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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.

1,460 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,460
Hads: 9,446
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 8.08%
Wants: 572
Gots: 2,010 | FT: 27
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: 1,460 | Hads: 9,446
Photo of donkeyrunner
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
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. (649 characters)

Photo of CharlatanSin
4.48/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a big Duvel tulip. I remember liking this a lot on tap, so I'm curious to see how it fares in the bottle. The pour is a wonderful clear gold, with a small, wispy head. It leaves a bit of lacing. Very pretty. The aroma is a wonderful citrus hop cornucopia. Clean and juicy, grapefruit, tangerine. Absolutely mouth watering for a hophead like me.

The taste is crisp, juicy, bitter citrus hops. Same profile as the aroma. Enough sweet malt to keep it balanced, but not so much as to distract from the hop showcase. The finish is almost perfect, with a bitterness that's prominent but doesn't outstay its welcome. Mouthfeel is medium, moderate carbonation, and nicely dry. Overall, this is a hell of an IPA. Quite excellent. (747 characters)

Photo of Brad007
4.56/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Wasn't sure what to expect here. Pours a very nice golden color with hardly a head in my glass. Nice color for the style.

Fruity,floral with a good whiff of mango in the nose. I presume it has to do with the hops used as the bottle doesn't name specifics.

The mango carries over to the taste, imparting grapefruit notes along the way. Very tasty. Chewy, doughy malt.

Lingering citrus notes and a pronounced hop bitterness make this one hell of an enjoyable DIPA.

At 7.85%, it drinks like something much, much stronger. Lots of hop aroma and flavor without all of the alcohol. Pick it up! (593 characters)

Photo of RoninTK3
4.96/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A - Translucent orange/brown with a thin head that sticks around and lots of carbonation bubbling up.

S - Grapefruit, citrusy hops, and tangerines. A bit of sweetness. Mostly hops.

T - Grapefruit, oranges, lots of citrusy hops. Some sweet maltiness balances out the hops. This is a pretty complex taste. Love the fruity hops!

M - Medium bodied and medium carbonated with a bit of creaminess.

Wow! This is a really great double IPA. About as perfect as I've had. I love Lagunitas and Brown Shugga but this one really takes the cake. I haven't had anything from these guys that I didn't love. (594 characters)

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.18/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into a tall tulip

A: Very clear golden/orange color with three fingers of dense white foam. Retention is very good, lacing is incredible.

S: Oranges, lemon, and grapefruit hops upfront. Behind that I get some dank hops. As I keep smelling, the fruity and dank hops become balanced with each other. A bit of sweet caramel behind this, but the malt aroma is minimal.

T: Dank hops are much stronger in the flavor than they were in the aroma. The fruitiness that I got in the aroma is pretty much gone here. Light caramel sweetness balances the hops pretty well. Bitterness is moderate to strong for the style, but by no means overwhelming.

M: Medium to thick mouthfeel with medium carbonation.

O: For someone who isn't much a fan of dank hops, I really enjoyed this. The hops are well balanced by a mild caramel sweetness. This is a great beer. (858 characters)

Photo of HeresToHopping
5/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Hazy orange/pale amber in color with a beautiful 2-3 finger thick creamy white head. Lots of thick lacing that sticks rather firmly to the glass.

Aroma: Citrus (orange peel, loads of grapefruit, lemon zest and tangerine), resiny, as well as slight pine notes as well.

Taste/Mouthfeel: A very complex, and clean citrus taste on the front end (grapefruit overload, followed by orange peel and lemon zest). This balances well with the sweet pale malt flavors that follow through in the middle. The sweet bready malt flavors fade, and then the bittering hops bite you on the back end on the finish. Medium body brew, with a moderate amount of carbonation. The sweet malt flavor leaves a nice resiny feel in the mouth, and keeps the beer from being overly dry.

Overall: A perfect DIPA. I can't get over how crisp and clean the hop flavors and aromas are in this beer. Honestly, this beer has some of the most clean, and complex hop flavors and aromas I have ever had the pleasure of enjoying. Lagunitas really does create magic with hops, and how well they balance out strong hop profiles with sweet, complez malt flavors as well. If you love hops, you'll love this. I can find nothing wrong with this beer, at all. (1,225 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
4.27/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 02 Jan 2013, consumed 20 Jan 2013 It only took me a year to track this bad boy down.

