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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)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

1,464 Reviews
THE BROS
89
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,464
Hads: 9,459
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 3.23%
Wants: 571
Gots: 2,031 | FT: 29
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:
Beer added by: Jules11788 on 11-07-2011

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,464 | Hads: 9,459
Photo of dickieb
4.36/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear golden brown with a 1 finger white head and some nice lacing. The smell is fantastic with grapefruit floral grainy sweetness and some lemon notes. The flavor is not overly bitter with a big citrus hop flavor up front and a mild lingering bitterness with a faint malt profile. The mouthfeel is a bit light for the style but very drinkable. Overall this is an interesting brew with a really cool hop profile, I have been enjoying it for weeks. (455 characters)

Photo of Jonny41
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

poured into pilsner glass, deep orange honey color nice foamy head that lasts well, thick lacing on glass when swirled.
Intense smell deep citrius ,grapefruit and other. Taste explosion. A little heavy like too much grape fruit "peel" but very enjoyable, second glass even better.

Slightly thick mouth feel, may want water or lite beer in between bottles but other wise a fantastic beer a top rated DIPA for me. (414 characters)

Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had while hanging out at Potent Potables with beermeX2! Served from tap into Lagunitas mason jar style glass (proper!). Poured golden yellow with a one finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, earth, earth hop, onion, onion hop, and subtle citrus. The flavor was of sweet malt, onion hop, onion, earth, citrus, and grass. It had a light feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a good brew. I was surprised at how easy this one was to drink and how refreshing it was. You would never imagine that this brew was almost 8% ABV by the aroma or flavor. I could definitely see myself drinking a ton of this before it was too late with no problem at all. A really well done brew that I would love to have time and time again. (857 characters)

Photo of Durge
4.27/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A clear amber color with a big white foam on top and tremendous lacing.
The aroma is pure cat piss with lemon and grapefruit bitterness. So pure, great.
The taste is also awesome with thick sweet grapefruit and crisp cereal grain
goodness. This bitter brew is a beautiful blend of hop bitterness and intense
grain with a medium-full body and a pretty viscous feel. Great hop libation! (388 characters)

Photo of Trilogy31
4.54/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is what sculpin used to be two years ago. Pours a golden amber brown with two fingers of fluffy eggshell white foam leaving sexy legs as i drink. The nose carries citrus, tropical fruit pith, dank forest floor. The taste opens with bright papaya and mango, a touch of pineapple followed by sour strawberries and a pleasant skunkiness. It wraps up with malt and a touch of eucaliptus oil. Very pleasant to drink with a nice hop bitterness playing counterpoint to the light malt sweetness. Never knew Lagunitas could pull this off, liked there other offerings love this one. (577 characters)

Photo of beerman207
4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Saw this on the shelf of my local Kroger and had to try it. Been a while since I reviewed something. This is a good one to come back for!

A- doesn't get much better than this. Dark yellow almost orange hue with 1-2 inch head with great lacing left behind

S- could smell this a mile away. Great pine, pungent hops, fabulous

T- all that I could ask for in a dipa is here. Sweet, bitter, slight booze. Yes, yes, yes

M- lightly carbonated. Slightly drying

O- find this beer and drink it. Will be looking for this again. (520 characters)

Photo of andrewinski1
4.24/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Bendurgin for bringing this one over (I could never seem to be at the right place at the right time to find it). Poured into a mug. There is a large, white, sticky head on this. The color is clear light golden.

The aroma his full of sweet mango, melon, and other tropical flavors. I get a faint hint of pine.

The taste is incredibly smooth. The sweet malt perfectly complements the hop explosion! There is just enough pine to go with the melon and fruit flavors.

This is medium to full bodied, with smooth carbonation. This is very delicious. Will drink again! (573 characters)

Photo of ToadManA1A37651
4.17/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

massive grapefruit taste with so much pine I thought I was camping. I has a nose tingle hop kick - sticky sweet lacing lasts a long time; at 62 IBUs i expected something more mellow, but like it nonetheless; not enough malt push for any higher rating. (251 characters)

Photo of JayQue
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Really outstanding DIPA. Pours a mostly clear dark gold color with good bands of lacing on the pint glass. Head retention is better than average.

