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.

9,201 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,201
Reviews: 1,513
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 9.91%
Wants: 554
Gots: 1,810 | FT: 28
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: 9,201 | Reviews: 1,513
Photo of Heavenisbeer
4.37/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark golden body, thin head that retains, and some very light lacing. Very light carbonation as well.

S: Deep forest pine, bright citrus notes, and some cat urine.

T: Wow! Such a divergent AIPA flavor. Has that bright and colorful citrus blast, but with an prickly pine backing, a sprinkle of onion, and a toasted hop (there are really no malt flavors, yet a toasted center) backend. Excellent.

M: Medium carbonation, lightly syrupy, and a sweet hoppy finish.

Photo of mrkdwrds
4.37/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle (2013) served into a Teku. Date code puts this at around 2 weeks old.

Sucks is a fantastic IPA. Aroma and taste are both dominated by tropical fruits and sweetness. The malt backbone is there but it definitely takes a back seat to the hops, which is what I prefer in IPAs. Given the availability and price this is hard to beat. Sure, Heady is probably better, but this is on the shelves all over the country, and it certainly trumps anything else with that sort of distribution. I have gone through 3 6-packs in the last few weeks alone; highly recommended.

Photo of birchstick
4.37/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden tigers eye color with a nice 1.5 finger head on it. The nose is a blast of hops - dank citrus, earthy hops explode out of this. Very aromatic and inviting. The taste follows suit with a barrage of hops on the tongue. Citrus, pine, some earthy onions and dirt. Really nice flavor profile. Mouth is medium body with decent carbonation. Really solid DIPA. This one runs with Pliny and hopsslam as one of the tops in this style. Given the price point and availability this is a no brainier.

Photo of dseanv
4.37/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Light golden color like butterscotch candy. Pleasing to the eye. Poured from bottle with a thin head and minimal lacing. Head dissipates quickly.

S: Solid sweet piney and malty aroma. Light wheat fragrance with a distant hint of fruit.

T: Smooth but slightly tangy flavor with a hint of caramel. Nice flavor on the back end with a little resin trace.

M: Crisp and refreshing to the palette. Rolls over the tongue with a nice light carbonation.

O: A very nice strong ale. Great afternoon beer and good with food. This substitute might be better than the 'teacher'.

Photo of Jmitchell3
4.37/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: great clear deep golden color, maybe a bit of red hue. Ample soapy, off white head.
S: smell is very hoppy, extremely floral.
T: hoppy bitterness abounds! So great. Not overpowering, but very appropriate given the floral aromas. Finish is slightly bitter.
M: medium body, carbonation tingles up front but does not linger.
O: a unique, amazingly hoppy floral IPA. Really enjoyed this one.

Photo of pwsoldier
4.37/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pours clear, bright copper with a decent white head. Lacing is moderate.

S - Very enticing floral bouquet supplemented by tropical fruit and citrus. A bit of pine shines through as well.

T - Bitter citrus hops up front with mellower flavors of tropical fruit and sweet malt coming through in the finish. Very well-balanced and bursting with a variety of hop flavors.

M - Medium-bodied with a clean finish thanks to ample carbonation.

O - It's been a while since I've had a Lagunitas beer, but this one seems to have a more complex hop profile than others I've tried. It's incredibly tasty and very easy to drink. I really hope they turn this into a regular seasonal. Highly recommended.

Photo of joeseppy
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

As soon as this is opened, floral hops and citrus explode onto the scene. Dig my nose in and get delicious whafts of papaya and weed mon.

Tastes of grapefruit rind, cracker-crust middle, finishing off with floral hops, bong resin and pine. A lot going on here (wowwy) and yet, maintains its complexity. Extremely well-balanced with the malts--one of the best in it's class.

Mouthfeel is sticky sweet with a dry hop finish on the back of the tongue. You'll want more.

Love this shit!!!! IMO, this hop profile is askew from the rest of their lineup which I think tends to be harsh. What makes this so great is the fact it's in six-packs at an affordable price. I'll stand this right up there with FFF ZD anyday. This is masterfully constructed and super easy to drink. As they say "Doggone good".

Photo of Flopjack
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into snifter

Appearance - Hazy, golden yellow, honey like color, 2 finger white head that settles quickly leaving a some lace before you take the first sip. Not only does it wrap around the glass but stretches almost the entire top of the beer. Lacing is on the heavy side.

Smell - Immediate rush of juicy grapefruit, floral piny notes, orange, some sweet citrus like mango and pineapple.

Taste - Hops, juicy yet spicy citrus, grapefruit, mango towards the beginning of the taste. Middle has a roasted malt like flavor that is also slightly sweet like honey or brown sugar, alcohol towards the end is not overwhelming.

