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

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1,576 Reviews
Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale)Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale)

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.85%

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.

Added by Jules11788 on 11-07-2011

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Reviews: 1,576 | Ratings: 10,114
Photo of SaltofOH
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dogfish head tulip. No bottle date.

Pours a clear, dark gold/light copper with 1 finger beige head. Modest carbonation and retains a thin skim of foam. Very nice lacing.

Hoppy. Resiny. Citrus. Sweet. Smells like an IPA; what else can I say. As it warms, smell a little alcohol.

Lightly sweet, Crackery arrival. Gobs of fruitiness mid-palate. Very firm but not overpowering bitterness on the finish. No alcohol whatsoever on the palate. Scary at 8%!

Light fluffy feel, perfect carbonation. Not slick, crisp. The essence of an IPA in my mind's eye (tongue)?

Overall: Very clean, balanced and refreshing. Most definitely just earned a spot in my rotation. A must-try.

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Photo of apants007
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

The color isn't anything special… looks pretty yellow, like a michelob. Smells nice. Already getting a little citrus on the nose. Man, this thing tastes great. It's like lemon cake with a bite… A pilsner style bitterness on the finish. Nice hop balance. Fine carbonation really buzzes in the mouth. Exceptional beer.

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Photo of MarkAvery
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Im a big fan of most Lagunitas stuff. This is definitely my favorite. Picked up a six pack on Friday and it was gone by sunday night. Beautiful color on this beer. Great Hoppy taste. In one word I would describe it as "clean". I know that sounds kind of weird, but it was a very clean Hoppy IPA taste to me. Almost a perfected taste if you will. I will be picking up more of this and keeping it for the summer. I can just picture myself drinking a lot of these Ice Cold on my back deck in the blazing sun. Thank you Lagunitas!

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Photo of martyl1000
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

How is it possible to forget how much I love this stuff. It's

A bright yellow pour into a tulip glass, with a tall bright white head, good retention, and clingy lacing.

Fruity! I love this aroma, which brings lemon juice and orange zest, plus a bit of pineapple. Seriously juicy. But also a fair amount of bread and grain blunt the citrus. The end effect: Creamsicle!

In the mouth the aroma gets transcribed with perfect pitch, remarkably matching the flavors on the palette. Navel orange, lemon, and grapefruit. The hops are all juicy citrus. Some bread and biscuit push back a little on the bitter citrus, though the fruity sweetness doesn't require that much balancing. Can't really separate flavors on the front end from those on the back end. Seems the same throughout.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, with smooth carbonation. The finish is dry, white grapefruit bitterness.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A lovely dIPA from the knee-tas.

Pours a light color golden, nice foamy white head. Would like to see more rock and lacing for higher score, but still looks really good

Aroma is hops. Mango, white pepper, green grass, grapefruit (mostly), persimmon. Some pine
Booze in the back end

Malt didn't come through in the nose, and it struggles in the taste. But it is there. Light biscuit and sweet bread. They take a pounding though from the hops. While just shy of resiny, the hops dominate. Still, they seem light. The brightness of the grapefruit and mango lift up the more earthy flavors just a bit. They hit right of the bat and power throughout the gulp.

Nice bite on the end. A touch of booze, but otherwise very drinkable.

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Photo of Big_Twofifty
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours with a ½ inch of off- white foam that is very bubbly, the foam dissipates rather quickly, leaving an off-white bubbly lacing at the surface. The beer is a translucent golden amber color. With drinking it leaves the off-white foam on the edge of the glass.

Smell: Pleasant hoppy citrus aroma of tropical fruits, grapefruit, and a hint of lemon grass.

Taste: Surprisingly mild first taste, not as bitter as expected. The citrus flavors definitely are evident along with a hint of the lemon grass I smelled before, or maybe that’s pine. As the flavors come forth I mainly notice the fruity flavor of grapefruit which adds sweetness.

Mouthfeel: My first thought is this beer is thick and creamy for what appears to be a light beer. It has a pleasant crisp finish and a very mild aftertaste of the citrus. It has a nice light carbonation level, which doesn’t overpower the creamy mouthfeel.

Overall: For an imperial IPA I was expecting maybe slightly more bitterness and the flavors to be more robust; however, I still enjoyed it immensely. The appearance, smell, taste, and mouthfeel all seemed to be cohesive and meld together nicely. For as sucky as you expect this beer to be, all you want to do is have another glass.

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Photo of James954
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Gonna be a short one from a 12 oz bottle...

This is Lagunitas' Lil' Sumpin Ale with a sweet kick to it. Not really my thing, but they nailed the goal of what they were looking to accomplish. I'm going East Coast vs West Coast on this with Founder's vs Lagunitas. This is what AB vs Miller should have been.

