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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.

1,496 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,496
Hads: 9,640
Avg: 4.32
pDev: 25%
Wants: 599
Gots: 2,206 | FT: 31
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: 1,496 | Hads: 9,640
Photo of breadwinner
4.64/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

When it's on its game, this thing is darn near transcendent. Amazing nose combining tropical and pungent hop aromas. Palate follows suit and offers a wonderful bitterness, perfectly weighted within a dry, attenuated body. Tremendous.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.91/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a pretty popular beer around BA. I figured I'd take a swing at it.

A : Very large and insanely tight popcorn colored head, about 3 fingers and sticking around for quite awhile before finally resting at 2 fingers. The lace makes the glass almost solid looking. The body is honey colored and 70% opaque.

S : Practically perfect marriage of orange peel and piney hop. A little bit of body odor/sweat sock but it's muted and distant. It's a solid, no-nonsense nose for an IPA.

T : Here's the downfall. It tastes like arm pit. And sugar. A sugary arm pit? It's got a strange rotting fruity buzz to it, though. I can't explain it. Like the arm pit and a mouthful of mushy cantaloupe. It tastes pretty gross but something keeps bringing me back to it. The Sweetness? Jimmy Eat World might agree. A little bit later the alcohol starts to surface and it takes on a slight warm buzz. I don't even know how to rate this. Am I missing something here that everyone else seems to be raving about? It's both terrible and drinkable at the same time. A 3? (*edit, a 3.5, see below)

F : Smooth, easy drinking, lightly creamy. Buzzing carbonation. Ends a little pasty.

O : Everything was looking pretty "world class" until I got to the taste. Obviously if I can't drink the beer it loses its merit. I'll pass on this next time.

* EDIT : had another, and it was fresher. The taste was much better. I'll adjust the scores accordingly to approximate the median of both trials.

A solid experience with the appearance being the obvious strong suit, still.

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Photo of scottbrew4u
4.14/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very appealing from the first sniff of dank hops and citric hops. Malty body gives a solid underlying foundation for this beer. It has a bitter finish but not overly so. Great beer for a hop lover and it has a good following to show for it. I have passed this over many times but glad to have finally reviewed it.

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Photo of Tonyjenlasc
4.53/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lagunitas strikes again!!! The nose on this beer is amazing!!! BIG BIG fruity citrus aroma. And the taste follows w/ an orangy/citrus/ sweet taste. Slight sweet piney finish. This is Lagunitas best tasting beer in my opinion. Can't even taste the almost 8% ABV. One of the top DIPAs out. A must try for any beer lover.

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Photo of kbwalters
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured cold into a tulip glass. Bottled on 4/2/15, consumed on 5/9/15.
Look = 4.25 Pours a clear golden orange color with 3 fingers of thick white head. Great retention and lace.
Aroma = 4.75 Big hoppy aroma, fruity and juicy with pineapple, mango and some orange. Great aroma.
Taste = 4.25 More balanced than the nose but still hop forward. Citrus mostly, orange and lime built on a caramel and toffee malt backbone. Significant bitter finish.
Feel = 4.25 Medium to full bodied, thick and syrupy feel. Resiny, coats the mouth. Medium to high carbonation is fizzy.
Drinkability = 4.25 Easy drinking for a big DIPA.
Overall = 4.375 A terrific DIPA, great aroma and flavors, good feel and easy drinking. $10 for a 6 pack can’t be beat.

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Photo of Elsuperjefe
4.43/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Golden Amber w thin lacing. Nose is piney, grassy and floral. Taste follows the nose and adds a delightful bitterness that lingers long enough to enjoy but doesn't kill the buds. Feels smooth and crisp. Doesn't suck. Delicious rescue by Lagunitas.

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Photo of vitALEity
3.66/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

-Somewhat cloudy, light gold color with huge, thick head and good retention.
-Very mild grapefruit, orange and pine with some sweet/bready malt
-Light hop citrus and piney flavor balanced with sweet malt. Very mild, more like a high percentage pale ale. Alcohol is very well hidden
-Medium-full body, smooth
-Overated, but for the price its an outstanding buy.

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Photo of mrjez
4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle at TNT Taisho.
L: pours an unassuming light clear gold.
S: killer nose. Big fruit notes, passionfruit, mango, pine, it's bright and the hop aromas are immense.
T: very tasty. The same fruits come through, some grassiness, and touch of malt.
F: so smooth, a wonderful balance of bitterness.
O: beers like this, Sculpin, and Ruination 2.0 are blowing me away continuously. Bright, balanced, fruity and floral qualities up with the hoppy pine, dangerously easy to drink.

