Brown Shugga' | Lagunitas Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
90
outstanding
1,515 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,515
Ratings:
5,360
Avg:
4
pDev:
21%
 
 
Wants:
276
Gots:
1,154
For Trade:
13
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.99%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 12-13-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,515 | Ratings: 5,360
Photo of CNoj012
4.34/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours a beautiful crystal clear dark amber color with a 2 finger off white head. The retention is very good and lasts all the way through. There are also huge sheets of lacing. The smell is brown sugar and sweet caramel malts with a hint of grapefruit and pine. Taste is the same, but also getting some orange and a touch of alcohol. Feel is light side of medium, but suprisingly light for the abv. Overall this beer is fantastic and a winter seasonal that I patiently wait all year for.

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.34/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a medium copper brown in color with a lot of red hues mixed in too. A fairly sizable head forms and retains very well with good lacing too. Pretty translucent with just a touch of haze in the body.

S- Some medium hops bitterness right up front before the malts start mixing in. Hops are upfront in the beginning, but take a backseat towards the end, but are very piney in flavor throughout. Malts are somewhat delicate and not as strong as the hops, but caramel and slightly sweet in nature.

T- Once again, moderate to strong hop presence up front, but in the taste, the hops are the dominant flavor throughout. In the middle of the drink, some caramel and pale malt flavors kick in. These are less sweet than in the scent, and display no brown sugar sweetness as the name would suggest. Drink ends with the same hop bitterness it began with, this time lingering a while after the sip ends.

M- Fairly smooth and high in carbonation. Rather easy to drink despite the high alcohol level. This could be dangerous if one were to buy a six pack and was determined to finish it in one go.

Overall, this reminds me a lot of Sierra Nevada Bigfoot with less of a hop presence. The hops are still there and very high in quality flavor-wise. The balance the hops and malts strike in this beer make it one to savor....and then maybe have another.

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Photo of rrski198
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: dark amber almost red hue. Big off white color head, disapated quickly.

S: Malty, carmel, earthy, wood, pine, Big hops in this beer but they are not overpowering in the nose. Alcohol is hid quite nicely.

T: Big bold beer. All sorts of malty sweetness going on. Balanced nicely by quite a bit of hops. Alcohol bites a little in the finish

M: Very sweet and coats the mouth. Like simple syrup. Hops bite at the back of the tounge and alcohol burns a little.

D: Overall an excellent full bodied beer. Very complex. Big time malty sweetness, balanced by a heafty dose of hops. A quality offering for sure and I will try and pick some up next winter.

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Photo of Phatz
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a big big super sweet beer. I think it will do well with a year or so under the belt.

Appearance: Pours a deep burgundy orange, translucent, with a fluffy white head.

Smell: Sugary sweet with brown sugar galore, caramelized malts hints of fruit and alcohol.

Taste & Mouthfeel: This is the epitome of a sipping night cap. The sweet sugar borders on but doesn't not cross too sweet. The alcohol shows through and with a nip of hops Brown Shugga' drinks more like a brandy than a beer.

Drinkability: Perfect for a night cap.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

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Photo of MartzMimic
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at McNellie's OKC. Pours a clear dark amber. The two fingers of creamy white head take a while to settle, leaving decent lacing. Smells of piney hops, caramel, brown sugar and malt. The taste is equally complex. Sugary caramel with just a touch of bitterness. Medium mouth that's pretty sticky. This is really nice, and everything blends together so well.

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Photo of jaxon53
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served at just about cellar temperature, into a pint glass, from a twelve ounce brown bottle. Poured a deep copper amber color that had great clarity. Two fingers of thick, frothy, beige colored head formed from a somewhat vigorous pour. Head faded pretty quickly into a fluffy ring of foam atop the beer. Some sticky, glass coating lace was left behind on the glass. Smell had some plum, rum soaked cherries, thick sweet malt, and a small amount of alcohol. Tons of dark dried fruits in the flavor, some pineapple, some sweet brown sugar, and plenty of body warming alcohol stacked on a sweet malty base. Finishes smooth and just a bit boozy. Mouthfeel is thick, almost syrupy, with a medium to full body. Great drinkability. This has got to be one of my favorites.

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottled poured into a Duvel Tulip style glass. Kind of an orange copper color, almost hazy, when held up to the light you can see small particles. Speaking of held up to the light, it just glows. I guess a more simple way to put it is that it doesn't quite look like any American Strong Ale that I've had (even though it varies so much), it seems lighter. There's a good sized head that's an orange color, decent lacing.

