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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1,436 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,436
Hads: 9,320
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 7.85%
Wants: 567
Gots: 1,901 | FT: 29
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: 1,436 | Hads: 9,320
Photo of Clydesdale
4.19/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a lightly hazy orange-golden color. The off-white head is medium sized with a frothy, foamy texture. Retention is decent, and some soapy specks of lacing stick to the glass as the head fades.

S: Some lightly sweet caramel and pale malt notes up front. Hops are vibrant, with lots of citrus (white and pink grapefruit), resiny/piney, and a bit candylike and woody. Alcohol has some presence as well in the nose.

T: A bit of cookie-like sweetness up front, with light caramel flavor. Hops are prominent, but bitterness is moderate. Hop flavors are quite citric (grapefruit, mostly), resiny, and woody, with an interesting overall impression. Some vaguely sweet/tropical notes lurk in the background. Alcohol is noticeable in flavor and in heat, but it doesn't distract.

M: Medium body. Lightly sticky up front, before hop character lends a growing dryness to the finish. I get a bit of warming/drying alcohol as well.

D: A very nice, dankly hoppy offering from Lagunitas, a brewery very adept at such beers. The hop profile is quite vibrant without becoming cumbersome, and it drinks quite nicely considering its overall heft. A worthy beer and an appreciated gift from my Secret Santa this year. (1,211 characters)

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

This beer pours a nice amber color with a nice one finger head. The smell is nice piney hops with a good malt presence. The flavor is also hoppy up front with the malt backbone that keeps it from getting to out of hand. Mouthfeelmis medium and wellmcarbed. Overall this is amgood ipa (283 characters)

Photo of jniagar1
3.92/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 12 oz. bottle poured into a shaker pint glass.

A: Pours golden with a white head. Significant amount of lacing.

S: Citrus, almost juice like.

T: Very sweet but with a nice hoppy kick that really rounds the beer out. I could taste orange. Slightly bitter after taste.

M: Watery, not a lot of body to this beer. Still, the beer was crisp and not overly carbonated.

I really enjoyed this beer. (398 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.27/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap tonight at Fire Works in Arlington, VA. Served in a pint glass. Been looking forward to trying this one.

a - Pours a pretty transparent bright orange color with two inches of fluffy white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of citrus hop, tropical fruits, pine hops, grapefruit, fruity malts, mangoes. Really great, hoppy nose, with a ton of fruit. Love it.

t - Tastes of citrus hops, tropical fruits, grapefruit, pine hops, lemon, mangoes, light spice and better. Some light bitterness in the taste. Again, really great, almost as good as the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation, with just the slightest bitterness in the mouth. Smooth and pretty easy to drink; really nice mouthfeel for a DIPA.

o - Overall I thought this was an awesome DIPA. Ton of citrus hops and tropical fruits, and not a lot of bitterness makes it pretty easy to drink. Would love to have this again and definitely a nice substitute for Brown Shugga. (965 characters)

Photo of bsp77
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Clear, light honey in color with moderate, stark white head. Not too much lacing.

Smell: Smells very tropical, with grapefruit, mango, peach, pineapple and other hop goodness. Also smells somewhat sticky and sweet as well, as expected from Lagunitas.

Taste: Sweet malty core of bread and caramel. Loads of hops on top, but not particularly bitter. Notes of grapefruit, pine and general spiciness. Slight touch of the rye that is in the malt bill (not sure I notice the wheat and oats that are also supposed to be there).

Feel: Moderate carbonation, with a sticky, medium body. Finish is dry, despite the sweet core.

Overall: Another winner from Lagunitas. Does it taste like many of their other beers? Sure. Do I care? No. Is it better than Brown Shugga? Yes. Bring this back somehow. (861 characters)

Photo of Hophead717
3.21/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3

A 12 ounce bottle poured into a DFH Signature Glass.

A: Lighter golden brown, with a thin, fizzy head that dissipates quickly. Significant amount of lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Juicy, tropical fruits. I'm getting all sorts here: pinnapple, mango, guava, and passion fruits. It's really intense. Some hops noticable too, but the sweet fruit scent dominates. It's nice, but I'd like a bit more hoppiness.

T: Interesting. This beer is definitely driven by the passion fruit sweetness, rather than the hops. It's fine, but definitely not what one would expect from a DIPA. I'm getting the passion fruit and guava most clearly here, with some bitterness in the finish from the hops. The malt is there just enough to remind you that this isn't a bitter fruit juice. Overall, I enjoy the taste, but despite the bitter finish, it's unlike most IPAs I've tried.

M: Nice, crisp, fairly light, well-carbonated. Well done here.

