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

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1,562 Reviews
Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale)Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale)

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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: 1,562 | Ratings: 10,072
Photo of Doc_Hops
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A- Lagunitas Sucks pours a perfect combination of yellow and orange. It meets right in the middle. A booming heads tops the beer which is completely clear with nice bubbly carbonation.

S- Right away I can spot the brewery. There's something about Lagunitas (not unlike Victory) where you can tell the brewery right from the start. I get a lot of bright green hops, with only a slight malt balance. Quite a bit of citrus that really dominates the nose.

T- After a few big sips I'm getting a lot of lip-smacking citrus but also a nice peppery character that I did not expect. The malt is present but definitely not a huge flavor component, which I am okay with given that it is as true West Coast IPA through and through.

M- Medium bodied and very well balanced. It is smooth as can be for the style. Sucks sits well on the tongue. It has a very clean finish but is not particularly dry, which is just fine for me.

O- Loved it. I had heard so much about this beer and it did not disappoint me. This is a great IPA from a great brewery. The only negative I have is that this is not quite a double like it's listed. It a very good IPA, but if it is truly a DIPA, it is a little weak. There's almost TOO MUCH drinkability and too much smoothness for the style... if that makes sense? Still, it's a great beer and you should drink it!

Serving Type- 12oz bottle poured into an IPA glass. Thanks for reading.

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Photo of SaisonRichBiere
4.08/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a goblet glass.

Appearance- pours a light, bright orange with one finger of bubbly, frothy head. Lacing all around as the head goes. Stays bubbly on top.

Smell- Bright tangerine sugary notes, candy maltiness, and citrusy, herbal hop finish. Smells very good.

Taste- Begins with sweet tangerines, maraschino cherries and bubblegum. A brief astringence flows into caramel corn malts. Finish is a bold, earthy hop character. Surprisingly dry and blunt for how sweet it started out. Tasty stuff. Tangy apricot aftertaste on the palate.

Mouthfeel- Mineral water micro-bubbles yield to a creamy, sugary smoothness. A bit dense.

Overall- I wasn't sure what to expect with this one. Unique taste. Fruity with a malt and hop afterthought. An appropriately sweet substitute for Brown Shugga. Very likeable and tasty. As much as I hate to say it though, it's much like a Magic Hat #9, but with a bit more bravado. Surprisingly mild for a double IPA, and noticeably lacking a big hop character on the palate akin to the style. All things considered, I've got a few more in the cellar, and look forward to them.


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Photo of bambam2517
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle to a pint glass and served in the backyard, initially at 40F.

A - Pretty standard IPA looks. Dirty golden-brown body, some light carbonation and a small watery head. Does lace nicely down the glass though.

S - Very powerful orange blossom, grapefruit and pineapple. Floral and slightly sweet. A real winner here.

T - Backs up the nose nicely. Really pick up the Grapefruit all the way through. It bounces off the orange and pineapple mostly, but there is a nice backbone of Cascade hops here too. Again, nicely done.

M - It backs up on the palate slightly, but it masks its ABV well and it has a slight sweetness that keeps me sipping it.

O - Its a very nice offering, I do prefer Sumpin Sumpin to this one though.

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Photo of Fusion7777
4.61/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear amber into a tulip with a generous white foamy head. Aroma is absolutely intoxicating citrus and pine and easily one of the best noses on an IPA/IIPA. Taste is tropical fruits, hops, pineapple, mango, passionfruit, lemon zest, and balanced by subtle malt. Sticky, smooth, crisp, and balanced mouthfeel. Quite possibly the best bang for your buck at 9 bucks a sixer; packs a very high flavor to dollar ratio. A great go-to beer, especially now that it figures to be a year round offering. The best of many Lagunitas IPA offerings.

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Photo of Big_V
4.56/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Good two finger head. Color was a unique golden brown. Good carbonation.

S - Wow! Sweet brown sugar.

T - I can taste a little something different after every sip. Grapefruit, pine, toffee. To bad my store said they won't be getting any more :(

M - So easy to go down. Just right on the hops.

