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: 10,100
Photo of zac16125
4.05/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter
no bottled on date

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden yellow with just under 1/2 fingers width of bright white colored head. Lighter than most in the style. Leaves a very small amount of lacing.

S: BIG aroma. Lots of dank, resinous, juniper and pine notes. More subtle citrus notes, and some faint pineapple and mango tropical fruit characters. There is a fair amount of hop spice as well. Total hop bomb, I like.

T: Spicy hops up front, followed by piney bitterness. Its rather herbaceous with lots of floral notes. There is also a hint of booze, which is surprising given the relatively low ABV. Some citrus notes as it warms further, mostly lemon zest and orange rind. Touch of mint.

M/D: Very smooth for the style (something that Lagunitas just has mastered in the IPA/IIPA styles), even though the carbonation is on the higher end of the spectrum. On the lighter side of medium bodied, and a touch light for the style, but certainly not thin. Drinkability is excellent.

O: Overall, this is a good beer. Honestly, with all the hype, I was pretty disappointed. Its good, but its no where near the top of the DIPAs Ive had, and its not my favorite Lagunitas beer (I had Hop Stoopid last night, and I think that was better than this one, and Maximus gives it a run for its money in my book as well). Either way though, an enjoyable beer, and Im surely going to have no trouble finishing the 6 pack in a timely manner.

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Photo of divineaudio
4.43/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle into a tulip. bottled on dec 20th 2012 if i'm reading the code correctly.

a - pours a deep, translucent golden color, just shy of crystal clear. gave me a finger's worth of dense, off white head that calms to a film and leaves huge webs of lacing in the glass.

s - mango, berry, orange citrus, honey, grass.

t - fantastic! light, sweeter citrus with a toasty malt body underneath. i'm getting orange, honey, grapefruit, resin. a moderate, piney bitterness comes in at the end to counter the sweetness. very hop forward without being a tongue bruiser.

m - lighter in body with medium carbonation. medium co2 profile.

o - in a word, amazing. this is one of those beers that disappears from the glass before you know it. if this does indeed become year round, it will be a regular in my fridge.

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Photo of beck2008
4.55/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: nice lacing and head, clear brassy golden color

S: very citrusy - lots of tropical fruits, pineapple and orange. A nice west coast ipa

T: Lots of of C hops, very citrusy - tasting orange + pineapple+mango, but very balanced as other reviews have stated. Hops forward (not overwhelming) and malt backbone

M: medium carb, right for the style

Overall: A great offering from Lagunitas. If you like Little Sumpin Sumpin Ale you'll love this too.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of JamesMN
4.51/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Almost neon yellow in appearance with stunning clarity and clear streams of effervescence cruising upwards to a one finger eggshell-white head. Looks like it'll leave nice lacing.

Aroma: Pineapple, sweet nectarine, grapefruit, and just a hint of onion (though not nearly as bad as that sounds). Some pale or caramel malt but mostly hops.

Taste: A classic West Coast IPA. The brewers at Lagunitas know their hop strains well. Starts with a blast of bitterness with some malt to it and then transitions into hop flavors of sweet grapefruit, pineapple, and some other tropical fruits that are hard to describe. Finishes decently wet which is a nice change of pace from the usual dry DIPA. I'd call this a juicy IPA, which is somewhat rare to find. It's surprisingly balanced given the lack of much malt flavor (besides a bit of caramel toffee taste). The bitterness is exactly what I'm looking for as a hophead but is never overdone. Actually does have a little bit of onion in the flavor but as with the aroma it's not necessarily a bad thing.

Mouthfeel: Medium in body but feels lighter at times. Smooth carbonation and superb drinkability.

Final Thoughts: Lagunitas Sucks does not suck; it's a delicious beer and one that every IPA lover should have on there 'want' list. Would I drink it again? Yes, very glad I have five more in the fridge.

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

In a snifter this beer was gold in color. There was a thick white head and a lot of lace.

Nice aroma. caramel malt. Citrus and herbal hops. Sweet floral aroma

Caramel taste. Grapefruit, apricot. Sweet. A bit of herbal hops.

The beer was nicely balanced and very easy to drink.

I went back the next day for some more.

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Photo of spinrsx
4.17/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12oz Bottle from Total Wine Tampa FL for 2$

Appearance - Clear dark gold colour with a large size fizzy white coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some decent lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes.

Smell - Hops, malts, grapefruit, resin, apricot

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste caramel and malts mixed with hops. There is also some grapefruit/oranges mixed with some guava/apricots. It ends with a sugary sweet tropical fruit aftertaste with a medium amount of hop bitterness.

