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Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,446 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,446
Hads: 5,028
Avg: 3.99
pDev: 21.05%
Wants: 242
Gots: 885 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Brown Shugga' Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,446 | Hads: 5,028
Photo of Beertroop
3.42/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice big bottle for only $3 good price with an even better taste.

App: Good looking label with its usual saying of todays notes. This one involved the phrase "A rolling stone gathers no moss." Nice Deep red color with a tint of orange. Not a big head but it did leave a nice lasing through the drink. A good looking beer when poured.

smell: Good sugar smell with a certain hop aroma. It really warms your nose. Main notes are hops, then a sweetness of caramel with a floral hint.

Taste: Hops infused with a great balance of Sugar though. I'm not a big hops guy, but this beer is very likable. It has good carbonation, maybe a little too much. It sure leaves an aftertaste of sweet bitterness on your tongue well after you taste it. Delicious beer.

M&D: Good feel to it with the hops and sugars coming out from the first sip. Good semi-dense beer. You sure know time was taken making this beer. Very drinkable if your a hop fan. Overall a Good beer.

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Photo of ShamasUVA
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, reading "Feeding brown sugar to otherwise cultured brewery yeast is akin 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 now, and it is too late." No date, but I suspect this is fresh.

Color: 4. Deep red, slightest tinge of brown. off white head, decent retention.

Smell: 4 Cherry, Candy, Leather and Beer. A little bit of spice or licorice.

Taste: 4.5 Extremely assertive, and I don't trust the 51.1 IBU on the label, this seems much more bitter than that. I would guess Chinook hops since it lingers. Some alcohol heat. Great sweet rich fruity flavor. Not a complex maltiness but a powerful one.

Mouthfeel 4.5 Rich but not thick. This is one area where "American Strong Ale" can really run the gamut. Good.

Drinkability: 4 It's so dang tasty, you keep wanting more. .Overall a very good beer but the bitterness lingers for a solid 60 seconds so it is hard to call this "drinkable." I think this is still a little young. I would like to give it 6-12 months to see how the bitterness gets sanded down and the alcohol heat mellows. Will probably be exceptional.

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Photo of YankChef
4.08/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Dark amber colored, with hints of peach and a maple syrup color

dark sweetness up front, waiting to be hit by the 9.9% a/c but it is very well masked in this darkly sweet balanced brew.

Certainly a sipper, however a very enjoyable one. Also inexpensive as the single bottle cost me $1.50. Try this one out if you can find it

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Photo of orfeu
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at cellar temperature. Light shade of copper, crystalline with swirling carbonation streams. A fluffy cloud of dense and rocky ecru foam sits atop. Pine-inflected grapefruit and mandarin orange slices in the aroma; floral and slightly sugary, too. The citric hops from the aroma are surprisingly muted in the flavor, which is a pleasantly sweet affair overall, reminiscent of canned orange sections in syrup. Sugared nasturtiums and grapefruit jellybeans. Just a hair thicker than medium-full in body; slippery mouthfeel, remaining creamy without sliding into syrupy. Impressive!

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Photo of prototypic
3.6/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: It's a hazy, dark copper color with a one and a half finger head. Nice and creamy, though it vanished pretty quickly and left pretty light lacing down the glass.

Smell: It smells sweet. Definitely a nice blend of malt and hops in the nose. There are some fruity citrus notes to the smell. I'm picking up hints of raisins in there as well.

Taste: Initially it tastes sweet, but not in an overbearing way. The fruit and raisin tastes are apparent. It's got a nice malty body to it which balances out a bit of hop kick at the end. It's definitely more bitter than I was expecting, but in a good way.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's somewhere between light and medium bodied. It has a light syrupy feel to it. At nearly 10% ABV, I probably won't be drinking more than one. But, I'm enjoying it. Overall, it's a good beer. Actually better than I was expecting. Definitely worth checking out.

