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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

4,848 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,848
Reviews: 1,485
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 208
Gots: 773 | FT: 18
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: 4,848 | Reviews: 1,485 | Display Reviews Only:
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

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

12oz bottled October 12, 2010.

Pours lightly hazy red/amber/copper with a large foamy off-white head that maintains a nice cap and leaves a lot of foamy lacing.

Aroma is caramel, toffee, brown sugar, citrus hops, herbal, bread, yeast, grass, floral. Moderate strength.

Flavor is rich caramel, toffee, brown sugar, a hint of chocolate, some molasses, dark fruits, some pine and citrus hops. Moderate sweetness with a bit of bitterness. Lingering finish.

Mouthfeel is medium to full, very creamy, a bit sticky, low to medium carbonation.

Good stuff. Not the best barleywine out there but still very good. Enjoyed it.

Photo of MIbeer27
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Rideguy64
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Chuggnutt
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Nice copper, slightly murky. Light tan head falling slowly.

Smell: Hops and sweet malt, sugary (Belgian candy?), probably the brown sugar. Very cloying.

Taste: Sweet bite accented by hops. Alcohol heat, strong character on tongue. Caramelized sugar, spun out and flossy.

Mouthfeel: Nice medium feel, lighter than I'd expect as a barleywine. Dry alcohol rolls around the mouth and leaves that numbing/prickly feeling.

Photo of aleckpa
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into my Lagunitas mason jar glass.

A- Half a finger's head, brown and some visibility through it. Reminds me of an imperial red ale.

S- Hops, which surprised me. And sugar, of course. It smells sweet.

T- Although the ABV is 9.9%, I don't taste a lot of alcohol. I taste hops, some mild bitterness and then back of the mouth sticky sugar.

M- This is somewhat of a thick beer. But it goes down smooth.

O- This is my first time having it. It's different than my typical IPA's and stouts. At 9.9% ABV, it's really drinkable. I think this is a great fall/winter offering. You can't beat the price of this 6-pack for the amount of alcohol in the beer. Even though I did enjoy this beer, I'm not sure if I'd pick up another 6 pack. But, it's well crafted and something I'd expect from Lagunitas.

Photo of nickd717
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from BevMo in Mountain View.

A - Clear medium-dark brown in color with a small off-white head.

S - Brown sugar, sweet malt, caramel, and spices.

T - Lots of brown sugar (surprised?), caramel, malt, dark fruit, and spices.

M - Palate smooth and syrupy with low carbonation.

D - Well, it becomes a bit much after awhile, but up to that point it's pretty drinkable. No problem finishing a bottle.

Photo of Kylo76
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of dgallina
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1 pint, 9 fluid ounce brown bottle without clear freshness date.

Pours clear reddish-orange with a quick-to-vanish tan head and thin lacing. The aroma suggests caramel and brown sugar (duh) with and hint of nuts and a dash of nutmeg. Alcohol vapors rise from the glass. In the mouth, the beer displays an artful balance between the combined leafy / piney hops and brown-sugar malts. Finishes quite green and dry with a big pine hop bite. Body is medium-thick and slick; fairly strongly carbonated for something this big. An eclectic take on the american imperial pale ale.

Photo of LooseMoose1978
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of SportsandJorts
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

appearance: a deep ruby red. good clarity and a finger plus of a tannish white head that leaves a bit of a lacing on the sides. looks tasty but I was hoping for a little more brown.

Smell: slightly weak for such a big brew. hops, citrusy and apricoty. good sweetness.

Taste: opens up with a blast of hops. grapefruit and apricot. a brief moment of super sweetness shines through. toasty malts. the malts are quickly taken back over by a lingering hop bitterness

Mouthfeel: slightly creamy. huge hop bitterness lingers. some warmth thats good for a cold night.

Overall: huge battle of bitter and sweet. bitter wins out for now. its good but i want to revisit this one when it is not so fresh

Photo of beagle75
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.
2010 vintage

A: Hazy, dark amber color with less than one finger of diminishing parchment-tinted foam head. Light lacing remains on the glass.

S: Intensely malty; treacle, grain, and dark cherry and fig fruit are focused. No alcohol is detected.

T: Begins sweet, with simplistic stewed fruit and caramel. Acidity is mild into the middle where malt is intensely toasty--even turning roasty--some dark citrus emerges, and even a whiff of pine is detected. The finish exhibits minor diacetyl and is savory with umami and cumin spice. Mild medicinal bitterness lingers on the palate, with complex spirituousness also hanging around.

M: Medium viscosity, syrupy on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: Perhaps the finest of Lagunitas' high-gravity beers, this appears to be an American take on an old ale or wee heavy. Fruit and umami make for a distinctive combination, reigning over muted hops in this well-aged example. Like most of the beers coming out of Petaluma, this beer's intensity has a tendency to fatigue the palate, but less so due to the focus exhibited by its ingredients.

Photo of nhindian
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A - Pours a deep caramel color, nearing a nice amber color. Crystal clear with a slow, steady stream of carbonation. Only could muster about a finger's worth of head out of this one and it didn't last long. Splattered lacing all around.

S - The smell kind of caught me off guard with this. Given the high abv, style listing, and that it was a failed Gnarleywine, I was expecting high malts and sweetness. I am getting lots of sweetness, but that's only as a result of the large amount of brown sugar in the nose. Outside of that it smells like a really fresh IPA. Lots of pine and citrus smells. The clash between the hops and malts / brown sugar is tantalizing.

T - Given the great smell, this beer had some expectations behind it. The front-end of this is a lot more malt and sweet than the nose, which carries through throughout the rest of the beer. About midway through, the hops shine through, but bring more bitterness than fruity notes. It's only near the end of the beer that this beer gains some floral and citrus notes, but the bitterness and sweetness continues through in the finish. Orange and grapefruit come through strongly at the very end.

M - Mouthfeel is medium to heavy with pretty low carbonation. Leaves a nice coating on the mouth, and a relatively long and flavorful finish.

D - Drinkability is moderate. As I get further in the beer, the sweetness and bitterness begins to take its toll and as it warms the alcohol really becomes apparent. Near the beginning, it's a fantastic beer, but it drags on as I drink more.

Photo of kkipple
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown Shugga' -- great name. Beer with brown sugar. Sign me up. Just the facts here.

A. clear, polished brown, 3cm tan head comprised of various sized bubbles.

S. Sweet, sweet brown sugar! Alcohol heat, molasses, singed grain, sweet malt and a much needed citrus hop note round things off.

T. Sweet, mostly. Sugar really shines through. Medium malt character, mild bitter hops that attempt to even out the aggressive sweetness. Slightly nutty. Warming. Roasty finish and all around very smooth.

M. Dry. Full. Milky-smooth. Finishes sweet (yup.)

D. A fine malty delight, although the sweetness is a little high for me. Sugary from start to finish, this is a good dessert beer -- would probably go stupid well with creme brulee. Recommended.

Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 4,848 ratings.