O - Picked up 2 (6) packs and upon my first taste I didn't think it was worth the hype. After my second beer I'm hooked! Need more.

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Photo of Rukasu
4.81/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Move over Hopslam, ye have been dethroned in my book.

A - Beautiful, clear ruddy-amber, thin white head.

S - Interesting mix of pine, pineapple, straw, orange rind, slightly funky cheese hints linger in the nose on the end, but not at all off-putting.

T - Big hops up front, tastes match the smell fairly well. More of the orange rind, and a mix of savory bitterness and sweet.

M - Fairly heavy, has a chewiness to it, and well carbonated.

O - I found 2013's Hopslam to be off from year's past, and luckily discovered Sucks just in time to fill the gap. One of the best DIPA's I've had in a long time. Haven't had many Lagunitas, but this beer converted me.

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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 yamar68
4.33/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I'm finally getting around to reviewing this one - not sure what took me so long.

What a pretty beer... a glowing gold body that is stuffed from side to side with constant beading. A creamy finger of off-white head retains well and leaves behind drapes of lace from start to finish.

The aroma reminds me quite a bit of Sculpin or Dreadnaught. Juicy hop character defined by tropical fruits and some heady nugz. Nose-gasm.

Takes a slightly different direction on the palate. A bit more citrus and pine resin. More complex than the nose would suggest. Really tasty stuff.

This beats the piss outta Brown Sugga.

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Photo of niday2288
4.65/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a delirium tremens tulip snifter.

A - Pour is copper with a nice white head. Color is clouded by floating sediment and constant bubbling.

S - Smell is huge citrus, with grapefruit and tart orange. There is a hint of sweet pine and floral notes.

T - Taste matches the nose but does have a nice trus sweetness to it from some clever malt wok that is not present in the nose.

M - Nice and tangy. The bitterness and sweetness are very well balanced and do not cause one or the other to linger on the palate.

Overall, this beer is awesome. I have not had much exposure to lagunitas in the past. WIth my recent tastings of several of their beers, this is by far my favorite. Though it doesn't come out and call itself one, this is an awesome imperal or double IPA. This may be close to the top of this category for me. Watch out Bells Hopslam and Breckenridge 471 Small Batch!

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.04/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single bottle from a six pack, picked up in DC by a fellow BA. Thanks daryk!

Poured into my Duvel tulip. I can't find a freshness date on the bottle, but I'm guessing around October 2012 or so.

Light honey caramel in colour, with about a half inch of head, which settles nicely into a thick ring with some icicled lacing.

Nose is generously hoppy and tropical, with grapefruit, mango, orange and a resin bitterness as well. Touch of grain and caramel sweetness as well. Impressive.

Certainly an enjoyable double IPA, quite bitter and a bit drier than I'd expected it to be. It begins sweet and caramel, though milder than some of the other examples of the style. The bittering hops are all there, and there's a dry-hopped quality to it. Citrus is overtaken a touch by the resin bitterness, though grapefruit pith and mango are still there. Bready and a little bit soapy to the finish.

Lighter bodied, easy to drink, moderate to high carbonation.

I enjoyed this brew to be sure, and I'm happy to have the better part of a six pack left to hold on to and explore a bit more. I can't say that I'm blown away by it, however; it feels a bit off balance - drier and more bitter than I think I'd like, but it's a fine beer nevertheless. Not something I would go that far out of my way to get again, which considering how infrequently I get my hands on American craft brews, is a decision I have to make.

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Photo of Beerney
4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best beer that I've had in a long time. I was expecting something much heavier from Lagunitas at 7.8%. Great hop aros woma and hop burst. Very well balanced. Not overly bitter as you'd expect from 63 IBUs. Great beer. Lagunitas sucks for not making this beer year round.

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Photo of IKR
4.43/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Light-golden yellow color with a modest-sized white head that slowly faded

Taste:The pine aromas carry over to the taste along with some mild caramel notes. I definitely get some citrus notes in the mix. The finish ends with some mild citrus notes.

Mouth-feel: Medium body with a medium level of carbonation.

Overall: Very good IPA for my usually Imperial Stout-preferring Palate.

