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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

3,439 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3439
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: 3,439 | Reviews: 1,291 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of CaptainHate
CaptainHate

Ohio

4.64/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I had tried a sample of this at the local supermarket and thought it was deserving of a much more in depth exploration. So I had my growler filled (at a very reasonable price) and took it to a meeting of my fellow reprobates who like listening to music and drinking beer.

I was pretty sure that this would be regarded fairly highly by my fellow hop-kissers and was not surprised. The other alternatives were Hopping Frog Christmas Ale (not bad) and Great Lakes Conway Ale (it's ok but I've had it before and wasn't particularly interested in bottles of it). Anyway this was a big hit and we drained the growler with scant regard for the alc content.

Even though Lagunitas dumps enough sugar in this to stimulate a diabetic coma, it really doesn't negatively impact the taste, nor does the fairly high alc content. This is a strong tasting but very balanced tasty ale.

Serving type: growler

02-02-2014 06:17:06 | More by CaptainHate
Photo of TheDinger
TheDinger

South Carolina

4.04/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Growler fill at GBX. Poured into snifter and it's a nice copper/amber pour with a huge 3+ finger pillow head. Smell is unique and a bit unexpected. Getting the hop bomb of citrus and pine mixed with some sweet malts. Not getting much shugga, but it smell quite good. Taste is just as interesting. Part barleywine, part IPA, part SA. Not sure, but it's sweeter that I thought it would be. The hops are actually a great finish and don't overpower it. A quite complex brew that was tough to sit down. Lots of carbonation, perhaps too much as this was quite dry and a bit metalic. Overall- A pretty good effort and a nice blend of sweet malts and american hops. Weird to explain and put into a category, but a must try and one I will hit out of the bottle to see what may be different. Enjoy-

Serving type: growler

02-24-2013 23:04:39 | More by TheDinger
Photo of dogfishandi
dogfishandi

New York

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

filled a growler of this at clinton road consumers and split with a friend. a little above fridge temp poured into a standard pint glass.

pours out a clear deep amber color with a big fluffy, retentive off white head. lots of sticky lace on the glass.

it smells like a DIPA with a very nice balance. first you get piney and a little bit of citrus hops balanced by a sweet candied caramel, sugary malt.

again, definatly like a big DIPA. resinous pine and citrus hops are met nicely by a sticky candied caramel, brown sugary malt.

heavy mouthfeel, but not nearly as thick and heavy as i might have expected. some lingering bitternes is there.

alcohol was just an after thought, i could not taste it at all which made this pretty drinkable.

Serving type: growler

02-06-2011 18:41:49 | More by dogfishandi
Photo of TheFightfan1
TheFightfan1

Pennsylvania

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

Got my growler filled up at the Hulmeville inn.

Poured into a snifter. Poured a very cloudy amber color with a thick tightly bubbled off white heading. Amazing leggage that sticks around the edges 'till the last drop.

Smell is hoppy at first. Followed by a crisp sweet caramel sweetness.

Taste is bit bitter at first wave. Second wave is mostly of the heavily caramel and roasted malt taste that just sticks to the palate. Very rich and sweet. There are hints of brown sugar that does compliment the sweetness.

Mouth is medium to full bodied. Chewy feel in the mouth. An all around hop cleanse on the palate.

Drink is good. ABV is very well hidden. The heavily sweetness with the bright background of hops just make this an amazing drink. Drink up folks.

Serving type: growler

12-16-2009 00:07:17 | More by TheFightfan1
Photo of jrjohnso
jrjohnso

New York

4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

"Good sipping beer on an 85 degree sunny day"

12 oz bottle purchased at Whole Foods Orlando. No freshness date, but at 9.5% ABV, I'm not too concerned

Minimal head while poured into a wine glass. You can tell this is thick as the last couple drops from the bottle sat on top of the beer as little spheres dancing around.

Smell of sweet sugar and raisins.

Big taste of carmelized sugar that stays on the tongue for a while until giving some piney hops a tiny window to shine through.

Overall, this beer is a solid example of a big American strong ale/barleywine. One every once in a while when I need a break from IPA's in fine for me.

