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Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,176 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,176
Reviews: 1,345
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.66%
Wants: 177
Gots: 403 | FT: 13
Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  9.99% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 12-13-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,176 | Reviews: 1,345 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Proteus93
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of dkachur... thanks, Dan! I can't believe I haven't picked it up myself in all this time.

A: Rather bronzish with a nice two finger creamy foam of head. Retention is pretty good, and it has pretty good lacing.

S + T: Brown shugga is right, both in aroma and flavour. Big caramelized sugar blending in quite nicely with a toasted malt and a little spot of hoppiness. A rather nicely balanced beer.

M + D: A little big, kind of sticky... it leaves a fair bit of residue behind, which has me smacking my lips for a while after each sip. A little rich, perhaps, but a good beer... solid beer. I'd be game for more, though the alcohol makes it a bit of a slower indulgence brew.

Photo of tzieser
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear copper color with a fluffy white head. fainter than expected nose, some definite sweetness going on, but the hops were definitely there as well. I was expecting a much sweeter taste at first, but then I reminded this is a west coast barley wine, and should be treated as such. very sweet malts up front, the brown sugar is there and the hops take control of the lingering flavor. The mouthfeel is phenomenal on this one. velvety smooth. This was a great beer, but I feel as though it should be cellared for a few years to mull the hop flavor a bit. Definitely pick this one up if you see it.

Photo of Jdizzzell
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of Murchmac
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As sunset approaches this beer blends in with the environment. Pours like the sun going down over the ocean.

Alcohol smell, sweet malts, west coast hops.

Big alcohol taste, dark sugar, molasses, some hops. Delicioso! It slowly coats your tongue and rocks you to sleep.

Aftertaste finishes big, sticky, and long.

Buy this one when you can.

Photo of bluegrassbrew
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours a deep copper/bronze with a decent head and leaves some nice lacing.

Smell is some alcohol surrounded by caramel and some toffee notes.

Taste is a bit of caramel on top of a slight fruitiness. Heat from the alcohol is only slightly noticable. I get a touch of brown sugar in the finish.

I feel it is a tad thin as are all the Lagunitas offerings I've tried. Could use a fuller body.

Overall, a tasty treat. Very good, but with some more body could be fantastic.

Photo of FLBeerGuy
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy copper color with a thin tan head that quickly dissipates.

Nose is sweet, malty, molasses.

Taste is sweet, some malt & a nice hop bitterness. The 9.9ABV is hidden well.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth.

Even though the ABV hides well, this is not a good session beer because of the sweetness.

This is a decent holiday beer for those cold winter nights.

Photo of jbone78
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was found at my local store.

Pours copper to brown in color with light head. Smells of floral hops, tastes starts off the same. Citrus hops that balances well with the "Brown Shugga" and caramel malts. Finishes with a little grapefruit bitterness but not too bad.

I like this beer and I would buy again. But would buy Hop Stoopid over it any other day.


Photo of bob3701
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams glass. Great clear copper color with a big off white fluffy head that quickly goes into a thin film with minor lacing. Aroma of cotton candy and caramel malt. The taste took me by surprise, I was expecting a super sweet brew and the first mouthful was sweet like toffee. As I progressed it did not seem as sweet and I was starting to feel the burn of alcohol. It really goes down easy though and that could be dangerous considering the ABV for me.

Photo of neenerzig
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had a pint of this on tap recently at La Cav Du Vin. Served to me in a tulip glass. This beer is a clear, medium brown color. Decent sized head probably about 1/2 inch when drawn from the tap before settling to a decent surface cover with nice lace. Smells of brown sugar and malt along with some citrus hops are certainly present. Tastewise this beer is certainly sweet upfront with caramel and brown sugar present before the hoppy bitterness also makes its presence known almost immediately. I would not say the balance is not good, but neither primary flavor (the sweetness nor the bitterness) is stronger than the other. Very interesting indeed. Has a crisp, medium to full bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Drinkability could be a bit more easy to drink, due to its overall strangeness. I would certainly drink this again.


Photo of TCgoalie
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I peer into the glass and see a hue that is very unique and quite splendid. The color is hard to pin, a brownish-reddish-peachish hue that is rather sexy. The filtration adds an element of clarity adding sparkle. If the head and lacing kicked it up a notch, I would give a 5.

The smell is as expected, brown sugary malt. A pine hop splash helps break up the malt bill. When agitating, it brings out the nearly 10% heat to my nostrils.

The taste is rather sweet consisting of ample brown sugar blending with caramel malts. The sweetness has a pear or apple like fruitiness. In comes the staple Lagunitas lemon and grass pine malt to add a kick.

