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Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale)Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale)

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6,269 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6269
Reviews: 1229
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 9.38%

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: 6,269 | Reviews: 1,229 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Ozzylizard


4.13/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Undated bottle at 40 degrees into imperial pint
Aroma more citrusy than piney, but both present. Could snort this.
Head large (6 cm), white, frothy, slowly diminishing
Lacing OK, broken rings of large bubbles with vertical chains linking the next swallow
Body light yellow with slight chill haze
Flavor mildly hoppy but quickly diminishing. leaving a hit of grapefruit bitterness behind; no malt balance, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, watery, carbonation watery

A decent IPA, but, IMHO, not the gift from the gods as it is often rated. Glad I bought a sixer, not upset I didn’t get a case.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2014 13:52:50 | More by Ozzylizard
Photo of mattbk

New York

4.71/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A: Clear, slightly darker than golden, not very carbonated, lazy bubbles.
S: Amazing smell. Rich hop oily aromas. Tangerine, mango. Wonderful.
T: Like the smell. Hop oils, tangerine is best food relation I can make. Some pineyness too. Super dank. Some nice maltiness behind the flavor too makes it a bit sticky sweet, in a good way. Not much bitterness out of this beer - the label says "63.21 IBUs" - I don't believe this number - but it is low in bitterness comparitively. This beer is amazing.
M: Not very, very dry - some mouthfeel to this, which I am enjoying.
O: Really, really like this beer. Of IPAs I've tried, I'd put this only below Heady as my favorite.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2013 04:18:37 | More by mattbk
Photo of godlessape


4.74/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured this baby into a snifter. The honey amber body is slightly cloudy, and gives up a 2 finger head that slowly settles down to a respectable skim.
The aroma is an intense battle between the caramel malt and the piney hops.The pine wins, but just by a smidgen. There is indeed some sugared up red grapefruit in there as well as some burnt toffee. You just know your dealing with a masterpiece before you even take the first pull.
The taste is much like the nose, except I'm picking up a strong brown sugar flavor. Think of eating toasted buttery bread smothered in melted brown sugar and washing it all down with grapefruit juice--and booze.
The mouthfeel is medium bodied and juicy on the back end.
Overall, this brew lives up to the hype. This goes into my top 5 IPA's.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2013 03:29:20 | More by godlessape
Photo of alli4051


4.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a SA perfect pint.

I've always heard a lot of buzz about this but didn't actually know anything about other than it was supposed to be good. So in essence walked out of the store with absolutely no idea what I had bought. Thought it was a bit light when I started to pour and was a bit disappointed as I wasn't in the mood for something subtle. First wiff immediately alleviated my disappointment. Tons of hop character in the nose, predominately citrus tones with some tropical fruits. Taste is what a hop bomb should always be, tons of hop flavor and bitterness but not overdone. Citrusy hops are front and center again with a buttery malt sweetness holding it all together. Mouthfeel is about what you would expect for the style and the alcohol is well hidden. Always happy to try a beer that actually lives p to then hype.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2013 03:16:15 | More by alli4051
Photo of mattsander

Alberta (Canada)

4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2014 03:35:31 | More by mattsander
Photo of capeannbass36


4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured a clear, orange gold topped with a 1 finger bone white head that disappated quickly. Light lacing left behind.

S- Sweet grapefruit and pineapple. Little bit of pine and hops.

T- Tropical citrus fruits. Pineapple, grapefruit, and a hint of mango. Little bit of pine and end.

M- Slightly slick. Hint of bitter at end. Dry finish.

O- Very surprised by this. Seeking out more tomorrow!

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2011 02:43:35 | More by capeannbass36
Photo of Kshock


3.95/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Light golden color; very bright. Nice retention with lacing left on the glass.

S- Lots of hop aroma. Some citrus and pine, a little hint of summit in there. Very grassy.

T- Little malt character, lots of hops. Summit comes through, ends with a little citrus. very clean finish.

M- Very light

O- Pretty solid IPA

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2011 22:42:16 | More by Kshock
Photo of busterthecat


4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been drinking this beer since it hit shelves here in Boston. Time to review. Poured into a SA perfect pint glass. Served at ~50 degrees.

