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)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

9,196 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,196
Reviews: 1,511
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 9.91%
Wants: 552
Gots: 1,810 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 9,196 | Reviews: 1,511
Photo of Microbrewtaster
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a CCB Snifter

A: A wonderful clear golden color with a 1 finger head that is a light beige color. Lacing looks to be coming along wonderfully.

S: Wow, upon the first crack of the cap, a large citrus smell escapes and warmly makes its way into the nose, seems to have a heavy mango smell. There is also a sweet bread smell ( I know it sounds weird, but it smells amazing)

T: Hops, Hops, Hops. I taste a slight mango flavor and for some reason some lychee, which pairs wonderfully together, I also taste some orange and lemon zest, adding to the tropical flavor of this amazing DIPA.

M: the carbonation of this beer is nearly perfect, maybe a touch to much. It is an extremely smooth beer that has a wetness as it goes down, wonderfully made.

O: I now understand what the hype was with this beer and there is not a hint of alcohol in the taste no burn at all. The hoppiy-ness really makes this beer stand out. I would love to have more.

Serving type: bottle

Photo of Vonerichs
4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Crystal clear golden yellow body with tight white head. Fantastic lacing.

Fresh citrus hops create a sweet nose. Clementine, grapefruit, and mango. There's pine, too.

The taste is loads of citrus, Christmas trees, and barely a trace of bready malt.

Mouthfeel is crisp, oily, then dry. It's very bitter.

It is a very good DIPA. There is a huge hype following this and I can't argue that.

Photo of mechamifune
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer has been getting a lot of love so I guess I will contribute to it.

Pours a clean looking gold/orange color with a slight white head. Strong lacing and carbonation evident in the glass.

Smell is hops upfront with lots of strong citrus flavors. Not anything I would call complex, but for the american IPA style, its very pleasant and not much else I would ask for.

Taste is in line with smell.... lots of hops and citrus flavors upfront. A slight sweet undercurrent is there but not that strong. Ends without any kind of stringent bitterness but rather with a little bit of an orange juice flavor.

Mouthfeel is smooth and crisp. Not particularly resinous at all.

Overall this is a great IPA and, I think, obviously superior to the other ipa's that lagunitas brews despite being at about the same price point. I like brown shugga (and, for that matter, all of the relatively similar "strong ales" that lagunitas puts out) but I hope they find a way to make this beer a mainstay so that I can add it to my IPA roation with Hop Notch and 2hearted.

Photo of Agold
4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sucks pours with a half inch of nice white head that recedes to a film. There is a bit of lacing on the glass. Bright and clear, golden colored. Aroma is fresh and citrusey, with a mild tropical note and a touch of caramel. Juicy grapefruit is the dominant aroma. The beer has more of a tropical taste with pineapple and mango with a bit of the grapefruit. Not a lot of bitterness, but very well balanced. Mouthfeel is a bit fuller than I would have liked, I generally like a drier IPA, but still very nice. With a touch more dryness this beer could be world class.

Photo of largadeer
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle into a tulip. According to the Julian date on the bottle neck, this is about 3 weeks old.

Clear, bright orange with a golden tint. The head is sticky, lasting.

Following the trend of the last few Lagunitas IPAs, this has a big mouthwatering dry hop presence. Heavy on the tropical fruit, it brings to mind guava, pineapple and melon, with faint honeysuckle behind the bold fruit notes. Sweetness is moderate, and integrates nicely with the hops.

The palate is a slight letdown from the great aroma, but that's not to say it isn't good. It's quite subdued and dry; it could actually use a touch more sweetness to highlight the fruitiness of the hops. Citrus is dominant, pineappe in particular with more grapefruit toward the finish. There's a slight chalkiness to the mouthfeel, but it's a minor detraction to an otherwise very clean beer. Remarkably easy to drink, the malt doesn't lend much heft and bitterness is fairy mild.

Overall this doesn't quite live up to some of the draft-only specialties Lagunitas did last year (Waldos, SF Fusion), but it's a damn good beer and an outstanding value.

Photo of cocoapuph
4.07/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Finally found a six-pack and just opened my first bottle.

Pours a copper liquid caramel color with about a 1-2 inch head. Smells of hops, citrus and rock candy. Very nice inviting nose.

