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

9,217 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,217
Reviews: 1,522
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 9.91%
Wants: 557
Gots: 1,821 | FT: 29
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: 9,217 | Reviews: 1,522
Photo of Bunman3
4.21/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Absolutely rock-solid beer. The look, smell, taste and feel of Sucks puts it a class of its own. Delicious and worth every penny.

Photo of Givemebeer
4.89/5  rDev +12.7%
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.

Photo of Neorebel
4.32/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Apparently this was created due to a shortage in capacity in brewing the Lagunitas Holiday Ale, Brown Shugga. It's said to be 'cereal medley,' of barley, rye, wheat and oats.

Pours like liquid gold into my IPA glass. A rich looking head of pure white foam starts off over an inch tall. Beautiful froth is seen on the sides of the glass as it recedes to about 1/2. It is heavily carbonated and crystal clear - no sediment. Very good-looking indeed.

The aroma is titillating, with lemon and lush tropical fruit esters dazzling my sense of smell. Very resinous hops are clearly the backbone however, and there's a curious peppery spice-like aspect, perhaps cinnamon... hidden vaguely within as well.

The taste begins with a soft and cool feel, sweet and bready, but a moment later the extremely drying hop bitterness bulldozes the palate. Definitely a dry-hopped beer, and there are hardly any malts detected in the flavor at all. Light mouthfeel, despite the sharpness.

Overall, the complexity in the grains and the dry hopped goodness are it's best flavor characteristics. I would suggest this if you like to try different IPAs, or if you are the type that loves the heaviest hop flavors possible!

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle to a brandy snifter

Pours a golden orange with a foamy 1 finger head that disappears to a thin sticky lace around the top of the beer. On the nose, your senses get attacked! Big piny hops, over-ripen citrus fruits, mango, tangerine, grapefruit. Sticky tobacco and marijuana scents in midst of the fruit. Again on the taste, sticky grapefruit, citrus hops, sticky and murky with a feverishly bitter aftertaste that just absolutely hits the spot, wow! Light to medium on the feel and body, bitter, deliciously drinkable, not much malt backbone as noted by other reviewers. This beer is fucking awesome! Make more of this shit and send it my way, im more than fine with having this over BS anyday, superior IPA.

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

A- pours a golden amber color with uncanny clarity. A finger and a half of off white head emerges from an average pour. Good head retention.

S- huge citrusy hops of tangerine and grapefruit peel blend with tropical fruit notes of pineapple an mango. Floral hops on the finish with a whisper of dry biscuity malt.

T- starts off with super juicy tangerine and grapefruity hop flavor with notes of mango and pineapple in the middle. Dry biscuity malt with a chaulky characteristic. Finishes dry with a subtle hop bitterness and floral notes that lingers on the palate. This beer is hops, hops and more hops!

MF- juicy slick mouthfeel with a light medium body and average carbonation.

D- quenching and superbly drinkable.

Overall one hoppy mother that more than makes up for the lack of Brown Shugga'... D-lish!

Photo of 80x2HopHead
4.11/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The smell is possibly the strongest asset of this brew, I immediately noted alcoholic piney notes with some citrusy tangerine in the background followed up by musky undertones. The initial taste was quite pleasing, replete with piney, lemon/orangetastes and plenty of well balanced piney and citrusy hops. The first three seconds on the pallet is great, packing great amounts of flavor into a well balanced sweet, resinous, and citrusy punch. The only issue I had with the brew was in the aftertaste- slightly more sweet than I like in my IPAs- maybe amplified by the yeast? Overall mouthfeel was good, fairly crisp and carbonation is there while it finished nicely. Certainly could taste the booze towards the end of the bottle- but I was skiing so WTF it made for a great few runs off of paradise. Overall a well balanced IPA that exemplifies piney resin but a bit too sweet.

Photo of Chickenhawk9932
4.26/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

Photo of chodinheaven
4.03/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Perfectly clear yellow-orange beer with a 1 finger shock white head on top with sticky lacing left behind. Tons of carbonation from the bottom. The head dissapates at a medium pace down to a patchy thin sheet and then holds there. The aroma is a bit dank, tons of earthy citrus, herbal and piney hops. Grapefruit definitely comes to mind and has the qualities to shape up to be a hop bomb. A hint of caramel and bread hold up the malt backbone fairly.

