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

1,605 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: 1,605 | Ratings: 10,206
Photo of capeannbass36
4.33/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured a clear, orange gold topped with a 1 finger bone white head that disappated quickly. Light lacing left behind.

S- Sweet grapefruit and pineapple. Little bit of pine and hops.

T- Tropical citrus fruits. Pineapple, grapefruit, and a hint of mango. Little bit of pine and end.

M- Slightly slick. Hint of bitter at end. Dry finish.

O- Very surprised by this. Seeking out more tomorrow!

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Photo of Lawl3ss
4.33/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Chilled 12 oz stubby into a stemless tulip pint. Bottling date appears to be 2.6.13.

Look- Crystal clear golden hue, straight pour leaves me with a glass full of frothy eggshell foam that settles slowly. Sticky irregular lacing.

Smell- Very sweet, musky undertones. Freshly peeled clementine oranges. Orange blossom, lightly flowery, powdery.

Taste- Lemon, pine, honey, more orange peel. Lots and lots of tropical citrus, alternates between grainier acidic navel and mandarin orange. Biscuit and light treacle are present but vague. Lingering white tea, chives, and cillantro. Straightforward, but packs in a lot of flavor and manages to straddle the line between pithy and resinous and sweet.

Mouthfeel- Medium-full body, crisp carbonation on the sip. Juicy feel, clean finish. Easy drinking.

Overall- Well, it's not what I'd consider a "Brown Shugga Substitute", but it's definitely not bad either. Succeeds at the often attempted but usually missed moderate-IBU citric DIPA a'la Nugget Nectar.

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Photo of motorhed
4.33/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass

A - Fabulous filtered gold/orange color. White head that leaves light levels of lacing as it's consumed.

S - Pine and citrusy west-coast hops, awesome nose on this thing.

T - Pine, Grapefruit, pine, and bitter hops. Very good beer, i've gone through 18 bottles of this stuff.

M - Mild carbonation and well balanced finish.

O - One of the best double IPA's i've had in a long time. Unfortunately, this came out right around the time as Surly Abrasive ale. I was overloaded on IPA's for a month. While i prefer Abrasive over this, it's still one of the better beers i've had lately. Lagunitas hit a home run with this brew.

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Photo of khiasmus
4.33/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

You have to wonder if the cord will break. Not just like those little two-or three-person cars at the state fair, there is such a monstrous load on this thing. The white continues to cascade down from the sky, leaving a lot of sticky-looking spots on the windows as you gaze at the black spots in the white drifts below. You look up. You can almost taste and smell the summit now. Yes, that must be it. Unmistakeable.
A lurch and jerk and everyone clutches their belongings. the veterans pretend not to be worried, like the businessmen in heavy turbulence on an airplane who stare straight ahead and pretend that their nerves are not rattled to the core with the thought of falling so many thousand feet and meeting their maker.
The clack-clack-clack of another pole holding up this monstrosity and you begin to feel your knuckles clenching and unclenching as you wonder to yourself why you are such a glutton for punishment. You close your eyes. The summit again, with it's distinctive almost green-onion, combining beautifully with a tropical malt note, a huge bitterness, some grapefruit and lemongrass-covered candied pineapple wrapped in grapefruit rind and drizzled with that delicious thin honey that they used to sprinkle atop those delicious honey-buns...
It grinds to a halt. You must have been dreaming again. You toss back the remainder of the golden nectar in your lace-covered glass, and grab your skis. It is a long way down.

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Photo of BeerWizard
4.33/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet, clarified light amber with light effervescence and a pretty much perfect billowy white head. I get a dank, floral whiff from about two feet away. Closer inspection after it cools off a bit is super-mango and tangerine - nice. There's still that sweet dankness and some grain to it, but it's pretty much overtaken by tropical fruit and citrus. The flavor is heavy grapefruit, but only a light bitterness on the back end. It's really just lightly sweet and juicy, but still leans toward a hop-forward IPA - the malt side being really downplayed, and to no detriment to it.

Overall, this is an awesome beer that is $10 and available in a six pack. I dig it.