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Photo of kpantz
3.92/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Executive Summary: Since "American Strong Ale" is a bit of a catch-all, I didn't really know what to expect. Reading the label, I figured I could count on some aggressive sweetness (OG 1.10) and not too much in the way of hoppiness (51 IBU). Wrong. Totally wrong. But in a good way. This is actually pretty tasty.

Appearance: Reddish-amber, somewhat cloudy with a cream-colored head, about a finger thick, but quickly reducing to a film. Moderate lacing.

Smell: Largely this smells like a cross between a green barleywine and a weak-nosed imperial IPA. Some hops in the nose as well as some weak malt and yeast notes. As the beer warms, the brown sugar finally starts to emerge.

Taste: Definitely sweet right at the beginning, but a "dirty" flavor moves in, followed by a pretty nice hop flavor (with associated bitterness in the back-end). I'm actually pretty surprised how prominently hops figure in this beer. I was expecting a sweet mess, but instead I feel like I'm drinking an over-balanced imperial IPA. Kinda strange. As with the aroma, a bit of warming and a lot of swirling gently coaxes some of the brown sugar out of hiding, but not enough to change the overall impression.

Mouthfeel: Not bad. A little sticky, but the body itself is pretty light. Carbonation level is on the high side of just right.

Drinkability: Actually pretty drinkable given the shock factor here. Even though I didn't get anything I expected to out of this beer, it's pretty enjoyable. Goes down smoothly, and even the belches taste pretty good ;)

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Photo of Kegatron
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours an amber rose with a slight off white head that left decent lacing. Aroma of malty sweetness, fruits, and spices.

Taste is sweet sugars and malt up front followed by a nice assertive hop presence and alcohol in the finish. That sweet brown sugar taste really hangs onto the palatte in the aftertaste. Provides a nice, solid mouthfull with some nice heat in the finish.

Sweet & warming and surprisingly drinkable, this is a great strong ale to sit down with on a cold, winter's night.

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Photo of Ricochet
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yikes! This smelled like a sugary, yet inviting beverage. I've never really tried a "stong ale" , but this seemed like a run of the mill brown ale as the dark amber appearance and minimal head and lace fortold. The scent told of amber ale but was sweet. Mouth was, unique. Bitter rounded out the palette and sweet made it's presence known, but the chewiness of this beer above all, made it a really decent wash. Taste was all malt, imperial alcoholic properties like a decent bock with a tuned up ABV. There was some raisin but mostly the fruity taste of orange came through. What an exceptional taste.

Hell, I don't know where this will fit, but I want to explore it again. Great stuff. Amber ale like none other. Great!

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Photo of rallison
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a Delirium Tremens goblet.

A: Dark red brown with a 2 finger off white head that sticks around nicely and leaves lots of lacing.

S: Caramelized brown sugar. Alcohol. Toffee. Yummy.

T: Not ridiculously complex, but very tasty. More of the brown sugar (surprise, surprise!) with a nice bit of caramel and toffee flavors. A bit of an alcohol bite actually works to nicely counter the sweetness. Maybe some plum or date in there too. Dark fruits at the very least. Also kind of reminds of Belgian Candi sugar.

M: Nice and full with a slight alcohol burn. Overall, a good mouthfeel.

D: Not the most drinkable strong ale, but drinkable enough.

Recommended. Nice after dinner beer.

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Photo of ultralarry2006
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Leaves a one finger tan colored head with good retention, and some good spotty lacing. Body is a clear red amber, a little like brewed black tea.

Smell - spicy, even firey, medicinal alcohol fills the nose. Under that, there is some maltbread, tea, and a hint of apples.

Taste - pretty much like the smell. Medicinal and spicy alcohol with maltbread and oversweetened tea . A slight caramel taste on the finish. The alcohol dominates the taste and the aroma here, but it's more tasty than harsh.

Mouthfeel - Medium to thin bodied, rather semi-dry, with a little bit of hop oil slickness.

Drinkability - this is very good. High abv obviously limits sessionability.

