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Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,470 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,470
Hads: 5,140
Avg: 4
pDev: 21%
Wants: 250
Gots: 967 | 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: 1,470 | Hads: 5,140
Photo of Crosling
3.73/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Red-orange. Fairly dynamic aroma, full of malt (caramel, pit fruit, toffee), hops (resin, grapefruit), along with a huge dose of brown sugar. Flavor is very much lke the regular Old Gnarleywine, with an added sugary malty sweetness. Less resiny and less hoppy overall, but still very hoppy. Still coating and very flavorful. An enjoyable beer, but it has its flaws.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.72/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

G: Oversized snifter. No logo.

A: Pours a copperish color that is really more red. Pretty decent head with good retention on the sides of the glass, although the head off of the initial pour recedes quickly. Definite alcohol presence.

S: Sweet and vibrant. The brown sugar really comes through, as do miscellaneous dark fruit vapors. Maybe a hint of molasses.

T: A bit of a letdown after the smell. Only mildly sweet with some alcohol presence. The taste and smell are not corresponding for me.

M: Slight carbonation. Although this is a fairly-high ABV beer, it doesn't hide the alcohol nearly as well as others of its kind. I'm only picking up a slight hint of the fruits that were present in the nose.

D: A pretty decent brew, although I don't know if I'd really go for more than one within a sitting. I keep see picking it from time to time, maybe it'd be better on tap.

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Photo of WVRadar
3.72/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Half inch creamy tan head which dissipates slowly. Clear, deep amber body with decent lacing. Very pleasant, sweet, spicy aroma. Taste is unlike any other beer I've tried, not sure if I like it or not. Syrupy, lively mouthfeel. Definitely different, worth trying again, but I wouldn't run out and buy a case of it.

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Photo of jamie2dope
3.72/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Lagunitas Brown Shugga was recommended to me by Nate over at Martys in Newton. For some reason the name of this beer always struck me as gimmicky, but oh well. The color is copper, and has a small amount of mildly tan head. The nose is a good bit hoppier than I was expecting. I do get a bit of brown sugar in the smell, along with some caramel and grain. Taste is again, hoppy, with some mint leaf, and a really raw earth character. Body is medium to heavy, and leaves a very bitter aftertaste. Drinkability is hindered a bit simply by the fact that this beer is complicated. As I was told at the store, this is a challenging one. On the bright side, the 9.84 ABV can barely be detected. Maybe not among the best from Lagunitas, but certainly interesting and worth a shot. Cheers

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Photo of jczn
3.71/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

A: Cloudy, orange color. Light, off-white head. The beer actually cleared after it warmed up a bit. Surely Lagunitas wouldn't make a beer with Chill haze? (2.5)

S: Rich aroma of brown sugar and raisins, along with the smell of sweet wort. The aroma suggests a fairly high final gravity, which should be expected given the original gravity of 1.100. No hop aroma. (4.0)

F: Surprising level of bitterness given the listed 51 IBU and high gravity. The hops hit you first, followed by the residual sweetness. The brown sugar is apparent, as is the alcoholic warmth. I would have expected the sugar to attenuate better. (4.0)

M: The high FG helps to fill out the body of the beer. It's thick and full with a bit of bite from the carbonation. (4.0)

D: The residual sugar and the alcohol make this a sipping beer, while the sweetness makes it hard for me to finish. Overall, while an interesting beer, it's probably not something I would buy again. It's worth a try and it's a great experiment, but the finished product just doesn't fit together well. (3.0)

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Photo of beergoot
3.71/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On-tap at Trinity Brewing in Colorado Springs...

Honey-colored body with a thick head. Malt aroma mixed with pine and citrus hops. Malt sweetness blended with caramel notes; good hop bitterness throughout. The mouthfeel was medium; dry yet a bit syrupy.

I found this to be a very good beer overall. There was a nice combination of the sweet and bitter throughout my tasting experience, producing nice layers of flavoring with every sip.

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Photo of TheViolator666
3.71/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 fl. oz. bottle poured into snifter.

A: Pours with a fingers width off-white head. Copper colored body with ruby red highlights. Very nice clarity.

S: Sugary sweet, piney hops. Not much complexity.

T: Tons of piney hops in the front but seem to give way to the high amount of sugary sweet malts, caramel and molasses flavors. The malts linger in the aftertaste as well a hop bitterness. Not too hot, but could hide the alcohol better. Very similar to a Barleywine.

M/D: Full bodied. Carbonation leaves soft bite on the tongue and accompanies the alcohol on the way down. Definitely a sipping beer, 1 is plenty!

Pretty good, but I expected something a bit better.

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Photo of sleazo
3.71/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a beautiful amber with a big three inch head into my weizen glass. almost got the whole bomber in. The smell is caramel malt with a minor hop backbone. Taste this was sweet at first but as i have consumed my palatte has become accustomed to it. There is a decent ammount of hops to balance the sweet. You usually do not see this ammount of sugar in a non Belgian beer. i fear the hangover. Due to the sweetness which borders on cloying and the fact that im drunk off of one bomber limits the drinkability.

