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

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1,570 Reviews
Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale)Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale)

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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: 1,570 | Ratings: 10,099
Photo of jtingue
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter.

Appearance. Pours a beautifully clear golden yellow-orange color with as finger and a half of head, which dissipates to a thin layer on top of the beer. Some lacing on the side of the glass which subsides at a moderate rate.

Smell. Lots of floral and citric hops, yet with a nice bit of sweetness to go along with them. Also a little bit of burn form alcohol.

Taste. Starts off bitter, but quickly transitions into an amazing tangerine flavor. Some more bitterness punctuates the tangerine from a more floral and definitely more sweet and malty note. Again , some more bitterness, but this time with a much more grapefruit in it, causing it to almost seem sour. This lingers to the finish and beyond.

Mouthfeel. Pretty light body with a moderate amount of carbonation. For me, perfect for the style.

After reading some of the good words about this beer over the last month or so, I am going to have to agree wholeheartedly with the praise that this brew is getting. Truly one of the most solid and unique dipas I have ever had.

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Photo of bastu
4.57/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to UCLABrewN84 for this one.

Bottled on Nov 11th.

Poured into an actual glass! a 1970s Guinness 8oz mug/stemless wine glass looking thing.

Pours golden with just a hint of orange. 1 finger head that disipates quickly.

Smells of tropical and citrus fruit hoppy goodness.

Taste is a little more earthy than the nose, but the citrus and tropical hop flavors are still in there. Not much malt coming through, big bitterness and a touch of alcohol on the back end.

Mouthfeel is sharp, seems almost over carbonated even though it poured with very little head.

I had been wanting to try this one and am glad I got to. I would have bought several 6 packs of this if it were available here.

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Photo of ChanChan
4.6/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip glass
Apperance: golden in color with a big pillowy white head. Lacing is decent.

Aroma: Hops, resin, pine, and grapefruit. It has a true westcoast IPA aroma!

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a nice amount of carbonation.

Taste: Wow! This beer lives up to the hype! It is not extremly complex, it is also not a tropical fruit bomb! There is a taste, however, that keeps me wanting to chug this beer. It has a very unique taste that is… how can I say this.. well rounded! This beer had a great impression on me!

Overall: A great beer! Lagunitas needs to make this a regular in their line-up! Perhaps they can call it “Lagunitas Sucks Year-Round!”

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Photo of musicforairports
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled Dec. 5, reviewed Dec. 22. Poured into a tulip.

Lightly golden in color, very clear and clean. I like clear beers, for some reason. Head is small, but leaves some lacing.

Smell is all tropical, with dry notes of mango, pineapple, passion fruit, some grapefruit. If I were blindfolded, I might think this smelled like freshly squeezed fruit juice.

Flavor is juicy and fruity. Light malt backbone provides
sweetness but no real flavor, letting a layer of citrus peel and tropical fruit flavors take over. The pineapple/mango/etc. profile dominates, with little of the typical citrus/pine interplay. Not very bitter, to my tastes. Sweet at first, but finishes crisp.

Mouthfeel is medium-heavy, feeling sweeter than it is before finishing somewhat crisp.

Overall this is a high-quality IPA, especially for the price. Though everyone seems to worship the tropical fruit qualities of some IPAs, in reality this flavor reminds me immensely of (high quality) fruit juice, and I could only have maybe two of these beers in a row. Great example of that hop profile, though.

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Photo of weeare138
4.03/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to burns5150 for this...
Appears a transparent gold with a fluffy white head and thick collar. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of grapefruit, pine sap, herbs, and a touch of green onions.
Taste is of the aromas with a flavorful bitter. Nice hoppy flavors as the front beat with citrus and herbs.
Mouthfeel is thick, hearty, sweet, and bitter yet balanced.

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

Poured into a Mother Earth (NC) Snifter
Nice thin head with great lacing
Smell - There is no way this beer tastes bad with a nose like this, hoppy, citrus, fruit
Taste - follows the nose - citrus, a little west coast IPA flavor
Mouthfeel - is more like a west coast IPA, resin, oil,
Overall - By far my favorite offering from lagunitas. I would never turn this one down!

