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.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

9,212 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,212
Reviews: 1,518
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 9.91%
Wants: 555
Gots: 1,819 | 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: 9,212 | Reviews: 1,518
Photo of Sammy
4.01/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Great hop aroma. Generous head. Above average mouthfeel. Good malt backing, caramel, a bit of fruit. Nicely carbonated. Nicely drinkable. superior IPA just the right amount of bitterness. Recent bottle from Premier Gourmet. I could have a four pack in the fridge of this.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.24/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear light honey orange with a 1 inch fizzy off-white head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Random dots and streaks of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of lots of tropical and citrus fruits mainly. Taste is of malt, pine, citrus zest, and tropical fruits. A mild bitterness lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a crisp carbonation with a bubbly mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good IPA with the tropical fruit aroma and flavor that I love in hoppy beers.

Photo of kylehay2004
4.48/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Single finger head on a clear golden with very mild crimson hues body, head is white with tons of lacing. The aroma is mostly grapefruit, tropical and light pine. The flavor is almost perfect with a very nice musty hop flavor with citrus, floral and piney hops with the right amount of each to make an excellent tasting beer. Medium body and moderate carbonation. This is an excellent beer. Very similar to their something wild, just not as citrusy and more booze.

Photo of metter98
4.37/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is clear golden yellow in color and has some hints of amber hues along with a moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a finger and a half high dense white head that has excellent retention properties and took a very long time to die down, consistently leaving a short head covering the surface and lots of lacy rings of bubbles down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate to strong aromas of citrusy hops are present in the nose—tangerines and grapefruit seem to stand out in particular.
T: Like the smell, the taste is very citrusy and also has prominent flavors of tropical fruits in the form of mangoes. A light to moderate amount of bitterness is present.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is extremely drinkable, especially since the bitterness is subdued compared to other beers in the style and no traces of alcohol are present in the taste. It's packed with so many flavors of mangoes and citrus that I feel like I am getting 100 percent of my recommended daily allowance of vitamin C.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.2/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Huhzubendah for gifting me a sixer of this. Served in a mug.

Pours a clear golden-yellow color with a nice white head and quite a bit of lacing on the way down. The nose carries a heavy amount of what seem to be Amarillo hops. Good citrus and a bit of a floral character. Similar flavor, but not quite as pungent and overpowering. No malt to speak of, though a bit of booze works through, doing a great job to balance out the hops. No use of sweetness for that here. Boom.

Photo of brentk56
4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color (looks like a pils) with a creamy cap that leaves a few shards behind

Smell: Floral citrus, with pineapple and ruby red grapefruit tones

Taste: A hop bomb from the get-go, with citrusy flavors redolent of ruby red grapefruit and pineapple; slightly sugary, after the swallow, but the hops return to provide a bitter, citrusy finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate, but crisp, carbonation

Overall: The malts provide a neutral backdrop for the hops to work their magic and that is a great thing for a Double IPA to accomplish

Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

And the audacity to admit that their beer sucks is s profound that they wear it on their label like an ill-conceived tattoo, I'm most insulted that they actually pass off a pretty nice beer as something that sucks.

It's obvious horrendous appearance begins with an eerily hazed burnt orange hue and culturing bubbles that rise from its depths to fuel a foamy froth of sea foam to cap the beer. Its cellular lacing clings to the glass with broken spider webbing for a peculiar and alluring look.

And its pungent aromas are of over-ripened citrus fruit, juicy and plump in its scent are the notes of oranges, grapefruits, mangoes, tangerines, kumquats, apricots, pineapples, and lemons- its culmination of aromas are saturated with light caramel for a candied scent similar to that of the candied apples you get at the circus.

And its flavors suck every bit as much as aromas. That pungent taste of citrus is so dominant that little else arises. It's a little sad that all of us malt-lovin' beer drinkers are subjected to such sharp, acidic, and resiny taste. It's too bad that the underlying malt taste only offers support to the hops and don't offer much resistance. Distracted by the zesty taste of mangoes, apricots, pineapple, and blood orange, the beer can't soely focus on bitterness but instead shares the stage with tropical and citrus fruits.

Its creamy upstart keeps the beer from dryness, just as its dry finish prevents the linger of fruit- you just cant' win with this beer. Its ultra-dry fruity finish is diffused by subtle bitterness and its warmth is circumvented by resin dryness. What's a guy to do but simply enjoy the beer!