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Photo of Swedes21
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - beer pours a gorgeous auburn clear colour. There is not a lot of carbonation. The head is a nice off white that disappears quickly then produces some nice island head.

Smell - I am picking up some sweetness that comes from the sugar. The malts are present as well. I also taste some caramel and spice. There is an earthy tone to this beer as well.

Taste - there is a definitely sweet base to this beer that comes through on the pallett. The beer has a nice aftertaste, you can almost pick up some burnt caramel taste here, very nice.

Mouthfeel - the carbonation adds to the earthy tones that really come fwd. The beer has a nice hop presents as well. The caramel as well adds to the palette with a little thickness.

Drinkability - really interesting beer that has a dynamic I've never tasted before. The beer is complex yet simple. One for the sweetness on my charts. Thanks to SpinRSX for the afternoon sampling.

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Photo of Goldorak
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Tawny colored, with a head retention that I found superior than in most Beers with this ABV.

Smell: Candi sugar, and those barley sugar lolipops I loved as a kid (sucre d'orge).

Taste: Beyond the obvious malt sweetness and alcohol prickliness, this Beer had a woody, green leaf mouthfeel, it left a acidic sensation that reminds me of an arugula and spinach salad. It canceled out most of the cloying sugars.

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Photo of AtrumAnimus
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours amber with just a hint of cloudiness. The nose is of very strong hops is the most enjoyable part of this beer. It just smells good. This has a heavy mouthfeel with a barley wine like taste that is average. There is a slight taste of the brown sugar used in it too. There is also a strong alcohol flavor that shows up towards the end of this beer. The flavor also finishes up too bitter.

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Photo of demitriustown
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle: Nice sweet malt aroma, definite big hop characteristic as well, maybe some brown sugar scent but subtle. Appearance is amber/red with a thin tan head. Taste has definitely got some caramel malt in this, citrus hops, sweet, and alcohol is present on the back end. Palate is somewhat sweet on the lips, very tongue coating, and aftertaste has a lingering caramel maltiness and a bit of alcohol. Overall, it's good but not great kind of like most of the Lugunitas that I've had. Maybe it's too young. Will check back on this one in a year.

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Photo of mbusster88
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours clean brown/red color with good thick head. No carbonation present on this and a good amount of lacing.

S: Smells very sweet and bold. Good amount of malt profile in the nose and some heavy sugary notes.

T/M: Taste is very sweet up front with a ton of sugar and sugar cane type flavors. Very easy on the palate. Good body to this makes it favorable to drink. However, I was looking for just a bit more flavor than i got.

D: Good beer to try, not my favorite of the style but it does make me want to try more. I would get this one again to try but probably wont make it a staple in the fridge.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance -- Pours a ruddy brown with amber highlights and a slim creamy beige head. Lacing is moderate.

Smell -- The hop aroma is classic Lagunitas: bright citrus, tacky pine resin, and dank leafiness. Brown sugar, bread pudding, brioche, and red malt.

Taste -- Sweet and a bit syrupy up front with raw cane sugar, brioche, and toasted red malt. Hopping is, again, typical Lagunitas: bright lemon zest, grapefruit pith, and a dab of pine resin and cannibus. There is a bit of bright and astringent plum skin flavor as well. Lingering flavors of candi sugar, red malt, and grapefruit pith.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-full in body, slightly chewy, with gentler prickly carbonation. Feels pretty good.

Drinkability -- This one grew on me. Didn't care for it upon the first sip, but as the beer warmed I warmed to it. An apt description would be a hopped up imperial red ale paired with delicate baked goods. A bit sweet, yes, but pretty nice. Better than I had anticipated.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle opened on 10.26.12.

A - Pours a clear orange-brown with a one inch light tan, foamy head with good retention.

S - Hoppy pine mostly and some sweetness.

T - Hoppy pine, then some sweet candy, carmel malts and brown sugar.

D - Good carbonation and a medium body, a very sweet finish.

O - Hoppy up front with a sweet brown sugar finish.

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Photo of tobelerone
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, very fresh. More in the cellar to see how this one develops. As it is now it’s pretty big and brutal with a lot of booze on the nose and in the flavor. Pours dark reddish amber, with a big cream colored head and a good deal of lacing remaining on the sides of the glass. Sweet, malty aroma, yes brown sugar and toffee; booze as mentioned; piney resinous and grapefruit hops. Flavor follows suit. There’s nothing subtle about this one; it’s sweet and sugary; lots of bitter pine and grapefruit hops that linger quite a bit in the aftertaste; sweet and sticky finish; up front alcohol, big time toasty bread and caramel malt character.

Medium-full body; medium carbonation; very smooth, rich and creamy feel. I guess I don’t get the excitement over this one that much; it felt like a chore to drink; way hot and heavy-handed. It’s obviously well-made and somewhat tasty, it just struck me as unnecessarily massive, even on a cold night. Very much a cross between a highly hopped barleywine and a big DIPA.

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Photo of Kakaraht
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Amber in color with a thumb of thin white head.

S: It smells like an American IPA, very floral and citrusy. Really it smells like every other beer they produce.

