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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: 9,639
Avg: 4.32
pDev: 25%
Wants: 598
Gots: 2,205 | 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: 9,639
Photo of rangerred
4.19/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear medium gold with a fluffy one finger white head. Really great head retention and awesome lacing leaving a nearly unbroken wall down the side of the glass.

Aroma is full of tropical fruit as is typical with Lagunitas. Lots of pineapple, tangerine, and mango with just a hint of bready malt and alcohol underneath. Not extremely complex but the citrus is very mouth watering.

A very juicy tropical fruit character on the taste that carries for a very long time. Tons of tangerine, mango, orange, and pineapple all backed up by a little bit of alcohol and bread. Bitterness is fairly mild for a double IPA and is just enough to balance out the sweetness. Mouthfeel is really perfect without any of the residual sugar all too often found in this style.

Overall, a really amazing IIPA. Extremely drinkable it feels more like 5% abv. Love the tropical, almost minty, hop character and the moderate bitterness. Definitely one to stock up on this time of year and one of the best from Lagunitas.

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Photo of kevanb
4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Lagunitas Mason Jar.

The beer pours a nice copper color, hues of orange and light amber, very clear complexion with a few bubbles rising to the top of the glass with a nice cloudy white head, just over 2 fingers high that has good retention and leaves behind a great network of lacing. The aroma is pleasant, sticky resinous pine, earthy bitter hop oils with touches of bright floral notes with a healthy amount of sweet caramel malt that lingers nicely. The flavors are right in line with the nose, lots of bitter pine and earthy hop resin that brings out some bright grapefruit flavors and some nice meadowy floral notes before a big sweet malt heavy finish swallows them up providing great balance on the tongue. The body is nice and full, sticky and coats the mouth very well with a nice bitter finish that is moderately dry.

Verdict: A very fine IPA from Lagunitas and the fanfare is justified here. It's crisp, clean, satisfyingly bitter and while not overly complex, the balance is perfect. Definitely worth checking out for any hophead.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter.

Pours a frothy, 1.5 finger white head with great retention. Beer is a crystal clear orange-copper. Lacing is thick and layered with excellent stick. You couldn't ask for more here.

Nose is citrus, pine, grapefruit, and cane sugar. Aromatic and very clean.

Opens crisp citrus, juicy grapefruit, and sappy pine resin hoppiness. Mellows out considerably in the middle with some more citrus and papaya notes and a slight tartness. Finishes cane sugar with a nice hop bite balance. Juicy hop aftertaste. Really solid.

Light bodied with moderate to ample carbonation. Crisp, refreshing, and juicy in the mouth and goes down quenching and smooth with an accented finish and lingering aftertaste. Near perfect.

I thought Brown Shugga was terrible but this DIPA drinks like a dream! I've heard a bit about this beer and its completely deserving of the hype. Usually not a huge fan of anything Lagunitas makes but this beer might just have made me a convert!

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.08/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear light golden color with a decent sized bone white head that leaves much stickage on the way down. Smells of hops in spades. Light green onion and garlic grow confidently under a shady pine tree while sipping on a hint of vodka. Light bready malt peaks through but barely musters the courage to stick around. The flavor is light cracker and bready malts with an onslaught of onion garlic and pine. Medium to light body with a moderate level of carbonation and a slick resinous mouthfeel. This is a very nice IPA I'm glad I grabbed the six pack so I can enjoy this again.

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Photo of GetMeAnIPA
4.46/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - crystal clear orange copper color. 2 fingers of Nice creamy egg white head with solid lacing. Surprised at how clear it is.

S- piney and grassy notes right up front followed by a citrus hops. Just a touch of sweetness.

T - much like the nose, piney and grassy hops. All the flavor is upfront and missing some malt background to really bring it home. The good thing is its a DIPA that is all hops with very little malt. Clean finish with just the right amount of lingering bitterness. slight warming.

M - light body and carbonation. Drinks like a pale ale. Clean and crisp.

O - great ipa. Just missing a little more body and robost flavor to take it to the next level. Clean piney, grassy west coast ipa. If it was year round it would be my go to bear.

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Photo of Flanco
4.48/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I try a fairly wide variety of IPAs and not many make me say "Whoa, now this is something special, this is an interesting taste, it's different. I think I like it." And after the second bottle reinforced the first "Whoa," I had to check with BA to see what their thoughts were. They concurred with my assessment. Yeah, this one is a keeper. I have to get back to Fifth Ward Liquor in Newport and see if the have another six pack or two. I like the creamy mouth feel, the rich brown orangie color, way the head lasts, and the unusually divergent slant on the IPA taste.
I'd like to try drinking a couple a day for a week or so to see if it will stand up to regular use.

