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Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

4,904 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,904
Reviews: 1,495
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 214
Gots: 807 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,904 | Reviews: 1,495
Photo of TheFightfan1
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got my growler filled up at the Hulmeville inn.

Poured into a snifter. Poured a very cloudy amber color with a thick tightly bubbled off white heading. Amazing leggage that sticks around the edges 'till the last drop.

Smell is hoppy at first. Followed by a crisp sweet caramel sweetness.

Taste is bit bitter at first wave. Second wave is mostly of the heavily caramel and roasted malt taste that just sticks to the palate. Very rich and sweet. There are hints of brown sugar that does compliment the sweetness.

Mouth is medium to full bodied. Chewy feel in the mouth. An all around hop cleanse on the palate.

Drink is good. ABV is very well hidden. The heavily sweetness with the bright background of hops just make this an amazing drink. Drink up folks.

Photo of dbrauneis
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a very lightly hazy deep copper to light golden amber in color with some orange highlights and moderate amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a two finger tall dense foamy head that slowly reduces to a thick film covering the majority of the surface of the beer with a couple of spots that are a little thinner and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Strong aromas of caramel malts and caramel sweetness with moderate to strong aromas of citrus and pine hops. There are also some lighter notes of burnt sugar and maple.

T: Moderate to strong flavors of sweet caramel maltiness with a touch of burnt sugar and maple as well. Upfront this beer is quite sweet. That is followed by the aggressive flavors of the hops - citrus/grapefruit/orange and pine. Slightly more than moderate amounts of bitterness which linger but not for too long and some moderate amounts of alcohol taste (especially as the beer warms.

M: Slightly heavier than medium bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Some dryness and alcohol heat in the finish, especially as the beer warms up.

O: Not the easiest beer that I have ever drank but it is still enjoyable - I wish the alcohol was a little more well hidden and that the sweetness was not so shocking upfront and then fading quickly. Interesting mix of style with elements of a barleywine and a DIPA.

Photo of aubzachsyd
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of therobot
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Rich amber color

S: Sharp smell, citrus and sweet with a trace of booziness

T: Has a mild bitterness up-front and a nice sweet after-taste can definitely taste the sugar

M: mildly thick and moderately carbonated

D: I would give it pretty good marks on drink-ability, a little sweet for my taste.

Overall I liked it, as I seem to with all of Lagunitas offerings I have tried. Less than most, but it grew on me as I finished the bottle.

Photo of SteveO1231
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Grabbed a six pack a BevMo! Was a spicy meatball at $8.99

Pours A reddish brown with a little tan head on top. Bright orange highlights. Nice slow carbonation. Nice bubbly lacing.

Sweet malt aroma with hints of grapelike fruits. I can smell the alcohol.

Sticky on the palate. Light sweet flavor of caramel, bitter citrus finish that clings to the tongue. The ABV warms my belly.

Very smooth and drinkablr despite giantic ABV, could be trouble.

Cheers!

Photo of Bitter_Echo
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very clear, dark, tannic oxidized rust color, very appealing. Smells not very hop forward, but malt, sweet, bread and grain and some caramel, but some noticeable alcohol and pine like hop notes. Tastes very sweet and malty and not at all bitter at first, the bitterness only emerging after a time (like their sumpin') and this tends to modulate the loudness of the bitterness overall. Nice late hop echo coming in later. Mouthfeel and carbonation is moderate fussy and just about right. Overall, another very good Lagunitas offering, although I don't like as much the loud malt notes in the beginning that really mute the effects of the hops...I want the hops right THEIR!

Photo of hoody711
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first Brown Shugga. It will be hard to be unbiased - the hype surrounding this beer as well as my intense love for anything from Petaluma.

A - poured into my tulip. A nice reddish brown with a 3 finger pearl head. Nice lacing, as you would expect. These guys are pros, after all.

S - definitely has that token Lagunitas smell. Citrus hops up front, but there is plenty of sweet malty goodness, and, brace yourself, brown sugar, at the end. Boozy as well. Smells great. (After warming, almost all malts. Citrus is basically gone, just a whiff.)

T - sweet citrus/sugar --> resiny bitterness --> strong bready malts. The alcohol is strong on this one at the end, and leaves behind a decent burn. It's good, but I'm not in love.

M - medium, definitely not heavy. The carbonation is good. See above re: alcohol burn. Despite this, good drinkability.

O - blah, I'm disappointed. I was hoping that this would rank up there with Sucks for me. I have such a soft spot for the citrus IPAs. Obviously, this is not one of those. It is good, complex, and gets better as it warms. Definitely worth trying, especially if you like the strong ales.

