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Brown Shugga' | Lagunitas Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
90
outstanding
1,517 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,517
Ratings:
5,373
Avg:
4
pDev:
21%
 
 
Wants:
276
Gots:
1,165
For Trade:
13
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.99%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 12-13-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,517 | Ratings: 5,373
Photo of jonziefle
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes:

Appearance: Poured a dark red amber, with a khaki colored head. Minimal head rentention. Very clear.

Smell: Smells of damp sticky hope, very sweet and of grapes or raisins. Almost syrupy in fragrance. You can almost smell the alcohol.

Taste: Sweet and dark. Malty and a little hoppy, but not overwhelming. Taste sticks around for a while.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied beer and minimally carbonated. Feels "slick".

Drinkability: A medium bodied beer, with a sweet and heavy feel. It's a little syrupy and the booze may be limiting to drinking a lot. A good one to try though.

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Photo of BeerWhale
3.84/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours thick and caramel colored with a white head, and a strange aroma.

You can tell the increased sugar content by the sweetness on the front end of this creamy beer. The brown sugar adds a thick and smooth quality to the beer as is coats your mouth. It sits well on the tongue and the hops add a cutting, refreshing quality to the beer. After drinking your mouth feels relatively clean, when compared to something like a stout.

Overall a quality offering that has a well rounded taste and mouthfeel. Either as an introduction to craft beers or an evening session beverage, this offering is a very good example of quality craft brewing.

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Photo of eatdrinknbmerry
3.84/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2007 12-oz bottle.

Fell in love with this beer when i saw the name of it. Very cool. Of all the x'mas ale labels, this is one of the more appealing ones. Nothing is more ugly than Pizza Port's Santa's Little Helper label. Anyway, to the beer.

Head: About 3/4" thick. Nice, stayed up for quite a long time.

A: caramel color.

S: A nice subtle tone of apricots, which I think smell great in beer. Gets the tongue ready for a deep-tasting ale.

T: A deliberate taste of brown sugar and slight undertone of honey or molasses. Maybe more on the molasses side since it's dark/bitter.

M: Very nice and smooth.

D: This one is much easier to drink than strong-flavored beers like Anderson Valley's Winter Solstice (2007). But I think the heavy molasses taste will make this less appealing to drink through the night.

Good beer overall, would definitely buy another 6er.

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Photo of NiceTaps
3.84/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle in a tall pint glass.

A- This beer poured a dark amber color, clean and clear. It had a huge 3f head which was the color of light brown sugar, no less. It stayed fluffy and left a big lump in the center along with some lacing on the glass.

S- Floral, citrus, and pine hop aromas. The malty alcohol shows as it warms, replacing the sweetness.

T- Here come the sugary sweet caramel malts. The malt flavor is prominent, the hops dominated the smell.

M- Thick. Sugary malts keep the alcohol from coming on too strong. Smooth dry finish. Lingering malt flavor. All the carbonation must've been in the head.

O- Drinkable 10% abv strong ale. Truth in advertising, it's a sugar bomb like the name suggests.

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Photo of Duhast500
3.84/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown sugar

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Sierra Nevada Celebration pint glass.

The color is a clear amber/gold with a finger of foamy head and some slight lacing left on the glass.

The smell has a slight Christmas cookie aroma that us a little sugar and a little but dough in the nose. There is a slight ginger aroma here as well.

The taste has a sweet sugar flavor that has a hint of bread and a nice cookie flavor that is slightly mixed with ginger and brown sugar.

The feel of this beer is medium bodied and has a nice drinkable feel to it. There is a nice smoothness that has a great silky feel

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Photo of MisterClean
3.84/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On Tap at Vino's Wine & Cheese in Roseville, CA.

A - Deep tan, heavy/foamy white head.

S - Raisin, cinnamon, w/ light, florar hops.

T - Cardamom, allspice, curry. Yes curry, can't describe the other pungent spice, so it's a curry. Very spicy tasting beer, very unique.

M - Very spicy tasting beer, very unique. No alcohol in taste. Are we sure this is a 9.9% ABV?

D - This is a slow-sipper and would balance best with a bland meal or appetizers.