O: I enjoyed it and will buy it again if it is released in the future, but I'd prefer a SN Celebration. (1,043 characters)

Photo of tlazaroff
4.08/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Like I've come to expect from Lagunitas, this beer is quite clear and well polished. It's a kind of golden cherry color with a crisp white bubbly head. Lacing looks good.

S: I get a kind of sweetness like grilled peaches with a tangerine and mango burst of hop character. Smells quite good, but I wish it was just a little more pronounced.

T: Great taste! It's like a tropical citrus fruit salad party in my mouth. Flavors are more on the tropical side of things - guava, passion fruit, mango, etc. Quite delicious, and I bet if you made a glaze from this for a fruit salad, it'd be wonderful.

M: Moderate carbonation holds up to a medium body. It's a tad sticky, but hardly noticeable.

D: Very easy to drink this, my glass was in need of a refill before I knew it. (772 characters)

Photo of ferrari29
4.41/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer poured from bottle into a Tulip shaped glass

A - Beer pours with a well-carbonated orange, light amber colored body; one finger white colored head; didn't hold very well, but looked very healthy; streaky lacing formed on the side of the glass

S - Citrus orange nose; caramel malt scents; touch of sugary pine and nice blend of hop; wheat grass; very explosive floral smells of sweet rose water

T - Smooth caramel malt taste; citrus-orange; hop flavors of grass and pine; slight biscuit taste; brown sugar; pineapple; dry taste

M - Smooth and creamy; very bitter aftertaste and astringent feel; nice and tasty; not very effervescent; tart

D - I really liked this beer; this beer has the superb caramel and high-octane bitter hop taste that would make it extremely enjoyed by every hop loving beer drinker on the planet; great stuff; good work (851 characters)

Photo of BeerImmediately
4.36/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz into Ommegang BPA glass.

Very faint off-white head that fades quickly over an extremely clear golden to orange colored body.

Aromas are awesome. Fresh tangerine, pineapple, mango, and sweet maltiness.

Really light on the palate for a DIPA, with flavors of juicy grapefruit, pine, and guava. Great sweet, malt backbone to help balance. Delicious.

Abundant carbonation keeps this one from becoming thick on the mouthfeel. Nice dry finish.

The intense level of the flavor profile is somewhat surprising, given the <8% ABV. Whether this one is a PtE clone or not, it's straight delicious, and I will be searching feverously for a case starting tomorrow morning. (672 characters)

Photo of birderbeerer
3.97/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mostly yellow, nearly translucent, with a one-finger white head. Decent lacing.

Smell is musty, sweet hops. Citrus edge to it. Nothing remarkable but very nice smelling.

Taste reminds me of Daisy Cutter--the musty hops and a citrus edge with a little bit of sweetness. Only the slightest taste of butter in the malt. It's nice but not something I'd seek out.

Also, like Daisy Cutter, it's pretty thin. Easy to drink and tasty enough. (436 characters)

Photo of deepchills
4.19/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The ale comes to me in a 12oz bottle. Poured into a tulip glass its a clear, light gold, but looks a little thin. A large, two inch, lightly packed, frothy head that dissipates quickly leaving Granny’s lacing behind. (Once the head was gone there is little lacing)

A huge, wonderful, sweet pine aroma mixed with a little grapefruit on the nose. You don’t need to get near the glass to smell it, the pine surrounds you!

As you would guess from the aroma, this ales flavor up front is predominantly pine. There is tropical fruit in the middle, which I couldn’t figure at first, but now is clearly a giant wallop of mango. That might mean it was dry hopped with Amarillo hops, I haven’t been able to find the ingredients. A smoothly combined piney/tropical with something a little musky, though not unpleasant, in the finish.

Great mouth feel to the ale, though it seems slightly under carbonated. ABV of 7.85% is completely hidden, mostly by the 100% PSTU (Pine Smell & Taste Unit). I love this beer. I love this brewery. I’ll drink this again soon, (1,060 characters)

Photo of Bailarge
4.88/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I tried this on the recommendation of my friend jastack. I'm very glad I did. I can't speak much for the color since I have only been drinking it out of the bottle. But the smell is amazing. Truly smells like Christmas. Almost reminds me of a Christmas Tree. Once I drank it I knew it would be a favorite. Has a perfect hoppy taste that's not too overbearing but just right. It reminds me of a 90 minute, but smoother. It goes down very smooth. I brought it to my brother-in-law's house last weekend. He drinks one of two things, whiskey or cheap beer. The only time he tries anything good is if I'm around. He couldn't get enough of the stuff. It's amazing, and I only hope that they keep it around for years to come. (718 characters)

Photo of jera1350
4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours into a tulip a crystal clear golden color. The head is a bit fizzy and thin and clean white. Leaves some fair lacing.

