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Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

3,431 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3431
Reviews: 1290
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 11.69%


Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  9.99% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 12-13-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,431 | Reviews: 1,290 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of xpando420
xpando420

California

5/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

very possibly my favorite ale. i waited for 8 months for it to be re-released, this year in 6-packs. Brown shugga is actually a variant of lagunitas Gnarlywine, an aptly named barlywine. the taste of the brown sugar makes it very pleasant to drink, hides the alcohol well. definately best nearly ice-cold in a chilled pint glass.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2007 00:54:38 | More by xpando420
Photo of Gehrig
Gehrig

Illinois

5/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Brown Shugga reminds me of a Brian Regan sketch, when he is describing how good the food should be at a $1,000/plate political fund raiser: "Oh my God! This is so good!" This is nothing short of outstanding. I'm very reluctant to dole out 5s, but this is gets 5s across the board from me.

A dense, durable finger of slightly tan froth tops a copper-brown body, and the pint glass is decorated with layers of lacing--great presentation. The smell is amazing--full of hops, like a loaded IPA and close to a good DIPA, but there's much more as well. Lots of brown sugar allows this beer to more than live up to its name, but is accompanied by caramel and whiffs of fruit. A terrific nose, and one of the more complex ones I've ever had.

The taste is it, IT, for strong ale. Lots of hops, sugar, and fruit, and amazingly all are held in balance. I can't say how impressed I am with this. Ideally carbonated and smooth like a Larry Bird jump shot, the mouthfeel and drinkability on this are spot-on--not too sweet, not hop-dominated, just right. Upon reflection, I'm doubly amazed that the high ABV (9.9%) is so easily masked. Just superb.

This has officially joined my short list of favorite beers. I tried to think of ways in which to improve this that might result in a slightly lower score in some way, but cannot, and I'm glad for it. Five stars. Amazing beer!

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2008 19:39:57 | More by Gehrig
Photo of jaydanahy
jaydanahy

New Jersey

5/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sweet sugar goodness! For those brown ale fans, this is a fun one...if the gold standard is Sam Smith, this is in the discussion. It's a beautiful brown pour, very strong in alcohol...I would limit the consumption with a nice session beer behind it..

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2009 22:16:50 | More by jaydanahy
Photo of HiLLWiLLiam
HiLLWiLLiam

Mississippi

5/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I can't believe this beer is 9.9% ABV seeing as I sip them like wine coolers on the daily. There is only one store in my set that carries them and I buy him out of stock in singles regularly. Beautiful red tint, smooth going down. High class no matter how you look at it.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2010 02:32:31 | More by HiLLWiLLiam
Photo of PeterNeilsonPMN
PeterNeilsonPMN

Ontario (Canada)

5/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Just had this on tap tonight in Marcella's Restaurant in Columbus Ohio. Very fresh, fruity smell and taste. Deep dark golden brown, clear. Lovely color. Very hoppy. It was perfect with the Italian appetizers we had while waiting for the main course. One of the nicest beers I've had in a while. Impressive. The restaurant is awesome too. Highly recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

11-11-2012 05:10:59 | More by PeterNeilsonPMN
Photo of JayDub667
JayDub667


5/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

As I said in my profile, I'm a simple beer lover. Don't care about the lace, head, color... I will say it looks beautiful in a frosty mug. Nice amber with not too much of a head. The taste is amazing. Hoppy, spicy, and sweet all at the same time. Goes down smooth and leaves your taste buds begging for more. You can taste the alcohol but, even at 9.9%, it's nowhere near as prominent as a lot of beers near this potency. Great tasting beer that packs one hell of a punch. I drank 3 last night and felt like I downed 7 or 8 MGD's. I would HIGHLY recommend this incredible, delicious beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2012 08:21:14 | More by JayDub667
Photo of Bernardkowalski
Bernardkowalski


5/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Absolutely one of my favorite beers!! honestly can go good with anything, but you are better off enjoying this beer by itself. it has so much too offer, such great combination between the yeast and malt's making this an outstanding brew. you can put this on my list of top beers.

Serving type: on-tap

02-16-2013 23:20:21 | More by Bernardkowalski
Photo of industrialswill
industrialswill

Washington

4.97/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My Oh My !!!

