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.

1,484 Reviews
very good

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Reviews: 1,484
Hads: 9,545
Avg: 4.32
pDev: 25%
Wants: 572
Gots: 2,101 | FT: 30
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
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Reviews: 1,484 | Hads: 9,545
Photo of beerman207
4.45/5  rDev +3%
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.

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Photo of andrewinski1
4.24/5  rDev -1.9%
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!

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Photo of ToadManA1A37651
4.17/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

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Photo of JayQue
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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Photo of smcolw
3.83/5  rDev -11.3%
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.

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Photo of Gatch
4.52/5  rDev +4.6%
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!

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Photo of garuda
4.24/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

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Photo of searsclone
4.31/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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Photo of sublimesipping
4.97/5  rDev +15%
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.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.49/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

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Photo of brureview
4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

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Photo of AdamF625
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

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Photo of NoLeafClover44
4.31/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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Photo of ChrisB
4.62/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

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Photo of ummswimmin
4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

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Photo of InlandTaipan
4.77/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

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Photo of Seanniek91
4.54/5  rDev +5.1%
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!

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Photo of Knapp85
4.29/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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Photo of RichardMNixon
3.37/5  rDev -22%
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.

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Photo of LeRose
3.58/5  rDev -17.1%
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.

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Photo of kscaldef
3.78/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep golden, with a steady stream of bubbles in the glass. One-finger head receded over a couple minutes to a film and some coarse bubbles. Minimal, splotchy lacing.

S: Really dank and piney, with an unusual earthy funkiness in the background. At times, the pine aromas border on soapy.

T: Starts sweetly citrusy with a shift to bitter, piney resin as the liquid moves through your mouth. Pretty tasty.

M: Definitely on the sweet & heavy end of the spectrum for DIPAs, this beer lingers slightly sticky on your tongue and lips. Carbonation is relatively low, contributing to the heavy mouthfeel.

O: I didn't particularly enjoy my first impressions of this beer, but it has grown on me considerably through the course of the glass. While I continue to be somewhat unenthusiastic about the aroma (mostly just not my favorite hop profile, but also that soapy note hiding in there), I do like the way this beer manages to hit the sweet & sticky DIPA style while maintaining a relatively modest ABV.

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Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
3.86/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Clear, golden amber with a towering head of foamy, off-white lace. It lingered for a long time, and even after fading left lacing clinging to the walls of the glass from top to bottom.

S: Strong notes of pine resin and orange marmalade; these two crowd out all other aromas.

T: The sweet and biscuity tastes that hit the palate first are very short-lived, and fade quickly into tart grapefruit, then bitter grapefruit rind. Resinous pine, sweet tobacco, and even notes of amine poke their heads up on the way to the mildly bitter finish.

M: Smooth, although a little boozy. Less carbonated crispness than I'd have liked (probably because the bubbles all ended up in the head!). The finish was dry, but not unpleasant.

O: As often happens with the style, the malt lost out to the hops. It was pleasant enough to drink, but not enough to entice me to buy more.

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

12 oz. Brown Bottle.

A: Pours light golden brown with a thick white head. Good retention
with sticky lacing.

S: A strong mixture of Pine, citrus fruits, grapefruit, mango? Some alcohol
and more pine.

T/M: Creamy smooth. Starts off bitter with a strong burst of hop flavors.
A mixture of pine and citrus leads to a somewhat bready taste. More hops.
The finish is pretty clean with only a hint of bitter hop aftertaste. A warm
but not overbearing alcohol kick throughout. Nice balance.

O: An extremely dangerously good beer. Hop heavy, but still well balanced.
Even with the higher ABV, it's smooth and easy to drink. A top rate double


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Photo of WVU
4.99/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Landed a case of this 01/22/13.

A- Liight gold color wth thin crusty lacing.

S- This beauty smells of fresh grass, spruce and pine that will remind you of harvesting a fresh xmas tree.

T- WOW! Not much more you can say. This is a massive home run by the masters in Cali.

M- This puppy is suoer light on your mouth compared to other beer with this much success.

O- Perfection! Buy as much as you can, I have only found a few brews this good (Founders Harvest Ale , Bells Hopslam, Ballast Pt. Sculpin) which are around double the cost. Had it on tap last month at Fireworks in Leesburg and it was even better.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bright gold with a thick white head. Sticky skim retention rides all they way to glass bottom and deposits several large swaths of of foam on the sides.

Grassy lemon and sweet Twinkie aroma. Nelson Sauvin?

Chock full'a grassy lemon hops. 62 IBUs but that's no indicator of the silly amount of late end hops that were shoved in between the malt. Malt doesn't do much but doesn't get in the way either. I'm guessing at copious amounts of Nelson Sauvin but I suck at the "guess that hop" game.

One of my favorite DIPAs because it's just like a bigger IPA, not a sickly sweet overmalted hop bomb.

Bummer about Brown Sugar but way to make lemonade.

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Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 1,484 ratings.