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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.

1,484 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,484
Hads: 9,537
Avg: 4.32
pDev: 9.95%
Wants: 572
Gots: 2,092 | FT: 30
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: 1,484 | Hads: 9,537
Photo of maximumu13
4.54/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brown Shugga is one of my favorites from lagunitas so I expect a lot from its replacement

A: Poured into a pint glass its golden and effervescent with a beautiful head and nice lacing

S: Exactly what I want from a DIPA citrusy mangos and piny

T: Hoppy but not as over the top as some west coast IPAs with a nice malt backbone so its not overpowered by the bitterness citrus notes are great

O: A great beer not your typical winter seasonal but delicious this deserves to get a year round release! makes up for no brown shugga this year you guys don't suck Lagunitas

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Photo of tewaris
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Stub & Herb's

Clear and almost sparkly amber colored with a small but creamy head. Good retention and lacing. Looks appealing.

Extremely fruity aroma, not exactly my kind, but very very good. I wished it was more dank, but damn! this is very tropical (& good)!

The taste follows the aroma --- tastes more like fruit juice than a DIPA. The malty sweetness gels very very well with the hops. The light body and the right carbonation work wonders; this is truly a great beer.

I thought it would be all hype & fanboy reactions but I was very wrong. With Little Sumpin' Wild and now this, Lagunitas is killing it.

My only complaint is the ABV. Lagunitas is a little too much of a bang for the buck at times.

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Photo of Tschnab
4.48/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- I don't know if I screwed up the pour but it is a fizzy yellow with almost no head and no lace. Maybe this beer won't be all it's cracked up to be...

S- whoa, never mind! Honestly this is one of the best smelling beers I've ever smelled. So much bright citrus- lemon and grapefruit- and resiny pine. It's also very tropical, with mangos as a strong part of this aroma.

t- like the nose, this is a hoppy, citrusy, piney, tropical beer. It is an absolute punch of flavor and for it's availibility this is an elite DIPA.

O- I love Lagunitas for making this beer, for the way this beer happened, and for the name they gave it. A reflection of great attitudes and great brewing abilities.

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Photo of gford217
4.3/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle.

Pours a light, clear golden orange with a fluffy white head that leaves really nice lacing.

Aroma is pungent and in a good way. Tons of juicy citrus with pineapple and grapefruit leading the way. There is some pine resin but much less than the tap version which smelled like an evergreen forest.

Taste is not quite as big on the citrus with a little less grapefruit and a little more floral hops. The finish definitely has some pine and a sticky resinous bitterness that lingers on the palate. The taste also has a bigger bready malt backbone than the aroma.

The mouthfeel is excellent, medium bodied, strong carbonation and really sticky through the finish.

This is undoubtedly one of the best things I've had from Lagunitas. I'm not sure why they're never put something like this out before as it is better than any other IPA they've produced. Excellent beer.

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Photo of 2xHops
3.3/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

To my surprise, I saw this being stocked at a local grocery store, so I decided to see what the hype is all about.

It looked and smelled good. I can smell the pine and the hops coming alive. The color was pretty good, with orange/amber hue to the body. What else? Let's move on.

Taste was bland for an IPA. I'm not sure how old this six-packer I got was, but I figured it must be relatively new as I didn't see this beer a week ago at the same location.

I can taste that it's an IPA, but it lacked the oomph that you expect out of a fresh IPA. I had expected the flavors to be a bit stronger. The hops is certainly there, and the malts are there as well to balance it out. Wait, did they really use malts?

Overall, it's okay, but I'm unimpressed. I don't know what to think, and whether it's an actual good sample of the beer? That remains to be seen.

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Photo of herman77
4.26/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Clear gold with a smaller white head. A fairly nice lacing.

S: Grapefruit, a bit of floral and pine hops as well as some sweetness as well. A tiny bit of cattiness.

T: Lots of juicy, resinous, grapefruit hops, as well as lemon and a bit of carmel maltiness as well. Bitter grapefruit hops with some alcohol in the finish.

M: Medium to lighter body. Pretty average carbonation and mouthfeel.

O: Very good. I wish I could of had this a bit fresher, since I think the hops might of faded a bit. Drinks fairly well, nice and smooth hop profile that doesn't have a super bitter bite.

Update on 12/16/13 (updated score). Drinking one today that was bottled on December 6th. Really good, nice tropical, fruity hop profile. Very smooth.

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

I picked this beer up at the Kirkwood Spec's a couple days ago and laughed out load when I read the label as it is a testament to the goofy TABC laws and that they had to get this new label pushed through in addition to sucking up the lack of time. I can definitely relate to the lack of time, fella's, so let's give this one a shot:

Appearance: Pours a light yellow with a mild orangish tint to it that has a small 1/4" head of active white bubbles after a pretty aggressive pour and then they faded back into the beer within 20-30 seconds. There is no lacing left after drinking, so there isn't much to set this beer apart except that it is pretty clear.

