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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.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

1,460 Reviews
THE BROS
89
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,460
Hads: 9,447
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 8.08%
Wants: 572
Gots: 2,010 | FT: 27
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
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Reviews: 1,460 | Hads: 9,447
Photo of JayCheG
4.81/5  rDev +11.1%
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. (361 characters)

Photo of Hendry
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%
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. (1,699 characters)

Photo of MadCat
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
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. (565 characters)

Photo of Givemebeer
4.89/5  rDev +12.9%
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. (333 characters)

Photo of ghostwalker
4.33/5  rDev 0%
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. (1,004 characters)

Photo of wiscokid920
4.73/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle poured into snifter

A- Clear golden with creamy/sticky two finger head with nice retention and lacing

S- Aromas are FANTASTIC! Huge citrus hop profile featuring grapefruit, pineapple, and mango with some malty biscuit sweetness.

T- Follows the nose to a tee. Grapefruit and piney hop bitterness is complimented by the sweet mango and malty flavors. FANTASTIC!

M- Medium bodied with that excellent oiliness and hop pucker that all the great IIPAs posses.

O- This IIPA is absolutely dialed in. Every aspect of the brew compliments the other. The most balanced take on the style I have had to date! (612 characters)

Photo of bulldogg915
4.24/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- gold bottle pour with nice head retention and lacing sticks. Smell- sweet pine and hops are very prevalent- slight caramel. Taste- great hops up front- the dry hopping is great. Mouthfeel- lingering and slight carbonation. Overall- one of my fav IPAs. I've tasted literally thousands of beers in the past few years- and this is my first rating as I sit here- so hopefully I get better at this. (405 characters)

Photo of thegodfather2701
4.67/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A-pours a hazy orange with a bright white head that dissipates quickly and leaves only minimal lacing.

S-Citrussy with grapefruit standing out the most and a hint of some tropical notes such as pineapple.

T-Like the nose-a lot of citrus especially grapefruit. It has a decently big caramel like malt backbone. Not as much flavor or complexity as I expected.

M-Pretty thick and chewy.

D-Very drinkable for the style given its low abv. for the style and its underwhelming flavor.

Overall, I was disappointed in this beer after all of the good things I'd heard about it. For the IIPA category I thought it was just alright at best. There are much flavorful versions of the style out there.
***
Re-reviewed February 22, 2013 and the scores reflect that tasting

A-Honey/gold with a thick white head that slowly dissipates. Excellent lacing and some cascading as well.

S-Tropical fruits, floral, with a hint of booze.

T-Tropical fruits flavors dominate with notes of citrus playing a role as well. There is a nice malt backbone but the hops control this beer. It tastes fantastic. There is also a hint of alcohol.

M-Fairly syrupy with just the right amount of carbonation.

D-Superb especially given its relatively low abv. for the style and its tremendous flavor.

Overall, this beer is much better than it was the last time I had it. It is absolutely amazing. I love it and will drink as much of it as possible over the next few weeks. Lagunitas is an amazing brewery. (1,475 characters)

Photo of uwmgdman
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
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. (566 characters)

Photo of Ultra-Plinian
4.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Light Gold -Interesting

S: Hints of pine and almost sweet

T: Wonderful with a nice bite at the end

M: Wonderful Medium moutheel with nice carbonation

O: Had stayed away from this because it has sucks in title but its some really good stuff. Glad I was able to get somemore. (280 characters)

Photo of Barnoloid
4.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lagunitas Sucks is a resin heavy, mango nosed, bitter and sweet ale. The complexity and deep hop profile here makes it an interesting and multi-layered beer with a unique taste (176 characters)

Photo of gabedivision
4.37/5  rDev +0.9%
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. (736 characters)

Photo of Viciousknishs
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
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! (812 characters)

Photo of WunderLlama
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bomber poured into an antique German Pilsner glass

Golden orange, clear, stream of carbonation, dense white cap quickly subsides with good lacings

Aroma of citrus and pine

Bitterness on the middle of the tongue and sides of the mouth. Bit of spice. But of citrus.

It has bitterness but is very smooth. Almost creamy. A lingering bitterness in taste but isn't sharp.

Very good, interesting beer. I like it. (414 characters)

Photo of Mlkluther
4.65/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

Excellent! (410 characters)

Photo of chodinheaven
4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
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. (1,850 characters)

Photo of glass_house
4.46/5  rDev +3%
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. (997 characters)

Photo of CFHMagnet
4.65/5  rDev +7.4%
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. (1,211 characters)

Photo of Philousa
3.04/5  rDev -29.8%
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. (929 characters)

Photo of clager
3.82/5  rDev -11.8%
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. (662 characters)

Photo of Gajo74
4.34/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear light copper to golden, finger length head and good creamy lace retention. Worderful citric and tropical fruit aroma, some biscuit and honey. The taste is at first fruity, slightly syrupy and malty sweet. This is followed by a strong hops presence that is piney and leafy. Strong bitter herbal finish. Creamy, smooth, medium bodied and very drinkable.
This beer most definetely does not suck! I liked it a lot. (426 characters)

Photo of twizzard
4.37/5  rDev +0.9%
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! (301 characters)

Photo of Luigi
4.26/5  rDev -1.6%
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~~~ (424 characters)

Photo of MsRif
3.67/5  rDev -15.2%
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! (705 characters)

Photo of RyanK252
4.48/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

32oz bomber poured into a BarrelHouse Brewing Co pint glass

A: Pours a lightly hazy golden amber with a frothy off white head that settles and laces well.

S: Sweet citrus and tropical fruit hops, some pine, and a little malt sweetness.

T: Big citrus hop hit, grapefruit, lemon lime and orange zest, pine, maybe a bit spicy, some faint herbal notes, hints of tropical fruit, nice malt backbone.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation. Amazingly drinkable.

O: Hello again old friend. One beer that happily doesn't live up to its name. (536 characters)

Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 1,460 ratings.