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

BA SCORE
96
world-class
10,237 Ratings
Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale)Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States
lagunitas.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
10,237
Reviews:
1,611
Avg:
4.31
pDev:
9.74%
 
 
Wants:
650
Gots:
2,673
For Trade:
32
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,237 |  Reviews: 1,611
Photo of thorkelson
4.31/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Wolverine48092
4.17/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Jacobus79
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of username
4.1/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 071 5. Which was realized well after-the-fact. Very sad because I don't feel the age on my batch does it true justice.

126 characters

Photo of katybee
3.9/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had this on tap at the recommendation of the small bar (Lair Hill Pub here in Portland)...I requested something like a doppelbock...this fit the bill.

Pours dark cola brown with barely any translucence, and a thick creamy brownish tan head spilling over the top...I wouldn't call it thick or creamy to the palate, but definitely hearty, chewy, and medium-bodied. Full flavored... with both citrus hopping and carmel maltiness, slight overtones towards molasses but not overly sweet... Quite a tasty to sip all night

 516 characters

Photo of BBQWhisperer
4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of chewpendous
4.12/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Steelocation
4.41/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought a 32oz bottle (1 quart) and poured it into a pint shaped 12oz glass (obviously, extra in bottle). Didn't see an expiration date but the bottle number is (printed this way):

191 5 2
0580 1508

Appearance: golden with a hazy color to it. It was lively and very carbonated. As I was finishing the beer from the glass, the foam (head) was easily seen and can be used as markers on how much I drank. It clings to the side of the glass

Smell: toasty, herbal, and citrusy. The odder was strong as when I opened the bottle, you can smell it right away

Taste: very hoppy and furmenty with an after taste. It was not dry so you can still taste the beer in your throat. It's sweet and fruity which causes an after taste

Mouth feel: crisp, carbonated, and heavy. You can taste what you smell and it lingers in your mouth

Overall: a great beer that has real flavor. The high alcohol content can be felt in how heavy the beer taste. There is a lot of foam present on the side of the glass so the beer kept its balance. Could only drink 2-3 at most because it is both heavy with ABV and taste. Went to the brewery site and it's "not" a seasonal beer but is brewed when available. Well worth trying and having around to share.

 1,235 characters

Photo of Golden303
3.91/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of oskinker
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of detroitpat
3.94/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Ancalagon
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of biegaman
4.13/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Lagunitas Sucks apparently doesn't share the same self-esteem issues that its brewers do; it has a confident, resplendently golden hue with far-reaching beams, considerable clarity and a head so bulky it appears to be flexing. It's a good-looking ale with nothing at all to indicate it's remotely inferior...

And the aroma suggests it's actually superior, as this brewery's recipes tend to be. Every bit as generously hopped as you might expect, this smells overwhelmingly of chive blossoms, combining herbal, grassy, and floral components making it at once crudely earthy and pleasantly perfumy.

My best efforts to replicate this at home (not using a brew-kit) would be to hollow out some pineapples, grapefruits and lychees and bake those skins with a dash of pantry spice and then drizzle with melted wildflower honey. I'd also add some green tea to replicate the dry, lightly astringent finish.

Hungover I believe, but what I don't buy is that the folks at Lagunitas were "broke... and ready to take a job at Arby's" when they came up with this recipe. After all, by their own admission, this was only created out of necessity because their year-round offerings were in such high demand. Boo hoo.

That self-loathing is branding, plain and simple. The name "Sucks" is nothing more than salesmanship - and salesmanship is what fetched such a pretty penny from Heineken. To their credit, however, the liquid in the glass is ultimately why Lagunitas has very rightfully enjoyed the success they have...

But make no mistake: they're now a money-making branding machine that can no longer work off of the virtue of being subversive or counter-cultural. Let's be clear: they are now the culture. Given the quality and character of offerings like 'Sucks' that's a very good thing in my books.

 1,798 characters

Photo of Bradley13
4.06/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Tmappin
4.16/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of njcraftguy
4.02/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Tried on a recommend and was glad I did. Sweet and creamy just as I expected. Not the best looking brew but a very nice aroma. Tasty but a little too sweet for me. Would I drink it again - sure - would I seek it out - probably not.

 234 characters

Photo of 13tido
4.29/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of MattIPA
3.68/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of kelvarnsen
3.91/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of foundersfan1
4.65/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of pinyin
3.02/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served 39F into a 16 ounce goblet from the bottle.

Fairly bland. Well balanced between the hop, malts and carb sucrose, but for the most part no flavor and forgetable.

This 16 ounce bottle tastes much different than the 32 ounce quart that I drank 8 months ago.

I'm guessing that the recipe changed.

Sucks used to have this sugary, hoppy bite to it. The present version has none of that.

While It is well balanced and drinkable, it's just not the same Sucks as we are used to. Weather or not this has to do with the hops receding in the sunlight due to distributor negligence and old age I will never know, because I did not see and bottle dating on the packaging, and as such Lagunitas takes the hit on this particular review.

BTW, this six pack was purchased in PA on 9-18-2015 at a Weis Supermarket. The distributor is Erie, and apparently they are a bunch of slouches who do not care about the products they sell. I have seen Erie Distribution ship Stone Ruination 1.0 from 9-2014 to store locations as late as 6-2015. This is why bottle dating (not drink by dating) is crucial in the present market landscape. Distributors are going to destroy smaller craft brewers reputations with customers because they don't have the marketing resources to properly manage ale shelf life logistics.

This sixer of Sucks was very forgettable and Lagunitas seems to have changed to recipe to compete with Stone Ruination 2.0, but it doesn't quite measure up. Or perhaps I just got an old batch from this backwoods distributor. But again, I have no way of knowing this because I did not see any bottle dating on the packing or bottles.

I got no fruity hopiness on the palette whatsoever, and this isnt a case of lulupin because I drank this side by side with one of my dry hopped extract sculpin clone homebrews, and i got tons of fruity and resinous hop tastes and scents from that, but nothing from Sucks.

Pass.

 1,915 characters

Photo of Tgunz247
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Foyle
4.06/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: pours a 2" sudsy white head that drops slowly with plenty of lacing. Color is golden-yellow with plenty of sediment in suspension and tons of carbonation.

Aroma: citrus, grapefruit and some extra citrus just for good measure.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied and oily with a mostly dry finish.

Flavor: citrus and pine with malt sweetness and white bread dough.

Overall: a nice sipper, appropriate to the style.

 461 characters

Photo of Dudon
4.09/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of shauun176
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4.31 out of 5 based on 10,237 ratings.
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