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Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,469 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,469
Hads: 5,135
Avg: 4
pDev: 21%
Wants: 249
Gots: 965 | FT: 14
Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  9.99% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 12-13-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Brown Shugga' Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,469 | Hads: 5,135
Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lagunitas Brown Shugga purchased at Boo's in Columbus Ga.
appearance: Beautiful! orange, brown, amber. Clear with a pretty decent creamy head.
smell: Wow, what a nice balance of malty sweetness and hoppy, citrus accents.
taste: And just as great as the nose advertises. Sort of a barleywine mixed with a DIPA....carefully mixed and well executed.
Creamy and quaffable.
Between Avery, DFH, and Lagunitas...what a great lot.

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Photo of JoeBloe
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

i can certainly echo everything in the previous posts and reviews of this beer - i really like brown shugga - an excellent brew for all the reasons previously posted - my sixpack of 12oz squat bottles appears to have screw caps - i find them impossible to unscrew by hand, even with one of those kitchen drawer rubber grip bottle opening things - removing the cap with an opener reveals that there are indeed screw threads on the neck of the bottle - perhaps the high malt/shugga content has welded the thread interface tight with heavy molasses-like sugars - all the more fun to get at the prized liquid -

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Photo of boomecho
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful lacing (tulip), and pleasantly aromatic. Warm, almost rummy, alcohol finish. Drinks very well considering the 10% ABV. I will go back to this time and again. Well done.

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Photo of gopens44
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Just about as ruby red as it gets. Very little retention of an otherwise thin foamy head.

S - Hops and a touch of caramel in the nose

T - Hoppy, nice well balanced bitterness amongst the very pleasant sweetness

M - Medium carbonation and thick on the tongue. Slightly bitter aftertaste.

Great beer! Reminded me a little of Oaked Arrogant Bastard, so when I either can't find one of those fresh or don't want to pay the high price, I think this may be a good substitute. Thanks to the guys from Lagunitas for putting this out, I'll drink this quite often!

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Photo of BradBLR
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a wonderful beer. First was the smell of the beer, it was great smelling a little sweet. The first taste was a little shocking, a lot stronger that I was expecting. But after the intial shock, this beer was great. A very strong taste, with a nice hop flavor. Also the slite sweetness that accompanied was excellent. Try this beer, it's seasonal so keep your eyes open for this one!

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Photo of AlexanderCsamaj
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Over the years I have loved and fallen out of love with this beer. The first season my friends and I discovered it, about 4-5 years ago, we couldn't get enough. We were so into it we had distributors hunting it down and then bought all they could find. Then another season came and something had changed. It wasn't what it had been... One of my good friends, Dr. Burton, was not as fickle as I. He tasted it, said some nice things about it and then shelved it. A few months after my initial taste for that season he presented it to me. It was all I had hoped it to be; malted brown sugar with the right amount of hoppiness supported by a healthy does of alcohol. It put a smile on my face. I am a fan of this beer. If your first bottle isn't making you smile, let it sit. It learns to please as it matures.

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Photo of --Dom--
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is awesome. It has a taste and an aroma all it's own It doesn't follow a style or try to fit into a niche. It's just good. If you like barleywines and old ales you'll love it. If you like Ipa's and Dipa's you'll love it. Wish it was available year round.

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Photo of BrewThru_29
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

For some reason I've never tried this one. Poured into a snifter. Nice head. Great dark amber color. Smells of sweet candy, grapefruit, and some dank hops as well. Flavor up front is fairly sweet with candy type flavors and then the fruity hops hit on the back end and balance this brew out nicely. Great flavor for a winter DIPA. Can't detect the near 10% ABV. This will definitely get a repeat visit to my fridge this winter.

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Photo of ckollias
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a Belgian tulip glass.

A: Pours a clear copper hue with a thick white head that slowly dissipates leaving a great trail and ends in a wispy lace.

S: Hoppy and malty aroma mix.

T: More hoppy than what I would have figured for a beer named Brown Shugga. Slightly sweet and some fruits mixed in with a sugary malt.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Alcohol sneaks up on you for this for one. Solid brew – lagunitas never disappoints.

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Photo of Seanniek91
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle to a Newport Storm pint glass.

Appearance- Beautiful amber with two finger fluffy white head. Head lasted about a minute leaving beautiful lacing.

Smell- Caramel malts, floral hops, bourbon, vanilla. Very nice.

Taste- First I get a pleasant sweetness from the malts then it brings the hop flavor and some light bitterness. The near 10% is hidden perfectly.

Mouthfeel- Nicely carbonated. Not too resinous. Fills the mouth nicely.

Overall- I was a little worried by the name of the beer so I bought a single and I'm glad I did. This is a very nice beer.

