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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1,441 Reviews
very good

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Reviews: 1,441
Hads: 9,346
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 8.08%
Wants: 565
Gots: 1,917 | FT: 28
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: 1,441 | Hads: 9,346
Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
3.38/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured with no head. It is a pale golden color that in all honesty doesn't look a whole lot different from a pale ale. The lack of any discernible head was also disappointing.

The nose is very boozy. I also get a bit of sweet malitness, but mostly its straight booze.

The taste is a bit of hop bitterness up front (not too much though, but enough to know that it is an IPA) and then a lot of malt sweetness. This beer then finishes with a moderate amount of bitterness, but certainly less than expected. I don't get any citrusy hops at all, there is definite bitterness and some definite pinyness to the hops though.

Overrall this beer is ok. I do not think it lives up to the hype in any way shape or form. That said, at $10.99 for a six pack it is easily the most affordable DIPA that I am aware of. It just can't compete in the flavor or nose department with MBC Lunch, Heady Topper, or other great DIPA's. (922 characters)

Photo of bound4er
4.46/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A. Clear golden colored ale with a sparse, fast breaking white head.

S. Sweet pineapple, citrus and a bit of pine tinged alcohol.

T. Tropical fruits of pineapple and citrus that is nicely balanced against bready malt. Finishes with well rounded hop bitterness.

M. Medium bodied with a silky feel. Light to moderate carbonation.

O. This is another great hop centric offering from Lagunitas. There's plenty of hop goodness here but in a nice, easy drinking way. Another reviewer compared this to HopSlam - that is pretty apt - call it a baby HopSlam. (555 characters)

Photo of JWU
4.13/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A- a clear gold with heavy orange hues. Bright white head, that laces very, very nicely.

S- Instantly identifiable as a Lagunitas beer. Reminds me of their IPA, but much heavier on the tropical hop notes.

T- A big bitter hit, transitions into the tropical hop notes. Bitterness makes a comeback on the back end. It's good, but I wish there was more intensity of the tropical hop flavors.

M- Plenty dry without being crushingly so. Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

O- Looks great, smells great, and tastes pretty good. I'll certainly have it again, but it's not DFH 90-minute level. (633 characters)

Photo of TenHornsProud
4.53/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a crystal clear orange with big white head that lingers and laces.

Smells of strawberry, mango, apricot, stone fruit and some honey from the sweet malt.

Taste is up front mango, pear, strawberry that fades into a slightly grapefruit yet still lighter fruit middle and ends on a bitter note with more pear and mango fruit. Similar flavor to Nelson hops but with far more going on...really rounded finish. Truly amazing hop flavor. People would be loosing it even more if smaller brewery X made this beer.

Lighter body with medium carbonation and somewhat dry work quite well. Alcohol does not come through.

If you like fruit forward hop character, you'll be hard pressed to find a better example. (707 characters)

Photo of craftbeersweden
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours clear amber with a one finger high, white head.
Lacing stays on the glass.

Nose: Orange, vanilla, sweet malt, pine, pineapple, apple, tropical fruit, resin and a litte bit of grass.
Taste: Citrus, melon, orange, pineapple, a LOT of hops! Butter, herbs, marmelade and caramel malt.
Body: Medium body and carbonation. Full taste with a great, baöanced bitternes.

This is true love! (392 characters)

Photo of musicforairports
4.2/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled Dec. 5, reviewed Dec. 22. Poured into a tulip.

Lightly golden in color, very clear and clean. I like clear beers, for some reason. Head is small, but leaves some lacing.

Smell is all tropical, with dry notes of mango, pineapple, passion fruit, some grapefruit. If I were blindfolded, I might think this smelled like freshly squeezed fruit juice.

Flavor is juicy and fruity. Light malt backbone provides
sweetness but no real flavor, letting a layer of citrus peel and tropical fruit flavors take over. The pineapple/mango/etc. profile dominates, with little of the typical citrus/pine interplay. Not very bitter, to my tastes. Sweet at first, but finishes crisp.

Mouthfeel is medium-heavy, feeling sweeter than it is before finishing somewhat crisp.

