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Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) | Lagunitas Brewing Company

1,547 Reviews
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Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale)Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale)

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.85%

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.

Added by Jules11788 on 11-07-2011

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,547 | Ratings: 10,007
Photo of Dcmpres
4.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Bright gold in color with white head and wispy lacing.

S: A wonderfully resinous aroma of sweet grapefruit, papaya and pineapple notes abound.

T: The bright citrus and tropical flavors transcend the hoppy mid-palate to finish harmoniously with a touch of spicy sweetness.

M: Medium bodied, yet silky in texture. The carbonation carry the fruity hops and malt sweetness to a silky and balanced finish.

O: Lagunitas describes this as a cereal medley, so I must love cereal. The oats and rye give this beer a spicy creaminess that is 'spot on'. And the citrus and tropical notes pair wonderfully with the malty sweetness. This stuff goes down so easy. Its time to find a cloned version of this beer before I end up in the poor house.

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Photo of deebo
3.94/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Williams $3 pint night. Served with a skimming of filmy white head this is a completely clear beer dark golden with a light orange tint. Big time hop aroma. Notes of tropical mango and citrus grapefruit. Taste is hop forward with a definite malt backbone. A smooth beer with a bitter but crisp aftertaste. This is a solid big yet not overpowering hop bomb. A nice brew.

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Photo of Samuel906
4.13/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is another great beer from Lagunitas, and with an IPA lineup like they have, I would expect nothing less. Favorite part about this brew is the smell, and it's pretty much everything I could want out of the aroma from an IPA. Bold hop flavor, clean citrus, and some fragrant florals. Absolutely great smell. Looks very similar to their other IPAs, a bright golden, perfectly transparent, but with some very small suspended bubbles. Taste is all about hops and citrus. You will feel like you just enjoyed a fresh, tart and perfectly sweet grapefruit after you take a sip. Overall, more well balanced then Hop Stoopid, exceptionally smooth and drinkable.

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Photo of hoppytobehere
4.17/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle, about 20 days old if I'm reading the julian code correctly.

A: Clear, typical color for an IPA. Acceptable head with excellent retention.

S: Good lord. Loads of piney hops, citrus, hop dankness. Amazing.

T: Pineapple. Reminds me of Pliny the Elder but more in your face with hops. Just enough bready malt backbone to finish it off and balance it out. Amazing.

M: Thin, watery. Good carbonation. No heat from the 7.85% at all. Dry.

O: For a hophead, this one is outstanding. Can't beat the price either.

edit: Original rating was a 4.6 but have to lower the scores after being disappointed time and time again with the 2015 releases. Not the same beer anymore.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.62/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Into a goblet with a finger of head on a clear, straw colored body.
The aroma is wonderful bright citrus: orange, mandarin and grapefruit.
The taste is a little disjointed: moderate bitterness throughout with lemon and grapefruit dominating. There's a sweetness breaking the surface once in a while too.
There's a soft texture with moderate carbonation.
The taste was a letdown because everything else was great.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.57/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, pours golden in color topped with a frothy, white head. Good retention, and tons of sticky lacing is left one the glass. Aromas are bright and fresh with tropical citrus notes of pineapple and mango along with grapefruit, sweet honey, biscuity malt. Wow, I could smell this all day. Tastes are sweet and tropical; similar to aroma with pineapple, mango, grapefruit, honey, biscuity malt finds its way in there, a tad boozy, finishes sweet, but bitter and dry. Full of flavor with nice balance here. Medium body, nice and smooth with ample carbonation. Overall, top notch American DIPA, especially for the price in comparison to the other over-priced competitors.

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Photo of Chickenhawk9932
4.26/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours bright clear golden color with amber highlights. Thick white head hangs around and leaves trails of lace down the glass.

Big grapefruit smell dominates the nose, backed by orange and tangerine. There is some rye notes in the background and a faint bubble gum/floral aroma.

Intense bittersweet grapefruit upfront followed by sweet orange with some faint bitter floral notes in the background. There is a slight chewy malt sweetness in the middle (caramel).

An excellent beer with intense, complex flavor.

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

Pours pale orange with a small white head and layers of lacing.

