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Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

4,204 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,204
Reviews: 1,349
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.66%
Wants: 178
Gots: 414 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 12-13-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,204 | Reviews: 1,349 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Brown-Orange dark amber with very think white head. Foam accumulates on edge of beer throughout drink.

S: Sweet molasses scent up front. Also features citrus with spice.

T: toasted and fairly bitter from hops off the bat. Followed by alcohol taste that was saved by a great late release of sweetness in the aftertaste. An exciting beer to experience.

M/D: Medium body thats flavor lingers in your mouth with great aftertaste. For being 9.9% it is masked beautifully in this strong ale. It is easy to drink.

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

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter. Nice copper brown color with small white head that left good lacing behind. Somewhat hazy beer.

Aroma was malty and full of caramelized sugar. Rich but somewhat one dimensional. Flavor was more complex -- malty, sweet, some balancing bitterness, slightly floral, earthy hop flavors with some slight hints of the 9.8% abv.

Mouthfeel was thinner than expected for such a big beer. Nice & easy to drink. It would be dangerous to drink a few of these, but they would go down quite easy.

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

This beer poured a clear caramel color, tannish head with nice spidery lacing that hugged the sides.
smell was brown-sugarish, with ghost hop whiff.
taste was rather sweet and malty, interesting flavor, I can detect the sugar, bit of floral hop, a little spicy as well, alcohol presence. full bodied mouthfeel, with a bit of chewiness, creamy tongue coating.
drinkability is great!...I would'nt recommend having too many of these in one sitting though, it is quite high in abv.

Photo of Grundle20
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance:
Pours a ruby hued brassy color in to a pint glass. There is a decent one finger head with some mild retention and lacing.

Smell:
The scent is very sweet and malty presenting notes of toffee and New England brown bread. A pleasant hopping prevents the scent from being overwhelmingly sweet.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
Here's a beer that is definitely pushing the boundaries of its style. The mouthfeel is bitter and full with a strong alcohol presence. For being 9.9% ABV though I find this beer to be incredibly tasty and well balanced when you put the apparent alcohol on the side. It tastes like figs and raisins with just the right touch of hopping. The finish is a little thick but the flavors are semi pleasant touches of bitter grapefruit rind which then moves on to a mild figgy aftertaste.

Drinkability:
Pretty much the only thing hurting this beer drinkability is its near 10% ABV. It's rather tasty and well balanced given its make up to me.

Bottom Line:
It's a lot better than I thought it would be. I was expecting something a little more dopplebock like but I was pleasantly surprised by the hop and fruit character this beer presents.

Photo of Jekyll
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Unique beer. Wasn't expecting the amount of hops that came with it. Poured dark copper with a couple inches of head that stayed with me pretty much the entire time. Can't quite pinpoint the smell... Not please to but not repugnant either. Don't taste brown sugar though maybe cause of the amount if hops in it though it does have a sweetness mixed with the hops that makes it quite enjoyable. Alcohol will sneak up on you as it is barely noticeable. Gonna age a few of these and see how they develop.

Photo of smbslt
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%

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

Appearance: Pours a clear red-orange color with a small head after a pretty aggressive pour. The head falls quickly and there are very few bubbles rising to maintain the head.

Aroma: I initially got a good amount of citrus hops and some spicy notes from the alcohol. There is a little bit of sweetness, but for the most part, the hops and alcohol are in charge.

Taste: The flavor is also hoppy with some evident sweetness from the sugar. The sugar has a slight syrupy impression that is as much mouthfeel as anything. The beer is attenuated, but it certainly isn't dry. The dryness comes from the hop bitterness as anything. The balance is slightly tipped toward the sweetness in the end with the alcohol setting as an evident warming to linger for a little while in the finish.

Opinion: This is a pretty good beer. I like that it is still balanced slightly toward the sweetness. It is not a beer that I would drink a lot of, but it is pretty tasty and this is the last beer that I bought from a 6-pack. I don't regret that purchase, so you may want to try one too.

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

A: Pours a dark translucent copper with a small amount of light tan head. Just a bit retains around the edge of the glass, leaving small spots of lacing.

S: Boozy caramel sweetness, with notes of brown sugar as you might expect. There's also a floral touch of hops.

T: Just short of cloyingly sweet, with a fairly big hoppy kick towards the finish. There's some slight nuttiness. The alcohol is fairly noticeable as well.

M: Full body, medium carbonation.

D: Drinkability isn't bad, but it's a little far on the sweet and boozy side.

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

Poured bottle into a tulip glass. Heavy lacing with 2-finger head. Pours a dark amber brown. Beer was served around 50'.

Quite malty on the nose and of course, the brown sugar. Can make out some hops but not too much.

The malt sits heavy on the palate and is pretty sweet. Some hops step out which keeps a nice balance along with some sweet caramel & brown sugar. Somewhat chewy mouthfeel which in the usual Lagunitas fashion leaves some bitterness and a slight burn down the back of the throat.

The high alcohol presence is hidden well only really noticable when going down the throat. Snow is on the ground here in Central Ohio and this beer compliments it well, keeps you warm with a nice flavor. Another winner from the brewers in Petaluma.