Smell is good, hoppier than I expected, but based on all the beer I've had from Laguniatas, that's how they role. There is certainly a big malt presence, smells very sweet, brown sugar detected, hence the name. Hops smell like citrus. Overall kind of a sweet boozy smell.

Tastes very good, loving it. A unique, but good blend of both sweet and bitter. Sweetness right off the bat, call it power of suggestion but brown sugar detected, overall a good malt presence. Very Hoppy, citrus zest, and a little bit of pine. Very good tasting overall.

Full bodied, as mentioned a good, unique balance of bitter and sweet. Good carbonation level and a strong bitter finish. Very drinkable. Had it in the past, my buddy and I killed a growler in a short evening, so I'd say dangerously drinkable, really enjoyed this bottle this time.

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Photo of mountsnow1010
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Great Van Morrison brown color with a yellowish head that leaves a nice thick lace.
S - Delicious hop notes - really clean grapefruit smell backed up by a bit of a sweet caramel.
T - Hops up front - distinct lack of bitterness - followed by a sweet rich flavor. A bit of grassy hop flavor as well.
MF - Really nice - smooth and perfect carbonation. I'm not sure one could improve much upon this mouthfeel. Slight warming sensation.
D - 9.99% alcohol? I get a bit in the mouthfeel but otherwise this could be fairly low alcohol. High- dangerously high- drinkability.

Really, really enjoying this beer - I would highly recommend it.

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Photo of ShamasUVA
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, reading "Feeding brown sugar to otherwise cultured brewery yeast is akin to feeding raw shark to your gerbil. It is unlikely to ever occur in nature without human intervention. And it looks weird besides. But it has happened now, and it is too late." No date, but I suspect this is fresh.

Color: 4. Deep red, slightest tinge of brown. off white head, decent retention.

Smell: 4 Cherry, Candy, Leather and Beer. A little bit of spice or licorice.

Taste: 4.5 Extremely assertive, and I don't trust the 51.1 IBU on the label, this seems much more bitter than that. I would guess Chinook hops since it lingers. Some alcohol heat. Great sweet rich fruity flavor. Not a complex maltiness but a powerful one.

Mouthfeel 4.5 Rich but not thick. This is one area where "American Strong Ale" can really run the gamut. Good.

Drinkability: 4 It's so dang tasty, you keep wanting more. .Overall a very good beer but the bitterness lingers for a solid 60 seconds so it is hard to call this "drinkable." I think this is still a little young. I would like to give it 6-12 months to see how the bitterness gets sanded down and the alcohol heat mellows. Will probably be exceptional.

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Photo of WesWes
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark amber/red color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice balanced aroma of malts and hops. It's warming to the nose, but also enticing with loads of hop smells. The malt aroma is composed of lots of pale malts and a wonderful array of specialty malts, which provide the "Brown Shugga" element. The taste is great. It has an incredibly smooth malty taste that weighs heavy on burnt toffee flavors. It goes down easy and finishes silky smooth with a nice hop blast that lingers. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a tremendous beer. It packs a bundle of flavor; a fine drinker.

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Photo of UnionMade
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Eli Cannon's a while back. Taken from notes scribbled on the back of a "beer tastin's" flyer.
Served in a snifter glass, at the perfect temperature. 55 degrees or so. Color is hazy, orangey and toffee-like. Very bright and interesting. Whispy white head. The head dies out about halfway through. Minimal lacing. Big, sweet, caramel laden aroma. Hops are definitely present, in a piney, citrusy sort of way. Very barleywine like. Is that what this is supposed to be? Somehow strong ale doesn't seem to fit. This is much closer to Bigfoot, Old Crustacean and the like than it is to UBU ale or Double Bag, to name a couple strong ales. Some alcohol and heady, estery fruit. Prune and apples. Slight vinous notes. I'm not really getting much in the way of brown sugar, unless that's some of that odd caramel sweetness. The flavor opens with big, bold sweetness. Huge amounts of caramel malt, the brown sugar much more present than in the scent. The sweetness rides all the way through the finish, though its well tempered with plenty of hops. Balanced, I'd say. Plenty fruity and "bigbeer-ish". Some red grape and sherry, with healthy doses of apple, pear and plum. Assertive piney hop flavor. Minimal booze, though you don't forget its there. A little bit of a saccharine bite in the end. Huge, syrupy body with modest carbonation levels. All around a pretty hefty feeling brew. One hell of a snifter sipper.
I bet bottles of this would age very well. I'll have to pick a few up next time I see it. I assume the keg on hand was fresh, and its already got a bit of that sherry agedness to it. Very nice. I'd like to buy this by the gallon and watch my entire saturday slip into hazy orange oblivion.

