1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

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

3,434 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3434
Reviews: 1290
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
Ratings: 3,434 | Reviews: 1,290 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of hopsaplenty
hopsaplenty

Virginia

3.2/5  rDev -20.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2006 16:10:09 | More by hopsaplenty
Photo of Winter
Winter

Wisconsin

3.3/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear dark copper with a light khaki head. Aroma primarily consists of caramel, malt and brown sugar. The mouthfeel is medium in body. This was a lot hoppier than I was expecting from a beer made with raw sugar. It's not really that sweet at all. Piney, floral hoppiness is in the forefront of the flavor profile. The maltiness leaves a somewhat sticky mouthfeel. The hops impart a drying finish toward the back. Alchohol is hardly noticeable.

I'm a little underwhelmed after trying this one. I guess i was expecting something a little sweeter under the guise of a brown ale made with raw (brown)sugar. This one disappoints.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2006 04:49:18 | More by Winter
Photo of jclzony
jclzony

Washington

4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Copper color with a nice fluffly white head. Aroma is has a nice sweet malt with a bit of hops and alcohol. Flavor is with brown sugar dominance with a bit of molasses and some citrus tones. Alcohol is very noticeable after finishing only one. There is a definite presentation of malt and has a sweet finish.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2006 23:47:37 | More by jclzony
Photo of IntriqKen
IntriqKen

California

4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Surprise!
Light golden amber with a thick white head that melts to very thick sticky lacing.
Aroma is amber malt and brown sugar...yeah, it really is brown sugar.
Hmmm...flavor is sweet amber malt with the candied sugars but a finish of citrus malts that keeps everything in check and nothing becomes sticky or cloying. A little alcohol on the end.
Aftertaste stays clean due to the finish of citrus hops.
The ABV stays totally hidden so this one will not only sneak up on you...it will probably run up your ass.
I like it.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2006 03:31:29 | More by IntriqKen
Photo of athensbeermaster
athensbeermaster

Georgia

3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep reddish brown on the color. Small head retention, light hazy tan with minor lacing on the glass. The carbonation was good and gave the brew vibrance. I may have poured the beer to slow and would explain the small head. Sweet apples on the nose. The mouthfeel was full body with the carmel producing a sliky quality and a little spicy from the brown sugar that tingles on the tongue.
When this beer reaches warmer temp. is has a good bourbon flavor.
mixed with a splash of brown sugar. All the desciptions sound like this beer would be very sweet but the 55.1 ibu (hops) keep this in check. The big magic trick is how well the 9.9 abv. doesn't overwelm this well balanced Strong Ale.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2006 17:20:32 | More by athensbeermaster
Photo of brewcrew76
brewcrew76

Wisconsin

3.45/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a clear ruby copper with a thin head that disappears with no lacing.

S - Sweet caramel malt with some citrus hops and a strong molasses/brown sugar. Very DIPA like with some brown sugar sweetness added in.

T - Sweet molasses and brown sugar, rum soaked raisins and some bitter citrus hops. The alcohol is very present in this beer. I would like to give the taste a higher score but I found it to be cloyingly sweet at times and very boozy.

M - Thick and chewy but still creamy at the same time. Moderate carbonation.

D - I enjoyed this beer but the sweetness that lingers on the tongue makes it tough for me to give it a better score. I don't think I could drink more than 1 of these in a sitting.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2006 03:22:55 | More by brewcrew76
Photo of rsyberg01
rsyberg01

California

3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

S - 12 oz bottle, no freshness date.

A - Pours a deep clear copper with an offwhite sticky head. Looks are inviting and certainly delicious looking

S - Molasses, citrus, pine, malty. Hops are big, not in your face big, but still big. A little bit off balance.

T -Brown sugar, piney notes as well, little bit nutty, fresh citrus, good warming in my chest which is the only alcohol hint.

M - Very smooth with a bite of dryness from the hop. Balance is good.

D - I wouldnt say its a session brew, but its still decent.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2006 21:49:41 | More by rsyberg01
Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
FLAbeergutinMASS

Massachusetts

4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sometimes labels can be deceiving. I assumed this was an over-alcoholed brown ale, not the case. What it is is an amazingly different strong ale, that tastes like a brown ale...sort of.

