Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

4,993 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,993
Reviews: 1,512
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 228
Gots: 845 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,993 | Reviews: 1,512
Photo of jasonjlewis
3.18/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a nice 1 finger head with excellent retention and a clear brown color.

Smell is of some fruity phenols with some fusel alcohols. There seems to be some crystal malt, brown malt, biscuit malt, and chocolate malt underneath. However, this is a stretch of a guess as the alcohol is a bit dominant. That's what will be yielded with that much brown sugar though. There is also a big whiff of hops.

The beer is a little too dry from the amount of sugar. There is some crystal malt sweetness and perhaps some brown malt and what not. However, the amount of sugar dries this beer out and takes away the body and flavor of the other malts. There is a bit of hop bitterness and flavoring to balance everything out.

The mouthfeel suffers because of the abundance of sugar to get the ABV up.

This isn't way too strong for 9.9% abv beer. But it is a little astringent. Cut back on the sugar and boost the malts up a little, and I'll like it more.

As the beer warms it becomes more astringent and boozy.

A friend and I split a sixer. I'm not mad that I have two more, it's a strong beer for a cheap price it will knock me on my ass.

Photo of drunkenmess
3.19/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Finally found some of this. Not the Sucks, the original...
Pours very easy n nice, almost a dark golden/amber not hazy look to it, with an all around head that lasts thru out also adequate lacing to boot. Smells of sugar beets, brown sugar, light hops and sweetness. Tastes almost like liquid candy. Tastes of Super sweet and a slight tartness with a bite of hops. Intoxicating yet light on your pallet, besides all the sugar lol. Ummm... alittle too sweet for me but as Lagunitas becoming one of my favourite brewer's I defintley respect what they have done here. Respect ☆☆☆

Photo of BeerIsland
3.2/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Fairly cloudy in the glass, orangy, with a decent head that melted away fairly quickly. The nose is nice and sweet; smells like spent grain. The taste is not real exciting, complex but transitions through a sort of medicinal phase before finishing with a fruity tang. The mouthfeel is good but too heavy to be very drinkable. I'm not sure where I got this but I know it wasn't recently; perhaps this bottle is a little old.

Photo of WeisGuy
3.2/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

a - pours a deep copper color, fairly cloudy, half-inch off-white head with retention around the edges, little lacing

s - big caramel apple aroma leaning more toward apple juice, a considerable piney and orange hop aroma, some boozy notes

t - lots of sweet caramel and red apple up front with a big piney bitterness developing on the mid-palate, finish is more bitter and dry than expected with lighter notes of caramel and brown sugar, fairly strong boozy component on finish as well

m - medium to full bodied, moderate carbonation, fairly dry on the finish, pronounced alcohol warming

d - definitely a big beer that doesn't disguise that fact, fairly harsh on the palate, not all that interesting or complex for a big beer, glad this comes in 12oz versus 22oz bottles, too bad it's in six-packs

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.2/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint.

It's a prettydark orange. A little head, no lacing.

Smells of hops and sugar/caramel.

This beer is sweet. Really sweet. After the sugar taste, you notice the bite of hops. Actually for almost 10% ABV it is not bad, but too sweet. however, the more you drink the less you will be bothered by the sweetness.

It is a little syrupy (maybe the sweetness makes me feel liek this?)

Way to sweet to drink too much of, but an interesting beer for sure.

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.21/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Lagunitas- Brown Sugga'

Appearance- Hazy orange brown with a thick, creamy, heavy lacing head.
Smell- Strong alcohol with hints of molasses/ brown sugar and oak.
Taste- Sweet molasses/ brown sugar with a HUGE dose of alcohol. Slight woodsy flavors; oak, oak leaves, and mild cherry, raisin, and prune notes.
Mouthfeel- Sweet and slighty cloying up front with a strong alcohol and bitterness finish.

Overall- Alcohol is too dominent. Maybe age it to mellow out the flavors.

Photo of Bung
3.21/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Hardy copper/amber pour with a nearly non-existant white head. Non-descript hops with slight malt and brown sugar aroma. Flavor dominated by hops, not overly bitter, just overly present. Not sure how anyone could get sweet out of this. I want to sit and disect this but it's just an IPA with some brown sugar. Clean finish sure, drinkability good especially for the abv. Probably great if you're a straight hop head. The base of the beer tastes like EVERY SINGLE other beer I've had from Lagunitas. Malt and roast are just too words they don't like to incorporate. It's like they just keep taking their IPA and adding different small items and calling it a different named Strong Ale. Everybody is always so high on this brewer and I guess I just don't get it. West Coast bitter beer, the thought being this is crisp and clean and organic in some instances. Rambled enough. I was unimpressed with this and will age 1 but look to donate the other 4 I have. Even their capuccino stout was just a heavy brown. Ok, now I'm done.

Photo of MDekker
3.22/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours out a caramel brown color with a really weak head. Mostly translucent.

S: Sugary sweet aroma - caramel, almost hints of strawberry. No sign of hops.