A- Pours a bright transparent brassy hue that sits just as bright and clear in the glass. A nice paper white head forms, which leaves a good foamy capping after a while.

S- Loads of fresh grapefruit and pineapple upfront. A slight sweeter ripe orange aroma comes in secondary. Light and crisp. Very light caramel malt tones in aroma.

T- Very close to how the aroma would indicate. Lots of fresh zesty citrus hop quality. There is more soft caramel malt body then detected from the aroma, good and adds another dimension. The hop flavors are bold and crate a good level of bitterness without being overpowering.

M- Medium bodied brew with big bold flavor. The body is pretty light and crisp. The carbonation adds extra zing and pop to the palate. Bitterness lingers lightly and is good balance. Stays pretty wet.

O- A very hoppy and crisp brew from Lagunitas. Easy to drink and enjoyable. Glad that they came up with something new to 'replace' brown sugar this season and this beer does make up for it. A great value at ~$10 a 6pk.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2011 00:26:17 | More by busterthecat
Photo of robbrandes


4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 12oz into a tulip

brilliant clear copper, somewhat marginal head recedes to the thin ring. big resinous nose, hops are trying to fade a bit, but still quite clear of barleywine territory.
taste - boom, there's the hops! great juicy punch of pine, that unmistakable lagunitas yeast/malt profile.
would like a bit more body on this thing, turning up the carb just a hint would help backstop the slight thinness.
regardless, this is an amazing beer. and at the price, cannot be topped.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2011 06:12:30 | More by robbrandes
Photo of Hokies

Rhode Island

4.95/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wanted to see what all the hype was about so here we go.

Pours a golden amber hue with a massive white head that is hanging around like it wants to drink the beer too. Quite impressive.

The aroma is filled with pine cones, mango and tropical fruits. Exactly what I like in a DIPA, one that is not loaded with straight pine.

The taste if awesome, alot of pine but filled with mango, citrus and other tropical fruits. Only a little sweetness from the malt, which for hopheads is a good thing.

A very drinkable beer and a new favorite from Lagunitas.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2012 05:25:10 | More by Hokies
Photo of PsilohsaiBiN

New York

4.65/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2012 bottle reviewed in 2013

Appearance: Beautiful golden amber with a nice, white 1 finger head.

Smell: Big mango notes. Pineapple, orange and subtle grapefruit are in the fold as well.

Taste: Big, bready and bitter! Damn, this is just delicious. Sweet citrus gives way to a bitter, hoppy ending, with a steady backdrop of malt behind everything. Just a magnificently balanced beer with that trademark Lagunita's hop/yeast profile.

Mouthfeel: Not a crazy amount of carbonation but paired with the body, the amount is just right and makes for very easy drinking.

Overall: A delicious west coast IPA with a bit more malt than most would have, but it just works. Awesome.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2013 00:10:48 | More by PsilohsaiBiN
Photo of rtaps


3.93/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured a clear pale orange/yellowish in color, with a nice 1.5-2 finger white head. fairly short retention leaving spotty lacing around the glass.

has a nice aroma to it, citrus hops. and fruity.

hop flavor pops in the mouth with some fruity and citrus. think im finding some oak in there too

high carbonation, light-medium bodied

overall it's a solid IPA thats nice on the pallet. and very worth the $9.99 for a 6 pack

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2011 20:29:09 | More by rtaps
Photo of Aaron_Ramson


4.9/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

Smells and tastes the way pipe tobacco smells: fragrant, smokey, floral, peppery; tobacco leaf all the way through. Deep caramel flavors are there to balance the intense hop bomb. Back end bitterness is slightly subdued; emphasis is squarely on the forward hop flavor. Extremely drinkable with very little booziness, there's nothing that Sucks about this except the fact that it's a limited release.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2014 06:27:24 | More by Aaron_Ramson
Photo of Heavenisbeer


4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark golden body, thin head that retains, and some very light lacing. Very light carbonation as well.

S: Deep forest pine, bright citrus notes, and some cat urine.

T: Wow! Such a divergent AIPA flavor. Has that bright and colorful citrus blast, but with an prickly pine backing, a sprinkle of onion, and a toasted hop (there are really no malt flavors, yet a toasted center) backend. Excellent.

