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

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Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale)Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale)

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8,329 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,329
Reviews: 1,328
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 10.11%
Wants: 427
Gots: 1,182 | 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: 8,329 | Reviews: 1,328 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mtparty37
4/5  rDev -8%

Photo of msubulldog25
4.18/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just the name, 'Lagunitas Sucks', was funny to see scrawled on taproom chalkboards over the holidays. Now a month after Christmas and a few bottles are still on store shelves; picked up a couple the other day. Poured to a pint glass.

A Santa-decorated shortbread cookie on the undated 'LIMITED RELEASE' label. The ringing text reads: "This sad holiday season we didn't have the brewing capacity to make our favorite seasonal brew, the widely feared Brown Shugga' Ale. We're just out of capacity. There is nothing cool about screwing up this badly and we know it." Honesty or clever marketing?

A: Vibrant golden pour, loaded with streaming carbonation in writhing columns. Sturdy white head, a looser bubbly froth that holds for a minute or so and settles as a slightly bumpy cream. Terrific lace, very sticky sheeting covers the glass (almost) from top to bottom.

S: Sweet scents of orange and tropical fruit with a 'fresh cut wood' hopping, full of spice. A cake-y sweetness married with marmalade hints reminds me of a scone at times.

T: Vibrant herbal/green hoppiness and sappy sweetness, it's an explosion of pine and citrus rind, with big 'bitter greens' leafiness in the waning moments. Maltiness is enough to balance, good caramel at times, but the extended bittering reminds of who's ultimately the boss here.

M: A little crisp at first then a soothing mellow creaminess, just hinting at its fusel warmth. A little bit on the oily/viscous side, leaves a thin sheen. Drawn-out bitter finish, even a little tongue curl.

O: An interesting choice to substitute a well-hopped DIPA for the maltier deliciousness of annual favorite Brown Shugga'... but nothing disappointing about the results. It's Lagunitas at their best, making a flavorful and approachable ale that I, even as a malt-preferer, enjoyed enough to hope for an encore next year.

Photo of AAxsom
5/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of jamescain
4.65/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Duvel tulip.

Glad I finally got to try this beer. The color is a clear straw yellow with orange hints and a fluffy white head about two fingers thick. The aroma can best be described as a mix of tropical fruit, pineapple, papaya, peach, and citrus with hints of pine. The aroma was complex, but could have been more defined. The taste consisted of pine, citrus, and peach. There is not a noticeable malt backing, but I think it works for this beer since the hops provide a complex flavor profile. The carbonation is at about a medium level with a dry lingering finish. Great beer! This is one of the reasons that I love Lagunitas.

Photo of bstave
4.53/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a New Belgium Tulip.

A- Very clean, golden color. One finger head dissipates into a thin ring around the glass. Minimal lacing.

S- Smell is incredible. Very pungent hop nose. Be sure to use a glass with this one.

T- Taste follows nose with dank hop presence. Citrus hops rule this beer with a mellow malt backbone.

M- Clean medium mouthfeel with a nice dose of carbonation.

O- Well done. Probably my favorite Lagunitas beer in the six pack variety. Hop Stoopid is still my favorite.

Photo of nsmartell
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of server222
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of fmccormi
4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Straight pour from 12oz pry-off bottle to my good ol’ Bruery tulip (Luettich balloon); bottle dated to December 30, 2011 (“36426414”)—about three and a half weeks old at the time of consumption. Woo hoo!

Appearance (4.0): Two solid fingers of an ecru sort of off-white head (kind of hate myself for using the word “ecru,” but that’s what it is) settling down to a surface haze with thick foam on the sides, some fat bubbles here and there, and some pretty good lacing where the head has dissipated. Body is an almost-clear orangey gold, with just a few bubbles streaming to the top. Very nice looking beer, though I am a sucker for a more substantial head and a hazy body.

Smell (4.5): Passionfruit, pineapple, maybe some guava in there, just all kinds of tropical goodness happening in the nose, with some dank resin in the back. This is wonderful, in the most “West Coast” kind of way. There’s some mild sweetness underneath, nothing much, and it blends in with the fruity, tropical hop character. I do personally prefer a little more resin and pine, but I am not complaining one bit.

Taste (4.5): There it is. So damn good. There’s a great interplay between this resiny, piney note and the tropical fruits, with pink grapefruit jumping out at you right where they meet. Very, very nice bitterness and it’s not face-melting, either. Superb hop profile, with a long, piney finish that doesn’t quite let go. Malt profile is smooth and understated, lightly sweet and plain—nothing toasty or roasty about it whatsoever. Again, not complaining. Could use a little more depth, but it does its job in holding those hops down. No discernible yeast note, true to style. No booze. Great flavor in this beer, a real hop machine.

