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

1,600 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: 1,600 | Ratings: 10,199
Photo of BaltimoreBeerLover
4.22/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 12 oz. bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Dark honey colored with a one inch white head.

Smell: Sweet sweet brown sugar is the main aroma I am getting. (Who would have guessed?) I also detect notes of cinnamon.

Taste: Goddamn Batman! So delicious. Not quite as overwhelmingly sweet as the smell (which is a good thing) but the brown sugar aftertaste is very detectable. Tasty hoppy bitterness as well in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Good medium carbonation. The sweetness and hoppiness definitely stick around for a while.

Overall: Such a great beer. I am in love with Lagunitas. 4.2/5

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Photo of Beerasaurus
4.71/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: A welcoming golden, honey color with a finger of head
S: Wow! Now that's a very citrusy hop aroma that lets you know this is from the West Coast. It screams "drink me!"
T: Taste goes down piney with citrus on the backside; however it slides right down without any overpowering bitterness and absolutely no hint of alcohol. Definitely not a palette wrecker like some of the other DIPA offerings
M: Mouthfeel is of a medium body, with a little tingly carbonation to tease the taste buds
O: Overall the ranking is appropriate; one of my favorites that is now a regular addition to the beer fridge. And I must agree with others that its nice to find it readily available and at a reasonable price. You simply can't go wrong with this one. Well done!

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Photo of garymuchow
4.21/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into SN "tulip".
This seemed to be a popular item this year and still able to find it hanging around, and of course at a value price - gotta' love this brewery for that.
Rich dense hop aroma. Occasionally get hints of excess/resin, but it varies per glass and is never prominent (fortunately).
Full dense head that laces beautifully. Slightly cloudy amber towards oranges and reds.
A very nicely balanced DIPA. Flavors up front show strong hop and malt flavors. The malt is no shrinking violent in this drink. Bitterness is strong, but smooth. Complex drink throughout, hints of alcohol. Only moments of resiny excess.
Moderately heavy feel yet nice and smooth throughout.
A well done DIPA. Drinks enjoyably from top to bottom.

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

A: Light Gold -Interesting

S: Hints of pine and almost sweet

T: Wonderful with a nice bite at the end

M: Wonderful Medium moutheel with nice carbonation

O: Had stayed away from this because it has sucks in title but its some really good stuff. Glad I was able to get somemore.

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

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, honey amber colored with a huge fluffy white head that lingers leaving great lacing, clear

S: amazing citrus hops, grapefruit, lemon, orange, pine, mango, papaya, like fruit coctail

T: excellent flavors of above mentioned fruit, finish is pine resin and drier, initial flavors are quite sweet

M: creamy for the style, medium bodied, alcohol well hidden, good carbonation

O: This is an excellent DIPA. It's very easy to drain a glass of this. The fruit smells and flavors are fabulous. There's also a great background story behind this beer along with it's hilarous name. Buy extra if you can find it.

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Photo of metter98
4.37/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is clear golden yellow in color and has some hints of amber hues along with a moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a finger and a half high dense white head that has excellent retention properties and took a very long time to die down, consistently leaving a short head covering the surface and lots of lacy rings of bubbles down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate to strong aromas of citrusy hops are present in the nose—tangerines and grapefruit seem to stand out in particular.
T: Like the smell, the taste is very citrusy and also has prominent flavors of tropical fruits in the form of mangoes. A light to moderate amount of bitterness is present.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is extremely drinkable, especially since the bitterness is subdued compared to other beers in the style and no traces of alcohol are present in the taste. It's packed with so many flavors of mangoes and citrus that I feel like I am getting 100 percent of my recommended daily allowance of vitamin C.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

355ml bottle poured into tulip 11/3/13

A clear golden copper with plenty of bubbles popping up from everywhere, a large 3 finger foam quickly falls to a pinky's width and sits there, several thick rings spaced far apart are the evidence of the larger normal sips I'm taking

S pine is strong, tangerine, mandarin orange, grapefruit and pineapple work well with just a little caramel sweetness, smells quite strong and its pretty much what I look for in a West Coast DIPA

T some lemon rind I didn't smell and slightly less pine, still a nice tropical blast but toned down just a tad compared to the nose

M not to heavy for a DIPA and creams up slightly from the bubbles, has a nice mellow bitter bite but nowhere near a palate wrecker, a little slick after the fact with some pine, citric rind, and caramel on the finish

O one of the better hop bombs I've had recently, no booze at any point and solid in every area, I could smell it all day and I'm very stoked I have 5 more in my 6er

Well if Lagunitas sucks I don't need awesome, really though this is a great brew and I'm very stoked I can buy this here in Alberta and will be buying it again soon

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Photo of paultierney1
4.92/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Brothers: Are you kidding me? There's a 9 point difference between you and us and you're on the wrong side of history. SUCKS is amazing. And factoring in the very reasonable price and the fact that it can ACTUALLY BE FOUND on shelves, it's one of the best. The nose: 5. Taste 5. For hopheads, the battle is between Enjoy By and Sucks. And I'm from the Midwest. California: we give up!! You win. (Hate to say it.)