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Photo of BurpingtonDC
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into an imperial pint glass. It's no secret that Laguinitas makes a mighty fine ale, so without further adieu...

A - This is a beautiful brew indeed. Deep copper color with a three fingered head and ample lacing.

S - great smell, hints 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 interplay--sweet at the fore then finishes with a 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.

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 on a cold winter night.

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Photo of kbnooshay
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a clear orange amber color with a very thin off white head. Smells like a hopped cough syrup. Weird. Well this tastes like a barelywine with brown sugar in it! A LOT of brown sugar. This is citric and super sweet. The hop flavor is definitely grapefuity. Hints of molasses and dark fruit really make this interesting. Feel is super slick and oil with slight tingling from the carbonation. I could drink a few of these but the result would be drunkedness.

Delicious.

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Photo of mattjv
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark translucent copper color, coaxed about a finger of head out which didn't stay long, not surprising given 9.99%. Lots of lacing.

Heavy sweetness on the aroma, with strong hoppy notes. Orange citrus and resinous pine. Alcohol fumes notable on the aroma, becoming more prominent as it warms.

The taste is dominated up front by a huge, rich, thick caramel malt presence. Loads of sweetness here, although it's balanced by the hops and alcohol. Brown sugar nicely complements the malt with slightly burnt notes. Big time hop presence makes for a strong finish. Lots of orange citrus and thick, resinous pine that coats the tongue. Bitterness is present but not high. Assertive alcohol stings the back of the throat on finish and pleasantly warms. Sweet, sticky aftertaste.

Full bodied, thick and chewy on the mouthfeel. Carbonation is not high but sufficient to keep the alcohol in check.

Overall: A very unique brew, and one that I thoroughly enjoy. Pity that I'm reviewing the last one I'll get till next fall. Definitely not for everyone, this is a thick, rich, boozy beer that is best enjoyed sipping over an hour or more. If you like big beers, give this one a try.

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Photo of RoamingGnome
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 11/2/12 Tasting Notes. Poured fom 12oz bottle into pint glass. Served chilled...

A) Nice looking bronze brew with good clarity. There was 2 fingers of creamy looking light tan head. Good retention, as this slowly settled to a dusting. Ample lacing...

S) Graham cracker crust and fresh juicy grapefruit with a sprinkling of sugar.

T) Quite malty and very hoppy... What a nice balance we have here. Sweet caramel and melting brown sugar, in perfect harmony with light pine, grapefruit and champagne mango. The alcohol on this was very well hidden. I picked it up just a little as this warmed up.

M) Full body with moderate carbonation, which kept this easy on the palate. It is slightly syrupy, but really very smooth. Nice aftertaste...

O) Thanks Lagunitas, what an excellent beer. Reminded me a bit of a few barleywines I've had recently. This was a pleasure to drink, and really hard to believe the ABV is nearly 10%. Glad to recommend this beer...

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Photo of WheelsPSU
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Purchased a bottle a forgot I had it in the fridge. Glad I found it.

Orangey amber pour with a decent amount of sticky lacing being left on the glass. Head stuck around for a while and was thick and foamy.

Floral and hoppy in the aroma. Like a barleywine and IPA. Resin, pine, citrus, and brown sugar. Don't get much of the malt though.

Malt sweetness and a ton of hops are first on the taste. Pine, citrus and sticky blast of malt come next. The best part of the beer is the finish which produces the huge amount of brown sugar, caramel, and gingerbread. Its like Christmas for your palate.

This is a very hoppy and all together sweet (from the malt sweetness and brown sugar) brew. Recommended for the winter and holiday season, or if you forget you have it and drink it in April!

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Photo of northaustin
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into a schnifter. pours a very nice red with a finger of even off white head which has long retention and a good amount of spotty stringy lacing.

smell is awesome. has alot of that same old lagunitas hop extract smell goin on but backed by a strong very sweet malt bill. alot of fruity type smells and an almost dessert like quality

taste is very powerful with the hops and some caramely type flavor goin on. very nicely masked high abv. i wont lie. theres alot of things in this beer i just cant put my finger on as i have not studied the style enough. fairly complex and enjoyable nonetheless.

mouthfeel: doesnt leave anything behind in a good way. no over syrupy sweetness or hop oilyness as is the problem with a few other lagunitas.

drinkability: very flavorful and a well masked high abv. this one is very sessionable for 10 bucks a six pack.

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Photo of busterwhite
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark golden/amber color with a 2 finger head. Nice lacing on the glass.

Aroma of pine, citrus and some sweetness.

Nice full flavor with citrus and pine up front followed by a good balanced sweetness. Finished with mix of bitter and sweet in the aftertaste.