First sip brings a sweet, sugary bite of hops. I really like the combination of the contrasting tastes. Since I'm not that big of a hophead, this was perfect. Really enjoyed the flavors. Candied lemons, pine and grapefruit were prominent as I drank down the glass.

This beer was refreshing in the mouth and tasted great. Looking forward to the next 5 bottles =)

Photo of Arithmeticus
4.1/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured chilled in large Buca di Beppo glass

A: nice carb beads in the bulb of the glass; good head; pale orange color
S: very piney, resinous; dough smell is right behind the hops; very inviting
T: bold, robust piles of hops, combined with citrus (pineapple, grapefruit); the pine and resin is very strong too, so it might not be your cup of, well, ale; boozy; beyond the hops it's not all that complex.

The self-deprecation on the label is humorous, but a ploy; this is great stuff.

Photo of scottyshades
4.92/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a semi hazy amber color with a frothy/creamy white cap. Retention is excellent.

S: Wow, did not expect this! The aroma is mostly citrus, tropical fruit (pineapple, maybe mango), and sweetish. Kind of similar to Sculpin to me. Very impressive and nicely balanced.

T: Hop bomb...pineapple, grapefuit, mango, orange. There is a sweetness that balances the bitterness of the hops and strikes a real nice balance. This is the best beer that is widely available by far.

MF/D: Medium body (thought this was a single IPA at first), semi-aggressive carbonation, and a clean citrus finish.

Notes: Sorry Brown Shugga', move over for your replacement

Photo of Derek
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Gold with a white head, thin ring of retention, hints of lace.

S: Big hoppy aroma, plenty of pine, citrus rind and soapy-floral notes, dank with some underlying sweat socks.

T: Pine, citrus rind, sponge toffee, marmalade, cotton candy fruity esters, good bitterness, bit of alcohol warmth.

M: Well-attenuated, moderate body has a light hop acidity and a crisp finish.

D/O: Big & bold, but not overwhelmed by bitterness.

Thanks Rutager!

Photo of Koufax21
4.7/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a standard pint glass. It leaves the bottle a transparent yellow orang in color and leaves 3/4" of nice white head that recedes to a fine white ring. Smells of citrus and tropical fruit. Bang... Powww... Zort!!! This is so good! This has big time citrus, tropical, and pine flavors. This tastes like founders harvest on roids. I can't taste the heat at all. Dangerously drinkable. Great carbonation. They must use a centrifuge on this because it is about as clear as any beer I've ever seen. Great stuff.

Photo of homebrewer88
4.76/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle. Color is a nice golden yellow. A pretty aggressive pour led to about 1 finger of white head that disappeared quickly.
smell was great, tropical fruit citrus and pine.
taste followed the smell it had a nice sweetness that was well balanced by the bitterness of the hops.
overall a very good beer.

Photo of peacebone116
4.7/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from my tap into a Delirium snifter. (Thanks, Dee!) Tap was cleaned only a 2 days earlier.

A: Bright orange, very clear and clean in appearance. A nice finger of creamy head clings to the side of the glass leaving gorgeous and delicate Belgian lace.

N: Subtle bits of pine & pepper interweave with sweet grapefruit & tons of sweet glorious citrus.

T/M: Sweet and bitter play perfectly against each other. Notes of grapefruit, pine, tropical fruit and lemon grass dominate the flavor profile. A light and sweet malt bounces in; hints of spicy rye spice, and smooth wheat, as well the standard barley; quickly to be replaced by bitterness as the oily body sweeps through the mouth. The body is very light, especially considering the nearly 8%ABV.

This truly is one of the best IPA I have ever had the pleasure of tasting. It is crisp and clean, light but full flavored. Absolutely fabulous.

Photo of atr2605
4.39/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a golden/soft amber color that is transparent with a white head with short retention that dissolves into a great lace around the glass
S-grapefruit,orange,honey, and pine
T-Nice sweet start with honey and caramel up front that is quickly cut by the hop bitterness with the citrus and pine flavors with a clean finish
M-medium bodied
O-excellent beer with great balance and flavor. This holiday brew did not dissapoint

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.97/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 12oz bottle to Bruges glass on 12/7/11
*From notes

A: A good pour yields a 1.25 finger white, tight head. Clean, slightly dark amber in color.

