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Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

1,445 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,445
Hads: 5,018
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.8%
Wants: 238
Gots: 871 | 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: 1,445 | Hads: 5,018
Photo of HeyItsChili
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured from a growler into a pint glass. Pours semiopaque amber with a yellow/tan colored thin head that sticks around for a while.

S - Bitter hops tickle the nose, sweet sugary roasted malts mingle behind, there's a raw alcohol scent too.

T - There is a strong and up front alcohol taste that I don't mind as much as some reviewers. Bitter hops and some, but not quite enough sweetness take a little edge off.

M - Crisp, almost biting, medium carbonation, medium/thin body.

D - Powerful and tasty, but hoppier than the name would, I think, suggest. (557 characters)

Photo of MarkQ617
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Had this poured into my trusty beer mug. The color's excellent, a molasses brown, just as you might expect. The taste was fairly boozy, not with notes of brown sugar (obviously). Some hop flavor, not as much as you'd expect from Lagunitas. Good, not great. (256 characters)

Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a six pack at Northridge in Laramie, around $8. Bottle notes beer at 9.5%.

A: Somewhat cloudy medium brown color with a sand colored head. Maybe an eight of an inch. Reduced to a film. Not a whole lot of head at all. No lacing to speak of.

S: Brown sugar, and an earthy/piney hop characteristic, strong pale roasted malt character too. Really not a whole lot else going on. Kinda boring for such a "huge" beer.

T: A lot more complex than the nose. Initially big brown sugar flavor, followed by a big malt roastiness, which leads into a piney hop flavor. Extremely sweet. Almost like chewing on a little bit of brown sugar with a hint of hops in it. Really a tasty beer. I'm glad I'm letting some age.

M: Thick. This is a really thick beer, nice carbonation. Dry finish, and a fair amount of alcohol heat. Very sticky in the mouth too.

D: I wouldn't drink a whole lot, its entirely too sweet. I'm glad I revisited it though, as it is better than I remember it. Not a bad beer. I'd recommend it. (1,012 characters)

Photo of OnThenIn
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Tiny golden head that doesn't stay very long on top of an amber colored beer.

S: The aroma is citrus and grapefruit entangled with some caramel.

T: Nice flavor. Starts with caramel and the citrus notes. A bit of dark fruit flavor as well. The bitterness comes in and rides out the rest of the drink with a grassy, pine flavor along with it. Definitely an inherent sweetness to the beer.

M: Good carbonation and medium body. Pretty smooth.

D: The higher abv is not very upfront at all, which really adds to the drinkability, but the bitterness seems to linger for a bit, hurting drinkability. Overall, it is pretty smooth and definitely tasty. The sweetness does eventually catch up with this beer. (704 characters)

Photo of CRichardsMN
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance:
Pours a cloudy amber brown with floaties (my bad, poured out the whole bottle). There is no head and just a ring of white around the edge of the glass which leaves spotty residue. Pretty dense looking brew.

Smell:
Has a tart, sweet, mildly hoppy nose with a thrust of caramelized malts. Light whiff of alcohol.

Taste:
Very interesting. Nice full body of caramelized malts and a bite of citrusy hops up front. After that, all bets are off with a very sweet molasses (brown sugar, duh) and some strong alcohol roll around. Finishes warm and slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel:
Heavier carbonation than is expected from the appearance but still a medium to medium-heavy body. Finishes only a little dry.

Drinkability:
Had a sample 1/4oz taster a the liquor store and didn't think I liked this one. Turns out, if poured into a real glass and allowed to breathe a little, this is a pretty good beer. Not for quantity (9.84% ABV) but to sit and think about.

