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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.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

1,514 Reviews
THE BROS
89
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,514
Hads: 9,825
Avg: 4.32
pDev: 25%
Wants: 619
Gots: 2,343 | FT: 28
Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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: 1,514 | Hads: 9,825
Photo of rtaps
3.92/5  rDev -9.3%
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

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.05/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

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Photo of russwbeck
4.6/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

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Photo of aubuc1
4.79/5  rDev +10.9%
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).

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Photo of doughanson78
4.03/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

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Photo of Rifugium
2.94/5  rDev -31.9%
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.

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Photo of pigc
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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Photo of MsRif
3.67/5  rDev -15%
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 sessionable...at least not for me.

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

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Photo of dejrrma
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Photo of AdamBear
4.68/5  rDev +8.3%
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!

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Photo of Sean9689
4/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.45/5  rDev +3%
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.

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Photo of Keeton
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
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

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Photo of CHickman
4.73/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

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Photo of rapidsequence
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Photo of cbutova
4.12/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

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Photo of kaseydad
3.97/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Finally found this after much waiting. Miss the Brown Shugga but I move forward. Pours a very clear apricot color with a nice cream colored foamy head and nice lacing. The aroma is great! Mango, grapefruit, lemon zest and orange rind. The taste is very hoppy, lemony and piney with a big bitterness on the back end. Slightly spicy on the swallow with a touch of more bitters on the aftertaste. Salivation a plenty. Mucho carbonation. Overall I enjoyed the session but it was a little too much for my buds. Too much of a good thing? Maybe. Even with a modest 7.85%, multiples would be tiresome on this palate. A good beer but better one's are out there from the Petaluma crew.

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Photo of nc41
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a bit thin, not much foam, lacing, but the head dies quick, no big deal really. The SMELL, nice, fruity grapefruit, pineapple, ranks near the top on nose alone. The taste almost follows, but a bit thin compared to what I smell. Decent finish but falls off a little ,no real boom on the backside. Really a well done brew, I hope it goes regular. I've heard comparisons to Pliny, well, no, but don't let that stop you from trying. I also like they didn't go the ultra sweet route and malt this one to death looking for depth.

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

It's been too long since I've had a Lagunitas beer. That should be added to one of the Deadly Sins. I was wondering why I hadn't seen any Brown Shugga around but then I saw via Twitter that Lagunitas wouldn't be making any. Just read the bottom of the packaging if you want to know the whole story. But you know what? I'm almost glad because it means I get to drink a new Lagunitas beer!

Poured out, this sucky beer forms a white a foamy head that goes away pretty quickly. A slight white film remains on top throughout drinking and some nice lacing is left. The beer is clear and golden.

Oh, the smell. This smells...great. It's just so damn hoppy. Citrus, tropical fruits, pine resin. It smells like you've walked into a field of hops. It has a wild grassy aroma. Sweetness comes in the aroma of white sugar. Oh, I'm sorry, white Shugga. It's hard to describe just how good this smells. Hops^999 but not off-putting. It's like sticking your nose into a flower. Good thing hops are flowers. :P This is one of those beers that when you drink it your stomach starts rumbling. Hoppy, citrusy, and sweet.

The taste is intensely hoppy but isn't overly bitter. It is pretty bitter but the pine resin, tropical citrus, and satisfying sweetness brings in a delicious balance. The more it warms the more the grassy, grainy malts come in. They aren't too prominent but they help make the beer balance out more. This is definitely a beer that hop lovers will, well, love but it's balanced enough so that most will enjoy.

This beer is very drinkable despite its intense hoppiness and even though it has a relatively high ABV you can't tell at all. Sweetness makes it a bit sticky but a nice medium carbonation keeps it alive. It's a medium-light body.

You know, I like this so much that I really don't mind having the Brown Shugga this year.

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Photo of Bierguy5
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, 7.85% abv. Clear, golden color. Great white, rocky head. Excellent retention. Some nice patches of sticky lace after a while. Good looking beer.

Big, juicy hop aroma. Tropical fruits, citrus and a bit of piney hops. Lighter malt character in the nose, but this is clearly all about hops here.

Lighter malt, but there is a substantial amount. Just a bit of sweetness. Big blast of hop bitterness. Lots of tropical fruit, citrus and pine. Very juicy hop flavors.

Medium body, nice carbonation. Alcohol is hidden pretty well. Great hop combinations here. Very well done.

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

A - Golden colored beer, touch of red or brown in there. Nice white head that left a lot of soapy lace on the sides of the glass.

S - It smells like an IPA with some good fruity and slightly amonious hops. Nice bright fruit, touch of what seems to be Christmas spice.

