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Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

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

1,502 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,502
Hads: 5,298
Avg: 4
pDev: 21%
Wants: 267
Gots: 1,082 | FT: 14
Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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
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Reviews: 1,502 | Hads: 5,298
Photo of stompilator
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz. glass into a snifter.

A - Pours a deep amber, frothy off-white head.

S - Caramel, burnt sugar.

T - A big, complex malt profile comes right out the gate. Starting as a heavy, toasty caramel, the malt flavor becomes more layered and reminiscent of a doppelbock in its sweetness, toastiness, biscuit notes, and viscosity. An earthy, spicy, slightly berry-like hop character near the back end of the palate along with a subtle boozy bite. Finish is sweet, and surprisingly bitter.

M - Full-bodied, not too heavy for such a sweet beer.

O - Somewhere between a Winter Warmer, Doppelbock, and Barleywine, this is a thought-provoking, unique beer.

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Photo of dacrza1
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

DATE TASTED: January 30, 2016... GLASSWARE: Maudite snifter... OCCASION: helping Shan chop food for a new dish and preparing to show the boys The Desolation of Smaug... APPEARANCE: slightly opaque, sparsely bubbly amber orange brown body... the head is off-white, thick and chunky to begin... then it settles to an erratic, uneven heap of bubbles, soap and clouds--frankly, a surprise for a beer that sports a 9.8 % ABV... AROMA: a blast of raw sugray sweetness, coats the usual suspects in the hop bomb that Lagunitas lights--I sense Citra, the Columbus, the garlic of Summit... being a barleywine, the maltiness is a powerfully sweet, nondescript monolith of bread loaf... PALATE: heavy, slightly syrupy... active at the teeth and equally animated at the end... a force to be reckoned with... TASTE: dank, earthy, resinous and deeply infused with the sugary sweetness of cane; fewer floral notes of which to speak, and the malts solidify a forceful, meal-of-a-glass to experience... offers up a side dish of vegetable overtones, including prune and green bean... OVERALL: Having had--and enjoyed--the Sucks as a substitute, this presents an altogether heavier, sweeter, demanding version of its substitute--just what a barleywine should do...the overall drinking experience is sippable, stoic and contemplative...drinking into dinner,t the beer complimented a skillet comprised of chicken, potatoes, onions, mushrooms, brussel sprouts, and bacon... quite a victory in that consideration....

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

L: brilliantly clear deep amber liquid, huge frothy tuft of amber-tinged creme-colored foam, sticking all over... looks lovely!

S: west coast barleywine hops and malt... hints of pine, black pepper, and mint, but full of spice, grapefruit, lemon/lime... little bit of cigarette ash... with a name 'Brown Shugga', I'd prefer to be smelling more of it

T: the hops combined with the up front booze make for a citrus eau de vie light grappa, or something... soft, brown malts lingering in the aftertaste as well as medicinal esters and fading, vaguely herbal bitterness... no bottle date, but this shows some age on the hops (and bready malt)... not much richness in the malt, so despite the smell suggesting something akin to Bigfoot, it's very much (late) hop forward and somewhat drier than expected

F: between the fossilizing hop resins, ostensible dextrins, and generous swells of ethanol, this is a majorly smooth

O: yeah, I wasn't a huge fan of this years ago (actually, this beer almost immediately turned me off to Lagunitas, for years) when I first tried it and time and experience hasn't made me appreciate it more... this is one of those west coast beers that's hopped out of balance for the sake of it and hasn't a distinct identity, despite the name 'Brown Shugga' on the label touting

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Photo of 11-52_4hops
4.36/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Caveat - just got done shoveling snow, so might be a bit of a pro-bold brew bias. So be it.
Clear copper color. Reasonable head with some lacing. Strong malt and hops nose. Taste is a pleasant assault of malt, brown sugar, and heavy. The sweetness and the bitterness work very well here. I really like this beer -- has me hoping for more snow so I can earn another couple. Bonus .25 for Lagunitas fun to read labels.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lagunitas Brown Shugga has a medium, cream-colored head, a clear, bubbly, copper appearance, and a good amount of bubble streams. The aroma is bold, sweet, dank barley malt and hop resin (think brown bread crust and slightly rotted spinach). Taste is of sweet, strong malt and fairly bittern hop notes. Mouthfeel is medium, and Lagunitas Brown Shugga finishes puckering and strong, yet mellow.

