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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)

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7,520 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,520
Reviews: 1,284
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 9.63%
Wants: 369
Gots: 888 | 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: 7,520 | Reviews: 1,284 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rderedin
3.5/5  rDev -19.7%

rderedin, Mar 23, 2013
Photo of pkalix
4.41/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

well, we'll see if i have developed that refined taste for that west coast turbo-hopped brew yet. i honestly dont think lagunitas could brew anything without the incredible amount of hops to hide the alcohol but let's try this. i CAN appreciate a hop beer, i just prefer a balance of the other stuff available.
poured a beautiful golden with very little foam on top, although the thin film remaiing on top does cling to the glass quite nicely. i like that.
as it pours, i am inundated with the aroma of what i imagine would be walking through a grapefruit harvest or a hop harvest. i do like the smell of hops; it's just that i feel they add a bitterness which i havent really come to appreciate yet.
the taste is . . . . grapefruit/lemonade. enough said! there is some tingling on the tongue, like some effervescence of the carbonation and i get the distinct image of a kid's lemonade stand selling this. not sweet like i would expect, but not terrible. almost a fusion of lemon and grapefruit (once again). being a city boy, i can also almost imagine a grassy field i'm walking through, wafting in the aroma just before the allergies set in...
overall? decent. seems everyone else is scoring it highly and i can appreciate what i'm drinking. it's a great in-betweener of all the different beers i have lined up for the afternoon but i imagine my tongue would shrivel up and i would lose my appetite (maybe not a bad thing in my case) if i were to drink the entire six pack of this. but i believe it earns the scores i give it... and i like the high abv!

pkalix, Feb 04, 2013
Photo of Danobold
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

Danobold, May 25, 2014
Photo of 2GOOFY
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

2GOOFY, Jan 22, 2014
Photo of mfnmbvp
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle, with no apparent bottled on date present.

Poured into a Firestone Walker pint glass.

A - Pours a nice bright golden orange color with about two fingers of doughy off-white head with decent retention. Lots of bubbles lazily floating to the top. Very nice rings of webbed lacing.

S - Luscious bitter grapefruit. Light fruity mango / papaya smell. Some lemon. An amalgamation of fruity hoppiness. Fresh, fruity, and floral. Some soapiness.

T - Taste follows the nose pretty well. Multiple layers of fruitiness abound: orange, mango, pineapple, grapefruit. Light and fruity up front, and then bitter and spicy from the hops in the finish. Unlike some of Lagunitas's other IPA offerings, the Lagunitas Sucks tastes much more freshly hopped than some of their other brews, which use hop extracts.

M - Dank bitter fruity hop presence sticks to the palate for a while, allowing you to savor the flavor. Fruitiness and sweetness lingers.

Overall, I love this beer more and more each and every time I drink it. Dangerously drinkable at 7.85% abv, refreshing even. This has got to be one of my all time top widely-available DIPA's, if not my favorite. Excellent.

Lagunitas Sucks ---4.5/5

mfnmbvp, Mar 16, 2013
Photo of chickenm
3.75/5  rDev -14%

chickenm, Mar 26, 2013
Photo of AltBock
4.1/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. stubby bottle with a recycled paper label with a picture of a splatter of red paint. Flanking the sides of the paint splatter is the beer's specifications. Along the beer's sides is a Lagunitas dog saying "We Suck," the Government warning, and the beer's ingredients. The only thing missing from the label is a bottled date or best before date.

When poured into a Cigar City snifter, "Sucks" didn't suck. This beer was a clear and bubbly solid gold. No hidden highlights. It was pure gold! On top of this golden brew was a small 1/4 of an inch paper white head of foam. Not a dirty white. Only a pure white can sit on top of a pure gold brew. This head of foam had decent retention that left behind a small island of foam and a tiny string of foamy rings along the side.

"Sucks" loved the scent of pine. That was its favorite and it showed. Behind the wall of pine was the bitter and lightly tart citrus fruits and bitter citrus hops. The citrus fruits consisted of the usual grapefruit, lemon, orange, and a little pineapple. There was no hidden malt aroma, but I did pick up a few floral notes hiding in the back.

Like the aroma, the taste favored the pine. "Sucks" sure does love the pine. Right behind the pine tree forest was the bitter citrus fruits and dried bitter citrus hops. The citrus fruits consisted of bitter grapefruit, lemon, orange, pineapple, and even a touch of mango. After the citrus elements had their fun, they then let through some floral notes and a subtle toasted malt backbone.

This was a medium bodied Double/Imperial IPA with a good amount of carbonation and a citrus based aftertaste. I thought that was odd since this beer loved the pine. Just not in the aftertaste. You'll find grapefruit, lemon, orange, pineapple, and a few floral notes in the aftertaste. This aftertaste doesn't linger.

Well..."Sucks" doesn't suck. I'm sure I'm about the millionth person saying that, but I had to. It's gold in color and piney/hoppy at the same time. The things you want to find in a beer like this. This is an easily affordable, easy to find Double/Imperial IPA. You don't need to trade your first born to get this beer.

AltBock, Apr 26, 2013
Photo of grittybrews
4.43/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a pale tangerine-amber with a finger of bright white head. Big hop aroma with pineapple, tangerine, floral notes, and a good dose of caramel sweetness.

Moderate carbonation and a somewhat light mouthfeel. Lots of pineapple, pink grapefruit, and tangerine up front followed by honey, caramel, and a fruity/floral tang on the tail end mixed with mild pine. Not too bitter but bursting with hop flavor. Hardly any alcohol presence noted -- this one drinks easy but packs a lot of flavor.

grittybrews, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of kvgomps
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours smoothly, 1 inch head with retention after 5 minutes. Never-ending effervescence.

