victory4me (9) - Havertown, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 18, 2012 does not count
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
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.
ChadPolenz (1651) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - FEB 16, 2012
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
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?!
Smeade (80) - Illinois, USA - FEB 15, 2012
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
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
eriendeau22 (23) - Taunton, Massachusetts, USA - FEB 14, 2012
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Very good IPA. West Coast style, which I love. Better than most but a slight step below the Pliney/Heady Toppers of the world.
brew3crew (166) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - FEB 13, 2012
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Wow. Very surprising beer. Great tropical hops on the nose and throughout the taste. Very smooth and extremely drink able
dogfishho (669) - Bloomfield, New Jersey, USA - FEB 13, 2012
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
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.
Leighton (18012) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - FEB 12, 2012
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
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.
Silphium (3191) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - FEB 10, 2012
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
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.
douglas88 (8147) - Portland, Oregon, USA - FEB 9, 2012
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
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.
19Ei8hty (1166) - Washington, USA - FEB 8, 2012
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
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.