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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: 9,649
Avg: 4.32
pDev: 25%
Wants: 599
Gots: 2,211 | 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: 9,649
Photo of Chickenhawk9932
4.26/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours bright clear golden color with amber highlights. Thick white head hangs around and leaves trails of lace down the glass.

Big grapefruit smell dominates the nose, backed by orange and tangerine. There is some rye notes in the background and a faint bubble gum/floral aroma.

Intense bittersweet grapefruit upfront followed by sweet orange with some faint bitter floral notes in the background. There is a slight chewy malt sweetness in the middle (caramel).

An excellent beer with intense, complex flavor.

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Photo of twizzard
4.37/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've over looked this Gem on more than one occasion....shame on me! Poured a golden, hazy orange into a tulip glass. Aroma was sweet, floral with some light pine. Taste follows the nose, sweet & floral with a very subtle malt back bone.
An automatic placement in my top 10 IIPA's. Well done Lagunitas!

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Photo of MNishCT77
4.56/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle from six pack purchased in the greater Washington D.C. area, poured into a 16 oz. pint glass, no birth date, drank 2/6-7/13 over several hours.

A: 4.5 - clearer than most for style (no hop haze), straw/yellow-orange color, 1 finger head lingered for >2 hours and remained with rim lacing, slight alcohol legs

S: 4.75 - fantastic flame-out aroma of tropical fruit (pineapple, mango and lychee...reminds me of NZ hops?) with developing pine, resin-y, Simcoe/Columbus/Centennial dankness as warms...definitely my favorite aspect of this beer!

T: 4.5 - quick punch of bitterness on the tip of the tongue that quickly slaps the taste buds into the tropics...take me back to Hawaii, slight booziness

M: 4.5 - bready but not too thick/sticky on the tongue, appropriate for style and allows the hop aroma and flavor to shine

O: 4.5 - probably one of the best bargains on the market for a DIPA (<$10/sixer in the greater Washington D.C. area) , which was only accentuated by comparing it side-by-side with (the ridiculously overpriced) Bell's Hopslam; Sucks clearly won this tropical fruit challenge for me.

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Photo of gr0g
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not quite three week old bottle. Has a nice appearance: light amber color, a long-lasting head leaving plenty of lacing behind. The aroma does not disappoint and runs the gamut of citrus and tropical fruit: grapefruit, melon, bitter orange peel, guava, mango. More pine and resin shows up at the end of the sniff. Beautifully aromatic.

The flavor profile is quite hoppy; no surprise there. At only 7.85%, this is sitting right on the cusp of IPA/DIPA. It's got more sweetness than many IPAs I've tried but less than most DIPAs. In terms of hop flavors, there's more citrus rind than grass/pine, but both are present. Well carbonated, oily, smooth.

Just a great all-around IPA with no faults. As a point of reference, I found this to be somewhat similar to Sculpin overall.

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Photo of PalatePilot
4.27/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

After trying this at the Winter brew Fest in Denver a couple weeks ago, I bought a six pack

A- Golden, bright, clean. Head that turns to pretty lace

S- Lemon, Grapefruit, pine, a little alcohol

T- More orange for me then the lemon smell, grapefruit again, a little biscuit or bread, awesome hop and malt mix. hop stays on the tongue.

M- A little chewy, but I like it, allows me to hold on to the flavors for a while longer.

O- I have been drinking Odell Myrcenary as my staple DIPA, but I will definitely throw this in the mix if it stays on the shelf. A great beer with a nice balance.

I like it a lot...

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Photo of clager
3.82/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: Light yellow with off white small head

S: Mostly sweet, reminds me of raisins. Some floral and nut as well.

T: Sweet up front with nice hop finish, primarily citrus and floral but again somewhat nutty. Brown sugar noticeable, raisin present in taste as well. Interesting beer. I wonder what it would taste like a little bit more bitter, move up some of the hops in the boil as it is clearly well dry-hopped.

F: Appropriately carbonated, great mouthfeel.

