaki sauce; would also be great with barbeque (I’d suggest pulled pork), or one of those ridiculous burgers with like foie gras and blue cheese, because the hops and the booze cut fat well, but the sweetness would compliment those rich flavors.

Drink it if you like: Any of Lagunitas’ other IPA/DIPAs (Maximus or even their standard IPA), American Pale Ale, or even if you love Tripels and you’re looking for a change of pace

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Photo of WunderLlama
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bomber poured into an antique German Pilsner glass

Golden orange, clear, stream of carbonation, dense white cap quickly subsides with good lacings

Aroma of citrus and pine

Bitterness on the middle of the tongue and sides of the mouth. Bit of spice. But of citrus.

It has bitterness but is very smooth. Almost creamy. A lingering bitterness in taste but isn't sharp.

Very good, interesting beer. I like it.

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Photo of Hophazzard
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

An interesting beer. It tastes really good but the body is a little light in my opinion. Looks great in the sunlight. Would be a outstanding beer on a warm summer day.

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Photo of untitledeuphoria
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 8.4.14: Unknown. Drank 12.7.14. Poured from a 32oz bottle to a red wine glass.

A: Golden honey, bright yet hazy, one finger of striking, sticky off white head. Fades to a high collar and a few bubbly islands set adrift.

S: Dank pine, juicy hop oil, marmalade, flowery, tropical with notes of passion fruit, grapefruit, and strong citrus zest.

T: Herbal, strong bitter orange peel, luscious passion fruit, pineapple, and dank pine.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation. Sprightly, bright, lingers long after taste. Chewy, with minimal alcohol burn.

O: Tropical fruit bomb with incredible, room filling aromatics. So glad this now comes year round in sixers.

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Photo of RedBiddy
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can anything good come from California? Apparently so. The Lagunitas Sucks Holiday Ale is a delightful winter warmer. Nice head, lacing and color (amber with tiny tiny bubbles, Good natual carboation always imbues tiny bubbles versus the big obnoxious bubbles). The smell is tempting like dessert after a good steak. the taste is sweet, like bananas and horehound candy...not sickeningly sweet...just alluringly so. Hop-sense is balanced. The mouthfeel is complete and satisfying, like french kissing for the first time. Overall...a VERY satisfying ale. WAY better than I expected. Don't get your nose up in the air though...the Northwest micros still rule.

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Photo of ronricorossi
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle bought at Broadway Liquors in Oakland

First, the bottle. The bottle, the bottle, the bottle. Just, so big, so protruding, so LOUD, it makes a ruckus in the cooler, just sitting there, pushing all its scrawny neighbors aside. Quart 'o beer.

Hits the glass bright and golden, a range of yellows, nice frothy head. Smells incredible. It's that note of floral and fruit that surprises. Tastes sweet and thick, citrus, along with the usual IPA profiles, and the DIPA dense mouthfeel. Just kinda glorious. Bold and bright. Pretty damn impressive.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

355ml bottle poured into tulip 11/3/13

A clear golden copper with plenty of bubbles popping up from everywhere, a large 3 finger foam quickly falls to a pinky's width and sits there, several thick rings spaced far apart are the evidence of the larger normal sips I'm taking

S pine is strong, tangerine, mandarin orange, grapefruit and pineapple work well with just a little caramel sweetness, smells quite strong and its pretty much what I look for in a West Coast DIPA

T some lemon rind I didn't smell and slightly less pine, still a nice tropical blast but toned down just a tad compared to the nose

M not to heavy for a DIPA and creams up slightly from the bubbles, has a nice mellow bitter bite but nowhere near a palate wrecker, a little slick after the fact with some pine, citric rind, and caramel on the finish

O one of the better hop bombs I've had recently, no booze at any point and solid in every area, I could smell it all day and I'm very stoked I have 5 more in my 6er

Well if Lagunitas sucks I don't need awesome, really though this is a great brew and I'm very stoked I can buy this here in Alberta and will be buying it again soon

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Photo of craftbeersweden
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours clear amber with a one finger high, white head.
Lacing stays on the glass.

Nose: Orange, vanilla, sweet malt, pine, pineapple, apple, tropical fruit, resin and a litte bit of grass.
Taste: Citrus, melon, orange, pineapple, a LOT of hops! Butter, herbs, marmelade and caramel malt.
Body: Medium body and carbonation. Full taste with a great, baöanced bitternes.

This is true love!

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Photo of mecummins
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Poured a gorgeous golden color with hints of orange in the light. Nice 2 finger head with great lacing. Foam settled to a film covering the surface that lingered for a good portion of the drink

S: Aggressive piney hops on the front followed by toasty malts and a bit of floral aroma on the end. A bit of citrus aroma there as well.

