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Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,446 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,446
Hads: 5,029
Avg: 3.99
pDev: 21.05%
Wants: 243
Gots: 884 | 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: 1,446 | Hads: 5,029
Photo of JeremyAnaya
4.53/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

We all know bittersweet..
But have you met sweetbitter??

Happy holidays you bastard

find it drink it love it

Pop the tops and smell the hops, Lagunitas is the best at it. Here comes the hop but this time she brings a stranger. Nice to meet you brown sugar I think we'll be fast friends.

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Photo of bubseymour
4.53/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - Has a deep dark reddish clear color with very nicely formed 2 finger head in my Sam Adams pint glass.

S - Like the name states, very sugary and caramel scents prevail. Some malty and bready notes and a very minor hop presence. Hops are more noticeable in the scent as it warms. Quite pleasant none-the-less.

T - A very warming beer in the belly. Smooth and very well balanced with no noticeable alcohol presence despite the 9.9% rating. Definitely some malt and sugary caramel balance out a subtle but noticeable hop presence that has a linger of slight bitterness post drinking.

M - Warm and buttery.

Overall - An excellent crafted brew for the Strong Ale style. Highly recommend. Very satisfying beer after just 1 with its overall fullness, powerful and tasty flavors and alcohol level. Great bang for the buck as well.

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Photo of JerUrbans
4.53/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours out a nice clear amber color, with light tan head. Smell is hoppy, a little earthy, and some citrus in the nose as well, very nice. Taste is just great! Sweet , with some dark fruit notes, blends well with the citrus and hops. Alcohol is really well hidden. I get a nice warming feeling all over my body as I drink this. Got really good body, and is smooth, yet sticky. Flavor lingers in my mouth a long long time.

Overall this is one of the top 5 beers I have had, would absolutely seek this beer out. We get very limited amount where I'm at, but was lucky enough to secure one case from my local.

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Photo of Gatch
4.53/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Beautiful maroon-amber-brown with a creamy, foamy, light-brown head. Fits the name of the beer perfectly. Huge lace but little retention.

S: Wow. Incredible bouquet of fresh, fruity, citrusy hops and sweet, caramel, sugary malt. The dry and pungent character of the hops sticks to your nostrils but the finish brings in roasted malt. Fantastic nose.

T: Boom! Hops, malt, sugar, and booze. But those four qualities are balanced. Huge fresh, fruity hops, perfectly roasted malt, and boozy sugars that fill the mouth with flavor and warmth.

M: Incredibly smooth as expected but also creamy, sweet, and very hoppy. Alcohol presence is minimal and the carbonation is on-point.

O: I'm glad this comes in 6-packs because it gave me the opportunity to experience this beer multiple times. Each successive bottle made me appreciate it even more than the previous one. This sixth one brings out the subtle nuances that makes this beer ultimately great. Nearly perfectly executed for the style from start to finish.

Note: this review is the beer straight from the fridge poured into a pint glass. As the beer warms...in both the nose and the taste it's boozier, hoppier, maltier and more flavorful! In my opinion, this needs to be drunk fresh. Sure, it'll age well by mellowing out, but enjoy it for what it is now because the hops are so fresh and the alcohol is so hidden.

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Photo of ZorPrime
4.52/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Brown color beer with a fine bubbles foamy head. The aroma presents notes of citrus with some sugar, brown sugar actually. It makes this beer a little caramelized. Medium intensity aroma. Tastewise, it is burnt sugar with some fruity notes. Complex. Caramel in there too. The taste linger in the mouth, this is wonderful... I'm going crazy over this beer. One hell of a good brew. Delicious... can't stop drinking...

Overall, an excellent brew.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.52/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this a month ago. Review from notes.

A - Pours a nice dark brown in color with fluffy white head.

S - Mostly of brown sugar, caramel, and loads of hops.

T - Hops kind of overpower the palate but finishes with a candy sweetness from the brown sugar. Great.

M - Really strong flavors and ABV. Full Bodied.

D - Man I think I still have a few places around and can get them usually for around 2-3 dollars a bottle. I will see this again next year.

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Photo of halo21
4.52/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured nicely into a smaller pilsner glass (poured a third of a bottle and was able to get my nose in the glass)

Appearance: A beautiful orange and red with a chunky white head that left lacing all over the inside of the glass. Very clear with fine carbonation.

