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

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

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1,443 Reviews
very good

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Reviews: 1,443
Hads: 9,351
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 8.08%
Wants: 566
Gots: 1,917 | 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: 1,443 | Hads: 9,351
Photo of Apellonious
4.12/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz single from Lil Roberts in Concord

A - pours a golden color with a mild haze. Two finger fluffy head that slowly fades to a thin foam.

S - glorious hops, grapefruit, pine

T - mild grapefruit, orange peel, dry spice. I start picking up more syrup and berry notes as it warms.

M - effervescent at the start, followed by a bitter, but creamy finish

O - a very tasty offering from lagunitas. (399 characters)

Photo of Premo88
3.83/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

32 oz. bottle poured into tulip
(344 4 date code -- December 10, 2014)

L: gold/light gold, mostly clear with slow little streams of bubbles lifting up the very sides of the glass (way cool!); percolates into big fluffy head of white/offwhite foam that sticks like glue, especially at the top, and last forever ... and the lacing ... wow.

S: candied orange -- there's other things in there, mango, caramel, grapefruit, maybe even bread malt (mixing with everything to form the caramel) ... but super sweet oranges almost covers it all; or pineapple juice ... really sweet, almost a pina colada

T: follows the nose with a bitter bite added in ... very sweet, candied orange but a strong hop bite that gives it some balance

F: full, thick, heavy, almost imperial stout-like, but it isn't overly syrupy; the carbonation is very soft, but it offers just enough of a tingle to keep it drinkable ... a big-feeling brew, bigger even than the 8% ABV

O: considering it's three months old in the bottle, pretty damn good. the malt has overcome some of the hop flavor, and that caramel/mango sweetness isn't my personal favorite, but even that taste note keeps in perfect step with the style ... and there's no mistaking what this is, a pillar of the American double IPA community. it's citrusy, sweet, bitter, big and just lightly crisp enough to stay drinkable. I'd hop at the chance to drink this under a month old. As it is, it's still dang good. (1,454 characters)

Photo of BuxMontBeerLover
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased a 6pk at Wegmans in Warrington, PA.

6pk - $12.99

Enjoyed in a DFH Signature Glass

A - Pours a fairly translucent golden-yellow color. Little to no head on the initial pour. A small amount of lacing left on the side of the glass.

S - Outstanding! The smell of citrus (grapefruit), hops and pine are fantastic. Easily one of the best smelling beers I've had in quite some time.

T - A fantastic DIPA. A great mix of citrus, hops and pine. Just enough malt to lend a sweetness to the overall taste. The alcohol is present but it never overwhelms the enjoyment of this beer.

M - A thinner consistency with a good amount of carbonation. A slightly bitter aftertaste.

O - A top-notch beer in every facet. Easily, one of the best beers of 2011, in my opinion. Lagunitas may have said they "suck" for not brewing Brown Shugga' this year. This beer more than makes up for their "mistake". I'd love to see this beer as a year round brew. Highly recommended.

Cheers! (972 characters)

Photo of ExtraStout
3.95/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appears a light light peachy apricot with a hint of ruby to it. It almost looks like an apricot sucking candy. There's a very fluffy head, about half an inch, that is covering it entirely. I'm a bit surprised that a double IPA is coming in this light in color.

Smells Wonderful. Crazy tropical fruits here: pineapple, mango, and a little tangerine. Really nice and not too overpowering.

Taste is much more subtle than its nose. Extremely clean - maybe too much? I wish that its flavors were stronger.

Its mouthfeel is very crisp and short-lived. Here and gone in a second.

A good beer but definitely not what everyone is making it out to be. This is far from a Pliny and no where near a Heady Topper in my opinion. At the same time, I'd also rather have a Brown Sugga. (772 characters)

Photo of greenmonstah
4.31/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into pint glass

A - Golden amber in color, with a steady but slow stream of bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass. Little head, but what small head there is does a fine job of lacing the glass.

S - Deep pine resin and grapefruit, tangerine and a more sweet clementine aroma. The pine is more than I expected, and the standard citrus-forward Lagunitas IPA aroma is there. Some dry grain aromas are there too, like in a grain elevator.

T - Taste is hop forward, but with a balancing toasty grain finish. Tastes of pine tips and grapefruit, like the nose, but with more bitterness than sweetness.

M - Mouth is medium, almost light for this style, but medium overall. Sharpness from the carbonation and hops, but it rounds out in the finish. Mellow compared to some DIPAs

O - Oerall this is a fine beer indeed. I put it up there with Lil Sumpin' Sumpin'. This is a beer I would buy constantly if I could get my hands on it. Great work, you certainly don't suck. (982 characters)

Photo of tut2528
4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

had this one both on Tap and Bottle (this review is based off the bottle)

A: pours a nice light gold color with moderate transparency. it created a nice finger worth of head formation with nice carbonationa and moderate lacing.