T - Quite nice. There's some tropical fruit, mild grapefruit, bit of pine, and some spice in there. Nicely sweet, with some caramel malts. Pleasant tasting and went down easy.

M - Lighter side of medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O - Good beer, really enjoyed this one quite a bit with my lunch. Would gladly drink this one again. A good beer by a brewery that I think, well, sucks.

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Photo of Docer
3.65/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: (4.0)
- Nice golden yellow and slightly orange pour, yielded a couple fingers of foamy white head.. settled to a fluffy ring and some scattered traces. Rather clear brew.

Smell: (4.0)
- Massive citrus hops.. just massive. I don't think I have ever smelled such a hoppy beer. Lots of sweet grains going on here, some breadiness.. but overall just a sucker punch to the face of grapefruit, pine, lemon zest, and sticky dank hops.

Taste: (3.5)
- Sweet brew. Sugars, caramel grain, and tons of herbal grassy bitter hops with a smooth citrus zesty hoppy punch as well. The sugars, bitter hops, and aroma hops all play very well together to create this hop tea of a beer. I like the bitterness, but like with most Lagunitas beers for me.. a bit over the top sweet. Nice to grab though if craving a mega hop bomb.

Mouth Feel: (3.5)
- Slightly sticky, certainly chewy and resinous brew. Medium to light bodied, but just sweet and all the characters of sweet. Good bitter drying touch to it. Well carbonated.

Overall: (3.5)
- Hops. Hops. More hops. This is just a sweet hoppy monster of a beer. I wonder if they just took Hop Stoopid, and dry-hopped the living hell out of it some more. In fact, I think that is just what they did. Certainly seems like it was brewed with some candy sugars or something much the same. A solid hop monster, and more a novelty beer for me. Hard to drink more than 1.

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Photo of EJLinneman
4.59/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Apparently, the brewery didn’t have the capacity to make Brown Shugga this year and made this instead. After drinking Lagunitas Sucks, I can honestly say that I wouldn’t care if they never made Brown Shugga again.

I typically don’t like reviewing IPAs due to the fact that almost every IPA review comes out exactly the same and usually sound something like this – “Hops hops hops, bitterness, bitterness blah blah blah”. I made an exception for this one because I was so pleasantly surprised that I felt it was worth mentioning.

I drank this from my Bruery tulip glass. It poured a dark auburn color with a healthy head. The head lingered for a few minutes and left a decent amount of lacing along the top of the glass. From the looks of it, I could already tell this was going to be good.

The smell was incredible. I think that the only beer I could accurately compare the smell with is Bell’s Hop Slam. It reeked of citrus, pineapple, other tropical fruits and maybe a slight bit of honey. This smell lingered for a while until it warmed and the hops married with the malt and alcohol. The alcohol wasn’t very apparent, but more like a visitor in the background.

The taste was much like it smelt. The beer had a bitterness that started in sides of my tongue, traveled to the back, and then exploded with pineapple and tropical fruit. There was bitterness, but not tongue-numbing bitterness. Lagunitas Sucks doesn’t have the ultra-dry finish which their regular release IPA has, which is definitely a good thing to me. This is a very drinkable beer and I wish that I had purchased a case because I was thirsty for more.

Lagunitas really scored a home run on this one. I’m not sure if they’re going to be making this part of their yearly line up, but I really hope that they do. Otherwise, I guess we can hope that they start to make this their new holiday release, and we’ll all have something to look forward to every year.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.95/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap 12/4/2011 at Pour Farm in New Bedford, MA served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright gold color with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick on the glass.

S: The aroma contains piney hops, light caramelized malts and some citrus.

T: The taste starts out with a strong grassy hops bitterness followed by sweet flavors of citrus and caramel. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and brings some balance. The after-taste is hoppy and slightly sweet. Even for a hop-head like myself, this beer needs to sit for a few minutes to take some of the hop edge off.

M: Very crisp but not too smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down very easy, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, it’s a solid IPA but there are better beers in the style.

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Photo of ReelBigwigFish
4.56/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pint glass

A: Transparent, very pale golden color with a small puffy white head that recedes kind of quick, leaving bits of sticky lacing.

S: Holy hops! STRONG citrus and pine hop aroma, sweet and fruity, not very bitter smelling. Just resiny hop nectar.

T: Follows the nose, tropical fruit and citrus hops dominate, followed by piney flavors. Pine, mango, and grapefruit mixing in beautiful hop harmony. Finishes a little bitter, with not much of a malt to back it up, and I don't care.

M: Light bodied, medium and crisp carbonation. Super drinkable.

O: This beer gives me a rock-solid.

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Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 1,514 ratings.