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Photo of lunarbrew
4.52/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours light amber/gold with about 2 1/2 fingers of eggshell head. Very fine foaminess with a super sticky lacing.

A very citrusy sweet nose. Smells overwhelmingly of pineapple and candi sugar. It's very crisp and very big.

Hop-forward. All you really get is the hop flavor with this beer, but it's never overwhelming or too bitter. Fresh cut pineapple and other citrusy fruits. Definitely some grassy notes on the backend. The beer is balanced by its sweetness, but the sugar flavor has little depth.

The beer is medium-full-bodied and leaves a little bit of stickiness and resin on your tongue. Perfect carbonation level for the style. Not terribly creamy, but still a pleasant and smooth texture.

I had one of these the other day and the flavor had really fallen off. I was worried about the remainder of the sixer, but the one I'm drinking new is beautiful. An excellent west coast ipa.

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

Poured from short 12oz bottle into mug. Clear golden yellow with visible carbonation, thick foamy white head that came up a lot more than I expected, even with a pretty tame pour. Leaves bubbly lacing all over the glass as it's drunk. Smell is sweet fruit at first, sort of mango or pineapple, then hoppy at the end. Almost smells gin-like. Taste follows suit exactly; sweet and smooth up front, then hoppy and bitter at the end. Mouthfeel is almost creamy, odd for the style, but probably from the extra sweetness. Overall, this is quite different from your average DIPA, but it's delicious.

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Photo of jaasen64
3.89/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle purchased for $2. Poured into Founders snifter.

A- Pours a translucent slightly brownish golden with a fairly thin white head that leaves spotty lacing, nice consistent carbonation.

S- Earthy hops, some pine, light sweet malts that are well balanced with the hops.

T- Earthy hops, oranges, light sap, finishes fairly bitter earthy hop taste and a slightly fruity aftertaste of earthy hops, oranges, and light presence of bananas. Nice balance, personally prefer a bit more citrus though.

M- Medium bodied, decent carbonation, easy drinking.

O- This was a decent IPA, but with so many good IPAs out there it is hard to rate this one that highly. Overall I think it is definitely overrated, but very good for the price. Personally I think there are a few better IPAs you can pick up a four pack or six pack of, but not many that you can get for $2/bottle.

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

If it wasn't for all the positive comments on BA about this beer, I may not have ever tried one. But I'm glad I did because it is awesome! Found it in the singles for $1.77 a bottle, grabbed the last 2 they had. Great price, most "top-notch" brews are in the $3 range at least.

Poured into a snifter glass, nice copper color, nice lacing.

Smell? Like laying down in a forest of pine needles, with a basket of peaches spilling about!

Taste is the best part. After initially numbing the tongue, it slides down ever so smoothly, leaving a sweet, sticky residue. So good.

I've only seen this beer in one store so far, and can't wait to get some more of it! :)

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Photo of Hendry
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Lagunitas SUCKS is my first review: I got to sample this highly interesting beer at a neighborhood party,and it was an eye opener for me. Until recently, I was only an occaisional beer drinker, favoring smooth British Ales (Samuel Smiths was one of the few designer beers available 30 years ago,still a fine product).

A small glass holding 4 or 5 oz was poured for me to sample:an orange-copper color, and the first thing that struck me about this beer was the heavenly aroma. The usual list of suspects for tropical fruit launch an all out assault on your nose, the most prominent to my senses were apricots. Not being familiar with the "new" breed of hops developed during my period of disinterest in beer, I was convinced that SUCKS was brewed with apricot (i.e. Magic Hat #9),or peach, or mango. WRONG!

The blissfull aroma drew me into the first sip, which was a flavor explosion of epic proportions.
The tropical fruits are up front and the carbonation seems to accent those flavors, the finish is dry and long. This is a lip smacking beer: incredibly smooth drinking and inviting,Lagunitas SUCKS is a real winner,especially for those just starting to explore the world of "hopped up" beers that are all the rage currently.

If you are throwing a dinner party, Sucks is a bargain for $10/six pack just to see the buzz it will create amongst your guests with such an intoxicating aroma and intruiging flavors. Sucks might be the best bang for the buck in the $10 sick pack category.