What is truly amazing about this beer is how it is able to disguise its characteristics. Is this really a %9.9? Sure it's warming, but not overly offensive with the alcohol. It comes across as very bready, almost like a cinnamon bun, it's that sweet. Hops don't have a place here.

A truly unique offering, glad I bought two bottles.

11/8/06
Drink as quickly as possible. I pulled my cellared version from just about a year ago. Way too sweet, malts have virutally disappeared. Just a sugary mess that is hot to drink.

Consume fresh!

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2006 14:15:33 | More by FLAbeergutinMASS
Photo of hckyfn9999
hckyfn9999

Missouri

3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy dark copper color with some red hues. Small white head. Doesn't last too long and leaves a little lacing.

Smell is fruity yeast, nutty, carmel, and appropriately enough... brown sugar. Also some alcohol as the beer warms, actually it begins to dominate the smell.

Taste is sweet initially some carmel, followed by some sweet fruit, and then some citrusy hops bitterness. A lot more hoppy than you would want from something called sugar.

Mouthfeel is pretty good and they hide the 10%abv well making this pretty drinkable.

Pretty good brew.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2006 03:44:19 | More by hckyfn9999
Photo of Beerzebub
Beerzebub

California

4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Red amber, negligable egg shell head. Not much lacing.

Smells like caramel, brown sugar, dark fruity esters. Sweet and good.

Tastes somewhat sweet, with some moderate hop bitterness kicking in and balancing it out well. Brown sugar, prunes, raisins, very nice.

Drinkable. Slightly sticky.

Good, interesting big beer. Went well with some Roquefort.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2006 08:02:28 | More by Beerzebub
Photo of Blakaeris
Blakaeris

Iowa

4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear copper brown with a fluffy white head that leaves nice lacing.

Smell is toasted caramel malt, massive brown sugar, and hints of fruit. There is also a bit of yeasty funk aroma.

Taste is more of the impressive balanced malt and brown sugar. There is also generous mollasses and earthy hop bitterness. Finish reveals hints of the high ABV.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a bit of hop oilyness. Very smooth.

Overall a balanced flavorful brew. The high ABV is dangerously concealed. A tasty treat that I will be returning to.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2006 18:25:12 | More by Blakaeris
Photo of bashiba
bashiba

Iowa

4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a nice dark hazy copper color with a light thin ring of a head.

Smell has a complex mixture of hops, caramel malts, maple, brown shugga, and a touch of alcohol coming through with a touch of funk as it warms.

Has a nice blend of Strong woody malt flavors with hints of maple and molasses with a potent hop bitterness, very balanced for a beer this big. The alcohol which was noticeable in the smell is completely hidden in the taste.

Mouthfeel is thick and oily, really seems to travel slowly warming its way to your belly.

Very drinkable Strong Ale, Lagunitas is quickly becoming one of my new favorites breweries.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2006 18:22:24 | More by bashiba
Photo of ElGordo
ElGordo

Oregon

3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pretty burnt orange color topped by a half-inch of creamy ecru head that sticks around for the duration. Aroma of crisp floral hops, sweet caramel malt, and a touch of brown sugar. Palate is initially sweet, with caramel malt and a considerable amount of brown sugar intensifying mid-palate. A light spiciness comes through right before the swallow, finishing with a good amount of warming alcohol. Body is smooth and creamy, quite enjoyable. On the whole a good beer, but be careful - the well-masked alcohol can sneak up on you.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2006 07:52:17 | More by ElGordo
Photo of rajendra82
rajendra82

Georgia

3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured out orange amber in color, with a remarkable clarity. The head was very minimal in size, but a slow and steady stream of carbonation kept in alive for a while. The handsome looks were quite nice, but the smell was simply outstanding. Sweet, citric, and soft, the nose only gave a slightest hint of the hidden potency in the form of rose oil like fusels.