S: just a magnificant grapefruit bomb! i also pick up on lemon zest and orange peel and a nice exlopsion of hops. there is a sweetness of malt backbone and some pine resin as well. but, man that grapefruit is awesome

T: big sweet malt body makes its presence known here. there is a nice pine resin along with the hops to create some bitterness. some bready biscuit and again, grapefruit and lemon zest are here, but they take a back seat when comparing it to the nose. crisp finish

M: slightly oily on the palate, and it leaves a subtle sweet malt and biscuit component on the palate. nice lighter side of medium bodied brew.

O: not much of a fan of Lagunitas, but man did they produce one phenomenal brew here. On tap it was absolutely amazing. just an absolutely terrific representation of the style. and the drinkability is awesome too. could easily kick a 6er of this back in a sitting. (1,124 characters)

Photo of jamescain
4.62/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Duvel tulip.

Glad I finally got to try this beer. The color is a clear straw yellow with orange hints and a fluffy white head about two fingers thick. The aroma can best be described as a mix of tropical fruit, pineapple, papaya, peach, and citrus with hints of pine. The aroma was complex, but could have been more defined. The taste consisted of pine, citrus, and peach. There is not a noticeable malt backing, but I think it works for this beer since the hops provide a complex flavor profile. The carbonation is at about a medium level with a dry lingering finish. Great beer! This is one of the reasons that I love Lagunitas. (645 characters)

Photo of SkeeterBoganski
4.59/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle in to a pint glass...obviously.

A - a carbonated orange with some haze present; the bubbles don't stop bubbling from the bottom; nice half-inch head of white foam; lacing is present...and should be taken seriously

S - really grapefruity; generally, one extremely hoppy note after another; floral and resiny; as someone else noted, it smells a lot like Gubna...although seemingly not as sweet

T - citrus as all get-out; grapefruit, orange, passion fruit; bitter hops; soapy floral; piney; also, grapefruit my man

M - this beer is extremely smooth and well-balanced; medium bodied and at the lower end of that; nice malty backbone that presents as dry; solid carbonation

O - this is really one of the best beers Lagunitas has made that I've had the pleasure of trying; it's an extremely well-done DIPA with balance, flavor, and the perfect amount of booziness; for your value, a beer doesn't get much better than this (946 characters)

Photo of Lerxst
4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a gold/amber with a fluffy two finger white head that has good retention and sheets lace all the way down. Nice looking beer.

S-Smells like a hop bomb. Loads of citrus bombard the nostrils along with whiffs of pine resin. Not picking up any malt to speak of, just a boatload of hoppy goodness here. Smells great.

T-Hops abound with an explosion of juicy citrus, a bit piney. Picking up a slight bready malt backbone that in no way makes a play for dominance, it just acts as a nice complement to the bitter, citrusy hop bonanza going on. Not extremely complex, but very, very delicious and enjoyable. This is an excellent DIPA.

M-Crisp with ample carbonation, yet feels a bit slick and oily mid palate but finishes dry. Medium body.

O-This is the best beer I've had from Lagunitas. An excellent DIPA that I will enjoy again and again. A job well done! (863 characters)

Photo of CBlack85
4.54/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a globe glass.

The beer pours a clear gold color with a big frothy white head that recedes fairly quickly leaving behind a thin crown on top of the beer and an impressive amount of lacing.

The aroma is just WOW... I mean the hops just pop with a huge fruity aroma. I get peach, mango, orange, pineapple, and pink grapefruit. I also get just a hint of a sugary sweetness, but no real grainy/bready malts to be found. I almost don't want to drink this beer just so I can sit around enjoying the aroma. Beautiful

The taste is big on citrusy hops, but not as big as the nose would let on. The hops are more fruity than most IIPAs that I've come across. Lots of orange, ruby red grapefruit, and a bit of pineapple. Like the nose the malt profile is weak at best, although I do get more bready notes in the flavor than in the nose. The beer finishes fairly dry with just a slight bitterness. Medium bodied and the carbonation is spot on.

Overall, this is a terrific beer. Maybe my favorite IIPA. Definately one of the best noses on a beer that I have encountered so far. (1,102 characters)

Photo of rdilauro
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The name , well intriguing, didnt know what to expect. But I have enjoyed just about everything from Lagunitas.
The poor was perfectly clear, light with a nice head. The aroma was more than I anticipated. For a 60 IBU beer, it had a hoppier nose.
The initial taste also came across with more hops.
The mouthful was full, rich, crisp and clean
The aftertaste was as nice as the start.
Another nice brew (401 characters)

Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours light clear gold into my snifter with just about one finger of white had that decent retention and leaves nice rings of lace on the glass.

