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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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8,059 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,059
Reviews: 1,306
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 9.89%
Wants: 407
Gots: 1,061 | 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: 8,059 | Reviews: 1,306 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JHamm
4.63/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer has slight head retention with nice lacing around the glass. The smell however is remarkable - extremely fruity, citrusy with hints of pine and orange. The smell is crisp and extremely clean. The taste mimicks the smell. I enjoy a beer with a clean malt bill that lets the hops dominate. If you're looking for a nutty or malty bill this may disappoint on that front. The hops follow the smell with grapefruit, slight mint, and lemon with a balanced bitter finish. The overall mouthfeel does have a resiny oil like finish but nothing that would be considered offensive. Overall this is an exceptional beer for my style if you enjoy a clean, citrus type beer.

JHamm, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of MystikCelt
3.5/5  rDev -19.5%

MystikCelt, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of mostpoetsdo
4/5  rDev -8%

mostpoetsdo, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of RWNewhouse
4/5  rDev -8%

RWNewhouse, Jan 20, 2012
Photo of Bfarr
4.63/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Clear golden brown, moderately foamy head with okay retention. Pungent strong hop aroma with pine and citrus. Lightly piney and satsuma and tropical sweetness balanced incredibly well with a short linger. Thin, smooth and very light bite.

Fresh hop aroma, balanced, and very flavorful this beer has it all. Deceptively simple yet it showcases big flavor and is refreshingly addictive. Not a big bold hoppy beer like usual but has wonderful hop elements focusing on flavor rather than bitterness.

Bfarr, Jan 20, 2012
Photo of OneEyedJack
4/5  rDev -8%

OneEyedJack, Jan 20, 2012
Photo of minterro
4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Split sixer from Spartan spirits

A&S: The smell is primarily piney, but there is a very noticeable citrusness to it. The citrus really balances the pineyness. Lively transparent orange yellow colored beer. The head is and off white and pours smalls but hangs around at that same level (quarter inch). Decent lacing actually for the head.

T&M: A very drinkable pineyness. There is a curtain citrus tones to it. Its interesting, it’s a hoppy beer, but its present and not overwhelming. There is some sweetness, its not overly sweet like some doubles turn out. Medium bodied (surprising for looking so light) a bit creamy, and the carbonation is pretty high (huge bite)

O: Really good, if this is a substitute for Brown Shugga’ I guess I need to try Brown Shugga. I still don't think this beer is world class, but it's for sure another great Lagunita's brew.

minterro, Jan 20, 2012
Photo of GameFreac
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My 2nd review.

Julian date - 364 and it's my 22nd birthday today so this is only 21 days old. Poured into a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a golden color with a small head. It fades but leaves a little lacing in my glass.

Smell: Smell amazing. Tropical fruits, hops, mango, peaches, watermelon, grapefruit. This is my favorite part about this beer.

Taste - follows the nose. Not as good as the nose but very close. Just hoppy with those mango/tropical flavors. Also has a slight malt/bready taste that balances it out and a bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Feels creamy but very drinkable. I don't detect the alcohol at all at 7.85% abv.

Overall: One of the best beers I've ever had - in my top 10. I'm sad that this will only be a seasonal since I got a single, then got a 6 pack, then got another 6 pack (this was part of the Leftovers). I usually always get new beers but I went back to this brew twice. It's that damn good. Here's hoping they make this a year round beer. If not, get it while you can. You won't regret it.


Had this year's batch and it's as good as ever. My favorite IPA.

GameFreac, Jan 20, 2012
Photo of distantmantra
4.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Russian River tulip.

A: The beer is gold, pure gold. There is nice head of off-white foam that has very strong lacing.

S: Very strong, tangy tropical fruits along with aromatic pine hops and a hint of malt.

T: The flavor is very similar with tangy/astringent tropical fruits such as pineapple and mango. Pine bitterness also present, but the malt isn't really noticeable.

M: Very easy going medium body with a smooth mouthfeel and fantastic carbonation.