The taste was quite bitter which came as a surprise to me. The hops were herbal an assertive, and the fusel alcohols carried them right to the throat. This made the beer taste quite dry and reminded me of scalded milk. The sweetness was there underlying the hops, but the appearance of it was only fleeting.

The mouthfeel was light and drinkability high. This is quite a feat considering the strength. I do see a promise of improvement here with some aging, although I am not sure this will hold up for the really long haul.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2006 02:52:59 | More by rajendra82
Photo of uberabr
uberabr

California

4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Legend has it that Lagunitas pulled this one out of their hats as a last-ditch effort to salvage a dying batch of fermenting ale. “Why not add Brown sugar?” The rest is history. I’m not sure if I believe it, but it’s a nice story, and a pleasant beer.

A: Poured from the 22 into a Belgian abbey glass. Definitely unconventional. A rosy, brown color with little to no head but some lace.

S: This brew was described to me as the perfect mix of hops and malt. I didn't notice it at first, but there is definitely a very subtle but notable woodsy, even minty pine hop, which delicately masks a floral, orange malt backbone. Although it seems more serindipidous than intentional, it's very charming, and unique. Smells strongly of apples, and…duh…sugar. There are some more subtle fruity and citrusy notes; a little plum, some bananas, caramel and maple syrup.

T: Taste is pleasant, almost like a Dubbel. Sugary with a twist of orange and some caramel apples. Almost no alcohol is present at all, although I can definitely feel it. A definite but subtle malt. Very pleasant.

Mouthfeel is good. A little parched, but an adequate body and good carbonation. Drinkability is perhaps the most notable part of this brew. Can’t taste the booze. Simple, trashy, and lovely.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2006 06:49:24 | More by uberabr
Photo of BeerIsland
BeerIsland

Pennsylvania

3.18/5  rDev -20.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2006 01:24:21 | More by BeerIsland
Photo of arizcards
arizcards

Arizona

4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a 22 oz bomber back at the end of May from Sportsman's Fine Wines for $3.39.

Beer poured a reddish brown with a surprisingly nice head that is leaving a good lacing behind. Nose is of sweet malts with hints of dark fruits. Taste is very interesting. There is a big presence of sweet malts, dark fruits, and a fair amount of hops. Mouthfeel is full and very smooth. Drinkability is good. This is one of the most interesting beers I have tried in awhile. It is a combination of Arrogant Bastard, Belgian Strong Ale, and Barleywine. The abv is huge. One is enough for me even though a second one would be mighty tasty.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2006 01:50:36 | More by arizcards
Photo of hoppymeal
hoppymeal

Michigan

4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice dark amber and copper color, clear, with a good size cream-yellow head. Aroma is sweet honey and a little caramel, cereal and a hint of booze. Hops are more evident in the taste but heavier on the malt side with some sweet grapey-ness, and rich caramel malts. A nice spicy alcohol bite in the finish. I have really been enjoying some high alcohol malt bombs recently so this beer is going down quite easily.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2006 21:55:01 | More by hoppymeal
Photo of stephendr
stephendr

California

4.8/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

red copper hue , nose of light hops , sweet and clean, taste is chewy with a sweet/ sour and metallic thing going on, sweet shugga finish, on of my personal favorites red copper hue , nose of light hops , sweet and clean, taste is chewy with a sweet/ sour and metallic thing going on, sweet shugga finish, on of my personal favorites

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2006 05:47:49 | More by stephendr
Photo of far333
far333

Connecticut

4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear but darkly copper colored. A thick half inch of orangey-beige head of varying size bubbles rises up and lasts long. A foamy bowl is created as the center slowly lowers and the sides cling high to the sides of the glass.

Strong aroma of cinnamon, cotton candy, and ripe pear. Also some grainy light brown sugar coming through.

Flavor is intially rich malts with a piney and peppery bite in the background. Some citrus hops emerge in the finish, followed by a subtle brown sugar flourish. Not as sweet as the name might imply, and a good mixture of an unexpected hop presence (51 IBU). ABV is mellow on the pallette, but warms the throat and stomach.

Mouthfeel is full and creamy, just the right amount of carbonation.