Aroma: The aroma is showcasing mostly American hops with the required citrus, but there is also a pretty defined "catty" aspect to them. There are also some buttery and toasty malts in here to round things out. The hops are running this beer, but the blend is good, so it isn't a detractor so far.

Taste: The flavor is also very hoppy, but there is definitely enough malt in here to keep the beer palatable. One thing that I like about this beer in the flavor is that there is enough going on in the water chemistry to support a beer like this. I know that there are some "stoopidly" hoppy beers to come out of California, but this is one of the ones that works the best with the water to not make it harsh in the finish The mouthfeel is medium to slightly full because there is light carbonation for what it could be. Overall the finish is balanced slightly toward the hops, but there is significant malt in there to keep things in check.

Opinion: This is a good beer, no doubt. The balance is boldly hoppy enough and yet balanced enough to make me think that this is an altered version of their very successful Hop Stoopid. I like that Lagunitas seems to have a grasp of how to make a balanced beer, and it seems that only Great Divide is one of the other breweries that showcase hops, yet can still make a palatable beer. I am not saying the typical "hop bombs" suck, but it is good to get one that has some balance in the finish. This is a good beer overall, and I would recommend it whether you like DIPA's or not as this is a well blended brew.

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Photo of 4000qtrap
4.06/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Source/Serving: 12 oz bottle

S: Deep, dark floral notes alongside a heap of mango and a touch of pineapple and pine. Moderate honey and brown sugar. Thick and rich hops, quite nice.

T: Slightly sweet tropical fruit mango/pineapple up front with bright floral oiliness. Middle is nicely balanced with a punch of floral/pine bitterness balanced by more mango/lemon/orange/pineapple citrus honey sweetness and tons of floral character…. I can imagine myself licking a tigerlilly, partially because the hops are so thick and pervasive. Clean and smooth though, surprisingly easy drinking. Definitely doesn't come across as a 'heavy' DIPA. Finish is loaded with that deep, dark floral note from the nose riding over a light wave of mango bitterness and golden raisin which doesn't linger long but has a hint of pepper.

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

Picked this up kind of by habit, as I am not sure I've ever had a bad Lagunitas beer. Plus it's cool that they say they suck on the label, particularly since they obviously don't. The pour runs more toward golden than copper, which is a little unusual. Head lasts a few minutes before fading. Nose is a flavorful blend of crisp citrus hops with pine backing. Not overpowering but tasty.

The taste is more well balanced than most DIPAs, with mellow toasted and biscuit flavors to match the obvious hops. Lemon rind, a heavier dose of pine, some floral notes; nothing fancy but very well done for what it is. Extremely easy to drink despite sitting on the aftertaste for a while. Too bad this is a one off because this is a good beer, even for Lagunitas.

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

had to see what the hub bub was all about. picked up a 6'er locally.

a - popped a bottle and filled my E snifter. brew poured a transparent yellow orange with a finger full of white frothy head. the head is right out of a beer commercial, spot on with great lacing.

s - strong sitcy and sweaty hops. very nice. some citrus and orange peel, but mostly sweaty piny hops. thick and rich, smells pretty awesome.

t - much like the nose...a really strong and thick hop flavor. very rich and piny...essentially a hop bomb with some cantaloupe.

m - medium bodied...a bit lighter than i had expected. leaves a soft cooling tingle.

o - overall, WOW! this beer can hang with the best of them. if it was year-round, i could see this being THE beer that is always in my fridge. just a great example of a great classic IPA. very impressive indeed.

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Photo of HopsYeast
4.22/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-pours with maybe 1/4 finger pale white head with a golden amber body that is clear

S-great. Grapefruit, hops, sugar, honey, oranges. Has a warming smell to it. Very inviting.

T-warm yumminess with perfect amount of hops. This is like an ipa and a winter warmer mixed into 1! Citrus flavors of grapefruit, oranges, subtle lemon, then spices that I can't pick out. And there is a wonderful hops flavor throughout. So good. Has a subtle warming flavor in the end that resides in the chest.

M-near perfect. Medium/heavy body with very little carbonation that goes down way too easy for 7.4abv!

O-I think the review speaks for itself. Know I'm upset I only bought a single and not a 6 pack.

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Photo of unclejazz
3.36/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Heard a buzz about this stuff, and since some of my favorites of the past year were Lagunitas beers.

A-the head was a light 2 finger head that left some lacing. Bright gold color that seemed low in carbonation.