Overall – Really good stuff.. like a beefed up sweeter version of their 'lil sumthin sumthin' - also similar to some of the green flash beers or the sixpoint resin. I think I expected a little more based on reviews, but it's still definitely a beer I'd buy again.

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

Reviewed from notes. Had at the Independent. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Clear copper with a big white head that fades within a few minutes. Medium amount of visible carbonation. This is a pretty beer, nice lacing throughout.

S: Citrus, melon, spice, and pine hops on the nose, with a bit of bready malt underneath.

T: Follows the nose, with a definite hop bitterness bite at the swallow. The hop profile is nice - not overdone with the melon/spice notes I don't care for. And while the bready malts add sweetness to the beer, there is minimal caramel flavors.

M: Medium to somewhat heavy body, and the alcohol is fairly well-hidden. Good carbonation sensation.

O: This is a tasty beer, and one that I will likely revisit while it's fresh & on the shelves. I'm not quite sure it lives up to the hype, but good nonetheless.

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Photo of tectactoe
4.36/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a pale, golden straw color with a very nice amount of clarity - only a very, very subtle amount of haze in the middle of the beer, but you can definitely see right through this one. Volatile on the pour, producing a gigantic, fluffy white head that lasts seemingly for days and leaves behind some fat lacing.

The aroma is fantastic, a convolution of wonderful hop aromas; light pine, heavy citrus, pineapple, pears, orange zest, and various other tropical fruits. Very juicy and fruity on the nose, broken up only by the slight pine, resin, and leafy notes that play just a bit-part here.

The taste is jam packed with many different things, even some things that weren't so detectable on the nose. Pine and resin are the first thing to hit your palate, but the profile quickly transforms; citrus, pineapple, pears, toast and crackers, buttery bread, slight onion, a touch of herbal tea and a faint hint of alcohol near the finish.

Bitterness is high, but tamed, expected, and welcomed. The malt flavors combine well with the hop profile and turn this beer into a very drinkable IPA. Slightly sweet finish, a bit dry and finishing with a faint bitterness over the fading malt construction. Medium bodied with a heavy dose of carbonation that really snaps the tongue at times.

Delicious beer, right here. Lagunitas knows their way around an IPA (see: Hop Stoopid) and this beer is no exception. A wonderfully fruity nose and a well-balanced body, complete with heavy hop bitterness and dry, bready malt, this IPA is sure to please any hop head. Wish it were more readily available.

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Photo of sloany
4.31/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is my first review, so please be gentle.

Bottle to Tulip

A- 1" head quickly dissipates. Medium carbonation. Nice lacing. Copper to orange in color.

S- Wow. Very agressive. Dank, resiny and piney with floral backnotes. What I would expect from a DIPA.

T- Again, Wow. Attacks the palate. Very hop forward with a nice restrained balance of sweetness. Grapefruit up front with a finish of pineapple.

M-A little syrupy. Carbonation does a nice job of distributing flavors across the palate.

O- Nothing subtle about this beer! Big hops all the way through. Bouquet develops nicely throughout (my nose has been stuck in the glass the entire time). All in all, a very nice West Coast DIPA.

Question- Does anyone know the hop profile on this? i'm thinking C's with maybe some Magnum?

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. Clear, light golden body with a 2+ finger white head. Nice retention and smatterings of lacing along the glass.

Solid aroma that jumps out as soon as it is poured. Primarily tropical fruit notes like mango and pineapple dominate the aroma, but there is a light citrus and pine resin note in the background. Not much notice of the malt.

The flavor is just as good as the aroma. Very tasty blend here of rich hop flavors featuring the aforementioned tropical hops. A touch of grapefruit and lemon flavor balances the hop notes. A light malt backbone makes for a nice finish.

The mouthfeel is lighter than I expected for an Imperial brew. But, this drinks more like and IPA to me than a double. Still, a superb beer.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.39/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Uber Tavern. Review from notes.

A: Served in a pint glass, Sucks was a clear golden color with a small white, foamy head on top with great retention and moderate lacing.

S: Extremely tropical, mango, tangerine, orange, lots of citrus in the aroma. Very faint grain malt aroma, but fruit flavors dominate.

T: A great tasting IPA, more tropical fruits - grapefruit, orange, mango, it was great. In the middle there is some fresh grass with minimal bitterness. Overall, extremely juicy. Has a slightly spicy finish.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Extremely drinkable, drinks easier than abv would indicate.

O: Could be the best Lagunitas beer I have had. Would stock this in my fridge all the time.

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Photo of Murrhey
4.06/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This much hyped beer is exciting for me, tucked away in the corner of the country I am. Poured from a 12-oz bottle into a pint glass. Reviewed live in my apartment in high-altitude Libby, Mont.