Big tropical fruit notes, pine, some booze, candy-like juicy hops, earthy, musty mint.

Citrus fruits and pine again balanced well with lightly sweet malts, very clean.

Feel is on par for an IPA of this caliber. Flavorful, not cloying by any means, could drink a few of these.

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Photo of DrStiffington
4.36/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Fantastic. I've had this on tap and bottle this year. Smells strongly of citrus and pine. Tastes the same. Strong hoppy flavor. Mouthfeel not thick and creamy, but still not insignificant. Perhaps more impressive than Hopslam this year. Outstanding!

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Photo of puboflyons
3.77/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on February 23, 2013.

It pours medium amber with a slight cloudy character and a medium off-white head that eventually settles down to a lingering ring.

The aroma was my favorite part of this beer with a nice earthy, hopped sensation and an odd brown sugar note. Malts are mellow.

The body falls into the medium range with an acidic quality to it.

The hops present themselves as the dominant character in the taste with a muted maltiness and sweetness. But quite frankly, I found this beer to be about level with any number of IPA's I have had.

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Photo of MudDrinker
4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Straw golden-very light orange with a fluffy white head.

Smell - Grapefruit. Just a big ol' grapefruit, there's some other citrus and mango involved, but its pretty uncanny to me how much grapefruit hits you upfront. No resin or pine in the smell at all. That's a new one on me.

Taste - Whoa. Grapefruit, mango, bittersweet citrus. When cold, its hard to pick up any resin bitterness - it comes through as it warms but its never abrasive. Absolutely no alcohol presence. Sweetness from the malt is pretty much the best sidekick ever in this beer.

Mouthfeel - Light and creamy. Decent carbonation, making the head come across really fluffy. It really fits with the sweet grapefruit flavor. This beer is definitely worth pouring in a glass that has a turbulent shape for head retention.

Overall - Phenomenal. I pretty exclusively drink stuff on the malty side of the spectrum. I rarely like brews with pronounced hops, and definitely not IPAs/APAs/etc. but I'll be buying this as long as I can get it.

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Photo of rodlavers
4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured Lagunitas Sucks into my favorite Founders snifter to enjoy for the first time this year (I did have it on tap last night, but this is my first bottle of the year).

It actually does look like someone urinated in my glass, someone so dehydrated they are on the verge of death. It's that pale orange, yellow color with tons of white bubbles and foam. It's very clear and bubbly from the carbonation. Only some lacing, think my glass has lost its ability to hold lacing.

Smells of intense passion fruit -- it's sweet, with orange, mango, pineapple, pine/floral hops. It also has a nice malty backbone in there as well.

Taste is more of the same, very good. It's also a bit resinous, too, which I like.

Feel is very nice, indeed. Smooth, balanced, and super fresh. Drinkability is high. Repeat, drinkability is high.

Overall, very good beer, maybe my favorite Lagunitas offering. Hopefully it becomes year-round eventually. Cheers.

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

Thanks to Momar42 for the bottle! 12 oz bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A: Pours a nasty-looking dark piss color. The head is a two finger spoiled milk shade that looks like cottage fuckin' cheese. Why is there so much ugly-ass lacing left on my glass?

S: This is full of gross melon, gross papaya, gross herbal pine, gross mango, and...well, it's just gross. Smells like an awesome-- ERR I mean wet ass.

T: Yikes, and just when I thought it couldn't get any nastier, it does! The opening is nothing but mellow-- I mean nasty tropical fruits. Bah, who really likes tropical fruits? It tastes like a damn rainforest! It finishes with a soft, malty sweetness, which totally sucks 'n' stuff, too. And ewww, is that onion on the aftertaste? Who wants onion in their beer? NOT ME, GOOD SIR!

M: Light, delicate, subtle, and crisp - and it sucks. Yeah, it fuckin' sucks. I've never stated my preference toward light and delicate DIPAs before in my life, you're all nuts! /angryface I mean, sure, it's drinkable, but that's only because I want to get rid of it so quickly! Aw crap, I'm not near a drain...I guess I'll just pour it into my mouth more. Because it fuckin' sucks so much.

