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Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

3,435 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3435
Reviews: 1291
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 11.69%


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: 3,435 | Reviews: 1,291 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

2.8/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Clear amber-red in my tulip, nicely colored with an off-white head that dissipates quickly.

Smell: Rich, sweet and fruity. I suppose there's a trace of brown sugar, but this is more fruity and boozy than anything. Faint sourness as well, along with a bit of leafy hops.

Taste & mouthfeel: As the aroma implies, this borders on being cloyingly sweet. Heavy on the palate but somewhat muddled, the faint fruity sourness doesn't gel right with the spicy sweetness and leafy hop bite. Somewhat thin in body despite the sweetness, with a surprisingly bitter finish. Can't say that I'm a fan of this one.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2008 07:27:45 | More by largadeer
Photo of OWSLEY069
OWSLEY069

Pennsylvania

2.83/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep orange/ light brownish color, with a light tan head. In the aroma a caramel sweetness and malty. In the taste, caramel, sugary sweet and a dry end. Huge sweetness with a dry end, an aftertaste of brown sugar. It is a bit too sweet for me, but it does hide the alcohol very well.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2007 11:13:26 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of tjkurz
tjkurz

Wisconsin

2.83/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served out of bottle in pint glass. Nice but lighter brown was expecting darker - a few fingers of head that held nicely. Smelled boozey and hoppy for a brown. I was expecting at least a hint of brown sugar and a lot more maltiness. Felt decently carbonated but not too much so, great mouthfeel when warmer. Tasted boozey and hoppy for a brown. Drinkability - I really hadn't read the abv, a little boozey for me.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2007 22:12:37 | More by tjkurz
Photo of shabbtastic
shabbtastic

New York

2.88/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Poured amber brown with a very weak head that faded into a small white cap. Laced very well for the weak head retention. Just can't understand the twist off cap though.

S - The label says brown sugar and that's exactly what you smell, very sweet indeed. Roasted Carmel malts with molasses tones and maple syrup.

T - Sweet up front which is very nice and balanced, but then WHAM! The rest of the ride is alcohol. I didn't find that very appealing. Overall the taste was very harsh. The sweetness did little to hide the alcohol IMO, very unbalanced.

M - Medium / full bodied and very dry.

D - This is a one and done. The high ABV makes it that way. Not a horrible beer but I would pass on this on in the future.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2008 13:24:44 | More by shabbtastic
Photo of toolbrew
toolbrew

Illinois

2.88/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours clear brown with almost no head. Some lacing.

Very sweet malty smell.

Very sweet taste - mostly like brown sugar with a hint of alcohol.

The sweetness lingers on my tongue and the roof of my mouth. Medium body.

Too sweet for me. It was nice to try but won't seek out again.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2008 04:29:15 | More by toolbrew
Photo of GRPunk
GRPunk

Michigan

2.9/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle poured into an imperial pint glass.

A- It poured a deep amber color with light-medium carbonation. There was a 1/2" tan head that quickly turned to a lace that left a nice stick on the side of the glass.

S- It had a really nice aroma. It was big in both sweet-bread malt and pine-citrus hop scents. Just a hint of alcohol lets you know this beer means business.

T- A bready malt character is initially balanced with some citrus-like hops. However, there is an overwhelmingly sweet finish that came across and didn't sit well with me. The alcohol became more evident as the beer warmed.

M- The initial mouthfeel was really nice. It was smooth and lightly carbonated. However, there was a lingering thickness that allowed the sweet flavor to hang around.

D- Not great. I saw this beer was a definite sipper near the 10% abv mark, but something about the sweetness is a turnoff for me.

Overall- A great beer if you're into sweet. I'm going through a phase of really enjoying malty beers, but this one seems to go too far in the brown sugar direction. There were good things about this beer, but not enough to compensate for the negative for me.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2007 23:53:08 | More by GRPunk
Photo of bierguru
bierguru

Florida

2.9/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A -
brown orange body head is foamy and creamy looking stays very well

S -
huge brown sugar smell which you expect do to the name but there are also mild hop fruity esters to it

T -
very malty at the beginning of the taste some hops in the middle and loads of brown sugar on the backend

M -
very light on the tongue kind of a dryness in the mouth

D -
overall worth a try but nothing i would really like often

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2011 18:02:26 | More by bierguru
Photo of Rifugium
Rifugium