Smell: Apples. Bold, citrus with floral, and sweet malts. This beer has a ton of aroma coming off of it representing the size of this beer.

Taste: Amazing flavors, of fruit, brown sugar sweetness, and a huge hop finish: bitter and dying, but extremely complex. This heavy brew is a great desert in and of itself.

Mouthfeel: Refreshing but still very strong presence. The story shown above behind this beer - the Old GnarlyWine Ale gone awry - is very present in this beer in that it is strong and feels big.

Drinkability/Palitability: Medium to low; this is a slow sipping - next time out of a sniffer and I will write the notes up on here - after meal beer. You could drink a few of these if it was not for the teamwork of such a high ABV and weight.

Notes: I love everything this beer is, and have never been let down by Lagunitas. This brew has a very 'fall season' feel; particularly the North East, where I live. It's apple smell mixed with the sweetness brings to mind Autumn. Next time I drink this - in the sniffer - I will be trying this beer with sliced apple and some sharp cheddar cheese.

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Photo of Steamer
4.52/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A reddish brown, golden amber color - very nice; cream head that has good retention and lacing. Aroma of sweet apple cider, or could be apple pie with a hint of cinnamon. Malty, with just a bit of hops bitterness. No standout indications that it is a high ABV brew. Just a little alcohol burn in the throat, but not until after a few sips... very smooth. Medium bodied with some nice sugar stickiness. This ale could be dangerous, but in a very good way! So good I had to force myself to sip and enjoy rather than gulp it down.

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Photo of Phelps
4.52/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful copper with outstanding clarity. A one-finger head of creamy khaki tops it for a while, but eventually recedes, leaving a hefty, sticky ring along with some filmy residue. Bubbly zig-zags grip the glass.

The nose is super hoppy. Absolutely tons of grapefruit, some light pineapple, dank whole leaf hops, and, of course, a little bit of brown shugga. Hoppy and sweet, my two favorites.

In the flavor: dank hops, honey, brown sugar, a blast of grapefruit juice at swallow. A smooth yet powerful bitterness builds on the back of the tongue. It's like a barleywine that leans toward the sweeter side of life. Sweet without becoming cloying, with a sugary finish. The balance is incredible.

I can't imagine a more perfect body for this brew. An understated carbonation gently tickles the tongue amidst a medium body that's oh-so smooth. It's pillow-soft, yet substantial enough to keep me interested.

I first tried this beer years ago, though I don't remember it being this hoppy, this flavorful, or dammit, this GOOD. Honey honey, aw shugga shugga.

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Photo of Darkhorse09
4.52/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on Tap at the Independent in Somerville, MA.

A: Reddish amber hue, with a lucious and creamy off white head. Really great lace, through most of the glass. It's color reminds me of the big bins of chestnuts you see in stores around christmas.

N: Great. Sweet, a little yeasty of brown sugar (obviously) and some nuts and perhaps some fruit. Smells kind of like liquor, the nose does not hide the high ABV well, but I like it. It works, especially with the mild sweetness and hoppy smells.

T: An aptly named beer. Brown sugar comes through, along with caramel malt. This upfront sweet taste is balanced by apricot and citrus hop flavors leaving a distinct bitter taste on the finish. Really interesting, not too powerful and delicious. Warming alcohol on the swallow. Really tasty.

M: Full body, adequte carbonation. Makes for a creamy, smooth, tight beer.

D: This beer is under control. Nothing extreme, but everything just right. I really enjoyed it.

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Photo of FenwaySquid
4.52/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz. short brown bottle, no dating of any kind, poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear amber color, carbonation bubbles rising inside. The head formed about 1 finger thick and retained nicely.

Aroma: Caramel and brown sugar. Very sweet.

Taste: As was the aroma, it's very sweet. I mainly got caramel malts, some toasted malts come through as well, and the two mix nicely. I also noticed some hops in the background, nice bittering effect. The finish was mainly the toasted malts, turning slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel: Thick and chewy, yet extremely smooth and creamy. The carbonation was light, which balanced quite well.

Overall: Wow, is this good. Pretty easy to forget that it's almost 10% abv. Highly recommended to anyone and everyone.

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Photo of chrisgn
4.52/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from a six pack.

A- amber in color, small head that dissipates leaving lacing on the top of the glass. Not much carbonation.

S- sweet malt aromas and surprisingly piney hop notes as well.