This is some good stuff!
Dark brown with a thick tan colored head.
Powerfull smell with the promise of a strong beer up ahead.
Tastes exactly like what I had hoped, a full boogey ale full of rich roasted malt and a nice hop balance. The heat from the 10% ABV is so nice. This is practically the perfect beer for me. Hope these are available in Heaven.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2010 01:21:09 | More by industrialswill
Photo of atorres600
atorres600

California

4.9/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

this is my new fav beer from lagunitas. i really like what they did here with this brew. I adore the blends of barley and brown sugar used in this beer. I think it has a GREAT taste and ratio. great job highly recommended !! i have a 6er in the fridge at all times now ... till it runs out !

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2010 04:31:37 | More by atorres600
Photo of Jhastings79
Jhastings79


4.86/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

What can I say? To me, this is just one of those beers that I fell in love with from the first drop that hit my tongue. Right off the bat you get the hoppy sensation that wakes your taste buds and lets them know that you mean business. And there is no denying the brown sugar that they so proudly named this beer after. But don't get too caught up in getting that third and forth opinon too quickly the ABV will sneak up on you very fast.

Look both ways before you cross the street with this treat.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2013 10:56:29 | More by Jhastings79
Photo of pmcadamis
pmcadamis

Illinois

4.85/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Found this on tap at Old Chicago in Peoria!

A - Clear amber brew topped with a tight one finger white head of really fluffy and crispy-looking foam. The head reminds me of that white stuff that people put underneath their Christmas villages.

S - Wow! Super-hoppy and very sugary too. I can smell the brown sugar for sure, but this is pretty much all about the big Northwestern hops. Cascade maybe?

T - This is really piney, a little bit citrusy, and very solidly malted too. The brown sugar is there, but again...hop city! The malts live up to the very demanding nature of the hops and serve to make this crazy brew balanced....if you can call a nearly 10% abv beer brewed with brown sugar balanced.

M - Full bodied, nicely carbonated...crisp, but never distracting from the flavor. Really sugary and boozy. This is balanced, moderately dry on the finish, and somewhat oily. A very solid and structured brew!

D - Sobriety be damned! I want more of this glorious stuff! This is really an outstanding brew....could take the place of a brandy after dinner, but it's balanced enough to drink a few of if you aren't planning on operating any heavy machinery in the next few hours!

Serving type: on-tap

12-03-2007 06:41:21 | More by pmcadamis
Photo of Damian
Damian

Massachusetts

4.85/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Drank from a 12 FLUID OZ bottle purchased at Crazy Bruce's Liquors, West Hartford, CT

Poured a gorgeous, crystal clear, dark crimson-orange with a tight, creamy, two-finger, light saddle head that slowly faded to a thick ring of froth. Lots of spotty lacing stuck all along the glass.

The aroma was intense and enticing. As the name suggests, brown sugar was immediately noticeable. Rich, caramel malts also came through strong along with hints of Christmas cookies and a touch of alcohol. A nice mix of sweet and spicy.

The flavor was full, rich and incredibly well balanced. So smooth and creamy. Tons of bready, rich, sweet malts came through up front. Brown sugar and gingerbread were noticeable in the center. Juicy, ripe fruits (peaches and apricots) came through as well. Sweet, citrusy hops (some orange peel) appeared in the finish along with indications of orange liquor. A sweet, sticky coating of this orange liquor-like flavor lingered in my mouth (as well as on my lips) long after the beer was finished.

Mouthfeel was creamy, smooth and medium-full bodied with a fine, mild carbonation. Silky smooth on the palate. Syrupy and sticky.

Drinkability was simply off the charts. The alcohol in this beer is hitting me hard but where did the liquid go? I simply cannot believe I am almost finished. I have labeled other beers as being "dangerously drinkable" but this one puts them to shame. 9.9% ABV? This certainly must be a typo.

Simply put, this is an exceptionally well-rounded beer. Its sweet, sugary aspect is apparent, yet it never becomes cloying or messy. (This beer borders on being a sweeter version of a barleywine, and a damn fine one at that.) Brown Shugga' actually reminds me a great deal of Lagunitas's own Sneak Release Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale, but slightly better. I advise you to seek out this magical beer at any cost.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2008 03:48:08 | More by Damian
Photo of mataelbata
mataelbata

Minnesota

4.83/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

this beer was recommended to me and serves as my introduction to Lagunitas Beers. I love it. It is such a drinkable beer at 9.9% abv. It deserves respect. I don't think that it will improve with age, it is perfect as is! I would definitely try more of Lagunitas.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2009 01:12:30 | More by mataelbata
Photo of dmk139
dmk139

New York

4.83/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a surprisingly drinkable beer considering the high IBU and ABV. The balance between the bitterness and the sweetness is very unique for me. Poured into a Pilsner Glass left it with a nice frothy head with a strong lace. I can find absolutely nothing wrong with this beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2009 19:04:47 | More by dmk139
Photo of rootbeerman
rootbeerman

Virginia

4.83/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: arrived in an imperial pint glass, with a finger and a half of light brown head, the body was dark amber brown. with huge chunks of foam lacing.