S: Fresh, citric hops pellets. Not even coned hops, I'm talking straight "face in the bag of pellets". Fairly one note, yet it's a nice note.

T: Fresh citrus. The mid is rounded with a touch of creamy golden malt, and the finish unmistakably screams "Lagunitas!" - just like every one of their beers.

M: Frothy stuff. It's well put together, and I do think this is part of the appeal. It's a bit bigger then most in the style, which perfectly suits the colder weather.

O: Lagunitas Sucks is a nice little beer. But it's waaayyy overhyped. Beer of the year? Are you off your fucking rocker? It taste like a rip off of Columbus' IPA, with a bit more body and that patented Lagunitas flavor profile. Would I have it again? Yeah...sure I would. But I've had better.

Photo of TippySelenoid
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip.

It's a deep, golden color with a white head. The head doesn't last too long, but it leaves remarkable lacing. Not much for bubbles in the beer.

It's sweet, the sugars smell caramelized. There is a peppery/herbal note to the hops.

This beer has a fair amount of woody/herbal/spicy hops. The malts are sweet, but not cloying. There is a nice amount of balance between the flavors.

It's medium bodied and feels bit fizzy, but this is not bad in this beer.

This beer is a winner. I prefer this to the Brown Shugga'. This should be the new winter seasonal.

Photo of TenHornsProud
4.53/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

Photo of rfgetz
4.18/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a bright and clear gold, moderate cap of white froth, great rings of lacing. Scent leads with piney, resinous hops, can smell the Lagunitas from the first whiff, fruity notes of tropical and citrus come through, light spiciness, little in the way of malt sweetness. Taste reverses the scent and is more tropical and citrus forward, ample juicy and bitter grapefruit with touches of pineapple and orange. Decent resiny pine profile and faint splash of sweetness. Dry finish, a tad on the thinner side of medium bodied, more heft would be welcomed. Overall, been waiting to try this and it dint disappoint, a great tasting dIPA.

Photo of plfahey
4.07/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a miniature hefe vase.

Appearance-Medium gold in color with high clarity. Big sticky ivory colored head with good retention and some nice lacing.

Aroma-Up front big piney, resiny, juicy hops. Tropical fruit esters with pineapple and mango. Orange citrus undertone with slight peppery alcohol. Faint, sweet honey malt, but not much of this.

Flavor-Super fruity-with pineapple and mango right up front, followed by orangey citrus and slight lemon. Medium high hop bitterness kicks in in the finish along with resiny/piney hop flavor and light peppery alcohol. Little to no malt character.

Mouthfeel-Medium body with moderately low carbonation. Low alcohol warmth and hardly any bitterness lingering on the palate.

Overall-Solid DIPA-with great hop aroma and flavor, but somewhat lacking in the malt department. Still, Lagunitas always does a good job with their hops, and this is no exception.

Photo of sjverla
4.27/5  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.

Photo of UTCengOwl
4.62/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

YES. Yes. Yes. I've been looking for this beer for the last month. I saw a sixer of it at Majestic yesterday and I had to buy it. Needless to say, I was really looking forward to this and it completely delivered. Lagunitas should screw up more often. Poured into a (512) TWO shaped pint glass.

The beer is a clear honey orange. Head retention isn't great, but I do like the clarity of the body.

The nose is sweetly hoppy. Somewhat one dimensional on that, but pleasing nonetheless. Notes of pine and tropical fruit. Not as harsh as some IPAs, but very hop-centric nonetheless.

The taste is fantastic. Not overly bitter, but exploding with hop flavor. The main flavors I pick up are pineapple and pine. The honey character of the malt base complements the pineapple perfectly. Very light tastes that don't weigh on my palate and keep me coming back for more. Hard not to open the whole six pack at once and just down this stuff.

This isn't the most complex beer I've had, but it may be the best hop flavor. They just nailed the heck out of that. It's a bit light for an IIPA, but it seems to be exactly right for this beer. I'd keep this in my fridge at all times if I had the capability.

Photo of TheCorkStopsHere
4.17/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Despite the interesting name, and the even more interesting story behind the name, I've heard some very nice things about this limited offering and I'm curious to try it. The Lagunitas Sucks Holiday Ale is classified as an American Imperial IPA according to beerAdvocate, which isn't typically my style. But, I'll give any beer a try at least once.