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Photo of Ultra-Plinian
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Light Gold -Interesting

S: Hints of pine and almost sweet

T: Wonderful with a nice bite at the end

M: Wonderful Medium moutheel with nice carbonation

O: Had stayed away from this because it has sucks in title but its some really good stuff. Glad I was able to get somemore.

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Photo of ahq514
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into tulip.

Pours a transparent golden color. Solid, white two finger head. Appears to have low to medium carbonation. Gobs of lacing attach to the sides of the glass.

Very hop forward beer. Tropical fruits abound, while there are some citrus hops as well. Behind the hop-goodness seems to be a good malt backbone with some sweetness.

Taste matches the aroma pretty well, except there seems to be more of a presence of pine hops with citrus and tropical fruits taking a back seat, although still prevalent. Get more of a distinctive pineapple flavor. The hops jump out right up front, while the sweet malt comes in second and nicely balances the hops out. There is a lingering bitterness throughout and it finishes bitter and sweet.

Good medium body and just under medium carbonation.

Great beer. They should make this again. Reminds me of hop stoopid for some reason. Maybe they use a certain type of hop... Love the sticky, tropical hops they use. Didn't want to rate it so high, I just can't find anything wrong with it. Lagunitas doesn't suck.

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Photo of derkfromwi
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass

A: Nice thick, white head that stays forever with all the carbonation, fine golden color, lots of lacing

S: Pine and citrus hops, pleasant

T: Grapefruit, pine, malts come through a little, hoppy and enjoyable

M: Good carbonation, bitter, a little more resiny/thicker than some IIPA's

O: Well above average, quality Double IPA, I'll probably go see if I can get another sixer to share some

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Photo of twizzard
4.37/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've over looked this Gem on more than one occasion....shame on me! Poured a golden, hazy orange into a tulip glass. Aroma was sweet, floral with some light pine. Taste follows the nose, sweet & floral with a very subtle malt back bone.
An automatic placement in my top 10 IIPA's. Well done Lagunitas!

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Photo of Roguer
4.37/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful, snow-white, 3-finger head with incredible retention and fluffy lacing. Brew is copper and straw, transparent, and incredibly lively and bubbly up the middle.

Light grapefruit and strong floral aroma, with a hint of brown sugar or caramel malt in the background. Some honey, and a faint whiff of that cat pee aroma. Tons, tons of hops.

Hops are a little brighter and greener than the aroma indicates, fairly resinous, somewhat flowery and dank. Most of the sweetness comes across in the malt, a little bit of honey, some brown sugar, rye, pepper, and grain. There's really a wide range to the hop profile, and it's fantastic.

Very lively, a bit of carbonation sting, solid medium bodied beer. Sticky retention. Slightly creamy.

This is a very good and solid DIPA. There's just a slight bite to the taste and the mouthfeel that keeps it from being on the level with Heady. There seems to be some inconsistency as well; the last several times I have had Sucks, it was worlds different - and better - than the first couple times.

I don't know if Sucks is really as worthy as the hype implies, but it's certainly a very, very good beer.

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Photo of McNealc31
4.37/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a bit lighter and crisper than expected. The frothy white head doesn't stick around for long. Hops completely dominate the aroma. Yeah, a double IPA for sure. Hop oils assault the palate. Grapefruit and pine, mostly. Hint of heat from the 7.8% ABV. Rye comes through a bit in the finish. But this is all about the hops. Surprisingly, it's only 65 IBUs. Thought this would push closer to 100.

Hop heads, get it!

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Photo of metter98
4.37/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is clear golden yellow in color and has some hints of amber hues along with a moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a finger and a half high dense white head that has excellent retention properties and took a very long time to die down, consistently leaving a short head covering the surface and lots of lacy rings of bubbles down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate to strong aromas of citrusy hops are present in the nose—tangerines and grapefruit seem to stand out in particular.
T: Like the smell, the taste is very citrusy and also has prominent flavors of tropical fruits in the form of mangoes. A light to moderate amount of bitterness is present.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is extremely drinkable, especially since the bitterness is subdued compared to other beers in the style and no traces of alcohol are present in the taste. It's packed with so many flavors of mangoes and citrus that I feel like I am getting 100 percent of my recommended daily allowance of vitamin C.

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Photo of gabedivision
4.37/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle to a brandy snifter

Pours a golden orange with a foamy 1 finger head that disappears to a thin sticky lace around the top of the beer. On the nose, your senses get attacked! Big piny hops, over-ripen citrus fruits, mango, tangerine, grapefruit. Sticky tobacco and marijuana scents in midst of the fruit. Again on the taste, sticky grapefruit, citrus hops, sticky and murky with a feverishly bitter aftertaste that just absolutely hits the spot, wow! Light to medium on the feel and body, bitter, deliciously drinkable, not much malt backbone as noted by other reviewers. This beer is fucking awesome! Make more of this shit and send it my way, im more than fine with having this over BS anyday, superior IPA.

