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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

3,442 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3442
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: 3,442 | Reviews: 1,291 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.4/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This was OK, nothing special, with an edge of the brown suger in the taste. Initially above average foam, and a bit of colour. Average mouthfeel and drinkability. Of course, on the sweeter side, with sweet characteristics, caramel and the like. A decent beverage, only big in the alcohol.As a barleywine, this is quite smooth.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2007 02:58:18 | More by Sammy
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

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

12 oz. bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A - Pours a nice opaque amber with a 1 inch head that fades into nothing. Lacing is minimal.

S - This beer smells like pineapples and toasty caramelized malt.

T - Slightly bitter citrus to start with sweet brown sugar malty finish. Just like the smell, I get a pineapple essence. The hops might play a role in this.

M - Very smooth and creamy. Carbonation seems to be a bit lacking in this bottle.

D - A sweeter and tasty beer that I can see myself purchasing again in the future. I bought this around Christmas time and to me this seems like a good beer for the holidays.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2010 07:25:28 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.65/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark orange-copper with a faint roseate glow. Brown Shugga' looks like a brighter, sunnier barleywine. The magnificent head is the color of golden brown sugar, is the consistency of whipped butter and leaves a wonderful lace display. There's nothing about the appearance that I don't love.

A sweet, malty sipper would have been fantastic. However, if the nose is any indication, the brewery has seen fit to chuck in a generous load of American hops as well. Brown Shugga' smells like a DIPA that flavors its brown sugary malt side a fraction more than its citric hop side. If it tastes like it smells, I'll be in beer heaven.

The American strong ale, American barleywine and DIPA styles overlap to some extent. This Lagunitas offering could fit comfortably into any of them; maybe not so much the third. For my money, it tastes like a barleywine that's sweeter than it is bitter; like it has been sitting in my cellar for two years and has been smoothed and mellowed to perfection. Actually, that's exactly where it has been and that's exactly what has happened.

The flavor profile consists of wall-to-wall caramel malt coated with brown sugar and toffee pudding, studded with sticky dates and drizzled with caramel syrup. The 'boozy cherries' nature of some barleywines is present as well and comparisons to holiday fruitcake would not be out of line. Even though hops take a backseat to the malt juggernaught, a spicy, Chinook-like pungency is undeniable.

The beer is significantly sweet without crossing the line into cloying. There's enough bitterness present to take what could have been a sticky mess and turn it into pure, liquid poetry. The mouthfeel is everything I'd hoped for and more. Words like viscous, velvety and luxurious come to mind.

I've contemplated cracking this bottle open on many occasions over the past year. I'm glad I waited though. I have no doubt that time has been more than kind and has turned the beer into the glorious exilir that I'm enjoying so much today. I would love to have a case or two sleeping in my cellar right this very moment. Brown Shugga', how come you taste so good?

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2005 21:45:27 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep hazy burnt amber with a nice brownish tint, a huge billowing off white head faded albeit reluctantly to leave behind a ton of sticky lace puring down the sides of the glass.

The smell was odd, I had half expected a strong IPA and not a Strong ale, but that was no bother. Lots of hoppy tones, pine and citrus but the biggest players were by far caramel and a burnt sugary almost molasses like aroma.;l, also deppicted some earthy tree bark type aroma. The taste followed suit, earthy caramel tones with a definate hop presence and a sweetness that lay on the palate for a good long while. The feel was a little thin and slick, for the amount of flavor present I would have like to have a bit more thickness to it, but it was nice none the less. Alcohol was definatly not hiding and was a big presence here.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2011 10:37:36 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a fairly clear medium amber color with a rocky beige head that leaves plenty of splashy lacing

Smell: Caramelized brown sugar, some piney hops and a touch of fruit; plenty of alcohol in the aroma as well

Taste: Burnt caramel and a distinct fusel alcohol flavor appear as I swirl it around my mouth; after the swallow a good presence of piney hop bitterness makes its presence known; the alcohol reappears on the finish as does the brown sugar sweetness

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and syrupy; moderate carbonation

Drinkability: While the sweetness is not cloying, it does limit the amount of this beer you will want to consume; otherwise, quite intriguing