Serving type: growler

04-03-2009 20:08:03 | More by jrjohnso
Photo of beertunes
beertunes

Washington

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

Poured into a straight pint glass. Minimal head leaves light but sticky lacing. A very pretty reddish-brown. Sweet aroma with nice hop touches. Flavor matches aroma closely. Smoothly sweet at the front with a balancing hop tang at the finish. Faint alcohol taste, but not in a bothersome way. Body is just a little lighter than full. Very drinkable, but this beer will sneak up on you. Because it's smooth, sweet and easy to drink you might not notice it preparing to pop you. Very enjoyable, becoming a yearly favorite.

Serving type: growler

01-09-2009 23:35:42 | More by beertunes
Photo of HeyItsChili
HeyItsChili

China

3.73/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured from a growler into a pint glass. Pours semiopaque amber with a yellow/tan colored thin head that sticks around for a while.

S - Bitter hops tickle the nose, sweet sugary roasted malts mingle behind, there's a raw alcohol scent too.

T - There is a strong and up front alcohol taste that I don't mind as much as some reviewers. Bitter hops and some, but not quite enough sweetness take a little edge off.

M - Crisp, almost biting, medium carbonation, medium/thin body.

D - Powerful and tasty, but hoppier than the name would, I think, suggest.

Serving type: growler

01-03-2009 02:29:41 | More by HeyItsChili
Photo of TheBishop
TheBishop

Montana

4.94/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This beer is ridiculous. My liver hates it but I love it. Everything about this beer is over the top from the ABV to the taste but not so much that it is off putting. I have had beers in the 10 percent ABV range that taste like, well booze. But this one you can hardly notice it at all which is not entirely a great thing. I drank 4 of these before my wife got home and I was hammered, she was not happy, but I was.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2014 21:49:19 | More by TheBishop
Photo of WheelsPSU
WheelsPSU

New York

4.39/5  rDev +9.2%
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!

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2014 13:39:25 | More by WheelsPSU
Photo of barhoc11
barhoc11

Michigan

4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Great beer with a distinctive taste, I would drink again. It is a nice change on the regular double IPA's. The aroma and taste smell of brown sugar and it goes down 'sweet'. If you can get this, give it a try, it's not something you will dislike.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2014 04:03:27 | More by barhoc11
Photo of drdan21
drdan21

Wisconsin

4.34/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance Hard to tell, it was in a bottle.

Smell Very pleasant, sugar smell definitely present with the background of maple syrup

Taste brown sugar definitely present, a bit of spice and slight burnt flavor

Mouthfeel Very comforting and smooth, creamy like

Overall this is an excellent ale. I enjoy beer in both quantity and quality and this is one for quality. Due to the alcoholic content, one or two is enough

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2014 00:09:52 | More by drdan21
Photo of GOBLIN
GOBLIN

Ohio

4.21/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Lagunitas Brown Shugga'

Just like I knew you would

Poured into pint glass

A: Caramel. Not as dark as other "barley wines" also has a beautiful red glow to it. (advertised as a barleywine but I know it's a strong ale)

S: Yummy, caramel, fruit punch, maple syrup ( Seriously . . . Am I the only one who keeps getting this fruit punch "thing" in beer lately ?

T: Yummy, same as nose. Much, much better as it warms too. Sweet candy in taste . . . I think this is a beer Grandma would bake or brew or whatever

M: Thick. Syrupy but in a good way

O: Maybe not as "big" as other barleywines (strong ale) but very drinkable. Well done Lagunitas

Last thought . . . Rumor has it that Sucks came about because Lagunitas messed up on a batch of Brown Shugga' . . . Is this true ?

Serving type: on-tap

03-17-2014 17:40:28 | More by GOBLIN
Photo of SteveB24
SteveB24

New York

4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

appearance; amber that isn't clear nor opaque, some light bubbles. ridiculously thick head that rises very high and a good finger retains till the very end. the kind of head that a part of you always wants to see when you pour a beer.

smell; between this and lagunitas lil sumpin sumpin ale, lagunitas might deserve the title of brewery that makes the best smelling beers, the aroma is a heavenly blend of caramel, hops and a bit of earthiness.

taste; ltrue to its name, burnt brown sugar is obvious, but smoothly joins together with a touch of earth and mildly bitter hops with a hint of spiciness. the alchohal is there but not overpowering at all.

mouthfeel; a bit creamy, medium carbonation, wet finish, full body. excellent extremely satisfying and unique yet easy to drink and highly pallet able, will buy again and recommend to anyone who appreciates good beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2014 04:18:44 | More by SteveB24
Photo of 312HopBomb
312HopBomb

Illinois

4.24/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep amber color with a slight white cap. This is nice and clear.