I substantial coating of the mouth occurs once swallowed following a medium in the mouth type feel.

Not the most drinkable beer due to its sweetness, but rock solid like most Lagunitas brews.

Photo of greenbeaner
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one great lookin beer. Deep burnt amber haze with a one finger head that falls quickly to a thin layer of film on the beer. Sticks to the side of the glass quite nicely.

Nice and subtle on the nose, hops, sweet caramel and lots of malt. Mild yeast and fruity notes.

Taste starts off with some decently powerful hops, then moves on to heavy malts, and carmalized fruit, and ahhh yes...warm alcohol...mmm

Feels solid, medium bodied, crisp with a nice bite. Slightly sticky with a dry finish.

Good stuff, I'd drink it again, very nice balance of the large amounts of sweetness and bitterness. A nice surprise as this is my first of the Lagunitas brews. Well worth the buy.

Photo of ChappyCubsFan
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The name, Brown Shugga, is not deceptive at all. It does a good job of characterizing this brew. This was an experience. I didn't drink a whole bottle, but instead shared one with about three guests (actually, I had tried it earlier at the Pizza Port Strong Ale festival in December and rather enjoyed it). Very robust malt blend with a brown sugar taste that gives way to a good hop and malt balance. This is a great desert beer. I think you could probably pour this over vanilla ice cream in a glass and have an interesting beverage.

Photo of Tolann
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hella big thanks to Nic for granting me this bottle.

A - Cloudy golden orange. white head. Kind of makes me think of a dark apple cider color

S - sweet molasses, and some fruit. A little bit of grassy hops on the end. Definitely brown sugar in there. Kinda maybe like a barley wine.

T - Sweet and malty. it makes me think of something gooey and yummy.

M - Some carbonation. Kind of a sugary slickness to it. Tiny bit of alcohol. Some dryness at the back of my throat.

D - The name had me thinking Quaker Oatmeal sweetness but this is different and much more appropriate for my beer. Maybe some too sweet to have a few in just 1 sitting. Very enjoyable tho!

Photo of animal69
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a deep brownish-copper color w/ a thick, fluffy slightly off-white cap that sticks around a bit before leaving a nice lace in my ommegang goblet

S- smell starts with a piney citrus hop aroma but quickly fades into something else that challanges my olfactory senses, a sweet fruity caramel apple/cotton candy maybe, with some fresh brewed tea and nuts to boot, hints of bread and spices(?), whatever it is it has no trace of alcohol

T- taste is also a mystery with a def. grapefruit and floral hop to start quickly getting smacked around by an incredibly sweet bready malt with toffee flavor, a bit "tangy" in an artifical orange drink sort of way as it finally rolls off the top of the tongue, nuts and hints of dark fruit swim around with some minerals, licorice and soap before leaving a surprisingly dry and bitter finish

M- don't know that i'd call it "dry" but it's as close as a beer this sweet will get with a med. body and plenty of co2

D- a decent brew but not something i'd drink over & over again, a bit too cloyingly sweet while making you want it more is not a good combo w/ a 9.8% ABV brew IMO

Photo of Redrover
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap at the Risqué BBQ in Chicago. It was served in a mid sized goblet.

The beer is a hazy opaque brown with a dense dark beige head and sticky lacing.

Big nose of raw brown sugar, lightly toasted grains and ripe plums.

It is sweet but not overly so. There is a gentle warming from the alcohol. Brown sugar, milled grains and fruit. Stays sweet through out.

Silky mouth with low levels of carbonation. This was a slow end of night type of beer. Glad I had a chance to try it.

Photo of srandycarter
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark Orange, close to tea, fairly clear, nice 1" head. Reduces to ring and some sticky webbed lacing.

S - Straight up malt in the nose. Faint hops.

T - Nice malt, heavy sweetness in the center, nicely countered by the hops.

M - Medium to heavy, good carb, all over the mouth, nice balance.

D - Large and dominant, would not hold up for a night.

Photo of beerguy101
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Medium brown color, medium head. Brown ale brewed by feeding brown sugar cane to the brewery yeast. There are suspended solids in this beer. Malty and sweet. Full flavored ale. Malty and hoppy. Brown sugar gives the beer somewhat of a Belgian Ale flavor. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is a little crisp. Aftertaste slightly harsh. Some bottle aging would help this beer a lot. Still a nice taste and a very interesting idea.

Photo of HOPPYKC
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle in to a pint glass. No bottled on or bb date.

