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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

3,448 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3448
Reviews: 1292
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Brown Shugga' Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,448 | Reviews: 1,292 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of aforbes10
aforbes10

Iowa

3.15/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at the Map Room in Chicago. It was their "featured" tap when i visited. Poured with really no head, just a ring of bubbles. looks fairly barley-wine-y, which is what the map room described the beer as being. brown, syrupy look to it. smell is sweet...they served it cold so that's all i got at virst and when it warmed up...still just sweet, maybe some brown sugar specific sweetness coming through. Taste is first just like sugar water and alcohol. Sweet and mildly fruity and very dry on the finish after every sip. Mouthfeel becomes, as a result, very sticky. almost like liquified sugar in vodka. overall, it was ok, but a bit sweet and dry. I might like it if it was aged and the flavor profile become a bit more complex.

Serving type: on-tap

11-08-2006 13:49:43 | More by aforbes10
Photo of hckyfn9999
hckyfn9999

Missouri

3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy dark copper color with some red hues. Small white head. Doesn't last too long and leaves a little lacing.

Smell is fruity yeast, nutty, carmel, and appropriately enough... brown sugar. Also some alcohol as the beer warms, actually it begins to dominate the smell.

Taste is sweet initially some carmel, followed by some sweet fruit, and then some citrusy hops bitterness. A lot more hoppy than you would want from something called sugar.

Mouthfeel is pretty good and they hide the 10%abv well making this pretty drinkable.

Pretty good brew.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2006 03:44:19 | More by hckyfn9999
Photo of Beerzebub
Beerzebub

California

4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Red amber, negligable egg shell head. Not much lacing.

Smells like caramel, brown sugar, dark fruity esters. Sweet and good.

Tastes somewhat sweet, with some moderate hop bitterness kicking in and balancing it out well. Brown sugar, prunes, raisins, very nice.

Drinkable. Slightly sticky.

Good, interesting big beer. Went well with some Roquefort.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2006 08:02:28 | More by Beerzebub
Photo of nortmand
nortmand

Virginia

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

On tap at Sheffields in Chicago.

Ruby-brown pour with a withstanding tan head.

Molasses and caramel smells dominate the nose, also some supportive hops, though not overly assertive.

Fairly sweet flavor. Dark ripe fruits mingle with somewhat brighter fruity esters. Ends with a pleasant bitterness.

Fullbodied and somewhat drinkable. A bit sweet, but not cloying.

Serving type: on-tap

11-06-2006 16:51:50 | More by nortmand
Photo of Blakaeris
Blakaeris

Iowa

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

Pours clear copper brown with a fluffy white head that leaves nice lacing.

Smell is toasted caramel malt, massive brown sugar, and hints of fruit. There is also a bit of yeasty funk aroma.

Taste is more of the impressive balanced malt and brown sugar. There is also generous mollasses and earthy hop bitterness. Finish reveals hints of the high ABV.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a bit of hop oilyness. Very smooth.

Overall a balanced flavorful brew. The high ABV is dangerously concealed. A tasty treat that I will be returning to.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2006 18:25:12 | More by Blakaeris
Photo of bashiba
bashiba

Iowa

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

Poured a nice dark hazy copper color with a light thin ring of a head.

Smell has a complex mixture of hops, caramel malts, maple, brown shugga, and a touch of alcohol coming through with a touch of funk as it warms.

Has a nice blend of Strong woody malt flavors with hints of maple and molasses with a potent hop bitterness, very balanced for a beer this big. The alcohol which was noticeable in the smell is completely hidden in the taste.

Mouthfeel is thick and oily, really seems to travel slowly warming its way to your belly.

Very drinkable Strong Ale, Lagunitas is quickly becoming one of my new favorites breweries.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2006 18:22:24 | More by bashiba
Photo of ElGordo
ElGordo

Oregon

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

Pours a pretty burnt orange color topped by a half-inch of creamy ecru head that sticks around for the duration. Aroma of crisp floral hops, sweet caramel malt, and a touch of brown sugar. Palate is initially sweet, with caramel malt and a considerable amount of brown sugar intensifying mid-palate. A light spiciness comes through right before the swallow, finishing with a good amount of warming alcohol. Body is smooth and creamy, quite enjoyable. On the whole a good beer, but be careful - the well-masked alcohol can sneak up on you.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2006 07:52:17 | More by ElGordo
Photo of rajendra82
rajendra82

Georgia

3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured out orange amber in color, with a remarkable clarity. The head was very minimal in size, but a slow and steady stream of carbonation kept in alive for a while. The handsome looks were quite nice, but the smell was simply outstanding. Sweet, citric, and soft, the nose only gave a slightest hint of the hidden potency in the form of rose oil like fusels.