S - Big juicy hop aroma, tons of grapefruit, dank and resinous, malts are there to add a little balance, but mostly hop goodness.

T - Like the nose, very juicy and hop forward, lemon and grapefruit peel as well as some mango notes, again dank and resinous for sure, toasted biscuit malts lend some balance to the mix but this is a hop heads delight.

M - Relatively medium body with good carbonation, a little on the syrupy side.

O - Again, if you love hops you will most likely love this beer. Missing brown sugga this year, but thanks for the great DIPA! (708 characters)

Photo of InebriatedJoker
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into Duvel tulip - 2011 limited release.
$9.99 a sixer from Kenny Road Market.

A: Pours a deep golden hue with four finger head w/aggressive pour. lots of tiny bubbles, very well carbonated .

S: Tons of Citrus ,slight pine, hops, floral grass.

T: Slight bitter hop punch with well blended citrus and floral grass -sweet malt is in there and does a wonderful job balancing this one out, decent amount of pine and oily resin.

O: Overall they should make this beer as a year round selection, Brown Shugga what?

Well done. (544 characters)

Photo of JuliusCaesar
4.31/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Golden Straw color

S: Very nice floral hop aroma. Maybe the best part of this beer

T: Great citrus flavors with a good malt balance. Not very bitter but still delicious. Can't detect the alcohol at all

M: Smooth and slightly on the heavy side

Overall: A great DIPA. The aroma and flavors are near perfect. It's not as bitter as some DIPAs I've had but I'm not sure that's a bad thing. Well balanced (405 characters)

Photo of whatthehull
4.19/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted nov. 20th 2011 (from notes)


A - really nice orange/copper, very small very white head that doesn't last and no lacing

S - weed, pineapple, island fruits, lots of hops, very sweet smelling, yeasty, citrus, earth and more weed

T - resin, weed, pineapple, citrus, alcohol, very hoppy, pine needles, sweet malts, funky yeast, herbs, minerals, soil and fresh cut flowers

M - medium body, medium acidity, medium complexity, decently balanced and long finish

D - this overly hoppy, very tasty and refreshing all is another great beer from a great seasonal brewery. If you like lagunitas, weed and hoppy ale, dive in dude

Final thought - $9 a six and almost 8% and taste like sticky icky (708 characters)

Photo of Auracom
3.67/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. single purchase from MSCM. All 12 oz. in a FFF Rastal on December 27th, 2012.

A - Super clear, golden coloring. 2 fingers of an eggshell head. Plentiful lacing. Slight alcohol legs.

S - Tropical. Tangerines, Mango, and pineapples. Very nearly a hint of guava. Light sugar, honeycomb.

T - The hops play second fiddle throughout the drink. Light pine underneath a layer of that tropical citrus. Touch of bread.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation, semi-dry finish. Some alcohol warming.

D - It's not what I expected given the brewery. It is very drinkable and balanced, with little palate fatigue. Easy recommendation, although I'm a year late to this party. (668 characters)

Photo of FirstBrewsoon
4.19/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A -A vigorous pour into a tulip (which seems to be how all my reviews start these days) yielded three fingers of dense foam which rose above the lip of the glass like whipped cream. The surface tension was enough that it didn't spill down the sides, though. Cool! Pale yellowish-orange with much clarity.

S - Floral, citrussy, resiny hops burst all over the nose. Most notable are grapefruit and orange rind. Intense.

T - Lighter and crisper than most double IPAs. Lots of hops again, though perhaps with a slightly grassier quality. Fades quickly into the finish, with some malty sweetness at the back end, but the first taste is great and refreshing.

M - Lively and effervescent. Not thick at all.

O - Extremely enjoyable, and ten bucks a six-pack - what a deal! (768 characters)

Photo of RocketCityVol
4.23/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- Transparent light golden appearance with a thin white head

S- Heavy hints of Grapefruit and other cirus with a heavy hop aroma.

T- A lot like the smell, but with more of a cirtus flavor with a hint of pine and a perfect amount of hoppiness.

M- Lightly carbonated and Alcohol is not overwhelming.

O- Very good IPA I would definatley purchase this beer again when given the chance (385 characters)

Photo of Yoda22
4.57/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a super clear straw yellow with 1 finger of head and decent retention.

S- Simply exceptional. Super hop blast; citrusy with pine and bready notes in there. Possibly the best IPA i've ever unleashed my nose upon; not exaggerating. A lot of beers you get a strong scent that appears weaker and weaker the more you smell, not this. The smell just keeps on coming.