S-muted but start to catch some resin anf pine notes. A bit of kitty litter

T-very hoppy and no sweetness just that piny flavor that plays over and over

M-oily but crisp, it just hang around, flavor-wise, for a bit too long.

O-glad I only had a 9oz. pour. I don't think I would order this again.

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Photo of thecheapies
4.49/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

(Mind you, the first bottle cracked from the original six-pack was fresher, fruitier, more bitter, and completely phenomenal; Since then, a case was purchased. This review is from a beer from the case)

Poured from 12oz bottle into a brandy snifter

A: Bright, peachy tangerine color. Ever so slight haze almost not worth mentioning; remarkably clear. Beautiful vivid tone. Simple pour brought about a one finger head. Retention: average. Spotty lacing.

S: Mango nectar, leafy citric hops, pineapple, orange rind, sweet bread.

T: Very bitter bite. Tropical fruit, canteloupe, crackery, bit of a peppery nip on the finish. Lingering bitterness. Pretty unsuspecting. Pleasantly surprised.

M: Good present carbonation. Silky for an IPA; light for a DIPA.

This is one of the many great surprises that I have come across this year. Arguably, one of my favorite of the Lagunitas lineup.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.77/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a clean yellow to orange-ish color with an off white head. In the aroma, orange citrus hops. In the taste, a dry orange rind citrus, pineapple, mango and a touch of apricot. A small hop bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry orange citrus rind in the aftertaste. What a nice mistake, big hops and I loved it!

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

Purchased a 6pk at Wegmans in Warrington, PA.

6pk - $12.99

Enjoyed in a DFH Signature Glass

A - Pours a fairly translucent golden-yellow color. Little to no head on the initial pour. A small amount of lacing left on the side of the glass.

S - Outstanding! The smell of citrus (grapefruit), hops and pine are fantastic. Easily one of the best smelling beers I've had in quite some time.

T - A fantastic DIPA. A great mix of citrus, hops and pine. Just enough malt to lend a sweetness to the overall taste. The alcohol is present but it never overwhelms the enjoyment of this beer.

M - A thinner consistency with a good amount of carbonation. A slightly bitter aftertaste.

O - A top-notch beer in every facet. Easily, one of the best beers of 2011, in my opinion. Lagunitas may have said they "suck" for not brewing Brown Shugga' this year. This beer more than makes up for their "mistake". I'd love to see this beer as a year round brew. Highly recommended.


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

poured from a 12oz into a tulip

brilliant clear copper, somewhat marginal head recedes to the thin ring. big resinous nose, hops are trying to fade a bit, but still quite clear of barleywine territory.
taste - boom, there's the hops! great juicy punch of pine, that unmistakable lagunitas yeast/malt profile.
would like a bit more body on this thing, turning up the carb just a hint would help backstop the slight thinness.
regardless, this is an amazing beer. and at the price, cannot be topped.

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Photo of Swim424
4.32/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this on tap at Proof

A-Fairly clear yellowish gold. Little head

S-Fresh hops. Fairly piney. Some slight citrus and fruity malt.

T-Hops. Get some decent apricot up front balanced out with a nice hoppy finish.

MF-Decent carbonation. Medium bodied. Good hop after taste

O-Best holiday ale i have had yet. Very good IPA. One of the best well balanced I have had.

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Photo of jjanega08
4.72/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

No freshness dating

A= Pours a beautiful bright yellow color. A little more orange than your crayola yellow. Actually looks like urine after a long night of drinking. The head is a small little guy that rises to a finger and falls fast into oblivion. A ring is left around the glass and some sketchy lacing is found on the side of the glass.

S= From the moment I cracked the bottle I could smell a beautiful hop bouquet. A tropical fruit bomb for sure. Tons of pineapple and mango in it. Dig a little deeper and you find fresh green hop resin. Smells like a fresh hopped beer acutally. No lie this smells like your hands after you roll hops in them. Not much maltyness to notice but it does contribute to the hoppy sweetness.

T= Just like the aroma. It's soooo good. There is an immediate punch of hops with a knock down drag out tropical fruit flavor to it. Tons of mango and pineapple. This then gives way to a solid buiscuit flavor. Straight dry buiscuit. Almost like a cracker flavor before the hops finish it out nice and dry. There is a sweetness that comes in through the middle but it finishes rather dry. This for sure has three distinct flavor points to it however. Really a fine IPA.

M= Perfection. Just enough carbonation to keep your tongue scrubbed.

O= One hell of a beer. I will be buying a lot more of this. I don't know why it took me so long to buy one sixer. I love lagunitas for all they do... Maybe not their RIS but everything else is top notch. This beer propells them deeper into my favorites category. Loving this beer.