Pennsylvania

2.93/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

First had: bottle from Pinocchio's, Media, PA

Clear, mahogany-amber pour, with a small beige head that retained well and left splotches of lacing on the glass. Muted caramel aroma, a touch of fruity hops. I really expected something different with this one, but instead got the same old typical, basic, dull Lagunitas flavor. Caramel malts, tree sap, pine and citrus hops, woody nutshells, stale alcohol notes, some off-flavors consistent with oxidation. About medium in body and carbonation. I'd probably never get this again. So many uninteresting beers from this brewery, and this one's no different.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2012 13:05:39 | More by Rifugium
Photo of misterscooter
misterscooter

California

2.98/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I love Lagunitas and really respect their beers but this one was a bit more than what I prefer. I think it is probably a great beer for some people but I had a hard time getting my preferences out of the way and just rating this beer.

It pours a cloudy gold and brown with a small head that was gone quickly. Quite a bit of stuff floating around in there (normal or bad pour?) and the carbonation keeps it moving and keeps a bit of foam on top the whole time. The smell is very hoppy and a little sweet.

The taste hits me. I appreciate the complexity but it is just a bit too hoppy and sweet for me. There is a straw/grain taste and the high alcohol content is definitely noticeable as well as some yeasty overtones. Again, very carbonated feel in your mouth and hoppy and dry at the end. As it warmed up, it did mellow out so maybe I had it colder than this beer should be.

With the high alcohol content of this guy and how harsh it seemed to me, I doubt I could drink more than one. But I should try it again in case it was just a bad pour.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2005 03:46:44 | More by misterscooter
Photo of Minkybut
Minkybut

Virginia

2.98/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured this beer into my tumbler at 50 degrees. The beer had a red hue to it with a minimal head. The beer was very hoppy smelling. This brew I was hoping was going to be really great, but it was just to high on the alcohol burn and too sweet for my taste. I will not buy again

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2008 14:55:09 | More by Minkybut
Photo of Morbo
Morbo

Illinois

2.98/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours copper with about an inch of fluffy almost-white head. The head lingers for a while and leaves plenty of lacing behind.

I am shocked and delighted by the hop presence in the nose. Lots of sweet pineapple, and an instant mental association is good pot. ...And I know this sounds crazy, but I get some ketchup from it as well.

Well, it is about as sweet as I had expected, considering the name. Thankfully, the hop bitterness almost balances things out. Not too complex, maple syrup and molasses pitted against citric/piney hops.

It is fairly heavy and lacking in carbonation, so it comes off as pretty syrupy. It's not quite on the level of Super Troopers maple syrup chugging, but I am definitely not running to the fridge to grab another bottle.

Booze isn't present in the flavor, but you definitely get a nice warming sensation from this one. An interesting beer, even if it isn't very complex, but it is too sweet and syrupy to be anywhere near sessionable.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2008 07:31:59 | More by Morbo
Photo of StoutCream
StoutCream

Virginia

2.98/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Just received the 2010 bottling. Probably shouldn't be reviewing this for a few years, but what the hell. People are cracking open Vertical Epic 10's! (not me)

A: Swiss cheese head that falls steady down to a finger, decent lacing. Clear burnt orange, no bubbles.

S: Caramel malt, American hops, permenant marker.

T: Caramalized onion complete with a burnt fond bitterness accentuated by the hop profile. Not appealing, oily, with a touch of ass stink. Sweet, week barleywine with something mechanical about it.

M: Flat and off-putting, hurts my teeth. This could use some chilling to make it more viscous.

D: Like it says on the bottle, "It's like feeding raw shark to your gerbil." This beer was young and could use some aging. Would love to get my hands on some barrel-aged BS, though.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2010 11:43:51 | More by StoutCream
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

2.98/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This one pours out as an amberish colored brew with a white head on it. The head settles but leaves a nice lacing. The smell of the beer is semi sweet, not as sweet as I expected it to be from the name. There was a little bit of a roasted smell in there and some hops as well. The taste wasn't overly sweet, I guess I took the name of the beer too literally... The flavors were decent in my opinion. After finishing it off I found myself saying that it wasn't the best beer out there but I suppose it'd be worth another try.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2011 01:43:16 | More by Knapp85
Photo of lurpy1
lurpy1

Minnesota

2.98/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bought sixer of this. You really can't beat Lagunitas on price. I really enjoyed the first one, but 3 bottles later I've pretty much lost my taste for this beer. It's the sugar, by the end of the bottle it's just a bit much. And sugar in food covers up a lot of things, in this situation it seems to be covering up the exact same hop profile Lagunitas uses in so many other beers.