Certainly no shortage of hops in the taste, but the malt backbone definitely holds its on nicely. Plenty of bready grain and a hint of sweet caramel give a steady backbone that lets the hops do their thing without going overboard. The hops are resiny as hell, giving an earthy, almost herbal impression that goes nicely with huge piney and grapefruit notes. The malt bill still manages to smooth out the mouthfeel however, giving it a medium-full body. The hops do come close to being a bit overbearing with the thick, almost chewy resinous taste, but the pine and citrus seem to do a good job in counteracting that actually. Maybe a bit too much in the carbonation department as the mouthfeel tends to get away from the palate in its effervescence, but not too badly. The more I drink it, the more the hops seem to run away with this one, nearly choking out the life of the malt bill. So maybe they are a tad on the overbearing side, but delicious none the less, especially as the hops disguise the nearly 8% ABV fairly well. Only a hint of alcohol is detected on the breath. It finishes juicy at the back, but then moves to dryness in the very end.

Overall, it doesn't completely replace Brown Shugga', but it is a good beer. A little lacking in the balance, but it could definitely be worse; at least its full of delicious hop flavors. I would buy this again if they decide to re-release it.

Photo of baconfromwalmart
4.36/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

L: Clear honey amber with a head made up of large and small bubbles.
S: Lemony pine
T: Piney! Little bit of citrus. Very balanced, pleasant bitterness.
F: Very smooth, amazing texture - not quite creamy, not too thick or too thin, juuuust right.
O: I really like this one and will definitely have it again!

Photo of CFHMagnet
4.65/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I gave this beer a strong pour and ended up with a finger of off-white head. The body is a very eye-catching golden-amber color. Head dissipates in a few minutes to leave a small but frothy ring around the glass. A steady stream of bubbles rises bottom to top. Nice lacing as well.

Oranges, grapefruits and mangos smack you in the nose when you smell this one. They smell juicy enough to bite into. The smell of fresh cut pine trees is also in there. Upon further inspection, a light malt aroma is noticed that provides a counterpoint to the delicious hoppiness.

The flavor is much more subdued than the nose is. Grapefruit, pineapple and pine are prevalent, this transitions into a malt flavor and finishes off on the piney bitter side.

Medium bodied, moderate carbonation is at the perfect level. Doesn't coat the mouth very much, rather slides over the tongue and down the throat, leaving your mouth very dry, although that only provides motivation for the next sip.

I have to say, this beer surprised me. I have not had the Brown Shugga and do not know how good it is, but after trying it's stand in, I certainly hope they do not permanently shelve this beer after this run. It is much to good for that.

Photo of Philousa
3.04/5  rDev -30%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Imbibed on 4/24/2012. I mention this because it is a double IPA that could have been fresher, though I don't think it would have changed my review much.

Poured a clear orange color with a light, airy head. Lacing is noticeable. Malt is very prevalent. Cereal, orange blossom sweetness. The hops are subdued for a Lagunitas brew. They're there but it's not a wallop like it could have been. Good malt backbone comes through in the taste. Orange prevalent again, a good amount of citrus with a bit of zest. Little hop flavor, somewhat grassy. Not too bitter for the IBUs. Subtle. I just called a Lagunitas beer subtle. Wow.

This reminded me of Two Hearted a lot. The malt is similar to TH, but it has more meat on its bones. I was expecting the hops to play a bigger role and I feel that the malt was a bit too thick and overpowering for my taste. Good, but I didn't go bananas over it. Also, it doesn't really profile as a DIPA.

Photo of Luigi
4.26/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours our a light amber color slightly hazed with a few carbonation bubbles. Head starts from a three finger head to one finger when resting.

The aroma smells like Christmas because at first the strong pine hop flavor hits the nose. Hops are the dominate aroma.

The taste is strong with pine and citrus hops but sweet malt is present from start to finish.