S: sweet brown sugar, and caramel, very malty a slight floral hop.

T: again very sweet, with brown sugar and caramel. like a liquid sugar cookie. this beer hides its alcohol rather well. there also is a very slight hop citrus. flavor lingers around for a long time!

M: smooth, clean lightly coating, hangs around.
D: perfect between hiding its alcohol and smooth simple yet very good flavors.
have no idea of the age of the cask.

Serving type: cask

06-02-2010 01:03:11 | More by rootbeerman
Photo of BeerKangaroo
BeerKangaroo

Alaska

4.83/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Into a pint glass:

A: hazy brown colored body leaving a one finger white foamy head that appears and leaves some nice slightly thick yet spotty lacing in rings around the sides of the pint glass. The body is too hazy for any carbonation to be seen rising.

S: hops up front, different for an ASA (but I know Stone's Arrogant is also fairly hoppy up front, could be a west coast thing, not sure). The malts play nicely in the background coming more forward as the beer warms.

T: excellent as the hops and the malts combine just about perfectly

M: slight sticky feel in my mouth and on the tongue, ranging on the medium side. Though the ABV is pretty high, this is quite drinkable.

O: I'm thoroughly impressed and most likely will run out to buy more of these.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2012 17:43:03 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of MAB
MAB

Alberta (Canada)

4.8/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I think Lagunitas is my favorite brewery find- I like everything of theirs I've been able to locate, which is no mean feat in Canada!
The bottles/ labels are worth the price alone, but this beer was exquisite.
I've made and had beer with brown sugar in it before, but this would prove why it's a good idea to experiment.
It pours nice, and is a deep amber color. It is quite bitter, with good aroma and bittering hops, plus malty and full bodied, and the high alcohol level brings all the flavors out. There was a sweet aftertaste, but is not overly sweet while drinking it and it feels wonderful on the tongue. Wow!

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2003 19:37:25 | More by MAB
Photo of Jarod
Jarod

Pennsylvania

4.8/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sweet release, nice label detailed with writing around the picture.

This beer poured into the glass a burnt orange brown color that was cloudy in nature, but one could see carbonation bubbles rising if one held it to the light. The head that it produced was tanish beige in color that was thick and creamy and left big chunky lace behind. The aromas that it beer produced were of fresh, raw, just harvested hops - cascade I believe, fresh fruit - apples, sweet malt, caramel, brown sugar, apricots, fresh cut grass and alcohol. The tastes were much like the smells, fresh raw leafy hops, sweet malts, caramel, brown sugar, some roasted malts, fresh fruit - apples, a fresh grass appeal, apricots -fresh and dried, and alcohol (which showed up all through the tasting). It left a hoppy aftertaste that was rather pleasant and not overbaring and actually became less noticable and sweeter as the beer warmed. This is one full, thick and creamy beer. In one beer word EXCELLANT.

Thanks to Gusler for the opportunity to experience a wonderful brew.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2003 18:07:53 | More by Jarod
Photo of stephendr
stephendr

California

4.8/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

red copper hue , nose of light hops , sweet and clean, taste is chewy with a sweet/ sour and metallic thing going on, sweet shugga finish, on of my personal favorites red copper hue , nose of light hops , sweet and clean, taste is chewy with a sweet/ sour and metallic thing going on, sweet shugga finish, on of my personal favorites

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2006 05:47:49 | More by stephendr
Photo of hossua34
hossua34

California

4.8/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a rich, hearty reddish-brown. Reminds me of fall leaves. A moderate sized head the color of brown sugar (no surprise) lingers a long time as a layer of foamy bubbles. Sticky lacing lingers on the glass.

S - This is seriously the best-smelling beer I have ever come across. A candied, caramellized hops note comes on strong, with a background of berries, spices and brown sugar. Deliciously complex with a smooth, sweet citrus finish. I know this is my second cheesy, poetic statement of this review, but for some reason I immediately thought of Christmas. I really did.