I'm discovering that Vermont is a good place to be judging by the world class ratings of Hill Farmstead,The Alchemist,and Lawsons: I'll be sure to cover those in future reviews in my quest for a quality brew.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.62/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

$10.99 for a 6'er @ BevCo. Brewed with barley, rye, wheat and oats. OG=1.085, 63.21 IBU, 7.85% ABV. Pours out to a brilliantly clear sparkling deep golden/light copper, forming a small off white head with ok retention and minimal lacing. Moderate carbonation, ~2.5 carbs. The aroma is great and chockfull O' hops....pine, skunkweed, cat pee, mango and grapefruit. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a hop astringent finish. The taste is a recap of the hops balanced by a firm malt body with grainy husk character and stone fruit esters. Firm bitterness, but well balanced and leaves a pleasant mouthfeel. No perceptible off flavors or aromas.

A world class beer. A wonderful example of the style. I want another, and another...

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Photo of bum732
4.17/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

S: Resiny, fresh hops, very bold, grapefruit peel, slight breadiness, some dankness.

L: Fairly clear burnt orange, creamy white head that dissipates. Solid lacing.

T: Sweet maltiness with a prominent grapefruit peel like hoppiness Medium high resiny bitterness with a fairly prominent maltiness complementing. Big orange peel notes as it warms. Finishes a little heavy, semi-dry with additional maltiness and hop resin.

M: Medium full bodied. Medium carbonation.

A really solid, big-bodied IPA. I was surprised by the big malt presence, but still a great IPA overall.

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Photo of williamjbauer
4.72/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottled served in a pint glass

A - Clear bright gold with one finger white head with good lacing and good head retention.

S - Excellent hop bouquet of citrus grapefruit, pines, and sweet brown sugar.

T - Full palate action starting with sweetness of malt and brown sugar and grassy bitterness followed with a smooth dry bitter finish. It's almost like eating a brown sugar cookie.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation.

O - This is such a tasty and fun beer to drink. For a fairly sweet beer it is so well balanced with hops and bitterness. I really love this. This beer is among my favorites from this most excellent brewery.

Doing this again on 3-6-2013
This beer I think is just as good bottled as it was on tap fresh last year when I lived in CA. This beer is the shit. The best bang for your buck among ANY DIPA.

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Photo of screamking
4.63/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle poured into snifter.

Appearance-pours very light golden/orange, minimal white head which disappears very quickly, not much lacing. 3.5

Aroma-This beer smells very citrusy. Tangerine, grapefruit, orange sherbet, honeysuckle, lemon zest, a little woodsy pine in there too. 4.75

Taste-Oh my, the tangerine in this is unreal. Bitter grapefruit and orange peel come through quick. Nice kick of hops after you swallow. Slight hint of honey. Small notes of floral and pine round out a great taste. 4.75

Feel-light bodied but not watery, coats well and lingers on the palate, very mild carbonation. 4.25

Overall-This is a great beer! Very compatible to hopslam and some of the other big DIPA's out there. Priceline this has just about every beer on the planet beat, I got it for $9.99 a sixer. That's insanely cheap for this beer. I hope this becomes a year round brew because I need more of it, immediately. Dangerously easy to drink, abv at 7.85% is surprising, this thing will sneak up on you. 4.75

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.81/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at The Village Tavern in Geneseo into a Lagunitas mason jar.

Pours a golden, hazy orange. Big white head fizzles away into a nice film on top of the beer. Not much haze, pretty clear, actually.

Smells like a big damn fruit basket. So much tropical fruits in here- orange, pineapple, mango, grapefruit, etc.

All of the aforementioned fruits jockey for position in the taste, but a piney hop flavor runs amok through the profile as well. Intense hop bitterness is compounded by heavy, crisp carbonation to create one of the driest IPAs you'll ever drink. My favorite style of IPA.

Light body. Slick, resinous mouthfeel stays with you, even if you drink other beers. Don't drink anything else after this one.

If this beer sucks, I guess I don't really like good beer. A great save from an unfortunate situation by Lagunitas. Amazing how this substitute beer has become one of the best IPAs on the market. Glad it's going year-round.

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Photo of TaySuth
4.61/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type: Poured from a fresh bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Very nice, amber color with a solid white head that leaves behind a moderate amount of lacing.

Smell: Whoa this is interesting. Strong hop aroma of strawberry, citrus, grass, and a hint of pine. I truly cannot wait to taste this beer.

