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

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1,583 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: 1,583 | Ratings: 10,140
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 DCBeer.com 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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Photo of mothman
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This has to be one of the best DIPA for the price.

Half finger of off white head. Color is s a clear golden orange.

Taste profile is of big juicy hops. Grapefruit and citrus fruits mixed with some pineapple. Dank hops. A mix of floral and pine. Some bready malts to balance things out.

Mouthfeel is bitter, but not too bitter. Not very sticky which is nice.

Overall, this beer is rock solid. I normally don't like Lagunitas, but this beer will be in my fridge every winter.

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

Poured Lagunitas Sucks into my favorite Founders snifter to enjoy for the first time this year (I did have it on tap last night, but this is my first bottle of the year).

It actually does look like someone urinated in my glass, someone so dehydrated they are on the verge of death. It's that pale orange, yellow color with tons of white bubbles and foam. It's very clear and bubbly from the carbonation. Only some lacing, think my glass has lost its ability to hold lacing.

Smells of intense passion fruit -- it's sweet, with orange, mango, pineapple, pine/floral hops. It also has a nice malty backbone in there as well.

Taste is more of the same, very good. It's also a bit resinous, too, which I like.

Feel is very nice, indeed. Smooth, balanced, and super fresh. Drinkability is high. Repeat, drinkability is high.

Overall, very good beer, maybe my favorite Lagunitas offering. Hopefully it becomes year-round eventually. Cheers.

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

A: Strangely resembles a bud. Yellowy in color, with a bright white head. Lots of bubbles.

S: Lots and lots of hops. Faint brown sugar. Burnt sugar. Lemony and grapfruit rind. Sugary grapfruit. Holiday Ale???

T: Hoppy. Sugary. Graham cracker. Grapefruit rind. Not bittery hardly at all, except at thevery very end. Burnt grain.

M: Very balanced. This is actually pretty thin, but it feels so right!!

O: This is NOT a seasnal Xmas brew, for the record. But man is it good!

Thanks Preismj for the extra!

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Photo of PGD120
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

poured from 32oz bottle into snifter

appearance: medium amber color, translucent, 2 finger white fluffy head
smell: grapfruit, orange, lemon, some pine, some peach ad apricot, little bit of alcohol
taste: lots of citrus, more sweet citrus but still nicely bitter. slight malty backbone with some pine late
feel: some lingering carbonation
overall: great ipa, but wish they wouldnt have gone to the 2 pint format bottles

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Type: Draft
Glass: Mason jar
From: Ciro’s Pizza in Pacific Beach (San Diego, Calif.), on Jan. 4, 2013
Price: $6.50
Misc.: As part of Lagunitas Tap Takeover Night at Ciro’s Pizza on Jan. 4, 2012; Got to keep the Lagunitas mason jar

Poured a golden orange color with one finger of white head when I got it. Good circular lacing on the sides all the way down. Average-to-above average retention on the top.

Holy bitter hops on the nose! Got healthy doses of pine, citrus (grapefruit, lemon) and floral hops. Also some resin. Very flavorful, definitely the best part of the beer.

Tasted bitter grapefruit hops right from the beginning, but not too lingering. Sweet floral taste as well. Also orange pulp. Reminded me a lot of the Daytime IPA.

Light body. Oily texture. Average carbonation. Bitter finish.

I really, really liked this beer. Nice and smooth and would love to have it again. Well done Lagunitas.

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

Poured from bottle

A - mostly clear, golden color. Nice thick, white head of foam. Moderate amount of lacing as the head dissipates

S - massive aromas of pine and tropical fruit. Sweet and bitter. Strong bottom notes of hops

T - aggressive front taste of bitter hops, followed by a smooth citrus and pine hop flavor mingling with sweet malt. Surprisingly cleaner and crisp finish with only mild bitter aftertaste of hop oil

M - slightly less carbonated than your average IPA. Medium bodies. Nice finish with mild lingering hop oil coating the tongue

O - a nice IPA, especially considering how widely it's distro is. Enjoyable as either a session beer or something to linger over

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Photo of NWer
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Lucille pint glass. A very nice substitute. Good hop forward Winter Warmer as opposed to so many brews that get too carried away with spices and other stuff.
Nice flowery balance. For Lagunitas, this is a very balanced beer.
Well done for a substitute.

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Photo of AdamF625
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lagunitas Sucks! 12oz poured into snifter

A- Clear and golden ale. Thin white head.

S- Faint aroma of floral hops.

M- Thin to medium body. Plenty of carbonation appropriate for the style.

