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

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1,575 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: 1,575 | Ratings: 10,111
Photo of carmike813
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - great head, excellent lacing, bright copper hue

Smell- piney resin - dank, aromas have held up nicely as this is way out of season and has been in the fridge for a few months

Taste - hops piney - really held up beautifully - easier to drink with the little age on it - an excellent beer for certain

Mouthfeel-creamy texture with a medium body

This is such a great DIPA, it always holds up to most in the style

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.73/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Lagunitas Sucks Brown Shuggga Substitute Ale pours a dark golden color, with a small lacing head. There is a wet floral aroma, with roasted malts coming through. The taste is rather balanced, with nice floral notes coming through, all mixed in with a roasted malty taste. Nice full flavors, has a "wet" bitterness, and rather balanced. Overall its a balanced and easy drinking double IPA.

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Photo of Apellonious
4.12/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz single from Lil Roberts in Concord

A - pours a golden color with a mild haze. Two finger fluffy head that slowly fades to a thin foam.

S - glorious hops, grapefruit, pine

T - mild grapefruit, orange peel, dry spice. I start picking up more syrup and berry notes as it warms.

M - effervescent at the start, followed by a bitter, but creamy finish

O - a very tasty offering from lagunitas.

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Photo of FLima
4.02/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I heard this beer done to substitute the Christmas seasonal ale that was not produced given the ship coming from Germany with the due material sunk in the Caribbean, so "it sucks"...
Amber color with a two finger head with average retention and leaving strong laces.
Clear grapefruit and resin aroma.
Sweet taste of slightly toasted malts balanced by a decent (or indecent) amount of citric hops. Hints of resin and pine.
Dry and bitter long lasting aftertaste.
Full body, almost liquorish with medium carbonation and tiny bubbles.
Robust DIPA, balanced on its extremes, good for winter or summer. Sorry, it does not suck.

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

Really didn't get into craft beers until after I had this beast of a brew. I didn't forget though... Nice mouth feel, drank straight out of the bottle. Strong IPA taste. Don't remember much other then that. I got drunk... Yeah... that means it was good.

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Photo of richj1970
4.31/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from cask into a tulip glass.

A: Poured vibrant orange color with nice 2-3 finger head that slowly settles to a thin lacing.

S: Strong hops, mostly pine but also some citrus like grapefruit and orange, mixed with a solid malts

T: Big hops while remaining suprisingly balanced. Blended hops up front but a very smooth full malt underneath, with a hint of sweetness to finish.

M: Medium bodied with fairly light carbonation that I attribute to the cask.

O: Very nice beer. Enjoyable IPA, being both hoppy & big malt but everything is unbelievably well balanced. I liked Dogfish 90 a bit more, but this one is solid nonetheless.

Edit: Found some recently in bottles, and adjusted scores up some. Fantastic tastes and aromas.

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Photo of mdcrouser
4.07/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks like a near perfect pour to me, with a finger of head to begin, which is torn down as it sits, leaving a full bracelet of white lace. The beer itself is golden with prisms of amber, lots of floating sediment - looks chewy.

Fresh citrus, some green apple - nicely hoppy on the nose.

Much of the same on the tongue, with a crisp juiciness to it. Bitterness sits heavy on the back of the tongue, but without the expected depth.

Crisp, almost sharp to the tongue, bracing it with a throat-filling hoppiness.

Easy-to-enjoy hop bomp. Good, but nothing exceptional.

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

The beer itself is a clear and pale gold while the head is white and foamy. The head dissipates fairly quickly but leaves some nice lacing on the glass.

The hops have a few different hop notes. The beer smell has a hint of tropical fruits and a little bit of a grapefruit nose mixed with sugary and malty sweetness to balance out the hops. The notes mix very well together and give a very clean nose that smell a little bit like bubblegum.

The taste is similar to aroma. The beer has a more tropical taste with sugar, citrus/grapefruit hops, and a little bit of yeast flavor. The taste also appears to have a slight mineral flavor as well.

Heavy bodied with biting carbonation. The feel is sort of right for a DIPA but to me it feels little heavier, and not as crisp as other DIPAs that I've had.

A pretty good DIPA and well worth getting. I had seen this beer before but I didn't get until this year. I will definitely be picking up a six-pack of this again.

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Photo of CoastMtnBrewer
4.78/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I had not planned on picking this beer but it caught my eye and thought I would give it a try. Been a fan of Lagunitas for years now and when a new one makes its way to Canada I have to give it a try.

