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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)

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7,446 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,446
Reviews: 1,275
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 9.63%
Wants: 368
Gots: 858 | FT: 21
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: 7,446 | Reviews: 1,275 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheSixthRing
4.6/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours a slightly hazy, light golden orange. Respectable finger-width head which dissipates rather quickly to a thin, ever-present lace.

Smell - Mellow grapefruit, with apricot or peach lying somewhere in the background.

Taste - A complex array of bitter grapefruit hop, artfully balanced with sweet malt. It dances beautifully around one's tongue and somehow combine to give this a very sweet, very true ruby red flavor, making itself completely and utterly drinkable.

Mouthfeel - Full-bodied, yet passes as light and refreshing. The carbonation is on point.

Overall - Do you know the story of Wally Pipp? Well, Wally Pipp was starting at 1st Base for the New York Yankees. One day during batting practice, Pipp took a pitch to the temple and had his skull fractured. The team's Manager had to turn to his young back-up to replace Pipp as the starter. That young 1st baseman? Lou Gehrig. This beer is Lou Gehrig. While Brown Shugga' is a good beer it's "substitute", Lagunitas Sucks, is on it's way to becoming a legend. This is the best beer I've ever had from Lagunitas, and that's saying a lot. Let's hope they keep this beer in the game.

TheSixthRing, Feb 17, 2012
Photo of doucmehu
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

doucmehu, Dec 18, 2011
Photo of jkball01
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

jkball01, Dec 31, 2013
Photo of jbertsch
5/5  rDev +14.7%

jbertsch, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of Mattias
4/5  rDev -8.3%

Mattias, May 10, 2014
Photo of jaswilson2
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

jaswilson2, Mar 05, 2014
Photo of BarrytheBear
4.05/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

No bottling or best by date...I never learn. 12 oz bottle from a six pack.

Pours a slightly hazed medium yellow with an inch of puff that pusses out to thin skim. Lacing is pretty damn lacy.

Nosey tropicality the likes of pineapple, gummy peaches and oddly guava. Whatever the hop I perceive as peach is a hop I dig. I used to eat the hell out of those Gummy peaches, but I cannot stomach the texture of an actual peach. This is the life I lead; play on player.

Guava up front segues to a firm moderate bitter bite through the middle and that sort-of-difficult-to-describe-but-you-know-it's-Lagunitas-sandpapery-graininess on the finish. Reminiscent of the Sumpins with a slightly more tropical hop profile.

There is something about the grainy feel of these beers that doesn't quite sit well with me; it's almost a solvent quality that takes away from some of more impressive parts of the beer.

Another good bang for the buck beer from Lagunitas, but not a major departure from their more standard hoppy offerings.

BarrytheBear, Dec 09, 2011
Photo of vinny21bal
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

vinny21bal, Nov 29, 2013
Photo of chugalug06
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The only thing this brew is lacking is a bit of clarity.. Brew is nice tan orange color with thick, large, white, foamy head.

Super interesting and unique. Super pine, resinous, sticky, marijuana, stinky, nice aroma. Much like Gubna, but more well rounded.

Nice, smooth, sweet, no bitterness, piney, sticky, perfect medium-high carbonation, refreshing, crisp, buttery, well done.

Well worth the anticipation and hype. Glad I grabbed two six-packs of sucks at the LQ. Highly recommended, especially @ $2.50/12oz.

chugalug06, Jan 05, 2013
Photo of Eaglefan344
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

Eaglefan344, Dec 23, 2013
Photo of smutty33
3.75/5  rDev -14%

smutty33, Dec 17, 2011
Photo of Docer
3.63/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: (4.0)
- Nice golden yellow and slightly orange pour, yielded a couple fingers of foamy white head.. settled to a fluffy ring and some scattered traces. Rather clear brew.

Smell: (4.0)
- Massive citrus hops.. just massive. I don't think I have ever smelled such a hoppy beer. Lots of sweet grains going on here, some breadiness.. but overall just a sucker punch to the face of grapefruit, pine, lemon zest, and sticky dank hops.

Taste: (3.5)
- Sweet brew. Sugars, caramel grain, and tons of herbal grassy bitter hops with a smooth citrus zesty hoppy punch as well. The sugars, bitter hops, and aroma hops all play very well together to create this hop tea of a beer. I like the bitterness, but like with most Lagunitas beers for me.. a bit over the top sweet. Nice to grab though if craving a mega hop bomb.

Mouth Feel: (3.5)
- Slightly sticky, certainly chewy and resinous brew. Medium to light bodied, but just sweet and all the characters of sweet. Good bitter drying touch to it. Well carbonated.

Overall: (3.5)
- Hops. Hops. More hops. This is just a sweet hoppy monster of a beer. I wonder if they just took Hop Stoopid, and dry-hopped the living hell out of it some more. In fact, I think that is just what they did. Certainly seems like it was brewed with some candy sugars or something much the same. A solid hop monster, and more a novelty beer for me. Hard to drink more than 1.

Docer, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of FrankHammer
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

FrankHammer, Mar 10, 2013
Photo of erialbill
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

erialbill, Apr 24, 2013
Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.15/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a very nice beer, it really surprised me when I tasted this at the store, as I expected a holiday ale not an IPA (I'm sure everyone is saying this, but iot's true).

The beer pours a nice pretty clear orange color with some head and lacing, nothing crazy but still super solid looking.