The nose is sweet with prominent brown sugar. The hops peak through to mix it up.

The taste is sweet but not too much. A nice malty and brown sugga sweetness with a good dose of hops.

Mouthfeel is medium full with moderate carbonation.

I really liked this one. Had been wanting to try it but hard to find. Thanks to Jose for sharing!

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2014 02:07:00 | More by 312HopBomb
Photo of HopBomb515
HopBomb515

New Jersey

3.66/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Deep copper color, off white to cream head that's 2 fingers, nice lacing on the glass.

S - Burnt caramel, toffee, brown sugar, citrus and pine.

T - Up front a hit of brown sugar sweetness laced with pine. Before it gets out of control a wave of hops cut through bringing citrus and pine notes. All of this plays out on a wave of caramel flavor in the background. Sweet battles bitter and sweet wins out in the end.

M - Surprisingly sharp carbonation with a full body and slightly sticky mouthfeel.

O - Lagunitas makes a sweet beer taste great. Well done and different. This beer has sweetness and bitterness and is in no way balanced, as if both sides are bringing all they have to the ring. Love it.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2014 01:42:55 | More by HopBomb515
Photo of deeznuts420
deeznuts420

Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

this is a great strong ale. if you get it fresh the hops pop through nicely and it isn't as sweet as the name suggests. it's a a very drinkable brew that definetly caught me off guard. the sweetness hits first but then it seems to turn into an american barley wine. great beer for the money. Lagunitas is the best value out of California out here in PA. A case of stone Ipa costs me 43 bucks while this is about the same price as this brew that is more complex and alcoholic. sucks is good but it's a totally different beer and is probably an easier drinking beer but if these two were side by side for the same price there's no question i'd pick the Brown shugga

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2014 13:45:41 | More by deeznuts420
Photo of blackcompg
blackcompg

Illinois

4.19/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Pours nearly 2 fingers of rich golden yellow foam, body is a gorgeous and bright translucent amber orange, and wonderful lacing that leaves a line after each quaff.

Smell - Rich malts, dark toffee, candied orange peels, there is a nice molasses aroma there for sure - or maybe it's brown sugar, and a faint whiff of piney hops.

Taste - Such a flavorful ale - starts rich malts with orange citrus, pine arrives moments later, with some rich carmels and toffee, also getting some nice lite herbals of basil towards the back, finish is a flavorful pine and rich malt, and a touch of orange peel.

Mouthfeel - Heavier side of medium, somewhat mouthcoating, but I feel this "effect" is mostly from the very bold full mouthed flavors here. Carb is the lower side of medium and adds a few pine needle pricks on the sides of the tongue. Finish is wonderfully hoppy and sweet, some light stickiness on the lips. Just the slightest hint of alcohol after a few good sips.

Overall - I really love this beer, and while it is a sweet beer, it is not overly so at all, as the flavors are all very bold, and very balanced. Love the combination of citrus orange, carmel and brown sugar, pine and basil. I will always get at least a case of this every time it comes around. Must try!

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2014 05:36:11 | More by blackcompg
Photo of Emnmarko
Emnmarko

Michigan

4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- Caramel colored brew with loads of sediment. Looks like my kid backwashed in it for an hour. A creamy two finger head forms after a heavy pour.

S- Rich deep malts. Some booze. Almost an aged aroma.

T- Rich roasted malts with caramel sweetness that balances nicely with the bitterness. The flavor is big and bold. A dry milder and warm aftertaste hangs on for a few.

M- Surprisingly easy to drink for an ale with an abv. of 9.9%. The alcohol is there, but more in spirit. Not a session beer by any stretch but not a sipper either.

O- This is a fine brew with an amazing amount of flavor coming at you but in a way that you can enjoy. Lagunitas has continued to impress me with their thoughtful brewing. Having tried the "replacement ale" I had to try this one as well. Well done.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2014 20:33:22 | More by Emnmarko
Photo of ckollias
ckollias

Maryland

4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a Belgian tulip glass.