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Photo of kgotcher
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a real beer.

The "brown" labeling lead me wrong. This is definately more on the imperial ale style or a mini barley wine. Be warned.

Pours a pretty dense head with tons of lacings clinging everywhere they can. Deep amber color. Nice. . .

Smell is sweet and malty with nice earthy hop tones. A tempting hint of what is to come. Mouthfeel is sweet and slick. Taste is complex and delicious, piney hops and sweet malty alchohol burst into my mouth. Awesome flavor but not overly strong like some Imperial or double styles. Serious kick in the alchohol department but not overly noticable.

Usually I don't rate this style of beer high on drinkability but this one is different. I am very happy with this brew and will happily drink my share. But with almost 10% ABV you have to be careful, this one will do you in quickly.

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Photo of santomark
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

This is one mother of a beer! One of the best strong ales I've had and the sad thing is I can only get it this time of year. If you take a breathe of this in, it's like sticking your nose in a bag of brown sugar. Very sweet up front on the nose. Goes down malty, fig, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, a mildly spiced brew. Overall, I am in love with this beer. I wish they did some variety for this, age it in some whiskey, bourbon, rye barrels. Give it an even better kick.

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Photo of MaineBrewing
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a clear dark amber with a little chill haze, slight red hue to the color. Head was thick and frothy a mix of medium bubbles and lots of fine suds.

S - Aroma is a dark complex amalgam of sweet malt. A candied cherry fruitness. tons and tons of molasses, rum like. Burnt sugar.

T - I have had this 6 pack for a few months, upon first release it was very hoppy. Its only probably been 3 months tops? the hops have fallen off completely to let the beautiful malt shine. This is certainly unique from other barleywine style ales as it is very rum like. SO I guess its less of a malt character and more of a candy, sugar. Lots of toffee. Although the aroma hops have faded, the finish is very hoppy, not so much bitter but just a nice bite, very quenching, and balances the malt sweetness well. Without this it would be way too cloying, but that is not the case. This beer is great.

M - Mouthfeel is par for the course, thick, just enough carbonation to keep it lively. finishes sweet but the bitter hops as mentioned above quell the sweetness.

O - This beer is probably my favorite from Lagunitas. If your looking for a traditional barleywine this might be a little too sweet and rummy, but it tastes great to me, just a unique flavor. Also I try not to make a review about price and value as I feel a beer should be judged on what it is over economics... but man, 9.99 for a 6 pack of this??? In a sea of 11.99 4 packs, such a great beer for 9.99 a sixer gets me everytime.

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Photo of WhiteHillsStore
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Pours a nice amber brown with a khaki head that leaves trails down the glasses. The smell is full of toasted malt and then citrus from the hops begins to come through. The taste was great with a nice balance. First some sweetness and wonderful grapefruit notes from the bitter hops. Very refreshing.

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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber. $4.29 at Grapes and Grain Mequon

A-Beautful amber body with a reddish glow. Body was clear with a late-blooming fluffy white head. Moderate lacing.

S-Caramel sweetness followed by a dash of hops. The brown shugga' really seems to make a presence as a flavor as opposed to an alcohol-increasing adjunct. The sugar must have been added late boil or during fermentation.

T-Mollases, sweet malt, and hop bitterness make for a great combination right from the start. A candy-like presence starts at the sip and reappears at the swallow. The aggresive hops come through nicely to offset the sweetness.

M-Soft body with a nice hop harshness to satisfy the hop head in all of us. Extremely warming as it goes down. High abv is there but not a nuisance.

D-Definately a big beer with big flavor. Easy to drink for something of this size and IBUs. Not an everyday'r, but a wonderful example of a neo-american strong ale.

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Photo of kzoobrew
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep orange body. Pours darker than an DIPA but lighter than a barleywine. I guess when breweries make "mistakes" they do not fall into a specific category. Creamy off white head with great lacing and retention.

Styles converge in the smell much the same as in the appearance. Aroma is reminiscent of Lagunitas DIPA line up blended with an Olde Gnarlywine. Sweet malt and brown sugar meld spectacularly with a strong hops profile.

Sweet sweet brown sugar, caramel and toffee. Did I mention this was sweet? While very sweet an assertive hop presence balances this one out rather nicely. Light grapefuit and pine hop flavor. Subtle booziness but rather enjoyable.

Smooth and creamy. Medium to full bodied. Pleasant sweetness lingers.

I am going to be honest with myself and all of you reading this. If it were not for an inner battle of self control this sixer would have been gone in a night. Far too easy drinking and massively enjoyable. While this may not be on any "best beer" list it is certainly a favorite.