T: Wow! Yeah, brown sugar, maple syrup sweetness. A little weird, enough to give me the heebie-jeebies. Strong alcohol flavor, and then the hops kick in too. They're not as strong as the sweetness. It's decent, but I'm not a huge fan so far.

M: Pretty average here. Good carbonation. Not too watery, not too thick.

D: Like I said, the heebie-jeebies a little bit. I hope I didn't get a slightly bad bottle, but I don't want more after this.

Photo of tone77
3.23/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has an amber color with a small head. Smell is of hops and alcohol. Taste is very hoppy, some notes of sugar and alcohol. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall this is a fairly decent brew.

Photo of Padron4KM
3.23/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dec 18, 2009
12 oz bottle., no bottled on or freshness date assume it's 2009 release.
Rich amber with a very thin head that left equally thin lace.
Lively carbonation leads to creamy smooth mouthfeel.
Aroma is mostly citrus with a funky earthy undertone. Burnt caramel malt emerges as it warms.
Flavor is citrusy hops with a subtle sweet malt back. Alcohol is deceptivley hidden. Watch out because it sneaks up on you.

Photo of hopsaplenty
3.23/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz. brown bottle, no obvious date information but 263D10423 was inkjetted near the bottom label, and 11142721115 was inkjetted on the neck.

Hazy seared caramel. Thick, dense soft tan head of mixed size bubbles that stands steady and is topped with a fine cream-like layer. Eventually it starts to fall leaving thick pock marked lace on the glass and coming to rest at a thin collar with some dust. Minimal sluggish carbonation streams rise. Sweet brown sugar, pine sap, and prickly alcohol aromas. Piney hop resin washes across the tongue dropping sweet brown sugar bombs before fading into the back behind warm alcohol. The hops come to fill out all aspects of the flavor and when coupled with the alcohol, it attains an almost pine-sol like solvency. Not particularly smooth, the pine adds a rough-cut texture to the medium-full body. The fine carbonation eases the drinkability somewhat. The finish comes to be filled out with an almost medicinal alcohol flavor laced with pine that leaves me wondering where the brown sugar sweetness went. This was an okay beer, but I probably won’t be revisiting in the future.

Photo of Arbitrator
3.23/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Shared at a 'lateral' tasting of Lagunitas strong ales, next to Hairy Eyeball and Imperial Red (we didn't get to Olde Gnarlywine).

A: Pours a reddish amber body with a cream-colored cap of fine bubbles. The foam remains for a couple of minutes and can be resurrected pretty easily when it recedes into a light cap on the brew. Some lacing / register marks down the glass. Quite nice.

S: Brown sugar (duh), hazelnut, toffee, molasses. I noticed this was considerably different from the Hairy Eyeball, which had a much stronger dark fruit component. Interesting.

T: I couldn't smell any dark fruit, but I could taste some (plums, figs) in the undercurrent of this brown-sugar driven brew. Lots of nut-forward adornment in hazelnut and toffee varieties, swimming in an oily hop resin of citrus and pine. This was hoppier than Hairy Eyeball but had less fruit for sure. The finish was malty, mostly caramel and molasses.

M: Medium-full body. Good carbonation that hides the astringency pretty well.

D: I just found myself enjoying Hairy Eyeball much more. This isn't a bad beer, but when the brewery offers a much better product in the same category, for the same price... *shrug*

Photo of brian44556
3.23/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured this into a Bell's Pint Glass. No date on the bottle.

Pours a dark amber color, with little off white head. Sticky lacing surrounds the pint glass. A fierce race of carbonation bubbles race to the top. Strong smell of piney hops, caramel, and burnt sugar. The smell was very interesting for a Strong Ale, the smell of this one could pass for a DIPA. This one is pretty bitter. The hops are pretty forward, I also taste hints of caramel and molasses. The taste is sweet up front, but has a very bitter backbone. The alcohol is well masked for being 9.99% ABV. Mouthful was pretty heavy and carbonation was moderate. Overall the beer was different in a...different way. Nothing stood on why I loved it or hated it. Pretty average beer, glad I had a chance to try, but wouldn't care if I ever had this one again.

Photo of BeerWithMike
3.23/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled last night on 2/7/15. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured in to a handled-glass stein.

Brew pours a beautiful copper in color with a good 2+-finger foamy off-white head. A decent amount of ring-lacing was seen when sipped that stuck to the glass. The aroma is of burnt brown sugar and yeast for the most part. Lots going on with the taste than the nose would have you think as there is some caramel, pine, hops with a hint of dark fruits. Great taste but has a slight bitter hoppy finish that lasted a bit too long for my liking. You can't taste the alcohol at all, which is strange since it is so close to 10%! Has a great flavor but that bitter/hop finish kind of ruined it for me. Medium-bodied with perfect carbonation.

Photo of UHRHAN
3.24/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 12-ounce bottle in a Sam Adams Glass.

-Poured a translucent brown/amber with a reddish hue. 3/4 of an inch head, that was pouring out of the bottle the second I popped the cap.
-Not much on the aromatic side, but small hints of flowered aroma. Small touches of alcohol, but not overpowering by any means.
-Taste caramelized fruits with a hint of brown sugar.
-Good mouth feel, and not heavy.
-Very drinkable and didn't really notice the high ABV content.