The taste was quite bitter which came as a surprise to me. The hops were herbal an assertive, and the fusel alcohols carried them right to the throat. This made the beer taste quite dry and reminded me of scalded milk. The sweetness was there underlying the hops, but the appearance of it was only fleeting.

The mouthfeel was light and drinkability high. This is quite a feat considering the strength. I do see a promise of improvement here with some aging, although I am not sure this will hold up for the really long haul.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2006 02:52:59 | More by rajendra82
Photo of uberabr
uberabr

California

4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Legend has it that Lagunitas pulled this one out of their hats as a last-ditch effort to salvage a dying batch of fermenting ale. “Why not add Brown sugar?” The rest is history. I’m not sure if I believe it, but it’s a nice story, and a pleasant beer.

A: Poured from the 22 into a Belgian abbey glass. Definitely unconventional. A rosy, brown color with little to no head but some lace.

S: This brew was described to me as the perfect mix of hops and malt. I didn't notice it at first, but there is definitely a very subtle but notable woodsy, even minty pine hop, which delicately masks a floral, orange malt backbone. Although it seems more serindipidous than intentional, it's very charming, and unique. Smells strongly of apples, and…duh…sugar. There are some more subtle fruity and citrusy notes; a little plum, some bananas, caramel and maple syrup.

T: Taste is pleasant, almost like a Dubbel. Sugary with a twist of orange and some caramel apples. Almost no alcohol is present at all, although I can definitely feel it. A definite but subtle malt. Very pleasant.

Mouthfeel is good. A little parched, but an adequate body and good carbonation. Drinkability is perhaps the most notable part of this brew. Can’t taste the booze. Simple, trashy, and lovely.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2006 06:49:24 | More by uberabr
Photo of BeerIsland
BeerIsland

Pennsylvania

3.18/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Fairly cloudy in the glass, orangy, with a decent head that melted away fairly quickly. The nose is nice and sweet; smells like spent grain. The taste is not real exciting, complex but transitions through a sort of medicinal phase before finishing with a fruity tang. The mouthfeel is good but too heavy to be very drinkable. I'm not sure where I got this but I know it wasn't recently; perhaps this bottle is a little old.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2006 01:24:21 | More by BeerIsland
Photo of arizcards
arizcards

Arizona

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

I picked up a 22 oz bomber back at the end of May from Sportsman's Fine Wines for $3.39.

Beer poured a reddish brown with a surprisingly nice head that is leaving a good lacing behind. Nose is of sweet malts with hints of dark fruits. Taste is very interesting. There is a big presence of sweet malts, dark fruits, and a fair amount of hops. Mouthfeel is full and very smooth. Drinkability is good. This is one of the most interesting beers I have tried in awhile. It is a combination of Arrogant Bastard, Belgian Strong Ale, and Barleywine. The abv is huge. One is enough for me even though a second one would be mighty tasty.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2006 01:50:36 | More by arizcards
Photo of hoppymeal
hoppymeal

Michigan

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 stephendr
stephendr

California

4.8/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

red copper hue , nose of light hops , sweet and clean, taste is chewy with a sweet/ sour and metallic thing going on, sweet shugga finish, on of my personal favorites red copper hue , nose of light hops , sweet and clean, taste is chewy with a sweet/ sour and metallic thing going on, sweet shugga finish, on of my personal favorites

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2006 05:47:49 | More by stephendr
Photo of far333
far333

Connecticut

4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear but darkly copper colored. A thick half inch of orangey-beige head of varying size bubbles rises up and lasts long. A foamy bowl is created as the center slowly lowers and the sides cling high to the sides of the glass.

Strong aroma of cinnamon, cotton candy, and ripe pear. Also some grainy light brown sugar coming through.

