Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

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

1,443 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,443
Hads: 5,004
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 5.78%
Wants: 234
Gots: 853 | 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: 1,443 | Hads: 5,004
Photo of BeerWizard
4.29/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours honey gold with a decent sized head. I'm drinking this out of a Bulleit bourbon glass so we're talking about two inches of ale and an inch and a half of head. Looks pretty stellar. The nose is tangy, barely funky, with pine and candied fruit; while the flavor is sweet up front, with apricot and peach on the tongue, and then bitter in the throat. There's also a spice element to it, and I also get like Pez or Smarties candy in the nose mid-sip. For 9.99% abv, you sure wouldn't know it - I've had 7's and 8's that tasted boozier than this does. Bottle says that it's brewed with brown cane sugar, which, you know, from the name and all I was picturing a molasses-derived brown sugar, but the raw sugar makes more sense. I remember having this at a beer festival a few years ago and being duly corrected after asking for the "brown." "It's not a brown, it's an American strong ale." Indeed. Thumbs up. (908 characters)

Photo of Dmann
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I loved this beer. It was basically a barleywine with a slight twist. The beer poured a very dark red color with a huge frothy head that lasted till the last sip. The smell was quite sweet with molasses dominating the scent as well as the flavor, but not in a bad way. The flavor was sweet no doubt, but it hd enough bitterness in the finnish to offset the great sweetness. The mouthfeel was quite thick and not balanced out with enough carbonation IMO. But that would be my only complaint. It's a must try. (507 characters)

Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sometimes labels can be deceiving. I assumed this was an over-alcoholed brown ale, not the case. What it is is an amazingly different strong ale, that tastes like a brown ale...sort of.

What is truly amazing about this beer is how it is able to disguise its characteristics. Is this really a %9.9? Sure it's warming, but not overly offensive with the alcohol. It comes across as very bready, almost like a cinnamon bun, it's that sweet. Hops don't have a place here.

A truly unique offering, glad I bought two bottles.

11/8/06
Drink as quickly as possible. I pulled my cellared version from just about a year ago. Way too sweet, malts have virutally disappeared. Just a sugary mess that is hot to drink.

Consume fresh! (731 characters)

Photo of iamjuanvaldez
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nose - Mulling spices, citrus peel, cedar, raisin, faint alcohol

Color - clean, deep amber

Faint thickhead forming from a quick pour, disappeared quickly.

Heavy, viscous mouth-feel, slightly oily. Very drinkable for a 10% brew.

Carmel, bright citrus, alcohol and a clean hoppy aftertaste to balance out the sweetness.

Picked up a 6 pack at BevMo for $9. Excellent for the price. (385 characters)

Photo of IronDjinn
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 22 oz. brown "Sweet Release" bottle, I actually like the little blurb on the side of the bottle this time. This pseudo barleywhine pours out a very appetizing ruddy copper hue, hazed with suspended particles when held up to the light. Thick and creamy off-white head with good retention, and some massive sticky lacing. The nose is sweet with light malt and fruit, with some nut and dried fruit notes in it. And mango. Weird, I smell mango. Nice touch! This is also one very tasty mistake Lagunitas has on their hands. Boozy from the start, but mild, the malt blends very nicely with the hops, dancing cheek to cheek the whole way through. Sweet caramel malt coils itself around a refreshing fruity hop character, and they are both hepped up on a good dose of brown sugar, which helps them tango the whole night long. The sugar makes itself more apparent on the finish where it takes on a nutty flavour, and then recedes into a mild citrusy sunset of an aftertaste. The mouthfeel is light and very drinkable, but not watery, it holds its own over the palate. This Brown Shugga is deceptively drinkable, you have to know where you're going to stop before even going in, or suffer a high abv% brown sugar hangover catastrophe the next day. Not that I know anything about that, some guys told me about it once, no fooling. This Brown Shugga should definitely be chalked up to being what we call in the hot shop one of those "happy accidents", that should henceforth be repeated time and again. A shame that it's only a seasonal, but happy to have it available even as far north as Calgary. (1,593 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap 2/17/08 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light brown color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malt, brown sugar, dark fruits and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste is sweet and malty up front, with flavors of caramel, brown sugar and dark fruit, but quickly becomes very well-balanced as a strong hops presence comes in with a slight alcohol bite. The after-taste is hoppy and sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down dangerously easily, not too filling, strong kick, this is a very good beer to drink over the course of an evening until the ABV catches up with you. (785 characters)

Photo of Ghenna
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz Bottle, purchased from Total Wines in Roseville, into a DFH pint glass

A: Pours a light brown with a white/cream head ~3 fingers. There is a little of bit of lacing of the head from top to bottom.

