Serve in Snifter, Tulip


on tap

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RATINGS: 1538   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.91/5   IBU: 63   EST. CALORIES: 240   ABV: 8%
AKA Holiday Ale
AKA Holiday Leftover Ale
AKA Brown Sugar Substitute

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.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
victory4me (9) - Havertown, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 18, 2012 does not count
Pours a clear golden with a big fluffy head with lots of lacing. Huge aroma of pineapple, grapefruit, citrus, and apricot. Bold flavors of citrus combined with a piney bitterness that is not overwhelming. Beautiful beer for any hophead. One of the best IPAs I’ve ever had.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
ChadPolenz (1651) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - FEB 16, 2012
I appreciate breweries with a sense of humor, whether subtle or obvious and in the case of Lagunitas Sucks Holiday Ale it’s clear they were going for irony of Orwellian proportions. It most definitely does not suck, in fact it’s close to absolute perfection. A beer with amazing, delicious taste, smooth drinkability and is very versatile. The only thing that sucks about this beer is that it’s not a year-round offering.

I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Bright orange color with only slight haze; some carbonation bubbles visible. Forms a large, bright white, frothy head which retains and laces beautifully.

Smell: Magnificent bouquet of fleshy tropical fruits (i.e. mango, papaya, guava, passion fruit); noticeable sweet candy-like aroma too plus organic flowers. Extremely inviting.

Taste: Sometimes you know a beer is great when you drink it quickly because you enjoy it so much. I drank Lagunitas Sucks Holiday Ale in about five minutes because it was so delectable. The palate matches the nose perfectly: a strong, delightful and delicious palate of tropical fruit, candy sweetness and prominent hop bitterness that doesn’t overwhelm. It’s akin to tropical fruit juice mixed with hops and Spree candy.

The palate begins with a sharp, somewhat dry hop bitterness. Then the fruit flavors of grapefruit, passion fruit, guava, et al come rushing in. It’s a wonderful combination of hop bitterness and hop-derived fruitiness. I’m guessing this beer was made with Citra and Amarillo hops. I get a strong orange character which imparts some tartness, but not acidity. There’s noticeable sweetness too, like fruit-flavored sucker candy and it finishes with just a bit of resin or pine on the back end. The hops linger on the tongue and are rather dry, but so do the fruit flavors. A very pleasant sensation all around.

Drinkability: This is a beer that rides that fine line between single and double IPA in terms of robustness and complexity of palate. The hops are the star of the show, as it is quite bitter, but its bitterness reading seems a little low at 63.21 IBUs. The ABV, however, seems a bit high at 7.85%. It doesn’t have the bulk or density of a beer that strong and there’s no alcohol presence whatsoever. The delicious taste is made even better by the fact the beer feels so comfortable in the mouth and goes down so smoothly. A full-bodied palate for sure, yet it doesn’t feel thick or sticky. Lagunitas Sucks Holiday Ale is versatile, too, as it would be ideal for spicy food pairings, but its tasty enough to enjoy as a dessert. When’s the last time you could say that about an IPA?!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Smeade (80) - Illinois, USA - FEB 15, 2012
S: clear, bronze, color, average carbonation, thin white head A: floral, citrusy, clean, sweet, hoppy aromas with an almost sticky nose T: dry, bitter, hoppiness, clean, a little fruit, orange/lemon; nose was deceiving, not as much taste as smell O: a solid brew, lagunitas has made another good one. This beer is the opposite of "sucks." well balanced, tasty, starts sweet, goes bitter, finishes smooth ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
eriendeau22 (23) - Taunton, Massachusetts, USA - FEB 14, 2012
Very good IPA. West Coast style, which I love. Better than most but a slight step below the Pliney/Heady Toppers of the world.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
brew3crew (166) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - FEB 13, 2012
Wow. Very surprising beer. Great tropical hops on the nose and throughout the taste. Very smooth and extremely drink able

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
dogfishho (669) - Bloomfield, New Jersey, USA - FEB 13, 2012
IPA love in a glass. Wonderfully pure expression of a classic west coast IPA. I’m not sure what it is about this beer that gets to me so much, but it has an innate balance that makes me not miss Brown Shugga whatsoever. I hope they "suck" every year.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Leighton (18012) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - FEB 12, 2012
Keg at Brouwerij Lane, Brooklyn, with Seth. Clear gold pour with a medium, off-white foam head. Sweaty pine hops in the nose, some grapes and other ripe fruits. Wet hay. Big sweet flavor, medium to strong bitterness, pine, ripe citrus, bread. Full bodied with average carbonation. Sticky, oily finish. Big hops all around, big sweetness. Pretty hefty stuff. I like.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Silphium (3191) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - FEB 10, 2012
Draft at Crunchy’s, East Lansing. Clear orange-brown body, thin buff head/ring. Big, juicy hops nose with tangeringe and tropical fruit, with bitter notes and alcohol warmth. Crisp, bitter, citrusy body with tangerine and papaya backed by toasty malts, sharpened by prickly alcohol notes. Strong but lean. Very nice.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
douglas88 (8147) - Portland, Oregon, USA - FEB 9, 2012
12 ounce bottle thanks to Craig. Pours a clear copper color with a large white head. The aroma is sweet citrus with tropical fruit. The flavor is a simple and tasty hop forward brew; pineapple, citrus, lingering bitterness, a bit of biscuit. Very smooth. Insanely drinkable.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
19Ei8hty (1166) - Washington, USA - FEB 8, 2012
Huge spruce nose - jumped out of the bottle and drop kicked my nose with a steel-toe boot. Big sweet malt body. Some herbal and floral qualities. Strong ripe fruit character. A bit of pepper on top of tropical notes. Really nice hop spice and citrus. This is Lagunitas bread-and-butter; a perfect example of their balls-out, straight-up muscle car horsepower, bull in the china shop approach that leaves little to the imagination but is dead center bulleye and every other cliche in the book.

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