Truth be told, it's hard to discuss the beer's taste in a condescending way while describing the attributes that makes it wonderful. If the beer does suck, then it sucks in the most wonderful of ways.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.19/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

one of the most hyped beers on the forums here, and in the top 100, so needless to say, I was stoked to find this on the shelf. the pour is a lovely honey color, pretty much clear, with a lot of rising carbonation and a two inch white head with excellent retention. the nose is that sweeter, more oily hop that lagunitas is so good at getting into their beers. sweeter malt base as well. the flavor is good, fresh hops on the pine end of the spectrum, but the sugar is more than I like in my india pale ales. decent bitterness in the finish, but the residual sugar is close to overwhelming. also, does lagunitas use the same friggen yeast in every one of the beers they make? to me its such a detractor now, it doesn't belong in half the beers, and its boring me here. good feel though, medium body and fine carbonation. its a damn good ipa, but it gets a little alcohol heavy as it warms up, which exacerbates the sugar and the same old yeast they always use. to me, its good, but way overhyped. just my opinion, so don't crucify me, but a new yeast would do this brewery and this beer wonders.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep amber color ale with a large off-white foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of citrus and pine hoppy notes with light caramelized sugar notes. Taste is also a good mix between some caramelized sugar notes with a heavy dose of citrus and piney hops. Body is quite full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Lagunitas is master in brewing this type of beer and this one doesn’t disappoint.

Photo of Knapp85
4.29/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to jzeilinger for bringing this one for me to try. This poured out as a nice looking orange color with a white head on top. The head settles a little bit but leaves a really nice sticky lacing on the glass. The smell of the beer is ripe with citrus notes and some addition pine in there. It smells like a DIPA for sure, and a good one at that! The taste of the beer is hoppy with the citrusy pine notes with some subtle caramel malts in the finish. The mouthfeel is nicely carbonated and has an oily feel to it while remaining lighter bodied. Overall I thought it was a killer beer, probably best when it's fresh and I believe this was.

Photo of largadeer
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle into a tulip. According to the Julian date on the bottle neck, this is about 3 weeks old.

Clear, bright orange with a golden tint. The head is sticky, lasting.

Following the trend of the last few Lagunitas IPAs, this has a big mouthwatering dry hop presence. Heavy on the tropical fruit, it brings to mind guava, pineapple and melon, with faint honeysuckle behind the bold fruit notes. Sweetness is moderate, and integrates nicely with the hops.

The palate is a slight letdown from the great aroma, but that's not to say it isn't good. It's quite subdued and dry; it could actually use a touch more sweetness to highlight the fruitiness of the hops. Citrus is dominant, pineappe in particular with more grapefruit toward the finish. There's a slight chalkiness to the mouthfeel, but it's a minor detraction to an otherwise very clean beer. Remarkably easy to drink, the malt doesn't lend much heft and bitterness is fairy mild.

Overall this doesn't quite live up to some of the draft-only specialties Lagunitas did last year (Waldos, SF Fusion), but it's a damn good beer and an outstanding value.

Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, the perfect choice for your holiday six-pack needs (especially since at this time of year, I don't feel too put upon to blow 20 bucks on a half-dozen beer). Recent party leftovers, shared now on Christmas Eve, with my mom...and poured into her 'vintage' 1960s era Hamm's chalice - oh yeah!

This beer pours a clear, bright, yet darkish golden yellow colour, with two fingers of loosely foamy, and mostly bubbly off-white head, which leaves some splendidly grotesque cobwebbed lace around the glass as it slowly abates.

It smells of bitter citrus (orange, pineapple, and lime) cream, caramel malt, a further apricot fruitiness, and a twinge of somewhat dank pine essence slowly on the rise. The taste is fairly bitter pine resin and muddled citrus rind, soft bready caramel malt, fading apricot/peach, a bit of musty weediness, and a distinct lack of any overt booze warming.

The carbonation is moderate, though a tad prickly at times, the body a kind of flaccid medium weight, yet still evenly and pleasantly smooth. It finishes off-dry, the hop fruitiness more up in front with the lingering grainy caramel, than lounging with any attendant dry bitterness.