Aroma is awesome:, bitter hoppiness,, mangos, tangerines and some strong floral aspects as well.

Taste can't quite keep up to that first sniff, but it is a strong DIPA in any case. The floral and tropical fruit aspects, blended with a good strong bitterness, make this a winner.

Mouthfeel is rich and crisp. Just right for a DIPA. Alcohol presence is well under the annoying level.

A super DIPA. (545 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.83/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Spotty lace from the modest head. The head dies to a dingle layer of bubbles. Close to clear with a golden color.

Strong, nearly overhopped smell. Fresh and garpefruity with a touch of pine.

Very short malt start; strong, nearly harsh, hop bitterness. It is particularly strong in the swallow and the long aftertaste. The body leans to the full side. The carbonation is fine. (378 characters)

Photo of Gatch
4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Taste of Tops in Tempe, AZ on 11/22/11.

A - Clear, golden yellow with shades of copper & orange. Fluffy, bubbly, white head.

S - Awesome nose. Hops with hints of dried fruit, holiday spice, and toasted malt.

T - Hops dominate. Bready malt comes through in the finish with allspice and brown sugar. Really good but nothing unique.

M - Smooth with pleasant bitterness. Creamy with a slight tingle from the carbonation. Fantastic.

UPDATE: 2013 version purchased in a 6-pack on 1/25/13.

A: Beautiful clear, golden-copper-yellow with a huge, fizzy, soapy, bright white head that leaves behind great lacing and decent retention. Give it a quick stir in the glass and the super foamy head builds inviting you to stuff your nose in again.

S: Holy grapefruit! Massive citrus and huge resiny hop nose. Smacks you in the face with the strong, bitter, sappy, vegetal, earthy, and sticky hops. Almost stings the nostrils with hop aromas.

T: Just as sticky, resiny, and citrusy in the flavor. Tart and dry like an actual grapefruit. Juicy, piney, sappy, grassy, fruity...all the things to love about hops are present in this beer. Some slightly sweet malt shows up towards the end of each sip as the beer warms to balance the whole thing out. But wait, there's a bit of spice/zing to it that keeps this beer in Double IPA territory.

M: Bitter and dry, as it should be for Lagunitas. Earthy, grassy, fruity flavors linger in your mouth for a long time. And burps are pleasant. Very nice.

O: This is much less "Holiday" than I remember it on draft. Back in the Fall of 2011 when they released this for the first time, it had a Holiday theme with some spices and such. This is just straight up, high IBU, citrus-smack hop-explosion. If you're into that. In summary...sooo Lagunitas! (1,775 characters)

Photo of garuda
4.24/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Slightly hazed golden body, thick white cap has great retention and curtains of lace.

S/T - Real nice hop bouquet on the nose. Grapefruit, pineapple, floral, sticky pine sap. Taste follows; however, turns a little soapy. Honey, caramel sweetness provides a backbone that balances, style considered. Lots of hop flavor, not much perceived bitterness. Alcohol is hidden well.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation, smooth consistency, prickly across the palate. Finishes dry.

O - Delicious, well crafted. Layers of hop flavor without palate wrecking bitterness. Hits all the notes of a good DIPA. (600 characters)

Photo of searsclone
4.31/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

fresh bottle into a DFH flared pint glass

clear deep gold color with champagne like bubbles and a billowing white head that is about an inch higher than the glass. great lace. beautiful.

smell is sweet caramel, toffee, burnt sugars, roasted malt, all of it surrounded by piney hops

taste is well balanced sweet malt with bitter hops. very well done

thin to medium mouth feel with a slightly wet, but crisp, finish

overall, a great beer. (441 characters)

