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Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,595 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,595
Reviews: 1,294
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 11.44%
Wants: 121
Gots: 211 | FT: 13
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Brown Shugga' Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,595 | Reviews: 1,294 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CalgaryFMC

Alberta (Canada)

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

So Alberta missed out on the Brown Shugga train this last season so I had to wind up in sunny (this time) Victoria BC to snag a 6-pack. How exactly do distributors make these sorts of decisions? In any event, I got to relive the experience and now can write a legit review of this beer on the basis of more than fuzzy memory traces (particularly fuzzy considering the ABV on this heavy hitter). Color is lighter than expected, a clear reddish brown with generous amounts of sturdy light beige head. Smell is intensely sweet and malty, yet with a hop presence that makes one think IPA, fruity with a wisp of pine. Is this beer a barleywine, a double IPA, or a key example of the shades of gray, ill-defined "Americans strong" category? Probably a hybrid that features elements of all these styles. The palate is extremely fruity for starters, fruit punch, grilled pineapple, and candied boozy peaches carrying the top note and some faint cherry and plum in the background. There is also a tangerine peel, pepper, and faint pine hop presence that serves to cut the heavy-duty brown sugar sweetness, and to my palate the sugar is not as prominent as the name and initial expectation might suggest. This beer is surprisingly drinkable, on the thin side of moderate, and the well-concealed booze makes things even more dangerous, although I find that the alcohol presence does grow over the course of a bottle or two. Moderate carbonation and finishes sweet yet with some added medicinal bitterness not apparent at the front end. Hoppier, lighter, and perhaps sweeter than its stablemate Hairy Eyeball but certainly a close cousin, with some IPA ancestry apparent as well. I'd drink this on a semi-regular basis if it was more available in my neck of the woods. Maybe my liver is glad it is pretty scarce.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2014 03:06:51 | More by CalgaryFMC
Photo of MNBeer1017


4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

03-27-2013 01:42:48 | More by MNBeer1017
Photo of Goldfishman


4/5  rDev -0.5%

10-20-2012 01:14:35 | More by Goldfishman
Photo of hayesjw


4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

04-28-2012 16:26:23 | More by hayesjw
Photo of AOShabaz


4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

11-02-2013 19:52:52 | More by AOShabaz
Photo of Lunch


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

Served from a 12oz. bottle acquired in a trade as generous extra from Bulkman (Thanks man!) into my Brooklyn snifter at the appropriate temperature (01/27/10).

A: Pours a hazy dark brown with a moderate off-white head that quickly dissipates leaving some patchy lacying

S: Brown sugar is certainly apparent along with a sweet caramel malt, toffee, and some faint citrus hops. Smells very sweet and sugary.

T: Brown sugar and caramel malt make up the bulk of the flavor profile with some citrus hops taking the back seat. A pleasant taste, but not terribly complex.

M: Medium-bodied with moderate and slight creamy carbonation and a hint of lingering bitterness on the way down. A little gritty as well.

D: The sweetness holds this one back for me, but the abv. is well hidden.

Overall this certainly and interesting offering from Lagunitas and one that should be tried by fans of the style with a sweet-tooth. Thanks again Chuck for throwing this one in the box! Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2010 16:33:16 | More by Lunch
Photo of adamant1912


4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

11-10-2012 17:20:59 | More by adamant1912
Photo of ChipMurray


4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

11-18-2013 23:34:43 | More by ChipMurray
Photo of mwbrady12

North Carolina

2.5/5  rDev -37.8%

07-21-2013 15:22:17 | More by mwbrady12
Photo of jeffjeff1


3.6/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was pretty good.

Appearance- dark reddish color, transparent

Smell- brown sugar, molasses

Taste- brown sugar, molasses

Mouthfeel- medium to full bodied

Drinkability- It was a pretty good beer. Definitely a winter beer , will drink it again most likely in winter

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2009 00:28:27 | More by jeffjeff1
Photo of MadScientist

New York

4.43/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A medium copper with excellent clarity. A persistent, light-tan head made of small, creamy bubbles. Leaves some lacing on the galss.

S: A strong hops aroma with lot citrus, pineapple, some pine and a some tropical fruit. Blindfolded, think I was about to get into a very nice Double IPA. There is a light malt sweetness and a moderately-strong, flowery alcohol aroma.

T: Tastes like hops candy with an aggressive hops bitterness countered by a moderate malt sweetness and a strong citrus hops flavor. The hops have the same citrus, pineapple and resinous pine flavor noted in the aroma. The malt has a little caramel flavor. All of this is blended with a moderate alcohol that is somewhat sweet. The balance is bitter with a big malt support. The finish is somewhat dry and the aftertaste is of lingering bitterness.

M: Medium-full bodied with a moderately-strong level of carbonation.

O: Lagunitas has always been a true and constant friend of the hophead and this is a good example of their generosity. An assertively bitter American Barelywine with a huge hops bill in the nose, flavor and bittering. bit more sweetness than the average American Imperial IPA.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2012 01:25:00 | More by MadScientist
Photo of watermelonman


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

This poured to a nice deep copper and orange with a fairly large head that quickly faded to a small ring. There's no real lace.