Flavor is intially rich malts with a piney and peppery bite in the background. Some citrus hops emerge in the finish, followed by a subtle brown sugar flourish. Not as sweet as the name might imply, and a good mixture of an unexpected hop presence (51 IBU). ABV is mellow on the pallette, but warms the throat and stomach.

Mouthfeel is full and creamy, just the right amount of carbonation.

Scarily drinkable, I think my taste buds could handle one more bomber, but the brain cells might be ready for a break after that.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2006 12:04:59 | More by far333
Photo of NEhophead
NEhophead

Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1pt 6fl oz brown bomber.

A bright mahogany color under a foamy, lightly tan head that gives way to pools of bubbles and a whispy sheet. Trails of scattered, thin lacing.

Sweet caramelized notes of tea. Ripe, vinous fruit: plum, cherry, apple. The aromas are more sweet and almost rich than tart. Faint hjints of nutmeg and brown sugar.

Sweet, dried dark fruit: plum, fig, and grape. Complex alcohol flavors; hints of tame bourbon. Caramelized brown sugar, a touch of molasses, and vanilla. Hints of alcohol-soaked fruit in the aftertaste. The sweetness overshadows the complexities of the fruit and alcohol.

Medium in body; smooth and creamy on the palate. Velvety and quite flattering for the style and alcohol presence.

A sweet, strong ale, but not overdone. The brown sugar, nutmeg profile is the focal point which draws from the ale's other flavor aspects, but the abv % is remarkably well hidden.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2006 01:31:43 | More by NEhophead
Photo of ggroller
ggroller

Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received from Callenak in HBIF3

A great looking beer in the glass. Murky brown beer with a rich and creamy tan head. Plenty of lacing although the head does dissipate to almost nothing as I drink.

Smells and tastes like brown sugar. No, really. It does. Notes of sherry, vanilla, and bourbon as it warms.

Rich mouthfeel. Smooth and creamy and a bit chewy.

A fairly drinkable beer although it does get a bit hot as it warms.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2006 14:21:08 | More by ggroller
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler

Pennsylvania

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

Well, if this isn't par for the course these days. I had just opened this bottle and the phone rings and it's my mentor, Lew Bryson, asking me to come over to LNCBC to meet him and his wife for a beer. How could I refuse?

This one, in the menatime, poured with a huge, thick light-tan head with little retention, but plenty of lace. The nose is at once both intensely sweet and intensely hot with alcohol. Oooh. The mouthfeel was really thick and full, not creamy, just thick. A big sugary, alcohol presence on the tongue and on the finish. I really didn't get much out of this, other than alcohol and sweet and given the high alcohol content, I cannot recommend it for drinkability.

Off to meet Lew and his missus ...

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2006 23:05:11 | More by woodychandler
Photo of cheers2beers
cheers2beers

Texas

2.6/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Boolshot for a great trade.

Served in a wiezen glass:

Appearance: Pours a very clear and clean shade of orangey brown. A steady and unexpected bead is found as well. Minimal head that died down quick.

Smell: Smells of citrus and a strange malty funk. Profuse alcohol is also noted. This overall aroma is just off, I cant explain it.

Taste: The tip of my tongue felt an alcohol sting right off the bat. I then detect that weird malty funk followed immediatly by citrusy then bitter hops. Alcohol blazes a trail from the back of my throat down to my gut. This tastes like a poor homebrew. This one is also getting cloying as it warms. Its just tastes like counterfiet malt sweetness. Please skip the brown sugar and introduce "natural malt."

Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel with a mild carbonation that dies out all too fast. Leaving a flat liquid. The hops do add a descent amount of oily slickness.

Drinkability: Please dont get me wrong, I am a huge fan of big ales but this train wreck is horribly disgusting. Not one of my favorites and I suggest that this beer should be avoided at all cost unless your looking for a buzz free of flavor. I love this brewery but this offering is just way off base.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2006 01:17:22 | More by cheers2beers
Photo of Bierguy5
Bierguy5

Ohio

4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, 9.9% ABV. Very little carbonation upon opening the bottle. Pours a slightly hazy copper color, with a thick tan head. Great head retention.Robust aroma, caramel, citrusy and piney hops. Very nice aroma. Caramel flavors, sugary and robust. Strong candy like hop flavors, citrusy and piney. Slight alcohol warming. Hints of sweetness from the brown sugar shine as the beer warms. Medium body, with low carbonation. This is a gem.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2006 02:36:31 | More by Bierguy5
Photo of Sycodrummer
Sycodrummer

Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the brown bomber into a tulip glass the beer was a light brown color with some dark bronze hues. Two-fingers of fluffy white head sat atop the beer fed with some minimal carbonation.