T - Oh my god I want to make love to this beer. The first taste is of candied, citrusy hops, tart but perfectly balanced out by the sweet brown sugary finish. An warm aftertaste of alcohol, sugar and cranberries. Delicous, complex, unique... what else is there to say?

M - This is the only place where I can really dock this beer any points. The high alcohol content, while it doesn't ruin the taste, gives it a hot feeling in the mouth and throat. The thickness is a little much, as well - bordering on syrupy. Relatively minor flaws, however, given the beer overall.

D - Never have I so happily sipped down a 12 oz. glass of beer over a 45 minute period. This has to be my #1 pick for a winter/Christmas beer, even though I don't believe it's marketed as a holiday ale. Just smelling and looking at this beer had me rambling on about the changing seasons and Christmas... enough said. I bought a single bottle of this as part of a $9.99 pick-your-own six pack; if I'd known then what I know now, I'd have taken out six of these and happily marched up to the counter.

In short, it makes Arrogant Bastard look like liquified dog sh*t - buy it on sight.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2009 20:41:10 | More by hossua34
Photo of mostpoetsdo
mostpoetsdo

Rhode Island

4.8/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Ruby/amber-brown, with light tan, albeit a tad thin, head, leaving behind nice splotchy, circular lacing.

S: Citrus hops shoot up the nostrils, followed by the soothing, delectable scents of brown sugar, reminds me of a DIPA.

T: The "barleywine gone wrong" makes for one of the best beers I've had in a while. There is such a strong presence of citrus hops, that makes me think, "oh, DIPA," but then there is the incredible, yet not overpowering, sweetness of brown sugar that I just haven't experienced with any other beer. This brew walks the tightrope with a near-perfect balance of hoppy bitterness to malty sweetness. The contrast of sharp hops and brown sugar is like no other and works beautifully.

M: Excellently carbonated, medium body, very smooth, near creamy. Faint alcohol burn, but that's to be expected with the style.

D: I have nothing but positive things to say about this beer. It might be among my favorites of all time.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2010 23:00:44 | More by mostpoetsdo
Photo of vdread
vdread

Texas

4.8/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Brown Shugga pours a rich caramel color with a little cap.

smells of piny resinous hops, sweet caramel malt. god these hops are thick

oh brown shugga you are deceptive! i thought that the first thing i would taste would be a blast of alcohol, but that's not the case at all. i sense literally no alcohol presence here. it's super-sweet, bordering on syrupy, with floral and pine hop resin coming out the wazoo. rich with malty goodness, there are layers of caramel, slight roastiness, dark fruit... why is it that Lagunitas brews always leave me speechless. simply fantastic.

mouthfeel good, full, leaving a great aftertaste.

drinkability? do i even need to comment? i fucking LOVE this stuff...LOVE Lagunitas, LOVE everything they make.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2010 01:37:29 | More by vdread
Photo of YouSkeete
YouSkeete

Massachusetts

4.8/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From notes; had at Cambridge Common

A: Red/Mahogany. Clear and bubbly with a small tan head.

S: Heavy notes of brown sugar and thick malts. Complex dark fruit, FRESH hops.

T: Extra thick malt, loads of hops, dark wine-like sugared fruits (figs, apples, grapes). BIG brown sugar flavor. Amazing malt/hop character. Aged oak and wood make their way to the tongue. Nutty aftertaste.

M: Carbonation and body both on the high side. Fantastically well-balanced.

D: I tend to stay away from comparing beer-to-beer, but think Arrogant Bastard with brown sugar. Yes. Yes yes yes.

Serving type: on-tap

01-18-2011 22:43:45 | More by YouSkeete
Photo of AScribjr
AScribjr

Michigan

4.78/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Once agaian Lagunitas hit it out of the park...Pour dark amber with a nice thick head that stays with the beer. And a very lace. The Sweet Release is a nice winter beer, with great flavor. Drinkability is is so nice you must be aware of it's 9.9 ABV. This is a beer I will enjoy again, and I hope you enjoy this one also...

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2010 20:55:03 | More by AScribjr
Photo of MrPlayboy
MrPlayboy

Illinois

4.73/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Very interesting beer. It is like an IPA but has that biting bitter hop finish and cloying sweetness of a barleywine. Almost a washed cheese rind flavor like trappist cheese. I can't tell if I really like it or not. Which may be why this beer has captured my attention. Its like stinky cheese; you don't particularly like it but keep coming back because of how different it is. I will be aging some bottles to see what happens. Good stuff but then again I'm not sure.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2014 18:33:00 | More by MrPlayboy
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Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,431 ratings.