Faintly hazy, this beer is copper in color and is capped with a dense, off-white head with good retention and nice lacing. The nose is magnificently hoppy. Big tropical fruit hop oils are immediately noticeable, with peach, mango and a little papaya being the strongest notes. There's also a floral pine aroma, along with a mild malt sweetness that complements the fruity hop character. Swirling my glass brings out some honeydew melon-like aromas too. Excellent.

The palate opens with a blend of the fruity hops and some of the malt sweetness. The fruity flavors are a riot, they are super-fresh, juicy, vibrant and refreshing. Mandarins, peach, mango and melon are exuberantly expressed here, making the hop bitterness relatively insignificant. The sweetness is medium-low, mostly with flavors of honey and a kind of cracker-like malt character. While the sweetness is a little higher than I'd typically care for, it does work here. The mouthfeel is rather excellent too. Hoppy without being too resiny (not that that's ever been a problem for me), a water profile that really works with the flavor profile (not too chalky/mineral-y), and with a moderate carbonation level (a little too high IMO), this is very enjoyable. The finish is pleasantly bitter and resiny, but is also very fruity. Excellent stuff. (1,404 characters)

Photo of Justin_Neff
4.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Great golden-orange color with nice 3-finger, fluffy head that laces the glass great.

S: All hops and citrus. Lemons, Mango, orange, and tons of grapefruit.

T: Awesome fruity, sweet balance to the hoppy bitterness. Just like the nose, i think the strongest taste is citrus - specifically grapefruit. Not super malty - which I love. Hoppy more than anything.

M: Good creamy and sticky mouthfeel. A little under-carbonated in my opinion, but not overly noticeable.

O: Wow, how pleasantly surprised I was with this one! Great balance without being too malty. Good bitterness but not enough to ruin your taste buds for an evening. This one could easily get dangerous. I'll probably buy a case if I come across any more. (723 characters)

Photo of Holsie
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Super fresh bottles in a pint glass.

A: Bright yellow-orange hue with half finger head and light lacing.

S: Really powerful pungent grapefruit dominates this one.

T: After 6 weeks of Holiday brown ales a true welcomed relief. Blasts you with very crisp upfront layer on layer of hops. It is a little one dimensional with almost no malt detectable.

O: A welcomed return from Lagunitas. I found that this one really loses its character quickly. The first one was literally the day my man got it and WOW-spectacular. Begins to mute after a couple weeks. Highly recommended. (574 characters)

Photo of CaptCleveland
4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured in SA glass.

Yellow-orange elixir, one-finger white head, thick lacing.

Loads of citrus: fragrant mangoes, oranges, kiwis; sweet fruit. Some subtle pine.

Wonderful hops, citrus, pine. Smooth bitterness. Like their Enjoy By brews, but without the onion.

Medium body, smooth.

Fantastic IPA! Needs few words. (329 characters)

Photo of uwmgdman
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter this beer is a slightly hazy golden color with a medium white head that leaves beautiful lacing. The aroma is intensely hoppy--tropical fruits, some pine and some whiffs of booze and bready malt--very nice. The flavor is balanced toward very fruity, slightly piney hop flavor but malty sweetness and some hints of ABV emerge after the burst of hops. Bitterness is smooth and appropriately high. The mouthfeel is medium-full and carbonation moderate. Overall an incredible beer--wonderful aroma and flavor--really enjoy the tropical fruity hops. (566 characters)

Photo of ArrogantB
3.97/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Hazy orange color, white head that sinks but sticks. Great aroma of fuzzy peaches and peach jolly ranchers. Flavor doesn't quite match up. It's got some fruit and some bitterness but its just good, not great. Little bit of alcohol, eh. People hyped this up and while its a good beer it's not all that. I regret buying a second six pack honestly. (345 characters)

Photo of FUwolfpacker
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Had this on tap at Mezzaluna Brick Oven and Tap House in Hendersonville, NC.

A: Beautiful golden honey color. Spectacular lacing.

S: Wow! Huge citrus notes right off the bat - orange peel, grapefruit, maybe a little lemon. Also some nice floral hoppiness and sweet malt.

