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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.

1,458 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,458
Hads: 9,441
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 8.08%
Wants: 571
Gots: 2,002 | FT: 26
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: 1,458 | Hads: 9,441
Photo of lastmango
3.93/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

What a strange brew. Looks like cloudy pee after 4 cups of coffee. Has a great head though . . . the beer! Three fingers and creamy. The initial nose was of Christmas spice. Then came the cereal aroma. Very bold taste . . . heavy malt up front with a nice balanced piney hop taste on the end. The beer has an unusual creamy feel to it. This is good. I think I will have to rate this again and suspect the next rating will be higher. :) (443 characters)

Photo of jmasher85
4.1/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got that classic Lagunitas citrus hop profile with a more interesting combination of flavors. Nose hints most at at tobacco, then pine, and the flavor adds a bit of grapefruit with some sweetness in the front and a little bit of bitterness in the finish. Medium lacing and a soft texture that sticks in the mouth make it a pleasure to drink, though I must admit it's still not dramatically different from the rest of Lagunitas's pale ales (as the brewers themselves imply in the description). Delicious, but not worth going out of the way for. (546 characters)

Photo of Libeertarian
3.84/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Clear, lucid orange with fine and sparse flecks. Off-white, fluffy, foamy head of medium retention in 20 oz snifter. Pine, resin, caramel, raisin, perfume, faint citrus, dankness, sweat, with alcoholic burn on the nose. Strong resinous and perfumey flavor, touch of mango throughout, a little vegetal and dank, with many of the same characteristics found in the smell. Minute black pepper and other spices in the finish. As much from alcohol and hops as the adjuncts and yeast. All evens out to citrus rind in the aftertaste. There's more going on here than I prefer, reminds me too much of a fragrant soap. Fairly light body with plenty of fine, gently prickling suds, a crisp, not overly dry finish, and warmth to the front and bottom of mouth. Take breathing/eating/water breaks between gulps, or sip it slowly. Palate easily overwhelmed. I was tempted to rate the taste lower. But it doesn't deserve such treatment as long as its enjoyment can be properly paced. Honestly, though, it will be hard for me to slog through two of these (32 ounces each).

EDIT 08/10: Having my second of two glasses from the one 32 ouncer. Still carbonated. Similar taste, but more fruit-forward than before. Also, enjoying with some cheddar. All in all, better experience and more drinkable than the first go around. (1,301 characters)

Photo of Prasm
4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Smells of the "cereal medley"as advertised - barely, hops, and malt all combine to form an expressive nose on this beer. The taste seems more hop dominated by my palate, though it is balanced somewhat with a slightly creamy mouth-feel with a little citrus in the back-end. (274 characters)

Photo of Hellabeerguzzler
2.6/5  rDev -40%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I like all varieties of beers from stouts, belgians, pilseners, ipa, etc. I can tell you right now that this beer leans heavily toward the IPA side of the spectrum. The color and look was average... decent. The smell was hoppy but good...okay. The feel was great, very drinkable. But the taste. It tastes like an IPA with a little maltiness. I'm not going to try to describe hints of this or that because it's just a mess but not in a bad except for one thing. There really is some kind of dank, armpit, wet dog, flavor to this brew. There's no doubt about it. I miss BrownShugga and I gave this one the marks it deserved because it IS just a half-assed attempt at trying to please Brown Shugga lovers' tastebuds. I concur with Lagunitas own review of this swill and look forward to seeing a Brown Shugga case or tap in the near future. Is it drinkable? Of course. Is it "World Class" as says above? A thousand times no. But will I finish it off? You bet.

edit: Hopefully this will help some of you that got that wet dog taste. Pour and let it sit for a while. I discovered this as I noticed that it finished off quite well (I should know better than to give a review before I've finished it off. Let it sit for a bit and much of that flavor seems to off-gas so probably in the carbonation. The other thing I did was add 1/2 tspn of brown sugar to it (about the size of a dime). Gently stir it around. There you go. (1,416 characters)

Photo of Thedcake
3.98/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

L: like deeply dehydrated urine, or Mountain Dew syrup melted, runny, carbonated and golden.
S: I would give this a 5 if I could be sure that the stank here is my own. Like stress sweat t-shirts or golf socks that melted into an apple scented Christmas tree air freshener that was left in your Honda Civic over a July weekend.
T: it's a 3 b/c sometimes it tastes like it smells, Other times I wonder if I'm tasting an entirely new cuisine. If it were food it would be love laced masala. Only sometimes rotten.
F: this beer made me create an account to share my experience, I think it this brew may be a ruse.
O: strong buzz motor, insists on being drunk cold and/or in full lemme freak mode, delicious? (712 characters)

Photo of Beermanmiles
3.86/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

This is one of the weirdest beers I have ever tasted. When I tried it for the first time I had it out of a growler, I had no idea what color it was. I tasted it and the first vibe I got from it was pale; maybe an IPA. Then I felt an after bite of fruity caramel. It felt like fireworks in my mouth. It is a very powerful mix of tastes. It is definitely one of a kind. No other beer has this sort of pungent flavor. It tastes light though it is fairly high in alcohol content. The beer also has a beautiful light brown hue that is typical of lagers. I drink this beer a lot but it's mostly because a 32oz is 10 dollars. More breweries should make beer in that size. I highly recommend you give it a try, even though many of you may not like it. Some might even find it a monstrosity. (782 characters)

Photo of breadwinner
4.64/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

When it's on its game, this thing is darn near transcendent. Amazing nose combining tropical and pungent hop aromas. Palate follows suit and offers a wonderful bitterness, perfectly weighted within a dry, attenuated body. Tremendous. (233 characters)

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.01/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a pretty popular beer around BA. I figured I'd take a swing at it.

