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: 10,187
Photo of FUwolfpacker
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Had this on tap at Mezzaluna Brick Oven and Tap House in Hendersonville, NC.

A: Beautiful golden honey color. Spectacular lacing.

S: Wow! Huge citrus notes right off the bat - orange peel, grapefruit, maybe a little lemon. Also some nice floral hoppiness and sweet malt.

T: I haven't always cared for some of Lagunitas hoppy beers because they didn't have the balance I was looking for between malt sweetness and hoppy bitterness. This is not one of those beers. I get a sticky malt sweetness right away with some citrus notes. The piney, floral hops come in next and it closes with some lingering bitterness. A well balanced double IPA - definitely one of the best double IPA's I've had!

M: Some stickiness, moderate carbonation, hoppy finish but not palate wrecking bitterness.

O: An incredibly drinkable double IPA and probably my favorite Lagunitas offering thus far! I was definitely worried that a double IPA from Lagunitas would be overkill on the hop bitterness, but this was very well balanced and delicious!

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

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a light to medium golden amber with a thin white head that has good retention and lacing. Aroma of piney, herbal, lightly floral hops, grapefruit and apple. Nice. Flavor combines piney and citrus hops with an excellent bready malt body with notes of grapefruit, lemon, citrus rind and light fruit. Very nice. Even if this had sucked, you would have to admire a brewery that responded to massive disappointment and anguish for the lack of a beloved beer with a tongue in cheek spoof offering that ended up even more popular than the original. This was a triumph for everyone.

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

From a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Poured a gorgeous golden color with hints of orange in the light. Nice 2 finger head with great lacing. Foam settled to a film covering the surface that lingered for a good portion of the drink

S: Aggressive piney hops on the front followed by toasty malts and a bit of floral aroma on the end. A bit of citrus aroma there as well.

T: You taste the piney hops at first, but not overwhelmingly so. I could detect some grapefruit and floral notes layered into the beer. Some orange citrus made an appearance, as well as something earthy and herbaceous. Sweet roasted malts helped to balance everything.

M: Medium mouthfeel with a longish finish. Lots of hops on the finish, but not overly bitter. Perfect amount of carbonation.

O: Overall, this is a beer that lives up to it 's hype. Nicely balanced and extremely drinkable.

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

A- Transparent pale amber body with a big, bubbly slightly off-white head.

S- Huge aroma of floral hops with a lot of tropical fruits. Grapefruit, mango, pineapple, citrus, hint of pine, some fresh grass.

T- Huge hop flavors, tons of grapefruit and tropical fruits. Big, juicy citrus flavors, with a piney finish. Slight herbal flavor as well.

M- Medium bodied, medium carbonation, slight sting on the tougue.

O- A great, accessible IPA offered in a six-pack. The floral and herbal flavors make this one slightly different and very enjoyable.

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Photo of hooliganlife
4.18/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a clear golden orange, loads of fluffy white thick head. great retention and lacing.

mainly citrus fruit, some bitterness and red grapefruit.

similar to nose, very citrus forward with a heavy grapefruit and orange vibe. finish is like straight up orange. malty enough to hold this down and shine through here and there.

mild to moderare carbonation, with enough bite to work with the flavors expressing them.

pretty good overall

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

The name , well intriguing, didnt know what to expect. But I have enjoyed just about everything from Lagunitas.
The poor was perfectly clear, light with a nice head. The aroma was more than I anticipated. For a 60 IBU beer, it had a hoppier nose.
The initial taste also came across with more hops.
The mouthful was full, rich, crisp and clean
The aftertaste was as nice as the start.
Another nice brew

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Photo of PsilohsaiBiN
4.67/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2012 bottle reviewed in 2013

Appearance: Beautiful golden amber with a nice, white 1 finger head.

Smell: Big mango notes. Pineapple, orange and subtle grapefruit are in the fold as well.

Taste: Big, bready and bitter! Damn, this is just delicious. Sweet citrus gives way to a bitter, hoppy ending, with a steady backdrop of malt behind everything. Just a magnificently balanced beer with that trademark Lagunita's hop/yeast profile.

Mouthfeel: Not a crazy amount of carbonation but paired with the body, the amount is just right and makes for very easy drinking.

Overall: A delicious west coast IPA with a bit more malt than most would have, but it just works. Awesome.