Photo of MacQ32
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a nice amber/slightly copper color with a solid ginger of caramel colored head, good retention, nice lacing.

S - Lots of sweet malts and caramel, abundant citrusy (grapefruit/orange) hops, brown sugar is prominent. Very surprised with the citrusy hoppyness.

T - Tons of citrusy goodness. Grapefruit/orange i think, not extremely bitter, lots of brown sugar flavors. Basically a citrusy hop burst IPA with some brown sugar. Citrusy hops definitely outweigh the SHUGGA.

M - Medium bodied, appropriate carbonation. Easy to drink.

O - Very good beer, just not at all what I expected. The brown sugar compliments the sweet citrus very well, but it is in no way the main attraction of this brew.

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

The beer poured a pretty, clear amber red and produced a two finger high white bubbly head. It dissipates fast into good lacing.
The smell is like with all Lagunitas, a full presence of hops. This one certainly has a good dose of sweetness to it
Tasting the beer, I feel maple syrup, brown sugar, caramel and honey flavors. This sweet start is quickly balanced by a earthy, pine hop character in the middle. The finish is a very balanced bittersweet combination of hop and malt.
Great winter beer!

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

Appearance: Deep amber with a minimal, light-tan head.

Smell: Sweet quality, fruit juice with underlying hops.

Taste: powerful sweet character dominates. The hops peek through just enough to be interesting.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a syrupy quality. Leaves a sticky film on everything it touches.

Drinkability: Very flavorful and unique. It reminded me of a light Barley Wine.

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

12oz. bottle served in a Duvel Tulip. Poured a slightly hazy, reddish gold with less than a finger of off white head. Fair amount of hops in the aroma and plenty of malt. Smelled like a cookie. Full bodied and rich. Lots of malt sweetness but also plenty of hop bitterness to round it out. Some mouth pucker in the finish from the hops.

From hearing people talk, I thought this would be super sweet, but I think it had a pretty good balance. Like a malty barleywine.

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

Review from notes, 1/16/11. Bottle, pint glass.

This beer pours a very attractive and rich copper color. There was a significant head, which I wasn't really expecting.

Immediately this smelled of hops on the nose. I can't tell if the hops are citrus or pine forward, I pick up some grapefruit but there are earthy/grainy undertones as well. The sweetness of the brown sugar is there as well, almost 50/50 with the hops.

The taste is what you would expect after smelling this beer, hop bitterness and sweetness on the tongue. Brown sugar and carmel malts as well. Very full bodied and strong, with a little alcohol kick.

MF: Full bodied, drying.

Drinkability: Not bad, not great. I finished the bottle and wasn't looking for another one, so probably typical for the style. I'll say above average.

Photo of RexBanner
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%

Dark amber in appearance. Pillowy head that settles to a sticky ring leaving spider web like lacing on the glass.

Piney hop forward nose. Malt background, light maple syrup and whole wheat bread aromas.

Not as sweet as I thought it'd be. Malt body with a very, very light brown sugar taste. Everything is washed away by the piney, resiny hops.

Light to medium body. Lightly carbonated, finishes semi dry.

I must say I was a bit disappointed with this brew. Reading the reviews I imagined I was in for a unique malt forward, perfectly balanced strong ale. Instead I got something closer to an American barleywine. Overly hopped, out of balanced and one dimensional. One reviewer compared this to hairy eyeball. I disagree, as I feel that hairy eyeball is much more balanced and tastier than brown shugga. But as with everything else; if you've enjoyed this in the past then that's all that matters. Cheers!

Photo of Goofyfootsurf
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of invalid665
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of DerwinWentworth
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of GrayWolf1766
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of JLB025
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of Rjp2345
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of kpantz
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Executive Summary: Since "American Strong Ale" is a bit of a catch-all, I didn't really know what to expect. Reading the label, I figured I could count on some aggressive sweetness (OG 1.10) and not too much in the way of hoppiness (51 IBU). Wrong. Totally wrong. But in a good way. This is actually pretty tasty.

Appearance: Reddish-amber, somewhat cloudy with a cream-colored head, about a finger thick, but quickly reducing to a film. Moderate lacing.

Smell: Largely this smells like a cross between a green barleywine and a weak-nosed imperial IPA. Some hops in the nose as well as some weak malt and yeast notes. As the beer warms, the brown sugar finally starts to emerge.

Taste: Definitely sweet right at the beginning, but a "dirty" flavor moves in, followed by a pretty nice hop flavor (with associated bitterness in the back-end). I'm actually pretty surprised how prominently hops figure in this beer. I was expecting a sweet mess, but instead I feel like I'm drinking an over-balanced imperial IPA. Kinda strange. As with the aroma, a bit of warming and a lot of swirling gently coaxes some of the brown sugar out of hiding, but not enough to change the overall impression.

Mouthfeel: Not bad. A little sticky, but the body itself is pretty light. Carbonation level is on the high side of just right.

Drinkability: Actually pretty drinkable given the shock factor here. Even though I didn't get anything I expected to out of this beer, it's pretty enjoyable. Goes down smoothly, and even the belches taste pretty good ;)

Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 4,204 ratings.