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

Had on draft at Lagunitas Taproom Chicago in a 16oz pint. This is a beast of a brew and although I would choose Brown Shugga over this Substitute this is still a massive brew. Extreme fruity tones throughout making it hard for me to even distinguish what is what. With lacing left for days, it tastes great and is almost just as fun to drink and put down constantly to see all the rings left on the glass. It's a bitter beer so you have to get used to that, but it's well done.

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Photo of nimrod979
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle into a pint glass. I was in a rush and didn't feel the need to find "proper" clean glass. Could have sworn I reviewed this one before but can't find it on my phone so here goes.

Appearance: Clear, bright, golden/copper color. One finger white head fades quickly to a thing ring and film on top of the beer. Spotty lacing here and there.

Aroma: Yee-haw, Excellent mix of pine resin and tropical fruit aromas. Mint and some caramel-y malt to sweeten things up. Smells like a real treat. Quick hint of booze.

Taste: First sip learns towards the piney hops, before the mango, grapefruit and pineapple citrusy hops take over. This one is still rather agreessive at 6 months. but with only 63.25 IBU's the bitterness is held in check due to some sugary caramelized malts that hold this beer up nicely.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and carbonation. Finishes up well with some more of that piney hoppiness. A lot of excellent flavors going on here. Although classified as a DIPA, I find it extremely drinkable and at only 7.85% ABV isn't too heavy either. It's right in the middle ground of pretty heavy IPA and a light DIPA. I like this so-called "middle-ground", great balance of flavors going on here.

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

I get quite tired of the bitter hop heavy parade of most IPA or DIPA... This is quite good, aromatic, citrus forward, and sublimely flavorful and refreshing.

I go to this and Hop Devil & Burton Baton when I want hops with quality

Edit 4/9/15 - IMHO, after recently sampling Pliny, the citrus hop profiles are decidedly similar. I'm currently in hop seeking mode, and think this beer is great

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

On tap @ Coles.

A - Light to medium orange with a small amount of white head that very quickly disappeared.

S - A huge grapefruit aroma dominates the nose. Some pine and a sweet malt backbone add some additional layers to the nose. The grapefruit is no fresh and juicy. Subperb.

T - Huge bitterness up front with grapefruit and pine. A decent sweet malt backbone provides some balance and a touch of caramel and bready notes. The grapefruit flavour is not as abundant as the nose indicated but is definitely present. About half way through the grapefruit flavour begins to fade and only the bitter remains from the hops, which is a little disappointing.

M - Medium body; moderate carbonation.

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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 mattsander
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Brilliant clarity goldenrod, bone white head that doesn't last, medium to syrupy.

S: Floral, apricot/stonefruit, piney, juicy, tons of hops. Smells awesome.

T: Awesome mix of resinous pine, sweet stonefruits - apricot, peach, oranges, tangerine. Big flavor, medium bitterness. Has an approachable character and a very pleasantly fruity aftertaste - maybe even some melon?

M: Medium to full bodied, sticky and syrupy. Full and creamy.

Awesome IPA from Lagunitas.

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

Poured clear deep amber. Fluffy head of uber dense bubbles. Clinging lace.

Smells ranging from pineapple, tropical fruits, apricot, to pine resin.

Juicy grapefruit flavors, followed by citrus rind, canned peaches, and pine. Good malt backbone to balance out the hops, slight alcohol presence. Flavors start strong but peter out a bit in the finish.

Crisp mouthfeel. OIly resins left on the tongue.

Overall a really good DIPA. I'd not turn this down, and I'm happy to pay for it again. But I think it's reputation precedes it a bit too much.

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Photo of Dms844
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful in the glass, golden amber color with a fluffy white head and tiny bubbles.
Smells of citrus, grapefruit and lemon, very inviting.
Tastes like it smells citrus fruit up front and leaves a mellow bitterness on the tounge. Has a sticky feel, it coates the mouth with great flavor that leaves you craving the next sip.
One of my favorite IPAs, complex flavors that stay with you long after you finish it and make you want to suck down another one.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a lightly hazy medium golden yellow in color with some orange and amber highlights as well as significant amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a three finger tall foamy head that slowly reduces to a finger tall dense foamy head covering the entire surface of the beer evenly. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Significant aromas of hops - tropical/pineapple, citrus/ruby red grapefruit, and floral/orange blossom. Very light amounts of caramel malts and some artificial sweetener sweetness.