M: Medium carbonation, lightly syrupy, and a sweet hoppy finish.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2011 00:40:19 | More by Heavenisbeer
Photo of searsclone


4.31/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

fresh bottle into a DFH flared pint glass

clear deep gold color with champagne like bubbles and a billowing white head that is about an inch higher than the glass. great lace. beautiful.

smell is sweet caramel, toffee, burnt sugars, roasted malt, all of it surrounded by piney hops

taste is well balanced sweet malt with bitter hops. very well done

thin to medium mouth feel with a slightly wet, but crisp, finish

overall, a great beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2013 03:24:23 | More by searsclone
Photo of pigc


4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a light golden blond with massive three finger head.

S - Heavy citrus, orange, grapefruit, pine, floral. Wow, this one is bursting on the nose!

T - Citrus hops abound with just a hint of malt backbone and faint spice with slight sweetness. So smooth and drinkable. Nearly 8% alcohol is not noticeable. Fantastically smooth, yet bitter and slightly spicy IPA. A true holiday treat that definitely does not suck!

M - Light to medium with good carbonation. Coats mouth nicely with hop bitterness and spice.

O - Again, great holiday brew. This one trumps celebration in my opinion. Fantastic.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2011 01:11:57 | More by pigc
Photo of hopsputin


4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

a: slightly hazy (chill haze i think) golden yellow with some caramel tones. 1.5 finger solid bright white head

s: total onion, garlic, and that 'cat piss' aroma right away. pineapple, mango, and sweet lemons. there is a nice malty & bready backbone in this as well

t: floral hops, onion, and some caramelized garlic. then fades into the dominant sweet citrus flavors - pineapple and sweet oranges; the hops in here are really juicy. finishes with a blast of sweet maltiness and some of that dough

m: medium (malts don't make it overly heavy - nice) with the right amount of carbonation to make the tropical sweetness overshadow the bitterness, which i like. this is a really nice mouthfeel

o: i was skeptical going in, but this is worthy of the praise it gets. i really like this because the bitterness isn't dominant, its those juicy fruits and floral notes that stand out here. most definitely worth your time and praise

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2014 05:20:49 | More by hopsputin
Photo of JCaweinstein


4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Two finger pillowy white head with good retention. The head on this thing looks so good. Amber to orange in color and crystal clear, showing off just enough carbonation to keep the head on my beer to the bottom of my snifter.
The aromas that I pick up are all fruit related, the most obvious to me being grapefruit. I also smell hints of mango, pineapple and lemon.
It's got that great hop bitterness upfront with some of those fruit flavors showing out, mainly the grapefruit. After the hop blast I get a nice burnt toast, grainy bread taste which follows the hop bitterness nicely. It finishes with the less intense fruit flavors that makes me think of pineapple or even lemon.
This medium bodied, and has that sticky resinous feel to it that I love in my IIPA's. It finishes crisp with malty bitterness and sticks in mouth for a few minutes after every taste so I dont soon forget how good it is.
This is one of my all time favorite IPA style beers. It's crisp, clean and majorly hoppy. I also think I picked this sixer up for like ten bucks! Awesome!

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2013 03:21:41 | More by JCaweinstein
Photo of mudbug


4.93/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From the hilariously labeled bottle into a standard pint glass results in a pretty slightly hazed dark yellow body topped with a half inch head that recedes fairly quickly into a thin cap that leaves lots of sticky lacing on the sides of the glass, nice.
Aroma is outstanding, pungent mango, kiwi, pineapple, all of them extremely bright and fresh,,, wow, just superb.
Taste compliments the aroma nicely, bitterness is upfront with a grapefruit rind astringency.the malt sweetness is just enough to keep things from going too bitter, but just that. Nothing shy about this beer, it's in your face bold and delicious.
While the flavors and aroma yell out DIPA in the vein of Pliny the Elder, it's just a tad thinner.
What an astoundingly good beer, If this is suckage then I'm all for it all the time, Bravo.
Edit review of on Tap at the Brewery.
Over the top excellent, Plus one in every category.

Serving type: on-tap

12-14-2011 00:14:29 | More by mudbug
Photo of LeRose


3.56/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz, undated bottle, poured into perfect pint.

