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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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7,729 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,729
Reviews: 1,295
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 9.89%
Wants: 375
Gots: 956 | FT: 19
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: 7,729 | Reviews: 1,295 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CelticAleMan
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

CelticAleMan, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of rapidsequence
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz shortneck bottle, 6 pack was $12 from Pints O'Plenty.

Appearance: Its a beautifully clear, light golden-orange color with a white head and excellent lacing.

Smell: Big dose of tropical and citrus hops, with tropical leading the way. Sweet and fruity more than harsh hoppy smells. Clean pale malt sweetness.

Taste: Tropical fruit, pine, citrus. Sweet upfront, then bitter through the finish. A bit of spiciness, maybe from the rye.

Mouthfeel: This is light feeling for a DIPA, but it barely has the OG of many ordinary IPAs, so thats no surprise. Its very crisp and clean, with just a little resin on the finish.

Overall: This is an excellent beer. On the small side for a DIPA, but very well done. Like a super Little Sumpin Sumpin.

rapidsequence, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of cbutova
4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The much discussed Lagunitas Holiday seasonal. Also had it on-tap the other night.

A- Orange body with a small white head in a snifter. Retention is not that great but a cloud sticks around. Some legs and a few spots of lace.

S- Hops up front. I get nice peach, tropical citrus fruit and pine notes. Some sweetness with the hops.

T- Again, hops are big. Hops give pineapple, peach, tropical citrus fruit, floral and herbal notes. Caramel malts and yeast bread do a nice job backing up the hops.

MF- Nice silky and creamy feel to a moderately thick body. Carbonation level suits the flavor and it finishes with a medium bitterness.

I hope Lagunitas makes this a new seasonal but keep it somewhat limited. Good IIPA that I would like to try extremely fresh.

cbutova, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of TXhomebrewer
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

TXhomebrewer, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of scott2269
5/5  rDev +14.9%

scott2269, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of kaseydad
3.95/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Finally found this after much waiting. Miss the Brown Shugga but I move forward. Pours a very clear apricot color with a nice cream colored foamy head and nice lacing. The aroma is great! Mango, grapefruit, lemon zest and orange rind. The taste is very hoppy, lemony and piney with a big bitterness on the back end. Slightly spicy on the swallow with a touch of more bitters on the aftertaste. Salivation a plenty. Mucho carbonation. Overall I enjoyed the session but it was a little too much for my buds. Too much of a good thing? Maybe. Even with a modest 7.85%, multiples would be tiresome on this palate. A good beer but better one's are out there from the Petaluma crew.

kaseydad, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of nc41
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a bit thin, not much foam, lacing, but the head dies quick, no big deal really. The SMELL, nice, fruity grapefruit, pineapple, ranks near the top on nose alone. The taste almost follows, but a bit thin compared to what I smell. Decent finish but falls off a little ,no real boom on the backside. Really a well done brew, I hope it goes regular. I've heard comparisons to Pliny, well, no, but don't let that stop you from trying. I also like they didn't go the ultra sweet route and malt this one to death looking for depth.

nc41, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of BeardedRiker
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's been too long since I've had a Lagunitas beer. That should be added to one of the Deadly Sins. I was wondering why I hadn't seen any Brown Shugga around but then I saw via Twitter that Lagunitas wouldn't be making any. Just read the bottom of the packaging if you want to know the whole story. But you know what? I'm almost glad because it means I get to drink a new Lagunitas beer!

Poured out, this sucky beer forms a white a foamy head that goes away pretty quickly. A slight white film remains on top throughout drinking and some nice lacing is left. The beer is clear and golden.

Oh, the smell. This smells...great. It's just so damn hoppy. Citrus, tropical fruits, pine resin. It smells like you've walked into a field of hops. It has a wild grassy aroma. Sweetness comes in the aroma of white sugar. Oh, I'm sorry, white Shugga. It's hard to describe just how good this smells. Hops^999 but not off-putting. It's like sticking your nose into a flower. Good thing hops are flowers. :P This is one of those beers that when you drink it your stomach starts rumbling. Hoppy, citrusy, and sweet.

The taste is intensely hoppy but isn't overly bitter. It is pretty bitter but the pine resin, tropical citrus, and satisfying sweetness brings in a delicious balance. The more it warms the more the grassy, grainy malts come in. They aren't too prominent but they help make the beer balance out more. This is definitely a beer that hop lovers will, well, love but it's balanced enough so that most will enjoy.

This beer is very drinkable despite its intense hoppiness and even though it has a relatively high ABV you can't tell at all. Sweetness makes it a bit sticky but a nice medium carbonation keeps it alive. It's a medium-light body.

You know, I like this so much that I really don't mind having the Brown Shugga this year.

BeardedRiker, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of Jesse14
5/5  rDev +14.9%

Jesse14, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of Eriktheipaman
5/5  rDev +14.9%

Eriktheipaman, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of Bierguy5
4.22/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, 7.85% abv. Clear, golden color. Great white, rocky head. Excellent retention. Some nice patches of sticky lace after a while. Good looking beer.

