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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

4,908 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,908
Reviews: 1,495
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 215
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: 4,908 | Reviews: 1,495
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.

Photo of Zach122
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%

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

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Duvel tulip. Beer was not allowed to warm before initial consumption, but was enjoyed over the period of about an hour.

A: Beer pours a very dark shade of burnt orange. Pour yields a 1 finger or so head which fades into a very thin cap, which is very splotchy across the top of the beer. Brown Shugga' is fairly clear and allows some light through, and lets you witness some nice bubbles. Minimal lacing. Really is pretty to look at.

S: What a unique smelling beer. Never smelled anything quite like it. Aroma is heavy on sweetness, with some malts (caramel?) and some brown sugar-like notes. Some faint Lagunitas-style hoppiness going on, along with some alcohol.

T: Again, incredibly unique. An almost cloying sweetness pounces on your tongue. Definitely lives up to its name, taste kinda like brown sugar dissolved in booze. It overwhelms whatever hops until the beer warms up a little. Hops are typical Lagunitas. Beer is definitely boozy on the tongue as well. Kind of a different taste I'm still struggling with a bit. Complex, but confusing to my palate right now.

M: Pretty carbonated for a big beer, at least in my experience. A little oily on the palate, as the sweetness coats your mouth.

D: This is one I only have as a night cap before bed, as I could never drink more than one of these at a time due to the initial cloying nature. The 10% ABV is noticed rather quickly, as it goes straight to the dome.

O: Not my favorite offering from Lagunitas, but still "good". Probably won't get another sixer this year, although I am hanging onto the last one from this pack to see how it changes. Interesting and though provoking beer, just not my favorite.

Photo of deeznuts420
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

this is a great strong ale. if you get it fresh the hops pop through nicely and it isn't as sweet as the name suggests. it's a a very drinkable brew that definetly caught me off guard. the sweetness hits first but then it seems to turn into an american barley wine. great beer for the money. Lagunitas is the best value out of California out here in PA. A case of stone Ipa costs me 43 bucks while this is about the same price as this brew that is more complex and alcoholic. sucks is good but it's a totally different beer and is probably an easier drinking beer but if these two were side by side for the same price there's no question i'd pick the Brown shugga

Photo of beerwolf77
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my pint glass the beer is cloudy brownish amber. A solid two fingers of light beige head fade leaving a thick coating of lace.

The aroma has a huge hop presence. Mixing in with the hops is tons of sweet malt. It has the tartness of a DIPA or Barley wine. I really don't get any brown sugar just hops and malt.

The flavor is rather hoppy as well. I can pick up the brown sugar in the taste for sure. Loads of caramel malt and a sharp bitter finish. The abv is noticeable in every sip.

Medium body with moderate carbonation.

Overall I never really know how sum up strong ales. They don't really have a certain criteria to base an opinion on. I love barley wines and this reminds me of one. I gues that means I like it.

Photo of Brewsed
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of FightinIrish88
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of xtonytx
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%

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

Poured from a 22 oz. 'bomber.'

A - medium brown, to amber color. Not completely clear - maybe some chill haze. Nice little white head forms and stays around the whole way for me, although retreating to the sides of the glass.

S - malt, sugar, very little hop aroma. But what hops are there smell of noble spiciness - saaz? Nice malty, caramelly aroma.

T - malt is up front in this one. Since the name is 'brown shugga,' I can taste the brown sugariness in this. Malty sweet, but some hop bitterness balances it out pretty well. There is some hop flavor here, but it's hard to pick up. Can definitely taste some hoppy grassy, floral flavors when I burp (sorry to be so crude). Alcohol is well hidden. A little disappointed that the flavor here isn't as big as it could be.

M - medium bodied, standard carbonation.

D - tasty brew, I wouldn't mind having several of these. Alcohol is masked in the flavor pretty well, but will hit you later.

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

Pours a small half inch beige head. Body is a clear amber color. Head retention was decent and lacing was above average.