T: Upfront there is a light amount of caramel malt sweetness but that is quickly overtaken by the flavors of the hops - first there are huge amounts of tropical/pineapple, followed by a slightly lesser amount of citrus/ruby red grapefruit, and just a touch of floral/orange blossom. Light to moderate amounts fo bitterness which fade away after a short amount of time.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly sticky with a light amount of dryness in the finish (which lingers on).

O: This beer is actually quite easy to drink as the mouthfeel is quite nice and the alcohol is well hidden - there are also beautiful aromas and taste of the hops. The hops are really highlighted with this brew and I'm very excited to finally have found it and gotten the chance to try it (I missed it last year because I was travelling).

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

Served from the cask at International Tap House in Soulard a hazy apricot color with one finger of thick white head and generous amounts of sticky lacing around the Lagunitas mason jar glassware.

Aroma was heavy with pineapple along with some grapefruit, grass and caramel malts.

The taste was pineapple and grass balanced by the caramel malts.

Medium bodied and resinous with a lighter carbonation from the cask.

This one was tasty with a capital T. One of my favorite DIPAs for sure.

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

pours the color of honey one finger head and a ring of light lace with each sip. smells strongly of fruit and alcohol. taste of peach mango and papaya, alcohol hits you right away then the bitter taste of the hops which are strong and ending with a lasting after taste. mouthfeel is light and slightly oily carbonation is tight and crisp. its very different from ipa,s that i have had and i am not a fan of them but i would buy this beer again for a change of the same old.

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

After an initial glance at the bottle, without really reading the actual text for content, I was going to steer clear of this one entirely as it was sub-labeled a "Brown Shugga substitute". I hate Brown Shugga and all of its sweet, sticky little pals. Thank goodness someone wised me up that this one is TOTALLY different!!

Large bubble size of carbonation and golden-yellow color nearly hint at a lager of some kind, or a pale. Most IPAs (the stronger American sort I favor) normally seem to run much more toward the coppery end of the spectrum, so I was surprised upon decanting. The smell is similar to the stand-by Lagunitas IPA, with a hint of something...different. One taste revels that difference in its full glory. While a very similar hop profile to Lagunitas IPA, this brew has a wonderful clear hoppiness and strong, lingering tones of tropical fruits, notably pineapple. More rich citrus flavor than the IPA as well. Vaguely tacky to the palate, yet still fairly drinkable, which is well-motivated by the delicious flavors. This could be my favorite offering yet from Lagunitas.

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

Both straight from the bottle and also out of a pint glass

A - the classic golden, honey type color. Quite a bit of white foam, leaves plenty of lacing

S - subtle orange peel, lemon juice, some pine, a little bit of the malt in the background

T - hop forward but not overly bitter. Actually really balanced and drinkable. Easy drinking citrus notes with some tropical flavors in there as well. Not as in your face as hop stoopid or something like that. Could easily session a few, but for the 8% ABV.

M - nice oily hop presentation, not overly dry or quick on the finish.

O - killer smooth IPA. My favorite lagunitas by far. It's not as good as the hype, but its definitely in the neighborhood.

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Photo of lic217
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look: Very clear, light orange, nice white head that lingers, lacing
Smell: Sweet malt and fruity a little on the tropical side, a touch of citrus and some pine
Taste: Malty and sweet at the start, ends with a nice balanced bitterness an a touch of alcohol heat. Taste is fruity and resin
Feel: Thick mouthfeel, great level of carbonation,
Overall: A nice beer, but not regular buy level. Although fair price at 15.99 a 12 pack.

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Photo of theruckus33
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Serving Type: Bottle

A: Beautiful head retention. Starts with a wonderful billowy white head with ample lacing throughout. Dark golden hue with good carbonation that creeps up to the top - wonderful.

S: Pine, Grapefruit, Clementines, Biscuit malt

T: Citrus, honey, ginger snap

M: Light but boy the head is super silky great mouth feel

Overall: Get it,

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Photo of grover37
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a sixer from D'Vines for $11. Poured into a becker.