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Photo of facundoCNB
4.17/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

a clean golden/copper in color with 2 fingers of head that left behind excellent lacing. smells of piney hops, caramel, grapefruit.. more pine. lots of hops! the flavor is an initial earthy bitterness.. lots of floral hoppy flavor, grapefruit, pine. DELICIOUS hop profile. sweet malty backbone is hiding behind all the hops as well. medium body, moderate carbonation, creamy mouthfeel with a sticky feel on the lips.

an EXCELLENT ipa. nothing at all like brown shugga which is why i was pissed when they replaced it with this, but still a delicious respectable ipa. a lot like hop stoopid.

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Photo of dickieb
4.36/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear golden brown with a 1 finger white head and some nice lacing. The smell is fantastic with grapefruit floral grainy sweetness and some lemon notes. The flavor is not overly bitter with a big citrus hop flavor up front and a mild lingering bitterness with a faint malt profile. The mouthfeel is a bit light for the style but very drinkable. Overall this is an interesting brew with a really cool hop profile, I have been enjoying it for weeks.

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Photo of Jonny41
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

poured into pilsner glass, deep orange honey color nice foamy head that lasts well, thick lacing on glass when swirled.
Intense smell deep citrius ,grapefruit and other. Taste explosion. A little heavy like too much grape fruit "peel" but very enjoyable, second glass even better.

Slightly thick mouth feel, may want water or lite beer in between bottles but other wise a fantastic beer a top rated DIPA for me.

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Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had while hanging out at Potent Potables with beermeX2! Served from tap into Lagunitas mason jar style glass (proper!). Poured golden yellow with a one finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, earth, earth hop, onion, onion hop, and subtle citrus. The flavor was of sweet malt, onion hop, onion, earth, citrus, and grass. It had a light feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a good brew. I was surprised at how easy this one was to drink and how refreshing it was. You would never imagine that this brew was almost 8% ABV by the aroma or flavor. I could definitely see myself drinking a ton of this before it was too late with no problem at all. A really well done brew that I would love to have time and time again.

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Photo of Durge
4.27/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A clear amber color with a big white foam on top and tremendous lacing.
The aroma is pure cat piss with lemon and grapefruit bitterness. So pure, great.
The taste is also awesome with thick sweet grapefruit and crisp cereal grain
goodness. This bitter brew is a beautiful blend of hop bitterness and intense
grain with a medium-full body and a pretty viscous feel. Great hop libation!

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Photo of Trilogy31
4.54/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is what sculpin used to be two years ago. Pours a golden amber brown with two fingers of fluffy eggshell white foam leaving sexy legs as i drink. The nose carries citrus, tropical fruit pith, dank forest floor. The taste opens with bright papaya and mango, a touch of pineapple followed by sour strawberries and a pleasant skunkiness. It wraps up with malt and a touch of eucaliptus oil. Very pleasant to drink with a nice hop bitterness playing counterpoint to the light malt sweetness. Never knew Lagunitas could pull this off, liked there other offerings love this one.

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Photo of beerman207
4.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Saw this on the shelf of my local Kroger and had to try it. Been a while since I reviewed something. This is a good one to come back for!

A- doesn't get much better than this. Dark yellow almost orange hue with 1-2 inch head with great lacing left behind

S- could smell this a mile away. Great pine, pungent hops, fabulous

T- all that I could ask for in a dipa is here. Sweet, bitter, slight booze. Yes, yes, yes

M- lightly carbonated. Slightly drying

O- find this beer and drink it. Will be looking for this again.

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Photo of andrewinski1
4.24/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Bendurgin for bringing this one over (I could never seem to be at the right place at the right time to find it). Poured into a mug. There is a large, white, sticky head on this. The color is clear light golden.

The aroma his full of sweet mango, melon, and other tropical flavors. I get a faint hint of pine.

The taste is incredibly smooth. The sweet malt perfectly complements the hop explosion! There is just enough pine to go with the melon and fruit flavors.

This is medium to full bodied, with smooth carbonation. This is very delicious. Will drink again!

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Photo of ToadManA1A37651
4.17/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

massive grapefruit taste with so much pine I thought I was camping. I has a nose tingle hop kick - sticky sweet lacing lasts a long time; at 62 IBUs i expected something more mellow, but like it nonetheless; not enough malt push for any higher rating.

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Photo of JayQue
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Really outstanding DIPA. Pours a mostly clear dark gold color with good bands of lacing on the pint glass. Head retention is better than average.

Aroma is awesome:, bitter hoppiness,, mangos, tangerines and some strong floral aspects as well.

Taste can't quite keep up to that first sniff, but it is a strong DIPA in any case. The floral and tropical fruit aspects, blended with a good strong bitterness, make this a winner.

Mouthfeel is rich and crisp. Just right for a DIPA. Alcohol presence is well under the annoying level.

A super DIPA.

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Photo of smcolw
3.83/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Spotty lace from the modest head. The head dies to a dingle layer of bubbles. Close to clear with a golden color.

Strong, nearly overhopped smell. Fresh and garpefruity with a touch of pine.

Very short malt start; strong, nearly harsh, hop bitterness. It is particularly strong in the swallow and the long aftertaste. The body leans to the full side. The carbonation is fine.