Comment:
Another surprise brew and this time for the positive. Nice! (1,030 characters)

Photo of Redwood21
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: I am digging the color of this beer, think liquid brown sugar...go figure. the head is decent, but prevents this beer from being any higher
S: decent sweetness with some citrus like aroma, kinda a weird combo
T: the weird combo gets sidetracked here. the sweetness and hoppyness sorta blend and sorta dont. its not bad but im not sure its as balanced as it could be,

a good beer jury is still out though. (408 characters)

Photo of Givemebeer
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Amber/copper colored pours a nice head and lacing

S: Floral and citrusy

T: Follows the nose but with some toastiness and caramel from the strong malt backbone

M: Medium bodied with a lingering citrus finish

O: Good beer. Happy that I tried it. Packs a punch with the strong hop and malt presence. (303 characters)

Photo of MuddyFeet
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very rich. Very sweet. The brown sugar added during the brewing permeates every aspect of this beer. It poured a color only of what I could describe as liquified brown sugar. A foamy head formed, and as I drank a sticky lace was on the glass. The aroma was of brown sugar. The flavor was of brown sugar. By the way, I like brown sugar. I used to sneak it out of the bowl as a kid when my Mom would bake. There were other tones in this beer: the malt was a nice backdrop flavor to the brown sugar. The only negative was that it was so rich and the alcohol was pretty strong I am not sure I could drink too many of these. My palate would be worn down. (649 characters)

Photo of hckyfn9999
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy dark copper color with some red hues. Small white head. Doesn't last too long and leaves a little lacing.

Smell is fruity yeast, nutty, carmel, and appropriately enough... brown sugar. Also some alcohol as the beer warms, actually it begins to dominate the smell.

Taste is sweet initially some carmel, followed by some sweet fruit, and then some citrusy hops bitterness. A lot more hoppy than you would want from something called sugar.

Mouthfeel is pretty good and they hide the 10%abv well making this pretty drinkable.

Pretty good brew. (576 characters)

Photo of hero27
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle
9.9% abv

Pours a dark amber with an orange tint.
Rich caramel, sweet roasted malts, (the obvious brown sugar) with a slightly hoppy pine finish.. slightly medicinal & peppery as well.
This is a meal in a bottle...very sweet & rich. Plenty of alcohol burn..maybe a little over the top. But overall, a good offering from Lagunitas that does not disappoint. (368 characters)

Photo of jmalex
3.74/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Had this on tap on one occasion and loved it. Now to see how it holds up under critique.

APPEARANCE: Pours a hazy red amber with virtually no head at all. Just a weak collar and a few bubbly patches. No idea if this is to style. What style is this anyway?

SMELL: A wacky amalgam of caramel, apricots, raisins, dates, and floral and citrusy hops. Alcohol makes a serious appearance here too. Quite impressive.

TASTE: Again, what style is this? An incredible maltiness hits you first which is dark and sweet (brown sugar!) and has some sort of a Belgian quality to it with the fruit flavors that accompany it. The heat of the alcohol is strong and contributes quite a dry quality to this beer. The hops, not to be outdone, come on strong in the finish leaving a lasting bitterness well after the final swallow. This beer is all over the place which is impressive in its complexity but seems a bit disorganized and haphazard.

MOUTHFEEL: Little to no carbonation, but in this beer, it would make it really harsh. The texture is fairly smooth, if not quite dry.

DRINKABILITY: Suffers from the dryness and alcohol content. Perhaps this beer would benefit from some aging to round it out - much like a barleywine. It could be considered such a beer anyway, and would probably be better if the hops were toned down allowing the subtle brown sugar flavors to shine more. An impressive creation, but perhaps trying to be too much.

When I first had this beer, the hops did not stand out as much as they do in the bottle. The beer was harsh, but not like I'm experiencing now. I'm certainly willing to give it another chance (it's not bad at all to begin with), but I'd like to try it with some age on it. (1,711 characters)

Photo of PieOhMy
3.74/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A. Dark transparent amber. Thick foamy slow fading khaki head.