Overall this is a high-quality IPA, especially for the price. Though everyone seems to worship the tropical fruit qualities of some IPAs, in reality this flavor reminds me immensely of (high quality) fruit juice, and I could only have maybe two of these beers in a row. Great example of that hop profile, though. (1,075 characters)

Photo of TheFizzinator
4.44/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful light golden color with 2 fingers of head. The smell of very strong citrus fruits hits the nose, smells of lemon peel, oranges, and slight dankness from the hops. The taste is really where this brew shines. Very sweet initially, tastes of pineapples, oranges, and sweet lemons. Very little pine in the aroma and the taste. A slight bit of dryness and just a smidgen of bitterness really pulls this beer together. A light mouthfeel with a moderate amount of carbonation, this stuff is very easily drinkable.

I am surprised, this one lives up to the hype. A really spectacular and superbly drinkable DIPA. (624 characters)

Photo of JLaw55
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one is like the more hoppy forward variant of Hop Stoopid. If you prefer a maltier/fruitier DIPA, go with Hop Stoopid. If you prefer a more hop focused DIPA, go with this one.

Would probably buy and drink again. Very tasty. (229 characters)

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

2012 12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours an orangey/pineapple juicy color. Hardly see through it, even though its light in color. Fluffy white head, with very nice lacing. Its a unique looking beer.

S: Holy shit, dank citrusy pine smell. Most citrus smelling beer I have come across. Touch of lemon zest in there as well. Really shines onthe aroma.

T: MMmmm. Zesty pine, citrus taste coming in strong. Strong bitter finish. Biscuty bread feel as well. Almost can snap this one.

M: Resin sticky dry finish. Medium bodied and perfect amount of carbonation.

O: Lagunitas nailed it. While I don't really love their standard IPA, Maximus and Sucks stand out to me. They shine on the shelf full of IPAs. Do yourself a favor and try this beer, it's excellent. (771 characters)

Photo of Norvelljeff
4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L-It pours a gold clear color with a thin head that dissipates quickly.
S-Does smell like hops and grass. A little floral hints at the end.
T-A little lighter then a traditional IPA. Not as hop forward with more grain.
F-A little stays on the tounge but for the most past the feel goes down with the beer.
O-It is good. Not something I would seek out again but I'm glad I picked up the double pint fatty bottle. The price point was something that I couldn't ignore either. $6.50 for a 32 oz bottle is a very, very fair deal in this day and age. (544 characters)

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

A: Golden, pale, filtered. Lots of lacing.

S: Big tropical fruits and pine aromas.

T: Fruity, lots of pineapple, pine sap, mango.

M: Can't detect much heat, quaffable for an DIPA.

O: Big complex hop flavors & aroma. Can't really pick up any malt flavors, since the hops are so over the top here. Yet another great IPA from Lagunitas. (341 characters)

Photo of distantmantra
4.82/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Russian River tulip.

A: The beer is gold, pure gold. There is nice head of off-white foam that has very strong lacing.

S: Very strong, tangy tropical fruits along with aromatic pine hops and a hint of malt.

T: The flavor is very similar with tangy/astringent tropical fruits such as pineapple and mango. Pine bitterness also present, but the malt isn't really noticeable.

M: Very easy going medium body with a smooth mouthfeel and fantastic carbonation.

O: Lagunitas needs to screw up more. This is a fantastic Imperial IPA. Need to buy more while I still can. (593 characters)

Photo of lurpy1
3.92/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Grabbed a bottle of this, poured into a pint. Pours a fairly standard oak furniture stain color with not much head. However, a very nice sticky lacing as the beer goes down. The smell is sort of a candied hops aroma, sticks with you a for a while.

The first taste is a blast of hops, with grapefruit and some pine. Tasty. Unsubtle. Seems to improve as the drink goes on.

This definitely makes for easy drinking, but I would prefer a little more resin and a thicker mouthfeel.

Final verdict - this is a good to very-good beer, but honestly, I don't see what all the nattering is about regarding Sucks. It's a good IPA/DIPA, but there are better ones out there. Not to mention this is like the 758th DIPA Lagunitas has made. That said, the price point on this is outstanding, it's a good value buy. (800 characters)

Photo of guityler83
4.18/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Overflowed the english pint glass with a moderate pour, the foam built quickly and got roughly two fingers tall before toppling over the edge. Bright white in color, made of mixed sized bubbles, as it fell lacing was left behind resembling thick cotton. Crystal clear beer, no haze or sediment to speak of, just a golden color a hair darker then a gold ale or some such light colored ale.