S: Brown sugar primarily, with a mild hop aroma and hints of its alcohol content

T: Simply put, a hopped gnarleywine. The heavy sugar/malt taste is evident, though it is balanced with not too subtle (though not too heavy) hops.

M: slightly sticky and a little heavy, though not at all unenjoyable

D: A sipper for sure, it is a regular staple in my fridge door when I can get it. (586 characters)

Photo of DaveHS
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- Pours chestnut amber with 1/2 inch of bubbly light khaki head. Fades slowly, leaving lots of sticky lacing.

S-Sweet, piney hoppiness, tangerines.

T/M-A very well balanced American strong ale, in a similar vein to Double Bastard. I think I prefer this. Piney hops blend exquisitely with well integrated, subtle sweet maltiness. The body is what sells me on this one. The mouthfeel is soft and pleasant for such a full bodied beer. The alcohol is dangerously well disguised.

D-A little lower because of the high ABV, but still delicious. Pick up a 6 pack if you can. (572 characters)

Photo of kwakwhore
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reddish brown pour into a tulip. Small cream colored head which doesn't last very long.
Aromas consist of something a little bit musty, some sweet malts with a molasses component. and a bit of bread malt.
Surprising bit of hop in the flavor. The aroma gave no hint of this sort of hop presence. Still on the malty side for sure with a large amount of sweet malt, but this is one of the hoppier beers I've had from Lagunitas, including their IPA. Bit of an alcohol burn in this one, not surprising at 9.9% abv.
Mouthfeel is full of carbonation, another surprise for such a strong beer. Alcohol burn actually moderates a bit after the beer gets warmer.
Very drinkable beer for its strength. A sipper, but a really good one.
My favorite offering to date from Lagunitas and one I'll seek out again. (795 characters)

Photo of mikeg67
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. Pours clear amber with tall, long-lasting, foamy white head and nice lacing. Aroma is citrusy hops, bready malt, caramel and ripe fruit. Body is medium and slightly crisp. Bready, caramel malt, sugar candy, ripe fruit, herbal, citrusy hops and alcohol nicely balanced on the palate. Finish is long and dry. Delicious, dangerously easy to drink brew. (369 characters)

Photo of Morey
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful reddish brown color when held up to the light. Brilliant clarity. Nice cream colored head that's leaving behind sticky lace all over the glass.

Smells is a bit hop-forward for a Barleywine which is fine by me. I can also detect some caramelized brown sugar. Not as much malts as one expects from the style.

I love the taste! Especially for it basically being 10%. The alcohol is hidden well beneath the sticky hops and caramel sweetness. The hops linger a bit, but not overly so, allowing for one to enjoy the other flavors in the beer.

Medium to full body with a nice hoppy stickiness.

Very drinkable for what this is.

Morey's Bottom Line: Reminds me of Bigfoot a bit. I was not at all let down by this beer. A fantastic Barleywine that is a solid winter seasonal for hopheads to snag a sixer of. (822 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

75th review on BA
Bottle to pint

App- Deep dark amber with a mild carbonation and a very thin head.

Smell- Very sweet indeed, a nice touch of candied scent with sugar.

Taste- A sweet beer on the first taste with the bulk of the balance being on being a smooth drinking beer. It lends well to the darker sugars well.

Mouth- To me it's a lighter mouthfeel but leaves the palate with a great finish.

Drink- Would be a good session beer on a cold day while camping around the fire. (482 characters)

Photo of WakeandBake
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A clear bronze/amber color with a moderate sized tan head , light carbonation , spotty lacing. Aroma of caramel malt , brown shuggar , floral and citrus hops and a pale malt of some kind . Flavor is quite sweet up front with some nice floral, pine and citrus hops , medium bitterness some caramel, burnt shuggar and broun shugger , full body with a slightly oily mouthfeel , a slightly alcoholic finish , very drinkable and good , a very good value and a good brew all around . (477 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

FINALLY found a 6'er of this locally after the supply was mostly destroyed by hurricane sandy. enjoyed from a snifter.

a - brew poured a transparent amber brown with a finger of bubbly head that slowly bubbled away leaving fairly chunky streaks of lacing on the side of the glass.

s - hops n candy. some citrus, some dark purple fruit.

t - hip hop horay...wonderful holiday candied sweetness. this is candy in a glass. nice citricu hops, but the malt balance really rounds things out. good caramel notes. just happiness in a glass. CANDY!