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Photo of Gatch
4.52/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Taste of Tops in Tempe, AZ on 11/22/11.

A - Clear, golden yellow with shades of copper & orange. Fluffy, bubbly, white head.

S - Awesome nose. Hops with hints of dried fruit, holiday spice, and toasted malt.

T - Hops dominate. Bready malt comes through in the finish with allspice and brown sugar. Really good but nothing unique.

M - Smooth with pleasant bitterness. Creamy with a slight tingle from the carbonation. Fantastic.

UPDATE: 2013 version purchased in a 6-pack on 1/25/13.

A: Beautiful clear, golden-copper-yellow with a huge, fizzy, soapy, bright white head that leaves behind great lacing and decent retention. Give it a quick stir in the glass and the super foamy head builds inviting you to stuff your nose in again.

S: Holy grapefruit! Massive citrus and huge resiny hop nose. Smacks you in the face with the strong, bitter, sappy, vegetal, earthy, and sticky hops. Almost stings the nostrils with hop aromas.

T: Just as sticky, resiny, and citrusy in the flavor. Tart and dry like an actual grapefruit. Juicy, piney, sappy, grassy, fruity...all the things to love about hops are present in this beer. Some slightly sweet malt shows up towards the end of each sip as the beer warms to balance the whole thing out. But wait, there's a bit of spice/zing to it that keeps this beer in Double IPA territory.

M: Bitter and dry, as it should be for Lagunitas. Earthy, grassy, fruity flavors linger in your mouth for a long time. And burps are pleasant. Very nice.

O: This is much less "Holiday" than I remember it on draft. Back in the Fall of 2011 when they released this for the first time, it had a Holiday theme with some spices and such. This is just straight up, high IBU, citrus-smack hop-explosion. If you're into that. In summary...sooo Lagunitas!

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Photo of garuda
4.24/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Slightly hazed golden body, thick white cap has great retention and curtains of lace.

S/T - Real nice hop bouquet on the nose. Grapefruit, pineapple, floral, sticky pine sap. Taste follows; however, turns a little soapy. Honey, caramel sweetness provides a backbone that balances, style considered. Lots of hop flavor, not much perceived bitterness. Alcohol is hidden well.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation, smooth consistency, prickly across the palate. Finishes dry.

O - Delicious, well crafted. Layers of hop flavor without palate wrecking bitterness. Hits all the notes of a good DIPA.

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Photo of searsclone
4.31/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

fresh bottle into a DFH flared pint glass

clear deep gold color with champagne like bubbles and a billowing white head that is about an inch higher than the glass. great lace. beautiful.

smell is sweet caramel, toffee, burnt sugars, roasted malt, all of it surrounded by piney hops

taste is well balanced sweet malt with bitter hops. very well done

thin to medium mouth feel with a slightly wet, but crisp, finish

overall, a great beer.

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Photo of sublimesipping
4.97/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have been looking for the beer to finally pair with my mom's Xmas cutouts, for several years an informal search. Finally, my search is over. Being a hophead, the search results are an added ++.
What to say, defininitely does not suck. Au contrare, reverse psychology. WOW! blows me away with deep piney goodness. Clear bright like Santa's sleigh on a moonlit night... this is my XMAS beer I am drinking a XMAS tree...
Procure a case at last and now in Jan its XMAs in a a glass= piney but also floral and fruity(citrus galore) a great beer so smooth hides the ABV well dangerously drinkable, recommend in front of the fire or with some sweet baked goods, the play between the bitter and sweet is priceless..
Close by saying one of my best beers of 2011, the new case does not disappoint in 2012. a Great beer . World Class and sublime.
Lagunitas make it again.
1/25/13-first bottle of the second year batch and love it as much as last year. The review stands and the beer stands to attention. THE BEST. The best lauginitas by far in Mg opinion great world class ADPA.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.49/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from the bottle, the beer was a copper color with a modest white head. On the glass, lacing was left behind and retention was demonstrated. In the aroma, one gets a big hit of pine with a measure of citrus in the background. The aroma is actually quite potent. In the initial taste, one gets pine, lime rind, and grapefruit. Sour tickles the sides of the tongue with a candy sweetness goes down the center. The sourness is what lingers most into the aftertaste. This does not dismiss the warming sensation that follows the beer down to the beer belly. The texture is appropriate for the style and little carbonate is evident. The thickness allows the sour to linger nicely on the tongue. Lagunitas makes quality accessible beers for a cheap price. With Lagunitas Sucks, they hit it out of the park.

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Photo of brureview
4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured in a tulip. Beautiful honey-amber color with a 1/2 finger head.

Heavy grapefruit wafted from the head, but the aroma dissipates with warming.

Excellent carbonated mouth feel for the style.

The crazy taste stands out: heavy grapefruit with sugar. The taste carries with warming.
I found myself sipping this beer slowly to savor the taste.

Overall, this may become one of my favorite DIPAs. It's unique, and drinkable on a regular basis, unlike other intense DIPAs.

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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 NoLeafClover44
4.31/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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