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Photo of masikon
4.48/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours into a pint glass lighter than expected, transparent "whiskeyish" copper and yellow with a nice barely off-white head which leaves some nice lacing after recession. Nose has clear brown sugar hints as well as hoppy fruity aromas, also slight boozy hint which cleans the sinus'. Taste is smooth and thick with sugary sweet flavors suggesting honey or even maple syrup. Mouthfeel is full with very well hidden alcoholic esters, like many have pointed out, at almost 10 percent this is one easy drinking brew....definitely tread lightly with this one. A very high caliber brew from lagunitas.

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Photo of brurevu
4.48/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From my tasting notes: The brew poured a deep amber with ample head that billowed quickly and lasted throughout. The aroma is sweet hops, that is a good hop scent with sweet toffee and malt all rolled into one. The first taste was a wow moment. The full on signature Lagunitas hop profile with loads of the sweet malt and toasted sugary goodness to make for a perfect beer. It is definitely unique to say the least and dangerously easy to drink.. Not quite an IPA and not quite a barley wine, but a great brew nonetheless. I love all of Lagunitas’ beers and this may be my favorite.

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Photo of dcook11
4.48/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Reviewed out a pint glass. The beer has been out of the refrigerator for about twenty minutes. My first Lagunitas beer.

A- Small initial head that fades into a pencil thin head with decent lacing. Hard to generate a decent head at this abv. The beer itself is a medium amber color. This beer has almost no carbonation.

S- As the name implies brown sugar. A very slight hops follows. Smells a lot like Dead Guy.

T- Brown sugar, hops.

M- Medium bordering on heavy bodied. Mouth feel typical of a barley wine.

D- Moderate.

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Photo of Walruzz
4.48/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Tastes just like a "Brown Shugga" should..... nice molasses notes and depth of malt flavor. Slight bitter hoppiness keeps it from turning into one of those cloyingly sweet brown ales.

A great brown ale for IPA/Pale ale pallets. Love the golden brown color, not a true brown but a nice looking beer. Nose is malty with a hint of pine. Pours a big bubble head that fades fast but leaves a nice lace. Probably my favorite brown ale, but I'm not a connoisseur of the style. I typically avoid sweeter beers.

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Photo of Sunn
4.48/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Despite Lagunitas being one of my favorite breweries, I always looked over this one since I'm not a huge fan of barley wines. I saw one 6 pack left and figured I would give it a go. I'd like to formally apologize to Lagunitas for doubting them because this beer was great.

I figured it would be a malt bomb barley wine. After smelling it I was nervous I was right. I could smell those Lagunitas' hops, but the smell was dominated by a malty smell. The taste, however, is different in a good way.

The malt flavor is still there, but the Lagunitas' hops run the show while the malt compliments the hops. Easily drinkable at 9.9 percent and a fantastic beer.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, this is an unusual review for me because I'm not really sure what to say. This is the second bottle that I've had while trying to write a review, and this time, just like last time, it was so good that I was willing to just put the review aside and enjoy the beer. I perservered....

Carefully decanted to leave the yeast behind, it pours a clear reddish-orange-chestnut body (with some visible particulate in suspension) beneath a creamy head of off-white that holds well and leaves some very nice lace throughout the entire glass.

The nose is sweet, lightly nutty, and fruity; with caramel, brown sugar, yeasty fruitiness, a hint of amaretto, and some mild background hops.

The body is full, but not overly dextrinous; and it's creamy smooth with a very fine, restrained, natural carbonation.

The flavor is big and rich and sweet but not really complex. It's a very well-rounded, tight combination of caramelish malt, yeasty fruit, piney/citrusy (tangerine) hops, warming alcohol and solid bitterness. There's alot there, but the flavors don't particularly stand out on their own.

It's unusual, and devilishly enticing. Not to be missed!

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Photo of edchicma
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An exceptional brew! Rich caramel in appearance with a small head. Beautifully sweet maly aroma with hops undertones. Taste Sweet malt presence blends into a mid-hop burst..finsihing in a hop finish with a tad of sweetness remaining. Alcohol was present but by no means overpowering. Smoooth with a great dry finish. Mouthfeeel was excellent for such a high abv.

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Photo of mastodonj
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Has a large although short-lived head, light beige with huge lacing.
Exceptional nose, complex. Sweet but not cloying. Malty.
A warming taste with tart-sweet and adult flavors, read: bold alcohol but not astringent.
Overall, a great ale. Perfect for a cold evening.

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Photo of cyclonece09
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours cloudy reddish amber with a small white head. Smells of grassy and citrus hops with slight grain. Tastes of citrus and earthy hops with nice malt, sweet but not too sweet. Beer is full bodied with great bite and good level of carbonation, not overly boozy. Overall a very good beer.

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Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,469 ratings.