The Lagunitas Sucks pours out a brilliant golden amber color, with plenty of off-white foam on top. As the head retreats it leaves behind quite a bit of sticky lacing, generally an indication I'm getting myself into something a little too hoppy for my tastes.

The nose reveals plenty of hops, but more reserved than just the typical grapefruit variety. There's also an interesting layer of citrus hops aromas, as well as some subtle floral hops. The aromas keep me guessing as well, something else in there is hard for me to put my finger on. I'm thinking its a some sort of bready or yeastiness, but I can't say for sure.

The flavors are, in no uncertain terms, incredible. The flavors follow the aromas nicely: lots of complexity in the hops, with something unique that I cannot nail down. There's a decent amount of hop-bitterness, but it's much softer than expected. The alcohol is fairly obvious for being only about 8% abv. There's a nice little bit of malts in the background, but the hops still take charge and lead the way.

Of the dozen or so winter releases I've had this year, so far the Lagunitas Sucks is my favorite. Which, quite frankly, surprises me because I've said time and time again that "I am not a hop-head." Maybe I'm slowly developing a taste for that bitterness all you IPA-lovers crave? Nah, I doubt it.

Photo of kbutler1
4.1/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Heard a lot about this and seemed right to be drank on New Years Ever. Pours a light medium colored copper color with a thick white head. Nice head retention. Some lace. Nice citrus aroma in the nose. Malty backbone with a nice citrus rind. NIce level of bitterness. Ends pretty crisply and cleanly with a minimal lingering bitterness. Dangerously drinkable.

Photo of pjs234
4.54/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear yellowy orange, with a big thick three finger head. The smell is almost heavenly. It's very citrusy and piney. I really love the smell of this beer. Could smell it all day long. The taste is great too, though not as good as the aroma. The taste is very hoppy. It's a nice oily hop bite that starts if off. The bite wears off quickly and leaves a hoppy after taste that hangs around for quite some time. I almost think the after taste is just a touch off and actually detracts from the overall score for the beer (IMO). This is a great IPA. I really wish it was available year round.

Photo of JEdmund
4.57/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pale orange body, nice head formation, lots of carbonation. Thick lacing is left with each swallow.

The nose on this beer is really outstanding—even more so in the draft version. It really made me sit up and take notice. Reminds me a bit of the fresh hopped aroma of Celebration Ale, but amped up even more. Just a huge floral/fruity aroma!

Flavor is equally as delicious. That big hop nose doesn’t lie...this beer packs in the hops, and in a great way. There’s just enough malt here to hold it all together. Seems like nearly all pale malt, so very little to compete with the hops. Some debate whether or not an IPA can be a holiday ale. I’m all in favor of it. Hops have a big citrus kick and a long bitter finish. Malts are bready and slightly sweet. Body is thin considering the ABV, but it aids in drinkability.

This beer blew me away on New Year’s Eve having it on tap, and it’s still impressing me now out of the bottle. It’s definitely better in draft form, but either way you have it, it’s an “A” beer for sure. I can’t say I like it more than Celebration Ale, but I will say I will look forward to its release next year as much as I do for Celebration’s.

Photo of Humulus85
3.88/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 12oz bottle into my Darkness snifter.

A moderately aggressive pour produced a light, one-finger head. Dissipated rather quickly, leaving behind a bit of lacing. Crystal clear golden hue is beautiful to look at.

Smell is super juicy hops. Not super citrusy, but juicy. There is a bit of woody/earthiness in there as well, and maybe a touch of sweet malt.

Loads of juicy fruity hops wash over the tongue. A pit of green in the middle, and a wonderfully sweet malt backbone that keeps the hops in check. Not a super complex hop profile here, but damn it is clean.

More medium bodied, this brew coats the mouth well with hop oils. Solid carbonation. A moderate bitterness from the hops blends with the sweet malt to produce a fantastically balanced finish for a DIPA.

Overall this is another tasty DIPA in an ocean of hoppy ales. I have never had Brown Shugga, so I can't speak on if this is a legitimate substitute, but it is a damn fine brew. Cheers!

Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 9,196 ratings.