S: Big bright citrus, melons, mango and other tropical fruit hop aroma. A few notes of biscuity malt hide underneath the hops. Very nicely hop dominated with distinct aromas coming through in a good synergy.

T: Sharp, not harsh, and bright bitterness consistent with the citrus forward aroma. The hop flavor follows through to the middle with pine and tropical fruit. Also getting some fruity ester qualities, maybe from the fermentation character. Underlying malt is supportive of the hops but takes a backseat. Light bready, bread crust flavors. A bit of a spicy character also, rye is what comes to mind.

M: Higher carbonation levels, I think it might actually be what is emphasizing the sharpness in the hop bitterness for me. Very light body with a dry finish. There is also an interesting creamy mouthfeel I don't normally get with IPAs, definitely unique.

O: Great nose on the beer followed by a unique mouthfeel and a taste that doesn't disappoint. Its all I look for in an IPA, but is it something I would blow the doors off for? Not really. But just because there are a ton of great IPAs out there. (1,504 characters)

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

12oz bottle poured into a Cigar City pint glass...can only assume its fresh

A: Pours a beautiful beautiful yellowish orange color with about an inch of head that lasts and actually sticks to the side of the glass in a befuddling pattern. I like it.

S: Smell is strong of grapefuit and piney hops. Mild citrus, lemon, bread, a little mango and guava also.

T: Similar to the smell, but you get more booze on the back of the tongue. Also more sugar, which is enjoyable to me as it cuts the alcohol a touch and brings forth the "exotic" fruit flavors....even some nectarine/clementine which I didnt get from the smell. Very interesting and enjoyable.

M: Medium mouthfeel, nothing spectacular here to set it apart from any other DIPA but it has mild carbonation which is fitting for the style.

O: Overall, I really like this beer. A great beer to have if you want to have 2-4 in a night, as I dont think I could do it for more than that due to the sweetness. I had some reservations after the brown shugga (which I really didnt care for) but this beer is great and balances the hops and fruity flavors like no other beer does. You wont find another beer to directly compare this to. Cheers Lagunitas, youve won me back...if you permanently "substitute" this for brown shugga I will never complain. (1,299 characters)

Photo of MisSigsFan
4.53/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden straw color with a thin white head. Huge tropical fruit aroma right off the bat. A little citrus too. No detectable alcohol. Taste is huge tropical fruits, dankness, and citrus. Still no alcohol. One of the smoothest drinking DIPAs out there. This stuff is liquid gold. The blend of malts is perfect and makes this beer incredibly drinkable and balanced. Overall one of the best DIPAs around. I just wish they had it in 6 packs more often. The 32oz bottle is a bit ridiculous, but priced pretty fairly. Make sure to check the bottled on date. These things have become shelf turds. (595 characters)

Photo of BrewUSA
3.81/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

Lagunitas Brown Shugga This winter American strong ale pours a copperish ruby, with a touch of haze~ Solid head and lacing to follow~ Nose is Hops, Booze, Pine and a touch of Citrus~ Palate is just a scotch above medium, very sticky sugary presence~ Taste is Sugar (shocker) HOPS! maybe just didn't expect such a bitter hoppy beer, I expected more of a Warmer/Brown Ale by the name and label~ Also, Citrus, Banana, Pine, and some Earthy Floral ness, a touch of Maple and Peach~ A bitter and boozy brew that is definitely for hop heads~ Im super picky about hoppy brews~ The sugar does a nice job of balancing the bitterness on a bruising 10%ABV~ This is a unique brew~ Finishes a bit too bitter and boozy for my liking, although I could blame that on the season~ Overall: 7.3 (775 characters)

Photo of rodkin
4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a mostly clear golden amber, with a large fluffy off-white head. Spotty lacing.

Smell is piney, grass, a bit of tropical fruit, some cereal grains. Pretty even and balanced.

Taste is tropical fruity, citrus, grains, pine, grass. It's surprisingly not very bitter, but the hop flavor still comes through. No alcohol presence to speak of.

Mouthfeel is medium thick, moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is very high. Very sessionable, tasty, bright. Just wish it had a bit more hop punch. (494 characters)

Photo of VaterRoss
4.23/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving: 12oz bottle poured into crystal hock.

Appearance: clear golden color, delicate white head.

Smell: sweet malt, alcohol. Perhaps this is just my weak nose but the smell was a bit disappointing.