Big, juicy hop aroma. Tropical fruits, citrus and a bit of piney hops. Lighter malt character in the nose, but this is clearly all about hops here.

Lighter malt, but there is a substantial amount. Just a bit of sweetness. Big blast of hop bitterness. Lots of tropical fruit, citrus and pine. Very juicy hop flavors.

Medium body, nice carbonation. Alcohol is hidden pretty well. Great hop combinations here. Very well done.

Bierguy5, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of jriggins6
5/5  rDev +14.9%

jriggins6, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of alamode
5/5  rDev +14.9%

alamode, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of AgentZero
4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Golden colored beer, touch of red or brown in there. Nice white head that left a lot of soapy lace on the sides of the glass.

S - It smells like an IPA with some good fruity and slightly amonious hops. Nice bright fruit, touch of what seems to be Christmas spice.

T - Quite nice. There's some tropical fruit, mild grapefruit, bit of pine, and some spice in there. Nicely sweet, with some caramel malts. Pleasant tasting and went down easy.

M - Lighter side of medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O - Good beer, really enjoyed this one quite a bit with my lunch. Would gladly drink this one again. A good beer by a brewery that I think, well, sucks.

AgentZero, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of photomike
5/5  rDev +14.9%

photomike, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of Phoenix2443
5/5  rDev +14.9%

Phoenix2443, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of tigernipples
5/5  rDev +14.9%

tigernipples, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of FubarPilsner
5/5  rDev +14.9%

FubarPilsner, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of emesen
5/5  rDev +14.9%

emesen, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of HumphreyLee
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

HumphreyLee, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of Docer
3.63/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: (4.0)
- Nice golden yellow and slightly orange pour, yielded a couple fingers of foamy white head.. settled to a fluffy ring and some scattered traces. Rather clear brew.

Smell: (4.0)
- Massive citrus hops.. just massive. I don't think I have ever smelled such a hoppy beer. Lots of sweet grains going on here, some breadiness.. but overall just a sucker punch to the face of grapefruit, pine, lemon zest, and sticky dank hops.

Taste: (3.5)
- Sweet brew. Sugars, caramel grain, and tons of herbal grassy bitter hops with a smooth citrus zesty hoppy punch as well. The sugars, bitter hops, and aroma hops all play very well together to create this hop tea of a beer. I like the bitterness, but like with most Lagunitas beers for me.. a bit over the top sweet. Nice to grab though if craving a mega hop bomb.

Mouth Feel: (3.5)
- Slightly sticky, certainly chewy and resinous brew. Medium to light bodied, but just sweet and all the characters of sweet. Good bitter drying touch to it. Well carbonated.

Overall: (3.5)
- Hops. Hops. More hops. This is just a sweet hoppy monster of a beer. I wonder if they just took Hop Stoopid, and dry-hopped the living hell out of it some more. In fact, I think that is just what they did. Certainly seems like it was brewed with some candy sugars or something much the same. A solid hop monster, and more a novelty beer for me. Hard to drink more than 1.

Docer, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of DoctorB2B
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

DoctorB2B, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of EJLinneman
4.58/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Apparently, the brewery didn’t have the capacity to make Brown Shugga this year and made this instead. After drinking Lagunitas Sucks, I can honestly say that I wouldn’t care if they never made Brown Shugga again.

I typically don’t like reviewing IPAs due to the fact that almost every IPA review comes out exactly the same and usually sound something like this – “Hops hops hops, bitterness, bitterness blah blah blah”. I made an exception for this one because I was so pleasantly surprised that I felt it was worth mentioning.

I drank this from my Bruery tulip glass. It poured a dark auburn color with a healthy head. The head lingered for a few minutes and left a decent amount of lacing along the top of the glass. From the looks of it, I could already tell this was going to be good.

The smell was incredible. I think that the only beer I could accurately compare the smell with is Bell’s Hop Slam. It reeked of citrus, pineapple, other tropical fruits and maybe a slight bit of honey. This smell lingered for a while until it warmed and the hops married with the malt and alcohol. The alcohol wasn’t very apparent, but more like a visitor in the background.

The taste was much like it smelt. The beer had a bitterness that started in sides of my tongue, traveled to the back, and then exploded with pineapple and tropical fruit. There was bitterness, but not tongue-numbing bitterness. Lagunitas Sucks doesn’t have the ultra-dry finish which their regular release IPA has, which is definitely a good thing to me. This is a very drinkable beer and I wish that I had purchased a case because I was thirsty for more.

Lagunitas really scored a home run on this one. I’m not sure if they’re going to be making this part of their yearly line up, but I really hope that they do. Otherwise, I guess we can hope that they start to make this their new holiday release, and we’ll all have something to look forward to every year.

EJLinneman, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of spedprof
5/5  rDev +14.9%

spedprof, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of dsaylor
5/5  rDev +14.9%

dsaylor, Dec 14, 2011
Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 7,729 ratings.