Mouthfeel (4.5): The flavor and nose grab so much of your attention, you don’t notice the mouthfeel right away. It’s incredibly dry, but these great, resiny hop oils add a viscosity to the beer without adding much to the body. Light- to medium-bodied for sure, but nice and oily with a dry finish and velvety carb—just what you want to see. Still, I’m a sucker for that super-chewy head that just isn’t in this beer. In every other regard, it’s fantastic.

Overall (4.5): Outstanding Strong IPA (what I’m calling those IPA-like beers between 6.5-8.5% or so, bigger than an IPA and smaller than a DIPA). This has to be one of the best beers in the IPA spectrum right now! Despite being so hoppy, this is drinkable as hell, like it’s taunting you in a lupulin threshold shift. Well, Lagunitas, your ploy worked. I want more—a lot more.

Photo of TTAmod
4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. Holiday Leftovers bottle into pint glass.

A: Pours a clear gold with a thick white head that dissipates to a nice white ring. Carbonation looks nice and lively.

S: Smell is really tropical. Grapefruit and orange cream dominate the nose. A bit of pine also peeks through. Smells very nice. Really is begging to be imbibed.

T: Taste is even better than the smell. Some very tropical hop notes dominate, but layers of pine, malt, and some holiday spices add depth. Finishes with a nice lingering bitterness.

M: Creamy. Bit thicker than medium. Quite nice.

O: One of the most balanced DIPAs I've ever had. There are so many flavors in play, but none are overpowering. This one is far from a hop bomb and has a lot of depth.

Only complaint I have is that it's not year round...

Is it better than Brown Shugga? Well...they're completely different beers. I haven't had Brown Shugga in a few years, but I have fond memories of drinking it on tap. I think they should release both ;)

Photo of twowheelssoar
4/5  rDev -8%

Photo of tgeorgf
5/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of Chugs13
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of BadLemur
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of bauermj
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of mdtnelson
4/5  rDev -8%

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.05/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lagunitas Sucks. I was behind the radar on this one. I had first heard of it as a question in a local BeerAdvocate forum thread. It was called "Lagunitas Sucks in MN". Was someone maligning the quality of the beer that arrives here from Petaluma? No, no, it's a beer called Lagunitas Sucks, ironically, because their increased popularity has made the brewing of the winter seasonal Brown Shugga a hindrance to the continual flow of IPA and Pils. As an apology for such sucking, they offered this double IPA, which is faster to brew than a rich, malty ale like brown shugga.
Damn, I haven't had that in a while. I could go for one about now. Too bad Lagunitas Sucks.
Har, har, let's drink some beer. 7.85% ABV, IBU 63. I'm skipping the ritualistic copying of the garbledy-garble, which Lagunitas is legendary for, …let's just skip to, "We freaking munch moldy donkey butt…" It goes on like that. Also, once again, "beer speaks, people mumble", as well as my least favorite of all the Lagunitas slogans, "Life is Uncertain. Don't Sip." I won't go too far into a challenge about this idiotic opprobrium, just …why? Does sipping slow us down, and keep us from downing more of the daily beers they're chugging away to produce. I'm not encouraging to slowly savor and appreciate the delicate nuances that may be found? Maybe I'll sip, just a little, if they let me, then I'll chug-a-lug till my liver bursts! Or was I mumbling?

Clear, pale and peachy appearance, large, lacy white head.

Vibrant, fresh, hoppy aromatics, …orange, grapefruit, a little bit of lime, Some resiny pine, too. Overall, an abundance of hoppitude in all the right places, but not overpowering in any direction.

Drinking, a happy, hoppy dance on the palate. Non-stop delivery of bitterness. Sticks around a bit, lingers long, but softly diminishes. Lift the glass to the lip, boppity bip, there it goes again. A drinkable, sinkable, hop-delivery system that can be tossed back without immediate destruction of sobriety. Might take a sixer or so.

A likable, well-constructed IPA, from folks who know how to do it.
Already beer fans who've gotten over the absence of Brown Shugga are calling for this to made regularly, or at least, again, and if I remember what I've glanced at, they're doing it. And so, perhaps there's need for a new designation, the 1 1/2 IPA, the ducal IPA, the 8% versus the 10%, for peeps for whom 6% and hoppy is not enough. I've met them. I can't say I respect them. Those who disdain anything sessionable, but don't want to get drunk after two.