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Photo of Atron67
3.84/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- poured a poured a rubyish tinged light brown that looked pretty damn hazy, I had a medium head build, and left even more on the second pour, up but it did fade pretty quickly down to a thin film with light lacing where the thick head had been. at the end of the 750 ml it left a huge amount of white flaky particulate.

S- pretty damn malty smelling, actually reminds me of Stones old guardian in its first scents, pretty complex, the brown sugar notes are pretty low compared to what i was expecting, and there are slight fruit notes.

T- very smooth for a 10 % 'er, a solid malt body which is smoothened by the brown sugar without making it cidery or light in flavor. the brown sugar gives it some dark fruit notes and gives a solid ale flavor throughout, some nice hoppy backing but not overpowering, more balanced than anything else from the hop role

M- a medium/full body, light for a 10% er but it I would guess there is a lot of brown sugar present

D- a pretty solid ale, better than i was expecting from the reviews, but hey thats the name of the game.

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Photo of LeftyBWS
3.84/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. stumpy brown bottle into a pint glass.
A: Bright amber/brown. Rather fizzy, can hear the carbonation breaching the surface. Thinnish beige head. Carbonation slows quickly, though. Not much head retention or lacing.
S: Sugars and some floral hops. Maybe some cinnamon? A nice malty layering of the nose, overall.
T: Smooth and light malts lead into some brown sugar tastes with some spices too. Tastes of caramel sweetness, as well. Finish is bready but sweet, only lightly bitter at first but this fades quickly. Overall, a good taste but not too exciting.
M: Lightly bitter nip in the finish, but it avoids being sicky-sweet despite the predominant sugar flavors.
D: Pretty good. But it is 10% ABV...

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Photo of MeanMotaScootah
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

If you like sweet and big - you'll love this beer. There is a mild fig mixed with whiskey aroma but beyond that it's very malty. It has a very creamy mouth feel with a ton of cherry caramel on the front end and a mellow sweet finish. There is very little hops in the beer. The alcohol is nicely hidden (much like many of the big beers that Lagunitas puts out) so be careful with this one - it drinks like an amber but will take you down like a Tripel. I almost think if they made this with a Belgium yeast it would taste very Belgium. It's a great beer for the style.

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Photo of angrybabboon
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Consumed 11/22/12

Appearance: Light brown from a distance, but really more of a reddish copper - moderate, off-white head - keeps a nice ring, a small cap, and some nice, streaky lacing

Smell: Hoppy, as one would expect from Lagunitas, with an unexpected amount of brown sugar - citrusy, with fleshy, oily grapefruit and orange - some sweet pine - a mild cat urine aroma I've encountered in some other Lagunitas beers - caramel malts and caramelized sugar - brown sugar is quite obvious

Taste: Sugary, sweet, hoppy, yet not disgusting - sweet caramel and crystal malts - caramel sugar, molasses, and most importantly, brown sugar - oily citrus, mostly orange and grapefruit - sweet, resiny pine and mint - lightly bitter, somehow doesn't clash with the sugary sweetness - some hot alcohol in the finish

Mouthfeel: Somewhere between medium and full body, low carbonation, a bit sticky and syrupy, with some alcohol heat

Overall: First you get the sugar, then you get the power, then you get the women

I'm honestly curious if they added brown sugar pre and post fermentation. The sheer amount of brown sugar sweetness in this is impressive on a few levels. Honestly, this should be disgusting. Yet, somehow, it works as a sipper. I don't think I would want to drink more than 1 of these, but that's not the point. I like brown sugar, so I guess that's why I like this beer.

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Photo of wingnutter
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of SethB2

Nice amber color with a thin head. Smells malty and hoppy?!

Taste is dominated by sweetness at first but theres a hop bite in there, too. I cant tell if its floral or citrusy.... Velvety mouthfeel. The alcohol is present but not overpowering. Tart dry finish at first.

As it warms up the alcohol comes through a bit more, and the finish turns sweeter. This is surprisingly balanced for an ale thats touted as "sweet". The brown sugar makes a statement but leaves enough room for the hops. Im not sure what to make of this one....Its like an IPA/ASA hybrid cooked up by some mad scientists at Lagunitas. This is a crafty craft brew.