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Photo of dasenebler
4.54/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Lagunitas Sucks
12oz, packaged on 1/2/13

Clear orangey gold with just a hint of chill haze. One-finger white head sticks around nicely. (4.25)

Nose is full of juicy American hops. Citrus, mango, pine and flowers. Nice. (4.5)

Flavor is analogous to the aroma, with a more dank, spicy element. There is definitely some earthy Citra funk in there in addition to the hugely fruity hop character. Insanely juicy and hoppy, yet smooth with restrained bitterness. Caramel sweetness and bready malts are there, but not to any great degree. Mouthfeel is velvety with medium carbonation. (4.5, 4.5)

The best IPA I have had in recent memory. I could drink boat loads of this stuff. Lagunitas Sucks definitely does not! (4.75)

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Photo of DocJitsu
4.77/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a clear classic golden color with a short white head. Not much head formed due to how carefully the beer was poured by the bartender. The bouquet might be the best of any beer I've ever had. Fresh grapefruit right up front with some underlying cannabis. Just a wonderful aroma. Mouthfeel is full, wet, and a bit oily. Carbonation bites just a bit on the finish. The flavor is magnificent. Grapefruit! A lot more pine in the flavor than appeared in the bouquet. Just enough rye in this beer to set all the flavors and aromas off in a more vibrant fashion. A remarkably well-engineered brew.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Date stamp says 0028271615 (so bottled January 2nd)

A: Pours a golden yellow color with a finger and a half's worth of head that recedes to a decent cap that retains for a while. Also leaves a sheet of lace down the glass

S: Huge citrus hops come right out, with some pine behind that. Also get some light malts, but the nose is really just dominated by citrus and fruity hops

T: Follows the nose. Right out of the gate, you get plenty of citrus and fruity goodness with a light malty backbone and a lightly bitter finish. Lagunitas usual yeast is present throughout

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and very lightly drying

O: Man, this is one insanely drinkable IIPA. The feel really helps with this, as does the 63 IBUs. It doesn't wreck your palate and makes it very easy to go back for more. After this 6 is gone, I might have to get a case...

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Photo of Pinknuggets
4.49/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle to long trail pint glass

A: golden honey light totally see through with big fluffy white head that dissipates but leaves a thin layer of white foam at the top

S:fresh hops dominate the smells a nice floaral aroma there is almost a sweetness to it a wonderful bouquet only qualm is not super powerful or at least what I would expect from a DIPA

T:follows the nose fresh hops all the way super fresh in fact with a solid not overpowering taste there is hop bitterness that comes in the finish a really good representation of the style

M:really smooth oily and dangerously drinkable like seriously this stud is thin and feels like water I have no idea how it is 7.85% unreal and the flavors are still pretty strong

O: I'm impressed I liked this a lot better then Sugga so I'm pumped they brought it back really fresh and tasty dipa with great mouthfeel could work on the smell but buy it if you can

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Photo of Mineo
3.7/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

2013 RELEASE: The most recent batch I tried - labeled 351 from the year 2013 - resembled dead grass and stale malts. I fear Sucks has taken a step back as of late, so I am dropping my score a point. Hopefully Sucks next year can bring it back to 4.75 territory, but this year's batch certainly wasn't one of the best IPAs in the world. Far from it.

2012 RELEASE: one of the best DIPAs in the world. tropical fruits galore, with just the right amount of malt backing. faint alcohol presence, and a surprising lack of bitterness -- significantly less bitter than Maximus or several other Lagunitas offerings. this beer sits alongside Pliny and Heady Topper as my favorite DIPAs. great job Lagunitas. 4.75

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Photo of Spikester
4.47/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Clear copper with one finger of off white head. Head has some staying power about five minutes. Lacing is moderate.
Smell is floral fruity hops. Some peach like scent also.
Taste is big fruity hops with a sweet malty back. The hops are bold and rich without excessive bitterness. The alcohol is well hidden by the big flavor profile.
Very full mouthfeel though a bit low on carbonation. Medium bitter finish not too dry.
Overall I really enjoyed this beer. The well balanced and bold flavors have killed any chance of doing a proper review of any other beers tonight. I only bought one to rate wish I had at least two more!
Had to bump the numbers a bit due to getting fresh one. Appearance was considerably improved with a huge head, great aroma, and taste. Otherwise the review has been unchanged.

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Photo of Wildeman
4.16/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Great color, flavor, and mouth feel.

Poured from a bottle into an English pint glass.

Strong head that dissapeared after a minute.

Great full flavorfull beer that definately lives up to the Lagunitas name.
They always seem to put out solid beers and this one does not disappoint! Thankfully they have made this a year round brew because it is solid up and down. My only regret is I bought this one in a build your own 6 pack and I only picked 1 of these up. If you're not afraid of a well rounded beer with an amazing taste, you should definately give this a try, you won't be disappointed.