This Ale is the perfect gift for a hophead. I give a thumbs up~~~

Photo of MadCat
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

Photo of MsRif
3.67/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on-tap at Pinocchio's in Media, PA. Poured a very clear orange color...almost looked watered down. No head to speak of. No lacing. Didn't look too enticing, but the aroma was better...citrus...grapefruit...a touch of sweetness. Taste is definitely complex...a lot of flavor comes through. I swear I tasted mango in there though that might have been the grapefruit flavors mixed with lemon...whatever it was, it was pretty darn good. Unfortunately finishes really dry and bitter...that is always the downfall for me with DIPA's which I rarely enjoy. Though tasty, it's not really sessionable...at least not for me.

Medium in body with moderate carbonation. Pretty dry but still good and worth a taste!

Photo of uwmgdman
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

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

12 oz bottle poured into hill farmstead glass

A - golden orange body. thin white whisp of a head. fades quickly to a ring with nice lacing.

S - pine, hop resin, orange peel, bread malts.

T - orange peel and bubblegum backed with a grass hop bite. fades into a vanilla flavored middle and then pine hop blast at the end. so good.

M - light bodied with lots and lots of carbonation. good astringency.

O - fantastic brew.

Photo of Maxwell
3.72/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The beer pours a lovely oranged yellow, almost golden, with a great big slightly cream white head that sits at over two finger widths. The body is light and translucent, with only the faintest mist of haze, and a steady stream of gentle carbonation bubbles working to the top of the glass. The beer’s lacing is droopy and thin, leaving a spatterwork of hanging sheets upon the sides of the glass. On the nose the beer smells big with minty pine, a touch of citrus, and a faint touch of salty onion. The grains are found only as the lightest backdrop for the smell, suggesting slight toasty bread and caramel. On the tongue, the beer tastes bitter with a nice light sweet tinge. The beer begins with sweet bitters before opening into slightly caramelly herbal bitters that lightly suggest mint and onion. The finish runs with a light touch of orange citrus and is strong with pine, which lasts into the finish. The aftertaste is light with medicinal bitters and piney hops. On the mouth, the beer feels medium-light in body, with just the faintest gelling to suggest a heavier beer. The carbonation leaves a decent prickle on the tongue, and after the beer leaves the mouth is left sticky-dry, with a bitter astringency gripping at the tongue, though the mouth is clean. Overall, I’m a little disappointed with Sucks… Lots of people are heralding this beer as an amazing DIPA, but honestly I see it more as a strong IPA, falling just short of the bigger flavors that a DIPA carries. The beer is nicely drinkable, and carries some nice bitters, but the onioniness that this beer has is throwing me off the taste, and other than that I fine the hop profile a little lackluster in terms of complexity. Just to clarify, I have tried a six-pack of these now, and all of them have had the slight onion flavor, which is odd and I suppose I will chalk up to an older pack (though they had spent less than a week on the shelf when I picked them up…). This beer is a mediocre almost-DIPA, in my book, but is not really worthy of hunting down.

Photo of Hendry
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Lagunitas SUCKS is my first review: I got to sample this highly interesting beer at a neighborhood party,and it was an eye opener for me. Until recently, I was only an occaisional beer drinker, favoring smooth British Ales (Samuel Smiths was one of the few designer beers available 30 years ago,still a fine product).

A small glass holding 4 or 5 oz was poured for me to sample:an orange-copper color, and the first thing that struck me about this beer was the heavenly aroma. The usual list of suspects for tropical fruit launch an all out assault on your nose, the most prominent to my senses were apricots. Not being familiar with the "new" breed of hops developed during my period of disinterest in beer, I was convinced that SUCKS was brewed with apricot (i.e. Magic Hat #9),or peach, or mango. WRONG!

The blissfull aroma drew me into the first sip, which was a flavor explosion of epic proportions.
The tropical fruits are up front and the carbonation seems to accent those flavors, the finish is dry and long. This is a lip smacking beer: incredibly smooth drinking and inviting,Lagunitas SUCKS is a real winner,especially for those just starting to explore the world of "hopped up" beers that are all the rage currently.

If you are throwing a dinner party, Sucks is a bargain for $10/six pack just to see the buzz it will create amongst your guests with such an intoxicating aroma and intruiging flavors. Sucks might be the best bang for the buck in the $10 sick pack category.

I'm discovering that Vermont is a good place to be judging by the world class ratings of Hill Farmstead,The Alchemist,and Lawsons: I'll be sure to cover those in future reviews in my quest for a quality brew.