O: Yuck! Lagunitas Sucks indeed. It's so bad I'm discouraging everyone out there of buying it...so I can snatch the remainder up for-- I mean, cuz it's gross an' shit. Yeah, that's it. This is most definitely not a fantastic DIPA that I wish I could drink a case of, no, you guys are all reading into things WAY too much. Like I said, this sucks I WANT MORE I WANT MORE NOW!

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

A: Golden Straw color

S: Very nice floral hop aroma. Maybe the best part of this beer

T: Great citrus flavors with a good malt balance. Not very bitter but still delicious. Can't detect the alcohol at all

M: Smooth and slightly on the heavy side

Overall: A great DIPA. The aroma and flavors are near perfect. It's not as bitter as some DIPAs I've had but I'm not sure that's a bad thing. Well balanced

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.76/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Poured a clear, glowing yellowish-orange colo wih a nice white cap which resedes after a moment leaving some lacing and bubbles

S: The nose is melons, apricot, mango, flowers and a pine needle

T: Immediate fresh melon presence with a following of apricot, mango and then a floral hop finish. I really dont get any pine on the taste. A little sweet biscuity malt backing and tad bit of soapiness on the finish. It tastes a little perfumey as well.

M: Medium bodied, well carbonated, lingering hops and sweetness

O: Not to shabby but damn fellas, its not that damn good.

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Photo of drrone
4.7/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A - Golden straw color. One finger of head. Faint lacing. Looks great.

S- The smell is excellent. An intoxicating mixture of hops, grapefruit and pine.

T - Very similar as smell. Wonderful hop taste, very light malt, with citrus notes. Nice bite that you would hope for, but doesn't leave a lingering bitterness. Quite smooth.

M - Very light and drinkable. Doesn't feel too heavy.

O - I love this beer. It is very well balanced and easy to drink, but keeps you interested. I recommend it anyone who hasn't tried it. Well done Lagunitas.

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

5 words to describe it: Grapefruit, Brulee, Tropical, Pine, Hops

Paired it with: Teriyaki Tofu with Broccoli

Should have paired it with: It was DELICIOUS with teriyaki sauce; would also be great with barbeque (I’d suggest pulled pork), or one of those ridiculous burgers with like foie gras and blue cheese, because the hops and the booze cut fat well, but the sweetness would compliment those rich flavors.

Drink it if you like: Any of Lagunitas’ other IPA/DIPAs (Maximus or even their standard IPA), American Pale Ale, or even if you love Tripels and you’re looking for a change of pace

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Photo of tviz33
4.46/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle in to a weizen glass.

A- Pours a translucent golden amber bodied with way too much head because of the unnecessarily chilled glass from the bar. I guess I can't really judge this part fairly because of that.

S- Smells awesome. There's a distinct sweetness that envelopes everything you'd expect from a DIPA and more: pine, citrus.

T- The first thing I notice is the lack of bitterness. This is not meant to be construed as a bad thing, as it works to the beer's benefit. Slightly sweet, and just like the nose, presents pine, citrus, and definitely some sort of melon flavor. This kicks ass.

M- The feel of this brew is spot on. A true medium body that is perfectly carbonated and goes down smooth.

O- I saw this at the bar and decided to give it a go since I heard it was good. Don't pass up the opportunity! I hope to get my hands on a sixer of this stuff in the near future if I can find it. Overall, a very well-rounded beer that you will not be disappointed in.

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Photo of GoalieRon33
4.18/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Shorty brown bottle. Standard Lagunitas.
A: golden straw. Clearing. Foamy head with recent retention. Pretty.

S: piney. Overall floral, less fruity, more resin. Slightly sweet/molasses flavor

T: initial hop bite followed by sweet undertones. Tobacco, typical(stellar) Lagunitas backbone of malt. Just enough, but good fraction.

Mouthfeel: smooth with a little stickiness. Solid. It sticks with you.

O: as a replacement for the shugga, it doesn't compare
But it isn't supposed to. Different beer. Different characteristics. Great beer to start or finish the night with. Clean, fresh, and gooey

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Photo of Tuey13
4.71/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a beautiful clear orange copper color with a thick two finger off-white head.