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

A- pours a golden amber color with uncanny clarity. A finger and a half of off white head emerges from an average pour. Good head retention.

S- huge citrusy hops of tangerine and grapefruit peel blend with tropical fruit notes of pineapple an mango. Floral hops on the finish with a whisper of dry biscuity malt.

T- starts off with super juicy tangerine and grapefruity hop flavor with notes of mango and pineapple in the middle. Dry biscuity malt with a chaulky characteristic. Finishes dry with a subtle hop bitterness and floral notes that lingers on the palate. This beer is hops, hops and more hops!

MF- juicy slick mouthfeel with a light medium body and average carbonation.

D- quenching and superbly drinkable.

Overall one hoppy mother that more than makes up for the lack of Brown Shugga'... D-lish!

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Photo of gabedivision
4.37/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle to a brandy snifter

Pours a golden orange with a foamy 1 finger head that disappears to a thin sticky lace around the top of the beer. On the nose, your senses get attacked! Big piny hops, over-ripen citrus fruits, mango, tangerine, grapefruit. Sticky tobacco and marijuana scents in midst of the fruit. Again on the taste, sticky grapefruit, citrus hops, sticky and murky with a feverishly bitter aftertaste that just absolutely hits the spot, wow! Light to medium on the feel and body, bitter, deliciously drinkable, not much malt backbone as noted by other reviewers. This beer is fucking awesome! Make more of this shit and send it my way, im more than fine with having this over BS anyday, superior IPA.

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

12oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: A steady pour yields a finger of creamy off-white foam atop a perfectly clear, bright amber body. Retention and lacing are both moderate. Nice looking brew.

S: Sweetly fruity hops dominate: sugary grapefruit, tangerine, and orange. Not much else is going on, but I love the citrusy punch.

T: Citrusy hops jump out right away, followed by some yeasty stone fruit, a touch of herbal spiciness, and some faintly sweet, biscuity malt. Solid bitterness finishes things out, although there's definitely a bit of sticky, almost syrupy citrus sweetness on the aftertaste. Very tasty indeed, but a little over the top with the syrupy qualities.

M: Medium-bodied with a high dose of rich, creamy effervescence. Decadent.

O: This one was a treat, to be sure, but I've got to say that it didn't quite blow me away quite as much as I was hoping for based on the hype. I'll enjoy the heck out of the rest of the sixpack, though, and will definitely keep an out for Leftovers on tap; I feel like this would have been significantly better a few weeks ago.


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Photo of RandyV
3.92/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Short and sweet. This is a nice IPA with grapefruit, tangerine and pine on the nose. Citrus and pine dominate in the beginning with enough bready malt coming in to provide sufficient balance. Alcohol is well hidden.

Kinda tastes like a Christmas tree smells, and just in time for the holidays. Oh come all ye faithful!

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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 morimech
4.09/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear golden color with a small, and short-lived head that settles to a thin cap. Moderate amount of spotty lacing is left on the glass.

Plenty of hop aroma. Mostly grapefruit and orange rind. A lot of citrus packed into the smell.

Loads of hop flavor and bitterness is not overwhelming. Grapefruit and a resiny dankness dominate. The malt does no more other than being a hop delivery device. Not the most exciting DIPA but delivers good flavor.

The body feels light for an almost 8% ABV beer. Nice carbonation and texture.

A good but not great DIPA. Did not appreciate the dankness as a compliment to the grapefruit.

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Photo of Mavajo
2.8/5  rDev -35%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Passed this one over a number of times, but after seeing all the reviews, I made sure to grab a pack before it disappeared.

Ay yi yi. The hell. I haven't gone and checked, but this thing has got to have Summit in it. Brutal taste of garlic/onion. Perhaps some grapefruit behind it, but I can't get past this garlic/onion taste. I must be uniquely sensitive to it, because if everyone was tasting what I'm tasting, there's no way this thing would be anywhere near an A rating.

