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

1,598 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: 1,598 | Ratings: 10,188
Photo of aubuc1
4.79/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle with no date.

Pours very clear yellow with a big foamy white head.

Huge citrus smell is spilling out. Smell's kind of like hopslam.

Very different taste. It is like pure citrus hops without the bitterness. Unlike anything I have had.

Mouthfeel is very thin, but in a good way.

Overall this is a great beer. Trully a unique beer (to me).

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Photo of CraftEyeDoc
4.31/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Nice clear copper with 1 finger head poured into a pint glass.

S: Great aroma. Lots of super amount of pine and citrus. This is the best part of the beer.

T: Not as bitter as I would like for IIPA. But def very smooth. I wish this had as much taste as it does smell. More of an tangerine/melon/lime with a little bit of resinous taste on the backend.

M: Nice feel on the tongue with a good amount of body. Well carbonated.

O: This seems more like an IPA to me than a double. Could have used more hop bitterness up front. I do like the backend a lot. Still a very solid beer. I see how lots of people could enjoy this beer because its mod bitterness and smooth easily drinkability.

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Photo of horshack7
4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Into a Tulip is a lightly hazy but it still has decent clarity. As for the color it's copperish with brassy hues.

Aroma: Lots'of grapefruit with sugar sprinkled on top. Bits of sweet tropical fruit, peach notes. Hops are very much citrusy and the malts give off a caramelized sugar aroma.

Taste: Quite the crisp mouthfeel. Grapefruit notes are in the front. Minor simple syrup in the middle with a touch of peach at the end. Sweet tropical fruit is mixed in as well.

Notes: A solid beer all the way around and rather drinkable. Cheers.

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Photo of GregSVT
4.15/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a tulip

A: Pours a clear golden yellow with a nice white head that fades to a ring and leaves some lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is intoxicating. Huge aromas of tropical fruits...mostly mango, piney hops, sweet malt, and touch of carmelized onions in the background.

T: The taste is pretty good as well. There are awesome flavors of mango, pineapple, pine, and a honey sweetness on the finish. The mango is there the whole time though and really sets this apart from others in the style.

M: The feel is crisp yet medium bodied. Maybe a touch too many bubbles but that is a tiny complaint.

O: This is close to Lil Sumpin Sumpin but with a bit more of a hop kick. I'm not sure I'd call it a DIPA but it's one tasty beer. I will definitely be back for more.

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Photo of SteveB24
4.29/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

appearance; light amber, lots of carbonation, two fingers of off white, sticky head that retains well.

smell; tons of mango, with additional pineapple, grapefruit, and a hint of pine-like grassiness.

tatse; like the smell, but with heavier emphasis on the hop flavors of citrus and pine, the mango is there along with hints of pineapple, followed by strong notes of citirus and piney bitterness.

mouthfeel; light body, slightly crisp, carbonation is strong but not overpoweringly so.

overall; my scoring says it all, to me this is an IPA, so i don't really get how its connected to brown shugga, but with the strong fruit which is so beautifully balanced by hops, this beer is very drinkable, satisfying but not strong, and an overall wonderful experience without making you feel weighed down.

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Photo of PatrickCT
4.14/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Quart bottle into a tulip glass.

a: A wonderful orange-ish amber. One and a half finger of sticky, soapy head.

s: Pine, stone fruit, doughy bread, citrus.

t: Smooth but with some hoppy bitterness. Doughy bread, citrus, pine and a hoppy finish.

mf: Medium plus almost pine sap stickiness to it which I liked. Medium dry finish.

o: Another hoppy beer that I have found to be very balanced. I don't always enjoy super hoppy beers but I will by this again. Especially for $7.

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

Pours clear amber with a one finger high, white head.
Lacing stays on the glass.

Nose: Orange, vanilla, sweet malt, pine, pineapple, apple, tropical fruit, resin and a litte bit of grass.
Taste: Citrus, melon, orange, pineapple, a LOT of hops! Butter, herbs, marmelade and caramel malt.
Body: Medium body and carbonation. Full taste with a great, baöanced bitternes.

This is true love!