Photo of sublimesipping
4.97/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have been looking for the beer to finally pair with my mom's Xmas cutouts, for several years an informal search. Finally, my search is over. Being a hophead, the search results are an added ++.
What to say, defininitely does not suck. Au contrare, reverse psychology. WOW! blows me away with deep piney goodness. Clear bright like Santa's sleigh on a moonlit night... this is my XMAS beer I am drinking a XMAS tree...
Procure a case at last and now in Jan its XMAs in a a glass= piney but also floral and fruity(citrus galore) a great beer so smooth hides the ABV well dangerously drinkable, recommend in front of the fire or with some sweet baked goods, the play between the bitter and sweet is priceless..
Close by saying one of my best beers of 2011, the new case does not disappoint in 2012. a Great beer . World Class and sublime.
Lagunitas make it again.
1/25/13-first bottle of the second year batch and love it as much as last year. The review stands and the beer stands to attention. THE BEST. The best lauginitas by far in Mg opinion great world class ADPA. (1,073 characters)

Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.49/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from the bottle, the beer was a copper color with a modest white head. On the glass, lacing was left behind and retention was demonstrated. In the aroma, one gets a big hit of pine with a measure of citrus in the background. The aroma is actually quite potent. In the initial taste, one gets pine, lime rind, and grapefruit. Sour tickles the sides of the tongue with a candy sweetness goes down the center. The sourness is what lingers most into the aftertaste. This does not dismiss the warming sensation that follows the beer down to the beer belly. The texture is appropriate for the style and little carbonate is evident. The thickness allows the sour to linger nicely on the tongue. Lagunitas makes quality accessible beers for a cheap price. With Lagunitas Sucks, they hit it out of the park. (823 characters)

Photo of brureview
4.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured in a tulip. Beautiful honey-amber color with a 1/2 finger head.

Heavy grapefruit wafted from the head, but the aroma dissipates with warming.

Excellent carbonated mouth feel for the style.

The crazy taste stands out: heavy grapefruit with sugar. The taste carries with warming.
I found myself sipping this beer slowly to savor the taste.

Overall, this may become one of my favorite DIPAs. It's unique, and drinkable on a regular basis, unlike other intense DIPAs. (474 characters)

Photo of AdamF625
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lagunitas Sucks! 12oz poured into snifter

A- Clear and golden ale. Thin white head.

S- Faint aroma of floral hops.

M- Thin to medium body. Plenty of carbonation appropriate for the style.

T- Floral hops in the front slowly rolling into a fine malty balance. The alcohol reminds you it's there but by no means overwhelming.

O- A very good DIPA. Nice balance of hops and malt but is lacking aroma. (403 characters)

Photo of NoLeafClover44
4.31/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a Dogfish Head signature glass. I can't make out the smudged code on the neck.

A - Pours a bright tangerine color with perfect clarity. About a finger of bright white head lasts for a few minutes then holds steady at a thin film. Lacing paints the glass.

S - Smells of sweet and tangy citrus, highlighted by rotten grapefruit rind. Some sweet caramel, tropical fruits, and just a hint of grassy earth. Smells fresh.

T - Hits immediately with tart citrus and vibrant tropical fruits. The sweetness is continuous throughout, yet never overcomes the tangy and hoppy flavors. The bitterness of the hops is very mild, but pungent citrus hop flavors are strong. Easily one of the most full flavored, yet easy drinking IPAs I have had.

M - Creamy mouthfeel with good carbonation.

O - Great to see this on the shelf at Whole Foods after hearing a lot of good things. The tropical and citrus fruit is prominent on the nose and the tongue. Remarkably balanced and one of the easiest drinking "Double" IPAs I have come across. At 10.99/six, good bang for your buck, as all Lagunitas seem to be. (1,116 characters)

Photo of ChrisB
4.62/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - amber golden yellow. Almost honey colored

S - thick hoppy pine and a little oak

T - nice hoppy pine and flowery/grass taste but with equal oak and balanced mellowness. It isn't necessarily a malt balance but the hops don't overwhelm your tong which I like. Kind of a mango vice grapefruit citrus on the finish. Hoppy and mellow at the same time which is very enjoyable. More flowery than some other DIPAs which gives it a nice distinctive taste.

M - Nice and full without being syrupy. Enough carbonation to keep it fresh and refreshing for a DIPA.

