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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)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

8,281 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,281
Reviews: 1,319
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 10.11%
Wants: 421
Gots: 1,145 | FT: 21
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: 8,281 | Reviews: 1,319 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mkennedy119
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of magictacosinus
4.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

EDIT (03/22/13): After having this recently even fresher than the last time, I'm jacking up the score on taste. This is delicious, and is officially my new favorite year-round IPA that is only available in 6-packs.

Okay, I admit that, as of this writing, I haven't had the chance to indulge in their Brown Sugga' ale... So I'm not using this as a substitute for anything other than the last novel beer I've had. But is this a novel beer? No, but it's definitely one of the strangest I've ever had. Read on! Poured into a snifter from a 12oz bottle.

Pours an initially yellow-golden color, much to my surprise, that quickly turns amber-orange by the time I've poured half of the bottle in. The head is generous (about 1 finger) and amazingly doesn't seem to die down completely throughout consumption. Lots of bubbles whiz around, and the color is slightly cloudy, but by no means is it unfiltered. This looks far more like a saison/farmhouse ale than a DIPA, but it's still really fascinating.

The smell, at first at least, is a pure bouquet of hop cones like nothing else! And I don't mean "grapefruit" or "citrus" aromas here... As a new brewer myself who's just finished a homebrew IPA, this smells pretty much like the fresh batch of hops that is first siphoned directly out of the batch, except with far more strength and aggressive freshness. I couldn't find any other notes at first, but as it warmed up, the citrus aromas were initially obvious, but the tropical flavors (especially mango and papaya) were quite surprising. The beer seems to be mutating from a dry-hopped Belgian strong ale to a West Coast IPA here...

The flavor consists of a hop explosion at first, but in quickly takes the most malty, dry turn I've ever seen a beer this hoppy take. The hops pretty much vanish as soon as the malts take place, leaving behind a massive orange peel finish - and later on, a mango and passion fruit ending. At first, for whatever reason, I was tasting corn notes that were driving me up the wall... But with patience and commitment the tropical notes and citrus blend, as well as spices resembling coriander and rosemary came out in full bloom. This is not to say that there wasn't a question mark above my head the whole time. This is especially true for the finish, which as a wet yeasty feel combined with dryness... As well as a malt flatness combined with earth-dug hop zest. I love it, but it's screwing with my head like nothing else.

My God! What is this concoction? It's remarkable as hell, but it pretty much defies categorization. Everything starts in one way and ends with another with this beer... And for that reason alone is an incredible recipe. Not sure how often I'd take another again, but it is relatively easy for me to drink (save for the malt dry finish), so I will take another if offered. Yet, ever since having it, I have been craving to return to the store and analyze everything about this beer. Call me nuts, but it simply is the least "sucky" beer possible. No clue what it is, but it's good. Yes, good. Let's keep it at that!

Photo of BeerNFoodDood
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of mendvicdog
4/5  rDev -8%

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

12oz bottle purchased late March, poured vigorously into a Bell's tulip. Based on today's consumption and that of multiple six packs. Surprised I never reviewed this beer despite drinking half a case of it, mainly fresh.

Aroma: By far the best part of this beer. Did a blind tasting of this vs NG IIPA and this definitely smelled better. Lots of sweet sticky honey, toffee and biscuity maltiness. Big bouquet of floral and citrus hops. You're not going to miss smelling this nose when you have this beer. (5)

Colour: Perfectly clear, copper orange body that pours with a big 3cm white head when poured vigorously. It looks great. The collar is substantial but not the biggest I've seen. Tons of lacing on the opposite side of the glass I'm drinking from. Generally a very appealing looking beer and I'm not sure how that could be improved upon. (5)

Flavour: Big floral hop punch up front, some sweet bready maltiness in the middle, punctuated by floral and citrus hop bitterness. Really good standing on its own. Not gonna lie, when I drank this in a blind tasting aside a NG IIPA, this beer tasted like water after I drank some of what turned out to be the NG IIPA. It's entirely possible that its not fair to evaluate this beer next to an hoppier, probably fresher DIPA. But on its own, this definitely stands as a flavourful, delightfully hoppy beer. (4)

Mouthfeel: Nice! Medium-bodied on the thicker side. Resinous beer that coats the heck out of my tongue with the good carbonation making my tongue tingle with the bitter aftertaste. It runs a bit dry, which doesn't really quaff my thirst but makes me want to drink more. The problem is that its a 7.85% ABV brew and there are times when I don't really want to drink more. Nicely done. (4)

Overall: Great beer, great value for what amounts to a DIPA (I don't care what anyone says) at $9/6pk. On its own, it stands up to most of the other excellent DIPAs I've had, but it doesn't quite supplant them. It smells great, looks great and that goes a long way towards making this an enjoyable beer to drink. I'd probably take this over stuff like Hopslam and Double Crooked Tree, but maybe not over something such as Pliny the Elder. (4)

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3.25/5  rDev -25.3%

Photo of Gtg642
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of sbanacho
4/5  rDev -8%

Photo of UncleBuccs
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of briiguy
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Stevie_Janowski
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of Naters333
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into my tulip from a 12 oz. bottle

A- Pours a great deep straw color to gold with a great white 2 inch head. The lacing is amazing as I drink this beer. Good carbonation for the style.

S- The best part about this beer. Hops just hit you in the face. I will admit that the smell really fades as the freshness goes down, but when you pour this beer fresh it is so GOOD!! Pine, hops, fresh, citrus, pure goodness.

T- Hops, grapefruit,bitter, sweet, awesomeness. Makes me smack my lips, which is a great thing.

M- Just rediculously smooth. Love it. Nice medium body for the style, but light. Not harsh. Has a great bitter taste that ends to an almost sweet aftertaste, which is weird for me with most DIPAs. Well balanced.

O -This is a beer that I just say, "man I just really like drinking this stuff." Sometimes hard to explain why, but Lagunitas just gets it with this beer. Great transition between bitter, sweet, balance, smell, everything. One of my favorite DIPAS.

Photo of King_KongDCO93
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of orangesol
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of stevec32
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Chadpaq
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of BeerThursdays
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of jk3
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of UWBadgerFan4Life
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Franch
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of KevinGordon
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Schlais
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of jrbchef
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of ThickNStout
3.98/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from Sprayberry Bottle Shop (Marietta, GA). 10.99/ 6-pack. Just released but no dicernable bottling date. Served in a Terrapin snifter.

Pours clear faded orange with a quarter finger pale head that leaves sheets of lace.

The nose is brimming with hops aromas- pine, tropical fruits, and grass with a hint of alcohol.

The taste is pretty close to what the nose indicates but the hops are even sharper. Grapefruit, pine, lemon zest, fresh cut wet grass, white peppercorns, biscuit and mildly sour grapes (but not in a bad way).

Oily, coating medium feel with pronounced carbonation. Long dry piney citrus finish.

While it may not be the best IPA I've had, it's certainly good enough that I'll be picking up more when I see it. An assertive tasty hop treat that deserves more of my time.

Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 8,281 ratings.