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Photo of ericj551
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brown Shugga pours a clear amber orange with a lasting head. The smell is like a good barleywine, sweet and rich caramel malt aroma with a nice spicy, slightly citrusy and floral hops. Taste is a smooth balance. The sweet malts are up front, with a dark fruitiness. Hops follow will a nice but not overwhelming bitterness and a herbal, almost medicinal flavor. The beer is slightly less sweet and full bodied then I would expect for just under 10%, but that would make sense with the addition of brown sugar. The mouthfeel on the one is incredibly smooth, almost creamy. Alcohol is more noticeable as the beer warms.

I'm glad to see Lagunitas coming to my area, I've had a chance to try five different beers from them recently.

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Photo of jwc215
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
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!

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Photo of Chuggnutt
3.82/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Nice copper, slightly murky. Light tan head falling slowly.

Smell: Hops and sweet malt, sugary (Belgian candy?), probably the brown sugar. Very cloying.

Taste: Sweet bite accented by hops. Alcohol heat, strong character on tongue. Caramelized sugar, spun out and flossy.

Mouthfeel: Nice medium feel, lighter than I'd expect as a barleywine. Dry alcohol rolls around the mouth and leaves that numbing/prickly feeling.

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Photo of BrewDrinkRepeat
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a brilliant red copper. Tall off-white head that lingers a long time.

S: Strong malt aroma, with a definite nose of brown sugar as expected. No discernable hop aroma (which would be out of place for this beer anyway).

T: Tastes big and sweet, slightly cloying. No forward hop bitterness, but a definite tingle at the back of my throat so I know they're there. The impression of brown sugar lingers after the swallow.

M: This is a rich beer -- not thick like as tout, but definitely a big mouthfeel. Very similar to other beers where sugar is added to boost the fermentables. Pleasant alcohol warmth that get somewhat less pleasant as the beer warms up.

D: Considering the sweetness this is a surprisingly drinkable beer. That been said, I probably would not buy another one -- not so much because of any real faults in this beer, but this style doesn't appeal to me that much. I found myself not wanting to finish it after I poured the second half of the 22oz. bomber. (I might like it more in a 12oz. bottle.)

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Photo of smcolw
3.81/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Light brown color, clear. Long-lasting head that leaves ample amount of lace on the glass.

Very low aromas--some molasses/candy sugar; no discernable hop

Caramel flavors--more sweet than bitter, but the hop is present and balances this beer just enough. Very full bodied. Good carbonation. The aftertaste brings out the hop. Interesting journey through the flavor profile.

Regardless of the complexity, this is an easy to drink beer. It is VERY deceptive given the alcohol content (9.9%!!). I could not note the usual oiliness or aftertaste of alcohol. Drink this one with some caution.

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Photo of ZAP
3.37/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-orangish amber color....nice frothy vanilla head.

S-Sweet sugary malt...a hint of maple...Ok but doesn't grab you by the throat and scream "drink me mother fucker"...decent but not great.

T-Very sweet flavored...heavy molassses, brown sugar, maple malt backbone....there is also a unique piney hop bitterness.

M-Very full bodied and thick...this is a big boy no doubt.

D-I like sweet beers and I like this to a point. Here's my problems with this....it feels too sweet and the hops used just do not blend nicely at all with the malt...kind of a muddled drinking experience that isn't bad but isn't great either...some bitterness on the long finish really confuses the hell out of my buds after the almost sickening onslaught of sticky sweetness at the start..

I'd still say it's worth a try and I'd rate it a little above average overall...

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Photo of Contra
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is probably one of the most cloudy beers I've ever had. Minimal head, with a dark amber hue. Quite tasty, as it reminds me of a thick I.P.A. with less of the floral qualities, yet sweeter. It also reminds me of barely-wine, but not overtly so.

The beauty of this beer is how cheap it is. I paid $3.50 for a 22 oz. bottle. Lagunitas is quickly becoming one of my favorite breweries, especially for how inexpensive they tend to be.