Hoppy? You bet your mistletoe-adjacent ass it is. Bitter? Hardly at all - Scrooge himself seems to have wielded control over that particular item on this wish list. Anyways, a worthy mea culpa/marketing stunt, whatever, it's good, and way more approachable/poundable than I had been led to believe. Mom (she of the bitter beer face tendencies) said it wasn't bitter at all, and quite nice. Ah, it's a verily wonderful life...that's what's actually on the TV, so, well, that's enough for me right now, sigh.

Photo of emerge077
4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank countless bottles of this beer, time to put a review on paper.

Bright orange gold pint, perfectly clear with sharp clarity. Lasting head of foam that has a creamy texture on it's surface. Drippy lace is left behind over time. Healthy skim on the surface that never breaks.

Pungent citrus, orange mostly, sweet but also generally dank with hop-stank™. Resiny, lush, almost tropical with candied orange peel and green hops.

Flavor delivers more lush hop flavors, very citrusy again, moderate resiny bitterness, grapefruit and orange peel derived, some light pale malt notes in the middle. Dry and pleasant aftertaste of lingering hops. Medium bodied, and very sessionable despite the higher ABV. Pretty delicious IPA. Amped up citrusy hops with a great drinkability to it.

Photo of oberon
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I like this offering more than Brown Shugga I gotta say.Poured into an imperial nonic a clear rich light to medium golden with a creamy 1/2 finger white head atop.Big pith citric hops in the nose,the aromas really jump out at ya,pine lends more hop complexity,a sweetish malt base is also well represented,light sugary sweet alcohol as well.To me this is almost DIPAish on the palate,big citric juicy hops over top of a sugary sweet base,the good thing here is the hops are much bigger than the sweetness.This is a great beer,maybe a DIPA mini-me,this is some good hop juice here.

Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Lagunitas

The pour is a clear golden color with a white head. Somewhat hoppy with a nice citrus and floral hop character. There's a little phenol, maybe some white pepper. Sweet pale malt and bread notes. The flavor is quite similar to the aroma. A lot of citrus peel and floral hop flavors. A light spicy hop character, too. As with the aroma, malt and sweet bread flavors. Medium carbonation and body.

Photo of zeff80
4.27/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at Sycamore, Columbia, MO.

A - Poured out a clear, golden yellow color with a one-finger, white head of bubbly foam. It left sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of sweet honey, citrus and caramel.

T - Nice bitter hop bite up front with some sweet honey and caramel. It had some citrus kick, too.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a really tasty Imperial IPA. I'm glad Sanford at Sycamore was able to get some at his bar.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.55/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

12 ounce bottle - $1.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a near clear, light pale copper-hued body with an inch of white suds.

Smell: Heady, fruity notes of tropical fruits, varied citruses with pith included, a little liquid soap, and some resinous grassy undertones.

Taste: Pale malts, a bit of breadiness, and a low, brief sweetness imparted. Resiny, grassy, floral, but rather fruity, with tastes of pithy tangerine, mango, white grapefruit, pineapple. Moderate bitterness. Sourish, fruit juice quality with a sliver of resin and soapiness on the drying, bitterish finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Another hoppy-something from Lagunitas.

Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

Kinda bummed that I won't be able to try some Brown Shugga this year, so hopefully this stuff is turns out to be a suitable-enough replacement. It pours a clear brass topped by a finger of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises orange rind, light lemon zest, pine resin, light leek, white grapefruit rind, and a nice undercurrent of rich caramel. The taste seems to simplify things a bit, focusing on the pine, grapefruit, and caramel. Yeah, it energizes all three, as well. Some mild balsa notes linger in the finish. The body is a light medium, with a moderate carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Overall, a very solid IPA. 'Nuff said.

Photo of nickfl
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured with one finger of white foam on a clear, copper colored body. The head settles slowly and leaves thick lace.

S - Grapefruit, orange, and pine with some strong toffee in the background.

T - Bready malt up front with orange, grapefruit, pine and pineapple hop notes. Some light caramel and sweet malt in the middle with more tropical fruit hop character in the finish.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - Nicely done, a very fruity IPA. The malt stays in the background, allowing the hops to shine through despite the relatively low bitterness.

Photo of oline73
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Really excited to find this in MD. Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear light golden/amber with a finger of thick white head that fades to a ring around the edge of the glass and leaves a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: The dominant smell is definitely the hops. I'm picking up citrus and mild pine with some grapefruit rind in there. Mildly sweet malt in the background balances things out a bit.