I wouldn't discourage others from trying it. I just don't find it to be particularly artful and I've worn out on it.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2012 21:38:18 | More by lurpy1
Photo of BeerBelcher
BeerBelcher

Ohio

3/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I thought this was a brassy big brown ale. I enjoyed the fact that it really wasn’t boring like many brown ales can be, but its very evident alcohol content (9.9% and it shows) and lots of graininess give me some reservations regarding giving it a superior rating.

After pouring, the beer had a moderate amount of head. The body was tan, clear and brilliant. Aroma was grainy, with some cereal-ness, but also with a serious amount of hoppiness. Flavor was bitter and hoppy, with a lot of copper metallic-ness and also with a significant amount of malted-milk-ball cereal flavor. The alcohol presence in this beer is substantial, and definitely not concealed by any of this beers other attributes. Mouthfeel was pretty harsh…between the alcohol presence and cereal-ness.

Still, despite all this, this beer is interesting, and I’d recommend it.
I got this 12 oz bottle from 3 Cellars in Franklin, WI.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2007 18:06:01 | More by BeerBelcher
Photo of Onenote81
Onenote81

North Carolina

3/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep copper color with a very small off-white head on top. This disappears to a ring around the edge which surprisingly leaves decent sip rings sticking to the glass. Smells of strong pineapple, lemon, pineapple, and pineapple. Extreme citrus going on here.

Mouthfeel is crisp, but a tad spritzy. Flavor is of sweet molasses, brown sugar, tart apples, and finishes bitter. A dull bitter this one is. Reminds me of a barleywine for sure. Drinkability is low, because this is just too sweet and too weird. This is a strange strong ale. Glad I tried it, but I won't be back anytime soon.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2009 20:21:43 | More by Onenote81
Photo of trelihan462
trelihan462

Massachusetts

3/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours a clear, dark-brownish red with a thin, off-white head. Decent amount of lacing sticks around.

Smell - Very hoppy and spicy, but a little sweetness to it as well.

Taste - Super hoppy, but has a really sweet aftertaste. Interesting combo.

Mouthfeel - Pretty spicy right away, burns on the way down.

Drinkability - Overall, it's not a -bad- beer, but I can't say I'm a fan of it. It's a little over-hopped and I don't think brown sugar works very well in an I.P.A., I was expecting a stout or a brown ale for this one.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2011 05:02:26 | More by trelihan462
Photo of Sakura99
Sakura99

Oregon

3/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

So, as another poster stated, I'm not a "fancy" reviewer; I just drink the beer and tell you what I think of it. I waited a LONG time to try this beer, and I have to say, I was disappointed. It's not a bad beer, but it didn't taste the way I expected it to. The name doesn't describe the taste IMO, but I can't really get mad about that since it wasn't made to taste like brown sugar (this was a woopsy-daisy barleywine to which they added a poop-ton of brown sugar in an effort to salvage the product...they liked it and decided to bottle it as a beer), and the lingering aftertaste is remarkably brown sugary if you wait a minute or two, and you're looking for it. The immediate impression I got upon first swig was a bit of a watered-down Sierra Nevada, taste-wise. It's got more of a bitter taste than I expected. And it WILL mess you up, consider yourself warned. I drank three and I was so toasted that I got sick, and that doesn't normally happen with me. It's not bad, but it's not something I really think that I'll buy again. I'm more of a Lil Sumpin' kinda girl. If you're looking to get schmammered, I think any Lagunitas beer will do the trick for ya lol, but this one will have you on your ayse for sure.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2012 04:25:00 | More by Sakura99
Photo of jtierney89
jtierney89

New Jersey

3/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear deep copper color. 2 finger super sticky and fluffy off white head.

Very abrasive nose. Solvent alcohol hop resin tropical fruit burnt sugars and a bit of sour milk? Nose calms down a bit as the beer breathes.

