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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

4,849 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,849
Reviews: 1,485
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 208
Gots: 777 | 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: 4,849 | Reviews: 1,485 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of steinlifter
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
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 RedwoodGeorge
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

So is adding brown sugar to your recipe considered cheating?

The beer pours a nice mahogany brown with a thick off-white head... The head dies off in time leaving some clumpy foam at the top of the brew and lots of lacing on the glass.

The nose is entirely malt and alcohol with some fruity esters thrown in to keep things lively. Flavor is like a mega-amber with plenty of sweet grain notes, caramel sugars, apricot and plum fruit notes and a pretty severe alcohol bite. Hopping is pretty bold and balances the mega-malt approach with pine and citrus notes.

Mouthfeel is good - a bit of an oily note but just enough carbonation and bittering to end each sip well. Final note isn't hop bittering but alcohol burn.

Lagunitas' Imperial Red is one of my favorite brews and this is pretty much a "Double Imperial Red" with all the flavors amp'ed up. While it's quite tasty and very drinkable, the high ABV does detract a bit from the beer - first because you get pretty useless pretty damn fast but also because they didn't really tame the alcohol burn very well - it's a bit too obvious in the flavor mix..

Photo of Baileyuk
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Mild brown with a slightly red tint. Head was minimal but lacing was one of the best i have seen.

S - Sweet malts with a definate alocohol note.

T - Again sweet malts, hops were more pronounced than the smell would have suggested, although these were well placed. Alcohol flavor definantly present.

MD Mayve a little zippy from the carbonation (just a fraction). Was a good beer for sure although the sweetness and high alcohol limited my enjoyment a little, and the ability for another a lot.

Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
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 jdoncbus
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
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
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
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
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
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 wspscott
3.89/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle in Duvel tulip
no date, but it is from a case I got last Dec. so at least a year old. Somewhat surprised I haven't reviewed this.

A: A hazy light brown color with no head at all. Not pretty, but not ugly, just looks like an average strong ale.
S: Very sweet, caramel and brown sugar, some hoppy bitterness and a definite fruitiness that I assume is yeast driven.
T: The hops have mellowed over the year, but are still very much there, although more hidden. It seems to be american hops, some definite citrus/grapefruit as it warms. The dark sugars are very obvious, different from what you get from caramel malts. Surprisingly, there is no sign of the alcohol other than a slight warming.
M: Very low carbonation, I don't remember this low, I wonder if it is the bottle or if I waited too long. Lots of residual sugar leaves this sweet and sticky. Feels "big".
D: I like this beer a lot. It is very different from a barleywine or DIPA. The sugar sweetness adds something different relative to malt sweetness. The large amount of hops help to bring towards balance, but there is so many hops and so much sugar that it is impossible to imagine this would ever be referred to as balanced. It is very difficult to imagine drinking more than one of these at a time given the alcohol and "bigness", but every time I remember I have some in the basement, I am happy. Definitely worth trying for anyone who likes "big" beers.

Photo of Joebooh2
3.89/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Jdizzzell
3.89/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of Karibourgeois
3.89/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of bassboneman
3.89/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This beer, despite its ABV, pours a little lighter in appearance than you'd think.
It is VERY drinkable, which could be a dangerous thing, again considering the ABV!
Unlike beers like HopRod where you can clearly discern the alcohol finish - this beer does not seem to have that!
I hope y'all enjoy this beer as much as I do!
Up yours!

Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
3.89/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is a review for the 2010 release. I have had last years as well and decided to give it another go. 9.99% ABV.
It pours a very deep amber with about a finger of head. I got no lace. The smell is pretty light for a strong ale. Toasted brown sugar, toffee and citrus drift into my nose holes. The taste starts shockingly sweet. Very malty, very sweet. It is almost balanced by citrus and pine hop flavor but not quite. A bit better than last years cola taste. It is still far too sticky and leaves a mouth coat for days. I get that its thick, strong and sugary but it becomes a bit much by the end. On the drinkability scale, eh, always an interesting beer to sample each year, but the ABV and sweetness scream hangover, even if you're careful. Still, pretty tasty if you are in the mood for sweet and heavy.

Photo of SargeC
3.89/5  rDev -3.5%
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 TheBeerbarian
3.89/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jooler
3.89/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Great hoppy smell and look but tastes pretty sweet with a very noticeable alcohol taste. Lagunitas sucks is a lot better

Photo of Mcwill51
3.89/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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

12oz bottle, goblet, no freshness labeling.

Brown sugar brown pour ends in brilliant red all the way through with minimal orange/yellow highlights. Minimal head as well.

Brown sugar, vanilla extract, citrus rind, whiffs of dank hop, pear, pvc.

Imperial IPA? is a question we could ask of this ale. The bitterness, grapefruit, rind, and resin make this a candidate for Arrogant Bastard impersonator. Not nearly as sweet as the nose suggests. Brown sugar, caramel shadows. Every bit of the 51.1 IBUs show and getting past them is proving difficult.

If one considers this an IIPA the mouthfeel, and other components, fall into place beautifully. Slick and perfectly carbed for my tastes.

The flavors make for what would be a go-to IIPA while the abv does not. This proves that if executed correctly brown sugar can make play a part in good beer.

Photo of russpowell
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an effervescent amber/orange with 2 fingers of sand-colored head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Slight pine& herbal hops

T: Huge pine hops, cakeyness, & brown suggah up front. Earthy & grapefruit hops & some honey dryness follow as this warms. Finishes with subtle booze warmth, rough grapefruitty hops, a little caramel & yes, brown sugar, works for me!

MF: Chewy with low carbonation, but a little thin for the style

Drinks damn easy for the abv, an almost great take on the style

Photo of jaydoc
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of Dillinger
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of Proteus93
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of dkachur... thanks, Dan! I can't believe I haven't picked it up myself in all this time.

A: Rather bronzish with a nice two finger creamy foam of head. Retention is pretty good, and it has pretty good lacing.

S + T: Brown shugga is right, both in aroma and flavour. Big caramelized sugar blending in quite nicely with a toasted malt and a little spot of hoppiness. A rather nicely balanced beer.

M + D: A little big, kind of sticky... it leaves a fair bit of residue behind, which has me smacking my lips for a while after each sip. A little rich, perhaps, but a good beer... solid beer. I'd be game for more, though the alcohol makes it a bit of a slower indulgence brew.

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

12oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours a deep copper/bronze with a decent head and leaves some nice lacing.

Smell is some alcohol surrounded by caramel and some toffee notes.

Taste is a bit of caramel on top of a slight fruitiness. Heat from the alcohol is only slightly noticable. I get a touch of brown sugar in the finish.

I feel it is a tad thin as are all the Lagunitas offerings I've tried. Could use a fuller body.

Overall, a tasty treat. Very good, but with some more body could be fantastic.

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

Pours a hazy copper color with a thin tan head that quickly dissipates.

Nose is sweet, malty, molasses.

Taste is sweet, some malt & a nice hop bitterness. The 9.9ABV is hidden well.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth.

Even though the ABV hides well, this is not a good session beer because of the sweetness.

This is a decent holiday beer for those cold winter nights.

Photo of jbone78
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was found at my local store.

Pours copper to brown in color with light head. Smells of floral hops, tastes starts off the same. Citrus hops that balances well with the "Brown Shugga" and caramel malts. Finishes with a little grapefruit bitterness but not too bad.

I like this beer and I would buy again. But would buy Hop Stoopid over it any other day.

-Bye

Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 4,849 ratings.