Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

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

1,462 Reviews
THE BROS
89
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,462
Hads: 9,455
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 8.08%
Wants: 572
Gots: 2,018 | FT: 27
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,462 | Hads: 9,455
Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
4.1/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Usual blah bottle art (actually made worse by some deviation- an ugly red splotch), but the beer itself is great. Mostly clear orange-gold body, only whispers of fine cabronation, off-white head, plenty of nets of lace.

S: Orange, pretty assertive. A melange of tropical fruit, but diminished from the orange.
Pretty dank hops, palatable bitter. Pepper? Great fruity character that isn't perverted by the high ABV.

T: Orange, peach, mango, mild pine in finish. So juicy and fruity it almost comes off as sweet.

M: Not flat, but hardly any hints of carbonation. Juicy and wonderful.

O: Really tasty brew. I love the tropical fruit flavors coming out of the hops rather than pine, and they did it right by having virtually zero malt body to interfere/"balance" it. Now if they could just let the diversity show in the nose more, and hire a damn graphic designer... (869 characters)

Photo of Mehinaman
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I never had the beer this is a substitute for, but if it is better than this I really hope to try it one day! Great beer. I am further editing my review to say that this has become one of my absolute favorites in a long time. the beer definitely has just a little bit of sweetness, but nothing overpowering at all. It's just enough to make this unique. At the same time I bought this beer I managed to obtain a bunch of Pliny the Elders. Though I love Pliny as well Lagunitas kind of spoiled the Pliny experience for me as I found it was the Lagunitas Sucks I kept reaching for. And I can find it easily in my local beer shop which is an added plus. (649 characters)

Photo of MrHassellYaHurd
4.08/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on draft at the Flying Saucer in Fort Worth.

Lightly cloudy golden copper.

Grapefruit and lemons. Simple syrup, pepper.

Sticky sweet, thick. Toasted bread. (165 characters)

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

Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) - Lagunitas Brewing Company. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, this beer's head is two fingers thick with sold lacing, and a clear medium golden body.

Smells like the "cereal medley" mentioned on the packaging, along with a hearty amount of west coast hops in there as well. Very inviting aroma in my opinion.

I taste a very nice reprseentation of each grain discussed. Also, a nice touch of citrus-like hops. This is pulled off just right.

The mouthfeel of "Sucks" is surprisingly clean and crisp.

Overall, I'll give Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) - Lagunitas Brewing Company a 4.5 (669 characters)

Photo of TomFdds
4.79/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I love this beer. Only complaint was that it gets a little sweet if you have more than two. Definitely prefer the 12 oz to the bucket. Smells great and tastes even better. (171 characters)

Photo of SINKTIPS_N_SUDS
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

WOW! This is amazing. I was not ready for the perfection I was holding. "We're not worthy!" is the only thing I can muster. the only real problem I have with sucks is I tend to drink too much of it, because it drinks way too easy for a nearly 8% beer. (251 characters)

Photo of Chapelchilla
3.57/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I have really enjoyed Sucks in years past but the most recent 6
Pack bottling was not as good. My last bottles didnt have the hoppy fresh nose. Instead, its aroma was pure alcohol. (182 characters)

Photo of Slaterlovesbeer
4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A sticky and off white head poured from a 12oz bottle. Very hoppy and reminds me of other langunitas beers. Beautifully bitter and very flavorful. The perfect aftertaste i expect from a well craftet ipa and the abv to back it up (although it advertised as a "brown suggs substitute") it taste like an ipa. Langunitas continues to be my favorite crafte of pale ales. An instant classic. (389 characters)

Photo of tarkulich
4.41/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer pours as yellow with a slight haze to it. Nose was fleeting, but it awakened a little as it warmed, giving off a very malty aroma with a slight fruity hop scent. Sweet maltiness on the tongue, bringing flavors of raisins and figs with a toasty caramel aftertaste. The brown sugar comes through more as it warms. There's a hop spice at the back end. It has a smooth medium body with moderate carbonation.

This is the second time I've had this and I enjoy it quite a bit. I don't know if I'd personally consider it a double or imperial IPA, but I'm not sure how else I'd classify it. But sometimes it's better to drink to than to classify (okay, it's ALWAYS better to drink). (686 characters)

Photo of Reema
4.88/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Nice hazy amber coloration into a standard pint glass. Wonderful hoppy smells and initial taste that tapers down to a nice malty sweetness. This is, in my opinion, the perfect balance between hops and malts. There's nothing that I can say that hasn't already been said. I always have a bomber or a 6er of this in my beer fridge. (328 characters)

Photo of KidDoc
4.21/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I was not the biggest fan of the Brown Shugga, personal preference as a hop-head, but the Lagunitas Sucks was so highly rated, I had to try it when it came available. Glad I did. Nice earthy East Coast IPA aroma with a well-balanced malt background. This is a very nice beer that I will buy when it is available. (315 characters)

Photo of RossiDaMan
4.29/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I should have done more research because the label duped the hell out of me. I was thinking along the lines of something dark and sweet (Brown Shugga'ish right) so the golden pour totally caught me off guard. But I must say I was WAY pleasantly surprised. I've only tried a handful of American Double IPA's but what won me over was the smoothness of this one vs the typical hoppy bitterness of the others. At $4.99 a quart, I'm definitely in for more. (456 characters)

Photo of SensorySupernova
4.79/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Clear dark gold with a smooth white head.

Smell: YES! Very aromatic juicy hops.

Taste: Strong hop bitterness up front, fruity, citric, black tea. Into a somewhat sweet malt backbone, a bit spicy, lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Middle of the road. Suits everything else.