Taste: So impressed by this beer. Extremely well balanced between the strong hops and solid pale malt backbone. Flavors of strawberry,grapefruit, grass, oranges, and pine. Smooth bitterness. Just delicious.

Mouthfeel: Slightly thicker than medium body. Semi-sweet. Very good carbonation.

Overall: An absolutely unique and enjoyable IIPA that I hope to find again before it sells out.

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Photo of klivesay9
4.49/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Reviewing this as I drink it and I am not disappoined. I am not one to write a long Ass review that goes into stupid detail. This is a unique ipa that has the dank cannabaceae hop flavor that an India pale ale should. I am an ipa lover and this combines hop flavor with a smooth malty spine. The finish is succulent with a bitter tinge. smooth and sweet like the legs of a tight young vavachka. Highly recommend to any ipa lover. This would go good with a fat spliff of sensimilla.

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Photo of milliCAN
4.85/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured in a pint glass.

This beer is insane. It's got everything I like in an Imperial IPA. The sweetness stays with you throughout the finish balancing perfectly the hops. It finishes perfectly with a nice dryness left on your tongue.

I could probably drink a 6 pack of these one right after the other.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.55/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

12 ounce bottle - $1.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a near clear, light pale copper-hued body with an inch of white suds.

Smell: Heady, fruity notes of tropical fruits, varied citruses with pith included, a little liquid soap, and some resinous grassy undertones.

Taste: Pale malts, a bit of breadiness, and a low, brief sweetness imparted. Resiny, grassy, floral, but rather fruity, with tastes of pithy tangerine, mango, white grapefruit, pineapple. Moderate bitterness. Sourish, fruit juice quality with a sliver of resin and soapiness on the drying, bitterish finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Another hoppy-something from Lagunitas.

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Photo of rodkin
4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a mostly clear golden amber, with a large fluffy off-white head. Spotty lacing.

Smell is piney, grass, a bit of tropical fruit, some cereal grains. Pretty even and balanced.

Taste is tropical fruity, citrus, grains, pine, grass. It's surprisingly not very bitter, but the hop flavor still comes through. No alcohol presence to speak of.

Mouthfeel is medium thick, moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is very high. Very sessionable, tasty, bright. Just wish it had a bit more hop punch.

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Photo of smcnulty1981
4.78/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a golden color fairly transparent with a good.ammounto of carbonation has about 2 fingers of a white head had with a good ammount of lacing on the glass

S: lots of citrus piney resin notes form the hopes with slight bit of mustiness followed by a good sweet malt character with some hints of caramel and molasses

T: hop resin flavor up front again which lingers to a sweet sugar caramel finish starts a bit bitter and then finishes sweet

M: medium bodied finishes with a lingering sweetness like a barley wine but doesn't coat the mouth as much

O: good overall has hints of brown sugga not as bitter and doesn't finish as sweet good beer overall not as good as brown sugga but stands up well on its own

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

And the audacity to admit that their beer sucks is s profound that they wear it on their label like an ill-conceived tattoo, I'm most insulted that they actually pass off a pretty nice beer as something that sucks.

It's obvious horrendous appearance begins with an eerily hazed burnt orange hue and culturing bubbles that rise from its depths to fuel a foamy froth of sea foam to cap the beer. Its cellular lacing clings to the glass with broken spider webbing for a peculiar and alluring look.

And its pungent aromas are of over-ripened citrus fruit, juicy and plump in its scent are the notes of oranges, grapefruits, mangoes, tangerines, kumquats, apricots, pineapples, and lemons- its culmination of aromas are saturated with light caramel for a candied scent similar to that of the candied apples you get at the circus.

And its flavors suck every bit as much as aromas. That pungent taste of citrus is so dominant that little else arises. It's a little sad that all of us malt-lovin' beer drinkers are subjected to such sharp, acidic, and resiny taste. It's too bad that the underlying malt taste only offers support to the hops and don't offer much resistance. Distracted by the zesty taste of mangoes, apricots, pineapple, and blood orange, the beer can't soely focus on bitterness but instead shares the stage with tropical and citrus fruits.

Its creamy upstart keeps the beer from dryness, just as its dry finish prevents the linger of fruit- you just cant' win with this beer. Its ultra-dry fruity finish is diffused by subtle bitterness and its warmth is circumvented by resin dryness. What's a guy to do but simply enjoy the beer!

Truth be told, it's hard to discuss the beer's taste in a condescending way while describing the attributes that makes it wonderful. If the beer does suck, then it sucks in the most wonderful of ways.

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Lagunitas Sucks (Brown Shugga Substitute Ale) from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4.31 out of 5 based on 10,199 ratings.
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