Taste: first thing to hit is a fairly intense sweetness, next comes a refreshing blast of citrusy hops followed by some alcohol. This is where this brew shines.

Mouthfeel: medium weight, with fairly prominent alcohol.

Overall: although this brew starts of fairly modestly with a typical coloration and very sweet smell, by the time you start drinking you know you have something good. If I had to characterize this I would call it a Sweet IPA, but not syrupy sweet the way a Dogfish Head 90min can be. Strong enough where I probably would not drink more than one in a sitting. A very good beer that I hope will not go away. (829 characters)

Photo of raynmoon
4.58/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

looks above average. Very golden in color, not orange or amber to be found. Nice lacing and legs though. Looks nice.

Smells like Lagunitas, that nice house profile. Smells just like their IPA and their SUMPIN SUMPIN as well. It's that perfect balance between pine needle and citrus.

Incredibly smooth, just as a I remember. This is one of those beers where, one time it tastes very PINY and the next day it tastes very citrusy. It's just very balanced. A touch of rye bitterness on the back end, but it somehow compliments the beer very well. It lingers nicely!

I think I liked this one better last year, but I did get a whole case. Let's see how my taste buds react next time. (682 characters)

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

Appearance- golden amber with thin lacing

Smell- floral hops, a cascade attack with light sweet undertones

Taste- mild malt sweetness, hop bitterness well balanced, alcohol warmth well hidden

Mouthfeel- medium bodied, smooth on the palate

Overall- great pizza beer and stands stong on its own. Well worth another 6 pack. (324 characters)

Photo of ChopperSmith
3.92/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a stubby brown 12 oz. bottle into a standard clear pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a faintly hazy deep golden color with a good two finger white foam head. Left some nice lacing as it receded slowly to a frothy white cap.

Smell: Floral hops and sweet fruits like tangerine and lemon.

Taste: Fantastic floral hops flavor with a good amount of citrus bitterness. Grapefruit and pine flavors that are balanced and smoothed out quickly by some sweet light malts.

Mouth Feel: Light-to-medium body with a good crisp carbonation. Works well for the style.

Overall: A great crisp, hoppy and fruity Double IPA. Great stuff! I haven't had the Lagunitas Brown Shuga Ale that this is a replacement for, but this is one substitute that can fill-in in my 'fridge any time. (773 characters)

Photo of ClavisAurea
4.2/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Fresh 32oz (!!!) bottle served in a snifter glass at cellar temps.

Appearance: lets start with the bottle. 32oz for $6.50!!! I also love the fat bottle design. The beer poured a clear, pale gold with a thick white head and some nice lace.

Nose: flowery, hoppy and fruity, candi sugar, malty and rich

Taste: refreshing and brisk, hoppy bite in the beginning, malty backbone that lead to a rich yet bitter finish

Overall: I really liked this beer. The fact that it came in such a wonderful package at a great price is pure bonus. I have another bottle in the cellar that I don't think will last more than a few more weeks around here. (636 characters)

Photo of Jonny41
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

poured into pilsner glass, deep orange honey color nice foamy head that lasts well, thick lacing on glass when swirled.
Intense smell deep citrius ,grapefruit and other. Taste explosion. A little heavy like too much grape fruit "peel" but very enjoyable, second glass even better.

Slightly thick mouth feel, may want water or lite beer in between bottles but other wise a fantastic beer a top rated DIPA for me. (414 characters)

Photo of Taybeh
4.56/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a bomber into an Odell tulip

A: clear bright honey orange with a crown of head that subsides quickly
S: Wow, that is even better than what I remember from years past. Outstanding. Tangerine, bright ripe orchard fruits (apples, peaches) and a little juicy citrus, very faint grassiness, some dank weed. Really nice bright and clean, then dank; sweet but not cloyingly so.
T: Like the nose, but add in some more bitterness, resin, and even some spicy notes. The malted grains are standing up to the potent hops pretty well, but it is difficult for me to get a read on what they're adding to the overall flavor -- some smooth sweetness, I guess, and maybe some spiciness from the rye.
M: pretty smooth, creamy, and (considering the abv) even light. It is bitter, but in a pleasant way that is easy to drink (at least for this hophead).

Overall: I don't remember liking this quite as much in years past, but this year it really hits the spot, and is spot on. Outstanding. (983 characters)

Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 1,441 ratings.