Smell at first kinda reminds me of an english barleywine. Caramel malt and burnt brown sugar dominate. Light pine hops and some alcohol come through. A bit disappointed in the aroma, thought it would be more potent

Taste is similar to smell. Sweet malt is dominant flavor, caramelized sugar and faint butterscotch follow. There is also bits of spice like cinnamon or ginger that come through. Pine hops balance out the sweet malts and leave a light bitter aftertaste. For 10 percent the alcohol is pretty tamed

Mouthfeel is somewhat light for such a strong beer. Carbonation level is also a bit high. Lack of a smooth head doesnt help. Was expecting a richer, fuller body

Drinkability was pretty good. For 10 percent this beer was dangerously smooth. I had really high expectations for this beer which unfortunately werent met. Flavors were good but nothing stood out and made this beer memorable. Reminded me of a less flavorful version of Old Gnarlywine

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

Pours a short copper colored head that recedes quickly. Body is slightly hazy deep brownish red. Strong aroma of cherries and molasses, grassy/citrus hops, lots of alcohol and red grapes. Big blast of sweetness, brown sugar? Heck yeah, and well supported by a strong bitterness. Light doughy yeastiness. Full body, light carbonation. I consider this the chewiest of the chewy. Goes down slow and sticky, lingering medicinal taste.

Photo of kawilliams81
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- Pours a light amber with a 2 finger light beige head. Huge clumps and trails of lacing litter that glass.

S- caramel, dark fruits, biscuit, citrus, and pine.

T- sweet caramel, citrus rind, toasted malts, and bitter pine and citrus at the finish.

M- Medium body and carbonation. Nice and creamy with slightly dry finish from the bitterness.

O- First time trying this beer and a very tasty strong ale. Almost a hoppy imperial red ale that has some dark fruit notes along more sweetness. Glad I picked up a 6 pack.

Photo of pschie1
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

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

Poured from a bottle into a Sam Adams sensory pint glass.

A - Deep copper color with a two fingered head nice retention and ample lacing.

S - loads of of sweet malt, clove, vanilla and a little pine. strong hop scent.

T - Sweeter than I normally like, but makes a nice change of pace. Full flavored, brown sugar and hop prominent, bitter hoppiness. Vanilla, a little spiciness and boozy finish.

M - Full bodied with a good degree of carbonation and sticky sweetness left on the tongue slightly cloying.

D- Very tasty strong ale if you're only having one. Otherwise it's on the sweet side and, oddly for a strong ale...strong alcohol. Great to warm on any cold night.

Prost!!!

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

Under an intense desk lamp, darkish red-amber body, somewhat hazy. In ordinary room light, brown, almost murky. Either way, alive with carbonation, topped by two fingers plus of dense off-white-with-a-hint-of- yellow foam. Ok lacing seems to be forming.

Certainly smells sweet, a strong candy center, encircled by a mixed fruitiness, including apricots and oranges.

Rich malt start, like good dark chocolate, sweet but not at all cloying. The initial sweetness quickly and effectively balanced and conquered by a sneaky pack of hops which lay a bit of smack to the sweetness and deliver a nice zing at the swallow. Warming but not burning alcohol the belly. Hop tingle actually outlasts the malt in the aftertaste.

Big slick mouthfeel. Good drinkability for the size and style, though the sweetness and the alcohol wears quite a bit as the bomber continues.

Nice nightcapper on a chilly spring evening, even better if shared.

Photo of msscott1973
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of FlussigkeitMut
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%

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

12 oz. bottle picked up from Wine Warehouse, Charlottesville, VA. Poured into a traditional Blue Mountain Brewery-logoed pint glass.

Appearance: Swiss cheese-esque lacing, big foamy, slightly off-white, uneven head, hazy, ruby body, average retention. Great lacing!

Aroma: Sweet tropical fruits, tons of thick brown sugar and molasses, as well as some other caramelized malts, both darker and lighter. Runs the gamut.