Mouthfeel - Medium carbonation, full body, smooth and refreshing. Sticky on the tongue.

Overall - First time I've ever had this one and I enjoyed it. Upon just opening the bottle you notice the citrusy aromas that make IPAs irresistible. From the way it looks to its complex flavor profile you won't be let down. I will look for this again when the time is right. Thanks for reading.

Photo of SaltofOH
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dogfish head tulip. No bottle date.

Pours a clear, dark gold/light copper with 1 finger beige head. Modest carbonation and retains a thin skim of foam. Very nice lacing.

Hoppy. Resiny. Citrus. Sweet. Smells like an IPA; what else can I say. As it warms, smell a little alcohol.

Lightly sweet, Crackery arrival. Gobs of fruitiness mid-palate. Very firm but not overpowering bitterness on the finish. No alcohol whatsoever on the palate. Scary at 8%!

Light fluffy feel, perfect carbonation. Not slick, crisp. The essence of an IPA in my mind's eye (tongue)?

Overall: Very clean, balanced and refreshing. Most definitely just earned a spot in my rotation. A must-try.

Photo of apants007
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

The color isn't anything special… looks pretty yellow, like a michelob. Smells nice. Already getting a little citrus on the nose. Man, this thing tastes great. It's like lemon cake with a bite… A pilsner style bitterness on the finish. Nice hop balance. Fine carbonation really buzzes in the mouth. Exceptional beer.

Photo of MarkAvery
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Im a big fan of most Lagunitas stuff. This is definitely my favorite. Picked up a six pack on Friday and it was gone by sunday night. Beautiful color on this beer. Great Hoppy taste. In one word I would describe it as "clean". I know that sounds kind of weird, but it was a very clean Hoppy IPA taste to me. Almost a perfected taste if you will. I will be picking up more of this and keeping it for the summer. I can just picture myself drinking a lot of these Ice Cold on my back deck in the blazing sun. Thank you Lagunitas!

Photo of martyl1000
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A bright yellow pour into a tulip glass, with a tall bright white head, good retention, and clingy lacing.

Fruity! I love this aroma, which brings lemon juice and orange zest, plus a bit of pineapple. Seriously juicy. But also a fair amount of bread and grain blunt the citrus. The end effect: Creamsicle!

In the mouth the aroma gets transcribed with perfect pitch, remarkably matching the flavors on the palette. Navel orange, lemon, and grapefruit. The hops are all juicy citrus. Some bread and biscuit push back a little on the bitter citrus, though the fruity sweetness doesn't require that much balancing. Can't really separate flavors on the front end from those on the back end. Seems the same throughout.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, with smooth carbonation. The finish is dry, white grapefruit bitterness.

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A lovely dIPA from the knee-tas.

Pours a light color golden, nice foamy white head. Would like to see more rock and lacing for higher score, but still looks really good

Aroma is hops. Mango, white pepper, green grass, grapefruit (mostly), persimmon. Some pine
Booze in the back end

Malt didn't come through in the nose, and it struggles in the taste. But it is there. Light biscuit and sweet bread. They take a pounding though from the hops. While just shy of resiny, the hops dominate. Still, they seem light. The brightness of the grapefruit and mango lift up the more earthy flavors just a bit. They hit right of the bat and power throughout the gulp.

Nice bite on the end. A touch of booze, but otherwise very drinkable.

Photo of Big_Twofifty
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours with a ½ inch of off- white foam that is very bubbly, the foam dissipates rather quickly, leaving an off-white bubbly lacing at the surface. The beer is a translucent golden amber color. With drinking it leaves the off-white foam on the edge of the glass.

Smell: Pleasant hoppy citrus aroma of tropical fruits, grapefruit, and a hint of lemon grass.

Taste: Surprisingly mild first taste, not as bitter as expected. The citrus flavors definitely are evident along with a hint of the lemon grass I smelled before, or maybe that’s pine. As the flavors come forth I mainly notice the fruity flavor of grapefruit which adds sweetness.

Mouthfeel: My first thought is this beer is thick and creamy for what appears to be a light beer. It has a pleasant crisp finish and a very mild aftertaste of the citrus. It has a nice light carbonation level, which doesn’t overpower the creamy mouthfeel.

Overall: For an imperial IPA I was expecting maybe slightly more bitterness and the flavors to be more robust; however, I still enjoyed it immensely. The appearance, smell, taste, and mouthfeel all seemed to be cohesive and meld together nicely. For as sucky as you expect this beer to be, all you want to do is have another glass.

Photo of rob99er
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of the best Imperial IPA's I have had.