Photo of julian
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Clear pale coppery yellow in color, minimal head. Thin film across the surface and a small ring around the edges.

S: Huge pineapple aroma. Piney and hoppy with a hint of alcohol. Very nice! Intoxicating almost.

T: Taste follows the nose, lots of fruity pineapple flavor, hoppy, piney and a nice sweet fruity malt backbone. DAMN the fruity pineapply flavors are ridiculous!

M: Medium carbonation, creamy mouthfeel, sweet, smooth finish.

O: Lagunitas sucks just plain ROCKS. This DIPA is amazing. I want more.

Photo of diamondc
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Golden, pale, filtered. Lots of lacing.

S: Big tropical fruits and pine aromas.

T: Fruity, lots of pineapple, pine sap, mango.

M: Can't detect much heat, quaffable for an DIPA.

O: Big complex hop flavors & aroma. Can't really pick up any malt flavors, since the hops are so over the top here. Yet another great IPA from Lagunitas.

Photo of sfprint
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Completely transparent, light orangy brown, mild rising carbonation, not much of a head.
S: Ooooh holy crap. Instant 5! I knew I saved my 5's for something! It's like a japanese candy apple/peach/grapefruit/concord grape. Almost verbatim but way better! F'ing incredible! Pineapple as well.
T: Interesting flavor. It does have the japanese candy element, but it's not so powerful and sweet. The IPAness really comes through and the japanese candy flavor is tastefully tucked under a nice strong IPA. Moderately bitter, but not too bitter. Moderate spiciness sitting under the bitterness. Citrusy honey hops. Really nice balance. But doesn't have that "wowing" effect that the smell has.
M: Very light sting, medium body.
O: Unique, special, very interesting. I don't love it, but it's certainly really great.

Photo of chinchill
4.29/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle served in a pint glass.

appearance - orange-amber color; crystal clear with no sediment in the bottle; small head despite a rather vigorous pour, yet loads of lacing.

Smell - Vaguely remembering an enthusiastic review of "Lagunitas sucks", I grabbed a 6 pk of this over the weekend. Without referencing anything else or even reading all of the label, I decanted the beer and was immediately surprised by the powerful smell of hops. This is no typical "winter ale". Instead, the aroma clearly indicates IPA or DIPA; and that,, of course, is what we have. Even so, the high level of pine-tinged, citrusy hop aroma is striking, and a bit formidable. As expected, the higher ABV shows through after some warming.

Taste - The flavor is compatible with the aroma, but much smoother and sweeter than might be expected. This is not to say that this beer lacks a good hop wallop, but it does lack the bite or the challenging bitterness one might expect to find. Clearly, Lagunitas did a great job of selecting the quantity and variety of malts to go with the hops. And there are no dank or off tastes despite some earthiness in the aromatics. Higher ABV is very well hidden.

mouthfeel - very good (Medium-light) carbonation; medium body.

overall - superb DIPA. Powerful yet very pleasant and easy to drink. Excellent aftertaste. Well worth seeking out ... no apologies (even tongue in cheek) needed, Lagunitas!

Photo of ChadC12
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of WankelEngine
4.13/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass

A: Pours a beautiful clear golden color with a huge foamy white head. The head retention is pretty good, slowly dissipating over the course of a few minutes leaving a lot of lacing.

S: The smell is light and fruity. I can smell grapefruit and orange. There is also a strong note of pine and some warm caramel.

T: This is a sweet beer. It starts very fruity, tasting like pineapple and grapefruit. It opens up a little as I savor, the caramel and resinous pine. The pine becomes more prominent in the finish and the aftertaste is surprisingly dry given the relative sweetness of this beer.

M: This is medium bodied and just a little sticky.syrupy. Mild carbonation gives a nice effect.

O: I haven't had the Brown Shugga this was brewed to replace, but this is a good offering. Complex, sweet and drinkable with a dry finish. I had three last night and couldn't have been happier.

Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -8%

Photo of gatorbreath
4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

wish this wasnt a seasonal job...

appearance is more straw colored and transp. than orange like i'da guessed... head is minimal, lacing is considerable, nose is abound with floral hops even a sweetness about it possibly some citrus smell but not dominant.. taste is crispy, lightly carbonated on the mouthfeel, floral hoppy prescense with some light citrus notes.. again, much like the smell, overall, this brew is something special, comparable to a few of my favorites, going to try and track down some more before it disappears

Photo of nrs207
4/5  rDev -8%

Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 8,329 ratings.