It did not disappoint and it surpassed what I had expected. As soon as it was cracked you could smell the floral aroma. It's a smooth, easy to drink Double IPA - Sweet but not to sweet with a strong hop backbone, extremely well balanced. Definitely worth it if you can find it.

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Photo of Rob_pbr81
4.59/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent IPA, Lagunitas rarely fails to impress me. Has that great sweet hops smell and flavor and very sweet cintrus notes. I had it both on tap and in the bottle. I preferred the bottle. Definitely 6pack worthy, pour and enjoy. Great beer, great brewery!

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Photo of thedoubler55
4.56/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: A nice transparent copper color, light brown, a nice finger of off white head at the top the stays for a while, and some nice lacing around the glass the whole time you drink this one.

S: Some strong hops up front, grapefruit, and brown sugar are prominent, with slight hints of caramel as well.

T: Almost exactly like the nose, lots of pine and hop up front, strong hint of brown sugar and tropical fruit with a slight caramel taste on the back end, pretty unique taste.

M: Medium bodied, with a good amount of carbonation, nothing crazy though.

O: This beer was perfectly balance, lots of good flavor and a good mixture of things, I thouroughly enjoyed it, Lagunitas is great!

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Photo of DemoniChris
5/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Pours a lovely golden yellow-orange with a pretty impressive head that is long-lasting.

S - Oh man... This is pure bliss. Grapefruit, orange, mango, dank hops that you can smell a yard away from the glass. Arguably the beers best trait followed by the taste.

T - Heaven. Extends from the smell quite well. Fruity tropical dank hops with a tiny bit of malt. Big mango notes with grapefruit rind definitely apparent. The nearly 8% ABV is masked with finesse.

M - Brilliantly balanced between malt and carbonation. Leaves you wanting another sip each time you put it down.

O - I've been trying to get a hold of one of these beers for a while. Do yourself a favor and seek this beer out if you haven't already.

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Photo of mtomlins
4.56/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass

A: A clear orangey, copper color that pours to an off-white head of chalky suds. The head settles down to a thick white color leaving behind some nice lacing.

S: Sucks has a huge nose of ripe tropical fruit (mangos, papaya, pineapple), citrus (oranges, ruby grapefruit, tangerine) and sticky pine residue. A bit of the sweet malt rises up as well.

T: An amazing balance of hops and malt! In addition to all the notes from the nose (tropical and citrus fruits) there is a big punch of American bittering hops drying out flavor a bit. The robust hop profile is balanced by an sweet, bready malt profile. The finish is long and complex, sweet and fruiut at first and drying out in the end.

M: Full and round; medium carbonation and body; creamy

O: A fantastic beer! Sucks has a complex hop nose and taste balancing huge amounts of ripe fruit (mangos, pineapple, oranges, tangerines ruby grapefruit), pine and bittering hops with a sweet malt backbone. The finish is fantastic making this a highly refreshing and drinkable brew!

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

12oz bottle poured into a tulip
A: Rich orange color with a one-finger head that slowly settles to a thin lacing
S: Strong hops, mostly pine but also some grapefruit and orange rind, and a solid malt backbone
T: Wow. Big yet extremely balanced. Again blended hops up front but a very smooth full malt underneath, with a hint of caramel to finish. Very tasty
M: Medium to full bodied, the malts & hops both come through but it's very balanced
O: This is very good. It honestly should please everyone, being both hoppy & big malt but everything is unbelievably well balanced. Fantastic beer.

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Photo of thegodfather1076
4.24/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Presentation: Very cool label with eye-catching graphics and color scheme. Label states Limited Release, gives ABV info, IBU info, a bit of brewery info. Has little sayings all over label. Cap has Lagunitas logo.

Appearance: Poured from 12oz bottle into a 13oz Tulip glass after 10min warming period. Pours out a clear golden yellow with a 3 finger golden crème foam head of medium tightly packed density. Head retention was phenomenal, lasting 6min 12sec before fading to a thick coating and ring. Excellent lacing.

Smell/Aroma: Smells of a combination of piney resin hop bitterness with a sweet citrus hop aroma along with slight hints of malt.

Flavor/Taste: Tastes starts of with a bit of sweet grapefruit citrus hops along with a sweet malt essence that quickly turns to a resin piney hop bitterness. Finishes with a bitter hop bite with just a bit of malt detectable.

MouthFeel/Drinkability: Medium bodied with a light amount of carbonation. Very smooth and drinkable.