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2006 20:19:12 | More by brentk56
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Unclemattie: Poured a cloudy medium brown color ale with a good size head with good retention and some minimal lacing. Aroma of sweet caramel malt with some notes of toffee. Taste is a very interesting mix between some toffee, caramel and butterscotch malt with a light hoppy finish that is well balance. Full body with limited filtration and some great carbonation with no apparent alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2008 20:43:54 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasty stuff from a Brewery that I am just learning about. Brown Sugga' doesn't have too much actural brown sugar in it, but it does have a serious malt base that hinges on caramel and toffee. An amber / copper color with a fleeting head shows nice lacing. Aromas of nuts, figs, and dates decorate the nose. Similar flavors show more intensely. Lightly licorice-like. Big hop contribution, along with a lighter than usual body, becomes very IPAish. Nevertheless, a tasty brew that's easy on the palate. Thanks Clvand0 for sharing.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2006 18:45:45 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

G: Oversized snifter. No logo.

A: Pours a copperish color that is really more red. Pretty decent head with good retention on the sides of the glass, although the head off of the initial pour recedes quickly. Definite alcohol presence.

S: Sweet and vibrant. The brown sugar really comes through, as do miscellaneous dark fruit vapors. Maybe a hint of molasses.

T: A bit of a letdown after the smell. Only mildly sweet with some alcohol presence. The taste and smell are not corresponding for me.

M: Slight carbonation. Although this is a fairly-high ABV beer, it doesn't hide the alcohol nearly as well as others of its kind. I'm only picking up a slight hint of the fruits that were present in the nose.

D: A pretty decent brew, although I don't know if I'd really go for more than one within a sitting. I keep see picking it from time to time, maybe it'd be better on tap.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2009 01:27:00 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

3.73/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark mahogany-hued body with a small beige head.

Smell: Earthy, sweet-smelling caramel maltiness with bright citrus, maple, and spruce notes.

Taste: Caramel malts with a hard candy sweetness. A drizzle of maple syrup. A nice mergence of citrusy grapefruit and Valencia oranges. Spicy spruce component. Lightly acidic. Moderate, resinous hop bitterness. A bit of hot alcohol warmth around the bittersweet finish.

Mouthfeel: A bit beyond medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Not nearly as graceful and seamless as some of the great barleywines, but decent enough for the price, I suppose.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2008 23:30:26 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a small tulip glass a clear deep reddish orange with a tight one finger head that stuck nicely to the glass as it settled slowly into a slight off white soapy-like mass.Ahh there are some hops in there and lots of em big and piney in the nose over top ofsweet and caramel and brown sugar with hints of cherry as well.Somewhat sweet at the offset mainly caramel malt and dark fruit with underlying notes of brown sugar these flavors meld very nicely into a viney,sprucey hoppy finish that lingers nicely.A great American strong ale with a nice American hop profile,not as sweet as I had thought it would be and thats ok with me another good one from Lagunitas.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2007 01:03:37 | More by oberon
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3.55/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a (512) anniversary glass.

Finishing my day off with some Rolling Stones tribute beer. It is one, right...? In any case, this stuff pours a clear russet topped by a finger of off-cream foam. The nose comprises brown sugar (no way!), light maple syrup, pine needles, and the essence of grapefruit peel in the background. The taste brings in more of the same, with some brown-sugary maple taking control up front, and some bright grapefruit and mild pine needles getting the back half. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Overall, a nice beer, one that marries two distinctive flavor combinations and doesn't try to force them to live dysfunctionally together.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2012 07:32:23 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, this is an unusual review for me because I'm not really sure what to say. This is the second bottle that I've had while trying to write a review, and this time, just like last time, it was so good that I was willing to just put the review aside and enjoy the beer. I perservered....

Carefully decanted to leave the yeast behind, it pours a clear reddish-orange-chestnut body (with some visible particulate in suspension) beneath a creamy head of off-white that holds well and leaves some very nice lace throughout the entire glass.

The nose is sweet, lightly nutty, and fruity; with caramel, brown sugar, yeasty fruitiness, a hint of amaretto, and some mild background hops.

The body is full, but not overly dextrinous; and it's creamy smooth with a very fine, restrained, natural carbonation.