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Photo of AlexFields
4.27/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Smells of wonderful tropical fruits, mango and pineapple. Taste is similar, lots of tropical fruit (especially pineapple) but also spices, rosemary and even salt. Mouthfeel is nice, maybe slightly more carbonation would be perfect but it's pretty great as is. Great beer, super drinkable, just the kind of IPA I love.


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Photo of MickeyBeer
4.36/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass

A- A light copper color, very clear, with about one and a half fingers of white foamy head that dissipates quickly. Beautiful lacing left on the glass.

S- Aroma is hoppy, earthy and piney. I also get notes of peach. I really like the smell of this beer. You can tell before tasting it that is going to be delicious.

T- The taste is predominantly bitter with a sufficient hop bite. A little bit of sweetness that keeps it balanced.

M- Medium bodied and smooth finish. No distinguishable alcohol taste.

O- Great imperial IPA that has an incredible balance of hops and and a little bit of sweetness. Didn't know a lot about this beer when I picked it up, but I will purchase more if I get the opportunity.

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

12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a clear golden color with a half finger head and nice lacing.

S: Lots of citrus and piney hops abound.

T: Plenty of bitter hops along with some nice bready malts to balance things out. Hides the alcohol well.

M: Medium bodied with good carbonation.

O: This is a well balanced and flavorful IPA. I'll be glad to drink it anytime!

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Photo of MattSweatshirt
4.04/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22 day old bottle.

Pours out with a white head and golden clear body. Plenty of lace stickin around.

Smells slightly astringent with lots of pine and fruity hop character. Apricot, orange, and grapefruit.

Lots of hop character in this with flavor and bitterness. Citrus and resinous pine. There is a light malt sweetness to it. Medium body, carbonation, and bitterness.

After being put off by their regular IPA I had to try this since everyone is going crazy over it. Def worth a pick up.

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Photo of Isabel
4.69/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

It is hard to describe without characteristics. so best rating as If it were a beer judge judging, (and as a homebrewer, I can tell they can be cruel sometimes.) This is one of the best seasonal releases available, It has great appearance, clear, heady, smooth, hoppy, spicy, woody, definitely a cousin of brown shugga, But with a complex "lightness" careful, these are easy to drink!

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Photo of jimmah120
4.46/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz tall on tap at the golden nugget

smell is pine, grapefruit, citrus, all dialed up to eleven. taste is like freshly squeezed mango juice. frothy, chunky feel; like a pulpy smoothie. lots of grapefruit, mango, pine, pineapple, citrus. some sweet buttery malts, and barely a hint of alcohol.

had this beer on tap today and it blew me away. had it later in the bottle and it wasn't as impressive. seek it out on tap.

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

12oz bottle poured into a Cigar City pint glass...can only assume its fresh

A: Pours a beautiful beautiful yellowish orange color with about an inch of head that lasts and actually sticks to the side of the glass in a befuddling pattern. I like it.

S: Smell is strong of grapefuit and piney hops. Mild citrus, lemon, bread, a little mango and guava also.

T: Similar to the smell, but you get more booze on the back of the tongue. Also more sugar, which is enjoyable to me as it cuts the alcohol a touch and brings forth the "exotic" fruit flavors....even some nectarine/clementine which I didnt get from the smell. Very interesting and enjoyable.

M: Medium mouthfeel, nothing spectacular here to set it apart from any other DIPA but it has mild carbonation which is fitting for the style.

O: Overall, I really like this beer. A great beer to have if you want to have 2-4 in a night, as I dont think I could do it for more than that due to the sweetness. I had some reservations after the brown shugga (which I really didnt care for) but this beer is great and balances the hops and fruity flavors like no other beer does. You wont find another beer to directly compare this to. Cheers Lagunitas, youve won me back...if you permanently "substitute" this for brown shugga I will never complain.

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Photo of StoutHunter
4.49/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a bottle of Lagunitas Sucks Brown Shugga Substitute Ale a few days ago for $1.99 at The Lager Mill. I really wanted to try this beer when it was first released last year, but it just didn't make it to my area so I made sure to grab a bottle to try when it hit the shelves, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date but I know it's fairly fresh. Poured from a shorter brown 12oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A- I like the name of this beer, the label looks ok, but I like the way last years label looked more, this is one is pretty simple. It poured a nice bright yellow color that took on a slight golden hue when held to the light with three fingers of fluffy white head that died down to a thick ring that stayed till the end and left lots and lots of nice lacing. This is an awesome looking beer, I have no complaints at all.