O - one of my favorites of 2012-2013. Wonderful hoppy goodness with a smooth, mellow finish. (650 characters)

Photo of ummswimmin
4.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I really appreciate that Lagunitas put out a quality substitute for the Brown Shugga. I know most people look forward to the Shugga, and they went over the top with this replacement.

I poured this beer into a tulip glass. There was about two and a half fingers of foam that stuck really well to the glass. I like the lacing from this one. The golden coloring is perfect for a DIPA.

I really enjoy the significant amount of pine coming off the top of this one. It is very refreshing to breathe this in. I found that it is reminiscent of the clean smell from the Double Simcoe by Weyerbacher.

The flavor is, of course, very hoppy. You really get more of the pine release in each sip. Lagunitas lists hops twice in the ingredients, and it makes sense when you get a taste.
I was surprised that there wasn't more bitterness in this one.

I really want to try the Brown Shugga eventually, but I am really happy with this one while I can get it. (944 characters)

Photo of InlandTaipan
4.77/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bottle on 1/24/13

A: Beer pours a deep amber with luscious two finger eggshell head.

S: Caramelized malts, Tropical fruits, various citrus fruits, some pine and resin. The aroma is DUMB awesome. A must sniff for serious hopheads

T: A great balance between clean hop bitterness and caramelized malt sweetness. Truly a wonder.

M: Excellent carbonation, contributes to the hop development within this beer.

Overall- I cannot think of another IPA in the 7-8% abv range that is this good. I have been waiting for it to come back out and boy did Lagunitas nail it. Way to go folks. (594 characters)

Photo of Seanniek91
4.54/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 12oz bottle into a Grey Sail pint glass.

Appearance- Nice clear golden color with a light quick head. Nice lacing around the rim.

Smell- Fruity hops. Piney aromas and grassy smells. Slight maltiness. Great smelling IPA.

Taste- Hops. Floral/fruity hops, with some pineiness. Light citrus notes with no alcohol.

Mouthfeel- Perfectly carbonated. Not resinous. Smooth. No ABV detection.

Overall- This is an almost perfect IPA. I'd like it to be a bit more resinous though. Damn good beer from Lagunitas! (518 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
4.29/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to jzeilinger for bringing this one for me to try. This poured out as a nice looking orange color with a white head on top. The head settles a little bit but leaves a really nice sticky lacing on the glass. The smell of the beer is ripe with citrus notes and some addition pine in there. It smells like a DIPA for sure, and a good one at that! The taste of the beer is hoppy with the citrusy pine notes with some subtle caramel malts in the finish. The mouthfeel is nicely carbonated and has an oily feel to it while remaining lighter bodied. Overall I thought it was a killer beer, probably best when it's fresh and I believe this was. (647 characters)

Photo of RichardMNixon
3.37/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a snifter, about three weeks from bottling date.

Pours a yellowish-gold with a nice, persistent white head. A few bubbles and lots of lacing. Smells of straw, yeast, and a whiff of mango. Aroma is very short-lived though and fades to a very mild straw and honey scent and then to not much of anything. More solvent than hops in the taste with a pleasant tropical uptick at the end. Mouthfeel is wonderfully silky and clean.

I don't get the hype on this one. I like Little Sumpin' Sumpin' much better. (515 characters)

Photo of LeRose
3.58/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz, undated bottle, poured into perfect pint.

Clear golden color with a frothy head, maybe two fingers, lingered a bit. Laced very well, bubbles refreshed the small layer of foam.

Aroma was a bit of pine, some floral notes, a mix of citrus orange, grapefruit, very fresh, a bit of malt underneath, earthiness. Maybe a very slight melon aroma like a honeydew.

Taste was well balanced between the citrusy grapefruit and hop resins, some sweetness following, a bit of a bitter hit that faded quickly. Body was medium, carbonation pretty laid back. The bitterness was more intense as the beer warmed. Flavor generally hit quick and did not linger.

Overall, a good beer. Easy drinking, balanced flavor. Clean and crisp. Personally prefer Sumpin Sumpin, but this is a good brew. (780 characters)

Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 1,464 ratings.