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Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) | Lagunitas Brewing Company

1,542 Reviews
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Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale)Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale)

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.85%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
This sad holiday season we didn’t have the brewing capacity to make our favorite seasonal brew, the widely feared BrownShugga’ Ale. You see we had a couple of really good years (thank you very much) and so heading into this season while we are awaiting the January delivery of a new brewhouse we are jammin’ along brewing 80 barrels of IPA and PILS and such every 3 hours. A couple of months back we realized that since we can only brew a mere 60 barrels of Shugga’ every 5 hours, that we were seriously screwed. For every case of Shugga’ brewed, we’d short 3 cases of our favorite daily beers. It’s a drag. This year, we brewed something that we think is also cool and brews more like our daily brews. The new brewhouse will help insure this kind of failure never happens again. It’s a mess that we can not brew our BrownShugga’ this year and we suck for not doing it. There is nothing cool about screwing this up this badly and we know it. Maybe we can sue our own sorry selves. There is no joy in our hearts this holiday and the best we can hope for is a quick and merciful end. F*@& us. This totally blows. Whatever. We freaking munch moldy donkey butt and we just want it to be all over...
So this substitute beer is a ‘Cereal Medley’ of Barley, Rye, Wheat, and Oats…. Full of complexishness from the 4 grains, and weighing in at 7.85% abv, Then joyously dry-hopped for that big aroma and resinous hop flavor.

Added by Jules11788 on 11-07-2011

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,542 | Ratings: 9,970
Photo of Jason
3.97/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown shorty, no freshness date.

LOOK: Bright golden, sticky lace all over

SMELL: Massive hit of pine, mango, bready, tobacco, tangerine, alcohol

TASTE: Smooth, creamy, bitter, hop oil, leafy, orange pith, pine sap, pipe tobacco, bready, faint toasted biscuits, estery, long hop finish

Expected from Lagunitas; heavy hand of hops and semi-aggressive alcohol ... but does it have a big enough malt backbone to stand up to this? Barely which is true to the DIPA style in a way. It works because the hop flavor is pushed to the front just above the 63.21 IBUs. I would think any higher and this beer would start to lose it. Sad to not see Brown Shugga' but this makes for a good replacement.

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Photo of Jimmys
4.16/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: a slightly hazed bright rich golden hue. not much head on this body. starts with a one finger head, down to a rim pretty quick. some lacing.

S: very floral. roses and lillies. the aroma is so concentrated it makes me think of smelling fresh hop oils. citrus. grapefruits and clementines.

T: reasonable grapefruit flavor on this one. refreshing in its character. if there is a malt profile there, im not finding it, but i dont care. the hops show enough restraint to be just right. finish is full of even more grapefruit and leaves a slight bitterness that lingers.

M: moderate carbonation on a hoppy body.

D: dangerously quaffable. really doesnt drink like a beer that is almost 8%abv. the hops are very american, very fresh, and very drinkable. a tasty brew i hope they do more than just occasionally!

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Photo of WMEugene
4.97/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Pours a clear, bubbly golden amber color with a one-inch head and good lacing.

S - Strong punch of hops upfront. Citrusy with a hint of bitterness. A little pine as well. Very, very nice.

T - Strong hoppy flavors - picked up grapefruit, a little lemon and some orange. Some pine notes as well. Also can taste a slightly caramelish backbone of malts. The hops run the show and make this a definite winner.

M - Medium bodied, a little fuller than a normal IPA. Great carbonation, a dry finish with some noticeable hop flavors and bitterness.

O - Wow, this was better than I was expecting. Lagunitas hit this one out of the park. It's right up there with SN Celebration as not only the cream of the crop for winter beers, but for widely distributed IPAs. It's an embarrassment of riches right now. I want some more please!

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Photo of ShanePB
4.46/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

After hearing nothing but good things about this beer, I finally found it and had to give it a shot. Bottle ordered at Craft Ale House. Poured into a footed glass.

A: Clear orange/copper body with a small white head from the server's pour. After a few sips and with an aggressive pour, a nice rocky head forms. The retention is decent, a thin film and minor lacing on the walls. West Coast looking IPA? Absolutely.