T: I haven't always cared for some of Lagunitas hoppy beers because they didn't have the balance I was looking for between malt sweetness and hoppy bitterness. This is not one of those beers. I get a sticky malt sweetness right away with some citrus notes. The piney, floral hops come in next and it closes with some lingering bitterness. A well balanced double IPA - definitely one of the best double IPA's I've had!

M: Some stickiness, moderate carbonation, hoppy finish but not palate wrecking bitterness.

O: An incredibly drinkable double IPA and probably my favorite Lagunitas offering thus far! I was definitely worried that a double IPA from Lagunitas would be overkill on the hop bitterness, but this was very well balanced and delicious! (1,022 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.39/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a light to medium golden amber with a thin white head that has good retention and lacing. Aroma of piney, herbal, lightly floral hops, grapefruit and apple. Nice. Flavor combines piney and citrus hops with an excellent bready malt body with notes of grapefruit, lemon, citrus rind and light fruit. Very nice. Even if this had sucked, you would have to admire a brewery that responded to massive disappointment and anguish for the lack of a beloved beer with a tongue in cheek spoof offering that ended up even more popular than the original. This was a triumph for everyone. (624 characters)

Photo of mecummins
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Poured a gorgeous golden color with hints of orange in the light. Nice 2 finger head with great lacing. Foam settled to a film covering the surface that lingered for a good portion of the drink

S: Aggressive piney hops on the front followed by toasty malts and a bit of floral aroma on the end. A bit of citrus aroma there as well.

T: You taste the piney hops at first, but not overwhelmingly so. I could detect some grapefruit and floral notes layered into the beer. Some orange citrus made an appearance, as well as something earthy and herbaceous. Sweet roasted malts helped to balance everything.

M: Medium mouthfeel with a longish finish. Lots of hops on the finish, but not overly bitter. Perfect amount of carbonation.

O: Overall, this is a beer that lives up to it 's hype. Nicely balanced and extremely drinkable. (864 characters)

Photo of stephenjmoore
4.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A- Transparent pale amber body with a big, bubbly slightly off-white head.

S- Huge aroma of floral hops with a lot of tropical fruits. Grapefruit, mango, pineapple, citrus, hint of pine, some fresh grass.

T- Huge hop flavors, tons of grapefruit and tropical fruits. Big, juicy citrus flavors, with a piney finish. Slight herbal flavor as well.

M- Medium bodied, medium carbonation, slight sting on the tougue.

O- A great, accessible IPA offered in a six-pack. The floral and herbal flavors make this one slightly different and very enjoyable. (547 characters)

Photo of hooliganlife
4.18/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a clear golden orange, loads of fluffy white thick head. great retention and lacing.

mainly citrus fruit, some bitterness and red grapefruit.

similar to nose, very citrus forward with a heavy grapefruit and orange vibe. finish is like straight up orange. malty enough to hold this down and shine through here and there.

mild to moderare carbonation, with enough bite to work with the flavors expressing them.

pretty good overall (440 characters)

Photo of rdilauro
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The name , well intriguing, didnt know what to expect. But I have enjoyed just about everything from Lagunitas.
The poor was perfectly clear, light with a nice head. The aroma was more than I anticipated. For a 60 IBU beer, it had a hoppier nose.
The initial taste also came across with more hops.
The mouthful was full, rich, crisp and clean
The aftertaste was as nice as the start.
Another nice brew (401 characters)

Photo of PsilohsaiBiN
4.67/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2012 bottle reviewed in 2013

Appearance: Beautiful golden amber with a nice, white 1 finger head.

Smell: Big mango notes. Pineapple, orange and subtle grapefruit are in the fold as well.

Taste: Big, bready and bitter! Damn, this is just delicious. Sweet citrus gives way to a bitter, hoppy ending, with a steady backdrop of malt behind everything. Just a magnificently balanced beer with that trademark Lagunita's hop/yeast profile.

Mouthfeel: Not a crazy amount of carbonation but paired with the body, the amount is just right and makes for very easy drinking.