Taste: Taste a lot like it smells. Really strong citrus peel hop bitterness right off the bat. There are some pine notes as well. The hop profile is fantastic. There is enough malt to balance things out, but the taste from it isn't very strong. The finish is bitter and hoppy.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the thick side and quite sticky. There is a good amount of carbonation with a dry finish.

Overall: I really hope they end up making this one again. The citrus hop taste is fantastic. I will definitely have this again if I have the chance.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.95/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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.

Photo of Kegatron
3.62/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a crystal clear copper, with ¾ finger sized head of bright-white froth. This maintains a rich ½ fingers worth of foam, which quickly slides down the sides of the glass, leaving back a very light amount of spotty lacing. The aroma is sharp in the nose as grapefruit and pine are funneled up the nostrils with a fresh floral feel. Some sweeter feeling tropical fruit and grainy notes mingle on the edges of the nose and just barely keep that aggressiveness in check. The alcohol here really gives those hops some pop!

The taste is very similar to the aroma, with zesty grapefruit and resins ripping across the tongue. While tropical and herbal tones attempt to smooth out the edges of this and the grainy sweetness of the malts give this just enough balance, those hops finish this HARD, with a dry aggressiveness that sticks pith and pine to the tongue that is hard to shake. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and quite sharp on the tongue where those hops sit, while more of a creamy slickness fills out the edges of the mouth and attempt to make this about as easy feeling as it can under the circumstances. The alcohol does show itself some here and really strengthens those assertive hops quite a bit.

I’ll bet this beer drank great back in November but I wouldn’t know since Maryland didn’t get this beer in stock until just last week. It’s a shame to, as you could definitely feel the potential to but the age as really enabled those hops and alcohol to turn this into a warm, dry, piney, and bitter bomb of an IPA that wasn’t nearly as enjoyable as it should have been. Ah well, maybe we’ll get the Holiday Leftovers Ale in a more timely manner.

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

Pours a nice fluffy 1/2 finger head that fades semi slow and reinforced by the many bubbles rising up, with a bit of lacing, over crystal clear pale pilsner tan colored beer.

Nose explodes with citrus and tropical fruit, a light musty fresh wet hop resinous aroma as well, tons of passion fruit right off the bat, also brings mango, papaya, pineapple, a bit of grapefruit and tangerine, wow! This nose in incredible!!! Oh yeah, the slightest hint of a malt base somewhere in there holding up the huge fresh tropical fruit hop explosion.

Taste comes on nicely as well, fresh tropical fruit right off. Fairly light on malts with just enough sweetness to deliver the hop profile, which is surprising for being 7.85%. Juicy fruits explode out of the gate, layers of pineapple, grapefruit, mango, passion fruit, again similar descriptors but that's what it is. A hint of citrus tangerine juicy fruit, and a very light resinous fresh wet hop like taste. On the back end I even get a slight mint. The fruit isn't as pronounced as the nose had, and the bitterness creeps up to slightly overpower the fresh fruit, as well as the musty resinous flavor which starts to dominate as it sits in my mouth and warms. The lack of malt seems to let the hops fall a little out of reach despite being so juicy fruit. A hint of warming booze in there as well. If there was a touch more malts I think this would have jumped up a notch as it would have given way for the palate to balance the bitterness and resinous flavors. As it finishes it's pretty dry with lingering mint and tropical fruit hops, decent bitterness, but mostly clean.

Mouth is med bodied but feels a bit flat as I was expecting a slight more malt to balance the hops, but good carbonation.

Overall great but just missing some balance. The tropical fruit aromas are phenomenal, and the flavor comes out great at first, but without the malts to balance the bitterness and resinous flavors start to come through a bit too much and drown out the great fruits.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very piney and oily nose. Lots of hops on there. Flavor carries hearty and syrupy hop character. I think that's what really defines this one: thick and syrupy. It's a good ale as it's consistent and well done and very Lagunitas in execution. Worth trying.

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.32/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Love me some Lagunitas and was disappointed to here Brown Shugga (one of my all time fav's) wasn't being released, but a new beer should hold me over. Has the typical Lagunitas "flavor" to it, which isn't bad, you can just tell their beers apart for some reason. For a double IPA, it's quite malty and reminds me a bit of their undercover shutdown moreso than a hop bomb. None the less, it's a delicious beer, super drinkable and smooth for the ABV, and packs plenty of malty goodness. It might not be Brown Shugga, but it does a pretty damn good job in it's place.

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Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 9,212 ratings.