Photo of castelli1981
3.24/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A small hint of brown sugar, this is a smooth beer that prances all over your tongue.

Photo of Buzogine
3.25/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Not too bad but ok. Can't drink it all night.

Photo of SaltofOH
3.25/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 12/31/2014; purchased in December 2014.

Appearance: Pours an extremely dark amber/red with 2 fingers of frothy/foamy khaki head. Nice retention of a thin, yellowish sandy cap. Epic lacing.

Aroma: Markedly hoppy. Tropical and resinous. Really great aroma. Love this smell; tropical & malty.

Taste: Sweet arrival, tart & fruity, extremely bitter finish. I'd put this higher than 51 IBUs. Some alcohol on the finish. A little cloying at the end; slightly off-putting.

Mouthfeel: Lighter than expected; somewhat astringent; a little like Mirror Pond in that respect but not as much; relatively little carbonation and somewhat slick.

Overall: I was about to say I really like this, but the bitterness and alcohol combine at the end [as it warms] to make this just a little unpleasant. Somewhat cloying.

Photo of mralphabet
3.25/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 Oz Bottle poured into pint glass

A: Pours a hazy copper brown with about one fingers worth of head... sticky lacing...

S: Wow !!! The name says it all.... Brown Shugga' .... with a mix of molasses, burnt malt and touch of hops. Very sweet smelling.

T: The sweet flavors hit you right up front... Brown sugar & molasses... there is some strong hops in the finish and the aftertaste has a lot of hops and burnt sugars in it...

M: Very thick and creamy almost velvet like...with sharpness at the end.

D: Not a session beer.... to sweet to drink of bunch of these and with the ABV close to 10... Wow.

This is my first beer from Lagunitas, it was very interesting. I'll be looking for more.

Photo of nvsblman
3.25/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deep walnut brown with about a finger of brown head. The brown sugar (duh :) ) stands out most in the aroma, but there is also some toffee, some piney hops, and a light fruitiness. Distinct brown sugar flavor along with some fruit and a nice hoppy bite. Just a slight hint of alcohol that comes out a little more as it warms. It's pretty easy to drink given it's strength!

Photo of Kaiser81
3.26/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bought a 6 pack from BevMo today and poured into a pint glass

A - A reddish brown color with about a finger width of head. It leaves some nice lacing on the glass

S - It smells like a typical red with a faint hint of brown sugar after a deep inhale; nothing like I thought it would smell like.

T - Very mild taste; no alcohol bite, no sweetness from the "brown sugar" supposedly put in there. I'm kind of stumped to explain this.

M - Light body with light carbonation.

D - It's drinkable. I just wish I could get more distinct failures.

They say this was a barley wine gone wrong, and so a ton of brown sugar was added to the recipe. I get hints of the barleywine characteristics, but not much of the brown sugar. This beer confuses me.

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
3.27/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a brilliantly clear amber color with two fingers of dense, fluffy head. Head retention is very good, lacing is extremely good.

S: Overripe pineapple, citrus hops, and sweet sugary caramel dominate the aroma. Not great.

T: Taste is better than aroma, but still not great. Toffee and caramel sweetness are quite strong with the same overripe pineapple and a bit of piney hops. Hip bitterness remains fairly strong, but is obviously a bit faded.

M: On the thick side with fairly strong carbonation.

O: The faded hops flavor here is hard to get past. I enjoyed the malty sweetness, but I got an overripe pineapple flavor that lingered long after swallowing the beer.

Photo of Jesstyr
3.28/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Not my normal type of beer, so that might explain the low score, but I didnt really enjoy this beer. I see a lot of unique qualities though, and I respect that.

A: Dark orange/amber, but really no head, and what it does have doesnt really retain.

S: I didn't really get brown sugar, or many of the elements mentioned throughout this review. It has a very mild aroma in fact.

T: Not my style, but definitely dynamic. Very malty with some toasted brown sugar, but nothing overwhelming. Finishes with a strong liquor aftertaste.

M/D: Mild carbonation, and a fairly smooth, but the finish is what makes this not particularly great here. A little too bitter for my taste.

Photo of itcomesnpints
3.28/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a translucent copper with a medium-sized head of clean white foam. Retention isn't spectacular.

Smell of sweet caramel malt, raisins and alcohol can be detected. You really have to strain your nostrils to find it though.

Sweet malt, then bitterness, then more bitterness, then some alcohol. Nothing complex here.

Mouthfeel is fine. Hides the high abv well.

I had one of these and that was enough. For such a big beer you would like to find comparatively large flavors. Personally they just weren't there for me. It's not likely that I'll come back to this one.

Photo of BrewSomerville
3.28/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Aroma: Caramel, Honey, floral, molases, brown sugar.

Looks: Orange/copper colour. Nice sized, creamy coloured head. Left some rings of lace behind.

Taste: Marmalade, carmalized sugar, burnt sugar, hot alcoholic solventy.

Mouthfeel: Big body, almost chewy. Lightly carbonated.

Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 4,993 ratings.