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Photo of Jonoesh5
4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Looks gorgeous! Big ol' off-white head sits on a golden opaque body. Smells clean, bright, and hoppy. First sip is bitter, refreshing, and fruity! Sharp/chicory lettuce, grapefruit juice, and oranges are strong in this brew. Malts are hard to find among such big hops, but lean towards baked bread? Almost like beer bread (no shit, right??). Mouthfeel is frothy and carbonated with the lingering off-white head. Slight alcohol numbing towards the end. Overall, Lagunitas embraces their hop-heavy style with Sucks. Great brew for hop heads, but lacks a malt backbone to support such a bitter brew. But what else is new with Imperial IPAs?

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Photo of mozart4898
4.62/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L - 1 1/2 finger white head. Fades fairly quickly to a ring, leaves awesome lacing. Light gold, nice clarity. Nice looking beer.
S - Citrusy, piney, a little bit of sweet malt. A quintessential IPA aroma, can't find much fault at all.
T - Big fruity hop forward flavor - citrus, melon, maybe a touch of cucumber, pine. Bitterness is moderate. Malt is pretty much absent. Hides the alcohol very well.
F - Dry, medium carbonation.
O - My first time trying this beer...seen many a mention of it but always figured it was more of a gimmick/name than anything. Truly outstanding.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear light copper to golden, finger length head and good creamy lace retention. Worderful citric and tropical fruit aroma, some biscuit and honey. The taste is at first fruity, slightly syrupy and malty sweet. This is followed by a strong hops presence that is piney and leafy. Strong bitter herbal finish. Creamy, smooth, medium bodied and very drinkable.
This beer most definetely does not suck! I liked it a lot.

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

Great IPA here. Nice golden Amber pour, very clear. Smells a little piney, with huge tropical fruit and citrus. Has that lagunitas resinous tingle on the nose.

Taste is GREAT! I was expecting lagunitas ipa on steroids, as this is my first SUCKS. Boy, this bad mofo is smooth. You get the nice resinous pine up front, then its followed by a citrusy, juicy, wave of fruity-ish-ness. Probably all the different malts and cereals that give it a nice smooth sweetness to really mellow the pine out. Still has the lagunitas hop tingle I love, but much juicier than I expected.

Overall, I'm a huge fan. This brewski is awesome. Plus, $7 for a 32oz bottle!? Thank you, lagunitas, THANK YOU!

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Photo of classixIII
4.41/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Clear dark gold to orange, minimal foam but great carbonation. Wonderful piney, citrus aroma. A little more hoppy bitter than I normally like but I find myself curiously liking this alot. Must be the "complexishness"! I'll buy more.

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

Pours a pretty clear, golden color with a full and cloying, frothy head. Good retention here.

Smell has lots of piney hop notes to go along with a pretty notable citrus presence. There is grapefruit, orange, maybe a touch of mango to go along with the resinous floral aroma. Also a bit of noted maltiness on the nose.

Taste is high on bitterness with both fruit sweetness and floral essences along for the ride. There is also just the right malt backbone to this one. Yes, it suits hop-head standards, but it also has just the right body.

Pretty full flavored, moderately carbonated and stinging--hop and alcohol conjoined for the latter, perhaps--on the palate.

This is a damn nice D.I.P.A. Extremely flavorful with just the right mixes--hop and malt; floral and fruitiness. Such a good beer at such a reasonable price (~$7.00 for the 32-oz bottle); this has to be a go-to version of the style. Nice job here.

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Photo of leantom
4.23/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Four years and still going strong. Here goes:

A: Good. The bear pours a light yellow-orange. The head is moderate, but the beer leaves good lacing. Very little carbonation, though.

S: Lots of tropical fruits in this one. Pineapple, oranges, citrus, and mango. A little bit of cat pee, though.

T: Follows the hoppy nose, except with a healthy helping of sweet caramel malt to alleviate the bitterness. Good mixture of hops and malt.

F: Great mouthfeel despite the limited carbonation. Thick and juicy.

O: A great beer. Maybe a little overrated, but still good nonetheless.

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

This one looks nice: a slightly hazy deep golden beer with a thick, pebbly off-white head that lasts and lasts, leaving behind lots of beautifully complex lacing. The nose is a harmonious blend of very strong pine, grapefruit and resin notes and a significant floral character. Upfront, the palate is malty with strong citrus notes, more subdued pine and hints of florals; this all gets washed over and blended with a significant hoppy bitterness on the back end. The finish is very crisp, with nothing but a long-lingering piney bitterness left behind. Goodly carbonation allows the medium body to develop a fairly creamy consistency that joins with the crisp finish to produce a beer that is maybe more drinkable than it should be for the ABV.