A : Very large and insanely tight popcorn colored head, about 3 fingers and sticking around for quite awhile before finally resting at 2 fingers. The lace makes the glass almost solid looking. The body is honey colored and 70% opaque.

S : Practically perfect marriage of orange peel and piney hop. A little bit of body odor/sweat sock but it's muted and distant. It's a solid, no-nonsense nose for an IPA.

T : Here's the downfall. It tastes like arm pit. And sugar. A sugary arm pit? It's got a strange rotting fruity buzz to it, though. I can't explain it. Like the arm pit and a mouthful of mushy cantaloupe. It tastes pretty gross but something keeps bringing me back to it. The Sweetness? Jimmy Eat World might agree. A little bit later the alcohol starts to surface and it takes on a slight warm buzz. I don't even know how to rate this. Am I missing something here that everyone else seems to be raving about? It's both terrible and drinkable at the same time. A 3? (*edit, a 3.75, see below)

F : Smooth, easy drinking, lightly creamy. Buzzing carbonation. Ends a little pasty.

O : Everything was looking pretty "world class" until I got to the taste. Obviously if I can't drink the beer it loses its merit. I'll pass on this next time.

* EDIT : had another, and it was fresher. The taste was much better. I'll adjust the scores accordingly to approximate the median of both trials.

A solid experience with the appearance being the obvious strong suit, still. (1,552 characters)

Photo of scottbrew4u
4.14/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very appealing from the first sniff of dank hops and citric hops. Malty body gives a solid underlying foundation for this beer. It has a bitter finish but not overly so. Great beer for a hop lover and it has a good following to show for it. I have passed this over many times but glad to have finally reviewed it. (313 characters)

Photo of Tonyjenlasc
4.72/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Lagunitas strikes again!!! The nose on this beer is amazing!!! BIG BIG fruity citrus aroma. And the taste follows w/ an orangy/citrus/ sweet taste. Slight sweet piney finish. This is Lagunitas best tasting beer in my opinion. Can't even taste the almost 8% ABV. A must try for any beer lover. (292 characters)

Photo of kbwalters
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured cold into a tulip glass. Bottled on 4/2/15, consumed on 5/9/15.
Look = 4.25 Pours a clear golden orange color with 3 fingers of thick white head. Great retention and lace.
Aroma = 4.75 Big hoppy aroma, fruity and juicy with pineapple, mango and some orange. Great aroma.
Taste = 4.25 More balanced than the nose but still hop forward. Citrus mostly, orange and lime built on a caramel and toffee malt backbone. Significant bitter finish.
Feel = 4.25 Medium to full bodied, thick and syrupy feel. Resiny, coats the mouth. Medium to high carbonation is fizzy.
Drinkability = 4.25 Easy drinking for a big DIPA.
Overall = 4.375 A terrific DIPA, great aroma and flavors, good feel and easy drinking. $10 for a 6 pack can’t be beat. (735 characters)

Photo of Elsuperjefe
4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Golden Amber w thin lacing. Nose is piney, grassy and floral. Taste follows the nose and adds a delightful bitterness that lingers long enough to enjoy but doesn't kill the buds. Feels smooth and crisp. Doesn't suck. Delicious rescue by Lagunitas. (252 characters)

Photo of vitALEity
3.66/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

-Somewhat cloudy, light gold color with huge, thick head and good retention.
-Very mild grapefruit, orange and pine with some sweet/bready malt
-Light hop citrus and piney flavor balanced with sweet malt. Very mild, more like a high percentage pale ale. Alcohol is very well hidden
-Medium-full body, smooth
-Overated, but for the price its an outstanding buy. (362 characters)

Photo of mrjez
4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at TNT Taisho.
L: pours an unassuming light clear gold.
S: killer nose. Big fruit notes, passionfruit, mango, pine, it's bright and the hop aromas are immense.
T: very tasty. The same fruits come through, some grassiness, and touch of malt.
F: so smooth, a wonderful balance of bitterness.
O: beers like this, Sculpin, and Ruination 2.0 are blowing me away continuously. Bright, balanced, fruity and floral qualities up with the hoppy pine, dangerously easy to drink. (474 characters)

Photo of Jonoesh5
4.15/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Looks gorgeous! Big ol' off-white head sits on a golden opaque body. Smells clean, bright, and hoppy. First sip is bitter, refreshing, and fruity! Sharp/chicory lettuce, grapefruit juice, and oranges are strong in this brew. Malts are hard to find among such big hops, but lean towards baked bread? Almost like beer bread (no shit, right??). Mouthfeel is frothy and carbonated with the lingering off-white head. Slight alcohol numbing towards the end. Overall, Lagunitas embraces their hop-heavy style with Sucks. Great brew for hop heads, but lacks a malt backbone to support such a bitter brew. But what else is new with Imperial IPAs? (637 characters)