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Photo of dbell23
4.37/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I guess I need to confess that I like lagunitas beers. Poured into a tulip glass from a 12 oz. bottle. Nice two finger head with good retention and great lacing. Golden color.

Smell is lagunitas standard. Pineapple? Sirupy hops with lots of sweetness. Orange rind with grapefruit.

Taste follows the nose with a nice sweet hoppiness to start, bitter hops in the middle with sweet hop to finish. Tastes like a combination of a little sumpin' sumpin' and brown shugga light. Since I like both beers I like this one.

Mouthfeel is normal double ipa. Good carbonation with a slight hop resin slickness.

Overall a really good double ipa. It's pretty much what I expected given the name and my familiarity with lagunitas.

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Photo of jlindros
4.37/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice fluffy 1/2 finger head that fades semi slow and reinforced by the many bubbles rising up, with a bit of lacing, over crystal clear pale pilsner tan colored beer.

Nose explodes with citrus and tropical fruit, a light musty fresh wet hop resinous aroma as well, tons of passion fruit right off the bat, also brings mango, papaya, pineapple, a bit of grapefruit and tangerine, wow! This nose in incredible!!! Oh yeah, the slightest hint of a malt base somewhere in there holding up the huge fresh tropical fruit hop explosion.

Taste comes on nicely as well, fresh tropical fruit right off. Fairly light on malts with just enough sweetness to deliver the hop profile, which is surprising for being 7.85%. Juicy fruits explode out of the gate, layers of pineapple, grapefruit, mango, passion fruit, again similar descriptors but that's what it is. A hint of citrus tangerine juicy fruit, and a very light resinous fresh wet hop like taste. On the back end I even get a slight mint. The fruit isn't as pronounced as the nose had, and the bitterness creeps up to slightly overpower the fresh fruit, as well as the musty resinous flavor which starts to dominate as it sits in my mouth and warms. The lack of malt seems to let the hops fall a little out of reach despite being so juicy fruit. A hint of warming booze in there as well. If there was a touch more malts I think this would have jumped up a notch as it would have given way for the palate to balance the bitterness and resinous flavors. As it finishes it's pretty dry with lingering mint and tropical fruit hops, decent bitterness, but mostly clean.

Mouth is med bodied but feels a bit flat as I was expecting a slight more malt to balance the hops, but good carbonation.

Overall great but just missing some balance. The tropical fruit aromas are phenomenal, and the flavor comes out great at first, but without the malts to balance the bitterness and resinous flavors start to come through a bit too much and drown out the great fruits.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.37/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

971st Review on BA
Bottle to Piraat Tulip
12 oz stubby

Purchased a six pack from Mira Loma, Bevmo

App- A very clear golden orange with a good one finger white capped head. Not a big streaker of head or cling. A few whisps of bubbles on the top.

Smell- "Is there Mango in there, asks my wife" Three feet away from me on the couch. A lot of aromatics in this one from tropical fruits. Its mango, pineapple, citrus and a little bit of bitter and balanced by some mild malts.

Taste- I really liked this beer. It was right down the middle of the IPA profile I enjoy. It had great citrus flavors with a good backing malt. The citrus is more tropical as the nose suggested. A little bitter and pepper balance this taste out. It was a bit like mixing Sculpin, Pliny and Just Outstanding to create this one. For a almost 8% beer this damn thing was super drinkable.

Mouth- A great bit of a medium body with nice citrus and creamy malt residual flavors. The carbonation is very bubbly for the ABV and the profile.

Drink- It's very good. It wasnt mind-blowing but I really enjoyed the layers from the tropical to the malt profile to the low bitter level. I will be for sure drinking the rest of these alone with the shades drawn. My neighbors can't know I have this.

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Photo of DCon
4.37/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on-tap @ the International Tap House in Chesterfield, MO during the Black Friday "iTap Style" Event for $5. Tapped from the White Tap Handle that has a Santa Claus Blown up looking like a Star & "Sucks HOLIDAY ALE" above him into a 12oz Boulevard SmokeStack Series Tulip Glass.

Aroma- Has the freshest and most unbelievable piney and citrus infused hop aroma possible! Very sweet background also but this hop aroma couldn't get any better!

Appearance- Received with a 1 finger head that has average retention time. Has a nice orange colored body that has very good clarity. Leaves thick lacing behind.

Flavor- Has a fantastic hop flavor that is pure citrus and a bit of pine. There is a medium hop bitterness that is well blended with sweetness. Has a very clean finish to it.