Overall: Blew me away. If you want a very aromatic DIPA, try it! (352 characters)

Photo of HopHunter19
4.74/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Huge hop character - dank, fruity, garlic/onion, pine, flowery, pretty much every character you can get from a hop. Then the complexity from the malts just blows it out of the water. You taste something new with every sip. I'll be stocking up on this one when I can get it fresh, glad it's become a year round beer! (315 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours brilliant amber underneath a 1.5” clingy white foam collar
S: Spicy, herbal hop aromas with hints of pine.
T: Rounded yet assertive hops spice a firm malt backbone. Nothing harsh.
F: Medium body and carbonation.
O: A big, bold easy to drink beer. (261 characters)

Photo of Hoppity1
3.87/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have not had BS. I enjoyed this, liked the subtle sweet long lingering aftertaste but I was not as impressed by the main taste as most seem to be. Good beer though. (170 characters)

Photo of Mikefriedman90
4.59/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Very strong beer from lagunitas despite the fyck up. I was not sold on the smell but the heady amber pour was promising. Great taste, drinkable and powerful. I hope they bring this back even once they correct their mistake! (223 characters)

Photo of dacrza1
4.56/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

DATE TASTED: May 20, 2015... GLASSWARE: Victory Hop Devil nonick... OCCASION: Watching the Cavs try to steal a second straight in Atlanta--and relaxing after the end of baseball season, for good... APPEARANCE: Bright, pilsneresque body that releases tiny bubbles; the head is a monstrous white pillow that pitches a hedgerow of lacing; as the glass drains, excellent up-and-down lacing ... AROMA: thick wafts of sugary resin, pineapple, mango and other "strong" scents; not as much of the four grains available... PALATE: a mellow, moderately weighted body with a soft, balanced aftertaste--as easy-drinking as an 8% ABV will be...TASTE: a beautiful balance of a four-grain drag and a bevy of hops; a rather ridiculously good tasting "alternative" to the original, which I did not get a chance to sample; the resin is sharp, the pineapple palpable, the hops teeth-tethering--in a word, a full-flavored experienced that warms as it sips... OVERALL: ah, Lagunitas--thank God you have made the nationwide market a goal; grabbed a quart for $6.99 at Hope Liquors, and this beer is a perfect compliment to the night; hearty, flavorful and easy-drinking...any other aspect needed? (1,174 characters)

Photo of drunkenmess
3.85/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Yumm yumm in the tum-tum, ok w.e.
Always impressed with Lagunitas. So far so good :). Pours a light golden yet hazy yellow. With amazing head and lasting lacing thru out. Smells of light pine and some what strong hops, nothing over powering tho. Taste is more than expected. Actually sweet yet bitter. First sweet then a bitter after taste that lingers. Followed by a bit of off sweetness lol. I love it! Much better then their Brown Shugga'... IMO.
CHEERS (456 characters)

Photo of CNoj012
4.31/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours a golden orange color with a big frothy off white head. Good retention with lots of lacing. The smell is outstanding. Mango, grapefruit, dank pine, and just a touch of malt sweetness. The taste is much the same, very mango forward with a dank piney finish, but that little touch of sweetness keeps it very well balanced and not overly bitter. This beer is on the lighter side of medium for a IIPA and has a nice resinous feel. Overall this beer is fantastic, and now that it is much easier to find fresh and in 6 packs I will be purchasing much more frequently. (577 characters)

Photo of Carthoris
4.06/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had a quart of this poured into a straight pint glass. The color is a nice clear amber, very little head but poured perhaps a hit too gently.
Smells and tastes light and refreshing but I didn't get much flavor outside of the floral hops still good and not too bitter. I'd describe it as crisp and lightly floral. Good clean mouth feel not too carbonated

My overall sore is higher than any individual score because it's quite reasonably priced and pretty good in each category. While its not my favorite at the price point it's one of the best I've had. (555 characters)

Photo of fscottkey
3.74/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: [3.50] Pours a apricot color. There is a minimal 1/4 finger head. I am surprised by the amount of carbonation on the side of the tulip glass. It settled but initially the entire glass was coated. The beer lists the IBU (63.21) the ABV (8.0%) and there is a Julian date that works out to (4/22/15).

S: [3.25] I get wet pinapple, there is pine. I get some onion scent. The nose isn't super assertive out of the fridge.

T: [4.00] The taste wraps the tongue. There is a tropical fruit blend on the front. The entire sip sports some medium bitter elements. There is a slight onion flavor in the midpalate. There is an overall sweetness that is much higher than typical IPAs. The sweetness is the distict characteristic.

M: [4.00] The carbonation level is normal. The body has some heft to it. The finish is carried by the sweetness not by the bitterness. This is a really nice feature of this IPA.

O: [3.75] This is a really nice departure from the bitterblast IPAs that I have been having. It has the nice bitter in the front but there is a bunch of malt sweetness on the finish to blanace the beer. My biggest complaint is the weak nose - it is not coming through for me. The taste and mouthfeel are both superb. I am very happy to get this in a 12 oz offering (1,284 characters)

Photo of Beerds
4.23/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Saw for the first time in my area so picked it up, glad I did. Amazed at how good it really is, not as much bite as the regular IPA but ranking up there as one of their top beers for me. Ready for more Lagunitas (212 characters)

Photo of SmashAdams
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Three weeks from bottle date. Great hoppy sweet smell of grapefruit and grains. Taste is smooth clean hops, sweet and bready in the middle, with nice bitter aftertaste. I love everything about this beer. yb (206 characters)

Photo of Sam_Sorrells
4.29/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The nose is slightly funky, piney and citrus. The flavor is nearly a perfect balance of bitterness and sweetness. It finishes not to thin yet slightly sweet. (158 characters)

Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 1,462 ratings.