The flavor is big and rich and sweet but not really complex. It's a very well-rounded, tight combination of caramelish malt, yeasty fruit, piney/citrusy (tangerine) hops, warming alcohol and solid bitterness. There's alot there, but the flavors don't particularly stand out on their own.

It's unusual, and devilishly enticing. Not to be missed!

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2005 05:54:56 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

More nonsensical, bottle-tilting label ramblings from the good folks at Lagunitas...gotta love it.

This beer pours a clear dark brassy amber colour, with one finger of thick foamy pale beige head, which leaves a low unstable wall of lace around the glass as it dutifully recedes. It smells strongly of grapefruit hops and caramel cream, full stop, with a wee bit of warming alcohol. The taste is creamy, sugary caramel malt, grapefruit and orange citrus, some inexplicably perceptible leafy hops, and some mild, minding its own business booze. The carbonation is moderate, the body smooth, syrupy, and creamy, like whipped honey. It finishes sweet and sugary, with a rising, but still tempered alcohol edge, as it warms.

A pretty enjoyable DIPA analogue, with the brown sugar just adding to the war effort against the big West Coast hops - attrition we can all appreciate.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2010 06:41:47 | More by biboergosum
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tawny kind of color,....a light caramel tone...

Rich, sweet malty nose....sweetness in the nose,

as well...brown sugar dominates anything...malty-riffic....lush brown flavy flavory...yummy, yum, yum...

rich, cocoa-tinged flavors, full, lush, very tasty...

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2006 08:05:12 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

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

On-tap 2/17/08 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light brown color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malt, brown sugar, dark fruits and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste is sweet and malty up front, with flavors of caramel, brown sugar and dark fruit, but quickly becomes very well-balanced as a strong hops presence comes in with a slight alcohol bite. The after-taste is hoppy and sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down dangerously easily, not too filling, strong kick, this is a very good beer to drink over the course of an evening until the ABV catches up with you.

Serving type: on-tap

02-18-2008 18:49:46 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an effervescent amber/orange with 2 fingers of sand-colored head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Slight pine& herbal hops

T: Huge pine hops, cakeyness, & brown suggah up front. Earthy & grapefruit hops & some honey dryness follow as this warms. Finishes with subtle booze warmth, rough grapefruitty hops, a little caramel & yes, brown sugar, works for me!

MF: Chewy with low carbonation, but a little thin for the style

Drinks damn easy for the abv, an almost great take on the style

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2007 03:33:03 | More by russpowell
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark amber/red color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice balanced aroma of malts and hops. It's warming to the nose, but also enticing with loads of hop smells. The malt aroma is composed of lots of pale malts and a wonderful array of specialty malts, which provide the "Brown Shugga" element. The taste is great. It has an incredibly smooth malty taste that weighs heavy on burnt toffee flavors. It goes down easy and finishes silky smooth with a nice hop blast that lingers. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a tremendous beer. It packs a bundle of flavor; a fine drinker.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2008 23:28:54 | More by WesWes
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

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

Latest release. Beer is brown and clear forms a thin white head but leaves very little lacing behind.

Aroma is overwhelmingly sweet. Smells like a strong barleywine.

Beer is medium to full bodied and completely sweet. I guess the name makes sense, since it tastes like sugar water. Drinkability is moderate and mouthfeel is fine. There is almost no bitterness I bet this beer is meant to sit on the shelf of some cellar for 10 years before its very drinkable. Yeah. That's what I think.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2010 18:10:18 | More by drabmuh
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a cloudy copper color with a small, tan, creamy head that left sticky rings of lace.

S - It smelled floral. There was also a malty, sweet aroma. I also picked up an oaky smell.

T - It tasted bittersweet and very malty. It was quite spicy, too.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth with a warm alcohol presence. A medium to heavy-bodied beer.

D - This is a very good Strong Ale. It just tastes great.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2008 01:19:03 | More by zeff80
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a hazy light amber color with orange highlights. It is topped by a thin, wispy light amber tan head that is generated by a quick swirling to actuate this beer's medium carbonation. The aroma is lightly sweet smelling with notes of candied orange peel, pine needles, toffee, alcohol, a hint of molasses and sherry.