S. Sweet toffee and malts. Floral and grassy.

T. Caramel. Brown sugar. Burnt sugar. Heavy malt flavor. Tangy weediness.

M. Medium. A bit sticky. Finishes a little hot.

O. This is a Lagunitas brew for s sure. Big backbone and hoppy. This one gets a little too sweet and not quite enough hop punch for me though. (379 characters)

Photo of chickenflea
3.74/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle pours a clear reddish amber. Medium off-white head, fine bubbles, low carbonation, with attractive lacing. Sweet fermented orange aroma with some strange mustiness. The flavor is initially bitter (which I like) but quickly dissolves into a candy-like syrupy blend of flavors, the hops come on strong at the end. Texture is thick and heavy. Good body, decent mouthfeel. Just a bit too sugary sweet IMHO. I should have taken a clue from the name, huh? (456 characters)

Photo of denver10
3.74/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice off colored head to this but the light brown body offers little to be too enthused about. A very nice aroma offering some aromatic citrusy hops alongside a big cookie dough and brown sugar base. I like it. Flavor starts off with some grapefruit from the hops and then transitions into the sweeter side from the malt, offering some dough and brown suger. Some bitterness in the finish. Some alcohol is noticeable in the finish, it doesn't add to the beer but it also is not a deterrent in any way. A thinner but creamy and active mouthfeel, though the activity dies out prior to the finish. I kinda think a thicker mouthfeel would benefited this beer. Overall, been wanting to try this for a while now so glad the opportunity finally arrived. Worth the wait I do think, good stuff. (785 characters)

Photo of danh53
3.74/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

At first taste I thought this was a unique and complex beer, but when it was finished I don't really know where to go with this one. The nose and taste starts with carmalized citrus and ends dry and hoppy with an alcohol bite. Its a mix between an IPA and a barley wine, and I don't think it pulls off that balance in the end. I'm glad I was able to try it. (357 characters)

Photo of Beejay
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Medium dark brown and hazy. Just off white head on top.

S: Hop aroma with some nice pine aroma, some slight citrus peel. There is indeed a touch of a brown sugar smell in the back.

T: Hops!! Whew! Resin and pine, with a huge hit of citrus peel afterwards. Nice caramel and brown sugar in the finish.

M: Thick, but the prevalent carbonation lightens it up a bit.

O: I knew nothing about this brew before I tried it, so it was a bit of a surprise.. But a good surprise. Dank, hoppy, and enjoyable. (513 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in to a Duvel snifter

A - A nice deep amber colour with half a finger of white head.

S - Sweet malts; caramel with some citrus in the background.

T - Sweet lightly roasted malts. A caramel and sugary sweetness dominates the profile with a nice citrus hop aftertaste. A nice balanced ale.

M - Medium body with a somewhat creamy/silky mouth feel. A good amount of carbonation.

D - This is a very well balanced and enjoyable ale. Would never guess that the ABV is almost 10%. The sweetness becomes a little too much after getting the bottom of the glass. (567 characters)

Photo of LeRose
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle, no date.

Poured deep copper color with not much head. What head there was hung around and laced nicely. Visually looked like good maple syrup with a bit if foam on top.

Aroma was subdued. Some resinous pine notes, blended tropical fruit, malt, a bit of rum raisin, sweet.

Taste was much bolder. Sweetness initial, but some bitter resin at out the same time, then tropical. Didn't immediately think pineapple. More of a mango and papaya flavor. Bitterness hits at the end, and the I get pineapple syrup flavor in the aftertaste. Body had some raisiny notes, slight brown sugar or caramelized sugar taste.

Mouthfeel was smooth and sticky, but aftertaste lingers and gives some tingle from the alcohol. A bit of astringency makes it dry out some.

Overall enjoyable to drink. Not what I was expecting. Nice balance, but the lingering aftertaste takes it down tick for me. (886 characters)

Photo of soupyman10
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Looks very pretty, deep amber color with a nice off-white head that leaves excellent lacing. Nose is lots of sweet fruit and malt, and a good bit of alcohol too. Flavor's lots of toffee and caramel malt, very mild hop flavor. Alcohol comes through strong, overwhelming some of the other possible flavors. Some light dried fruit. Mouthfeel is solid, medium to light with good carbonation. Overall, a drinkable beer, although the alcohol flavor and general ABV is just a little too high for more than one or two. (510 characters)