Photo of InkedinRi
3.44/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The bottle i tried was very out of dated. I tasted mostly a heavy malt bomb. I'll review it better when I get a fresh bottle

Photo of suspect
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 Dogfish Head Signature Glass.

A: Crystal clear golden color with some amber hues. Relatively aggressive pour leads to a small one-finger pure whit head that retreats slowly leaving behind a whirlpool look of white swirling foam. Lacing is consistent and thick. It's the lack of good head that knocks down the number here.

S: Hoo boy...this was an unexpected punch in the face delivered by a fist full of hops. Piney hops hit first followed closely by grapefruit rind. Malt presence is there but definitely overpowered by the hop goodness. This brew has one hell of a nose.

T: Dee-lish. Extremely hop-forward full of zest and flavor. Grassy bits of lemon and grapefruit zest along with some mango. It's a really wonderfully flavored IIPA. Malt again takes a 7th row seating back seat to the mix of hops that come in this brew. It's there, but a total hindsight, yet it's not unbalanced, quite the opposite.

M: Crisp finish with creamy coating. Perfectly carbonated. Hop oils coat the mouth and make me pucker like the elite IIPAs on the market.

O: I swear that if this beer was brewery release only and didn't have the distribution Lagunitas does, it would be getting oodles more hype than it currently does. This is one of the best IIPAs I've had and I'm excited that they're re-releasing it as Holiday Leftovers. BRAVO Lagunitas. Bravo.

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 Jules11788
4.54/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a pale golden color; thumb-width head, medium lacing, good retention

S: Smells of sweet, sticky, tropical sugary hops. The aroma just blasts you in the face with delicious fruity hoppiness.

T: Just like the nose: lightly bitter hops with big floral notes of tropical fruit and sweet sticky candy. Delicious!

M: Medium-light viscosity with a good helping of tingly carbonation; no hint of booze at all.

O: Another score for Lagunitas. I was very disappointed when I heard that they weren't releasing Brown Shugga, but this definitely makes up for it. Hop heads rejoice, this brew is brimming with big floral/fruity hops!

Photo of mattsander
4.34/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Brilliant clarity goldenrod, bone white head that doesn't last, medium to syrupy.

S: Floral, apricot/stonefruit, piney, juicy, tons of hops. Smells awesome.

T: Awesome mix of resinous pine, sweet stonefruits - apricot, peach, oranges, tangerine. Big flavor, medium bitterness. Has an approachable character and a very pleasantly fruity aftertaste - maybe even some melon?

M: Medium to full bodied, sticky and syrupy. Full and creamy.

Awesome IPA from Lagunitas.

Photo of humuloner22
3.91/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

You hear about it ad nauseam around the holidays. Every beer store is boasting they have it, the charge an arm and a leg for it and then I found it in a grocery store for a reasonable price and picked it up. I did not go into this one with high hopes. I have not really had a good experience with the other beers I have had from this brewery, maybe I just like East coast breweries, or at least from the Rockies eastward. Anyway, I was actually really impressed with this one. The color and everything was lighter than I had expected it to be. The smell was sweet candy, with some hops present. The taste was where it was at. This beer was very well balanced. A great mixture of hops and sweetness. I have been on a lighter beer trend lately and for some reason I expected this one to be more on the darker side. I was overly surprised with this one and I will have to say they did make a beer that I enjoyed. I will try this one again next year and I hope it remains consistent. I have heard it may become more of a year round thing. Which might lighten its luster a bit, but over all I would try this one from time to time, if I caught it on sale like I did this time.

Photo of BeerBuckeye
4.17/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very light, clear goldish color. Almost looks like a light lager it's so clear. Very small head.

S - Big hit of grapefruits and pine in the nose. Decent amount of sweet malt in the background.

T - A little sweet on the start, fades into that citrusy grapefruit, before turning into a good amount of bitter, piney hops. But that wasn't all. It finished with a little kick of tartness--almost lemony at the end. Very impressive.

M - It's smooth while high in carbonation. Alcohol sits back nicely.

Overall - I've been a self-described critic of Lagunitas. This one though, changes my mind. It's a solid IPA and very nice for the Holidays. Flavors present were great. Well done.

Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 9,217 ratings.