For a beer thats pretty much 10% ABV, this one goes down real easy. Worth a try if youre a fan of IPAs or ASAs. This is my 1st Lagunitas beer, but it definately wont be my last.

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Photo of RunDWP
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a golden brown into a tulip with a light orange, fluffy head. Plenty of sheeting on the glass as I sipped. Sweet, molasses aroma. Flavor is dominated by brown sugar (surprise!) and malt, with a tea-like bitternsess at the finish. Thick and rich mouthfeel. It's rather sweet, not that complex, or balanced, but somehow it's a bit addictive, and I couldn't smell or taste the alcohol. Enjoyable, change of pace brew.

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Photo of gcamparone
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Purchased in Wakefield, Rhode Island.

A- Pours a (very fitting) amber-brown clear body with a fluffy off-white head that reduces to some chunky white foam that sticks to the glass.

S- Freshly cut grass, yeast, citrus, caramel, slight booze.

T- This beer starts off with a sweet, brown sugar and caramel flavor and ends bitter and resinous. Some booze on the finish.

M- Medium-heavy body, medium low carbonation.

Overall a decent beer. Good balance, but not as complex as I would have liked. Lacking hop characteristic.

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Photo of TheTrevor
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a purple-ish brown with a very small head and some visible carbonation. The smell is sweetness that seems to be half malt and half brown sugar and a bit of hops. The beer has a sweetness from the sugar and malt that is balanced very well by the ops, with everything hitting at once and a little bit of the brown sugar coming out in backend as well. The high ABV is hidden quite well, I would have guessed it was way less than that. The mouthfeel is slightly thick and slick with a tiny bit of warming from the alcohol. This is a surprisingly drinkable beer for what it is, the surprisingly balanced but aggressive hops and the high ABV should have made for a much heavier-sitting beer. Definitely worth a try, I'm glad I grabbed a bottle.

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Photo of BWED
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into goblet

A- Nice clear copper. Light tan head is dense and retains at 1/4". Good lacing.

S- Booze sting. Brown sugar sweetness, earthy hop.

T- Sweet, and brown sugary. No wonder the name. Hop character comes up faintly in the taste.

M- Hop bitterness is up there, along with booze, but sweetness evens it all out. Great balance.

O- Booze forward, but surprisingly balanced. Depth isn't great, but at least the name rings true to its attributes.

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Photo of Truh
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had the neighbor come over to borrow some with this one on 12/29/2004. 16-oz. pour at the Sunset in a pint glass.

1/4-inch creamy, tight head at start. Brown hue, but light, verging on a copper tone with a touch of haze to the whole affair. Candy corn, raspberry jelly roll sweetness on nose with a determined alcohol hot tone. Woody, oak on mouth, with a covering of some fruity esters that consisted of orange, kiwi, and some tart lemon. Finishes with just a flavor of alcohol bite and a faint, mossy remainder.

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Photo of Telix
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Hey, it's my 50th review!

Poured from the bottle into a Sam Adams sensory glass.

A: Super clean reddish brown, with good levels of carbonation and a fluffy head that quickly fades into a film.

S: Real sugary smell, like candy.... almost like root beer barrels, actually,

T: ROOT BEER BARRELS. Sweet, deep caramel malts, with nice bitterness after the sweetness drops off. A bit syrupy-sweet but not quite cloying.

M: Good. Thick, dense, good levels of carbonation.

D: It's a solid beer, but experimental. Quite sweet, with lots of root beer flavor and a nice thick mouthfeel.

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Photo of IceEyes
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark golden brown with a light rim of head. Carbonation seemed appropriate. The smell was a nice mix of resinous hops and sweet malty goodness which I would have enjoyed more if not for the whiff of alcohol that came along with it. Taste was of strong American hops, more citrusy that I would have expected, with gentle brown sugar flavor and a warm flush of alcohol you could feel in the belly. Very nice drinker.

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Photo of Furlinator
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%

Pours translucent copper. The one inch eggshell head fades to a thick cap and ring on top and leaves heavy curtains of lace.

The smell is of pine and faint citrus up front with burnt sugar and biscuit bread on the finish.

The taste follows the smell, with hop bitterness up front. Faint grapefruit, molasses and sweet malt are on the back end.

