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

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1,576 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: 1,576 | Ratings: 10,114
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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Photo of AltBock
4.1/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. stubby bottle with a recycled paper label with a picture of a splatter of red paint. Flanking the sides of the paint splatter is the beer's specifications. Along the beer's sides is a Lagunitas dog saying "We Suck," the Government warning, and the beer's ingredients. The only thing missing from the label is a bottled date or best before date.

When poured into a Cigar City snifter, "Sucks" didn't suck. This beer was a clear and bubbly solid gold. No hidden highlights. It was pure gold! On top of this golden brew was a small 1/4 of an inch paper white head of foam. Not a dirty white. Only a pure white can sit on top of a pure gold brew. This head of foam had decent retention that left behind a small island of foam and a tiny string of foamy rings along the side.

"Sucks" loved the scent of pine. That was its favorite and it showed. Behind the wall of pine was the bitter and lightly tart citrus fruits and bitter citrus hops. The citrus fruits consisted of the usual grapefruit, lemon, orange, and a little pineapple. There was no hidden malt aroma, but I did pick up a few floral notes hiding in the back.

Like the aroma, the taste favored the pine. "Sucks" sure does love the pine. Right behind the pine tree forest was the bitter citrus fruits and dried bitter citrus hops. The citrus fruits consisted of bitter grapefruit, lemon, orange, pineapple, and even a touch of mango. After the citrus elements had their fun, they then let through some floral notes and a subtle toasted malt backbone.

This was a medium bodied Double/Imperial IPA with a good amount of carbonation and a citrus based aftertaste. I thought that was odd since this beer loved the pine. Just not in the aftertaste. You'll find grapefruit, lemon, orange, pineapple, and a few floral notes in the aftertaste. This aftertaste doesn't linger.

Well..."Sucks" doesn't suck. I'm sure I'm about the millionth person saying that, but I had to. It's gold in color and piney/hoppy at the same time. The things you want to find in a beer like this. This is an easily affordable, easy to find Double/Imperial IPA. You don't need to trade your first born to get this beer.

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

My new favorite brew...this is a superbly superior libation...

On my second case of this awesome hoppy creation from Lagunitas...glad they distribute to my area in central PA....

A - nearly clear golden orange hue...creamy 1/2 inch head that fades but leaves lacing around the edges all day...

S - A beautiful bouquet of tropical fruits, pine, citrus peel, and a hint of sweet cereal grains...awesome!

T - Juicy resiny hoppiness with enough malt character to keep things in check...so balanced and easy to drink for the higher abv...its scary-good!

M - Smooth and creamy, light carbonation, almost cask-like...medium bodied but not too syrupy just the right amount..

Overall - A great beer yet again from Lagunitas...I love nearly everything I've had from their line-up. I'm a fan and you will be too...this is one of the best IPAs/DIPAs in the WORLD! Get some! Cheers!

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Photo of rodney45
4.47/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Late fall corn field at dusk. Lingering off white head.

S: heavenly, intense. Floral hops and grapefruit, with an offhand note of hemp or citrus.

T: Malt dominant up front with a big blast of munich or vienna malt. Secondary notes of citrus hops and somewhat sweet amarillo/cascade mixture that has notes of melon, and orange. Finish is dry and bitter, with reoccurring flavor profiles.

M: Moderate body, light carbonation. Bitter and no sign of alcohol ethers.

O: Look, this is a fantastic DIPA. I cant imagine anyone not enjoying this beer. Its the pinacle of a hop head's dream. I dont think this beer gets the fan fare it deserves. I'd put it on par with Pliny or Heady topper any day of the week.

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Photo of Lledd
4.19/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle straight from fridge into 12oz alchemist glass.

A: Light yellow, straw colored. Light carbonation and 1/2" head.

S: Delicious. Bright, hoppy, citrusy. Smells like an IPA.

T: Very bright and crisp. Tastes like an IPA. Sweet and subtle malt profile. It blends nicely with the hops. The malts have a taste that suggests honey, or, believe it or not, brown sugar. There's a pleasant piney flavor. The hop profile in this beer definitely says "I'm an IPA!". Not very complex, but delicious.