Taste: Tons of malts. Brown sugar is (obviously) prominent, some heavier roasts (coffee) are faintly present, grainy toast. Some fruity esters - cherry - and some sweet citrus - grapefruit, orange - round things off. Verrry sweet.

Mouthfeel: Thick and syrupy, even, fine-bubbled, big-headed and -bodied.

Drinkability: Very sweet, and very high in abv%, but I surprisingly liked this way more than I expected I would. Alcohol is very well-hidden, malts are surprisingly complex (even if they are intense). A pleasant surprise and a very good beer.

Photo of StoutHunter
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of Brown Shugga for $1.89 at The Lager Mill. I have liked every single Lagunitas brew I have had so when I saw one I haven't tried yet on the singles shelf I knew I should give it a try. Poured from a stubby 12oz brown bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label on this beer is ok and a little plain, most Lagunitas beer have eye catching labels and this one isn't too eye catching. It poured a clear and clean amber color with two and a half fingers worth of fluffy white head that left some nice looking lacing.

S- Wow this is one sweet smelling beer, the aroma reminds me of some of those super sweet doppelbocks. At first I get some nice bready caramel malts, but those are quickly overpowered by what I think is candied sugar and brown sugar. There was also some grassy hops at the end. I have never used this term before but the aroma makes it seem like this might be a "sugar bomb". This one also has a boozey smell to it.

T- First off I got to say I am very glad this isn't as sweet as it smelled, I don't think I have ever had a beer that smelled so sweet but wasn't that sweet in the taste. The caramel malts are nice and grainy and bready. After the malts come the sugar, it leans more towards brown sugar but I also pick up some candied sugar you would expect from a Belgian Dark Ale with some dark fruits like raisins and plums like you would also expect from that style. Like the aroma the finish has medium amount of grassy hops that gives it a subtle bitter aftertaste. The booze is hidden much better then it was in the aroma, but it still lets you know its a bigger beer with some warming at the end.

M- Sticky, medium bodied, and it had a pretty good amount of carbonation.

Overall I though this was a pretty good brew. It is kind of similar to WTF, if you replaced the hops with candied and brown sugar. It isn't the most complex beer but the flavors are pretty nice and everything comes together nicely. Normally I am not a fan of super sweet beers but thankfully the sweetness stayed in the aroma and wasn't that overbearing in the flavor. This beer isn't that drinkable, but if I didn't have shit to do in the morning and had another bottle, I would drink it. I could see this being a good bigger beer for the summer, it could be refreshing and might make a good campfire beer, I may have to verify it this summer. If you like stronger beers with some sweetness to it, this should be up your alley, and if your a fan of Lagunitas then this won't disappoint. This was another solid beer from Lagunitas, everything I have had from them has been good, so far my favorite Cali brewery. 2013 edit, tried the years release and it seemed very off to me, it was full of onion and garlic like hop aromas and flavors, i don't what's up with it.

Photo of liamt07
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of happy4hoppybeer
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into snifter glass a dark-red/light-brown with no head or lacing, making this apperance wise below average.

Aromas and flavors of sweet caramel,barley, some citrus. Medium body with just the right amount of carbonation.

A little on the sweet side, the sweetness alone restricts the amount to consume, the alcohol is noticeable but not overwhelming.

Very nice. Makes an excellent after-dinner brew.I wouldn't have more than two.

Photo of UBrew1984
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of smcolw
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Light brown color, clear. Long-lasting head that leaves ample amount of lace on the glass.

Very low aromas--some molasses/candy sugar; no discernable hop

Caramel flavors--more sweet than bitter, but the hop is present and balances this beer just enough. Very full bodied. Good carbonation. The aftertaste brings out the hop. Interesting journey through the flavor profile.

Regardless of the complexity, this is an easy to drink beer. It is VERY deceptive given the alcohol content (9.9%!!). I could not note the usual oiliness or aftertaste of alcohol. Drink this one with some caution.

Photo of slipperysoup
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Lodisgrisen
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 4,908 ratings.