Mouthfeel is fine. But that onion/garlic is a deal breaker. Reminds me of Abrasive. Another extremely highly rated beer that was just a pure garlic/onion bomb. Really not enjoying this quirk in my palate that makes those Summit flavors show up so strongly.

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Photo of JohnWaynes44
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pure gold. Creamy head that held on and left a web of lacing. Citrus nose consists of pineapple, orange, and lemon grass. Juicy hops are just exploding with citrus. Pineapple stands out, but lemon and a hint of orange are there too. Malts are in the background but never come to the forefront. Bitterness lingers through the finish like drinking simple green. Feel is oily and slick.

This beer pushes the style in a way that we are not accustomed to. Typically a brewer with push a style forward, but this one takes a step back, but not in a negative way. The lack of big malt in this beer pulls it back from a DIPA in a very good way. It is a great and unique representation of the style, with a straight up juicy hop forward, bitter ale. I urge Lagunitas to make this a year round offering.

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Photo of runner440
4.84/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer is amazing. Super bitter hop punch at the front of the mouth and super juicy hop bite in the middle of the mouth. There is a sweet malty backbone that really makes this beer spectacular. The sweet malty goodness of a middle of the country IPA and the epic hopping of a west coast IPA. Epic! Kinda glad there is no Brown Sugga' this year. Kinda ... Cheers!

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Photo of eightysixants
4.51/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured 16oz draft from Boxing Donkey in Roseville, CA

A: Clear, light orange in color. Half inch head and thick head retention

S: Straight Dole pineapple orange juice or something like it!! Huge nose, even stronger than taste, more fruity anyways. Phenomenally citrusy. 

T: More Dole juice! Crisp bite at the front before smooth finish. Grapefruit, pineapple, tangerine, orange flavors. Hops are really more noticeable in smell than taste. Very Laginitas-like.

M: Tingly, crisp. Decent coat that sticks around a little bit.

O: Delicious! Very unique. Probably couldn't have more than one but very enjoyable. The fruit juice character is pretty interesting, that's for sure. Overall a great beer. 

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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 Heatwave33
4.19/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle to a Sam Adams Pint.

Color: Clear gold with a white head.

Smell: Piney hops, citrus (grapefruit, peach and pineapple).

Taste: Piney hops, citrus (grapefruit, peach and pineapple).

Mouthfeel: Great carbonation, medium coarse and mid dry on the palate.

Overall: The aroma was out of this world. It's very much like an IPA. The mouthfeel killed the taste for me though. Just didn't seemed very well balanced. Cheers!

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Photo of jsprain1
4.45/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Light golden honey, with a one and a half finger white head that retains well and leaves lots of lacing.
S- Aroma is floral with a pretty assertive orange and pineapple aroma.
T- The hop flavor is big and bold. Citrus and a fair amount of tropical/pineapple. There is a bit of light sugary flavor. For as much hop as there is, the bitterness is fairly low.
M- Medium-light body with decent carbonation. Just a bit of alcohol warmth in the finish.
O- I really enjoyed this one. Lots of big flavors and real drawbacks.

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Photo of natemort13
4.22/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First review yea!!!

Poured into a stemless wine glass(my glassware was sacrificed to the moving gods).

Beer pours a beautiful golden orange that becomes more yellowish on the edges when held up to the light. Decent head retention with some lacing that's not too sticky on the glass.

Smell is excellent. A citrusy bouquet from the dry hopping attacks the nose. I get a ton of grapefruit with some sweet'ish' citrus as well. Pine needles become apparent after I've tasted the beer. The nose might be my favorite part about this beer.

Taste follows the nose decently. I get a little bit of bitter pine that wasn't present in the nose initially. Nice balance between the bitterness of the hops and the sweetness of the malt blend. Some of the lingering bitterness in the taste gives way to a subtle sweetness from the malt blend in the finish. Some orange rind in the finish as well.