A: Pours a clear copper hue with a thick white head that slowly dissipates leaving a great trail and ends in a wispy lace.

S: Hoppy and malty aroma mix.

T: More hoppy than what I would have figured for a beer named Brown Shugga. Slightly sweet and some fruits mixed in with a sugary malt.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Alcohol sneaks up on you for this for one. Solid brew – lagunitas never disappoints.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2014 02:10:30 | More by ckollias
Photo of MrPlayboy
MrPlayboy

Illinois

4.73/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Very interesting beer. It is like an IPA but has that biting bitter hop finish and cloying sweetness of a barleywine. Almost a washed cheese rind flavor like trappist cheese. I can't tell if I really like it or not. Which may be why this beer has captured my attention. Its like stinky cheese; you don't particularly like it but keep coming back because of how different it is. I will be aging some bottles to see what happens. Good stuff but then again I'm not sure.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2014 18:33:00 | More by MrPlayboy
Photo of humuloner22
humuloner22

North Carolina

4.56/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I cannot believe that I have struck it lucky twice in a row with this brewery. I have had several from them until recently that have been less than celestial. But the last two have been wonderful, this one even better than the one aforementioned in my reviews. This one had a beautiful burnt sienna color the head was not overly lofty and it settled to a nice, yet carbonated tipple. The taste was sweet yet not overly saccharine. It had a nice malty component but not overly so and the hops, what little that I could detect hit with just the right amount of bite. Overall I would say this is one high quality brew and one I would definitely look for again when it arrives next year.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2014 01:03:56 | More by humuloner22
Photo of lochef81
lochef81

Michigan

3.99/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This ale pours a deep mahogany amber hue with a small cream colored head that is short lived and gives way to a gentle off white lacing and thick alcohol legs. The mouthfeel is somewhat thick and sticky definitely coats every inch of your palate for a long time. The nose is very sweet with some nice hop notes and a definite alcohol vibe. This is not subtle, which is one of my favorite things about Lagunitas beers. The flavor is almost reminiscent of a barley wine. It is deep and malty with a hearty dose of west coast hops and a very strong alcohol bite on the finish. Im a huge fan if lagunitas but this beer is not quite my taste. It is very good just not my style.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2014 04:58:56 | More by lochef81
Photo of BeerandWhiskeyHQ
BeerandWhiskeyHQ

Illinois

3.63/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance
Dark brown with a copper hue
Smell
Malty, pine and fruit come off with some gusto
Taste
There was a malt/hop presence that came through a lot stronger than I expected- but it was welcome. For some reason I was expecting something different. But the flavor was bold and lingering as I’ve come to expect from Lagunitas
Overall
I have to give this one a try again, I may have had something else to clog my senses, but I wasn’t entirely impressed which was disappointing because I was quite looking forward to it. Hold on – I’ll be right back I’m going to go buy some more and re-edit this later icon smile Beer reviews

-BeerandWHiskeyHQ.com

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2014 17:56:43 | More by BeerandWhiskeyHQ
Photo of wethorseblanket
wethorseblanket

California

4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap.

A: Pours a hazy reddish amber with 1/2" white head which fades slowly and yields splotchy and spotty lace.

S: Citrusy, herbal, fruity, caramel, malts and a slight "old ale" note.

T: Pine and citrus, sweetly malted, caramel, toffee and faint molasses.

M- Semi-full body and medium carbonation. Finishes sweet and malty with a slight syrupy, resiny dankness.

O: Rated as a strong ale, but seems like a hybrid of a malty DIPA, old ale, and BW. A nice sipper for sure.

Serving type: on-tap

02-03-2014 04:09:28 | More by wethorseblanket
Photo of JerUrbans
JerUrbans

Wisconsin

4.56/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours out a nice clear amber color, with light tan head. Smell is hoppy, a little earthy, and some citrus in the nose as well, very nice. Taste is just great! Sweet , with some dark fruit notes, blends well with the citrus and hops. Alcohol is really well hidden. I get a nice warming feeling all over my body as I drink this. Got really good body, and is smooth, yet sticky. Flavor lingers in my mouth a long long time.

Overall this is one of the top 5 beers I have had, would absolutely seek this beer out. We get very limited amount where I'm at, but was lucky enough to secure one case from my local.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2014 01:24:52 | More by JerUrbans
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Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,439 ratings.