A- Pours a one finger thick white head with nice retention for the style but not so much for the ABV. A cloudy straw-colored body with medium clarity. Looks just fine I suppose.

S- Juicy brew. Hop oil is very present, floral and bright. Juicy passionfruit and pineapple. Very sugary. Surprisingly tropical and not bruising with the hops. Interesting and rather delightful.

T- Like a buzzsaw on the palate, aggressive hops and floral fruitiness. Not a beer I'd imagine would be friendly to those not fond of DIPAs. Could be better balanced, but not bad. Just jarring.

M- Thick, bubbly and very dry finish. Hits the tip of the tongue especially well.

O- Good, not worthy of the 99 score in my opinion. Be wary of this, despite the aromatic and fruity aroma, this is a hoppy son of a gun.

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Photo of LittleDon
4.68/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Golden with a fair amount of carbonation. Plentiful white head and loads of sticky lace. Aroma has lots of grapefruit and pineapple. Secondary to this is a bit of malt sweetness and a hint of alcohol in the background. Resinous pine balanced nicely with a slight sweetness. Some of the alcohol is noticeable at the end. Despite the strong hop aroma, it finishes with only a medium amount of bitterness and is somewhat dry. Medium body with a moderate amount of carbonation.

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Photo of hardy008
4.29/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours marmalade orange with a three finger white head, with good retention and lacing. The aroma is inviting with grapefruit, pineapple, and peaches.

Tastes a little less sweet than the aroma suggests, but still has a very nice combination of sweetness and bitterness with grapefruit, pineapple, peach, pine, and citrus zest.

Medium bodied with modest carbonation, and a grapefruit pineapple aftertaste. Very nicely made. I could buy this on a regular basis, just like I do with Hop Stoopid, and a Litttle Sumpin' Sumpin'.

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

As soon as this is opened, floral hops and citrus explode onto the scene. Dig my nose in and get delicious whafts of papaya and weed mon.

Tastes of grapefruit rind, cracker-crust middle, finishing off with floral hops, bong resin and pine. A lot going on here (wowwy) and yet, maintains its complexity. Extremely well-balanced with the malts--one of the best in it's class.

Mouthfeel is sticky sweet with a dry hop finish on the back of the tongue. You'll want more.

Love this shit!!!! IMO, this hop profile is askew from the rest of their lineup which I think tends to be harsh. What makes this so great is the fact it's in six-packs at an affordable price. I'll stand this right up there with FFF ZD anyday. This is masterfully constructed and super easy to drink. As they say "Doggone good".

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Photo of scootpolute
3.9/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This one is great!! I’m impressed indeed, YUM!!! The last couple of Lagunitas I’ve had have been less than desirable compared the NW rivals, espacially the growing WA beers!!! Appearance is OK, pretty clean, good lacing... Much lighter than the typical DIPA... I think what make this beer so good is the fine line of not over-doing ’it’ in any particular area (hops, fruity-flavor, pine/spice, carbonation, and last but not least, alcohol level). VERY refreshing and will get again and...…Goin’ to look for a tap ASAP!!!

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Photo of theruckus33
4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Serving Type: Bottle

A: Beautiful head retention. Starts with a wonderful billowy white head with ample lacing throughout. Dark golden hue with good carbonation that creeps up to the top - wonderful.

S: Pine, Grapefruit, Clementines, Biscuit malt

T: Citrus, honey, ginger snap

M: Light but boy the head is super silky great mouth feel

Overall: Get it,

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Photo of mmapes
3.6/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Smells piney, grapefruit, a little funk. Primarily the pine/citrus hops.

Pours cloudy orange/peach/amber. Head dissipates fairly quickly. Not much head. A little fizzy.

First taste: orange/grapefruit. Then hops. Long hop finish. Very bitter. Very little malt flavor. Second sips reveal how sweet the beer is. This is almost the opposite of a stout. It's flavor is light, fruity, and hoppy. What's surprising is that Its body is round, a little heavy.

All in all, it's an interesting experiment, but I probably wouldn't buy it again. I do like heavy sipping beers, and I do like refreshing hoppy beers, but usually not in this combination.

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Photo of spoony
4.17/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a 12 oz bottle into a tulip.

A-A normal pour produces about two fat fingers of off-white head. The foam hangs around for a while and leaves some decent, chunky lacing on the glass. The beer is cloudy and straw colored. A few Champagne-like streams of carbonation are visible.

S-The smell is a total tropical hop bomb. I get mango, mandarin orange/tangerine, and pineapple mostly, but also a touch of resin and pine. There is a little bit of bread and grassy straw, too, but this thing is a sweet smelling monster-hopped special.