Smells delicious... big piney scent, very strong pineapple, grapefruit, and sweet honeydew melon. This is what a great IPA smells like.. period!!

The taste is phenomenal... a big hop bitterness that is immediately complimented with a light sweetness from the malts. This is such a smooth, perfectly balanced IPA.... I can see why this gets such high marks.

I really hope this becomes a year-round offering as it will be in my fridge nonstop!!

If you have never tried this and are a fan of IPA's... go get some!!!


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Photo of liamt07
4.51/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Premier Gourmet, 12oz into a tulip.

Clear golden orange, with a few fingers of looser white head. Great retention and lacing. Nose is knee buckling - insane tropical and melon character, slight pine and a beautiful sweet malt base. Slight floral character as well. More tropical fruit on the palate, melon skins, peach and a slight bitterness. Finish is mostly sweet. Low carbonation, perfect mouthfeel. I would drink this by the case.

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

A: Nice clear copper with 1 finger head poured into a pint glass.

S: Great aroma. Lots of super amount of pine and citrus. This is the best part of the beer.

T: Not as bitter as I would like for IIPA. But def very smooth. I wish this had as much taste as it does smell. More of an tangerine/melon/lime with a little bit of resinous taste on the backend.

M: Nice feel on the tongue with a good amount of body. Well carbonated.

O: This seems more like an IPA to me than a double. Could have used more hop bitterness up front. I do like the backend a lot. Still a very solid beer. I see how lots of people could enjoy this beer because its mod bitterness and smooth easily drinkability.

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Photo of Skeeter206
4.37/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Got the last 6 pack of this available at Ray's Stateline in Pelham NH.

A ~ Good golden color with a half finger head that slowly dissipates but retains a decent lacing around the glass.

S ~ Great smell, grapefruit, some hops, maybe a little pine in there as well.

T ~ Tastes similar to the smell, grapefruit and maybe some other citrus fruit up front and a strong hoppy finish. Pretty good taste but it tastes a little strong for the 7.85 ABV, not as well balanced as other IPA's with an ABV over 9.

M ~ Well carbonated, full bodied, no complaints in this department.

O ~ I would buy this again, its got a good hop backbone in there and some fruitiness as well. also I think I only spent 11 or 12 on a 6 pack, which isn't bad at all for an Imperial IPA.

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Photo of EvanJohnson
4.66/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On an adventurous whim I purchased some Sam Adams IPL at my local package store. The next day I went back to exchange the 5 that I hadn't drunk because it was that bad. Luckily the owner of the store is great and offered me some Lagunitas SUCKS for my trouble.

I was not disappointed with this one. I am a sucker for highly carbonated and grapefruit hoppy goodness. This one succeeded on both counts. As other reviewers have said, it would be difficult to get past one or two of these in a sitting. But in my opinion that is one high quality sit that you'll be having. Strong enough for a cold winter night, but would be equally as enjoyable grill side. Can't wait for the next 6pack.

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Photo of cooler4life
4.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I like Brown Shugga so this better be good. Here goes....

A: Poured a beautiful 2 finger white head that slowly settled to a thick crown adorning the edges of the glass. Beer is a hazy golden, orange copper color. The frothy head lends itself to copious amounts of lacing. Up and down the glass she goes. Retention is stand-out. Appearance nears perfection.

S: What...what's that smell? I'm just poured it but I'm all the way across the room. Did my wife buy some hop resin glade plug-ins? No..hmm...wait...it's the BEER! Super piney with powdered sugar, honeydew, and citrus.

T: The hop resin is interwoven through the tapestry of other flavors. You won't forget this is a DIPA. Let's go for a ride. Body is comprised of cracker malt, dry biscuit, rock candy, honeydew, and HOPS. The tail end is an explosion of pure tangerine and honeysuckle.

M: Slightly sticky without being overbearing. Bubbly carbonation. I would have liked to see a little more body in the way it envelops in the mouth.

O: I tried to fault this beer, I really did. But I can't. Look out boys and girls, there's a new sheriff in town. In hindsight, I think this year's batch was exceptional compared to previous years.

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Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 1,547 ratings.