Photo of Ultra-Plinian
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Light Gold -Interesting

S: Hints of pine and almost sweet

T: Wonderful with a nice bite at the end

M: Wonderful Medium moutheel with nice carbonation

O: Had stayed away from this because it has sucks in title but its some really good stuff. Glad I was able to get somemore.

Photo of ahq514
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into tulip.

Pours a transparent golden color. Solid, white two finger head. Appears to have low to medium carbonation. Gobs of lacing attach to the sides of the glass.

Very hop forward beer. Tropical fruits abound, while there are some citrus hops as well. Behind the hop-goodness seems to be a good malt backbone with some sweetness.

Taste matches the aroma pretty well, except there seems to be more of a presence of pine hops with citrus and tropical fruits taking a back seat, although still prevalent. Get more of a distinctive pineapple flavor. The hops jump out right up front, while the sweet malt comes in second and nicely balances the hops out. There is a lingering bitterness throughout and it finishes bitter and sweet.

Good medium body and just under medium carbonation.

Great beer. They should make this again. Reminds me of hop stoopid for some reason. Maybe they use a certain type of hop... Love the sticky, tropical hops they use. Didn't want to rate it so high, I just can't find anything wrong with it. Lagunitas doesn't suck.

Photo of derkfromwi
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass

A: Nice thick, white head that stays forever with all the carbonation, fine golden color, lots of lacing

S: Pine and citrus hops, pleasant

T: Grapefruit, pine, malts come through a little, hoppy and enjoyable

M: Good carbonation, bitter, a little more resiny/thicker than some IIPA's

O: Well above average, quality Double IPA, I'll probably go see if I can get another sixer to share some

Photo of mdaschaf
4.39/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Uber Tavern. Review from notes.

A: Served in a pint glass, Sucks was a clear golden color with a small white, foamy head on top with great retention and moderate lacing.

S: Extremely tropical, mango, tangerine, orange, lots of citrus in the aroma. Very faint grain malt aroma, but fruit flavors dominate.

T: A great tasting IPA, more tropical fruits - grapefruit, orange, mango, it was great. In the middle there is some fresh grass with minimal bitterness. Overall, extremely juicy. Has a slightly spicy finish.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Extremely drinkable, drinks easier than abv would indicate.

O: Could be the best Lagunitas beer I have had. Would stock this in my fridge all the time.

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.39/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a light to medium golden amber with a thin white head that has good retention and lacing. Aroma of piney, herbal, lightly floral hops, grapefruit and apple. Nice. Flavor combines piney and citrus hops with an excellent bready malt body with notes of grapefruit, lemon, citrus rind and light fruit. Very nice. Even if this had sucked, you would have to admire a brewery that responded to massive disappointment and anguish for the lack of a beloved beer with a tongue in cheek spoof offering that ended up even more popular than the original. This was a triumph for everyone.

Photo of tzieser
4.39/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 12oz bottle into a standard pint.

a: crystal clear golden color with a thin head that settles into a thin lacing. unassuming.

s: nice hoppy aroma. i can tell this is going to be deliciously citrusy and refreshing.

t: nice hoppy flavor. big citrus notes with a subtle malty sweetness that keeps this beer well balanced.

m: enjoyable mouthfeel.

wow, laguintas really does suck! not because they didn't release brown shugga, but because they have been holding back this beautiful IPA from us! please don't make this a one-off brew. i would not mind seeing Pils or Hairy Eyeball get replaced with this one.

Photo of TBCE
4.39/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear and deep golden color with two fingers of thick foam. Minor lacing on glass. Smell is very piney and earthy, with notes of honey and sour citrus. A very hoppy and piney taste explosion on first taste, followed by honey and citrus notes. Mouth feel is slightly bitter, but not bad. Overall a top shelf brew.

Photo of plaid75
4.39/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a hazy medium copper hue. With a half finger foamy white head. There was little retention and lacing.

The smell featured balmy hop resins resembling pine and apricot.

The taste consisted of tropical fruit, resinous pine and a moderate sweet malt

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller side of the style.

Overall a very nice hop driven bomb that was surprisingly in balance.

Photo of jbraico
4.39/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Overall one of the best beers I ever tasted. I ordered the beer at a local burger, and it was a great find. Golden brown with a good layer of foam on top, that stay all the way to the last drop. You could taste the brown sugar, but not over powering. Very easy going down. Truly a great beer.

Photo of gonzo000
4.39/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

a. Color was yellow orange and beer was clear. One finger head.

s. Bitter hoppy smell. Grapefruit.

t. Grapefruit - hoppy start sliding into a sweeter finish, but still hoppy. It is not SWEET, just gradually moves toward sweeter.

m. Very carbonated, possibly too much so. Beer lingers in the back of the throat due to the carbonation.

Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 9,201 ratings.