O: Interesting solid beer. I wouldn't rush out to grab a glass but I'm delighted I tried it. The sweetness is too much for me but I can certainly appreciate the mix of flavors and fairly good balance.

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Photo of glass_house
4.46/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a crystal clear, deep orange-gold with two fingers of fluffy white head that settles to a thin cap with plenty of lacing. The aroma is not as pronounced as some DIPAs, but still very pleasant. I'm getting grapefruit in the front, with some pineapple, mango and flowery pine in the back.

Grapefruit is first in the taste as well, but it rides alongside the pungent pine that is fighting for the spotlight. The carbonation seems just right--crisp and lively without being over the top. A little lighter in the body than I prefer, but it still has that slick oily feel that a DIPA should. More citrus, tropical fruit and some sweet bready caramel balance the bitter hops nicely. The pine sticks around for a few seconds to make sure you know who's boss.

I'd have to do a side-by-side with Maximus to see which I like better, but either way it's a photo finish and both belong in the top tier of DIPAs. The balance and drinkability that Lagunitas has achieved in these two brews is impressive.

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Photo of thedoubler55
4.56/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: A nice transparent copper color, light brown, a nice finger of off white head at the top the stays for a while, and some nice lacing around the glass the whole time you drink this one.

S: Some strong hops up front, grapefruit, and brown sugar are prominent, with slight hints of caramel as well.

T: Almost exactly like the nose, lots of pine and hop up front, strong hint of brown sugar and tropical fruit with a slight caramel taste on the back end, pretty unique taste.

M: Medium bodied, with a good amount of carbonation, nothing crazy though.

O: This beer was perfectly balance, lots of good flavor and a good mixture of things, I thouroughly enjoyed it, Lagunitas is great!

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Photo of Dwkasper
4.75/5  rDev +10%

A: golden, light bronze colored, typical dehydrated urine color of an IPA, nice white foamy lacing on 2 finger head

S: beautiful tropical fruit smell, mangos, passion fruit, pungent and sweet hops up front, citrus, a little piney...this is a really classic IPA with plenty of complexity

T: wow...strong hops that are not overly bitter, well balanced with the sweetness of the malt. Fresh citrus up front with a strong brown sugar taste. Very complex but smooth and easily identify each and every taste.

M: smooth carbonation. Hoppy, brown sugar kick that stays in your mouth.

O: I don't know why it took me so long to finally try this beer but I have it proves how good of a brewery lagunitas is. This is an amazing tasting beer with all my favorite hop flavors without being too bitter. Malts are a nice edition that don't overpower the beer with a syrupy taste. Love!

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

12 oz bottle into pint glass. Pours a deep amber, good head and lacing. Very bold piney, citrus hop aroma. Grapefruit, tangerine, and other citrus flavors dominate with floral and pine, but malt backdrop a bit on the sweet side. Finishes dry, with hops hanging on to the tongue. Nice west coast style overhopped IPA much more complex and fruitier than Hop Stoopid.

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Photo of uwmgdman
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter this beer is a slightly hazy golden color with a medium white head that leaves beautiful lacing. The aroma is intensely hoppy--tropical fruits, some pine and some whiffs of booze and bready malt--very nice. The flavor is balanced toward very fruity, slightly piney hop flavor but malty sweetness and some hints of ABV emerge after the burst of hops. Bitterness is smooth and appropriately high. The mouthfeel is medium-full and carbonation moderate. Overall an incredible beer--wonderful aroma and flavor--really enjoy the tropical fruity hops.

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Photo of tapman
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Light golden/orange body with a thin head that leaves a decent skim of head. YUM; nose is grapefruit and lemon zest, grapefruit juice with sugar, sour orange and some cat piss. Taste is same as the nose, but with a little caramelized toast. Despite the big nose and flavor bitterness is moderate and finishes surprisingly clean. While high in alcohol there is no burn. Mouth is a little chewy, but crisp. I like Brown Sugah, but I LOVE this brew.