O: Lagunitas needs to screw up more. This is a fantastic Imperial IPA. Need to buy more while I still can.

distantmantra, Jan 20, 2012
Photo of Reidrover
3.95/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

at long last i get round to this baby. 12 oz single from Fred Meyer, S.Salem $1.67 Clear orange body to the ale with a nice half inch sized white frothy head. Big strong,dank,heavy resiny hop aromas,herbal Again heavy hop taste but very well matched by the bready,caramel maltiness, but bright citric,lemon zest hops dominate in the end. Good on the palate keeps this heavy brew moving Another Lagunitas classic..to me though this is more a DIPA than an ASA

Reidrover, Jan 20, 2012
Photo of ewright
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

ewright, Jan 20, 2012
Photo of confer
4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Solid gold with a small amount of white head.
S- I've had beers before that might have had a hint of grapefruit in the smell but this one is the real deal. If I close my eyes it is as if I got my nose right over a fresh cut grapefruit.
T- Again with the slightly bitter grapefruit. It really hits in the back of the mouth. There is faint sweetness in the middle as well. Very interesting.
MO-Low carbonation. Another winner from these guys. There beers are among the most interesting reasonably prices beers around.

confer, Jan 20, 2012
Photo of MDDMD
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-a clear gold color with an off-white head and nice lacing

S-lots of tropical fruit aromas with some citrus and hints of malt

T-loads of tropical fruit and citrus with some pine accents with a nice bitter finish

F-medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a smooth feel

O-an excellent DIPA with great flavor and good balance

MDDMD, Jan 20, 2012
Photo of millerbuffoon
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

millerbuffoon, Jan 19, 2012
Photo of lurpy1
3.93/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Grabbed a bottle of this, poured into a pint. Pours a fairly standard oak furniture stain color with not much head. However, a very nice sticky lacing as the beer goes down. The smell is sort of a candied hops aroma, sticks with you a for a while.

The first taste is a blast of hops, with grapefruit and some pine. Tasty. Unsubtle. Seems to improve as the drink goes on.

This definitely makes for easy drinking, but I would prefer a little more resin and a thicker mouthfeel.

Final verdict - this is a good to very-good beer, but honestly, I don't see what all the nattering is about regarding Sucks. It's a good IPA/DIPA, but there are better ones out there. Not to mention this is like the 758th DIPA Lagunitas has made. That said, the price point on this is outstanding, it's a good value buy.

lurpy1, Jan 19, 2012
Photo of xenjoiii
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

xenjoiii, Jan 19, 2012
Photo of Birdlegs
4/5  rDev -8%

Birdlegs, Jan 19, 2012
Photo of mecmd
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

mecmd, Jan 19, 2012
Photo of jtmcgraw
5/5  rDev +14.9%

jtmcgraw, Jan 19, 2012
Photo of ralphw56
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

ralphw56, Jan 19, 2012
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.08/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lagunitas Sucks, bottle bought as part of a six-pack at Nolita Mart for $13.99.

Appearance: Not too different from the tap or growler versions. One solid finger of snow-capped head that dies fairly soon, leaving a rim and some decent lacing. Good carbonation, you can see the bubbles going up. Transparent amber shiny color.

Smell: Richer than the tap, with sour apple, a bit of fresh warm (but crystal-clear) urine. Fruit cake, sugar and all that delectable citrusness (pineapple, pomelo). No bitterness on the nose. Piney, soapy.

Taste: A bit faded, but carries echoes of beers such as Heady Topper. Ton of hops come through here, after hiding on the nose. Pine, resin, whole-cone hop. That aromatic Christmas-tree forest at Rock Springs in Decatur. Pineapple syrup.

Overall: Rating goes up here because this is SO ridiculously drinkable. If I didn’t hav to worry about a beer belly, I would pound a sixer of this (wait, I did pound a growler!). Refreshing, flavorful, easy-but-complex… very damn nice, and the bottled version is best.

DoubleSimcoe, Jan 19, 2012
Photo of jmarsh123
4.93/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a mostly clear orange/gold with a small white head fading into a wisp and leaving sticky lacing.

Aroma features loads of dank grapefruit, tropical fruit and just a hint of caramel sweetness.

Flavor starts out with a bright citrus/grapefruit flavor. Also some tropical fruits such as mango. Just at touch of malt before finishing off with a big grapefruit flavor with some underlying pine. Very bitter and dry finish.

Creamy mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Fantastic beer and much better than the seasonals it replaces. As far as Lagunitas beers only Hop Stoopid comes close to matching this. Easy drinking and goes down way too smooth at this ABV.

jmarsh123, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of jaxray8
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

jaxray8, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of chodinheaven
4.03/5  rDev -7.4%
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 +10.1%
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
Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 8,059 ratings.