T-The taste has a huge tropical hop component that provides most of the same flavors noted above, but there is also a pretty decent hit of doughy bread in there. I wouldn't say the bread flavors counteract the tropical hops, because both are quite sweet, but it does provide a little structure. Very little bitterness. Slightly sweet alcoholic punch.

M-The feel is oily and smooth with lighter carbonation and a medium-weight feel.

O-A totally fruit-forward-in-your-face hop bomb of a beer. And I mean that in the best way. This a great-tasting IIPA style beer, but brace yourself for some sweetness and fruity hops. I enjoyed it, but I couldn't handle more than one per evening. Cliche review comment: this beer is really good, but lacks the balance to make it great. (See Pliny the Elder.)

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Photo of KFBR392
4.13/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden typical IPA look. Lacing was surprisingly absent. Very thin head but possibly due to large alcohol content.

Smell: Kind of an orange peel citrus hoppy aroma here. The exotic fruits definitely dominate the aroma, with some hop character.

Taste: A lot of the Lagunitas Ales and IPAs have a very similar dry hop character. I get a lot of this with this beer. For me, it masks many of the other things happening in this beer. The front of this beer is a very sweet hop character but then is quickly hidden. The dryness sticks on the palette along with a darker hoppy taste.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, dryness is there but has a pleasant taste to it.

Overall: I had high expectations for this brew but was a little disappointed. Lagunitas makes some very solid beer and I would say this one is just that, solid. A little unique tang for an IPA, worth a try but don't go out of your way for this one.

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

Served from the bottle into an oversized wine glass

A- Poured a very clear light golden color with a big bubbly head, nice chunky lace

S- Huge aromatic pungent and juicy grapfruit, lots of pine, pretty dank, lots of hop sweetness. Smells like concentrated hops.

T- Tons of sweet tropical mango hops, pungent grapefruit, a little dank, and pineapple hops. Some cotton candy sweetness. This tastes like wonderful sweet hop syrup, no hop bitterness what so ever.

M- So so smooth, medium body, soft carbonation, dry finish

O-This is a sweet tropical hop paradise. Such an amazing and easy to drink beer with no alcohol presence. I have got to get more of this one.

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Photo of brewtus
4.27/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this hilarious bottle into a tulip glass. Light orange with a single finger white head. Smells are lots of pine, earthy, sweet bread, citrus of course. Taste starts off with carmel and blends into citrus and rosemary, mango, and has a nice thickness to it, very smooth, if this is a substitute, keep messing up because this is amazing. It's a pretty consistent Dipa, doesn't change too much from start to finish,

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Photo of MagicJeff
4.67/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Old to light gold. Beautiful 2 finger head retained throughout drinking with lots of lace.

Smell: Mango, Pineapple, sweet caramel malt.

Taste: This thing is awesome. Mango, pineapple, peach, some bitter hop but not overwhelming. Toffee and caramel back end.

Mouthfeel: Very juicy and drinkable, especially for a medium bodied IPA

Overall: This thing is amazing and I look forward for it every year. Try it. Especially for its value. Can't say enough good things about it.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.32/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Served in a snifter glass.

Appearance: A slightly darker gold, still transparent with heavy bubbles on the body. White head about one finger's length off the body.

Smell: Deep hops scent that is more aroma than scent. It just lingers in the nose.

Taste: Definitely bitter, but a smooth pine feel that comes off incredibly well. Strong grapefruit off set with a incredible potent serving of hops.

Mouth: Medium, slightly heavy carbonation with an after taste that just lingers in the mouth the grapefruit skin is pretty evident.

Overall: Pretty damn good beer. It is not good it is really good, I have a couple of other Imperial IPAs that I would put ahead of the food chain but this one does the job (and some). Salud!

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Photo of Sarlacc83
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle from Belmont Station. Purchased good and fresh.

A: Straw coloration drifting into orange. Clear with a good refraction through the glass. Fluffy almost white head. Aces.

N: Fever for the hops. Pine and earth are dominant with the pineapple and mango playing back up. It's a deep full scent with that cracking, sweet nature I always attribute to a well done dry hopping. A deeper inhalation yields some clementine and passionfruit.

T: A taste that can only be referred to as dank. (Need to jazz that description up a bit.) Pine needles and evergreen forest floors. Bites and stings with lupulins. (Lupulins are sedatives. I will sleep well tonight.) Needs more citrus, though.

M: Scraping and filling. Alcohol's second string.

O: This beer makes me verbose and lyrical. (Or pretentious? I don't think Lagunitas has that aim, though.) This is an all star beer that I buy every time it comes out, which, now shouldn't be a problem with the expansion in place. Lagunitas sucks, indeed.

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Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4.31 out of 5 based on 10,100 ratings.
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