Milder than the nose but nothing too special. Lots of burnt caramel sugar. Big malty monster really. Pretty smooth and only a touch of alcohol heat. Subtle underlying bitterness that balances the malt. Smooth with pretty good flavors but really nothing special. I like it but its not my first choice.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2012 02:25:48 | More by jtierney89
Photo of nelson4
nelson4

Illinois

3.03/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A- Very deep color, reddish brown. Head disappeared slowly with significant lacing.
S- Not a real impressive smell, caramel with a hint of sweetness
T- Hoppy with a caramel and malty sweetness, slightly bitter after
M- Slightly carbonated with relatively smooth mouthfeel
D- Warm 9.9 only allows for small sips to enjoy

Overall, I was not very impressed with the balance of the hops to the sweetness. Good mouthfeel and appearance still make this beer worth while.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2008 00:34:13 | More by nelson4
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
LilBeerDoctor

New York

3.05/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle. Pours a deep clear amber with hardly any head. Aroma of sweet malt, crystal malt, light fruits (grapes?). Flavor is mostly sweet and syrupy, some lemon, and bitter hops in the finish (although I wouldn't say that this was a hoppy beer...). Heavy and slightly harsh palate. Certainly drinkable, but I wasn't really a fan.
6/4/6/3/14 (3.3/5)

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2009 01:15:35 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Photo of CaptainIPA
CaptainIPA

Wisconsin

3.05/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy bronze color with a prodigious head and notable lacing. Fine appearance.

Aromas of burnt toffee, scorched caramel and toasted brown sugar, followed by residual odors of sour fruit, overripe melon and rotten veggies. Not all that pleasant.

Chewy and rather syrupy mouthfeel. Opens with sweet (and I mean, SWEET) waves of brown cane sugar before moving into assertions of burnt toffee and toasted caramel. Hints of malted barley surface and are quickly blasted away by suggestions of spun-sugar cotton candy. As Brown Shugga' warms, the heat of alcohol becomes perceptible.

Too cloyingly sweet for my tastes; overwhelmingly so to the exclusion of any other background flavors. If you lived on Capn' Crunch as a kid, give this one a try.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2010 20:17:52 | More by CaptainIPA
Photo of williamherbert
williamherbert

New York

3.08/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Deep reddish-orange color with a massive, fluffy head. Very clear. lace ain't gonna be happenin'. Slight haze.

Has a sweet malt -- almost German -- smell, that almost smells like a good ol' fashioned taffy pull. Very sugary sweet with smells of chocolate and toffee. An unreal sweet, sugary malt.

An interesting sweet malt beverage. It's far too sugary and malty sweet for this hophead. Reminds me of Goya Malta with almost a winter ale flavor thrown in. Good for that style. The sweetness could be described as "insane."

As it warms up, thickens up. This is such an odd beer. The brown sugar of the name is almost palpable. It's not a repeat beer. It's way too sweet for me.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2007 15:09:38 | More by williamherbert
Photo of geexploitation
geexploitation

Indiana

3.1/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a crystal clear ruby-brown with gorgeous, jewel-like highlights. Thick but small head that fades to a dusting and collar. Aromas of pears and yeast, along with a bit of zesty sweetness. On the palate, bitterness and brisk carbonation start things off, followed by thick, sugary sweetness and a touch of bitterness at the back of the tongue. Some chocolatey sweetness at the very end. Not very complex, however -- it's mostly just varying levels and characteristics of sweetness. Mouthfeel is marked by slick malts, alcholic heat, and prickly carbonation, with the alcoholic detracting signficiantly. Overall, this beer is nothing to shout about. It's curious to see what this much brown sugar does to a beer, but it's not necessarily pleasing. It needs more balance and a bit more complexity to be truly compelling.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2007 01:09:15 | More by geexploitation
Photo of supercolter
supercolter

Wisconsin

3.1/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This to me was only slightly better than the Hairy Eyeball Ale. In fact I would say these to beers are nearly identical except for two things. The Brown Shugga has higher alcohol content but it is hidden better with the flavor and so it is not as offputting. Also, there seems to be a bit more molasses or brown sugar used and a bit less dried fruit which makes it slightly more balanced.

Serving type: on-tap

01-18-2009 07:06:42 | More by supercolter
Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,435 ratings.