I know you guys have probably noticed that I tend to talk about one beer quite frequently. It gets mentioned by me a ton because it’s a really great example of a few key aspects of tasting beer, namely aroma and balance. Unfortunately Lagunitas insists on making Sucks only once a year as a limited release but that kind of keeps it special too.
This years version is rocking everything that makes Sucks great and while we only have 2011 and 2012 to compare to it’s still everything I remember. I often refer to Lagunitas Sucks as the ‘Orange Crush’ of IPAs(or IIPAs I’m honestly not sure what it is) because of its potent orange flavour and relatively sweet finish considering the ABV(7.85%) but also with its high clarity and light lovibonds. The apparent lack of malt and nearer to light beer appearance makes this beer a sleeper visually. Give it an aggressive pour into a large glass and let the head settle for a minute. Then sniff it. Go ahead, don’t be afraid. Breathe that sucker in. Let it sink in. What do you smell? Melons, orange peel, mango, guava? It’s all there. I could literally be satiated by just smelling this beer it is truly that amazing, especially when it first arrives. The unique aroma of this brew is made possible by an amazing hop bill(Chinook, Simcoe, Apollo, Summit, Nugget and HBC342) that includes several unique varieties and at least one experimental hop variety(HBC342) that lends Sucks it’s melon like flavours.
Not too tropical but not too piney Sucks really delivers on flavour. When I say it tastes like Orange Crush I mean literally that; tangerine, melon, citrus peel and sugar abound and it’s great. With 7.85% ABV to contend with the brewers at Lagunitas prove why they are some of the best around.
Balance is a particularly challenging aspect of brewing and balancing these really extreme beers with really extreme flavours is hard. But even with the amazing variety and amount of hops in Sucks it is still exceptionally easy drinking, which is dangerous for the unseasoned drinker, or let’s face it, the seasoned drinker as well.
This post has been delayed by a load of life getting in the way of my writing so I’m doubtful you’d be able to find Sucks right now but just trust me it’s good. If you’re looking for something similar check out the offerings from Tap It Brewing(IPA and APA) available at Sherbrooke Liquor.