Huge juicy and fresh hop smell. Like a cross between Hopslam and Abrasive. Citrusy, grassy and fruity.

Very tasty indeed. Lots of citrus and tropical fruit from all of the hops. A very nice malt backbone for sweetness and balance. A very long flavor that leaves a hoppy citrus aftertaste.

A mostly smooth feel. The carbonation is a touch sharp. A bit sticky, but finishes dry.

Tough to set this one down. Very drinkable and enjoyable. A poor mans Hopslam dare I say. A solid DIPA that I will have no problem enjoying the rest of my bottles. (669 characters)

Photo of cjacobsen
4.26/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(A) Pours a very clean, clear, light golden yellow. Not as much of a richer, deeper golden hue that I was expecting. Half to three quarter inch white head that leaves ample lacing.

(S) Smell is of fresh hops. Grapefruit and light malts are what make up most of this aroma. Pine and some orange rind dance around as well.

(T) The taste is down right a really fresh hopped beer. Puts up against Founders Harvest and Surly Wet. This is a little thinner on the hop flavoring and not so full, but I think it's because of the different hop variety used. There are definitely some unfermented residual sugars left in the brew from the light malts. The end of the taste is very sweet and sugary. It's a little refresher from the overall bitterness.

(M) Oily for the most part, but with a little bit of grain to it. Definitely medium to medium light body and ends a little dry.

(O) Solid DIPA. I actually like this better than their original IPA and Maximus. I like fresh hopped beers and this seems like it was done with fresh hops. Can it give Pliny a run for it's money as some people have suggested? I don't think so because it's a different beer and done differently. It's good on its own, let's not toss it up against Pliny. (1,225 characters)

Photo of BarrytheBear
4.07/5  rDev -6%
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. (1,021 characters)

Photo of billab914
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Ithaca glass. It poured a bright, clear, amber color with a half inch of frothy white foam filling the top of the glass. Great head retention and nice lacing as I drank it as well.

The aroma has a fantastic juicy, tropical fruit like hoppiness to it. I get some notes of peach, pineapple and come mango to it. I love the juiciness to it.

The taste also shows some very nice tropical fruit hoppiness to it throughout the beer. I get a little more of a bitter grapefruit presence mixing in with the peach and mango then I did in the aroma. It also really helps the keep the sweet, juiciness of it in check.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation being moderate. Overall I thought it was a fantastic hoppy beer. I really loved the juicy, fruity, hoppy flavors. Very easy drinking, flavorful and at a very reasonable price as well. Lagunitas nailed it on this one. I'd buy this all the time if they decide to make it more often. (972 characters)

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

I gave this beer a strong pour and ended up with a finger of off-white head. The body is a very eye-catching golden-amber color. Head dissipates in a few minutes to leave a small but frothy ring around the glass. A steady stream of bubbles rises bottom to top. Nice lacing as well.

Oranges, grapefruits and mangos smack you in the nose when you smell this one. They smell juicy enough to bite into. The smell of fresh cut pine trees is also in there. Upon further inspection, a light malt aroma is noticed that provides a counterpoint to the delicious hoppiness.

The flavor is much more subdued than the nose is. Grapefruit, pineapple and pine are prevalent, this transitions into a malt flavor and finishes off on the piney bitter side.

Medium bodied, moderate carbonation is at the perfect level. Doesn't coat the mouth very much, rather slides over the tongue and down the throat, leaving your mouth very dry, although that only provides motivation for the next sip.

I have to say, this beer surprised me. I have not had the Brown Shugga and do not know how good it is, but after trying it's stand in, I certainly hope they do not permanently shelve this beer after this run. It is much to good for that. (1,211 characters)

Photo of hdelavega
4.29/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear golden yellow that shot up a good two finger head that is leaving some very nice lacing. Lots of visible carbonation.
Aroma is full of aromatic hops. Defiantly more on the tropical fruit side. I get plenty of pineapple, tangerine and citrus rind.
The hops really come out in the flavor. I get the same pineapple and tangerine from the nose. Really nice medium body, very smooth and super drinkable.
Nice beer. It reminds me of little something wild with a little more of that tangy simco hop flavor to it. I will defiantly do this one again. (563 characters)

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

12 oz bottle poured in a Double Mountain pint glass

A - Pours a clear golden orange with a two-finger, frothy white head. Head dissipates slowly to leave a bubbly cap. Great lacing is left behind. Some carbonation could be seen hanging to the bottom of the glass and shooting up the glass.

S - What an amazing aroma! My nose is innundated with mango, pineapple, grapefruit and other tropical fruits. A bit of pine is in there too. A malty backbone helps round it out but the hops are the star here.

