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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)

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7,688 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,688
Reviews: 1,292
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 9.86%
Wants: 375
Gots: 941 | FT: 20
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:
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 added by: Jules11788 on 11-07-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,688 | Reviews: 1,292 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of chodinheaven
4.03/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Perfectly clear yellow-orange beer with a 1 finger shock white head on top with sticky lacing left behind. Tons of carbonation from the bottom. The head dissapates at a medium pace down to a patchy thin sheet and then holds there. The aroma is a bit dank, tons of earthy citrus, herbal and piney hops. Grapefruit definitely comes to mind and has the qualities to shape up to be a hop bomb. A hint of caramel and bread hold up the malt backbone fairly.

Certainly no shortage of hops in the taste, but the malt backbone definitely holds its on nicely. Plenty of bready grain and a hint of sweet caramel give a steady backbone that lets the hops do their thing without going overboard. The hops are resiny as hell, giving an earthy, almost herbal impression that goes nicely with huge piney and grapefruit notes. The malt bill still manages to smooth out the mouthfeel however, giving it a medium-full body. The hops do come close to being a bit overbearing with the thick, almost chewy resinous taste, but the pine and citrus seem to do a good job in counteracting that actually. Maybe a bit too much in the carbonation department as the mouthfeel tends to get away from the palate in its effervescence, but not too badly. The more I drink it, the more the hops seem to run away with this one, nearly choking out the life of the malt bill. So maybe they are a tad on the overbearing side, but delicious none the less, especially as the hops disguise the nearly 8% ABV fairly well. Only a hint of alcohol is detected on the breath. It finishes juicy at the back, but then moves to dryness in the very end.

Overall, it doesn't completely replace Brown Shugga', but it is a good beer. A little lacking in the balance, but it could definitely be worse; at least its full of delicious hop flavors. I would buy this again if they decide to re-release it.

chodinheaven, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of Keffa
4.79/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle poured into my D&B thistle/tulip.

Thanks for the bottle, Travis!

Live review.

A: Pours a copperish tinged golden yellow, nice 2 finger head, settles to a small full cap, leaves sticky lacing EVERYWHERE as it settles. Beautiful beer, one of the best I've seen.

S: Pine, pineapple, citrus, floral notes, a tiny bit of alcohol, and a wee bit of caramel covering toast. Herbal and resiny notes come in behind that. Fantastic.

T: Holy shit! Right there with the smell, this one is herbal, resiny, piney, citric, floral, bitter, and smacks the palate around with ease. Alcohol is present, but doesn't detract. The weak malt that does show itself is slightly toasty and caramely sweet. Finishes bitter, lingering, and decently dry, but not overly so. Very, very good. Dare I say one of the best I've had?

M: Oily on the palate, medium carbonation is noticeable but not overwhelming, and the body is on the light side of medium.

O: This was a very welcome surprise. I've heard some talk about this one being sort of an apology for Brown Shugga not being available. Let me be the first (I'm probably not) to say this: BREW THIS YEAR ROUND! I'd buy this by the case. One of the single best hoppy beers I've had to date, and it's from a brewery that makes a hoppy beer I hate (Hop Stoopid). They got this one very, very, very right. Highly recommended.

Keffa, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of bennetj17
4.53/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear, deep golden color. Not as much head as I would have liked after the pour, but the carbonation does appear active with bubbly lines throughout. The nose has some serious hop bite. Citrus zest with layers of grapefruit and tangerine are melded with pine freshness in an awesome duo that makes me feel like I'm in San Diego. Wait, this is from Northern CA.

The bready malt flavors are very subtle in the taste, allowing the hops to dominate brightly. It's very clean and nicely bitter at the back. The beer seems light with a touch of syrupy feel. Sharp, but fine carbonation. It could stand to be a little fuller on the palate but overall it works.

Glad I didn't miss out on this excellent IPA. Definitely in the same mold as Hop Stoopid and Lil Sumpin, and this one might even be better as it seems more refined. Drink fresh!

bennetj17, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of PaulMc
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

PaulMc, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of patm1986
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

patm1986, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of Bogforce
4.55/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer looks pretty good but smells amazing. The taste doesn't quite live up to the smell but this beer is still amazing. I hop Lagunitas turns this into a year round because it blew me away. The mouthfeel isn't bad leaves some bitterness on the tongue but in a good way. If you see this beer get it now!

Bogforce, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of jacewg
4.43/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a light orange color with some gold hints. Nice and pale. A big pillowy white head that retains for awhile and leaves thick lacing.

Aroma: Hints of a doughy malt backbone. Mild toast and caramel. Hops join the party with tropical fruit and hints of citrus and melon.

Taste: Malts again provide a slightly sweet caramel backdrop to support big hop flavors of tropical fruit and citrus with a distinct melon note. Very zesty tasting with some candied hop flavors combined with the malt. Bitterness keeps everything in check but is about medium for this style of beer. Drinkability is high.