M: Very fine, soft carbonation. It lends to a smooth drinking experience while still highlighting the higher notes of the beer. The body isn't thick or watery. Thicker than an IPA but once again, the carbonation makes it nice. It's crisp.

O: Great beer. I'll definitely buy this again. This is a fridge staple while it's available. Very refreshing and drinkable.

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Photo of LXIXME
4.62/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Big off white head slowly recedes above a clear bright golden colored beer.

Big citrus and piney hops aroma just keeps on coming.

Lots of pine sap and citrus hops in a lightly bitter and dryish tasting ale.

A bitterish dry aftertaste with a bit of the citrus hops taste sticking around with this medium bodied drink.

A big west coast style hops taste and I like it.

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Photo of yuenglingfan101
4.99/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into the trusty pint glass. nice brownish golden color to it more like a brown sugar color. Nice lacing not to thin and not to thick. Smells like heaven and tastes very smooth for an Imperial IPA. Not a strong after taste but a well worth tasting beer. Mouth of addicting flavor and overall irresistable beer. Two thumbs for this beer

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

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A- a clear gold with heavy orange hues. Bright white head, that laces very, very nicely.

S- Instantly identifiable as a Lagunitas beer. Reminds me of their IPA, but much heavier on the tropical hop notes.

T- A big bitter hit, transitions into the tropical hop notes. Grapefruit, orange, and a hint of peach and strawberry. A bit of rye spice on the back end accompnies the bitterness which makes a comeback on the back end.

M- Plenty dry without being crushingly so. Has a bit of a creamy mouthfeel, likely from the oats. Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

O- Looks great, smells great, and tastes pretty darn good.

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Photo of gpogo
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Clear copper body with small white head that leaves sparse lacing.

A- Wonderful hop aroma. Tropical fruity hops so much. Slight sweet caramel malt.

T- Spicy alcohol hit with a heavy hop flavor. Superbly tropical hop flavor. Nice bitterness throughout. The hop flavors are incredible.

M- Medium body moderate carbonation that is very biting.

D- This shit is the shit.

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

Been hearing about this one for awhile.

A: Medium copper hue with excellent clarity. Two fingers khaki head. Stellar retention. Minimal to moderate carbonation. Definitely a good looking IPA.

S: Dank ass hops. Seriously. Reminds me so much of the Drake Pale Ale (which I love). Huge hits of tropical and stone fruit in this one. Mango, guava and apricot erupt from the glass. Bit of caramel malt in there, but the star of the show is definitely the insanely aromatic hops.

T: Juicy and dank. The malt is there, sure. Splashes of the usual caramel, touch of spice, maybe a bit of cinnamon. But these are secondary to the extremely flavorful hops. Not your usual west coast flair of grapefruit with a touch of pine. These hops are peach, guava, apricot, mango, pineapple. Extremely flavorful. Bright, ripe and juicy with enough chalky/ashy bitterness to remind you that this is indeed a DIPA. Alcohol is extremely well hidden.

M: An excellent balance of carbonation, malt body and alcohol.

O: Lagunitas absolutely killed it with this one. Seriously. Easily the best beer I've had by this accomplished brewery.

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Photo of Profchaos20
4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle in nonic pint glass.

A - Pours a clear golden with a one finger white head and leaves nice lacing.

S - Citrusy hops. Pleasant aroma but lighter than I expected grapefruit, mango, dank hops. A litt bit of malt in there also.

T - Sweet with a little malt upfront, then a strong bit of hops kick in. Citrusy and piney are the prevalent hop flavors. Finishes with a medium to high bitterness. Also got notes of grapefruit.

M - Medium body, light to medium carbonation. Smooth

O - A good beer in it's own right but I'm a bit disappointed with this one. With all the hype it gets I was expecting more. Nothing really stood out to me just a solid all around beer.

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Photo of HugePlume
4.44/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a pint

A: Glowing reddish amber, it seems to create light.

S: Out of sight, this might have the best nose of any non-fresh hopped IPA. It reeks of pines and fruits.