S: Citrus peels, orange and lemon oils, pink grapefruit and a slight pale malt backbone to round things out. All the aromas are wonderfully balanced and bright. This is the quintessential example of what I want my IPAs to smell like.

T: Whoa, first sip is a blast of juicy citrus fruits - mango, orange, papaya, lemon and pink grapefruit coat the palate and wrestle it with a smooth hop bitterness. After the sip, the delicate malt backbone to the beer shows up, very pale and perhaps caramel-like in flavor, but the citrus hop qualities certainly are the focus. For being produced on a fairly big scale and retaining the quality and amazing flavor, this is a stunning beer.

M: Well carbonated, medium-bodied that feels bubbly on the palate. There's a certain bit of creaminess from the assault of bubbles, and the finish is sticky but good.

If you want a citrusy, juicy Double IPA that is relatively easy to find, look no further. After reading that Lagunitas is going to release this again as the "leftovers" I will certainly be picking up a few of these. This will satisfy anyone's need for a West Coast citrus and hop bomb of an IPA - that's balanced to boot!

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Photo of fields336
4.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a golden, straw-colored, super carbonated, completely clear

S: tropical fruits, some pine, some floral notes, delicious

T: starts out super hoppy, with pine and huge fruit, pineapple, mangoes, etc. Tastes like a perfect IPA in my opinion. then some bready and sweet malts, then leaves a nice hoppy presence

M: light-medium bodied, very light for an IPA. I get some booze heat, but it's extremely drinkable

O: This is pretty much a perfect IPA. I love the tropical fruit and piney hops that mingle with the sweet malts

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Photo of champ103
3.18/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Liberty Station in Houston, TX

A: Pours a crystal clear orange/yellow color. A two finger white head forms with good retention. Lots of sticky lace is left behind.
S: Pine resin, almost tree sap like, up front and center. Slick and soapy hops with some light tropical fruits.
T: Soapy, oily, and resinous hops. Piny resiny hops dominate. A lingering bitterness lasts forever. No resemblance of balance at all. Plenty of alcohol is noticeable.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. An overly slick, oily, and soapy feel that I am not a fan of. Lots of alcohol noticeable, along with bitter, resiny, and soapy hops makes this a bit harsh for me to drink.

This is just to much. Though not surprising from this brewery. Is it impossible to make an IPA without the late addition bittering hops? No balance, and nothing I would recommend.

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Photo of Finatic
2.38/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a 12oz bottle into a chilled Odell's IPA pint glass

A: Pours a golden amber hue with a finger white foam head. Very little lacing.

S: Very hoppy aroma and some tropical notes, especially grapefruit. Small scents of sweetness.

T: Not very balanced as the hops are prevalent but it lacks that sweet malt backbone which makes the DIPA.

M: Light to medium carbonation.

O: I don't understand the hype with this beer. It's not something I would seek out and I love IPAs/DIPAs.

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Photo of micromaniac129
4.32/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber color, lighter then what I was expecting. Had a slight hazy. A fairly tall white foamy cap. Good carbonation. Aroma was quite fragrant with a citrus and floral bouquet. Malts have a light sweet aroma. Taste is as one might expect hop forward, citrus and pineapples come through first with a good helping of floral after. Malts are sweet and candy coated. Honey and toast finish it out. I found this beer to be quite smooth, slick and sticky and very drinkable. A desent worthy brew from the folks at Lagunitas.

P.S. could give SN Celebration a run for the money.

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Photo of n2185
4.26/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a clear honey color with two fingers of white head that fades into a white ring with a little lacing.

S: Wonderful tropical citrus bouquet. Loads of pineapple, orange, and grapefruit aromas assault the nose. Not terribly complex, but it smells amazing.

T: Grapefruit, orange rind, and pine dominate the flavor. There are hints of sweeter citrus in there, but it is more earthy than citrusy. There is a light bitterness, but it doesn't linger around. There is also a slight metallic taste on the finish.

M: Medium body with mid-low carbonation, this beer is slightly watery and could benefit from more carbonation.

