Lagunitas Sucks: Holiday Ale – When hearing that Brown Shugga wasn’t going to be released this year, I really didn’t know what to expect. Although I typically don’t go wild for it, I still thought it was peculiar that the brewery was goofing on the release and I knew that they would have to do something to make up for it. Then I heard about them making a beer poking fun at themselves for the screw up. Apparently, the brewery didn’t have the capacity to make Brown Shugga this year and made this instead. After drinking Lagunitas Sucks, I can honestly say that I wouldn’t care if they never made Brown Shugga again.
I typically don’t like reviewing IPAs due to the fact that almost every IPA review comes out exactly the same and usually sound something like this – “Hops hops hops, bitterness, bitterness blah blah blah”. I made an exception for this one because I was so pleasantly surprised that I felt it was worth mentioning.
I drank this from my Bruery tulip glass. It poured a dark auburn color with a healthy head. The head lingered for a few minutes and left a decent amount of lacing along the top of the glass. From the looks of it, I could already tell this was going to be good.
The smell was incredible. I think that the only beer I could accurately compare the smell with is Bell’s Hop Slam. It reeked of citrus, pineapple, other tropical fruits and maybe a slight bit of honey. This smell lingered for a while until it warmed and the hops married with the malt and alcohol. The alcohol wasn’t very apparent, but more like a visitor in the background.
The taste was much like it smelt. The beer had a bitterness that started in sides of my tongue, traveled to the back, and then exploded with pineapple and tropical fruit. There was bitterness, but not tongue-numbing bitterness. Lagunitas Sucks doesn’t have the ultra-dry finish which their regular release IPA has, which is definitely a good thing to me. This is a very drinkable beer and I wish that I had purchased a case because I was thirsty for more.
Lagunitas really scored a home run on this one and they clearly had the right attitude. They screwed up by not making Brown Shugga, but had the good spirit to recognize it and make fun of themselves by making this beer instead. I’m not sure if they’re going to be making this part of their yearly line up, but I really hope that they do. Otherwise, I guess we can hope that they start to make this their new holiday release, and we’ll all have something to look forward to every year.