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Photo of Sarlacc83
4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle from Belmont Station. Purchased good and fresh.

A: Straw coloration drifting into orange. Clear with a good refraction through the glass. Fluffy almost white head. Aces.

N: Fever for the hops. Pine and earth are dominant with the pineapple and mango playing back up. It's a deep full scent with that cracking, sweet nature I always attribute to a well done dry hopping. A deeper inhalation yields some clementine and passionfruit.

T: A taste that can only be referred to as dank. (Need to jazz that description up a bit.) Pine needles and evergreen forest floors. Bites and stings with lupulins. (Lupulins are sedatives. I will sleep well tonight.) Needs more citrus, though.

M: Scraping and filling. Alcohol's second string.

O: This beer makes me verbose and lyrical. (Or pretentious? I don't think Lagunitas has that aim, though.) This is an all star beer that I buy every time it comes out, which, now shouldn't be a problem with the expansion in place. Lagunitas sucks, indeed.

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Photo of divineaudio
4.43/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle into a tulip. bottled on dec 20th 2012 if i'm reading the code correctly.

a - pours a deep, translucent golden color, just shy of crystal clear. gave me a finger's worth of dense, off white head that calms to a film and leaves huge webs of lacing in the glass.

s - mango, berry, orange citrus, honey, grass.

t - fantastic! light, sweeter citrus with a toasty malt body underneath. i'm getting orange, honey, grapefruit, resin. a moderate, piney bitterness comes in at the end to counter the sweetness. very hop forward without being a tongue bruiser.

m - lighter in body with medium carbonation. medium co2 profile.

o - in a word, amazing. this is one of those beers that disappears from the glass before you know it. if this does indeed become year round, it will be a regular in my fridge.

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Photo of Mlkluther
4.65/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a straw colour with lots of white fluffy head that leaves lots of lacing.

Nose has lots of tropical fruit, mango, green grassy hops.

Taste follows nose. Very hop forward. More pine in the taste than the nose. Smooth at 8%. Nice bitter finish. It has a much lighter mouthfeel than I was expecting.

I'd like to do a side by side comparison with Stone Ruination. I think it is comparable.


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Photo of Profchaos20
4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle in nonic pint glass.

A - Pours a clear golden with a one finger white head and leaves nice lacing.

S - Citrusy hops. Pleasant aroma but lighter than I expected grapefruit, mango, dank hops. A litt bit of malt in there also.

T - Sweet with a little malt upfront, then a strong bit of hops kick in. Citrusy and piney are the prevalent hop flavors. Finishes with a medium to high bitterness. Also got notes of grapefruit.

M - Medium body, light to medium carbonation. Smooth

O - A good beer in it's own right but I'm a bit disappointed with this one. With all the hype it gets I was expecting more. Nothing really stood out to me just a solid all around beer.

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Photo of Seanniek91
4.54/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 12oz bottle into a Grey Sail pint glass.

Appearance- Nice clear golden color with a light quick head. Nice lacing around the rim.

Smell- Fruity hops. Piney aromas and grassy smells. Slight maltiness. Great smelling IPA.

Taste- Hops. Floral/fruity hops, with some pineiness. Light citrus notes with no alcohol.

Mouthfeel- Perfectly carbonated. Not resinous. Smooth. No ABV detection.

Overall- This is an almost perfect IPA. I'd like it to be a bit more resinous though. Damn good beer from Lagunitas!

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Photo of gpogo
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Clear copper body with small white head that leaves sparse lacing.

A- Wonderful hop aroma. Tropical fruity hops so much. Slight sweet caramel malt.

T- Spicy alcohol hit with a heavy hop flavor. Superbly tropical hop flavor. Nice bitterness throughout. The hop flavors are incredible.

M- Medium body moderate carbonation that is very biting.

D- This shit is the shit.

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Photo of beerhan
4.18/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a rich golden brown with a real fluffy super bright white head. A white lacing remains around the edge through the duration of this beer.

