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Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,466 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,466
Hads: 5,128
Avg: 4
pDev: 21%
Wants: 248
Gots: 962 | 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:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 12-13-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Brown Shugga' Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,466 | Hads: 5,128
Photo of fsimcox
2.76/5  rDev -31%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours transparent ruby amber. When I hold it up to the light, I see right through. Off-white, slightly tan head. Smaller than I expected. Less than a half inch of foam that dissipates rather quickly. Some lacing.

Smells of sweet malt, liquorice, a little citrus, and a hint of the alcohol.

Sweet, creamy brown sugar upfront, hops in the middle, and a warm bitter finish. Some grapefruit aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is silky and creamy, some carbonation, and a warm finish. Sweetness and syrup feeling lingers.

A nice holiday beer. Very good on a cold night, but not something I would want every day.

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Photo of granite
2.77/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into pint glass.

A---It poured a murky copper with a thin beige head.

S---Maple, molasses, burnt sugar, nutmeg and phenols.

T---Burning hot alcohol shifting to sweet caramelized sugar. It finished dry and salty. Tongue numbing and unpleasant tasting in my opinion.

M---Thin-Medium bodied.

D---A little less then average is the best way I can describe this.

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Photo of largadeer
2.79/5  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.

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Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
2.8/5  rDev -30%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Got word that I was being released at three bars in my area on the same night, some sort of "release party..." Got there right around 8:30, and the bartender said I was the first one to try it. So the ice cold beer went into the shaker...

A - Amber body, decent head, pretty standard.

T - Fruity citrus hops stuck out, with some barleywine-like alcohol notes. Again, not very exciting...

T - Entry seemed to focus on the sweet alcohol. Cherry and orange flavors seemed off in the dry finish.

M - Very full and smooth mouthfeel. First thing about this beer I liked...

D - I don't know what it is about this beer, but it has never seemed to impress me. I love Lagunitas, and I want to like this beer, but no... Also, I get a little tired of bartenders asking me if there is something wrong with my beer when I am just waiting for it to warm up to something other than 38 F....

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Photo of OWSLEY069
2.82/5  rDev -29.5%
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.

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Photo of tjkurz
2.84/5  rDev -29%
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.

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Photo of Beerlover
2.88/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3.5

Remeber this one being a lot better, the brown sugar is non existant this year, carbonation a little too high for my liking, it has that soapy aftertaste i hate in a hoppy beer. My rating was 4.25 on this one but ive brought it down a few notches...meh.

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Photo of bierguru
2.93/5  rDev -26.8%
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

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Photo of toolbrew
2.93/5  rDev -26.8%
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.

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Photo of Rifugium
2.93/5  rDev -26.8%
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.

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Photo of shabbtastic
2.93/5  rDev -26.8%
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.

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Photo of mactrail
2.94/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

An elegant pile of foam on the coppery orange brew poured in the New Belgium snifter. Interesting woody and herbal aroma.

Flavor is sweet, inappropriately bitter, murky, and sticky. It tastes like an Old Ale with the candied yams, sweet vermouth, and rust, all followed by a crunch of the aspirin tablet. Aside from the flavor, it's a well-made beer like everything from Lagunitas.

This used to be one of my favorite beers. There was the mystery of them stopping production for a few years-- maybe it was just too good. Why anybody stops making a successful beer needs an answer. It's just unfortunate it seems to be lost forever. From the 12 oz bottle in a six pack tha has been tough to get through. But when you need a bedtime beer with the right punch, you can overlook the taste.

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Photo of GRPunk
2.97/5  rDev -25.8%
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.

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Photo of Minkybut
2.97/5  rDev -25.8%
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

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Photo of StoutCream
2.98/5  rDev -25.5%
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.

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Photo of jtierney89
3/5  rDev -25%
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.

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Photo of Sakura99
3/5  rDev -25%
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.

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Photo of BH712
3/5  rDev -25%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From bottle to tulip.

Really tried to like this one, but I'm struggling. For such a "sweet" beer, there is an overabundance of earthy hop and alcohol astringency that totally messes up the flavor and aroma. Sometimes I get an intensely sweet, almost-donut flavored dessert beer, and sometimes I get a medicinal herbal mess.

Could greatly benefit from:
-Easing up on the hops
-Using less yeast to allow more sugars to remain unfermented
-Using a juicier hop like Galaxy or Cascade
-Using a Belgian yeast like in Sumpin Wild

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Photo of misterscooter
3/5  rDev -25%
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.

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Photo of Morbo
3/5  rDev -25%
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.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3/5  rDev -25%
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.

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Photo of trelihan462
3.01/5  rDev -24.8%
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.

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Photo of Onenote81
3.01/5  rDev -24.8%
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.

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Photo of lurpy1
3.03/5  rDev -24.3%
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.

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Photo of nelson4
3.03/5  rDev -24.3%
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.

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Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,466 ratings.