RJT

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Photo of JimNeedsBrew
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a very nice medium amber color with a finger of foam. This was a bit more bitter then I like but its definitely a full flavored beer. Didn't get much brown sugar but I enjoyed it none the less. Have a few more to get through. :-)

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Photo of brewaddict
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L - This beer pours a clear dark amber with a creamy white head and good lace.
S - Hints of citrus and pine. Also sweet caramel and brown sugar.
T - This is a unique beer. It starts off hoppy with grapefruit, pine, and lemon notes. After a few sips it gradually turns sweeter and sweeter. The strong hop front seems to lessen and a malty sweet brown sugar taste takes over.
F - This maybe a little on the thin side. It does have a nice dry finish.
O - This is an excellent amber ale. I've always been a fan of this beer. But, I like sweeter beers.

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Photo of Lahoi
4.27/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wow. An amazing beer. Way too easy to drink for a 10% ABV beer. In fact, it was so smooth I drank it much faster than I should have, and, along with the other beers I had, I felt it the next day. But it was worth it!

It's hard to compare this beer to others in the category because I've never had anything quite like it. It's so complex. Just when I thought I'd pinned down a flavor or note, I would detect something else. This is a slow, sipping beer like that of a barleywine or some stouts, especially those aged in bourbon barrels. Yet don't get me wrong: this beer isn't anything like a barleywine or a barrel ag d stout. Again, it's like nothing else I've enjoyed.

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Photo of NoYouDidnt
3.22/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pretty color on the pour. Beautiful ruby. Grassy hop aroma. Rubbing alcohol, an astringent smell, orange juice. Taste, again grassy hop flavors. Bitter with an alcohol presence. A spicy heat to it. Overall, I am just not a big fan of the American strong ale category in general. This is no real exception to that. It's caught in between an iPa, a barley wine, and maybe a Scottish ale. All of which can be delicious. Their three way love child is not my fav though.

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Photo of m4gdelen4
3.19/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a beautiful amber/copper color with a frothy finger head.

Smell is extremely sweet and alcoholic.

Taste is quite hoppy which in it's own way accentuates the sugary taste - cloying flavor. This beer is much better at about 9-11 months when the hoppiness and sugary qualities have faded enough to reveal a more balanced malt profile. It becomes a solid barleywine with a hint of sweetness.

IMO excellent for cellaring

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Photo of Buck89
4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful beer. Clear amber-copper color with a thick and lasting tan head. Nice spicy malty aroma. Clean bitterness framed by the malt and some caramel/toffee. Gentle warming and does not feel like a big ABV beer.

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Photo of LouZ
4.21/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

This went down way too easy for a strong ale! Poured dark brown, copper, with two fingers and great lacing out of a bottle. Aroma was not strong, but hinted at the sweetness to come. Taste was sweet malt with a nice brown sugar finish. Feel was smooth and easy, and you have no idea this is a 10% ABV. Dangerously good.

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Photo of stephens101
3.97/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm rating this fifth beer from a sixer I purchased a while back, and at this point I've probably overthought this thing too much to review it without bias, but here goes, so chalk any vacillation up to pure ambivalence.

A mountain of tan froth stands atop this brown brew and dissolves slowly until only a few bubbles are left. Herbal hops to the front aroma-wise and a following of medium fruits and perfume. Notes of fruit and sugar are quickly overtaken by a wave of bitterness which is followed by a balancing caramel sweetness. Medium to heavy and the alcohol is barely noticed.

Brown Shugga' is all over the place, off the charts and static and fairly "normal" all at the same time. The dual nature of this beer will make it for some and break it for others. And while I can't pin it down stylistically, I can't really find any definite faults with it either.

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Photo of Mickeyp2814
3.54/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

If you like beers with a high bitter factor this is for you. I was expect something totally different. I should have read the description. However I like this beer. It's definitely not a beer you drink after yard work or even one you simply chug. It's a beer to be appreciated. Take your time and enjoy the bitter and boozy notes.

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Photo of kdevore
3.27/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

6-pack bottles

Look: caramel/amber, not as dark as I was expecting.
Smell:Floral, hoppy
Taste: Very bitter (didn't read the IBU until after purchase, my fault), not much brown sugar like I was expecting although it came through a little once my taste got a little numb to the bitterness. Higher ABV was not real noticeable.
Feel: Nothing special to note, good or bad.

Overall: I didn't really care for it. I'm not into the overly hopped beer trend and this one is very hop forward. I think I would have liked it if the bitterness was dialed back. I wouldn't have bought it had I seen the IBU rating prior to purchase, but the name threw me off. Was expecting more of a sweeter malty beer. Not so much.That being said, I did drink the whole 6 (over a few days). I'm sure I would have rated it higher if I was into the bitter beers.