T- Well it's hard to live up to the expectation set by the smell, but the taste is very good as well. Hoppy yet malty/balanced, good hop aftertaste. Sweet and enjoyable.

M- Body and carbonation are on the light side, but I have no issues with that for an IPA.

O- Really enjoyed it - slightly better than regular Lagunitas IPA (I need to review Lagunitas Maximum now which is in my fridge!). Wish it were a year round brew. (799 characters)

Photo of WMEugene
4.97/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Pours a clear, bubbly golden amber color with a one-inch head and good lacing.

S - Strong punch of hops upfront. Citrusy with a hint of bitterness. A little pine as well. Very, very nice.

T - Strong hoppy flavors - picked up grapefruit, a little lemon and some orange. Some pine notes as well. Also can taste a slightly caramelish backbone of malts. The hops run the show and make this a definite winner.

M - Medium bodied, a little fuller than a normal IPA. Great carbonation, a dry finish with some noticeable hop flavors and bitterness.

O - Wow, this was better than I was expecting. Lagunitas hit this one out of the park. It's right up there with SN Celebration as not only the cream of the crop for winter beers, but for widely distributed IPAs. It's an embarrassment of riches right now. I want some more please! (827 characters)

Photo of pnelting
4.41/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Excellent DIPA! Clear deep amber, full white head and plenty of lacing. The aroma was wonderful citrus and pine hop goodness! Taste is just as good as the nose. (160 characters)

Photo of bfields4
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice pale golden body. Good frothy white well retained and lacy head.

Aroma has blast of pine, citrus that familiar Lagunitas touch. Hint of sweet lingering bready honeyish malt.

Grapefruit pineapple and hop resiny goodness hit the tongue. That lingering malt sweetness (honey bready note) is there to curb the flavors just enough and provide a bit of balance.

A very very good beer. Nice sipper strangely almost chewy great lagunitas flavor. All of their hoppy beers just seem to hit this certain distinctive note that is def lagunitas but with their own subtle nuances, and I like it... a lot.. Can't wait for these bad guys to get rollin out back here in CO again. (680 characters)

Photo of nicholas2121
4.65/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) brew by Lagunitas Brewing Company, with an ABV of 7.85% This brew pours out a golden amber color with a nice white head. I like the color of this brew, it is a filtered brew, you can see though it. The smell of Lagunitas Sucks is rich with hops , grain and malts. You also pick up on a some citrus in the smell of this brew. Now for the taste, it is bitter, but smooth. You pick up on hops at first , but then it is smooth with grains. There is a nice sweetness of citrus at the end of this brew. Lagunitas Brewing Company , did a nice job with one, this brew has a nice balance to it. There is nothing overpowering about this IPA. The mouthfeel is full bodied with hops, grains, but a nice smooth aftertaste. You really can't pick up the 7.85% ABV in the brew. Overall I'm giving Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) a 4.75 out 5. I would buy this brew again. Thank You Lagunitas Brewing Company (960 characters)

Photo of BWED
4.16/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a Spiegelau

A- Light gold. Dash of haze. Thick white head holds really well. Thick rings of lacing.

S- Juicy citrus. Dull citrus rind. Sweetness, maybe some brown sugar? Hint of pine in there as well.

T- Subtle toasted malt. Brown sugar. All chased by that dry citrus peel. Very well balanced.

M- Medium body. Very clean drink. Finish is just barely bitter.

O- This beer has a lot of subtle attributes that blend together really well for a well balanced beer. Not one component stands out alone, however, every component helps out to make the entirety of the beer stand out. (598 characters)

Photo of CTbrew32
4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Appearance- Orange amber in color with good visibility throughout. Pours a three finger head on a hard pour. Plenty of foamy lacing shows up as the head recedes.

Aroma- Pungent grapefruit, citrus, and pine dominate the nose with a touch a malty sweetness hiding in there.

Taste- The taste definitely sees pungent grapefruit and sweet citrus flavors, but there's also a tropical fruit (pineapple,mango, etc) aspect to this which amps up the flavor profile. The malt is very subdued with a mix dry cracker flavors and caramel malt sweetness. The bitterness is mild too for a DIPA.

Feel- Probably the weakest aspect of the beer as the feel is very thin and leaves a lot to be desired. The thinness makes for a really easy drinking double ipa, but the lack of feel lets the flavors drop out quicker rather than letting the hop resins linger for while longer. Overall the feel is thin, carbonation, is medium, and the finish is clean.

Overall- This is a great DIPA, but its not world class. The hop flavor is great with a wide array of flavors ranging from pungent grapefruit to tropical fruits. However, the body is lacking big time and the malt doesn't add much depth beyond the hops. For the price and quality of the beer overall, its a certainly one of the best widely available dipas on the market. (1,309 characters)

Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 1,443 ratings.