Overall: A delicious west coast IPA with a bit more malt than most would have, but it just works. Awesome. (674 characters)

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

Lagunitas Sucks
12oz, packaged on 1/2/13

Clear orangey gold with just a hint of chill haze. One-finger white head sticks around nicely. (4.25)

Nose is full of juicy American hops. Citrus, mango, pine and flowers. Nice. (4.5)

Flavor is analogous to the aroma, with a more dank, spicy element. There is definitely some earthy Citra funk in there in addition to the hugely fruity hop character. Insanely juicy and hoppy, yet smooth with restrained bitterness. Caramel sweetness and bready malts are there, but not to any great degree. Mouthfeel is velvety with medium carbonation. (4.5, 4.5)

The best IPA I have had in recent memory. I could drink boat loads of this stuff. Lagunitas Sucks definitely does not! (4.75) (726 characters)

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

Pours a clear classic golden color with a short white head. Not much head formed due to how carefully the beer was poured by the bartender. The bouquet might be the best of any beer I've ever had. Fresh grapefruit right up front with some underlying cannabis. Just a wonderful aroma. Mouthfeel is full, wet, and a bit oily. Carbonation bites just a bit on the finish. The flavor is magnificent. Grapefruit! A lot more pine in the flavor than appeared in the bouquet. Just enough rye in this beer to set all the flavors and aromas off in a more vibrant fashion. A remarkably well-engineered brew. (595 characters)

Photo of BEERMILER12
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Date stamp says 0028271615 (so bottled January 2nd)

A: Pours a golden yellow color with a finger and a half's worth of head that recedes to a decent cap that retains for a while. Also leaves a sheet of lace down the glass

S: Huge citrus hops come right out, with some pine behind that. Also get some light malts, but the nose is really just dominated by citrus and fruity hops

T: Follows the nose. Right out of the gate, you get plenty of citrus and fruity goodness with a light malty backbone and a lightly bitter finish. Lagunitas usual yeast is present throughout

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and very lightly drying

O: Man, this is one insanely drinkable IIPA. The feel really helps with this, as does the 63 IBUs. It doesn't wreck your palate and makes it very easy to go back for more. After this 6 is gone, I might have to get a case... (870 characters)

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

Bottle to long trail pint glass

A: golden honey light totally see through with big fluffy white head that dissipates but leaves a thin layer of white foam at the top

S:fresh hops dominate the smells a nice floaral aroma there is almost a sweetness to it a wonderful bouquet only qualm is not super powerful or at least what I would expect from a DIPA

T:follows the nose fresh hops all the way super fresh in fact with a solid not overpowering taste there is hop bitterness that comes in the finish a really good representation of the style

M:really smooth oily and dangerously drinkable like seriously this stud is thin and feels like water I have no idea how it is 7.85% unreal and the flavors are still pretty strong

O: I'm impressed I liked this a lot better then Sugga so I'm pumped they brought it back really fresh and tasty dipa with great mouthfeel could work on the smell but buy it if you can (910 characters)

Photo of Mineo
3.7/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

2013 RELEASE: The most recent batch I tried - labeled 351 from the year 2013 - resembled dead grass and stale malts. I fear Sucks has taken a step back as of late, so I am dropping my score a point. Hopefully Sucks next year can bring it back to 4.75 territory, but this year's batch certainly wasn't one of the best IPAs in the world. Far from it.

2012 RELEASE: one of the best DIPAs in the world. tropical fruits galore, with just the right amount of malt backing. faint alcohol presence, and a surprising lack of bitterness -- significantly less bitter than Maximus or several other Lagunitas offerings. this beer sits alongside Pliny and Heady Topper as my favorite DIPAs. great job Lagunitas. 4.75 (703 characters)

Photo of Spikester
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Clear copper with one finger of off white head. Head has some staying power about five minutes. Lacing is moderate.
Smell is floral fruity hops. Some peach like scent also.
Taste is big fruity hops with a sweet malty back. The hops are bold and rich without excessive bitterness. The alcohol is well hidden by the big flavor profile.
Very full mouthfeel though a bit low on carbonation. Medium bitter finish not too dry.
Overall I really enjoyed this beer. The well balanced and bold flavors have killed any chance of doing a proper review of any other beers tonight. I only bought one to rate wish I had at least two more!
Had to bump the numbers a bit due to getting fresh one. Appearance was considerably improved with a huge head, great aroma, and taste. Otherwise the review has been unchanged. (812 characters)

Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 1,460 ratings.