Mouthfeel: Drinkability is through the roof. Bitterness is pleasant but not palate wrecking. Beer is medium bodied. Mouthfeel starts creamy but finishes dry and a bit resiny. Crisp carbonation. Mouthfeel is on point.

If this ever actually does become a year-round beer, I'll be a very happy man. As drinkable as an 8% IPA gets and packed with flavor.

jacewg, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of grannun
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 OZ bottle poured into a SAPP glass

A: Light golden color, crisp, clear, and clean. Medium amount of head, nothing impressive

S - Wow! Pine, citrus, and other tropical fruits. Hints of mango/pineapple.

T - Again wow! Just like the aroma, citrus and pine which is indicative of many west-coast IPAs, but then there's more. The tropical fruits come out at the end, pineapple, mango, and maybe a little grapefruit. Very first thing that comes to mind is Surly abrasive, and boy did I love that beer.

M - Crisp and clean, but also mellow. Enough carbonation to make it work.

O - A truly excellent beer! I am a huge fan of surly abrasive, but I think this tops it. Abrasive is a bit extreme in the alcohol content, so it's not as drinkable as this. I had been reading the reviews of this beer and thinking it's exactly my type of beer, and it sure didn't disappoint. An excellent job by Lagunitas, and should I say, far better than the beer it replaced.

grannun, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of ryan1788a5
3.9/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a light golden color with brilliant clarity. Rocky, bubbly white head reaches its apex at about two inches and doesn't even think about budging. Excellent retention. Lacing is clumpy and very sticky.

S: Smells like a Lagunitas beer: bursting with citrusy and tropical hops, with some of those juicy/candied and floral elements as well. Pineapple, mandarin orange, and a dank hop scent are most apparent. Doughy malt base.

T: A quick burst of pineapple, orange, and mango on the attack is quickly snuffed out by a tide of pine resin and grapefruit bitterness. Pithy and dank hop flavors follow, along with fruity and juicy tastes. Malt base is doughy and slightly sweet. Finishes with grapefruit bitterness and some fading tropical fruits.

M: Medium bodied. Full and smooth on the palate. Ample carbonation helps to round it out and add a refreshing aspect.

O: Nothing about this beer is bad. In fact, it's a very good beer, all told. It just feels a little monotonous at this point. It's like listening to a great song over and over again until you get sick of it. This beer just feels like every other beer Lagunitas has done.

Notes: I realize that this is just a stand-in for Brown Shugga', but come on Lagunitas. Get a little creative. Brew me something besides a mash-up of every other IPA you've ever done. Not what I'm looking for in the dead of winter either. Poor choice for a winter seasonal, even if it is temporary. Lagunitas sucks. (insert smiley emoticon here)

ryan1788a5, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of Jerktookmyname
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Jerktookmyname, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of nmeiborg
4/5  rDev -8.3%

nmeiborg, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of DJButters
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

DJButters, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of AndybIPA
4.66/5  rDev +6.9%

AndybIPA, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of zenwatts
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

zenwatts, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of ShemRahBoo
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

ShemRahBoo, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of strongaf
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

strongaf, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of MuscleConfusion
3.5/5  rDev -19.7%

MuscleConfusion, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of cld253
4/5  rDev -8.3%

cld253, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of Axelbay
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Axelbay, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of gafferjohn
4/5  rDev -8.3%

gafferjohn, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of cates1tg
5/5  rDev +14.7%

cates1tg, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of ToasterChef
3.8/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A cellar temperature bottle is poured into a pint glass. It's a clear, copper colored beer. There's plenty of visible carbonation, but not much head, just a skim of tan foam. It has abig, hoppy aroma that has a good amount of citrus. The flavor is fairly bitter, but not as strong as some DIPAs I've had. It has a good citrus flavor and some bitter hop oils that linger after I swallow. It's a full bodied beer, but the coat isn't too big. It does leave my lips a little sticky. It's a tasty beer, but not one I'll miss if they decide not to brew it again.

ToasterChef, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of BeerResearcher
3.93/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. stubby brown bottle. No freshness date.
Served in a nonic tumbler.
Pours a brassy amber color with a 1" fluffy white head along with lots of webby and patchy lacing.
A big whiff of white grapefruit blasts out at first pour. Secondary aromas of bread dough, lemon zest, pine and earth hold ground. A light whiff of gin lingers in the background.
The taste of white grapefruit is as potent as the smell. A flavor of lemon bread edges forward, so does a taste of gin and tobacco. A minor minty herbal taste makes a late cameo.
Crazy hop forward beer, this one, but very drinkable and likeable.

BeerResearcher, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of MarshallMan
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

MarshallMan, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of illtiger1
5/5  rDev +14.7%

illtiger1, Jan 16, 2012
Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 7,688 ratings.