T - Wonderful mix of fruit (pineapple, grapefruit, tropical fruits) hit first, followed by a dash of pine. A subtle maltiness helps balance the taste out a bit. The sip finishes out with a fruity bitterness that lingers only for awhile.

M - Medium bodied with lively carbonation. The bitterness hits you but doesn't overwhelm. Finishes smooth. No trace of the alcohol could be detected.

O - An excellent DIPA from Lagunitas. I love the tropical and citrus aroma. West coast brew for sure. I didn't really know what to expect with this. But I can say this is a winner. I actually enjoy this beer more than I do Brown Shugga. I hope this doesn't stay a limited brew. (1,172 characters)

Photo of boralyl
4.63/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - This beer pours a 1/2 inch of creamy white head with nice retention, It leaves gobs of lace as the head settles. The beer is extremely clear and has a light golden orange color.

S - This beer packs a powerful punch. There is a mix of citrus and grapefruit on the hops side along with a touch of sweet malts.

M - Light to medium in body with active carbonation and some creaminess.

T - There's a great blend of hop flavor. The beer begins with citrus followed by a huge grapefruit presence. There is a little bit of honey mid-taste. It finishes with a resinous pine finish. It has just enough malt body to keep the hops in check.

This was a pleasant surprise. Huge hop flavor and dangerously drinkable. I'm a huge fan and will certainly be picking this beer up again. I hope they start making this year round! (816 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
4.37/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

971st Review on BA
Bottle to Piraat Tulip
12 oz stubby

Purchased a six pack from Mira Loma, Bevmo

App- A very clear golden orange with a good one finger white capped head. Not a big streaker of head or cling. A few whisps of bubbles on the top.

Smell- "Is there Mango in there, asks my wife" Three feet away from me on the couch. A lot of aromatics in this one from tropical fruits. Its mango, pineapple, citrus and a little bit of bitter and balanced by some mild malts.

Taste- I really liked this beer. It was right down the middle of the IPA profile I enjoy. It had great citrus flavors with a good backing malt. The citrus is more tropical as the nose suggested. A little bitter and pepper balance this taste out. It was a bit like mixing Sculpin, Pliny and Just Outstanding to create this one. For a almost 8% beer this damn thing was super drinkable.

Mouth- A great bit of a medium body with nice citrus and creamy malt residual flavors. The carbonation is very bubbly for the ABV and the profile.

Drink- It's very good. It wasnt mind-blowing but I really enjoyed the layers from the tropical to the malt profile to the low bitter level. I will be for sure drinking the rest of these alone with the shades drawn. My neighbors can't know I have this. (1,267 characters)

Photo of kawilliams81
4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a La Chouffe tulip.

A- Pours a light caramel color, with 2 finger white head that leaves a thin ring around the glass. Some lacing remains on glass.

S- Sweet, sweet malt. Honey, pineapple, grapefruit

T- Sweet caramel malt, honey, tons of sweet citrus in here! Has a nice citrus bitterness at the finish.

M- Medium body, medium carbonation with a slight dry finish from the bitterness.

O- Amazing beer! I'm not one to compare beers usually, but the first smell and taste of this beer I immediately thought....Hopslam! Lagunitas better make this at least a yearly release or their a retard. (603 characters)

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

Bottle poured into tulip glass

Light gold almost orangish color with a white head that lingers slightly.

Smell is tropical with the citrus fruits coming through strongly.

Slightly sweet taste with the hops present but not over the top. A very smooth finish.

Right up there with Hop Stoopid in my book. If this never comes back I would be very disappointed. (360 characters)

Photo of hmf05
4.34/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a crystal clear yellow color with a two finger head that sticks around. Aroma is perfect. Very reminiscent of LSS. I get tons of mango and papaya on the nose with some citrus as well. The taste is very similar to the nose. Tropical fruits all the way. Slight bitterness. Nice dry finish. Overall, the aroma far and away makes this beer for me. It's tasty, but the smell outweighs the taste. I prefer LSS, but this is not far behind. Great brew. (450 characters)

Photo of omnigrits
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a straight pint glass.

A. Pale amber in colour with a white head that goes away pretty fast and leaves not a whole lot of lace.

S. Lots of hops with some sweet grains and even sweeter fruits in the background.

T. A decent hit of sweetness at first before the citrusy, orangey hops take over. Zesty. Lagunitas have piled a lot of flavour into this beer, and done it well.

M. On the full side of medium and with a nice dry finish.

O. A very good IPA and one I could drink at any time of the year, not just at Christmas. I hope they decide to make this 'limited release' again. (592 characters)

Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 1,436 ratings.