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

12 oz. bottle, with no apparent bottled on date present.

Poured into a Firestone Walker pint glass.

A - Pours a nice bright golden orange color with about two fingers of doughy off-white head with decent retention. Lots of bubbles lazily floating to the top. Very nice rings of webbed lacing.

S - Luscious bitter grapefruit. Light fruity mango / papaya smell. Some lemon. An amalgamation of fruity hoppiness. Fresh, fruity, and floral. Some soapiness.

T - Taste follows the nose pretty well. Multiple layers of fruitiness abound: orange, mango, pineapple, grapefruit. Light and fruity up front, and then bitter and spicy from the hops in the finish. Unlike some of Lagunitas's other IPA offerings, the Lagunitas Sucks tastes much more freshly hopped than some of their other brews, which use hop extracts.

M - Dank bitter fruity hop presence sticks to the palate for a while, allowing you to savor the flavor. Fruitiness and sweetness lingers.

Overall, I love this beer more and more each and every time I drink it. Dangerously drinkable at 7.85% abv, refreshing even. This has got to be one of my all time top widely-available DIPA's, if not my favorite. Excellent.

Lagunitas Sucks ---4.5/5

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Photo of BaltimoreBeerLover
4.22/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 12 oz. bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Dark honey colored with a one inch white head.

Smell: Sweet sweet brown sugar is the main aroma I am getting. (Who would have guessed?) I also detect notes of cinnamon.

Taste: Goddamn Batman! So delicious. Not quite as overwhelmingly sweet as the smell (which is a good thing) but the brown sugar aftertaste is very detectable. Tasty hoppy bitterness as well in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Good medium carbonation. The sweetness and hoppiness definitely stick around for a while.

Overall: Such a great beer. I am in love with Lagunitas. 4.2/5

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Photo of Beerasaurus
4.71/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: A welcoming golden, honey color with a finger of head
S: Wow! Now that's a very citrusy hop aroma that lets you know this is from the West Coast. It screams "drink me!"
T: Taste goes down piney with citrus on the backside; however it slides right down without any overpowering bitterness and absolutely no hint of alcohol. Definitely not a palette wrecker like some of the other DIPA offerings
M: Mouthfeel is of a medium body, with a little tingly carbonation to tease the taste buds
O: Overall the ranking is appropriate; one of my favorites that is now a regular addition to the beer fridge. And I must agree with others that its nice to find it readily available and at a reasonable price. You simply can't go wrong with this one. Well done!

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Photo of garymuchow
4.21/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into SN "tulip".
This seemed to be a popular item this year and still able to find it hanging around, and of course at a value price - gotta' love this brewery for that.
Rich dense hop aroma. Occasionally get hints of excess/resin, but it varies per glass and is never prominent (fortunately).
Full dense head that laces beautifully. Slightly cloudy amber towards oranges and reds.
A very nicely balanced DIPA. Flavors up front show strong hop and malt flavors. The malt is no shrinking violent in this drink. Bitterness is strong, but smooth. Complex drink throughout, hints of alcohol. Only moments of resiny excess.
Moderately heavy feel yet nice and smooth throughout.
A well done DIPA. Drinks enjoyably from top to bottom.

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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 M_C_Hampton
4.89/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, honey amber colored with a huge fluffy white head that lingers leaving great lacing, clear

S: amazing citrus hops, grapefruit, lemon, orange, pine, mango, papaya, like fruit coctail

T: excellent flavors of above mentioned fruit, finish is pine resin and drier, initial flavors are quite sweet

M: creamy for the style, medium bodied, alcohol well hidden, good carbonation

O: This is an excellent DIPA. It's very easy to drain a glass of this. The fruit smells and flavors are fabulous. There's also a great background story behind this beer along with it's hilarous name. Buy extra if you can find 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 wordemupg
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

355ml bottle poured into tulip 11/3/13

A clear golden copper with plenty of bubbles popping up from everywhere, a large 3 finger foam quickly falls to a pinky's width and sits there, several thick rings spaced far apart are the evidence of the larger normal sips I'm taking