O: Definitely one of the better single IPAs out there, with probably the best aroma. While the flavor doesn't quite live up to the aroma, it is still good. It's also a great bargain at $10/sixer.

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Photo of bfields4
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice pale golden body. Good frothy white well retained and lacy head.

Aroma has blast of pine, citrus that familiar Lagunitas touch. Hint of sweet lingering bready honeyish malt.

Grapefruit pineapple and hop resiny goodness hit the tongue. That lingering malt sweetness (honey bready note) is there to curb the flavors just enough and provide a bit of balance.

A very very good beer. Nice sipper strangely almost chewy great lagunitas flavor. All of their hoppy beers just seem to hit this certain distinctive note that is def lagunitas but with their own subtle nuances, and I like it... a lot.. Can't wait for these bad guys to get rollin out back here in CO again.

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Photo of lovindahops
4.85/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sucks finally arrived in cuse! With all the hype I am hoping this will be the real deal

A- sucks pours an amazing golden orange with a great head of foam. As it slowly recedes there is sticky lacing all over the sides of the glass. The brew literally glows in the glass

S- I have never smelled a brew like this unless it's named Pliny or flower power! Massive piney and citric notes are jolted with a burst of an injection of pineapples and mangos. This is as flavorful as it gets! The flavors are completely heightened and very impressive

T- massive sweet grapefruit and the same citric and piney flavors are all over. The flavors are bundled whereby they stain the entire mouth. A great bitter exit makes this one of the best taste profiles I can recall for some time

M- prickly flavors stick to the mouth with the right carbonation. It's spot on with the feel you would want and expect

O- what a brew! Lagunitas has always been a great brewery but this is the icing on the cake. This is a spot on west coast hop fest. This brew is just amazing. A true hopfest

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Photo of warnerry
4.2/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a beautiful burnt orange with a steady stream of slow rising carbonation. One finger of off-white head has good retention but only small spots of lacing.

S - Big citrus and sweet pineapple aromas with a touch of pine. Also quite floral. Decent malt presence.

T - Similar to smell, there is a big citrus and sweet pineapple taste, though not that much bitterness. Also some other fruits, like mango, a some a pretty big malt presence, mostly caramel.

M - Medium mouthfeel that is quite creamy. Finishes dry with some slight bitterness.

O - A very enjoyable IPA, though some more bitterness would be welcome. Mouthfeel is very nice.

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Photo of sholland119
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a clear pale golden honey color, a thin pool of white head with great retention.

S-Mmmm, piney. Sticky evergreen notes, maybe some pineapple. Delicious.

T-Piney here as well , great pine bitterness and citrus rind, with some nice biscuit malt.

M-Light to medium bodied, great lingering bitterness.

O-Pretty damn good. Great balance of hops, good malt, nice flavor and aroma. More, please.


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Photo of haazer
3.74/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Filled my growler with this at the Craft Ale House in Limerick after some Xmas shopping.

A- Massive frothy head gangs up on a sliver of a golden, filtered looking DIPA. Slow rising bubbles in this, the head nit allowing the beer to breathe. Lacing left all over the glass from this, head lasts for quite some time.

S- Beautiful bouquet of piney hops. Definitely stinging pine needle, which I love. There is a hint of a strong caramel backbone to this. Pine sap. Maybe a hint o grapefruit.

T- A more balanced DIPA. The hop character is mostly citrus, rather than pine as the nose suggested. Caramel malt hits strong towards the backend, and a low level of bitterness.

M- Medium in body with mid level carbonation.

O- Overall this was good, a little of a let down though because of the awesome nose. I remember brown shugga being hoppier. I wouldn't say that this sucks by any means, sweet name though and awesome that they took a jab at themselves. I'll enjoy the rest of the growler.

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Photo of zoso1967
4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lagunitas Sucks pours a crystal clear deep golden color. It has a nice slightly off-white head that has great retention and leaves very nice and sticky lace on the sides of the glass. I have to mention again how amazingly clear this brew is.