S-I have the remnants of a cold but I still smell a lot of pine and weed and for some reason I am reminded of coconut trees. I don't know why but the scent of this beer just sparks memories of sitting next to coconut trees about 14 years prior to having this. The wood and bark just had a similar scent.

T-Very piney with a lot of grapefruit and a hint of kiwi. This is a super fruity IPA. It is sort of what you would drink in a warm climate over the holidays.

M-I dig this beer. It reminds me of a hoppier columbus IPA. It is nice and syrupy but I think it is a little too carbonated. I wish it was just a little smoother so it could be more sessionable.

O-This is a real nice beer. I was rather surprised that it had so much to offer and I do hope they make it again. My only complaint really is the lack of originality. This beer I feel like I have had many times before, there is little to add. I enjoy that something of such high quality is distributed so far and wide and tastes this good but there are many other options that kind of blunt the power of this one's appeal.

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Photo of JLaw55
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one is like the more hoppy forward variant of Hop Stoopid. If you prefer a maltier/fruitier DIPA, go with Hop Stoopid. If you prefer a more hop focused DIPA, go with this one.

Would probably buy and drink again. Very tasty.

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Photo of mobius387
4.12/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into my new belgium snifter

appearance: pours a clear rich golden amber with a 2 finger white bubbly head

aroma: great nose of pine and grapefruit

palate: flavor sits well in the mouth, medium bodied

taste: not as strong as the smells, and everything kinda meshes together to just give a nice balanced yet strong ale flavor. i cant pick anything out in particular

overall: a very good balanced ipa with some good kick to it. IBU's say 60 something, but it tastes stronger than that. i dont really get the christmas tie in other than the label, as there is no flavors that bring out that feeling. i could be drinking this in the middle of summer for all i care!

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Photo of Givemebeer
4.89/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Possibly my favorite IPA that I've had during my recent IPA binge.

Tropical citrus smell and taste that is incredibly refreshing. Must say this is the best smelling beer I've ever had. Taste is almost as good as the smell. Being on the east coast I can't find this often, if I do come across it again I will not hesitate to buy it.

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Photo of JayCheG
4.81/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Pours a nice golden color with a one finger head than dissipates to a nice film. Lots of carbonation.
S: Lots of pine and hints of grapefruit and citrus hops.
T: A lot like the smell with a bit more grapefruit and citrus coming through but still a distinct pine.
M: Very smooth and fulfilling
O: Very good beer. Lots of good hops flavor and very drinkable.

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

Appearance: Nice golden color with a fluffy white head, leaves good lacing

Smell: Pine and citrus hops, a little tropical fruit and bread

Taste: More pine, citrus, and tropical fruit. A nice balance malt bill, with biscuit and caramel, a little resin on the finish

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy, medium body, good carbonation

Overall: Fantastic brew, I can see why it is highly sought after. Love the 32oz bottle. Doesn't go overboard on the hops, but it is a very nice profile, and has a good balance of malts to compliment the hops. Very well rounded beer.

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Photo of ghostwalker
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Didn't realize it was my 300th review until I started. Oh well, not everything has to be a true milestone. Still, at least Sucks is a semi-rare beer that is worth noting.

12 oz bottle, found it at Julio's, home of many great beers. Served in my Surly Darkness snifter, because it rocks!

A: Head? Yes, please, make it a double! Huge, thick, frothy white head on a golden body with a hint of reddish to it.

S: Nose is ...Simcoe? Sharp, piney, spicy, just really good smelling and nicely complex.

F: Tasty and quaffable. True West Coaster here. Light malt body is only a framework for big, gratuitous hopitude. Waves of citrus and pine. This is really the closest thing to Pliny that I can think of. Heady Topper may have stolen my heart, but I still carry a torch for Pliny, and this could be the kid sister.

M: Stripping and cleansing, done right.

O: Really, really good. I love Hop Stoopid and many of their other brews, but this one is somehow better. Glad to hear that this will be a new product.

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