S pine is strong, tangerine, mandarin orange, grapefruit and pineapple work well with just a little caramel sweetness, smells quite strong and its pretty much what I look for in a West Coast DIPA

T some lemon rind I didn't smell and slightly less pine, still a nice tropical blast but toned down just a tad compared to the nose

M not to heavy for a DIPA and creams up slightly from the bubbles, has a nice mellow bitter bite but nowhere near a palate wrecker, a little slick after the fact with some pine, citric rind, and caramel on the finish

O one of the better hop bombs I've had recently, no booze at any point and solid in every area, I could smell it all day and I'm very stoked I have 5 more in my 6er

Well if Lagunitas sucks I don't need awesome, really though this is a great brew and I'm very stoked I can buy this here in Alberta and will be buying it again soon

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Photo of paultierney1
4.92/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Brothers: Are you kidding me? There's a 9 point difference between you and us and you're on the wrong side of history. SUCKS is amazing. And factoring in the very reasonable price and the fact that it can ACTUALLY BE FOUND on shelves, it's one of the best. The nose: 5. Taste 5. For hopheads, the battle is between Enjoy By and Sucks. And I'm from the Midwest. California: we give up!! You win. (Hate to say it.)

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Photo of lunarbrew
4.52/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours light amber/gold with about 2 1/2 fingers of eggshell head. Very fine foaminess with a super sticky lacing.

A very citrusy sweet nose. Smells overwhelmingly of pineapple and candi sugar. It's very crisp and very big.

Hop-forward. All you really get is the hop flavor with this beer, but it's never overwhelming or too bitter. Fresh cut pineapple and other citrusy fruits. Definitely some grassy notes on the backend. The beer is balanced by its sweetness, but the sugar flavor has little depth.

The beer is medium-full-bodied and leaves a little bit of stickiness and resin on your tongue. Perfect carbonation level for the style. Not terribly creamy, but still a pleasant and smooth texture.

I had one of these the other day and the flavor had really fallen off. I was worried about the remainder of the sixer, but the one I'm drinking new is beautiful. An excellent west coast ipa.

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Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.57/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from short 12oz bottle into mug. Clear golden yellow with visible carbonation, thick foamy white head that came up a lot more than I expected, even with a pretty tame pour. Leaves bubbly lacing all over the glass as it's drunk. Smell is sweet fruit at first, sort of mango or pineapple, then hoppy at the end. Almost smells gin-like. Taste follows suit exactly; sweet and smooth up front, then hoppy and bitter at the end. Mouthfeel is almost creamy, odd for the style, but probably from the extra sweetness. Overall, this is quite different from your average DIPA, but it's delicious.

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Photo of jaasen64
3.89/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle purchased for $2. Poured into Founders snifter.

A- Pours a translucent slightly brownish golden with a fairly thin white head that leaves spotty lacing, nice consistent carbonation.

S- Earthy hops, some pine, light sweet malts that are well balanced with the hops.

T- Earthy hops, oranges, light sap, finishes fairly bitter earthy hop taste and a slightly fruity aftertaste of earthy hops, oranges, and light presence of bananas. Nice balance, personally prefer a bit more citrus though.

M- Medium bodied, decent carbonation, easy drinking.

O- This was a decent IPA, but with so many good IPAs out there it is hard to rate this one that highly. Overall I think it is definitely overrated, but very good for the price. Personally I think there are a few better IPAs you can pick up a four pack or six pack of, but not many that you can get for $2/bottle.

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Photo of snohojimbo
4.99/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

If it wasn't for all the positive comments on BA about this beer, I may not have ever tried one. But I'm glad I did because it is awesome! Found it in the singles for $1.77 a bottle, grabbed the last 2 they had. Great price, most "top-notch" brews are in the $3 range at least.

Poured into a snifter glass, nice copper color, nice lacing.

Smell? Like laying down in a forest of pine needles, with a basket of peaches spilling about!

Taste is the best part. After initially numbing the tongue, it slides down ever so smoothly, leaving a sweet, sticky residue. So good.

I've only seen this beer in one store so far, and can't wait to get some more of it! :)

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Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 1,562 ratings.
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