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Photo of captaincoffee
4.44/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm trying not to over-rate this beer since I recognize this is my favorite style and this beer is done exactly the way I like them. When it comes to a WC IPA, the hops on the nose is key...and this one is absolutely beautiful (I wish I knew the hops combination for homebrew purposes). Overall, an excellent WC IPA with medium white head and tons of tropical-piney hops on the nose. Solid bittering, but not overboard, which remains in balance with the malt (at least as far as the style goes). Definately a beer I will go back to many more times, and already have, in fact.
Kicking myself for missing this place on my last NoCal microbrewery tour. Now if I could just find the Brown Sugga' itself...

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Photo of timtim
4.12/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

fairly clear, light amber with a white head that leaves some lace. nose is (kind of standard, but never gets old) grapefruit, orange and lemon rind with a piney character balancing them out, on top of sweet and pale malty notes that also are a hint spicy. taste follows suit. lots of hoppy character to it. drinks a tad hot, but a nice, warming, pleasant kind of hot it is. medium-full body. pleasant, prickly bitterness. apparently lagunitas doesn't suck. mostly everyone so far (including me) likes this one. a lot of reviews in a very short time, and i know it isn't even released in some markets yet. i can sum this one up by stating that it is remarkable how much it reminded me of Sierra Nevada's celebration ale... but on steroids. kind of like an imperial celebration. very good. hoppy holidaze.

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Photo of nicholas2121
4.65/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) brew by Lagunitas Brewing Company, with an ABV of 7.85% This brew pours out a golden amber color with a nice white head. I like the color of this brew, it is a filtered brew, you can see though it. The smell of Lagunitas Sucks is rich with hops , grain and malts. You also pick up on a some citrus in the smell of this brew. Now for the taste, it is bitter, but smooth. You pick up on hops at first , but then it is smooth with grains. There is a nice sweetness of citrus at the end of this brew. Lagunitas Brewing Company , did a nice job with one, this brew has a nice balance to it. There is nothing overpowering about this IPA. The mouthfeel is full bodied with hops, grains, but a nice smooth aftertaste. You really can't pick up the 7.85% ABV in the brew. Overall I'm giving Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) a 4.75 out 5. I would buy this brew again. Thank You Lagunitas Brewing Company

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Photo of mnj21655
3.57/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, vibrant light copper in color with abut under a finger of white head, average retention. Aroma is very subdued and lacks the hop presence if expect from a DIPA. It's skewer towards caramelly malt with a touch of citrus. Taste is an improvement with spiny more citrus and some pine but a substantial malty-ish presence. There is a touch of caramel and a light sweetness that segues to a decent bitterness that balances the beer and lingers a bit in the finish. Decent mouthfeel, medium body and medium-low carbonation. Overall a good beer but not one that I expect to seek out again. I'll give this another shot if I find it again given my affinity for Lagunitas, I'm a big fan of pretty much every other beer I've had from them but I'm disappointed.

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Photo of jayhawk73
4.7/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden yellow color w/ a nice one finger white head. Massive sheets of lacing left on my snifter glass. The beer is very clear, w/ good carbonation. Smell is really nice- hops, wood, floral notes, maybe some pepper. Really hoppy, well balanced, really nice nose. Not overbearing at all. Taste is good as well- hops in abundance, w/ some malt in the background. Some floral, pepper, and spice in there as well. But let's not kid ourselves... the hops are in charge here. After half a bottle, they've had their way with me.... in a good way. None of the 7.85% alcohol is evident at all- very well hidden. Feel is medium, with nice carbonation. Killer hops bite on the aftertaste. The hops coat your throat like a throat lozenge. Overall, this beer really surprised me. I really enjoyed it. Cheers!

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Photo of THSdrummer
4.59/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This pours an opaque, golden orange with a delightful white and foamy head which leaved behind a good amount of lace. The smell is a healthy blend of brown sugar and hops. Upon taking a drink, sweet, brown sugar notes open up, before giving way to a subtle hoppy finish. Nothing too drastic on either end. It plays quite nice between the subtle sweetness and bitterness. It feels great as well. The beer doesn't feel too harsh on the carbonation side. It's nice and smooth. Very easy to drink. Overall, this is a good beer. Glad I finally found it on the shelf and gave it a try.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

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Photo of diablo14
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%

Perfect balance of malt, hops and sweetness. Has real complexity, is full bodied yet very easy to drink. Probably my favorite offering from this brewery.