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Photo of ahentz
3.31/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Flavor is good and there is some fruitiness, but overall very bitter. That's not my things, but I can appreciate that it is a good beer. ABV is high but there wasn't too much of the boozy taste. It's a nice beer if you like the bitter.

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Photo of CountryRebel001
3.69/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pour a clear, amber color with a white head. Smell us very hop forward, citrus, tropical, and alcohol. The smell through me off, was expecting a brown ale by the name but more like a ipa. Taste very bitter, off balance. Bitter and sweetness with some fruity notes and then nasty bitterness to finish. Horrible finishing taste of a bad ipa, not like the other Lagunitas if tried. Has a nice carbonation, very thin. Overall I did not like, and wouldn't recommend or buy again. Maybe I was thrown off by the name expecting more a dark beer, just was not very good to me. The balance was just very off to me, too sweet and bitter combined not good. I have another bottle I'll keep and try again just incase my taste was off tonight.

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Photo of mkh012
3.72/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Look- Amber or burnt orange. A lasting, frothy head. Carbonation is visible. A good-looking brew.

Smell- Mainly a fruity hop character. Orange, tangerine, pineapple, tropical fruits. Not getting the brown sugar too much, but it's certainly a sweet aroma.

Taste/Feel- A bit disappointed here. Not a bad beer by any means but perhaps overly hopped. Does a "Brown Shugga" beer really need to be 51 IBU? It does more than balance here. In my opinion, it outshines. Growing on me a bit as I drink it, the more caramel, brown sugar notes becoming slightly more apparent, but hops are the real star here. The alcohol is well-hidden, but this is still a strong beer for a developed palate because the bitterness lingers. I guess I've been spoiled by Belgian beers lately that manage to have a much cleaner aftertaste at this ABV. Not as well-rounded as I had hoped.

Glad I tried it, but probably would not seek this one out again.

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Photo of laketang
4.16/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours out a deep caramel with a nice mocha head

I pick up banana and pineapple notes.

very sweet,think banana . a big beer with aggressive sweetness. caramel.

chewy, fruity finish.

for me, one is enough of this style in one sitting, but very tasty imo. nice treat.

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Photo of NolaHopHead
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle. Clear bright orange amber color with two finger head, great retention, coating lace. Sugary sweet aroma. Sweet syrupy taste immediately countered by dank piney and citrus rind hop bitterness, powerful. This brew is strong and a bit boozy but so drinkable, it's weird, just kept tasting and it was gone. The flavors just work well together, dangerous. Finish is dry and the hops stick around just long enough. Medium to full soft mouthfeel, glides down. Had this one awhile back and don't recall it being this tasty. Great brew, gonna get some more.

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Photo of Tank880
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Crisp and flavorful. The ac is there but not at all overwhelming. Having this now on a damp cold night. This is one of the better beers I have had of late. I wish the bouquet were better however I feel my novice nose is to blame. Will be looking for it again.

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Photo of 20holmbrew
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I don't have much experience with this style but STRONG Ale is fitting for this one. It is definitely unusual but am trying to expand my horizons to the different styles. Huge sweet aroma and taste. Boozy too. The more I sip it the more I think it is growing on me. I only picked up 1 bottle in a mixed sixer so will definitely try again.

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Photo of CNoj012
4.34/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours a beautiful crystal clear dark amber color with a 2 finger off white head. The retention is very good and lasts all the way through. There are also huge sheets of lacing. The smell is brown sugar and sweet caramel malts with a hint of grapefruit and pine. Taste is the same, but also getting some orange and a touch of alcohol. Feel is light side of medium, but suprisingly light for the abv. Overall this beer is fantastic and a winter seasonal that I patiently wait all year for.

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Photo of puck1225
4.44/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter from a bottle. Beautiful dark brown with creamy head and great lacing. Pleasant pungent smell. Great hoppy sweetness with the right amount of bitterness. A very enjoyable beer.

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Photo of RozzieBoy
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

First review here. So here goes:
Look: Very nice head with great lacing all the way to the last sip
Smell: Smells a lot like a Lagunitas beer, and that is a good thing (to me at least)
Taste: Different than most I've had but tasty. Good hop snap to it
Feel : Pretty smooth is the best way I can explain this
Overall: Wow. Really like this beer. So impressed with the drinkability at this abv

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Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,502 ratings.