The look of pouring this is great. Orange to a slightly dark copper color. Not a lot of head on this pour. Slightly hard to see through so not completely transparent.

The smell is that of sugar and hops. It smells surprisingly like an IPA which i am very fond of. I i like having the hops character and the malt so balanced but i think the sugar is great. Also a bit of fruit from the zest of lemon.This all goes for the taste as well.

This is a bit thinker than most of the IPA's iv'e had and thats not a bad thing. I definitely have to say that as iv'e had a few drink i begin to taste the alcohol a bit more. I am still surprised by the fact that this is ABV 9.99% and its so easy to drink . Good for Lagunitas.

Photo of GJ40
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on tap at Tyler's in Apex, NC.

A - Amber with good clarity and a small off-white head. Some lacing.

S - Brown sugar and caramel with a touch of floral hops and some alcohol coming through. It gets better as it warms.

T - Rich and sweet with caramel and brown sugar. There's a moderate bitterness. The malts certainly dominate but there are some hops in the background.

M - Thick and creamy with a nice low carbonation.

D - A rich, complex and interesting beer. A bit too rich to have too many but still a solid beer.

Photo of nova009
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter

A- pours a dark brown body reminiscent of brown sugar, when held to light there is a red tint, small khaki head appears and dissipates down to a ring, lacing is okay but kind of spotty in areas

S- caramel hits the nose first, dark fruits like figs, toasted malt, vanilla, a slight nutty scent comes to mind, only a very slight brown sugar smell

T- the mouth gets hit hard by caramel and hops, the hops didn't really come out in the smell but it is definitely present in the flavor, piney notes out of the hops, slightly floral as well, an interesting balance of bitter and sweet, it is almost a strong-ale barleywine hybrid

M- medium body, very creamy and coats the palate nicely without the hops overly attacking it, carbonation is a little high but it seems to work

D- this is a sipper, i couldnt drink too many of these, with that being said it was a very intriguing beer, the combination of the strong ale and barleywine flavors is a nice concept, a nice one to grab in singles during the winter months

Photo of Stunner97
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- copper to amber brown with nice small bubbles streaming up the glass, decent tan white head of the pour that faded away to lingering white head,

Smell- loads of citrus hops really dominate this nose only really slight hint of malt

Taste- starts off with a bit of that malt and brown shugga flavor, and then the hops really kick in very very strong on this one, the citrus hops that you get on the nose really follow through quite firmly, its definitely alot more hoppy then I would have probably expected but its not bad has decent balance and overall enjoyable taste

Mouthfeel- rather heavy and smooth with decent amount of carbonation, goes down easy

Drinkability- overall this beer is pretty drinkable despite its big 9.9 punch, its got maybe a touch much on the hop end for me and maybe would of like to seen kick more of malt too, but overall its decent beer but falls short of what i would call great, would be interesting to try with a bit of age on this beer, one thing i do start to notice though is alot of the lagunitas beers im starting to feel do taste quite the same not a bash but just hey im starting to see that

Photo of riversider76
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber brown with a thin tan head.Decent retention,and nice lacing. This beer looks thick.Aroma is sweet,and bready. Body is thick,with a good amount of carbonation. Taste is of malty brown sugar,and spice.Nice bit of hops,and a good burn in the finish.

Photo of seeswo
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I honestly don't know how to classify this beer, as American strong ale is starting to just mean beer to me. So my classification would be a junior version of a pretty fresh American barley wine - and not all that junior. Pours amber with a finger and a half of fast dissipating tan head. Smells of bready sugar sweet hops, however you might interpret that. The taste is pretty good - again, think American barleywine, that is fresh and hoppy, but not. In that sense that some American barley wines are so over hopped that they taste excessive when drank fresh. There is also a nice sweetness behind it. Not perfect, but this beer was <$2, so I'm impressed. The mouthfeel is pretty sweet, but not overly thick. It sits on the tongue with that sweet bitterness, but it doesn't coat it. Pretty drinkable for a 10% American barleywine junior.

Photo of cmart332
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of clayrock81
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a one-finger tan head that dies quickly with minor lace sticking to the glass. A very hoppy aroma for a borwn ale with hints of minor fruit and an alright malt base. Smooth and creamy with a great hop bite and malt sweetness. There are plenty of malts in this. I swear I can taste toasted malt, chocolate, toffee, caramel, peppermint, butterscotch, and maybe hints of roasted and/or coffee malts (anything with sugar, and yes, brown sugar). Not thin, not overly thick though, wouldn't necessarily say bready but a little viscous. A good beer that I recommend and look forward to having again.

Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 4,176 ratings.