Medium to full body, a little slick with good carbonation.

Overall this is a fantastic beer.

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Photo of RCStout
4.36/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Appearance is appreciated as every time it appears I want it. Gold to Amber Orange.

Smell- Gloriously Sweet to a Southerners Nose. (NC loves Brown Sugar.)

Feel- Nice body, it could be one of those thick leggy models.

Taste- Sweet right off with a midtaste of citrus. Some say Grapefruit I says Pumelo. Warm in the tummy.

Drinkability- Highly drinkable despite high ABV. I have never had more than 6 in a row, seemed like 2 too many.

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Photo of 11-52_4hops
4.36/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Caveat - just got done shoveling snow, so might be a bit of a pro-bold brew bias. So be it.
Clear copper color. Reasonable head with some lacing. Strong malt and hops nose. Taste is a pleasant assault of malt, brown sugar, and heavy. The sweetness and the bitterness work very well here. I really like this beer -- has me hoping for more snow so I can earn another couple. Bonus .25 for Lagunitas fun to read labels.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.36/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - deep orange color, a finger of creamy suds on top. They cling to the sides and leave a solid wall of shiny lace as the head falls back.

Aroma - smells like orange juice concentrate, kind of barleywine-ish.

Taste - big malty front, kinda chewy, sweet like cookie dough. Big flavor, met mid-stream by sharp zesty hops. A grapefruit twist, though not as citrusy as I expected. More grapefruit flavor on the aftertaste, closer to what I expected now, and a certain wave of warm alcohol to finish things off. Close to a barleywine in overall feel. The sixer went amazingly fast.

Mouthfeel - thick, smooth, a little heavy, I enjoyed all that. Carbonation is fairly zippy.

Drinkability - I'd grab another sixer of these for sure. They are a joy to drink one at a time, or three in an evening.

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Photo of dalahodson
4.36/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

In the glass this was a very nice looking brew. A dark amber color with a nice full head the color of dirty straw. The lacing on the glass was very solid. A very strong smell of Carmel and malt hints of pine and herbs. The mouth feel was very creamy and sweet with a nice bitter on the back. The flavors are of carmel pine and dark fruits, the brown sugar is by far the most noticeable of the flavors but very well balanced. Even with an ABV of 9 this is a very easy drinkable brew. Went well with my lamb stew.

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Photo of dar482
4.36/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The beer comes a deep red ruby color with a huge fluffy tight off white head.

The aroma has super sweet caramel, candy sugar, toffee. It has a slight citrus along with deep pine and some of that garlic/onion. Good amount of heavy breadiness as well as some booze and yeast.

The flavor follows with a citrus and floral hint and onto tons of heavy caramel and sugary sweetness. Later into the beer, it actually causes you to smack your lips as the sugary just coats and coats your lips. The middle hints of some garlic and onion notes and then moves onto an extremely hoppy and bitter piney, resinous finish.

The beer dances that beautiful line between sweetness and bitterness. It really attacks hard on both sides. A really exceptional example of an American Barleywine.

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Photo of LairdChisholm
4.36/5  rDev +9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a clear copper color with a less than one finger, off white head very little lacing to speak of. There are many small streams of carbonation bubbles going to the top.

S - Strong smells of sweet malts with brown sugar and molasses and citrus malts. Good balance.

T - Incredible balance here. There is a mixture of brown sugar/caramel malts with citrus/grapefruit hops. There is a semi sweet after taste that makes you want to take another sip.

M - Good amount of carbaonation with medium to light mouthfeel.

D - Considering the ABV, this drinkability is dangerous.

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Photo of BBP
4.36/5  rDev +9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- A bit lacking appearance wise. Not much head to speak of, and what there is dissolves into a film. No real lacing either. Nice dark amber color though.

S- Caramel, toffee, some slight alcohol aroma, and more sweetness, only to be matched by a piney hop aroma.

T- From the name brown shugga, you'd expect this one to be sweet and then some, but it's actually quite balance. Caramel and sugar are countered very nicely by the hops. If anything, I think this drink leans towards the hops.

When really looking at the aftertaste, you can definitely taste hops coating your mouth, while the sugary flavor is only in the intro of the drink. I think this one has the kick of a barleywine with the elegance of an old ale. Aside from that, it's a pretty simple drink.

M- Creamy smooth, nice carbonation, medium/light body, and a sticky finish.

O- The drinkability in this is astounding. I found myself drinking it and drinking it without fully embracing the idea that it's 10%. That said, the alcohol isn't hidden, but it blends pretty seamlessly.

Lagunitas impresses me yet again. These people love hops and so do I.

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Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,515 ratings.