Photo of mozart4898
4.62/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L - 1 1/2 finger white head. Fades fairly quickly to a ring, leaves awesome lacing. Light gold, nice clarity. Nice looking beer.
S - Citrusy, piney, a little bit of sweet malt. A quintessential IPA aroma, can't find much fault at all.
T - Big fruity hop forward flavor - citrus, melon, maybe a touch of cucumber, pine. Bitterness is moderate. Malt is pretty much absent. Hides the alcohol very well.
F - Dry, medium carbonation.
O - My first time trying this beer...seen many a mention of it but always figured it was more of a gimmick/name than anything. Truly outstanding. (582 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 BryanReed
4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Great IPA here. Nice golden Amber pour, very clear. Smells a little piney, with huge tropical fruit and citrus. Has that lagunitas resinous tingle on the nose.

Taste is GREAT! I was expecting lagunitas ipa on steroids, as this is my first SUCKS. Boy, this bad mofo is smooth. You get the nice resinous pine up front, then its followed by a citrusy, juicy, wave of fruity-ish-ness. Probably all the different malts and cereals that give it a nice smooth sweetness to really mellow the pine out. Still has the lagunitas hop tingle I love, but much juicier than I expected.

Overall, I'm a huge fan. This brewski is awesome. Plus, $7 for a 32oz bottle!? Thank you, lagunitas, THANK YOU! (685 characters)

Photo of classixIII
4.41/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Clear dark gold to orange, minimal foam but great carbonation. Wonderful piney, citrus aroma. A little more hoppy bitter than I normally like but I find myself curiously liking this alot. Must be the "complexishness"! I'll buy more. (232 characters)

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

Pours a pretty clear, golden color with a full and cloying, frothy head. Good retention here.

Smell has lots of piney hop notes to go along with a pretty notable citrus presence. There is grapefruit, orange, maybe a touch of mango to go along with the resinous floral aroma. Also a bit of noted maltiness on the nose.

Taste is high on bitterness with both fruit sweetness and floral essences along for the ride. There is also just the right malt backbone to this one. Yes, it suits hop-head standards, but it also has just the right body.

Pretty full flavored, moderately carbonated and stinging--hop and alcohol conjoined for the latter, perhaps--on the palate.

This is a damn nice D.I.P.A. Extremely flavorful with just the right mixes--hop and malt; floral and fruitiness. Such a good beer at such a reasonable price (~$7.00 for the 32-oz bottle); this has to be a go-to version of the style. Nice job here. (925 characters)

Photo of leantom
4.23/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Four years and still going strong. Here goes:

A: Good. The bear pours a light yellow-orange. The head is moderate, but the beer leaves good lacing. Very little carbonation, though.

S: Lots of tropical fruits in this one. Pineapple, oranges, citrus, and mango. A little bit of cat pee, though.

T: Follows the hoppy nose, except with a healthy helping of sweet caramel malt to alleviate the bitterness. Good mixture of hops and malt.

F: Great mouthfeel despite the limited carbonation. Thick and juicy.

O: A great beer. Maybe a little overrated, but still good nonetheless. (590 characters)

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

This one looks nice: a slightly hazy deep golden beer with a thick, pebbly off-white head that lasts and lasts, leaving behind lots of beautifully complex lacing. The nose is a harmonious blend of very strong pine, grapefruit and resin notes and a significant floral character. Upfront, the palate is malty with strong citrus notes, more subdued pine and hints of florals; this all gets washed over and blended with a significant hoppy bitterness on the back end. The finish is very crisp, with nothing but a long-lingering piney bitterness left behind. Goodly carbonation allows the medium body to develop a fairly creamy consistency that joins with the crisp finish to produce a beer that is maybe more drinkable than it should be for the ABV. (745 characters)

Photo of HorseheadsHopHead
4.27/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a wine glass . Roughly two months old.

LOOK: A clear burnt gold with a finger of bright white head.

SMELL: White grapefruit juice, flowers such as daisy and clover, and ripe peach and pineapples.

TASTE: White grapefruit juice, lemon peel, candied peaches, pineapple, and mango. Sweet, juicy, and delicious. Malt presence is a very light biscuitiness, barely noticeable. Finishes with only a light bitterness. Alcohol is not even slightly detectable for being an 8% abv brew.

FEEL: Medium, but approaching light. Shockingly easy to drink for 8%. Carbonation is moderate.

OVERALL: An excellent double IPA. I wish mine was a little fresher, but this one is definitely worth buying, and often. (734 characters)

Photo of Savan
2.89/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Got a single of this brew today, and because i work at this store I am pretty sure it was fresh as can be in this town. I have loved the lagunitas I have had in the past, thus I have high standards for what I EXPECTED. It didn't SUCK, but it is ( I feel ) not to caliber with their other FINE brews :/ (301 characters)

Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 1,458 ratings.