m - medium bodied, easy drinker. the abv is well integrated into the flavor and sweetness.

o - its a christmas miracle. having overlooked this one and gotten hooked on lagunitas sucks last year, i couldn't understand anyone who was dissapointed that sucks took the place of this beer, until now. HELL of a beer! look forward to the other 5 i have. simply delicious. (909 characters)

Photo of emmasdad
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of the great 6 pack values out there, less than 11 bucks. Poured a copper color with a nice tan head. Aromas of piney hops, alcohol, raisins and brown sugar. Medium bodied, with flavors of booze, pine, citrus, sugar and caramel. A fortuitous and delicious mistake by the brewers. (283 characters)

Photo of Blitzstyle
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a SA glass from a 12 oz bottle. Nice 2 fingers of creamy head, some decent retention that blankets the brew when it fades. Redish amber in color.

Sweet caramell malts, brown sugar, piney and orange hop aromas.

Very sweet and sticky, brown sugar and caramell malts right up front, balanced with a good amount of piney hop bite! Alcohol in the after taste but it is hidden well.

Sugar sweet with a hop bite to keep this from being to surupy, thick and rich. Alcohol is hidden very well I was suprised to see it at such a high abv. Could pound several of these if I wasn't being carfull. (599 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz fresh bottle into a Stella Artois glass late at night by myself. It's been about two years since i've had this offering.

Deep rich amber with some copper and brown spots throughout. A steep pour yielded a nice somewhat frothy beige head that lasted for a bit before dying a horrible death. It eventually went around the glass but it left some window streak lacing which while not great, at least it's something for this strong ale.

Smelling funky fresh with a deep sweetness, could it be from brown shugga, yeah, i guess so. Big brown sugar with caramel/toffee and a bit of toasted malt. Just smelling this you can tell it's big and might be hiding something. Getting just a outline of dark fruit including some plum. The hops don't show up at least for me, but believe me, they are in there.

And the hops show up in true Lagunitas fashion mixing very well with this sweet brew. The malts win, but the hops make a good citrusy appearance. Shugga is malt forward with the sweetness that goes along with that and a big brown sugar taste. Caramel/toffee and just the faintest hint of roasted coffee in the background. Finishes sweet and somewhat fruity with mo brown shugga...

The body is big malty and sweet. I would say a good step above medium bodied. The alcohol is not present at all and that's a feat considering this is near 10%, Perhaps it's all that sweet sugar. No hotness what so ever. A nice hop feel with some small bitterness enhancing the feel on this. This is a fresh bottle, I believe that if the hops were not so charged, this would taste like shit. The hops are keeping this one together, drink up.

I thought this stuff was seven percent when I had it last. I think ten percent is a bit high for this sweet style of beer but Lagunitas pulls it off making this very easy to drink and not a chore. The sweetness while big is settled nicely by a nice west coast hop blasting. I drank it much faster than I thought I would. (1,945 characters)

Photo of tgbljb
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a crystal clear deep amber color with moderate off-white head.
Smell is a bit sweet, with some subtle tones of caramel present.
Taste is nice. The sweet malt (and brown sugar) combine nicely with a firm hop presence to form a truly enjoyable beer.
The hops show throught more at the finish.
This is the scariest beer I every drank. The alcohol is completely hidden in the taste (but I can feel it). A nice winter beer. (425 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Re-visited 30 Dec 14

Pours a nice clean/clear amber color, very nice carbonation, nice creamy one-finger plus off-white head, which leaves some sticky lacing around. The nose is malty, hoppy, slight spicy. The taste is kinda sweet, malty, some hop notes, slight spice. The ABV is hidden very well. Medium body, well rounded brew. Very drinkable, this is a good ASA, another great brew from Lagunitas, highly recommended. Glad to see this here in UT!


Thanks goes out to jpm30 for this brew.

Pours a cloudy amber color, nice carbonation, small fizzy off-white head, which leaves some sticky lacing around. The nose is malty, hoppy, slight spicy, and lots of caramel. The taste is sweet, malty, some hops, slight spice, and a good dose of caramel. The alcohol is hidden well. Medium body, well rounded brew. Very drinkable, this is a good ASA, another great brew from Lagunitas, highly recommended. (899 characters)

Photo of WJVII
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Special thanks to Cdkrenz as holiday sampler...
Poured into a pint glass this brew has a deep amber color with nice red tints when held to the light along with an off white 2 finger creamy head that left great lacing down the glass as I drank it. The aroma is heavy hop handed with some sweet caramel and brown sugar (as the title supports). The taste is knock your socks off good. I mean the balance of hops and sweet malt along with a thick consistency and mild warmth of alcohol in the finish. It starts with a slight citrus and pine hops but then the sweetness hits the back of your mouth. The finish is nice and bitter with the slight hint of alcohol on the tongue. This brew is something I am going to seek out again as all I had was the one sample. This one will not disappoint. (785 characters)

Photo of msubulldog25
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a couple singles at Beaumont Market. Poured this 12 oz. to a standard pint glass.

