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 TVolt1
4.12/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Great orangish color to it. Small amount of white head. Great look to the beer that gets me excited to drink it.

S: Good fruit hop smell mixed with a hint of carmely sugar.

T: Inital taste of orange and hops followed by a sweeter taste of caramel malts.

M: lighter mouthfeel with a moderate amount of carbonation.

O: Overall, this is a good beer. Interesting that it was a mistake they made it. I find it to be a good beer and think they should make it every Holiday season. , I'd buy it again!

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Photo of davey101
4.32/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Holiday leftovers ale. Bottled on 12/30/2011. Poured into a pint glass.

A - Lighter than most DIPA's. Burnt orange body that looks like apple juice. One finger off-white head that sticks around. Nice lacing on the side of the glass.

S - Reminds me of nugget nectar. Loads of peaches, mango, and grapefruit. Strong on the tropical fruit with a hint of pine and grass towards the end. No malts present.

T - Similar to the nose. Super strong tropical notes that finish slightly earthy and piney. Just a hint of biscuity malts. Long lasting bitter finish. Medium mouth feel, really slick with a nice level of carbonation.

O - I had the original batch back when it came out and thought it was liking drinking orange juice. Maybe its the month that allowed it to smooth out a bit, but this is a damn good DIPA. Really hope Lagunitas brings this back somehow.

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Photo of distvan
4.92/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Nice copper color with good amount of white bubbly head that sticks around.

S: orange, pineapple, honey citrus smell with subtle scents of hops in the background.

T: tastes sweet and not overly bitter. Very smooth and drinksable

M: Medium bodied tith good level of carbonation.

O: One of the most enjoyable iipa I've ever had. It's dangerously drinkable

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of VaTechHopHead
4.32/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very clear and a golden orange color. Pretty good head that lasts and deposits nice lacing

Reeks of fresh pine hops and slightly citric aroma. Very fresh, very aromatic and ultra pungent. Haven't smelled many beers like it

Tastes very fresh with flavors of line trees, tropical fruit and light sap. Complex hop profile but simple enough to pick out individual flavors

Medium body with above average carbonation, finishes dry and bitter on the palate. Easy to drink and fun to taste the other hop flavors present

A fantastic IPA that makes me almost not miss brown shugga...almost

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

Can anything good come from California? Apparently so. The Lagunitas Sucks Holiday Ale is a delightful winter warmer. Nice head, lacing and color (amber with tiny tiny bubbles, Good natual carboation always imbues tiny bubbles versus the big obnoxious bubbles). The smell is tempting like dessert after a good steak. the taste is sweet, like bananas and horehound candy...not sickeningly sweet...just alluringly so. Hop-sense is balanced. The mouthfeel is complete and satisfying, like french kissing for the first time. Overall...a VERY satisfying ale. WAY better than I expected. Don't get your nose up in the air though...the Northwest micros still rule.

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Photo of TechTriumph
4.32/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes on 12/17/11:
Bottled: 10/31/11; Poured in a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

A - One inch of barely off-white fluffy and creamy head; Clear, dark straw colored brew with a slight orange hue; Pretty good lacing left behind

S - Awesome sweet, tropical fruits here with notes of pineapple, apricot, mango, and kiwi; Just a bit of floral and herbal hops as well; No signs of any malts here

T - Quick and sharp carbonation and bitterness comes in the beginning that gives way to sweet, tropical fruit flavors, much like the nose - pineapple, mango, lemon, passionfruit, and a bit of floral, peppery, and herbal hops; The tropical fruit flavor lasts from beginning to finish

M - Moderate carbonation; Light to medium bodied; Fairly dry and crisp finish

O - I'm very glad I had the chance to get a 6-pack of this popular beer. It had a great tropical hop profile, was nice and smooth, and was super drinkable. Because it's pretty light for a DIPA, I had no problem having a few in succession. I think I'm in the majority opinion in that Lagunitas should really think about bringing this beer back for next year.

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Photo of csrbv
4.48/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Karmeliet tulip glass.

The color is a clear straw yellow with orange hints and a fluffy white head about two fingers thick. The aroma can best be described as a mix of tropical fruit, pineapple, papaya, peach, and citrus with hints of pine. The aroma was complex, but could have been more defined. The taste consisted of pine, citrus, and peach. The hops provide a complex flavor profile. The carbonation is at about a medium level with a dry lingering finish. Very good beer! This is the first beer I have tried from Lagunitas--very impressed!

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Photo of Dools9
4.6/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is from the second batch leftovers. Bottle coded 3642, or 12/30/11. Poured into a pint glass...

A: Light, clear golden amber color, finger of white head that retains very nicely. Good lacing. Crystal clear appearence, looks inviting.

S: Loads and loads of sweet tropical fruits. Pineapple, mangos, and some light piney, herbal/dank notes mixed in. Reminds me of an adult fruit juice, it just smells so good.

T: Bitter tropical fruits in the form of sweet mangos, apricots, pineapples and a slight peachy flavor, there is some backround grassy/dankness. Very well balanced with a light sweetness from the malts. A 'lil bit of warmth from the alcohol but hardly noticeable. Definitely not overly bitter though, more so tropical hop flavor, without the scorching bitterness,

M: Light to medium bodied, medium carbonated. Very smooth, slick and a bit oily, coats the mouth. Goes down very easily and its dangerously drinkable for nearly 8%.