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Photo of chilidog
4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lagunitas, Wow, not what I expected, this is a very good, well enjoyed beer!

It poured a nice dark copper, rich clear color. Nice full head, slight tan with a good lace path left glass-side. (I was expecting, well something brown)

The aroma was sweet toasted malts, an aroma of good crusty bread.

The taste says it all. Toasted malts with a good sweet layer of well carmalized brown sugar. Kinda like brown-sugar cinnamon toast.
This full bodied beer is thick but a great blended hop does'nt allow it to get to sweet. The 9.9% stay's in check as well. Only a slight alcohol hint is noticed in the taste. This allows this beer to be very drinkable. Caution; that also allows that 9.9% to sneak up on ya.

Overall; very drinkable with a good, clean mouthfeel. The mouth is left with a slight oil feel but with a sugar sweet finish.

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Photo of Hampton73
3.82/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pretty clear amber with some head.

Smell is brown sugar with American hops. Kind of nice.

The hops really are at the forefront in the flavor, with the brown sugar coming through. Not a lot of malt flavor in there.

Mouthfeel is thin with carbonation.

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Photo of billybob
3.56/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a redish amber color with a two finger beige head that settled to a half inch tight bubbled head to the finish with lots of lacing. smell of brown shugga, slight citrus and floral aromas and alcohol. taste is very sweet sugar and toffee and some citrus maybe oranges on the back of the palate. mouthfeel is thick, syrupy and weak on carbonation. the 9.90 abv limits the drinkability but i would buy it again for a high test pick me up.

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Photo of mcallister
2.34/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Brightly clear shade of scarlet/mahagony. Very large off white head is overly thick and fluffy with spectacular retention and lace.

Hard too really tell what's going on in the nose. Dried fruity esters, with hints of toffee, and distracting phenols.

Not really what I was expecting. This beer leaves a metal odd finish in your mouth that really takes away from everything. I was expecting a sweeter beer also and this is very dry. There are some toffee, and fruit flavors that are hard to fit. I'm not sure I'll be trying this beer again.

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Photo of Kudashov
1.9/5  rDev -52.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

22 oz Brown bottle poured in a pint glass .
we have Ian Brown on the Hi-Fi with some golf on the TV . Bottle has dog on label and cap and it looks like " Pete " from Our Gang . Aroma is instant as cap is taken off . My sense of smell is not that good but I could smell this before cap was put down . I smell raisins , sugar , & molasses . Like treacle bread . My first gulp is pleasant and nice lacing present on glass . Slick mouthfeel and sweet on the end . Just not sweet enough ( which I already am but ..) . I like sweet but this was not my type . This brew is not what I was looking for .

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Photo of granite
2.77/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into pint glass.

A---It poured a murky copper with a thin beige head.

S---Maple, molasses, burnt sugar, nutmeg and phenols.

T---Burning hot alcohol shifting to sweet caramelized sugar. It finished dry and salty. Tongue numbing and unpleasant tasting in my opinion.

M---Thin-Medium bodied.

D---A little less then average is the best way I can describe this.

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Photo of DrJay
3.58/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reddish brown beer, not quite clear, topped by a short, light tan head. Fine bubbles formed some lacing, foam reduced quickly to a solid ring. Caramel, toffee, and grapefruit aromas hit the nose first, with notes of orange and alcohol becoming more apparent as it warmed. There were also some tropical fruit/fruit punch aromas as well. Solid bitterness with sweet toffee and grassy hops. Fruit character was much more restrained and was mostly citrus. Light molasses flavour towards the end, but it finished strongly bitter with a little alcohol warmth. Medium bodied, medium/low carbonation that resulted in a creamy texture. Some dryness. A decent beer, but the high bitterness doesn't really let the malt character show very well.

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Photo of Gavage
3.15/5  rDev -21.1%
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.

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Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,446 ratings.