The aroma is impressively hoppy with plenty of piney, citrusy and tropical aromas. It has a very dank and chalky sort of hop character that I really dig in west coast style IPAs. All of this is supported by a nice malt backbone that is fairly plain with a bready and slightly toasty character to it.

The hops come crashing through in the flavor as well. There is citrus zest, pine, pineapple, mango and a bit of earthy spice that is held up with just enough biscuit malt to help balance out the bitterness. The bitterness in this beer is still quite intense, but it’s not overboard at all.

The mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium with a perfect amount of carbonation. It finishes fairly dry with plenty of hop bitterness lingering on the palate, but despite how hoppy this brew is, my palate is not getting overly fatigued.

This is a very tasty west coast IPA that does an amiable job of filling in for Brown Shugga.’ It goes down quite easily for a hop head like me and I just may have to pick up some more of this for enjoying through the holiday season.

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Photo of alexgash
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle.

Pours a clear, clean golden orange. Tall, frothy, cobwebby, bright eggshell white head. Good lacing. Big hop nose with wonderful notes of tropical fruit, pineapple, mango, cannabis, and a little evergreen. Sugary, honeyish malt pokes through as well.

Herbal, woody hop bitterness up front, along with some fruity malt. Huge tropical and citrus fruit hop flavors burst forth, with notable appearances by pineapple, mango, cantaloupe, and sweet clementine oranges. Sugar cookie malt base is clean and sweet enough to complement the fruity bitterness. Finish is drier with lingering hop bitterness. Delicious! Medium-full body with a creamy feel. Dangerously drinkable.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours a bright clear medium gold with about an inch of foam and leaves a ton of lacing.

The smell has a very citric nose with some tropical fruit, a bit of pine, and an underlying maltiness.

The taste follows the nose though I think the pine is more assertive. The hops have an oily feel to them and that's just an added bonus for my tastes. I reckon for a DIPA, the abv is on the lower end and is very manageable. A very delicious brew.

It has a great mouthfeel and is very drinkable. I had to buy this from Oaktree online; I WISH this was distributed to Casper like some of the other brews from Lagunitas.

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Photo of coachdonovan
4.21/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From an undated bottle into a tulip, this pours a beautifully bright gold with a slight haze. The aroma would hold up to straight grapefruit juice in a blind test; it reminds me of fresh Hopslam with the tart/sour nose.

The flavor is similar with lots of citrus rind/pith and pine resin. The pale malt tries to balance things out, but the hops run rampant again in the finish. The assault on my tastebuds is likely too much for a whole sixer, so I'm glad I bought just one bottle. This is a clear hop bomb without an over-the-top abv. Intense for sure.

I'm sure a lot of hopheads will be sad if this doesn't return in 2012.

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Photo of brentk56
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color (looks like a pils) with a creamy cap that leaves a few shards behind

Smell: Floral citrus, with pineapple and ruby red grapefruit tones

Taste: A hop bomb from the get-go, with citrusy flavors redolent of ruby red grapefruit and pineapple; slightly sugary, after the swallow, but the hops return to provide a bitter, citrusy finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate, but crisp, carbonation

Overall: The malts provide a neutral backdrop for the hops to work their magic and that is a great thing for a Double IPA to accomplish

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Photo of timtwoface
4.72/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Well now, after all the hype I've heard here, and from the message boards, I was truly worried this beer (albeit from such a reputable brewery like Lagunitas) wouldn't live up to it. Thankfully, it did.

What a great mix of floral smells and flavours, the perfect amount of hops, and just a really smooth finish that hides just how powerful this beer is. I think we have another winner - if only I knew of more places around here to pick this one up, I'd love to get some more.

Definitely recommended!