T- Delicious! Sweet and malty with a good amount of hop character in there as well....a nicely balanced beer. Expected it to be sweeter.

M- Full bodied and rich. Truly exceptional.

D- This drinks like a 5% beer. the high alcohol goes unnoticed. It would be easy over do this brew on a cold fall night.

Lagunitas is quickly becoming my favorite brewery. Everything I have had is fantastic! If you see this or any other Lagunitas beer pick it up and enjoy.

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Photo of hosehead83
4.52/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz. "stubby" bottle into a standard pint glass
Copper/amber in color, with a nice, thick head of off-white foam.
Aroma-Citrussy hops, brown sugar-caramel. Very pleasant.
Taste-Brown sugar/maple syrup covered grapefruit.
Excellent balance of sweet and bitter. Easy does it! 9.99ABV not evident, sip slowly and enjoy the great melding of flavor. Tasty, caramel-coated hoppy goodness. Not to be missed. Get some!!

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Photo of AmitC
4.52/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An excellent product overall.

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter. A very deep amber color. Otherwise very clear except for some suspended very very fine particles. Excellent light tan colored almost two fingers thick head with good retention. The receding head leaves an excellent tracing behind. A few small bubbles seen rising up.

Aroma is strong and punching. A mix of super strong malt and very bitter subtle hops. Use of brown cane sugar as suggested by the bottle suggests some sweetness along with strong maltiness. However, bitter hops are equally strong and rise up to give an excellent aroma. Some alcohol but overall dominated by rich and strong bitter malt. I love the aroma as such and it is very inviting.

Flavor is excellent. A very strong bitterness for something not an IPA or barleywine. Very upfront hops that dominate leaving the strong malt base as a sidekick. Malts are huge and in abundance but for me hops just overpower everything not to the point of extreme bitterness, but just enough bitterness that is worth savoring. A little bit of alcohol and kick is felt. Very warming. Boozy - no. Aftertaste is also full of bitterness.

Mouth feel is medium to slightly full. Moderate to low carbonation. No astringency of any kind for me. Some may find it bitter or boozy or way too malty, but this is just a perfect blend.

This drinks so easy, you realize this when you finish it in 15 minutes. Damn, it is 10%. Can't drink a lot in a single session. Got to care for liver.

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Photo of Nietzsches_Horse
4.51/5  rDev +13%

If you combined a nice American Barleywine, with a nice DIPA, and added a touch of brown sugar sweetness, you might end up with something like this. And if you also priced it very generously, and only released it during the long dark days of winter--when a nice, sweet, cheap and strong beer is most welcome--you'd probably be pretty close to answering the conundrum, "How come you taste so good..."

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours brilliant brown to chestnut under a 1” clingy creamy white foam collar.
S: Malt and light fruit aromas with some spice.
T: Big complex sweet malt up front with traces of dark sugar and fruit culminating in a dry finish with a bitter hop accent.
F: Medium body and carbonation, slight warming.
O: A big, satiating, bold beer for after work

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Photo of puboflyons
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on December 7, 2014.

It is an attractive looking deep amber pour with a long lasting off-white head. A lot of lacing.

Sweet aroma of malts and brown sugar with a muted hop sensation.

Medium to better than medium body.

The taste begins with the sweet malty goodness and the brown sugar but there is a fascinating moderate bitterness at the finish.

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Photo of JLaw55
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

If Lagunitas Sucks! is the hop forward DIPA of their line, then this is the malt forward version. I would say Hop Stoopid is the tropical flavored version. This is an exceptional malt balanced DIPA that is quite worthy of it's name.

Would seek out and purchase again.

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Photo of Caveworm
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, this brew's off-white finely porous head is 1 finger thick with solid lacing, and a darker walnut brownish amber body.

The aroma I'm picking up with Brown Shugga' is, yes brown sugar, along with roasted malts, and more feisty hops. This is not overpowering or astringent to the senses. I've got a feeling this will taste quite good.

I taste basically the same components as the scent, the hops are pinier more so than a grapefruit flavor. As bold as this tastes, it's not too sharp or tart. Brown shugga' smoove, lol.

Overall, I'll give Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company a 4.5. I was lovin it and will purchase this beer again

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
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 +12.8%
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 +12.8%
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 +12.8%
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 +12.8%
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 +12.8%
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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Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,446 ratings.