Photo of kmo1030
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

nice dark copperwith a sticky tan head that laces well. caramel molasses smell. i notice a good amount of a fresh cut pineapple and mildy alcoholic smell too. very sweet up front, reminds me of a maple flavored frosting. brown sugar shows up big towards the middle with just a bit of dark fruit, fig, prune, and some pears. the herbal hops at the finish round things out some, but don't balance by any means. sort of thin bodied for the flavor. not too distracting, but noticable just the same. decent drinability, i think i'd prefer it in a 12 oz bottle though. not something i'd drink regularly, but a nice change of pace. (624 characters)

Photo of SteveB24
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

appearance; amber that isn't clear nor opaque, some light bubbles. ridiculously thick head that rises very high and a good finger retains till the very end. the kind of head that a part of you always wants to see when you pour a beer.

smell; the aroma is a blend of caramel, hops and a bit of earthiness, with an alcoholic punch.

taste; ltrue to its name, burnt brown sugar is obvious, but smoothly joins together with a touch of earth and mildly bitter hops with a hint of spiciness. the alchohal is there but not overpowering at all.

mouthfeel; a bit creamy, medium carbonation, wet finish, full body.

overall; not as good as lil sumpin sumpin, hop stooped or sucks, but a pretty satisfying and unique as well as easy to drink and pallet able, will buy again. (766 characters)

Photo of Beerenauslese
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber gold with a light head that dissipates quickly into a thin ring of foam.

Aromas of malt, honey, hops.

The taste follows the nose, with sweet malts up front, then a strong bitter hop taste that is overcome by the sweetness, which is cloyingly tasting of strong honey. Finishes bitter and dry. Some toffee and milk chocolate flavors come through as well.

Body is light with little carbonation. Tastes flatter as time presses on.

A drinkable brew but it is a bit too sweet for anything except a dessert beer or nightcap. The alcohol is not noticeable but at 9.84 percent it will become apparent. (620 characters)

Photo of TempeBeerMan
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter.

A - Pours a blood orange hue with a two-finger off white head of small bubbles. Good retention. Nice rings of lacing.

S - Caramelized dextrin, fruity west coast hop, and a slight hint of clean booze.

T - Very sweet, lots of caramelized candy sugars, but also a strong flavor of beet sugar as well. Hops take over in the mid-palate with a juicy grapefruit bitterness bringing some balance. Some pineapple esters as well. Pretty tasty and full of rich/intense flavors, but the sweetness becomes a little much over time. Cant imagine having more than one of these at a sitting.

M - Medium bodied, low carbonation. Slightly sticky/syrupy.

O - I enjoy American strong ales, and I see what they were going for here, but there are some odd sugar tastes here and ultimately, the whole thing becomes a little cloying. (853 characters)

Photo of kajerm
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Map Room, last beer of pretty solid night. Pours translucent red with a finger or so of fine lacing carbonation.

The aroma is piney, West Coast hops. My girlfriend insists they're floral, but I insist she's wrong (she knows her hops; this is a rare occurrence.) Big toffee malts. I definitely know where they're getting the whole brown sugar thing from.

The flavor is very similar with, malt becoming a dominant presence mid-to-late palate. Hops are big throughout.

The mouthfeel is velvety-smooth-- very nice.

Overall, a very strong offering. The fact that this thing is almost 10% ABV and I thought it was a "nice, light, drinkable beer" at the time gives me more perspective on just how thoroughly I have become the stereotypical American craft beer drinker. I really do love those barrel-aged Brett-infected Imperial Double Bourbon Coffee Breakfast Stouts, and I make no apology for it.

But enough with the stupid, pointless stream-of-consciousness BS. I liked this beer, and you should too.

also: what the hell is an American Strong Ale, anyway? (1,067 characters)

Photo of paulozanello
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It poured a clear copper red color with a creamy beige head that lasts for a little leaving lots of lacing. Gorgeous looking beer.

Aroma is of caramel and honey malts, brown sugar and fruity/floral hops.

Taste follows nose and starts a little sweet followed by lots of hop flavors, mainly red fruits and some grapefruit. The finish has some bitterness followed by malty biscuity sweetness. Mild alcohol bite towards the end.

Body is moderate as well as carbonation. Alcohol is very well hidden.

Overall a very nice beer with good balance between malt and hops. (565 characters)

Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,445 ratings.