The smell has an innitial aroma of malt, caramle, molasses, and some sweetness. Notes of brown sugar and a slight floral hoppiness in the end with some alcohol evident as well.

The taste took me by suprise (as it was different from what I remembered). The beer starts out suprisingly hoppy on the palate with an intense alcohol presence. Slightly spicy with a nutty and flowery bitterness on the back of the tounge. The innitial taste is the near oppiset of the smell. The taste, however, soon yields to its aroma and notes of sweet and matly caramel and brown sugar can be detected. The sweetness and alcohol intensify as the beer warms.

Medium body with a high amount of carbonation.

Although slightly different than I remember the beer is still excellent and highly drinkable. That said, its ABV can be more potent that it appears and the sweetness and chewy mouthfeel really come thru (together with the ABV) as the beer warms.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2006 16:40:09 | More by Sycodrummer
Photo of cubedbee
cubedbee

Maryland

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

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass, a deep burnished copper two fingers of off-white head, nice retention, nice sheets of lacing left behind. Nose fits the name, lots of sweet brown sugar, slightly caramel, with a slight alcohol soaked fruitiness. Some floral hops start to come through after you've acclimized yourself to the sweetness. Taste mirrors the nose with a strong sugary sweet malt upfront, slightly biscuity, slightly fruity with a decently hoppy finish merging with a not unpleasant bite of alcohol. Full bodied and smooth, this is a nice enjoyable sipping beer. Overall, dangerously so, as I could easily drink several of these high octane beers.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2006 22:38:12 | More by cubedbee
Photo of nlmartin
nlmartin

Ohio

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

The beer was served in a wide mouthed pub glass.

Appearance: The beer pours a clear caramel amber coloration. The head was about two fingers and quickly resolved into a creamy off white ring of foam. Specks of lacing remain on the glass.

Smell: The beer smells of sweet malty brown sugar and molassis. The beer has some excellent fruity esters floating around bannana, citrus and dark dried fruits. The hops and alcohol provide a snappy spicy earthyness.

Taste: This beer has a very sweet malty upfront taste. The beers taste is pretty much as it smells. There is a sugary molassis combo driving the taste. The fruityness comes across like good bannana bread. The hops break up what would have been a unbearably sweet beer. The alcohol participates in the taste providing a boozy companion to the hops.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer is full bodied. The beer is definately a sipper. The alcohol is definately present in the mouthfeel of the beer. If you do not respect this beer it will kick your ass. The beer is definately a beer treat. I cannot see myself drinking more than one of these in a evening.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2006 13:24:46 | More by nlmartin
Photo of edchicma
edchicma

Massachusetts

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

An exceptional brew! Rich caramel in appearance with a small head. Beautifully sweet maly aroma with hops undertones. Taste Sweet malt presence blends into a mid-hop burst..finsihing in a hop finish with a tad of sweetness remaining. Alcohol was present but by no means overpowering. Smoooth with a great dry finish. Mouthfeeel was excellent for such a high abv.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2006 22:11:26 | More by edchicma
Photo of edmundfitzoil
edmundfitzoil

Florida

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

Lagunitas' Brown Shugga' poured from a 22 oz. brown bomber bottle into a standard pint glass. There was no date on the bottle but it was marked 9.9% alcohol and 51.1 IBU.

The beer poured an amber color with a lean towards red. A surprising amount of carbonation bubbles rose in the glass, and quarter inch of head held on and retained throughout the drink. The nose impressed with a strong hop presence and carmel presence with light alcohol smell in the rear.

I would be lying if I said I expected hops, even with the IBU listed on the bottle, but a heavy, sweet malt presence upfront with a light, hoppy bitterness The finish is reminiscent of an English Barleywine with a faint alcohol flavor and light, hoppiness. The flavors mellowed and intertwined as the beer warmed. This is a quality beer, and potentially the best I've come to from Lagunitas.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2006 06:48:39 | More by edmundfitzoil
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
Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,448 ratings.