Scarily drinkable, I think my taste buds could handle one more bomber, but the brain cells might be ready for a break after that.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2006 12:04:59 | More by far333
Photo of NEhophead
NEhophead

Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1pt 6fl oz brown bomber.

A bright mahogany color under a foamy, lightly tan head that gives way to pools of bubbles and a whispy sheet. Trails of scattered, thin lacing.

Sweet caramelized notes of tea. Ripe, vinous fruit: plum, cherry, apple. The aromas are more sweet and almost rich than tart. Faint hjints of nutmeg and brown sugar.

Sweet, dried dark fruit: plum, fig, and grape. Complex alcohol flavors; hints of tame bourbon. Caramelized brown sugar, a touch of molasses, and vanilla. Hints of alcohol-soaked fruit in the aftertaste. The sweetness overshadows the complexities of the fruit and alcohol.

Medium in body; smooth and creamy on the palate. Velvety and quite flattering for the style and alcohol presence.

A sweet, strong ale, but not overdone. The brown sugar, nutmeg profile is the focal point which draws from the ale's other flavor aspects, but the abv % is remarkably well hidden.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2006 01:31:43 | More by NEhophead
Photo of ggroller
ggroller

Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received from Callenak in HBIF3

A great looking beer in the glass. Murky brown beer with a rich and creamy tan head. Plenty of lacing although the head does dissipate to almost nothing as I drink.

Smells and tastes like brown sugar. No, really. It does. Notes of sherry, vanilla, and bourbon as it warms.

Rich mouthfeel. Smooth and creamy and a bit chewy.

A fairly drinkable beer although it does get a bit hot as it warms.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2006 14:21:08 | More by ggroller
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler

Pennsylvania

3.48/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Well, if this isn't par for the course these days. I had just opened this bottle and the phone rings and it's my mentor, Lew Bryson, asking me to come over to LNCBC to meet him and his wife for a beer. How could I refuse?

This one, in the menatime, poured with a huge, thick light-tan head with little retention, but plenty of lace. The nose is at once both intensely sweet and intensely hot with alcohol. Oooh. The mouthfeel was really thick and full, not creamy, just thick. A big sugary, alcohol presence on the tongue and on the finish. I really didn't get much out of this, other than alcohol and sweet and given the high alcohol content, I cannot recommend it for drinkability.

Off to meet Lew and his missus ...

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2006 23:05:11 | More by woodychandler
Photo of cheers2beers
cheers2beers

Texas

2.6/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Boolshot for a great trade.

Served in a wiezen glass:

Appearance: Pours a very clear and clean shade of orangey brown. A steady and unexpected bead is found as well. Minimal head that died down quick.

Smell: Smells of citrus and a strange malty funk. Profuse alcohol is also noted. This overall aroma is just off, I cant explain it.

Taste: The tip of my tongue felt an alcohol sting right off the bat. I then detect that weird malty funk followed immediatly by citrusy then bitter hops. Alcohol blazes a trail from the back of my throat down to my gut. This tastes like a poor homebrew. This one is also getting cloying as it warms. Its just tastes like counterfiet malt sweetness. Please skip the brown sugar and introduce "natural malt."

Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel with a mild carbonation that dies out all too fast. Leaving a flat liquid. The hops do add a descent amount of oily slickness.

Drinkability: Please dont get me wrong, I am a huge fan of big ales but this train wreck is horribly disgusting. Not one of my favorites and I suggest that this beer should be avoided at all cost unless your looking for a buzz free of flavor. I love this brewery but this offering is just way off base.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2006 01:17:22 | More by cheers2beers
Photo of Bierguy5
Bierguy5

Ohio

4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, 9.9% ABV. Very little carbonation upon opening the bottle. Pours a slightly hazy copper color, with a thick tan head. Great head retention.Robust aroma, caramel, citrusy and piney hops. Very nice aroma. Caramel flavors, sugary and robust. Strong candy like hop flavors, citrusy and piney. Slight alcohol warming. Hints of sweetness from the brown sugar shine as the beer warms. Medium body, with low carbonation. This is a gem.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2006 02:36:31 | More by Bierguy5
Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,434 ratings.