Edited after warming to room temp.

Photo of elliott1184
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of lhaqq
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Orange/light copper slightly cloudy body with little white head.
S: Not too much of a smell. Some candy sugar but also some bitterness from the hops.
T: Tastes like a decent IPA meets a triple, sans most of the sweetness of the triple. Has the bitterness of an IPA but just tastes heavier, and more sugary.
M: Compact lively carbonation. Still feels light in the mouth despite the heavy taste.
D: Dangerous, I think. My friend said she could taste the alcohol, but I thought it was pretty well masked. At least according to the server, the abv is actually 12% which, if true, is even more impressive given the lack of alcohol taste and the often overly sweet concomitant flavor.

Photo of morrowd3
3.79/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.79/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of IAmAPenguin
3.79/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Aroma - Fresh hops with a clear brown sugar, cinnamon spice, toffee and molasses.
Appearance - Very reddish, crimson color with almost no foam and standard lacing.
Taste- Very crisp, malty flavors with notes of caramelized sugar, burnt caramel, toffee and thin molasses. Finish is smooth with herby hops. Overall, this is interesting. Its dark and malty flavors but its actually really easy drinking and thin. I don't get any alcohol at all which makes this one really dangerously easy drinking. Not a bad beer at all.

Photo of almostjay
3.79/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of yancot
3.79/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Mikeypnh
3.79/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of falloutsnow
3.79/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From: Piccadilly on Neil, Champaign, IL
Date: None on bottle, released in early winter 2012
Glass: Tulip

Lagunitas' Brown Shugga' is a strongly hoppy (US west coast style) ale with more caramel flavor than most DIPAs offer. While it could easily qualify as one, it instead lands in the "strong ale" catch-all, equally fine. The beer is quite drinkable, but I found it to be a somewhat generic version of the "highly hopped, high ethanol" west coast style beers I've had in the past. Thus, while tasty, I was never surprised or stricken with the particular character that defines this beer relative to others. Might I try it again when very fresh? Sure.

Pours approximately a 1cm tall head of dirty white bubbles, small in size, with average retention of one to two minutes. The head, as it falls, leaves some thick washes of lace along the innards of the glass, a variety of solid walls of sticky foam to mixed spiderweb-like patterns. The head eventually wastes away to a fine cap of foam atop the body of the beer. The body itself is a strong copper-orange color, with light bringing out brighter orange-yellow hues. The beer is somewhat hazy (perhaps 30% opaque), but carbonation is still readily visible through it, quite actively rising from the center of the glass.

Aroma of fairly substantial caramel and its attendant sweetness, though I wouldn't describe it as reminding me of brown sugar. This is joined to some tropical fruit and mild citrus, from ale yeast or hops, who knows. There's also mild pepperiness and faint ethanol lingering in the background. In general, pleasing and appetizing, if not particularly unique.

In general, this tastes pleasant if you appreciate US west coast-style, well-hopped beers (and I do), with a substantial malt backbone, but it's also not particularly different from many others in the same hop intensity and ethanol content categories. Front of palate is of heavy caramel sweetness with hints of hop or yeast-derived fruit esters and minor bitterness. Mid-palate finds the hops slightly taking the main focus, with bitterness, grapefruit, woodsy/herbal, and mild tropical fruit all being as though filtered through a screen of caramel sweetness and flavor. Back of palate notices sweet, heavy caramel notes, ethanol, and herbal/woodsy/green hop flavors with strong bitterness. Aftertaste focuses on bitterness, mild caramel sweetness, and lingering ethanol.

Beer is medium-bodied, with carbonation of medium to medium-low intensity, leading to a beer that is slightly foamy on the palate, but never quite fizzy. Ethanol is felt primarily in the nostrils after each sip, slightly burning the back of the throat as well. Closes out semi-dry, with modest residual stickiness along the palate.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

What a pleasant beer. And talk about unique. . . if BA had a originality category, this would get a 5.

Pours out a reddish brown color. Beige head, about 5/8". Good lace. Aroma is sweet, like brown shugga!

The alcohol is extremely well hidden. You get a hop blast somehow, which I didn't expect in a beer with so much "brown shugga" in it. But it isn't over the top sweet that is a turn off. Had some bitterness to pair with it.

Easily Lagunitas's most original work. A great brewery, a real good beer.

Its not as good as Hop Stoopid or their Pale, but its in good company with all their others. . .

