Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

4,992 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,992
Reviews: 1,512
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 227
Gots: 845 | FT: 14
Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,992 | Reviews: 1,512
Photo of JerUrbans
4.53/5  rDev +12.4%
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.

Photo of jprivott
2.78/5  rDev -31%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Bitter, burnt sugar notes throughout

Photo of blackenmn
4.07/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into the usual goblet:

Appearance and Smell:Poured a brown copper with a 1/4" head after an aggressive pour which disspipated quickly but yet a nice haze and a bit of the head sticking to the edge of the glass. It smelled alot hoppier than expected a bottle labeled brown shugga. Smelled of strong floral hops, grapefruit, orange peel, and a bit of roasty caramel sweetness hiding in there.

Taste and Mouthfeel:Tasted of pine, grapefruit, caramel and an extremly sweet sugar like note which is probably the name sake flavor of this brew. Felt pretty sticky and oily in the mouth. Much different than expected but really not in a bad way. Sweetness came out quite a bit as it warmed, great finish. A bit more complexity than expected, some definite similarities in this and Lagunitas Maximus brew.

Drinkability:I've been fairly impressed with most Lagunitas brews I've found. The way the hops are delivered through them are right up my alley. I'd probably have another one of these down the road. Pleasantly suprised with this one considering I was expecting some overly sweetened novelty brown sugar loaded brew. I'd definitely like to enjoy a bomber of this thing some time again.

Photo of kjlcm
3.39/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tried this one and while I like it I am not sure I can recommend. At 9.9% it is definitely a strong ale and I could not imagine drinking more than one of these at a sitting The brown sugar is quite pronounced from smell through taste. Along with the the hops and the strong malt backbone it is an interesting contrast. Ok, I will recommend!

Photo of demitriustown
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle: Nice sweet malt aroma, definite big hop characteristic as well, maybe some brown sugar scent but subtle. Appearance is amber/red with a thin tan head. Taste has definitely got some caramel malt in this, citrus hops, sweet, and alcohol is present on the back end. Palate is somewhat sweet on the lips, very tongue coating, and aftertaste has a lingering caramel maltiness and a bit of alcohol. Overall, it's good but not great kind of like most of the Lugunitas that I've had. Maybe it's too young. Will check back on this one in a year.

Photo of RickKrumenacker
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Caramel in color...one-finger head that dissipated a little quickly, but leaves a thin ring around the top...pretty good lacing throughout

S - Sweet, sugary smell...smells a lot like a barleywine...some piney hops come through as well

T - Nice hoppy bitterness hits you right away...gives way to a barleywine-like sweetness...alcohol comes through, but isn't overpowering

M - Really coats the mouth...almost a little too sweet, but the hoppy bitterness balances things out

D - Very nice...not one that you can drink a ton of, but something that I will definitely look for again

Photo of Darkhorse09
4.52/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on Tap at the Independent in Somerville, MA.

A: Reddish amber hue, with a lucious and creamy off white head. Really great lace, through most of the glass. It's color reminds me of the big bins of chestnuts you see in stores around christmas.

N: Great. Sweet, a little yeasty of brown sugar (obviously) and some nuts and perhaps some fruit. Smells kind of like liquor, the nose does not hide the high ABV well, but I like it. It works, especially with the mild sweetness and hoppy smells.

T: An aptly named beer. Brown sugar comes through, along with caramel malt. This upfront sweet taste is balanced by apricot and citrus hop flavors leaving a distinct bitter taste on the finish. Really interesting, not too powerful and delicious. Warming alcohol on the swallow. Really tasty.

M: Full body, adequte carbonation. Makes for a creamy, smooth, tight beer.

D: This beer is under control. Nothing extreme, but everything just right. I really enjoyed it.

Photo of Katahdin
2.16/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Wow something must have blown up here with the recipe. Not sure if they were going for a Barlewyine or an IPA but it definitely has the hoppiness of an IPA and the chewiness of a barleywine. The result ... a gnarly beer that fights with you every sip and refuses to go down easily. A rare misstep for Laguinitas but a misstep indeed.

Photo of lsiberian
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer has a beautiful clear reddish brown color with a powerful white foamy head that has staying power. The nose is flavor perfection with it's sweet, fruity, hoppy vapors, but the taste doesn't match the smell, appearance or body. It's a sweeter hoppy fest for sure, but comes up short of it's promise though further down the glass it does still make an outstanding beer overall.

This is a great seasonal Christmas beer One that is best for beer lovers especially IPA lovers looking for a sweet fix.

Photo of DeepBrew
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass.

A: Clear caramel color with big off-white foam and long retention, leaving behind a great looking foam.

S: Hoppy , fruity and floral smell

T: Starts with nice maltiness, followed by the fruit taste, the bitterness comes toward the end. Piny stickiness in the aftertaste.

M: Medium mouthfeel, belies the almost 10 ABV

O: Very nice balance between tastes and aromatics.