T: The nose carries through to the taste, backed by a crisp malt background. Its bitter, but not face puckering. Still can't get ofer the smell.

M: A little fizzier than expected and it finishes rather wet but leaves a nice thin layer of hop oil on your lips.

O: Fantastic DIPA, might be the best non-fresh hop IPA I have had. The nose is simply remarkable.

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

The beer pours a beautiful golden color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is excellent. It has a killer hop scent surrounded by a solid pale malt aroma. The taste is good. It has a wonderful hop flavor; bold and full of citrus notes. The malt bill provides adequate balance and a smooth pale and Munich malt flavor. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a delicious DIPA. It's true to the West coast style and highly drinkable.

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

Pours a five plus finger white head that fades slowly leaving tons of lace. Crystal clear amber color. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is hemlock/pine hops, flavor is caramel and hemlock. Light lingering bitter finish. Decent Imperial IPA. $2.45 for a 12oz bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, MA.

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Photo of Givemebeer
4.89/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Possibly my favorite IPA that I've had during my recent IPA binge.

Tropical citrus smell and taste that is incredibly refreshing. Must say this is the best smelling beer I've ever had. Taste is almost as good as the smell. Being on the east coast I can't find this often, if I do come across it again I will not hesitate to buy it.

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

Heard these were outstanding so I got a couple to try out

A - Pours to a golden amber, very thin white head that lasts a while, unbelievable lacing

S - overpowering smell of grapefruit, maybe apple, lots of pine accents

T - Amazing, starts with sweetness and mild hops, slowly rolls into stronger hops, pine hits are there as well

M - Mouthfeel is great, standard carbonation; not too much not too little

O - One awesome beer. Great example of what an DIPA should taste like

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

Lagunitas Brewing 'Sucks Brown Shugga Substitute Ale' @ 7.85% , served from a 6pack of 331 ml bottles purchased for $19

A-pour is a clear gold with a good size off white head leaving a streaky lace along the pint glass

S-citrus grapefruit and pine

T-smooth and crisp tasting IPA , sweet fruit start , bitter hop finish , well balanced

MF-mild carbonation , full bodied , nice on the palate

Ov-good/great beer , buy far the best of the beers recently sampled , I can finally say I like an DIPA , pity its a limited release and expensive , but so worth it !!

sampled alongside Deschutes 'Hop Henge' , Driftwood's 'Twenty Pounder' & Phillip's 'Amnesiac'

prost LampertLand

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Photo of beertunes
3.21/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured into straight pint glass. Poured a semi-hazy light gold color with over 1-1/2 inch of off white head that had good retention and light lacing.

The aroma was nice, lots of floral and pine hops, and an almost unnoticeable amount of malt. The flavor was the same, pine hops over most of the tongue, some floral in the middle, just a hint of citrus in the finish, and a very low malt presence.

The body was very much on the thin side of average, if it were any thinner, I would knocked some more points off. Drinkability was OK, fairly typical for style, although at below 8%abv, is this really an Imperial IPA? The low alcohol made drinking easier, but hurt the beers chances of of matching expectations. Overall, a nice enough little beer, one worth trying, but not one that matches the hype that has been thrust upon it.

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Photo of macher0
4.76/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a tulip glass.

A: Light copper color. Translucent. Less than a finger of head that slowly retreats to a small, frothy film. Moderate lacing that remains in circles around the glass.

S: Oh ya. This is the BEST part of this beer. Very aromatic. Strong citrus and pineapple. Floral. Hops become prevalent as the beer opens.

T: Pleasant bitter hoppy hits you on the front, which gives way to a floral finish. Piney-bitter finish.

M: Moderate body. Moderate to highly smooth. Medium carbonation.

O: An extremely good DIPA. Very smooth and has an outstanding nose. Excellent for the price. This beer is worth going out-of-your way to aquire.

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

Just had my first 6 pack of Sucks this week!