T- Floral hops in the front slowly rolling into a fine malty balance. The alcohol reminds you it's there but by no means overwhelming.

O- A very good DIPA. Nice balance of hops and malt but is lacking aroma.

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Photo of ocelot2500
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden orange color with a tight white head that leaves chunks of lacing.

Smells of bright citrus and pine hops.

Tastes of the bright hops on top of a nice malt backbone. Hops lead off with notes of grapefruit, pine, and a bit of pineapple. Malts add in some sugary sweetness with sine white bread notes as well. Seems to lean a bit towards sweet, but that is not a complaint as it blends quite well with the fruit notes from the hops.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with a lush amount of carbonation.

Overall, I find this to be a very good IPA and would easily take this over the normal Lagunitas IPA, which itself is quite good.

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Photo of infinitebruner
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

June 18, 2015

12 oz bottle, tulip glass

A – Medium amber with some definite golden hues. Very clear. Slightly off-white foam with some larger bubbles, mostly low retention but a small amount of suds sticks around for a while.

S – Grapefruit and citrus, lemon-lime with a squeeze of orange. Some light, spicy papaya notes. Malt is subdued, bready-crackery.

T – Very strong orange/tangerine, with moderate lemon-lime. Low, low grapefruit and tropical fruit, just giving it a bit of a spicy bite. Malt is bready, slightly graham cracker sweet. Bitterness is very high, but so are the hops/malt, so very well balanced.

M – Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation, slightly sudsy. Sweet and juicy up front then a dry, bitter finish.

O – Man, I love this IPA. The right blend of sweet and bitter, with tons of hop aroma and flavor. Bold without obliterating the senses.

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Photo of mechamifune
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer has been getting a lot of love so I guess I will contribute to it.

Pours a clean looking gold/orange color with a slight white head. Strong lacing and carbonation evident in the glass.

Smell is hops upfront with lots of strong citrus flavors. Not anything I would call complex, but for the american IPA style, its very pleasant and not much else I would ask for.

Taste is in line with smell.... lots of hops and citrus flavors upfront. A slight sweet undercurrent is there but not that strong. Ends without any kind of stringent bitterness but rather with a little bit of an orange juice flavor.

Mouthfeel is smooth and crisp. Not particularly resinous at all.

Overall this is a great IPA and, I think, obviously superior to the other ipa's that lagunitas brews despite being at about the same price point. I like brown shugga (and, for that matter, all of the relatively similar "strong ales" that lagunitas puts out) but I hope they find a way to make this beer a mainstay so that I can add it to my IPA roation with Hop Notch and 2hearted.

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Photo of tipfortap
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

5 words to describe it: Grapefruit, Brulee, Tropical, Pine, Hops

Paired it with: Teriyaki Tofu with Broccoli

Should have paired it with: It was DELICIOUS with teriyaki sauce; would also be great with barbeque (I’d suggest pulled pork), or one of those ridiculous burgers with like foie gras and blue cheese, because the hops and the booze cut fat well, but the sweetness would compliment those rich flavors.

Drink it if you like: Any of Lagunitas’ other IPA/DIPAs (Maximus or even their standard IPA), American Pale Ale, or even if you love Tripels and you’re looking for a change of pace

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Photo of WunderLlama
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bomber poured into an antique German Pilsner glass

Golden orange, clear, stream of carbonation, dense white cap quickly subsides with good lacings

Aroma of citrus and pine

Bitterness on the middle of the tongue and sides of the mouth. Bit of spice. But of citrus.

It has bitterness but is very smooth. Almost creamy. A lingering bitterness in taste but isn't sharp.

Very good, interesting beer. I like it.

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Photo of Hophazzard
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

An interesting beer. It tastes really good but the body is a little light in my opinion. Looks great in the sunlight. Would be a outstanding beer on a warm summer day.

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Photo of untitledeuphoria
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 8.4.14: Unknown. Drank 12.7.14. Poured from a 32oz bottle to a red wine glass.

A: Golden honey, bright yet hazy, one finger of striking, sticky off white head. Fades to a high collar and a few bubbly islands set adrift.

S: Dank pine, juicy hop oil, marmalade, flowery, tropical with notes of passion fruit, grapefruit, and strong citrus zest.

T: Herbal, strong bitter orange peel, luscious passion fruit, pineapple, and dank pine.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation. Sprightly, bright, lingers long after taste. Chewy, with minimal alcohol burn.

O: Tropical fruit bomb with incredible, room filling aromatics. So glad this now comes year round in sixers.

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Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4.31 out of 5 based on 10,140 ratings.
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