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Photo of puck1225
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Deep clear yellow with a nice head and beautiful lacing. It is pleasantly fragrant, citrusy and floral. The taste is great! Very citrusy,smooth, slightly sweet. No overwhelming bitterness. One of the most pleasant IPAs I have had!

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Photo of Hopswagger
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

P: Orange copper body with a bubbly thin top of off white clouds.

S: Super fruity and sweet. Grapefruit, blood orange, apricots, pomegranate, mango, honey dew and pineapple. Sweet candy malt and very subtle flower aroma.

T/M: Clementine oranges, ruby red grapefruit with sugar sprinkled on top, apricots, and melon. Crystallized sugar accompanied by bitter lemon/line peel and timid spices. Overall palate is big time fruity and sweet, opposed to a harsh bitterness. Sticky medium body with gentle carbonation and a smooth but dry finish.

O: All I can say is "I love this beer!" Hands down one of the best I gave had. Super excited to try the rest of the Lagunitas line up. Cheers!

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Photo of Libeertarian
3.84/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Clear, lucid orange with fine and sparse flecks. Off-white, fluffy, foamy head of medium retention in 20 oz snifter. Pine, resin, caramel, raisin, perfume, faint citrus, dankness, sweat, with alcoholic burn on the nose. Strong resinous and perfumey flavor, touch of mango throughout, a little vegetal and dank, with many of the same characteristics found in the smell. Minute black pepper and other spices in the finish. As much from alcohol and hops as the adjuncts and yeast. All evens out to citrus rind in the aftertaste. There's more going on here than I prefer, reminds me too much of a fragrant soap. Fairly light body for the style with plenty of fine, gently prickling suds, a crisp, not overly dry finish, and warmth to the front and bottom of mouth. Take breathing/eating/water breaks between gulps, or sip it slowly. Palate easily overwhelmed. I was tempted to rate the taste lower. But it doesn't deserve such treatment as long as its enjoyment can be properly paced. Honestly, though, it will be hard for me to slog through two of these (32 ounces each).

EDIT 08/10: Having my second of two glasses from the one 32 ouncer. Still carbonated. Similar taste, but more fruit-forward than before. Also, enjoying with some cheddar. All in all, better experience and more drinkable than the first go around.

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Photo of RaulMondesi
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bro's, come on! This is only an '88,' but Hercules is a '100?' Raul shakes his head...

Still cruzin SD and Raul just picked up a sixer of this at Crisp. Beautiful BEST Coast IPA with glorious notes of juice and tropical rain forest.

Raul straight doez this!

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

I've been enjoying this beauty almost all of the crappy dark winter now and with what seemed to be and endless supply in my area now drying up I decided it's time time stock up and review. Poured from a bottle into a Lagunitas widemouth jar mug. Beautiful honey golden color with about a half finger head. The aromas will about knock you out, very floral with pine and plenty of hops as well as some honey. Taste is amazing nice sweet honey upfront followed but a bit of pine with hops galore. Great bitterness that is not overpower but lingers nicely. Good body without feeling filling or heavy. This is really a nice beer that won't let you down.

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Photo of Chickenhawk9932
4.26/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours bright clear golden color with amber highlights. Thick white head hangs around and leaves trails of lace down the glass.

Big grapefruit smell dominates the nose, backed by orange and tangerine. There is some rye notes in the background and a faint bubble gum/floral aroma.

Intense bittersweet grapefruit upfront followed by sweet orange with some faint bitter floral notes in the background. There is a slight chewy malt sweetness in the middle (caramel).

An excellent beer with intense, complex flavor.