Mouthfeel- Medium Bodied, Medium-High Carbonation, Smooth, and has a great citrus all the way through. Not much hop is left on the palate but not a problem.

Overall Impression- A top A-IPA I've had in a long while! The hop aroma was so great, I could order this brew and just promote it on the basis of the aroma! The taste and mouthfeel were fantastic too with its big time citrus flavors. Enjoyed greatly and ready to have again!

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Photo of ms11781
4.37/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 10/31/2011. 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a clear, bright, golden orange color with a nice white foam head that reaches about two fingers. The head reduces to a thin cap with a ring of foam collection around the glass. Nice lacing clings to the glass and coats it with each sip. Really excellent looking beer.

Great tropical and citrus fruit aromas come out as soon as the beer is poured from the bottle to glass. Mango, pineapple, tangerine and grapefruit can be picked up specifically but it's really just a mix of some really great, juicy hop aromas. Some light pine and a touch of some sweet malt are here but they are really overwhelmed by the hop aromas. One of the best smelling standard IPAs that I have had.

The taste follows with the nose but is knocked down a step due to the lack of balance. Great tropical and citrus hops are present. Tangerine, mango, some grapefruit and orange are present, among other fruits. There is dry, piny bitterness at the end of each sip. There is almost no malt presence and it allows the hops to overwhelm at times. It isn't a problem when the beer is colder but as it warms the lack of malt becomes apparent. The sweetness that comes with the fruit characteristics and the resiny bitterness come on a bit strong after a bit.

Medium bodied with carbonation on the low end of medium. More carbonation would take this beer up a notch. It lacks a crispness that would put it over the top. That being said, its not a major problem and the mouthfeel is pretty good. IT would just make the difference between great and world class.

Despite a couple drawbacks this is a fantastic beer. At times during the drinking and reviewing of the beer I felt almost as if I was nitpicking. The aroma is outstanding, DIPA hop aromas in a standard IPA. The taste starts off the same but it changes a bit as it warms. Perhaps this beer is best consumed a bit colder than normal.

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Photo of Wolfpack2005
4.37/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a hazy orange and forms s solid 1.5 finger head that fades quickly.

S-Grapefruits. Literally, it smells like someone cut a grapefruit and put it right under my nose. If I was blind folded I don't know if I would be able to tell the difference.

T-Hop forward, Like the nose it is dominated by grapefruit flavors with other citrus fruits mixed in. Also picking up floral and pine hops as well. A slight maltiness creeps in before the hops come back around.

M-Light body, high carbonation.

O-It's actually not a very well balanced IPA IMO (not a lot of malt flavors), but oddly enough I still love this IPA because I think the hop profile is SPOT on.

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Photo of MizzouBrew
4.37/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Found 6-pack of this at Total Wine for $8.99 - Score! Pours a cloudy golden with gorgeous lacing. Medium bodied with very hoppy pine taste. Exactly what I'm looking for in a IIPA.

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Photo of ONUMello
4.37/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip
A: Rich orange color with a one-finger head that slowly settles to a thin lacing
S: Strong hops, mostly pine but also some grapefruit and orange rind, and a solid malt backbone
T: Wow. Big yet extremely balanced. Again blended hops up front but a very smooth full malt underneath, with a hint of caramel to finish. Very tasty
M: Medium to full bodied, the malts & hops both come through but it's very balanced
O: This is very good. It honestly should please everyone, being both hoppy & big malt but everything is unbelievably well balanced. Fantastic beer.

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Photo of Dragginballs76
4.37/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden color decent white head good lacing head dissipates away
Smell citrus fruity notes sweet slight grapefruit
Taste grapefruit and citrus some orange peel kind of sweet and bitter a little lemon flavor just right amount of hops.
Feel is great light smooth well carbonated clean and crisp
Overall I love this beer and would have more for sure.

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Photo of Skeeter206
4.37/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Got the last 6 pack of this available at Ray's Stateline in Pelham NH.

A ~ Good golden color with a half finger head that slowly dissipates but retains a decent lacing around the glass.

S ~ Great smell, grapefruit, some hops, maybe a little pine in there as well.

T ~ Tastes similar to the smell, grapefruit and maybe some other citrus fruit up front and a strong hoppy finish. Pretty good taste but it tastes a little strong for the 7.85 ABV, not as well balanced as other IPA's with an ABV over 9.

M ~ Well carbonated, full bodied, no complaints in this department.

O ~ I would buy this again, its got a good hop backbone in there and some fruitiness as well. also I think I only spent 11 or 12 on a 6 pack, which isn't bad at all for an Imperial IPA.

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Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4.31 out of 5 based on 10,114 ratings.
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