S- The aroma starts off with a huge does of hops that dominate the aroma of this beer and impart tons of citrus and tropical fruit aromas, it seems like it's the mango and pineapple that stick out the most. After that comes the malts, they are on the lighter side and impart a medium amount of sweetness with some bread, grain, and cracker like aromas. Towards the end comes a little more fruity hops with some grapefruit sticking out. The aroma is very good, it smells like a tropical fruit basket, I really like it.

The taste seems to be fairly similar to the aroma and it starts off with loads of hops that are very fruity, there's some mango, grapefruit, and pineapple, but there is also a nice and pretty noticeable peach flavor that goes pretty well with the other fruits and it adds another layer of complexity to this brew. After that comes the malts which have a slight caramel malt flavors to them and impart some grainy and cracker like flavors and have a medium amount of sweetness to them. On the the finish there's a pretty light amount of bitterness that might be the lightest I have found in this style and there's a tropical fruit and light cracker malt like aftertaste. This was a very good tasting beer, it was dominated by fruity hops with not much bitterness, I think someone new to craft beer might mistake this for a Fruit Beer, I'm really enjoying it.

M- Very smooth, a little crisp, slightly oily, medium bodied with a slightly higher amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was pretty good and it worked well with this beer, I have no complaints.

Overall I thought this was a very good beer and a very good example of the style, while it didn't have the high amount of bitterness I normally find in this style it sure did have all that great fruity hops flavors and aromas, it was very enjoyable beer. This beer had great drinkability, it was very smooth, had tons of great flavors that held my attention, and the low amount of bitterness really helped the drinkability, I could drink quite a few of these when in the mood, fruity hops with out too much alcohol and too much bitterness, yes please! What I like the most about this beer was how awesome the fruity hop profile in this beer was, I don't think I have ever picked up peaches from hops before, I also really liked the appearance, it was really good looking. I would for sure buy this beer again, in fact I will be going back to the store to get at least a six pack, I will be looking forward to the yearly release of this beer and I highly recommend this beer to just about anyone, even if you aren't crazy about hops, you should still give this beer a try. All in all I was very impressed with this beer, it's everything that I hoped it would be and just a little more, it had one of the best hop profiles that I have encountered in a long time. Lagunitas did a kick ass job with this beer and I'm glad I finally got a chance to try it, this is one of the better beers that i have had from them, maybe the best, I was already a fan of Lagunita's but this beer puts them close to being my favorite out of state brewery, great job guys, I can't get enough of this stuff.

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Photo of Ryan011235
4.33/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into an Olde Hickory glass on 1/16/13

Lazy straw-gold color. It's clear with just a hint of a honey-like appearance. One finger cap of off white foam dissipates slowly as a solid ring of lace clings around the inside of the glass.

Oily, tropical hops dominate the aroma with notes of pineapple, peach, mango and grapefruit. There is a sweetish notion, too; reminds me of sweet crackers and sugar beets. Seems pretty well free of alcohol.

Grapefruit bitterness and juiced tropical citrus rake the palate. Lots of peach and some pineapple. hints of pine here and there. The malts profile leans comfortably toward the neutral bread/cracker variety. Works for me.

The feel is oily and coating which makes for a long lasting medium body. Carbonation is lively, mimicking the cracklin' hop profile. I don't find it taste overly boozy, but there is a distinct alcohol heat that rides on the finish.

This is really good stuff. Highly recommended.

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Photo of julian89
4.11/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is the first beer I have rated in quite a while. Providedby my buddy Scudder.
A hazy wheat yellow color, touch of light red. Nice simple white head that dissipated fairly slowly with a wonderful lacing. An ideal IPA.
A bright citrus fruity hop aroma. Very crisp.
Great caramel malt base, light citrusy fruity backing. Pine like hops
Light feel, medium body
Decent ipa, very crisp, simple overall

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

Pours out a nice, hazy orange/yellow with a thick white head.

The aroma is full of sweeter tropical hop notes, some piney notes and a hint of bready malt notes.

The taste is very, very hop forward with a decent amount of tropical fruit notes; pineapple, peach and some citrus notes like orange. There are some dank and piney hop notes followed by a little bit of bready malt notes. No alcohol taste or even a warming as it goes down.

The mouthfeel is pretty creamy and the body is the lighter side of medium.

This is very easy to drink and is more hop forward and less malt focused which I like in a Imperial IPA. This is a very good example of the style, but I have definitely had better. If you can find this, give it a try.

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Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4.31 out of 5 based on 10,187 ratings.
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