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

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Pours clear yellow with very little head and a significant amount of slow active carbonation. Smell is overwhelmingly hoppy. Smells nice and fresh. Lemony.

Taste is sweet and hoppy. Honey and hops. Love it.

Mouthfeel is medium and pleasant. Overall, very nice.

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Photo of zeledonia
4.54/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 29 November 2011; pretty darn fresh for a California beer in the midwest.

Pours a clear, bright golden-orange. It has a light radiance to it. One finger of white head, fades fairly quickly, okay lacing.

Smell is simply fantastic. Amazing fruity, citrusy hops. This is up there with the best IPAs I've had. Pineapple, grapefruit, some unidentifiable tropical deliciousness. Just enough malts to bring a warmth and fullness. Really nice.

Flavor is quite good as well. Given the hop aroma, I'm surprised by how well-balanced it is. I find many Lagunitas beers to be overly bitter, but this one is spot on. The bitterness is present but not overpowering, and the juicy, slightly piney hops give it some tasty punch. Finish is bitter but dries up quickly.

My main downside is the mouthfeel - it's rather light, and isn't clingy or sticky like I expect such a beer to be. Carbonation is right where it should be, though.

This is a really good beer. IMO, not quite on the level of Abrasive or Heady Topper, but pretty darn close. Wow. Lagunitas should make more mistakes, so they grace us with more epic apologies like this one. I will definitely be having a few more of these before they disappear.

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Photo of zodiak3000
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Golden/Orange, not totally clear... somewhat hazy, looks very similar to Lagunitas IPA.

S- Wow. Tons of tropical fruits going on here. Somewhat floral as well. Getting blasted with mango mostly. Im guessing Simcoe/Amarillo and/or Citra in the dry hop.

T/M- Follows the nose very well. The one thing I love about Lagunitas is there ability to achieve insane hop flavor without all the bitterness. Probably tons of late kettle additions. The malt is somewhat complex as well. Rye isnt too noticeable, but the oats did create a very slight creamy mouthfeel. Drinkability is so good.

O- Very well done. Honestly could care less about Brown Shugga after trying this. Reminds me almost of a cross between the IPA, Hop Stoopid, and Waldo. Bring this one year round fellas!

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Photo of jdense
4.12/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into Deschutes shaker pint glass 12.11.11.

Medium gold clear body a multitude of small bubbles continually rising to soapy white two finger head, medium slow dissipation with above average lacing retained. Big fruity hop aroma, grapefruit and apricot, clean malt backbone. Taste is more apricot than citrus ala Sculpin (!), a bit of piney resin on backend, clean malt bill. Mouthfeel on the light side of medium, good effervescence. Not sure about the hubbub about hop fade, this still tasting pretty good.

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Photo of nrbw23
3.97/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a pretty clear goldish yellow with a nice white head. Head has pretty solid retention, turns into a ring of bubble around the edge after a while and leaves a bit of spotty lacing at best.

S- Smell is quite a bit of tropical fruits. A hint of pine here too. A hint of a light spice.

T- Quite a bit of tropical fruit hops that have a nice balance of sweet malts. Malts are much more apparent here than in the nose, but the hops are the show here. A hint of alcohol.

M- Medium in body and carbonation.

O- Pretty solid beer here for sure.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle (2011)

Texas Liquor
Carlsbad, CA

Clear golden orange with a quickly forming, relatively persistent off-white head that leaves thick lines of lacing down the glass with each sip. Incredible clarity.

Pungent citrus aromas of juicy oranges, grapefruit, and a bit of pine combine for a wonderful aroma. This reminds me quite a bit of Lagunitas Hop Stoopid, which is a good thing, as that is a phenomenal DIPA and smells amazing.

The flavor follows the aroma with the citrus and slight pine flavors leading the way, along with a bit of sweet bread character at the end. While very good, and extremely hoppy, it's a bit too sweet for me to rank it with the finest DIPAs.

Medium to full mouthfeel with moderate carbonation.

A very good DIPA, as most DIPAs are from Lagunitas. That being said, this is not quite in the same league as the Plinys of the world.

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Photo of horshack7
4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Into a Tulip is a lightly hazy but it still has decent clarity. As for the color it's copperish with brassy hues.

Aroma: Lots'of grapefruit with sugar sprinkled on top. Bits of sweet tropical fruit, peach notes. Hops are very much citrusy and the malts give off a caramelized sugar aroma.

Taste: Quite the crisp mouthfeel. Grapefruit notes are in the front. Minor simple syrup in the middle with a touch of peach at the end. Sweet tropical fruit is mixed in as well.

Notes: A solid beer all the way around and rather drinkable. Cheers.

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Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 1,484 ratings.