A: Clear bronze with 1/2 finger of creamy ivory head. Carbonation bubbles swirl up through the glass.

S: Sweet initially but with a spiced hop presence that's tingly in the nose. A little bit minty, with the hoppy herbalness of a nice tea.

T:Mellow sugary flavors with toasty malts. Has the spiciness of a strong Belgian ale, the caramel of a balanced IPA and a plethora of juicy citrus hops. Becomes sweeter as it warms, a delicious beer.

M: Viscous, thick mouthfeel. Laden with hops this beer's mouthfeel comes off as slightly syrupy, and slightly nutty and sour in the finish. A medium body with light carbonation.

D: Definitely a strong ale but good enough for seconds . Pleasing, well-balanced (sweet with a potent hop kick) and a high gravity. Try one - you may find yourself having another. (904 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a - It has a dark amber color, also poured with a lot of carbonation and no head.

s - Smells sweet, almost fruity. Also smells a little like syrup

t - Tastes great; very sweet taste like sugar or molasses, also a little fruity.

m - Medium body, was not as carbonated as it looked.

d - I liked this one a lot. Can't believe it's over 9%. Could definitely drink a few of these taste-wise but might refrain due to the ABV. Definitely think it's worth checking out. (466 characters)

Photo of mickeymac
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 12 oz bottle, it pours a reddish-brown with a fair-sized off-white head that lingers. The smell is hoppy with a noticeable hop smell that still seems somehow subdued. Having brewed with brown sugar, the smell and taste were familiar and welcome. On top of that are traces of caramel. Drinkability is scary for a 10% beer. Lagunitas is hit and miss, but this is a hit. (374 characters)

Photo of khiasmus
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had a dream last night. I was trapped, held hostage in a monstrous gold and porcelain castle. The front steps were like the steps of the state house, overlooking the long slope of a grassy hill upon which the mansion was set. I'm not sure why I was trapped there or what the obese, burly owner wanted... His face was emblazoned with a deep red scar in the shape of a supernova over his right eye, and the stain seemed to drip down his barrel-chest and form another explosion, almost as if he was being slowly consumed by some burning evil, despite his cordiality and joviality. My friends and I ate meats and cheeses at the banquet table and drank a wonderful nectar, I even took precise notes (which I will recall here in order to satisfy the estimable reader's curiosity):

"Dark amber with two fingers of light tan head that laces a little. Perfectly clear, quite pretty.
Tons of brown sugar, molasses, alcohol. Sweet malts and sticky pine resin hops meld to form the aroma...
The flavour opens up with more caramel-molasses sweetness, but the hops certainly come in to balance with a big piney-grapefruit-bitter wallop.
Chewy, warming, medium carbonation and a good, slick, mouth-filling presence."

He's throwing a party tonight, and I thought it may afford me a chance to escape, but the party was so huge that he had to have security stationed at every doorway, whether in the grand ballroom that had woods as a back wall, or at the top of the front steps where one stepped into the next layer, as it were, of the house... set up almost like an onion, I recall it to have been... and the last thing I remember is searching down a hallway that seemed to be constantly shrinking, with strange artwork on the walls and guards at the ends... Many, many colours here, not just the porcelain and gold, and the desperation was setting in as I remembered the ghastly scars that covered his grotesque upper body and he smiled and acted as though he were a benevolent father, but I knew that though I could have all the fun I wanted within those walls, there would never be any escape... and I had yet to discover a good reason why he wanted to keep me... (2,155 characters)

Photo of beerfairy
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pourd from a 12oz. bottle

9.9% ABV and a real good taste make for a dangerous concotion....awesome!

A: Pours a nice amber hue with a creamy head that dissipates quickly. Slight lacing, not much.

S: You can smell the hops and fruity prune kind of odor with a sweetness.

T: The hops grabs you at first but doesn't last which is interesting. For a 9.9% beer you can't notice the alcohol.

M: A bit of carbination and a slickness that coats the throat as it goes down.

D: This is a real good beer. I could drink quite a few, with the ABV being high, not sure I could drink a lot....oh, yes I could. (603 characters)

Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,443 ratings.