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Photo of Mark
4.77/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow! is the first thing that comes to mind. My buddy Ed told me how good this beer was. I didn't consider trying it because the label says Brown Shugga subsitute, understandablyI ssumed it was a similar type beer. No way, this double IPA is awespme. The ultra piney aroma hit me in the face as I opened the bottle. The beer is a deep gold and the thin white head laced in thick ring like patterns. The taste buds are assaulted by ultra fresh piney hops that still go down smooth. The beer is just a great experience. I loved it, Ed loves it, my girlfriend loves it. Get it.

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Photo of fscottkey
3.74/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: [3.50] Pours a apricot color. There is a minimal 1/4 finger head. I am surprised by the amount of carbonation on the side of the tulip glass. It settled but initially the entire glass was coated. The beer lists the IBU (63.21) the ABV (8.0%) and there is a Julian date that works out to (4/22/15).

S: [3.25] I get wet pinapple, there is pine. I get some onion scent. The nose isn't super assertive out of the fridge.

T: [4.00] The taste wraps the tongue. There is a tropical fruit blend on the front. The entire sip sports some medium bitter elements. There is a slight onion flavor in the midpalate. There is an overall sweetness that is much higher than typical IPAs. The sweetness is the distict characteristic.

M: [4.00] The carbonation level is normal. The body has some heft to it. The finish is carried by the sweetness not by the bitterness. This is a really nice feature of this IPA.

O: [3.75] This is a really nice departure from the bitterblast IPAs that I have been having. It has the nice bitter in the front but there is a bunch of malt sweetness on the finish to blanace the beer. My biggest complaint is the weak nose - it is not coming through for me. The taste and mouthfeel are both superb. I am very happy to get this in a 12 oz offering

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Photo of StoutItOutLoud
4.48/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12-oz bottle to tulip. Unsure of the exact bottling date, but it is pretty fresh.

light golden body, crystal clear, yielding a large, frothy, effervescent, 2.5-finger off white head. very inviting

orange pith more than grapefruit. grassy floral notes, pineapple and pine, mild oniony quality

solid mix of malt sweetness, grapefruit and pine. dry, low carbonation

Owing to the lower alcohol content, this is far less of an undertaking than OTWOA. It is closer in alcohol content to Hop Stoopid. Comparing those two, this is similar in appearance, but the aroma and taste are more powerful. That's a good thing. Yet the "drinkability" on this is through the roof. One of the few beers I'd drink more than one of in a night.

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Photo of HopBomb515
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - Beautiful deep clear orange and amber color. Thick white head settles quick and chunky lacing on the drink down.

S - Amazing bright citrus smell. Orange and grapefruit, little sweet. I could sniff this all day.

T - Sweet up front then big bright citrus notes hop resin and pine notes round out a slightly bitter and dry finish.

M - medium body with nice carbonation. Dry finish and a clean refreshing feeling on the palate.

O - You know I didn't want to believe this beers hype. To my surprise it surpasses my expectations. This is one of the best beers I've ever had and I might prefer it to Heady, yes I said it. Big citrus notes, surprising balance and an unbelievable level of drink ability. I bought a 6 pack and I'm going out tomorrow for another.

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Photo of alex_hart
4.16/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Burnt Orange with a 1/4 finger white head that lingers for a majority of the brew. Some heavy carbonation and decent lacing.

Smell: This very well may be the best IPA/DIPA I have ever smelt before. It reminded me a lot of the whole-cone hop aroma I got from SNs Hoptimum, but with some added citrus (lemon, orange peal). It had the perfect balance between a light and full aroma that literally made me walk around looking for my girlfriend so she could smell it too.

Taste: The citrus is definitely still there, and the hops are present as well, but the alcohol seems to come forward a bit and bitterness really hits home at the front of the taste. I let it warm to the recommended temp to see if the flavor profile would change much, but it didn't seem to effect it much. Still pretty delicious though.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with good carbonation. Might even be able to describe it is a bit fluffy with the thin layer of foam being very well pronounced upon ever sip.

Overall: Once again, this is the best smelling IPA/DIPA I have ever had the opportunity to smell, and it tasted great, but it just did not quite live up to the smell. Still a high quality brew from a great brewery.

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Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4.31 out of 5 based on 10,188 ratings.
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