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Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.67/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a crystal clear golden/orange color from a 12 oz bottle, with ABV on the label and a freshness code on the neck of the bottle.
One finger worth of head that dissipates fairly quickly. Good carbonation though, with a constant stream of bubbles rising up.
Wow, the aroma is all pine. It is just an excess of pine; very hoppy and floral. There is nothing more alluring than an aroma profile that has 'hop-bomb' written all over it.
Taste compliments the aroma perfectly. The bitterness hits the tongue upfront only to be slightly usurped by fruity esters, which are again completely drowned by the massive hop presence. There is a lingering hop bitterness in the finish, which lingers for a few moments before residual sweetness on the tongue counteracts the bitterness. I have rarely come across such balance and such a see-saw effect on the palate of hop bitterness and malt sweetness.
Not a lot of lace around the insides of the glass, barely visible.
This is by far the best ale I have ever had from Lagunitas, period. It is supposed to be a seasonal, so make sure you get at least one six-pack. This is definitely an ale that is NOT to be missed. Highly, highly recommended.

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Photo of brotherloco
4.52/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle x2. Served in a tapered 22oz glass.

Pours a clear pale gold with a finger of off-white foam. Settles to a fairly thin sheet. A nice amount of broad lacing remains in the glass.

Aroma is supremely piney with orange and grapefruit citrus backing it up. A nice dose of that Lagunitas dankness. Sweet malt emerges immediately afterwards and reveals the multiple grains that are a big part of this beer. Fantastic aroma.

Flavor pretty much follows the same track. Piney hops are right up front with bitter hints of citrusy fruit. Juicey delicious resinous hoppy middle. Sweet malt backbone backs things up with some spicy notes. Finish is nicely balanced between all the preceding flavors. No real sign of the big ABV in this beer.

Medium bodied with a perfect amount of carbonation to back it up. Extremely drinkable.

I've been enjoying this beer for weeks and am into my 3rd sixer. Finally found the time to review it. Hops may be starting to fade from my initial tastings, but it's still a freaking great brew.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed the 12oz bottles for $2.19 each

Damn...Holy rich looking amber DIPA with a thick white, fluffy head. This is already looking outstanding in my book & may even live up to the hype.

Big bouquet of citrus fruit and a touch of alcohol. Wow, the nose is where an IPA will make me either melt in my chair or shrug at why people like it. This one is a blast to the face of potent hops and a balancing sweetness

Damn, this beer is a phenomenal DIPA! A completely balanced hop-alcohol-sweetness ratio that leans more on the juicy, fruit hoppiness side instead of the puckeringly bitter side. The initial sip finishes through smoothly and leaves a light layer of hops sitting on my palate until I'm ready for the next sip.

Smooth, champagne like beer with incredible "drinkability" and crisp, juicy hops. This beer is almost impossible not to gulp down

Whoa, banging beer lagunitas!
"Please make this a year-round beer because I think you nailed the DIPA recipe at an outstanding price point."

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.26/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a crystal clear yellow gold with one full finger of head. They tiny bubbles take quite awhile to dissipate, leave some great lacing along the very top of my Ithaca tulip glass.

S: The nose is fantastic. It's floral with tons of tropical fruits: Pineapple, mango, and papaya. The is also a wonderful citrus balance of lemon and grapefruit. There is even some mild pine notes in there. I'm loving the nose on this beer.

T: The initial hit is big juicy tropical fruits. Tons of sweetness and a bit of citrus follow. The finish is back to tropical fruits.

M: Medium bodied beer. This is a wet and juicy DIPS.

O: This is a really solid brew. I'm a fan. Hopefully I'll be able to pick up another 6-pack before it sells out.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into Deschutes snifter. Purchased at Pinocchio's in Media, PA. No bottle date but it's 2011.

A: Pours a slightly hazy yellow orange color. About a finger of bright white head. Carbonation is ok. Some mild thin lacing sheets.

S: Smells so clean. Even cold, I get tons of fruit and that noticeable Lagunitas smell. Their house yeast? The fruit I get: mango and passion fruit and pineapple. Its smells so inviting!

T: Just a really nice easy drinking ale. And the 7.85% ABV is completely hidden. I really don't get the hop bitterness on the tip of the tongue. I get a lot of fruit in the middle of the mouth. The mango and pineapple and some peach smoothness as well. On the close, I get blasted with a crisp fruit bite and a clean finish.

M: Medium bodied with nice mouth coat.

O: I really like this one. Like many Lagunitas beers, this is pretty solid. I go A for sure. They most certainly don't SUCK!

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Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 1,542 ratings.