The texture is approaching heavy bodied with high carbonation.

A solid strong ale that is begins hoppy and finishes malty and sweet.

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Photo of Chuggnutt
3.82/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Nice copper, slightly murky. Light tan head falling slowly.

Smell: Hops and sweet malt, sugary (Belgian candy?), probably the brown sugar. Very cloying.

Taste: Sweet bite accented by hops. Alcohol heat, strong character on tongue. Caramelized sugar, spun out and flossy.

Mouthfeel: Nice medium feel, lighter than I'd expect as a barleywine. Dry alcohol rolls around the mouth and leaves that numbing/prickly feeling.

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Photo of aleckpa
3.82/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into my Lagunitas mason jar glass.

A- Half a finger's head, brown and some visibility through it. Reminds me of an imperial red ale.

S- Hops, which surprised me. And sugar, of course. It smells sweet.

T- Although the ABV is 9.9%, I don't taste a lot of alcohol. I taste hops, some mild bitterness and then back of the mouth sticky sugar.

M- This is somewhat of a thick beer. But it goes down smooth.

O- This is my first time having it. It's different than my typical IPA's and stouts. At 9.9% ABV, it's really drinkable. I think this is a great fall/winter offering. You can't beat the price of this 6-pack for the amount of alcohol in the beer. Even though I did enjoy this beer, I'm not sure if I'd pick up another 6 pack. But, it's well crafted and something I'd expect from Lagunitas.

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Photo of nickd717
3.82/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from BevMo in Mountain View.

A - Clear medium-dark brown in color with a small off-white head.

S - Brown sugar, sweet malt, caramel, and spices.

T - Lots of brown sugar (surprised?), caramel, malt, dark fruit, and spices.

M - Palate smooth and syrupy with low carbonation.

D - Well, it becomes a bit much after awhile, but up to that point it's pretty drinkable. No problem finishing a bottle.

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Photo of dgallina
3.82/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1 pint, 9 fluid ounce brown bottle without clear freshness date.

Pours clear reddish-orange with a quick-to-vanish tan head and thin lacing. The aroma suggests caramel and brown sugar (duh) with and hint of nuts and a dash of nutmeg. Alcohol vapors rise from the glass. In the mouth, the beer displays an artful balance between the combined leafy / piney hops and brown-sugar malts. Finishes quite green and dry with a big pine hop bite. Body is medium-thick and slick; fairly strongly carbonated for something this big. An eclectic take on the american imperial pale ale.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.82/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

appearance: a deep ruby red. good clarity and a finger plus of a tannish white head that leaves a bit of a lacing on the sides. looks tasty but I was hoping for a little more brown.

Smell: slightly weak for such a big brew. hops, citrusy and apricoty. good sweetness.

Taste: opens up with a blast of hops. grapefruit and apricot. a brief moment of super sweetness shines through. toasty malts. the malts are quickly taken back over by a lingering hop bitterness

Mouthfeel: slightly creamy. huge hop bitterness lingers. some warmth thats good for a cold night.

Overall: huge battle of bitter and sweet. bitter wins out for now. its good but i want to revisit this one when it is not so fresh

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Photo of beagle75
3.82/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.
2010 vintage

A: Hazy, dark amber color with less than one finger of diminishing parchment-tinted foam head. Light lacing remains on the glass.

S: Intensely malty; treacle, grain, and dark cherry and fig fruit are focused. No alcohol is detected.

T: Begins sweet, with simplistic stewed fruit and caramel. Acidity is mild into the middle where malt is intensely toasty--even turning roasty--some dark citrus emerges, and even a whiff of pine is detected. The finish exhibits minor diacetyl and is savory with umami and cumin spice. Mild medicinal bitterness lingers on the palate, with complex spirituousness also hanging around.

M: Medium viscosity, syrupy on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: Perhaps the finest of Lagunitas' high-gravity beers, this appears to be an American take on an old ale or wee heavy. Fruit and umami make for a distinctive combination, reigning over muted hops in this well-aged example. Like most of the beers coming out of Petaluma, this beer's intensity has a tendency to fatigue the palate, but less so due to the focus exhibited by its ingredients.

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Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,517 ratings.