O: A lot of flavor going on here with this beer. So drinkable for nearly 8%. Hope they bring this back next year or even make it a year round offering.

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Photo of plaid75
4.39/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a hazy medium copper hue. With a half finger foamy white head. There was little retention and lacing.

The smell featured balmy hop resins resembling pine and apricot.

The taste consisted of tropical fruit, resinous pine and a moderate sweet malt

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller side of the style.

Overall a very nice hop driven bomb that was surprisingly in balance.

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

Poured into a 10 oz. snifter at 8th Street Grille in Holland.

A: light amber copper that has a beautiful and slight orange tint to it. Bartender poured it to the brim, letting the head run off, but with a swirl later on, and the initial pour, I'd say it's a light and very temporary head with little retention. Tiny bubbles like you often see in hop-heavy stuff.

S: Intense citrus and flowers. Daisies. Exciting!

T&M: First I've had in awhile that I'd dub a true hop-trip, one that develops and rolls out slow enough with such pleasing and colorful flavors that it's downright psychedelic.
The mouthfeel is perfect for the flavor: it rolls it down the tongue and up through the mouth, with resiny honey on the tongue throughout. It's the type of honey I remember in 2010 Hopslam. The malts compliment and create the comfiness of this hoppy, comfy IPA. The complexity and richness is surprising for a 7.85% ABV, but I don't care; The light-to-little booze presence is appropriate. The flavors are all there.

Sidenote: my friend had a Avery Maharaja while I was drinking this. Alternating sips of the beers (right in a row, that is) created one of the most sublime beer experiences I can remember, a hop VOYAGE. Very oddly specific, but if you ever have these two beers or see them both on tap somewhere, do it. You will thank me.

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Photo of RuckusDu
4.39/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Kind of light. Very clear. Poured about a one finger head with some moderate lacing. Golden body with a hint of orange.

S - Yes, this is good. Just straight strong smooth hops. It's piney mixed with grapefruit. Pretty simple, but right on.

T - The flavor follows the scent. Just well balanced smooth hops with grapefruit and a little orange in there. Again it is simple which makes is smooth and since the flavor is so well done, simple is good.

M - Higher carbonation and medium body make this a good feel. Not too bitter on the back-end so minimal drying.

O - I do like the Lagunitas hops, so this was a treat for me. Simple and smooth makes this a wonderful beer that I would rather have over brown shugga (sorry).

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

16 oz into a pint glass.

A: Pale gold. Perfectly clear. Amazing lace.

S: Dank grapefruit. Sour pine.

T: Hops are delicious! A littel medicinal note (which I seem to get in a lot of Lagunitas brews). Slight sweet "honeyish" note. Menthol, pine, lemon zest.

M: THin but a slight oily note.

D: Not sessionable at 7.85% but really, really tasty.

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

second release of this beer. In the "holiday leftovers" package.

clear golden color with a two-finger sized almost white head that quickly recedes to a thin-ish film that leaves behind tons of lacing.

heavy hop aroma, leaning towards the citrus side, plenty bitter, with grapefruit and orange peel. some leafy and pine behind that with no malt on the aroma.

fresh ciitrusy hops again dominate. tastes like biting into an orange without peeling it first. plenty of grapefruit and a bit of tropical fruitiness. a touch of slightly sweet malts barely make it to the palate before the slightly bitter citrusy finish comes in and lingers for a while.

medium bodied with aggressive carbonation.

a pretty good DIPA thats not too overpowering, but plenty flavorful. I actually like it better than the beer it "temporarily" replaced. I bet this is not the last we see of this beer.

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Photo of tyamhydrogen
4.05/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Excited to try this one after all the hype it's been getting. Missed out on the first round but snagged some of the leftovers.

A- A pale copper color with a bit of haze. One finger head. A fair bit of lacing. Looks to have medium carbonation and decent head retention.

S- Nice and fruity. Tropical hops. Pineapple most notably, a bit of lemon. Not as totally overwhelming in the nose as I like DIPAs to be, but it's certainly nice.

T- Fruity hops towards the front, piney hops at the end. A bit of a pleasant boozy bite at the end. Lingering bitterness.

M- Medium bodied, good amount of carbonation for the style. Slick.

O- A solid DIPA from Lagunitas. Prefer the more tropical hop nose of the Little Sumpin' Sumpin', but this is a good beer. Not totally outstanding, but I would buy it again.

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

Pale golden body, chill haze, steady carbonation streams, topped by level five fingers plus of snow white bubbles of all sizes. Dense tight lacing.

Huge inviting aroma of fresh fruit and pine.

Light but firm malt puts down a good base. Juicy fruit engulfs the mouth. Sharp bitter bite at the swallow. Bitter and juicy entwine throughout a long lingering afterglow.

Good medium prickly mouthfeel.

Sucks does not. A terrific IPA.

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

From the Tap -->> into my small 32oz Growler -->> into a standard Pint glass.

