RATINGS: 1604   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.89/5   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 8% abv, Then joyously dry-hopped for that big aroma and resinous hop flavor.

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GranvilleTim (1857) - Granville, Illinois, USA - JAN 20, 2013
Golden pour with a white head. Aroma is fruty hops/mango. Taste is fruity hops, malty backbone, nicely balanced. Another tasty beer from Lagunitas. Leaves a pleasant aftertaste.

jcos (1855) - Maryland, USA - DEC 17, 2011
Location/Date:Bottled poured on December 17th, 2011.

Appearance: Pours a clear orange with some bubbles.
Aroma: Aroma is strong of hops, barley and rye
Taste: Taste is a good amount of bitterness but not overpowering, rye and barley
Palate:Medium - medium light body, slightly slick.

Summary: I don’t know what it is, but this beer is just really really tasty right now. I have five more, which is great, so I’ll get to try again. Wow.

GreatLibations (1854) - Last Supper, Arizona, USA - JAN 27, 2013
Golden color with a lasting creamy froth. Big hop aroma with a touch of wet herb. Full nectar with soft residual effers creating a wonderful creamy texture. This brew is balanced nicely with hops fore, mid and finish bittered. Excellent sense of maltmanship. Stupendous results! ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

tastybeer (1853) - Indiana, USA - DEC 10, 2011
UPDATED: DEC 22, 2011 Bottle. Orange/copper pour, nice off-white head, good retention/lacing. As soon as you open the bottle you get a nose full of grapefruit, tangerine, pine, caramel, light biscuit. Taste is sharp citrus bitterness, sweet caramel malt. Palate is soft, oily, bitter finish. This beer definitely does not suck, and I would take this over brown shugga any day.

wxman (1848) - O’Fallon, Illinois, USA - JAN 26, 2013
UPDATED: JAN 30, 2013 Sucks? NOT!! On tap at Global Brew. Pours a beautiful clear golden with a medium white head. Sweet citrus hop aroma. Sweet malts and a pleasant bitterness/sourness dominate the flavor. Really good without being overly hoppy.

ChadPolenz (1847) - 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?!

Beaver (1846) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - JAN 10, 2013
12 oz bottle. Pours slightly hazy golden orange with a big fluffy white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is some bready malts and a little sweet fruit with a ton of piney, resiny and slightly dank hops.

The flavor is sweet watery / washed out malts with a good sized piney, dank and tropical fruity hop bitterness (not as much as expected from the nose though). The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation and a bit watery.

Overall, a very fine resiny, dank, fruity IPA - a little watery though.

neongolden (1832) - Linköping, Sweden/Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - NOV 5, 2014
(350ml bottle from Systembolaget) Pours a very slightly hazed pale golden orange with a short lived white head that fades to a ring quickly with a little lace. Aroma is nice and vibrant, with pink grapefruit, hints of candied orange, some red berries, light tropical notes, and a lightly spicy, herbal undertone that could be rye as well as hops. Otherwise malts are restrained in the nose. On the palate, sweetish initially with orange, grapefruit, strawberry, and a lot of earthy, spicy herbal/floral hop characters. In the middle, it’s half sweet, half bitter with the hop character still dominant. Towards the finish, the characters of the grain bill come into focus, with a peppery rye note and a creaminess from oats, alongside a moderate resinous bitterness and lingering citrus/tropical notes. The feel at the finish is smooth and rounded with that oat character. Mouthfeel is medium-full otherwise, and the carb quite soft. Perhaps that mouthfeel is the beer’s biggest strength, and the best contribution of the complex grain bill. Alongside is a nice, fruity/spicy hop profile that matches it, making for a very balanced and drinkable DIPA. I’d not call this an ASA, but who cares, it’s good stuff!

skmikeg (1826) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 2, 2013
UPDATED: FEB 6, 2013 Pours a deep golden orange with a small off white head. Aroma is of citrus hops, pine, weed, tropical fruits, sweet malts, and some rye. Taste is of nice resinous citrus hops, pine, tropical fruits, sweet malts, sour rye malts, and some fresh cut grass. Has a medium body with a semi creamy mouthfeel and a semi dry, pretty bitter, yet still refreshing finish. Overall, a well made and drinkable IPA that I wish would be available all year now.

Nephilium (1821) - Cleveland, Ohio, USA - JAN 14, 2013
Big grapefruit and hop aroma. Pours a pale light yellow, with just a dusting of white head. This is a big hop bomb, with grapefruit and pine notes. Not much else going on, but this is a fine hop bomb.

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