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Photo of HorseheadsHopHead
4.27/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a wine glass . Roughly two months old.

LOOK: A clear burnt gold with a finger of bright white head.

SMELL: White grapefruit juice, flowers such as daisy and clover, and ripe peach and pineapples.

TASTE: White grapefruit juice, lemon peel, candied peaches, pineapple, and mango. Sweet, juicy, and delicious. Malt presence is a very light biscuitiness, barely noticeable. Finishes with only a light bitterness. Alcohol is not even slightly detectable for being an 8% abv brew.

FEEL: Medium, but approaching light. Shockingly easy to drink for 8%. Carbonation is moderate.

OVERALL: An excellent double IPA. I wish mine was a little fresher, but this one is definitely worth buying, and often.

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Photo of Savan
2.89/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Got a single of this brew today, and because i work at this store I am pretty sure it was fresh as can be in this town. I have loved the lagunitas I have had in the past, thus I have high standards for what I EXPECTED. It didn't SUCK, but it is ( I feel ) not to caliber with their other FINE brews :/

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Photo of flyingpig
4.19/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Half pint on-tap at Euston Tap, London:
Another excellent Lagunitas beer, not as hoppy as I'd expected with sweet malts taking the front seat but some did feature & the balance was a good one. The beer proved to be quite an easy one to drink as well, despite the strength. One well worth seeking out if you can find it.

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

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

L: Pours a deep semi transparent golden amber color. Thick creamy white head leaves generous lacing.

S: Big time malts and hops. Floral and biscuity with some evergreen and pine.

T/F: Lots of flavor in this one. Great Lagunitas style hop profile with a mix between floral and evergreen notes. Very strong and rich malt backbone. Biscuits and brown sugar. Strong ABV gives some warmth at the finish. Solid carbonation and goes down smooth.

O: Another big flavor Imperial IPA from Lagunitas. Not significantly better or worse than their other brews and this isn't a bad thing. You can always tell a Lagunitas beer and they always put out a good product. This is no exception. Would absolutely drink this again.

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Photo of maedhros09
4.31/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gold with big fluffy rocky off-white head. Leaves decent film. Pretty sweet and malty but also pretty fresh and deliciously hoppy without tons of bitterness. A definite repeat!

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Photo of Cannibalgasm
4.07/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 32oz. bottle.

A: Pours a light gold with two-fingers of white head. Excellent retention as the bubbles build a thin layer of foam that consistently rests atop the brew. Lacing is solid.

S: Citrus, orange, grapefruit, tropical fruits, floral hops, oats, rye, pepper, and biscuit.

T: Orange, grapefruit, lime, mango, earthy and floral hops, rye, and caramel malts. Nice clean bitter finish.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation, smooth with clean crisp bitter finish.

O: Contrary to the name Lagunitas and their brews are actually quite good. This is a very good very drinkable DIPA. I could drink this all day long. I highly recommend this brew to DIPA lovers everywhere.

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Photo of infinitebruner
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

June 18, 2015

12 oz bottle, tulip glass

A – Medium amber with some definite golden hues. Very clear. Slightly off-white foam with some larger bubbles, mostly low retention but a small amount of suds sticks around for a while.

S – Grapefruit and citrus, lemon-lime with a squeeze of orange. Some light, spicy papaya notes. Malt is subdued, bready-crackery.

T – Very strong orange/tangerine, with moderate lemon-lime. Low, low grapefruit and tropical fruit, just giving it a bit of a spicy bite. Malt is bready, slightly graham cracker sweet. Bitterness is very high, but so are the hops/malt, so very well balanced.

M – Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation, slightly sudsy. Sweet and juicy up front then a dry, bitter finish.

O – Man, I love this IPA. The right blend of sweet and bitter, with tons of hop aroma and flavor. Bold without obliterating the senses.

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Photo of MacMalt
4.18/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into IPA glass. Lovely honey color with thick, white head and generous lacing. Citrus, piny smell with some sweetness. Not as strong as many other IPA's. I now understand why so many BA's enjoy this beer: It has the taste attributes of a good IPA but also a bready sweetness with less of a hoppy, bitter aftertaste and only 63 IBU. Nicely carbonated with a pleasant, refreshing mouth feel. At 8% you can't really call this a session IPA but for a malty guy like me this is a very fine beer and one which I'll drink again.

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Photo of bkkt
3.91/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Not what I expected. Thought the beer should've been a bit hoppier. Overall a very well balanced beer. Clean, easy to drink, and an excellent double IPA.

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Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 1,496 ratings.