Smell is citrus with grapefruit rind and lemon peel dominating.

The taste is like biting into a grapefruit (without the skin). The body is extremely smooth like a lighter cream ale. Not an overly hoppy beer and despite not being able to find the malt, it is still somehow well balanced. This goes down way too easily. You could finish off a sixer of these in an hour. The lacing on this beer is great even at the end.

I read somewhere that this one starts of great and gets better every bottle. So far this is proving to be true. Great beer.

kvgomps, Feb 11, 2013
Photo of garuda
4.21/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

garuda, Jan 26, 2013
Photo of hopsolutely
3.5/5  rDev -19.7%

hopsolutely, Jun 01, 2013
Photo of DarthGuitarHero
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

DarthGuitarHero, Jan 03, 2012
Photo of MikeCactusGordon
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

MikeCactusGordon, Jan 25, 2013
Photo of SkinniePost
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

SkinniePost, Mar 06, 2013
Photo of HarmonMW
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

HarmonMW, Sep 14, 2014
Photo of Beerlover
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Beerlover, Jul 23, 2013
Photo of rajendra82
4.55/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very clear amber colored pour, lots of bubbles, durable head. The looks remind me of Sierra Nevada Celebration, and that's a very good start. The smell was highly potent out of the glass at an arm's length. Very citric hops with a touch of pear, and the intensity is great. I could just smell this beer for a while. The taste another hop assault, as the grapefruit, tangerine, and bitter orange flavors just hit all at once. The malt is not much of a presence here except providing some sticky sweetness. Medium dense and creamy feeling in the mouth. This was a very well crafted DIPA. There is of course no substitute for Brown Shugga, but I hope they keep this one around too. Otherwise they would really suck :)

rajendra82, Mar 09, 2014
Photo of jaymo18
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

jaymo18, Feb 17, 2014
Photo of FUwolfpacker
4.41/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Had this on tap at Mezzaluna Brick Oven and Tap House in Hendersonville, NC.

A: Beautiful golden honey color. Spectacular lacing.

S: Wow! Huge citrus notes right off the bat - orange peel, grapefruit, maybe a little lemon. Also some nice floral hoppiness and sweet malt.

T: I haven't always cared for some of Lagunitas hoppy beers because they didn't have the balance I was looking for between malt sweetness and hoppy bitterness. This is not one of those beers. I get a sticky malt sweetness right away with some citrus notes. The piney, floral hops come in next and it closes with some lingering bitterness. A well balanced double IPA - definitely one of the best double IPA's I've had!

M: Some stickiness, moderate carbonation, hoppy finish but not palate wrecking bitterness.

O: An incredibly drinkable double IPA and probably my favorite Lagunitas offering thus far! I was definitely worried that a double IPA from Lagunitas would be overkill on the hop bitterness, but this was very well balanced and delicious!

FUwolfpacker, Jan 20, 2013
Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.2/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this beer up at the Kirkwood Spec's a couple days ago and laughed out load when I read the label as it is a testament to the goofy TABC laws and that they had to get this new label pushed through in addition to sucking up the lack of time. I can definitely relate to the lack of time, fella's, so let's give this one a shot:

Appearance: Pours a light yellow with a mild orangish tint to it that has a small 1/4" head of active white bubbles after a pretty aggressive pour and then they faded back into the beer within 20-30 seconds. There is no lacing left after drinking, so there isn't much to set this beer apart except that it is pretty clear.

Aroma: The aroma is showcasing mostly American hops with the required citrus, but there is also a pretty defined "catty" aspect to them. There are also some buttery and toasty malts in here to round things out. The hops are running this beer, but the blend is good, so it isn't a detractor so far.

Taste: The flavor is also very hoppy, but there is definitely enough malt in here to keep the beer palatable. One thing that I like about this beer in the flavor is that there is enough going on in the water chemistry to support a beer like this. I know that there are some "stoopidly" hoppy beers to come out of California, but this is one of the ones that works the best with the water to not make it harsh in the finish The mouthfeel is medium to slightly full because there is light carbonation for what it could be. Overall the finish is balanced slightly toward the hops, but there is significant malt in there to keep things in check.

Opinion: This is a good beer, no doubt. The balance is boldly hoppy enough and yet balanced enough to make me think that this is an altered version of their very successful Hop Stoopid. I like that Lagunitas seems to have a grasp of how to make a balanced beer, and it seems that only Great Divide is one of the other breweries that showcase hops, yet can still make a palatable beer. I am not saying the typical "hop bombs" suck, but it is good to get one that has some balance in the finish. This is a good beer overall, and I would recommend it whether you like DIPA's or not as this is a well blended brew.

SkeeterHawk, Dec 13, 2011
Photo of schoolboy
4.68/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is another one of those Lagunitas shockers - a beer so good you cannot believe it. The little sumpin's are all like this - amazing - and they are related in taste to. If you lked those, you will love this.

The aroma may be the best ever. One of. This isn't just a good holiday ale (it does not resemble others), this is a holiday treat that I hope to have on hand for any beer lovers that stop by. I am gong to buy a bunch.

Update: I went to one of my favorite stores and they have had a run on this. They only had a few singles (an I bought them all). Apparently they had a tasting event there yesterday that included this and it was a big hit. I concur!

schoolboy, Nov 12, 2011
Photo of Gww1864
1.25/5  rDev -71.3%

Gww1864, Feb 01, 2014
Photo of GeoffreyM
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

GeoffreyM, Jan 23, 2013
Photo of random846
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

random846, Jan 06, 2013
Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 7,520 ratings.