Photo of Fatehunter
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%

Pours a half finger of head on a clear straw colored body.
The aroma has a mild grass and floral smell, with some lemon in the background.
The taste is bursting with flavors: lemon, grapefruit, brown sugar, strong caramel and anise. Great..
The texture is crisper.
Almost too drinkable for the high ABV.

Photo of dental
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of erosier
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice amber/copper with a tall and thick tan colored head that laces the glass all the way down. The aroma is of some sweet malts followed by a hint of alcohol, then a big boppy bitterness followed by a very sweet brown sugar aroma to finish it off. The taste is the same as well. It has a strong sweet malt base with a very nice hoppy bitter with very little hint of the amount of alcohol that is in this beer. It then follows up with an overly sweet aftertaste of brown sugar. It tastes like a strong ale that was fermented with brown sugar in the end. The mouthfeel is good - very warming, fresh, and smooth. The drinkability is high especially for a beer of this gravity.

Photo of spinrsx
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a clear copper colour with an average size frothy light brown/beige head. There is a low to average amount of carbonation showing and there is a fair amount of lacing on the sides of the glass. The head stuck around for a few minutes before it was gone.

Smell - malts, hops, cookies, caramel, orange, and brown sugar

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation and it has a very creamy and full bodied feel. There is a lot of brow sugar taste mixed with hops an earthy clove/all spice flavour. The alcohol is extremely well hidden and there are also notes of pine, oranges, and lots of malts. The beer finishes with a bitter hop and very sweet brown sugar aftertaste.

Drink - A nice sipper beer that is good for the holidays/colder weather. I'm happy I tried it.

Photo of zak333
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of PicoPapa
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Pours a copper color with a thin head that dissipates quickly. Small amount of lacing. Aromas of hops, brown sugar, and an overall sweet smell. Taste is hops mixed with brown sugar. Sweet, boozey and somewhat bready. This beer has that nice hoppiness to it you expect from Lagunitas, but the brown sugar sweetness is almost too much. Overall I like it and this is a high octane brew that drinks well but it is very sweet.

Photo of VaTechHopHead
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Rich dark red, slowly fading off-white head that leaves a moderate amount of lace, and completely filtered.

S - Lots of malts in the beginning and then the brown sugar aroma kicks in. I also smell a little spiced peach, molasses, and candi sugar.

T - The brown sugar and molasses flavors are most prevalent in this brew with a nice caramelized malt backbone. The hops are spicy with flavors of citrus and fruits, almost an apple cinnamon type flavor, that blend well with the sweetness of all the sugary flavors.

M/D - Medium-heavy body with below-average volumes of carbonation, but works well in this brew. Not harsh on the palate at all and hides it's alcohol quite well. Finishes a little on the dry side due to all the hops.

For the price of this beer (less than $2 for a 12oz bottle locally) it's hard to find another beer this big and full of flavor.

Photo of LambicPentameter
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Reviewing from notes after drinking on 2/10/14. Enjoyed out of a 12 oz stubby brown bottle, but there is no dating to be found on bottle or label. My best guess is that this was from the Fall 2013 release of the beer based on when I purchased it. Poured into a large 22 oz snifter glass.

Appearance - Has a look that reminds me a little bit of the name, but maybe more reminiscent of cinnamon or caramel than brown sugar. Liquid is translucent and if it weren't for the darker color, I'm pretty certain I'd be able to see through it to some degree. Atop the body sits two fingers of dark khaki foam. Retention is moderate, but the head starts shrinking and contracting almost immediately, just slowly. Eventually, it comes to a stop with a slight film across the surface of the entire beer, with mottled pockets of thicker foam. The sides of the glass are coated with a finger of thin curtains from the lace.

Smell - Some notes of pine and tropical fruit peek through briefly, but this is definitely a grain-forward beer. Notes of caramel, molasses and toasted sugar all contribute sweetness, but there is also a pungency from the hops that insert the impression of bitterness and expand on the pine that peeked in at the very beginning.

Taste - Previewed quite well by the smell, the taste is sweet with notes of cooking caramel and the wonderfully crusty top of a creme brulee. Honeyed bread, dried fruit and some hints of maple syrup are all present as well as some slight bite from the hop profile, with pine and herbs coming through to round it out with some bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied and moderate carbonation, with a sweet finish that lingers on the tongue with just a bit of stickiness.

Overall, a quality beer, although I'd sooner have the straight up DIPA "substitute" for this beer (Sucks) rather than this strong ale that straddles the line between DIPA and Barleywine. That said, it's one of those beers where the whole is certainly better than the sum of it's parts. No individual factor stood out to me, but when taken together, it's quite a tasty brew.

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Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 4,904 ratings.