The flavors here are fairly straightforward for the style, but then again, this doesn't really fit into a standard style. Brown sugar and light malts dominate the smell. The same can be found in the front of the taste, while substantial hops linger through the finish. The mouthfeel is assertive and interesting.

Drinkability is outright dangerous for the alcohol content.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2005 08:59:22 | More by watermelonman
Photo of RoamingGnome


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

From 11/2/12 Tasting Notes. Poured fom 12oz bottle into pint glass. Served chilled...

A) Nice looking bronze brew with good clarity. There was 2 fingers of creamy looking light tan head. Good retention, as this slowly settled to a dusting. Ample lacing...

S) Graham cracker crust and fresh juicy grapefruit with a sprinkling of sugar.

T) Quite malty and very hoppy... What a nice balance we have here. Sweet caramel and melting brown sugar, in perfect harmony with light pine, grapefruit and champagne mango. The alcohol on this was very well hidden. I picked it up just a little as this warmed up.

M) Full body with moderate carbonation, which kept this easy on the palate. It is slightly syrupy, but really very smooth. Nice aftertaste...

O) Thanks Lagunitas, what an excellent beer. Reminded me a bit of a few barleywines I've had recently. This was a pleasure to drink, and really hard to believe the ABV is nearly 10%. Glad to recommend this beer...

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2012 19:08:52 | More by RoamingGnome
Photo of jriggins6


3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

10-11-2012 12:43:59 | More by jriggins6
Photo of pearljam118


4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

12-13-2012 03:51:24 | More by pearljam118
Photo of ant880

New York

4/5  rDev -0.5%

02-03-2013 03:31:38 | More by ant880
Photo of Ri0


3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

11-03-2012 17:26:03 | More by Ri0
Photo of Roguer


4.21/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a thick, solid, cream-colored 2 finger head from a turbulent pour. Good retention and awesome lacing. Liquid looks bright and clear, but it's actually extremely cloudy and translucent upon closer inspection. Brown ale with red highlights.

Pine hop notes through the nose, accented by molasses and, yes, brown sugar. Relatively subdued aroma for the big flavor.

Very sweet brew: caramelized sugar and molasses. It's quite hoppy, but that only manifests, flavor-wise, as some vinous pine notes. Develops nicely as it warms, without the sweetness becoming overpowering.

Lovely mouthfeel: silky and smooth. Almost no sting, but the beer is still lively and not at all syrupy. Slightly dry finish, with more alcohol presence as it dries.

You'd have no idea this beer clocked in at 10% ABV if you didn't read the bottle; it's unbelievably smooth. It works wonderfully as a night cap, or as a stronger brew during the day. Pairs well with food. It's a little strong as a lunch brew, but works excellently to relax after work.

This beer reminds me a lot - lot - of DFH Burton Baton (minus the oak). That's a very high compliment.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2013 01:44:31 | More by Roguer
Photo of psoriasaurus


3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

02-03-2014 03:30:32 | More by psoriasaurus
Photo of auxiliary

Rhode Island

4.68/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pour was light brown color, pretty clear. Nice foamy head, and some lacing.

Smell - Malts, brown sugar, hops and alcohol.

Taste - Brown sugar, malts, alcohol taste to it

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied and malt taste.

Drinkability - Alcohol is high at 9.9, bery nice beer. i enjoyed this one, slow drinking beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2007 22:31:23 | More by auxiliary
Photo of dsshuck


4/5  rDev -0.5%

12-03-2013 00:39:34 | More by dsshuck
Photo of hoppymeal


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 JMad


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

I poured a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass...

The beer was bright and clear, the color was a dark amber, copper with a thick, off-white bubbly head that left some good lacing. The smell has lots of brown sugar, a good helping of grapefruit and a hint of vinegar. I first tasted alcohol in the back of my mouth, then there was an overwhelmng brown sugar taste. In the background you could barely taste a hint of bitter, citrusy hops, the beer finishes sweet. This is a very thick brew, it has low carbonation and every sip leaves you wanting more. At first the taste is kind of strong but after awhile it smooths out and this became a very enjoyable drink.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2011 01:17:25 | More by JMad
Photo of dgeebs07

New York

4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

11-20-2013 11:56:01 | More by dgeebs07
Photo of kzoobrew


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

Deep orange body. Pours darker than an DIPA but lighter than a barleywine. I guess when breweries make "mistakes" they do not fall into a specific category. Creamy off white head with great lacing and retention.

Styles converge in the smell much the same as in the appearance. Aroma is reminiscent of Lagunitas DIPA line up blended with an Olde Gnarlywine. Sweet malt and brown sugar meld spectacularly with a strong hops profile.

Sweet sweet brown sugar, caramel and toffee. Did I mention this was sweet? While very sweet an assertive hop presence balances this one out rather nicely. Light grapefuit and pine hop flavor. Subtle booziness but rather enjoyable.

Smooth and creamy. Medium to full bodied. Pleasant sweetness lingers.

I am going to be honest with myself and all of you reading this. If it were not for an inner battle of self control this sixer would have been gone in a night. Far too easy drinking and massively enjoyable. While this may not be on any "best beer" list it is certainly a favorite.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2009 22:31:20 | More by kzoobrew
Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,595 ratings.