The taste is only lightly sweet up front, at least for a beer of 1.100 starting gravity. The beer is quite malty with notes of caramel, a bit of toasty malt notes in the finish. The finish is lightly astringent with notes of fresh hop character as well as a solid bitterness that allows the malt and Brown Shugga to shine through. This beer is certainly on the malty side of the spectrum, but the hops certainly add a discernible character, that though supporting is a nice respite/ counterpoint to what would otherwise be lopsidedly oriented towards the malt. The brown sugar is evident but not overwhelmingly so, its most obvious contribution being a lightening of the body and palate. There is also a sort of twang in the finish of this beer which has a hint of molasses to it.

This beer is pretty enjoyable, and I like that it is not too sticky sweet. It reminds me a lot of the first sample of their IPA that I had, because the IPA tasted like it had lots of unfermented wort in it, and I almost wonder if I had a bottle of the Brown Shugga' that had been mislabeled. Regardless, I do like this beer and I certainly recommend it if you find it.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2005 06:00:38 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

2.98/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This one pours out as an amberish colored brew with a white head on it. The head settles but leaves a nice lacing. The smell of the beer is semi sweet, not as sweet as I expected it to be from the name. There was a little bit of a roasted smell in there and some hops as well. The taste wasn't overly sweet, I guess I took the name of the beer too literally... The flavors were decent in my opinion. After finishing it off I found myself saying that it wasn't the best beer out there but I suppose it'd be worth another try.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2011 01:43:16 | More by Knapp85
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

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

12 oz, bottle

Pours deep reddish copper with a thin, well-retained head.

The smell is of brown sugar with a whiff of citrus.

The taste is of brown sugar. Malty but with a nice citric hop support coming through. At first, it's all about brown sugar and caramel, but the bitter hops emerge, though stay in the background, giving it a nice balance. The brown sugar runs throughout, but never gets too sweet.,Slight peppery alcohol.

The feel is rich and creamy.

The alcohol is well-masked. It's there, but I would have guessed around, or close to, 7%. A unique beer that is rich, well-balanced while remaining appropriately sweet. Nice Job!

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2007 03:45:57 | More by jwc215
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have had this beer several times before and did a review, but I am doing another review because I feel the previous one was way too shallow.

Pours a clear but darker amber brown. Nice sized crème head. Nose is a nice slightly sweet toned hoppy thing. I feel like I am getting a whiff of sugar cane on there too. Flavor is a combination of firm ale qualities with an amount of brown sugar mixed in that takes it to the side a little bit to an interesting place. The ale tones here are so well done. A nice thick and meaty offering. Feel has a great carbonation to it and a good body as well. Very drinkable. I don't get any of that 9.9% alcohol as it goes down. Smooth and even. Another very good brew by Lagunitas.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2008 01:26:08 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

Ohio

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

Appearance: Amber brown approach with a nice bulbous tan head leaves awesome sparatic lacing with each sip. Aroma: Vinous hops with caramel sugar slightly burn nose this beer is awesome, full malty approach to this old ale. Taste: Great amount of hops sugary with hops piney, earthy, citric tones this is a great old ale very nice brew can't be beat in my opinion. I want some of that Brown Sugga' baby, gives me sweet loving sweet sugary malt ridden flavor makes me want to have more of this brew. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied old ale from this brew I know what's coming my way complex flavors galore. Drinkability: Wow, how can you do this to common folk alot of flavor that most people aren't ready for however hallelejuah for this example of a kick ass old ale.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2004 00:13:39 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

3.13/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: pours a hazy amber color with a 2" head that falls pretty quickly.

Smell: pumpernickel bread, brown sugar and caramel candy sweetness are easy to detect by the nose well outside the glass, but is only partially pleasant.

Taste: sweetness abounds here. Big brown sugar tones, caramel, ripe plums, and a balancing piney bitterness are the up front flavors. Some alcohol and bread-like tones round it out.

Mouthfeel: smooth from start to finish. Medium bodied beer. Long sweet sugary aftertaste.

Drinkability: this beer got a bit annoying as the bottle emptied. The sweetness just got tiring. A 10 oz glass was enjoyable, but goes downhill during the refill.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2007 13:21:23 | More by Gavage
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Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,442 ratings.