Clear golden color with a frothy head, maybe two fingers, lingered a bit. Laced very well, bubbles refreshed the small layer of foam.

Aroma was a bit of pine, some floral notes, a mix of citrus orange, grapefruit, very fresh, a bit of malt underneath, earthiness. Maybe a very slight melon aroma like a honeydew.

Taste was well balanced between the citrusy grapefruit and hop resins, some sweetness following, a bit of a bitter hit that faded quickly. Body was medium, carbonation pretty laid back. The bitterness was more intense as the beer warmed. Flavor generally hit quick and did not linger.

Overall, a good beer. Easy drinking, balanced flavor. Clean and crisp. Personally prefer Sumpin Sumpin, but this is a good brew.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2013 00:23:37 | More by LeRose
Photo of ThePaleRider


4.9/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A - Bright amber/orange in color with a thick 3 finger head. Never seen a beer put off this much carbonation, pretty amazing as the thick head never recedes.

S - Lots of pine. Very dank marijuana type of smell. Smells very oily and thick. Mostly pine with a little orange peel in the back end.

T - Like a shot of pine and bitter citrus peels to the tongue. Very bitter, but remains smooth at the same time. Is my mind playing tricks on me? Simply an amazing IPA. They threw the malts into hiding just like a good IPA should. Hops right up front and a very smooth after taste. Bravo!!!

M - Very bitter up front with no alcohol to speak of. Lots and lots of carbonation keep this thing fresh to the end. Not as oily as I expected. Leaves your mouth dry and crazing more.

O - Amazing beer that needs to be available year round!

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2013 02:56:54 | More by ThePaleRider
Photo of JordonHoltzman

New York

3.96/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Jotted quick review in cellphone. Then did just a rating, but then decided to put down my subpar review anyway.

Golden body with a thick, white head, and very nice lacing.
Smells of pine and citrus. Well balanced. The taste matches but is predominately grapefruit. Mouthfeel is good, well carbonated.
Overall, a very enjoyable beer. Not quite as sessionable as I hoped, but I guess since it's up there in alcohol level, it's right where it should be in drinkability.
I haven't had the brown shugga that it's replacing, but I hope to.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2014 03:35:26 | More by JordonHoltzman
Photo of pwsoldier


4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pours clear, bright copper with a decent white head. Lacing is moderate.

S - Very enticing floral bouquet supplemented by tropical fruit and citrus. A bit of pine shines through as well.

T - Bitter citrus hops up front with mellower flavors of tropical fruit and sweet malt coming through in the finish. Very well-balanced and bursting with a variety of hop flavors.

M - Medium-bodied with a clean finish thanks to ample carbonation.

O - It's been a while since I've had a Lagunitas beer, but this one seems to have a more complex hop profile than others I've tried. It's incredibly tasty and very easy to drink. I really hope they turn this into a regular seasonal. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2011 23:43:41 | More by pwsoldier
Photo of sjverla


4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nose Ridiculous citrus. Grapefruit and clementine with a tiny hint of pine. No real malt presence, just straight hops.

Appearance: Very little head, but outstanding clarity. 24 karat gold color.

Taste: Bitter and mildly astringent. Upfront it comes across as mild, but the finish is awesome. Super green and dank. Resounding hops oils. The initial flavor is a quick hit of orange marmalade. Smooth and easy to sip with a nice, dry finish.

Overall: Thoroughly enjoyable. I wish it was Brown Shugga, but Lagunitas clearly didn't half-ass the replacement. Quite a bit like their 'Sumpin 'Sumpin ale.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2012 00:39:33 | More by sjverla
Photo of hoppytobehere


4.6/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle, about 20 days old if I'm reading the julian code correctly.

A: Clear, typical color for an IPA. Acceptable head with excellent retention.

S: Good lord. Loads of piney hops, citrus, hop dankness. Amazing.

T: Pineapple. Reminds me of Pliny the Elder but more in your face with hops. Just enough bready malt backbone to finish it off and balance it out. Amazing.

M: Thin, watery. Good carbonation. Almost a session beer.

O: For a hophead, this one is outstanding. Can't beat the price either.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2013 05:02:49 | More by hoppytobehere
Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 6,269 ratings.