A- Orangey yellow, white head, nothing too crazy.
S- Citrus hoppy, kind of tart.
T- Orangey/lemony citrus, very crisp and refreshing initially. Some slight caramel sweetness on the back.
M- Very nice! Pretty full bodied. Great carbonation, slightly lingering taste but not too crazy.

Overall, this is a very good DIPA. Crisp and tasty, but still an easy drink. A must try!

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Photo of GilGarp
4.63/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle served cold into a pint glass.

Sucks is a hazy copper orange color with thick sticky head. As it settles, some nice lacing is left behind.

Aroma is super hoppy and full of citrus and pine. It has an unmistakable Lagunitas hop character that's turned up to 11.

Flavor is super hoppy and bitter but relatively balanced for a huge IPA. It has good sweetness but the malts don't impart a ton of flavor. The hops lend lots of aroma, flavor and bitterness. Citrusy, piney, and resiney dank hops.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and nicely carbonated. Very bitter but drinkable by not being out of balanced.

Overall a fantastic double IPA. Easily the best available in a 6-pack.

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Photo of LambicPentameter
4.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into a Green Flash 16 oz pint glass with a bump like an imperial pint glass. Didn't see a 'drink by' or 'bottled on' date.

Appearance - Pours an orange-tinged golden yellow color with a frothy off-white head of about a finger to a finger and a half. Lacing is slick looking, and doesn't hang around long.

Smell - A fruity melody, with highlights from lots of different citrus fruits. Predominantly grapefruit, but notes of tangerine and orange come through as well. Each time I smell it again, I pick up a few more, maybe even some lemon rind. Only drawback is that I wish it was more forward--it really feels like I have to work to coax out all the elements.

Taste - Unbelievably drinkable for a DIPA. Obviously, it's on the low end of ABV for the style, but it's wonderfully smooth and refreshing. The citrus elements are again present, this time more heavily with grapefruit. Some hop bitterness with hints of caramel in malty sweetness in the background.

Mouthfeel - Silky and a very balanced carbonation feel, but there is none of the lingering resin feel that often comes with DIPAs.

Overall a wonderful beer. The citrus notes are refreshing and mask the alcohol. Not my favorite DIPA, but easily the most drinkable I have had.

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Photo of BrausBeforeHaus
3.88/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I think this was more marketing ploy than actual genius.

Don't get me wrong, this beer was palatable.
I think I bought into the hype. Some kind of substitute was supposed to be in place of brown sugar. Pardon me for not noticing the subtlety in this west-coast hop party, which still dominates the initial taste. The sweetness, if any comes out later. It is arguable if this be deserves a "premium" rating like it has been given. Lagunitas has superior brews than this if you are willing to look around.

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

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A - Tangerine color leaning more towards the golden end. Lots of small carbonation bubbles, about 2 fingers of pillowed white head.

S - This smells awesome! Pineapple, mango, citrus, grapefruit. Little bit of floral hints also. Lots of awesome hop scents.

T - Taste is very similar to the nose. Lots of bold tropical hop flavors, also a tad bit of malt flavor to balance it. Slight amount of alcohol but it is very well masked.

M - Feels nice in the mouth, just the right amount of carbonation. Medium leaning towards the heavy syrup side but not to much.

O - This is probably the best beer I have ever had, the more I have it the better it gets. Pick this up if you see it! Also the price is great, $8.99 for a 6 pack. Cant beat that for a beer of this quality!

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Photo of midnitesun11
4.61/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I've had this beer many times and every time it just gets better! Awesome beer that's now readily available in my area too.

Pours a brilliant golden color with a frothy, white one finger head. Tiny carbonation bubbles rise up from the bottom of my glass.

The aroma is of hops and citrus. Definitely getting a sweet smell also maybe caramel.

Taste of hops and an orange citrus. Has a bit of a spiciness but a really good sweet brown sugar caramel taste!

Mouthfeel is thin but coats your mouth with the nice hoppy sweetness of this beer! Not too much of a lingering bitterness either.

Overall this beer is great, really drinkable and cost friendly! This is one of my "go to" beers for sure. Lagunitas definitely doesn't Suck!

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Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4.31 out of 5 based on 10,114 ratings.
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