Photo of djeffbee
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: This pours deep amber with a one finger white head with some lacing.

S: Deep malty aroma with a tad of molasses, caramel - nearly resembling a barleywine or doppelbock.

T: I was expecting sweet, but tasted bitterness. The aroma and taste are almost like two different beers.

M: Nice tingly mouthfeel and medium body.

D: At 9.9% ABV, you don't drink too many of these - but they are quite enjoyable.

Photo of genitempo
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours over into a snifter nicely. Heavy blaze in color, trace/vanishing head/steadfast lace.

S - Bitterness felt in the nose from the hops, but brightened up by hints of sugar.

T - This is a beer that needs to sit out before consuming (goes without saying). The taste matures throughout the beer, bringing more complexity with every sip (Lagunitas Staple Move). Well-balanced hops with a bit of a kick 3 quarters through (reminds me of Hop Stoopid a bit, but mounting on more malt)

MF - Almost perfect amount of weight on the palate and tongue. Not overly carbonated.

O - I was glad I grabbed a sixer of Brown Sugga' this year. Last year, I obviously missed it (Hence, the birth of Lagunitas Sucks), but the absence made the palate grow fonder! Zing! But what a great beer. Deserves all the hype behind it.
I wanted to mention that, while this is not my favorite effort by Lagunitas, I do appreciate it more than their other beers. I tend to associate Lagunitas Hop-heavy recipes more appropriate for the warmer Texas weather. But Brown Sugga' still manages to settle perfectly into the Holiday Season. Cheers.

Photo of PeterParker
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark copper with a thick white head. Large bubbles throughout.

Smells like an IPA. I thought this was a barley wine, definitely doesn't look or smell like one. Piney hops, malty backbone, and a bit of caramel.

Definitely an IPA. Piney and dank hops. Grapefruit, lots of bitterness, a buttery and sweet malt backbone as well.

Good carbonation and medium body. Aftertaste lingers for a while. Really no alcohol in taste or feel.

Pretty good, not sure what to make of it. Tastes like an IPA, but slightly different. Hard to put my finger on it.

Photo of Telix
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Hey, it's my 50th review!

Poured from the bottle into a Sam Adams sensory glass.

A: Super clean reddish brown, with good levels of carbonation and a fluffy head that quickly fades into a film.

S: Real sugary smell, like candy.... almost like root beer barrels, actually,

T: ROOT BEER BARRELS. Sweet, deep caramel malts, with nice bitterness after the sweetness drops off. A bit syrupy-sweet but not quite cloying.

M: Good. Thick, dense, good levels of carbonation.

D: It's a solid beer, but experimental. Quite sweet, with lots of root beer flavor and a nice thick mouthfeel.

Photo of ChappyCubsFan
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The name, Brown Shugga, is not deceptive at all. It does a good job of characterizing this brew. This was an experience. I didn't drink a whole bottle, but instead shared one with about three guests (actually, I had tried it earlier at the Pizza Port Strong Ale festival in December and rather enjoyed it). Very robust malt blend with a brown sugar taste that gives way to a good hop and malt balance. This is a great desert beer. I think you could probably pour this over vanilla ice cream in a glass and have an interesting beverage.

Photo of HappyBivouac
4.39/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Last bottle of a 6 pack I purchased 4 months ago; the first 5 went fast but I sat on this one for whatever reason. Can't find the bottling date. Around the label it reads: "We believe this special ale is something unique. Feeding brown cane sugar to otherwise cultured brewery yeast is a'kin to feeding raw shark to your gerbil. It is unlikely to ever occur in nature without human intervention. And it looks weird besides. But it has happened and now it's too late." Possibly my favorite packaging blurb in the history of beer.

a- Pours a slightly cloudy ruby brown and bubbly with a light tan head that recedes to a ring and spotty foam.

s- Heavy, inviting and intimidating caramelized sugar hits up front. There is a very noticeable presence of pine & grapefruit. White bread and a slight tart orange are also detectable.

t- all that caramel/brown sugar is an immediate and relentless assault, and you know what.. it works! Resiny, sappy pine bitterness hits fairly hard in a good way as well. I can feel the citrus zest hop bitterness steadily climb during the sip and in the aftertaste, with bready flavors surfacing as well. This isn't the sort of balance I've come to expect from beer. It's sort of an assault of several unique flavors that work independently but the resulting harmony, while often harsh and dissonant, ends up being very welcome and, at the bottom line, very tasty.

m- medium full-bodied and slick, with only a slight lick of carbonation. Coats the mouth a bit.

d- a wonderfully drinkable and delicious strong ale. the assault of flavor reveals its strength, but there is very little trace of actual heat. The whole thing comes off (in part because of the words on the packaging) as a beautiful accident. Would definitely pick up again.