A: Very clear Transparent Orange, Small white head.

S: Smell is off the charts... reminds me of Maui.

T: Taste is tropical fruit... mango, peach, sweet pineapple.

M: Perfect mouthfeel for the style, a little slick.

O: A Super tasty IPA, give it a shot before it's gone.

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

Consumed 1/30/12

Appearance: A hazy golden orange - nice white head that fades pretty quickly, but leaves a web of sticky lacing

Smell: Simply great - very hoppy, with a ton of juicy citrus and some tropical notes - orange, grapefruit, and pineapple flesh - very floral, a bit weedy, and some pine - malts smell nicely pale and slightly toasted - what I'm guessing are crystal malts are adding a nice, light sweetness - balanced well with the fruity flavors (I've smelled this combination in other Lagunitas beers)

Taste: Just as impressive as the aroma - hoppy and nicely bitter - very juicy, lightly fruity - orange, tangerine, sweet grapefruit, pineapple - some oily pine in here, seems to become increasingly apparent as it warms up - malts are pretty light but adequately serve as a backbone - pale, lightly sweet, slightly grainy - nicely dry

Mouthfeel: Medium body, nicely carbonated, a little sticky

Overall: Way better than any "apology" beer should be

This is quite possibly the best thing I've tasted from Lagunitas, and one of the best double IPAs I've had in recent memory. Seriously. If this becomes a seasonal, I will definitely be buying a bunch of this every year.

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Photo of woemad
4.45/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane.

Poured a surprisingly clear and golden color, with a big, sudsy white head that took its time dropping, leaving lots of lace on the sides of my glass.

HUGE piney hop scent, so big it smacks your palate before you even begin to drink it.

More balanced and less hoppy than the nose indicated. Sure, things begin with a piney hop blast, but quickly change over to a softer, mellower hop flavor that is balanced well by some unobtrusive malts.

A little bit lighter in the body than I was expecting, but not to a great degree. Slightly resiny yet modestly dry mouthfeel.

This beer goes down far more easily than I initially expected from its hoppy scent. I just wish I'd bought more bottles, as I could drink this all night.

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

A- pours an orangish gold with an inch of foam. Great retention

S- hoppy and sweet

T- slightly citrusy and hoppy. Delicious. very well balanced

M- smooth

O- outstanding beer. Great flavor. I would mostly think of holiday ales as being closer to a brown ale, but this is incredibly well balanced for a double ipa.

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Photo of Supadup21
4.46/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I grabbed a couple of sixers of this x-mas and saved a couple to do reviews with. Poured into my dfh tulip/crunk my mom-in-law said when she tried a sip.... It's like drinking a x-mas tree in a glass! One of the best brews I've had in a long time.

A-- deep orange color w/ a thin white head. Has a small amount of floaty sediment.

S-- over the top hoppy! Pine and citrus notes... Smells as amazing as it tastes!

M-- categorized as a double ipa, booze isn't very strong. A little resinous/syrupy hoppy goodness

T-- Tastes just like it smells. Boatload of hops, followed up by citrus and pine notes. Very unique flavor, even compared to other Lagunitas ipas

O-- Awesome beer, they should brew it year round! Brown Shugga is a good seasonal, but this blows it away!

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Photo of rmalinowski4
4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into my Bell's snifter. received a very fresh bottle in a great box from MiloHop. Thanks Milo

Pours a clear golden yellow with two fingers of white head. Head sticks around for a minute and leaves tons of lacing on the glass.

Smell is glorious, Citra as well as another tropical hop are prominent leaving a slight malt smell in the deep background. Similiar to ZD but slightly different.

Taste is awesome. Citrus hops up front, strong malt backbone, with a slight pine on the finish. very well done.

The mouthfeel is medium with moderate carbination. It could use a little more carbination, but it is not that far off.

overall, this is a very nice beer. Great flavor and aroma, good mouthfeel. Real happy to have tried this one. Thanks Milo

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Photo of jmerloni
3.79/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A - Yellow-Amber, clear, white head that laces poorly.

S - Honey, citrus, malt, hops.

T - Hoppy, with a faint citrus taste and an overwhelming hop profile. A good DIPA flavor.

M - Very balanced, well-carbonated.

D - Not real drinkable. Very hoppy to the point that it overtakes the beer.

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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 Gosox8787
4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz. bottle poured into a Sam Adams pint glass. Served chilled over the course of about a half hour.

Appearance: Pours a two to three finger thicky, foamy white head. Golden yellow to orange in color and clear with aggressive carbonation.

Aroma: Grapefruit, citrus zest, and mango notes hit nice and heavy upfront. A good amount of tropical fruit notes throughout. Very nice.

Taste: Bitter pine and grapefruit notes hit upfront. A nice lingering bitterness throughout. Some mango and pineapple provide a nice sweet backing. Nicely balanced with plenty of hop notes.

Mouthfeel: Nice aggressive carbonation to keep it light and a bit of a creamy element. Very good.

Overall, a really nice IPA and another great offering from Lagunitas. The hop notes are nice and complex throughout. Not quite the best IPA around, but still very good.

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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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