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.

9,222 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,222
Reviews: 1,523
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 9.91%
Wants: 558
Gots: 1,827 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 9,222 | Reviews: 1,523
Photo of timtwoface
4.72/5  rDev +8.8%
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!

Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.67/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

Photo of brotherloco
4.52/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
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."

Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.26/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

Photo of inlimbo77
4.42/5  rDev +1.8%
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!

Photo of snpub540
4.2/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at 6740.

Poured a crystal clear golden hue with an off white head that is an 1/8th of an inch. Leaves sheets of lacing on my glass the whole way down.

Smells of citrus and pine. Very hoppy nose and it smells very fresh.

Taste is nicely piney and bitter, but there is enough sweet malt backbone to give this a nice balance. It is very smooth with a nice dry finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and slightly tacky. A very drinkable Double IPA. I need to find a bottle of this.

Photo of drabmuh
4.28/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

At the time of this review, this is the #30 double / imperial IPA on the "Top Beers - American Double / Imperial IPA" list on Served from a 12 ounce bottle into a Lagunitas mason jar "pig" glass because I am full of winning.

Beer is beautiful, it is amber, clear, aggressively carbonated, good retention, lacing is a plus, awesome looking beer.

Aroma is sweet, a little malty, citrus, pineapple, clean, smells good, a little sweeter than expected based on other's comments.

Beer is medium in body, sweet on the lead off and here comes the hops. Fruit salad beer, it is like hop candy, the sweetness of the backbone plays well with the hops, still a little heavier than expected but the hop flavors are all there. A very good little beer, glad I grabbed it.

Photo of smakawhat
4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Out of the bottle, head is barely two fingers tall and off white in color. Slightly foamy with some staying power. Body color is a very crystal clear pale amber bronze, with lots of cola like sticky bubbles, and some rising carbonation. However, a second bottle has a much bigger head, and WAY more lacing, much nicer and impressive indeed.

Nose is a hop front citrus, fleshy and very zesty smelling. Nice. Fairly standard and basic but good, but definitely in your face

Hoppy sugar front, mixing with a light orange citrus. Nice fresh grapefruit on the finish much like a breakfast glass of fresh squeezed juice. Front palate is kind of missing with most of the taste and flavor coming towards the end. Carbonation is tolerable with a nice lingering fruity finish, but a small small medicinal touch too.

Overall a good hit for Lagunitas, I'll have another any time.

Photo of rtaps
3.92/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured a clear pale orange/yellowish in color, with a nice 1.5-2 finger white head. fairly short retention leaving spotty lacing around the glass.

has a nice aroma to it, citrus hops. and fruity.

hop flavor pops in the mouth with some fruity and citrus. think im finding some oak in there too

high carbonation, light-medium bodied

overall it's a solid IPA thats nice on the pallet. and very worth the $9.99 for a 6 pack

Photo of notchucknorris
4.05/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Clear and deep golden color with a thin off white head.

S: Some nice piney hops alongside a pretty big aroma of overripe mango.

T: Pretty solid pine hop flavor with a slight biscuity malt undertone. Mango, apricot and some peach towards the finish. Overall, the best beer I've had from them.

Photo of russwbeck
4.6/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Amazingly clear yellow pour with about a finger of white head. The retention could be better, but what does stick around laces nicely down the side of my Russian River -tion glass.

S: The aroma is of piney hops with mango type fruits underneath. Very tropical and floral smell. Only a slight malt backbone.

T: The piney hops start the taste off big and bitter, and give way to the mango, pineapple, perhaps grapefruit middle. The end is all hop bitterness and perhaps some malts for balance. The taste is certainly hop forward, but the amount of fruit curbs the bitterness wonderfully.

MF: Light body, this one is extremely crisp and easy drinking. One of the most drinkable beers I've ever had.

O: I can see why this has the hype it does. This beer is phenomenal. It's so drinkable and crisp I can't put it down. The hops and fruits are perfect.

Photo of aubuc1
4.79/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle with no date.

Pours very clear yellow with a big foamy white head.

Huge citrus smell is spilling out. Smell's kind of like hopslam.

Very different taste. It is like pure citrus hops without the bitterness. Unlike anything I have had.

Mouthfeel is very thin, but in a good way.

Overall this is a great beer. Trully a unique beer (to me).

Photo of doughanson78
4.03/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Super clear light orange color. One finger bright white head with great retention and amazing lacing.

S: Big pineapple and mango hop aromas. A very subtle but nice piney Christmas tree aroma comes through. Very light floral notes. A touch of caramel malts coming through.