Photo of notsoprobeer
3.35/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Deep amber in color with a white head that dissipated quickly. No lacing on the glass. Aroma is brown sugar and and citrus hops. Flavor is brown sugar, caramel malts, and some spices that I can't place. There are some citrus hops in the flavor, but they lurk in the background. Medium to heavy bodied with medium carbonation. It has a very sweet finish that isn't cloying and long lingering. This is a good thing, in my opinion, as I've recently had a few beers that left an unpleasant long lasting sweetness. I was very surprised to see that this is 9.9% ABV. The alcohol is very well hidden, so proceed with caution!

Photo of LagersAndAles
4.34/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Love this beer fresh, starts getting really interesting with a little age too.

Photo of ditch
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a slightly hazy, dark red copper with a one finger off white head that fades slowly to a light covering of the top of the glass. Lacing is thin all the way down the glass.

Smells of sweet caramel and citrus hops. Way more hoppy than I was expecting from an ale called "Brown Shugga'." Also hints of vanilla and oak?

Taste is sweet caramel malts, and a perfect balance if hops. Near perfect balance here. Vanilla, raisins, a little lemon peel. Alcohol finds you in the finish but is not overpowering, considering the ABV.

Mouthfeel is good. Good carbonation to bring the flavors together. Slightly oily from the hops. Good thickness.

Drinkablility is also good here. Almost too good for this kinda alcohol content. Light enough to go down quick, but enough body to make you remember not to chuck this one.

This is a great Holiday beer. Thanks Lagunitas!

Photo of dalahodson
4.36/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

In the glass this was a very nice looking brew. A dark amber color with a nice full head the color of dirty straw. The lacing on the glass was very solid. A very strong smell of Carmel and malt hints of pine and herbs. The mouth feel was very creamy and sweet with a nice bitter on the back. The flavors are of carmel pine and dark fruits, the brown sugar is by far the most noticeable of the flavors but very well balanced. Even with an ABV of 9 this is a very easy drinkable brew. Went well with my lamb stew.

Photo of Weston19
3.39/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a copper color with high carbonation. Starts off with a two finger head that eventually diminishes into a half a pinky. Head looks very creamy.

S: As is the norm with Lagunitas, the beer smell fantastic! It has a sweet smell that expresses brown sugar (obviously), grape fruit, and some pineapple although lightly there.

T: Brown sugar, light hop flavor at the back of the palate, alcohol in the mid palate, there is some grapefruit at first but the taste is overpowered by the alcohol flavor. Honestly I'm kind of disappointed by the taste. Based on the smell of the beer, I expected more hops and a more balanced flavored. The alcohol is a bit overpowering and completely covers up the hops. I've had beers at this ABV before and higher that did a much better job at concealing the alcohol flavor. The only good thing that happens is that as it warms up, the brown sugar taste becomes stronger so it allows you to focus more on that than the alcohol flavor.

MF: Mildly dry and some burn in the back of the throat due to the alcohol.

O: As this warms up it gets sweeter but there isn't much there besides the sweetness and the alcohol taste. You can definitely smell the hops but they're hardly present in the flavor. I've had much better from Lagunitas. At $10.99 for a 6 pack, this is probably the last time I'll buy a pack.

Photo of ZBerkeleyan
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tall glass. Great appearance, light shone clearly through the copper-amber color of the beer. A thick and frothy head built up after the pour, and lacing remained after each sip: mmmm...

This one smelled to me like brown sugar, with yeasty and malty smells hanging out in the background. Don't know if I would have called the smell brown sugar if it hadn't been for the name, but after being cued by that name I could definitely notice the resemblance...

The taste was complex and balanced; the most noticeable was that dark sweetness up front. But there were definitely perceptible hops and malts in the background. The alcohol, weighing in at a hefty 9.9 %, was also a clear element of the taste here, though not as overwhelming as in some other beers. Even beers with substantially less alcohol have sometimes had that alcohol flavor more up front, but here the alcohol plays second fiddle to that slight sweetness.

The mouthfeel was smooth and light, with minor carbonation. The consistency made this brew surprisingly drinkable. At 9.9% abv, a beer this drinkable is a true test of prudence and self-control!

Overall this is a fun beer: it is slightly but not overbearingly sweet with a smooth and easy mouthfeel. There is enough alcohol in the taste, though, to (hopefully!) remind you not to drink more than a few at 9.9%abv!! Enjoy.

Photo of wsr602
4.94/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Very good beer from lagunitas

Photo of BillH200174
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out a clear amber/ dark copper color. Has a thin tan colored head. Left a decent lacing down the sides of the chalice it was served in. Aromas are of sweet burnt sugars, some toffee & caramel notes as well. Slight vanilla in the background. Medium mouthfeel, rich & slick. Slightly oily too.

Photo of Hamburgers
3.76/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours cloudy dark reddish amber with two finger white head. Head quickly dissipates to thin film leaving some nice lacing. Aroma big on malt, some caramel, piney hops, and brown sugar. Flavor is somewhat sweet balanced by a bitter finish. Medium body with a fair amount of carbonation and just a slight oily texture.

Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 4,992 ratings.