T: You taste the piney hops at first, but not overwhelmingly so. I could detect some grapefruit and floral notes layered into the beer. Some orange citrus made an appearance, as well as something earthy and herbaceous. Sweet roasted malts helped to balance everything.

M: Medium mouthfeel with a longish finish. Lots of hops on the finish, but not overly bitter. Perfect amount of carbonation.

O: Overall, this is a beer that lives up to it 's hype. Nicely balanced and extremely drinkable.

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Photo of Retail1LO
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap at Capone's into a pint glass. Pours a hazy yet largely transparent golden hue with a scant head. Leaves very nice and sticky lacing behind. The nose is citrus heavy with light hoppiness. Lots of grapefruit with no pine The taste is beyond refreshing. Perfect combo of hops and citrus. The mouthfeel is great too. It doesn't scorch your tongue or hang out for long. In, out, hello, goodbye, thank you very much. Great IPA. Lagunitas certainly does NOT suck. Neither does this beer.

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Photo of Manoftyr
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into tulip

Appearance-Pours your standard IPA yellow-amber into the glass, small head rises, good ring of lacing. Nice looking.

Aroma-Very tropical hoppiness, I get a lot of mango and pineapple in the nose. Some slight undercurrent of pale sugarcookie-lke crystal malt but this is predominantly a hop show; as it should be.

Taste-Follows the aroma with the same tropical-fruity hoppiness, juicy and lip-smackingly bitter but not without balance; very crisp. As I sip more hop notes come out ranging from pine to citric peel; real west-coast hop showcase here.

Mouthfeel-Slick and resiny, almost syrupy but without being too thick; great feel.

Overall/Drinkability-Screw Brown Shugga, make this the winter seasonal! Goes down smooth and easy and keeps me wanting more; a class IPA.

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Photo of martinfletwood
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wow. I've had this beer in my fridge for a few weeks now and just wasn't excited about it. Well today I opened it up, and was very surprised. Very nice blend of hops, oats, barley and rye. I'm guessing it's the citra hop, but I'm no pro, so probably wrong. Great beer that deserves the rating it's given. Hopefully the quality won't go away with the Heineken ownership now.

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Photo of gustogasmic
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 10 oz. snifter at 8th Street Grille in Holland.

A: light amber copper that has a beautiful and slight orange tint to it. Bartender poured it to the brim, letting the head run off, but with a swirl later on, and the initial pour, I'd say it's a light and very temporary head with little retention. Tiny bubbles like you often see in hop-heavy stuff.

S: Intense citrus and flowers. Daisies. Exciting!

T&M: First I've had in awhile that I'd dub a true hop-trip, one that develops and rolls out slow enough with such pleasing and colorful flavors that it's downright psychedelic.
The mouthfeel is perfect for the flavor: it rolls it down the tongue and up through the mouth, with resiny honey on the tongue throughout. It's the type of honey I remember in 2010 Hopslam. The malts compliment and create the comfiness of this hoppy, comfy IPA. The complexity and richness is surprising for a 7.85% ABV, but I don't care; The light-to-little booze presence is appropriate. The flavors are all there.

Sidenote: my friend had a Avery Maharaja while I was drinking this. Alternating sips of the beers (right in a row, that is) created one of the most sublime beer experiences I can remember, a hop VOYAGE. Very oddly specific, but if you ever have these two beers or see them both on tap somewhere, do it. You will thank me.

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Photo of moonboogie_n8
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wow I really Like the flavor & nose on this "substitute" from Lagunitas.
tried the Quart bottle & fell in love. like a previous poster, I decided to pick up the 6 pack I saw recently, not much different. which is awesome cause I really liked my first impression.
pine resin, fresh grains, citrus, awesome. not much else to say other than it has a clean aftertaste for the bitterness level, so very drinkable. Toast! to what may be my go-to "lighter" "Crisper" spring/summer brew. nice.

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Photo of CHADMC3
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark golden to copper with lively bubbles of carbonation beneath the pillowy white head.

Generous, resin hop aromas float from the glass including citrus and pine with a malt sweetness that holds its own right next to the hops.

Flavors of sweet citrus and pungent piney hops coat the palate along with sweet malts. As it warms it becomes even more woody and piney with pineapple and orange grapefruit and malt sweetness mid-palate to balance everything out returning to the grapefruit in the finish.

Features a medium body with generous carbonation and a sticky, puckering finish.

This is an excellent DIPA and unexpected as a winter seasonal. This can hold its own with just about any of its limited release brethren.

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