T: A touch of caramel upfront. Then nothing but citrus, pine, and a light floral hop flavors. All the hops blend pretty well. Bitterness is decent but not huge.

M: Medium body. High carbonation. Oily. Dry finish.

O: I've never had Brown Shugga' but substituting this can't be much of a step back. This is a very flavorful DIPA. Can't complain about it at all.

Photo of Rifugium
2.94/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First had: on tap at Pinocchio's, Media, PA

Poured a clear golden color with a few stray bubbles wandering on top. Sticky hop aroma, citrus, pine, some oily funk. More of the same in the taste, with a combination of hops being the dominant factor, and a bready, caramel malt base in the background, and the lingering bland cardboard flavor that seems to be present in every Lagunitas beer. A citrus twinge lingers on the palate, and gives way to a sweeter taste of melon and mango, making you almost forget about the unctuous funk quality. Light-medium in the mouthfeel department, and fairly drinkable, but not something I'd revisit. Typical Lagunitas: okay, but nothing special, and always that stale and seemingly inescapable house flavor that continues to make me wonder why people like their beers, and why there's a hype over this one in particular.

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

A - Pours a light golden blond with massive three finger head.

S - Heavy citrus, orange, grapefruit, pine, floral. Wow, this one is bursting on the nose!

T - Citrus hops abound with just a hint of malt backbone and faint spice with slight sweetness. So smooth and drinkable. Nearly 8% alcohol is not noticeable. Fantastically smooth, yet bitter and slightly spicy IPA. A true holiday treat that definitely does not suck!

M - Light to medium with good carbonation. Coats mouth nicely with hop bitterness and spice.

O - Again, great holiday brew. This one trumps celebration in my opinion. Fantastic.

Photo of MsRif
3.67/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on-tap at Pinocchio's in Media, PA. Poured a very clear orange color...almost looked watered down. No head to speak of. No lacing. Didn't look too enticing, but the aroma was better...citrus...grapefruit...a touch of sweetness. Taste is definitely complex...a lot of flavor comes through. I swear I tasted mango in there though that might have been the grapefruit flavors mixed with lemon...whatever it was, it was pretty darn good. Unfortunately finishes really dry and bitter...that is always the downfall for me with DIPA's which I rarely enjoy. Though tasty, it's not really least not for me.

Medium in body with moderate carbonation. Pretty dry but still good and worth a taste!

Photo of dejrrma
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- pours a light, light golden yellow. I can almost see through the glass looking from the top. Half an inch of head that dissipates pretty quickly. Little lacing.

Smell- Fresh, fresh, fresh. Lots of pine, citrus, floral notes that come through strongly. Hints of honey. Ridiculously good and almost intoxicating. I can smell it from about 1-2 feet away.

Taste- lightly spices undertones mixed with fresh citrus fruits (orange, grapefruit, pineapple). very slight bitterness. Pretty much tastes like it smells- delicious mixture of hoppy bitter/sweetness.

Mouthfeel- good carbonation, medium to thin, and a refreshing citrusy finish.

Overall- Very easy to drink, hides the abv very, very well. It smells superb and tastes just as amazing. Seriously, this beer smells incredible. I would definitely purchase again.

Photo of AdamBear
4.68/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-pale transparent orange with almost no head. some white around the edge.

S-holy crap. this smells godly! tropical grapefruit hops in heaven!! strong scent. i love it.

T-comes in with an amazing taste of clean tropical grapefruit hops. its so crisp and clean! and smooth! some awesome bitterness at the end. the after-taste isn't strong but it is long lasting with some grains.

M-creamy medium carbonation with a dry finish

O-just wow. loved this so much more than Brown Shugga. i loved this more than most beers. so much flavor and its so smooth! i NEED more! if you enjoy hops, search this out!

Photo of Sean9689
4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle and poured into tasting glass.

A - Pours a golden yellow/orange color, thin cream-colored head, thin collar, wisps here and there on top.

S - This is a bitter hop bomb! Citrus, lots of pine, slight tropical fruit notes, grapefruit, and sweet syrupy fruit notes in there as well.

T - Taste is similar...all hops, little else. Pine, citrus, mango, pineapple, and some sweet malt notes in there as well on the end. Finish is a bitter hoppy overload.

M - Medium, good carbonation, oily finish.

O - A solid DIPA, but not mind-blowing like it has been for many other BA's. That said, it's easy to find, enjoyable to drink, and priced very reasonably. Hard to find that combo all in one beer, no doubt about it...bonus points for that. Recommend.

Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Alibi Room in Vancouver.

A: 1/4" tan head over amber liquid.

S: An explosion of pine and citrus hops.

T: Strong pine and citrus hops balanced with a nice malt backbone. Quite good.

M: Medium to thin viscosity and medium carbonation.

O: A very drinkable IPA that I will be seeking out this time next year.

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

I love this beer!

First of all, what I feel were the very small short comings... I could have used a touch more head/ sparkle/ effervescent explosion. I feel with the aroma of the certain hops used that it could have been just a bit better in this area. Also might have had just a touch more malt balance even though it's not necessary for the style at all.

Now to the good! The hop profile is wonderful! Pinny, citrus, fruity. And not just fruity but all kinds of fruit. Every time I crack open another bottle I fund my brain going to a new flavor that I didn't get the beer before. It's like I get to give the kid in my brain recess.

flavor, smell, overall... I'm a big fan

Photo of CHickman
4.73/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear gold color with a nice 1 finger foamy white head that faded slowly and left very good sticky lacing.

Smells of big juicy hops up front, with citrus hops, floral hops, grapefruit, mango, orange, pineapple, lemon, citrus, sweet fruit, caramel, brown sugar, light herbs and light spices like pepper and coriander; a very nice hoppy aroma that's like cutting open a citrus fruit and sticking your nose in it – very potent and enjoyable.

Tastes like it smells, with citrus hops, floral hops, grapefruit, mango, orange, pineapple, lemon, citrus, sweet fruit like a pear or apple, piney hops, grass, caramel, brown sugar, herbs, coriander, lightly toasted grains, wheat bread or cracker and light spices like pepper and cinnamon or cumin; a mildly spiced holiday IPA, perfect for the season and a good option is there’s no Celebration Ale around (that’s a compliment).

Mouthfeel is zesty and crisp, not quite refreshing, but still easy drinking with light carbonation, a medium body and slightly bitter finish. Goes down easier than it should with this level of ABV; very easy to put these down fast.

Overall a very good / great beer that's easy to drink, hid the ABV well, and just another fine creation from this brewery. I hope they keep this in production, or that would suck.

1/11/2013: Picked up a six pack of this years batch and find it just as tasty and enjoyable as last year's version. Less spices and more piney and floral hops, this was easier to drink with a slightly bitter and funky aftertaste. Very smooth this year, it slid down almost too easy and finished almost dry. Glad they brought this beer back!

1/3/2014: Enjoyed several of this years batch and again it was nearly perfect. Juicy citrus hops with pineapple, orange, lemon and then a combo of piney hops and a sweet malty backbone that was almost chewy. Sweet, hoppy and balanced, this tasted like fresh hops were added and the grains and caramel/brown sugar flavors made it flow down easy. It's a shame this only comes out for a limited time as I could and would drink this year round.

Photo of rapidsequence
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz shortneck bottle, 6 pack was $12 from Pints O'Plenty.

Appearance: Its a beautifully clear, light golden-orange color with a white head and excellent lacing.

Smell: Big dose of tropical and citrus hops, with tropical leading the way. Sweet and fruity more than harsh hoppy smells. Clean pale malt sweetness.

Taste: Tropical fruit, pine, citrus. Sweet upfront, then bitter through the finish. A bit of spiciness, maybe from the rye.

Mouthfeel: This is light feeling for a DIPA, but it barely has the OG of many ordinary IPAs, so thats no surprise. Its very crisp and clean, with just a little resin on the finish.

Overall: This is an excellent beer. On the small side for a DIPA, but very well done. Like a super Little Sumpin Sumpin.

Photo of cbutova
4.12/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The much discussed Lagunitas Holiday seasonal. Also had it on-tap the other night.

A- Orange body with a small white head in a snifter. Retention is not that great but a cloud sticks around. Some legs and a few spots of lace.

S- Hops up front. I get nice peach, tropical citrus fruit and pine notes. Some sweetness with the hops.

T- Again, hops are big. Hops give pineapple, peach, tropical citrus fruit, floral and herbal notes. Caramel malts and yeast bread do a nice job backing up the hops.

MF- Nice silky and creamy feel to a moderately thick body. Carbonation level suits the flavor and it finishes with a medium bitterness.

I hope Lagunitas makes this a new seasonal but keep it somewhat limited. Good IIPA that I would like to try extremely fresh.

Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 9,222 ratings.