T: I don't taste anything that could be brown sugar, mostly a light caramel flavor being overpowered by hops. The hops go through a wide range of citrus and floral flavors changing as the beer warms.

M: Medium body, the bitterness lingers quite long.

D: I was hoping for something more sweet with less of that very common American IPA flavor. It is a good beer other than that, just not what I was looking for.

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Photo of Rizalini
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into my Deschutes tulip...

A - Pours a crystal clear amberish/mahagony color, with a dense 2 finger cream color head. Great lacing sticking to the side of the glass.

S - Fruity citrus, followed by a sweet malty molasses aroma.

T/M - Not as hoppy as the aroma leads to, but does have a nice solid malt backbone. The brown sugar/molasses flavor compliments nicely while not being over sweet. Medium-syrupy mouthfeel, slightly under carbonated.

O - A nice strong ale that's very well rounded. Alcohol very well hidden, making this one very easy to drink. Cheers

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Photo of brentk56
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a fairly clear medium amber color with a rocky beige head that leaves plenty of splashy lacing

Smell: Caramelized brown sugar, some piney hops and a touch of fruit; plenty of alcohol in the aroma as well

Taste: Burnt caramel and a distinct fusel alcohol flavor appear as I swirl it around my mouth; after the swallow a good presence of piney hop bitterness makes its presence known; the alcohol reappears on the finish as does the brown sugar sweetness

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and syrupy; moderate carbonation

Drinkability: While the sweetness is not cloying, it does limit the amount of this beer you will want to consume; otherwise, quite intriguing

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Photo of DaggerEyes
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amber orange hued body. Thin light tan head.

Interesting nose...brown sugar, fruit, slight almond scent. Ameretto. Maybe a bit of orange peel. Pine sAp and pine needles. A brighter boldier hop profile than I had anticipated

Medium bodies beer with a moderate ammount of carbonation. Sweet sugary hoppy a little bit of spice.

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Photo of hopsolutely
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From notes taken at brewery yesterday, where it was listed at 9.9% ABV:

Pours a beautiful dark chocolate colour with impressive head and lacing. Thick but not oily mouthfeel, remarkably "normal" given the high ABV. Aroma of sweet, roasted malts with caramel tones and some plum or other fruitcake spices. These aromas translate into the finish, where I did not expect the almost overwhelming sweetness in the finish.

Overall struck me more as a sweet and malty barley wine rather than a strong ale. Glad to have tried it, but did not order a second.

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Photo of lokieman
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into glass:

A: Pours caramel brown with a 2 inch off white frothy head that dissipates quickly

S: I'm first hit with Lagunitas' typical hop profile...followed by a sweet, caramel malt aroma. Smells like an extra malty barley wine with a ton of west coast hops. Not bad...

T: Very similar to the nose...hop forward with a malty finish. Hoppier than one would guess from the description but enough sugary malt flavor to balance out the finish. Don't necessarily get the brown sugar but a definite sweetness comes into play. Good...not great.

M: Nice, sticky mouthfeel typical of most barley wines. Viscous enough to layer the mouth with flavor but only slightly cloying.

O: I love Lagunitas and their approach to brewing. They make affordable, tasty beers with a great abv to price ratio. Brown Shugga falls behind Sucks and Stoopid for me but a very good offering that I certainly look forward to. I have a six pack hanging out in my pantry that I'm going to sit on for a while...curious to see if age will mellow this one out.

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Photo of ruckzuck
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - amber, red, bit of a head, bit of lacing

S - brown sugar, some malt

T - brown sugar, some malt, hoppiness comes through, alcohol is also there

M - medium-heavy body, solid, not too much carbonation, bit of alcohol

D - well, this is quite strong and quite sweet. Definitely enjoyable, but I'm not sure I could do more than 2 (and that's pushing it) in a sitting due to the strength and fullness of it. Of course as the alcohol continues to sink in I start to reconsider another. Ha. Either way I like it. Check it out!

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Photo of taigor
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap poured into 8oz glass.

A - Dark amber color with medium head that leaves lots of lacing around the glass.

S - Caramel, malts and of course sugar.

T - Expected lots of sweetness but instead it is slightly sweet and mostly hoppy bitter. Malts and caramel are present as well.

M - Medium bodied with lots of carbonation.

D - Good but has too much bitter aftertaste.

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Photo of shapudding
3.69/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Ok, so maybe I really was interested in getting this ‘cause I like saying the name! Well, I also have always loooved anything with brown sugar in it too! Poured out amber an semi-unclear with a nice huge froth of milkshakey, creamy colored head with a huge froth and a few bubbles showing and moon crater layer. Tons of lacing that started immediately and went all they way down. Nice malty scents with hoppy bites but not too much going on. Smooth and thick, creamy, but not too heavy. Feel silky with the carbonation coming out and just gliding over your tongue. I was really wondering if this would be too sweet, but nope. You get a taste of dark brown sugar -not as deep as molasses, just caramelly dark, with peppery hops. Twinges of orange rind in the background. This one may be a bit heavy to sit down with as a sesssion, but it is damn nice as a sipper, and for a few in the evening.

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Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,470 ratings.