Overall/Comments: Very solid offering that is true to the style but I expected a bit more from the hype surrounding this. This packs a nice hop punch and an excellent flavor profile. Classified as an American Double/Imperial IPA @ 7.8% ABV. Consumed 4/20/2013.

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Photo of RummyRedbeard
4.56/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(copied from blog - written January 24, 2013)

Served appropriately in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Appearance – Golden and clear with a white one to two finger head.
Smell – Pine, pineapple/sweet tropical fruit, grassy, hoppy.
Taste – Almost sweet/caramel upfront. Slight pine. Finishes with citrus fruit and a clean hop bitterness.

This is truly a delightful IPA… According to my girlfriend it smells like “the air after it rains in the spring” which isn’t too far off, though in some whiffs I smell something of like… I dunno, Pineapple Banana Orange Juice? Overall there is a strong pine aroma with hints of tropical fruits and grass. The pine isn’t exactly lost in the beer, but I was expecting it to be much more piney when drinking it considering the smell. With that said, I’m glad how balanced it was and that it wasn’t overly piney (leave that to black IPAs!). The transition from the initial subtle sweetness to the hoppy bitter finish along with the carbonation and strong-yet-not-obvious ABV makes this beer so easy to drink and even easier to get a good buzz goin’. Do yourself a favor and get this beer!

Lagunitas does NOT suck :)

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Photo of bpasquini
5/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Orangish Copper in color with quarter-half inch thick white head, leaves a good amount of lacing

S: Pine, Some Citrus, Orange, hint of lemon, and something sweet like caramelized sugar, very well balanced

T: Great mixture of the pine and citrus hop flavors, pine being a little more dominant, the sweet malt flavors are what balance this beer out, everything seems to be blended perfectly together, bitterness level is also perfect for this beer, not overpowering but still lets you know it's there

M: Very light, not oily, leaves your mouth a hint dry making you want to keep drinking, which is a good thing for this beer

O: Great beer, if you see this buy it! My new favorite, everything is so well blended in this beer, and I'm not normally a fan of pine hop flavored beers

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.57/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A - Copper in color with crazy lacing. Nice 1/4 inch white head.

S - Big amount of grapefruit, pineapple, and orange.

T - Just like the smell with the grapefruit, pineapple, and orange right upfront. Big piney hops in the finish. Some sweet bready malts balance everything out.

M - Medium body with light carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel with great finish.

O - Fantastic DIPA! Very easy to drink. This is a winter staple in my fridge.

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Photo of Sammy
4.01/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Great hop aroma. Generous head. Above average mouthfeel. Good malt backing, caramel, a bit of fruit. Nicely carbonated. Nicely drinkable. superior IPA just the right amount of bitterness. Recent bottle from Premier Gourmet. I could have a four pack in the fridge of this.

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Photo of tjsdomer2
4.33/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Incredible lacing. Reminds me of California Steam. Great carbonation and a copper color.

Smell: Orange zest. Some brown sugar and cinnamon. Excellent balance.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Great combination of malty brown sugar sweetness and orange bitterness. Very promising mouthfeel initially...a lot like Zombie Dust. Unfortunately, it's a bit flat in the finish.

Overall Drinkability: Worth the hype.

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Photo of Bear1964
3.4/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Pint glass, nice golden peach color with a small half finger head. Aroma was piney with some hints of pit fruit such as apricot, taste followed with a nice hop tang coating the tongue and some pit fruit sweetness. Smooth mouthfeel with some bitter notes and a refreshing finish, overall a very nice brew that I would pick up again

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Photo of IllNate
4.06/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a near clear amber with a couple fingers of white/off-white head and great retention. Has a bit of a haze to it. Smell is hoppy with mostly citrus hops, but also some floral. Good amount of malt in the background as well, pale, caramel and a hint of spicy rye. Taste follows with mostly hops, citrus, floral some pine. Maltiness is here too, with the rye playing a slightly more pronounced role. Nice complexity. Mouthfeel is bitter with a bit of spiciness, not the beer's strong point. Overall a great beer, but I've had better, not as excited as some of the reviewers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of TheSSG
4.33/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick, soapy white head that has great persistence and laces wonderfully. Citrus and pine hop aroma. Amber-honey-straw color. Starts off bitter with notes of citrus, wells to a surprisingly restrained bitterness that is full of pine hops. Finish is citrus rind and a touch of malt.

I like this one. It's an excellently balanced and restrained hoppy bier. There is all the flavor and brightness of the hops without the crushing, lingering bitterness; all the good and none of the bad!

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Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4.31 out of 5 based on 10,111 ratings.
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