Appearance (4): Pours a clear, light gold with a finger and a half of sparse white head. A coating of lacing all the way around the glass at the top, but none further down.

Aroma (5): Wow, this is where the beer shines. An extreme West Coast hop profile with loads and loads of what smells like Amarillo. Smells like sweet, resinous, pine with tangerine, grapefruit, and passionfruit. Maybe a touch of lemon grass and some light caramel round it out.

Taste (4): Hugely fruity up front with the citrus notes from the nose dominating: mango, passionfruit, and lemon. The bitterness doesn't show up until the finish along with an overwhelming sweetness. The same citrus notes stay through the middle but are then dominated by the sweetness and a lingering pine. Some mango shows up here too, but is not huge like the front end. This is just too sweet for me, especially when it warms up, but the hop flavors are second to none.

Mouthfeel (4): A touch slick but still smooth and a little creamy. Medium side of full bodied and medium-high carbonation which makes those hop flavors shine.

Overall (4.5): This would be a near perfect beer if not so damn sweet; a common complaint of mine with Lagunitas. The hop profile is phenomenal; it should probably be more balanced considering the residual sweetness, but the hops dominate any malt bill. Will be drinking this one all winter hopefully; lives up to the hype, particularly for those that don't mind the signature Lagunitas sweetness.

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Photo of hmf05
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a crystal clear yellow color with a two finger head that sticks around. Aroma is perfect. Very reminiscent of LSS. I get tons of mango and papaya on the nose with some citrus as well. The taste is very similar to the nose. Tropical fruits all the way. Slight bitterness. Nice dry finish. Overall, the aroma far and away makes this beer for me. It's tasty, but the smell outweighs the taste. I prefer LSS, but this is not far behind. Great brew.

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Photo of stephens101
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Vociferous piney hops fill the room and won't keep quiet. The sticky, off-white head is large and in charge. Color is reddish-orange with brassy hues.

Getting more aroma of orange candy, caramel and nutmeg after deeper inspection.

Piney, earthy, sugary and spicey to the tongue. Some notes of yeast are noticed later.

Fluid all the way with an unexpected creaminess. Alcohol is extant but doesn't burn. Has a rarely found, finely tuned balance for a DIPA.

Sucks is an amiable beer that knows when to raise its voice and when to quiet down.

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

Appearance - Straw golden-very light orange with a fluffy white head.

Smell - Grapefruit. Just a big ol' grapefruit, there's some other citrus and mango involved, but its pretty uncanny to me how much grapefruit hits you upfront. No resin or pine in the smell at all. That's a new one on me.

Taste - Whoa. Grapefruit, mango, bittersweet citrus. When cold, its hard to pick up any resin bitterness - it comes through as it warms but its never abrasive. Absolutely no alcohol presence. Sweetness from the malt is pretty much the best sidekick ever in this beer.

Mouthfeel - Light and creamy. Decent carbonation, making the head come across really fluffy. It really fits with the sweet grapefruit flavor. This beer is definitely worth pouring in a glass that has a turbulent shape for head retention.

Overall - Phenomenal. I pretty exclusively drink stuff on the malty side of the spectrum. I rarely like brews with pronounced hops, and definitely not IPAs/APAs/etc. but I'll be buying this as long as I can get it.

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

Poured this out of a 12oz. bottle into my Maudite snifter. Gave it a nice aggressive pour that produced a solid 1” thick head that lasted for a few minutes. The lacing the beer left behind was lovely, almost as if you could see every sip you took like the rings of a tree on the edge of the glass. The smell of the beer is pretty good with a nice dank resiny sent, I do have a slightly stuffy nose myself right now so my sense is a little off. The beer is truly a delight on the palate, with a wonderful sweetness reminiscent of a dank mango fruitiness that leaves a lasting impression on the tongue well after you’ve swallowed this treat of a beverage. Now I’m a huge fan of Lagunitas and this beer has that sweetness flavor to it that you’ll find in any hop forward offering from Lagunitas. So just another great beverage from a great a great brewery.

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Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4.31 out of 5 based on 10,206 ratings.
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