Body is a little heavier than I usually expect from such a refreshing hoppy beer.

Overall an excellent beer. I'm pretty glad lagunitas screwed up their production and had to make this instead of their usual brown shugga'. A nice departure from their other hoppy flagships. I'm certainly a fan.

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

Appearance: Clear gold, good head.

Smell: Big citrus aroma.

Taste: Nice hoppy flavor. Does have a solid bready base before sweet grapefruit hops and a bitter finish. Not too bitter though.

Drinkability: Hits the spot for hops cravings and great Lagunitas pricing.

Picked up a 6er to try and was pretty impressed. I like Lagunitas in that they use a lot of hops and their prices are low. This one fits the bill, it's not mind-blowing but it's a nice DIPA on the lighter side of the style and has some pretty good balance.

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.22/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've been passing over Lagunitas Sucks in the store figuring it was just another IPA and boy was I wrong. Glad some friends told me to try it.

The beer pours a clear light amber color with a small, creamy head on top. The foam dissolves quickly leaving behind a netted pattern of lace on the glass. A slow flurry of bubbles is seen rising to the surface.

The aroma is loaded with orange and grapefruit citrus hops. A little bit of pine and tropical fruit mixed in.

Each sip of this full bodied beer is frothy on the palate with a dry finish. The flavor is hoppy and bitter. It begins with orange and grapefruit citrus, pine and tropical fruit. Some bready malt and a touch of caramel tries to balance out the hops. It finishes bitter with lingering orange citrus and bread when gone.

If you like hoppy beers go buy a six pack of Lagunitas Sucks. However, it could use a touch more sweetness to balance out the bitterness.

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

Lagunitas Sucks has a bright orange body with hints of a more yellow color. The tan head is about a finger tall and very solid looking. The retention is good, and the lacing is very good, leaving a solid sheet on the glass.

The aroma is intensely fruity, with lots of orange and some grapefruit with it. A little bit of grass and some bitterness in the background. Not really any malt in the aroma, just a lot of really juicy hops that smell great.

The flavor follows the aroma pretty closely, which is a really good thing in this situation. Lots of fruity citrus flavors come through, with a ton of orange and some grapefruit. A little bit of resin and some grass flavors come through also, with a moderate to high amount of bitterness. The bitterness, however, isn't amazingly biting; it has just the right amount of bite to it. The juicy citrus is the strongest flavor here. The malt is definitely pale, with just a bit of bread or cracker flavor to it; it is definitely understated and thoroughly overshadowed by the hops, which I like.

The mouthfeel has a bite to it from the bitterness, with an appropriate amount of carbonation and a body that is a touch below medium.

The ~8% ABV is a non-factor. Normally I don't really like Lagunitas beers, whether they are hoppy beer or other varieties. Lagunitas sucks, however, is a great IPA that reminds me a little bit of Heady Topper. Definitely a beer worth trying if you get the chance; I hope Brown Shugga never comes back.

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Photo of DNICE555
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap in Northampton at the Sierra Grill, and picked up a sixer at my local packy. I heard good things from C-Note and Nichol so I was pumped to try this. Pours a golden yellow color with a nice white head and decent lacing. Nose is nice and hoppy. Tastes like crisp fruit with lots of floral and citrus hops. This is how I like my ipas. NO MALT ALLOWED and the booze only sneaks through a tad. No sweetness at all here. A nice crisp fruit hop head dream here. Very well done. Hope they brew this again.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Huhzubendah for gifting me a sixer of this. Served in a mug.

Pours a clear golden-yellow color with a nice white head and quite a bit of lacing on the way down. The nose carries a heavy amount of what seem to be Amarillo hops. Good citrus and a bit of a floral character. Similar flavor, but not quite as pungent and overpowering. No malt to speak of, though a bit of booze works through, doing a great job to balance out the hops. No use of sweetness for that here. Boom.

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Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4.31 out of 5 based on 10,099 ratings.
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