The smell is really quite nice, lots of fresh citrus and pine, just a touch of honey malt, just a very solid west coast IPA hop forward smell, quite delicious. The taste is very solid too, and the hops and pine are certainly there, but don't quite pack the punch the nose had foreshadowed. Has some nice light notes in the taste too and also a kind of bitterness in the aftertaste that isn't super desirable but not super distracting. Overall quite a tasty beer though.

Mouth is great, super slick and a bit sweet, with a bitter aftertaste. Just enough carbonation, has nice medium in the pocket feel.

A good beer worth buying a $10 sixer of.

Dreadnaught33, Dec 06, 2011
Photo of russwbeck
4.6/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Amazingly clear yellow pour with about a finger of white head. The retention could be better, but what does stick around laces nicely down the side of my Russian River -tion glass.

S: The aroma is of piney hops with mango type fruits underneath. Very tropical and floral smell. Only a slight malt backbone.

T: The piney hops start the taste off big and bitter, and give way to the mango, pineapple, perhaps grapefruit middle. The end is all hop bitterness and perhaps some malts for balance. The taste is certainly hop forward, but the amount of fruit curbs the bitterness wonderfully.

MF: Light body, this one is extremely crisp and easy drinking. One of the most drinkable beers I've ever had.

O: I can see why this has the hype it does. This beer is phenomenal. It's so drinkable and crisp I can't put it down. The hops and fruits are perfect.

russwbeck, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.23/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip.

The pour is a mostly transparent, full golden yellow color with straw edges. A regal off white froth bellows up from the beer upon pouring. Levels of lace remain where the beer rested during my glass.

The biggest compliment I can pay to the complexity of this beer is that it seems nearly impossible to identify all of the aromas and flavors, so I am reduced to using general descriptors to do the best I can. The aroma has a spicy pine hop base, with a nice amount of grapefruit, apricot, and tangerine as well. As the sweetness comes through, I get some light pale malts, honey, and some caramel.

The flavor blend nicely together and roll in complexity. Up front, biscuity bread and honey, some light caramel notes, and then a nice wave of hops that never goes off the bitter end. Spicy pine, grapefruit, lemon zest, apricot, and assorted other citrus notes roll on the tongue as the sip concludes.

The hops are strong, but not totally overwhelming. The oil residue mostly clears away from the mouth after each sip, and the hoppy flavor and crisp carbonation mean it scrubs the tongue clean after sip. The overall feel is simple, clean, crisp, and refreshing.

Not an absolute hop bomb, but this was quite enjoyable.

KickInTheChalice, Jan 30, 2013
Photo of Danielr26
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Danielr26, Feb 18, 2013
Photo of DeanMoriarty
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

DeanMoriarty, Jul 25, 2013
Photo of avaldivia
5/5  rDev +14.7%

avaldivia, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of ldhughes3
4/5  rDev -8.3%

ldhughes3, Dec 19, 2013
Photo of kell50
4.63/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Snagged a fresh (1/10/2013) 12 oz. from a local bottle shop in Charlotte, NC. Poured into my OMB pokal.

A: It poured a beautiful golden amber color with a nice, fluffy white head. The 1" head receded down a bit as I finished pouring the bottle.

S: Huge dank hop frangrance; mango, pineapple, orange/citrus notes hit like a punch in the face. I'm also getting a little onion/garlic in the mix too. You know almost instantly that you've dealing with a Lagunitas IPA.

T: The citrusy/tropical hops attack (in a good way) your taste buds with the addition of some sticky malt. It's honestly so hop forward, but so incredibly balanced. Delicious is a true understatement. Awesome representation of a west coast style IPA.

M: Fairly light mouthfeel without a crazy amount of carbonation. It's sticky yes, but goes down quite easily. It's the kind of IPA you could literally gulp down.

O: A remarkably delicious, full flavored balanced west coast IPA that blew me away in all aspects. At $9.99 (found it for $8.99 on sale) a six pack it's a no-brainer.

kell50, Jan 30, 2013
Photo of skaboom420
3.5/5  rDev -19.7%

skaboom420, Feb 14, 2013
Photo of stephens101
4.35/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Vociferous piney hops fill the room and won't keep quiet. The sticky, off-white head is large and in charge. Color is reddish-orange with brassy hues.

Getting more aroma of orange candy, caramel and nutmeg after deeper inspection.

Piney, earthy, sugary and spicey to the tongue. Some notes of yeast are noticed later.

Fluid all the way with an unexpected creaminess. Alcohol is extant but doesn't burn. Has a rarely found, finely tuned balance for a DIPA.

Sucks is an amiable beer that knows when to raise its voice and when to quiet down.

stephens101, Feb 15, 2014
Photo of Scotchboy
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes, sampled 12/22.

Lagunitas Sucks, on-tap @ Gernikas, Boise ID. Served in a pint glass.

A: Crystal clear golden color, with tons of white lace that recedes slowly and covers the glass. Love the way this beer looks.

S: Awesome hoppy bouquet; grapefruit, mango, tangerine, very tropical...mint, pine sap, bready malt too, but the hops shine

T: Great taste, herbal and piney, pithy, lots of orange, candy sweetness, biscuity malt dryness.

MF: Prickly from the bitterness but smooth in the overall body, light medium feel, lots of hoppy dryness.

O: One of my favorites. Glad I found it on tap. This baby is all about the hops, and is pretty unique in my opinion.

Scotchboy, Dec 27, 2011
Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 7,446 ratings.