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Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,470 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,470
Hads: 5,140
Avg: 4
pDev: 21%
Wants: 250
Gots: 967 | 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: 1,470 | Hads: 5,140
Photo of CraigP83
4.24/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice amber color, transparent with a thin off-white head. Smells of hops. There is another odor I can't quite pin, possibly grapefruit? Tastes like a slightly sweet IPA. I didn't get the brown sugar taste I was expecting until my glass warmed a bit. Drinks hot, perceived alcohol and cane sugar

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Photo of pkalix
4.21/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

bone colored head, small streams of minor carbonation rising to the top. icy hop aroma with some sweetness mixed in. a little metallic aroma in the smell. metallic in the taste. kind of tin-ny. sweet. some underlying hops but bitter nonetheless. getting sweeter. caramel-ly. overall, a decent brew.

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Photo of bluehende
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I loved this one. Slightly sweet. It is about what you would expect for a 10% beer and much less sweet than you would expect due to the name. The hops balance out this beer quite nicely as it is very hoppy with a nice nose. A hopped up barleywine is the best way to describe this bargain of a beer.

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Photo of --Dom--
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is awesome. It has a taste and an aroma all it's own It doesn't follow a style or try to fit into a niche. It's just good. If you like barleywines and old ales you'll love it. If you like Ipa's and Dipa's you'll love it. Wish it was available year round.

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Photo of EricLiPuma
4.34/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great beer. Drank this one from the bottle and i was not disappointed it really does live up to the hype. VERY tropical. A lot of pineapple going on with some mellowed out tropical skittles. Very sweet but what would you expect with a name like brown shugga. It has pretty good bitterness going on in the back too.

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Photo of NickTheGreat
4.19/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L (4.25) – Very nice amber color. This is honestly my favorite color. Nice little head too.

S (4.5) – Smells great. You really get that piney, bitter smell that you want.

T (4) – Tastes really good. Not quite what I was expecting by the style or name. I do not get much sweet or alcohol, but it is good.

F (4) – Has nice mouthfeel. Goes down well.

O (4.25) – I’m kinda new to Lagunitas stuff, and had heard a lot about this one. I thought it was good, but not top shelf, run all over town to buy, type of beer. Nice beer, and I’d add to my rotation.

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Photo of fitrock2112
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured Brown Shugga' into a Belgian Tulip.

A - Pours a clear amber with a off white head that goes on forever.

S - Sweet grapefruit, pine, citrus. Typical IPA goodness.

T - Bitterness, juicy hops, citrus, grapefruit and pine. Mid palate getting some lightly toasted malt with some sweetness from the brown sugar. Finally, on the aftertaste getting more grapefruit, citrus and sweetness.

M - Smooth medium mouthfeel, medium carbonation.

O - Nice beer with many great flavors for this time of year. Recommended Cheers!

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Photo of Caveworm
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, this brew's off-white finely porous head is 1 finger thick with solid lacing, and a darker walnut brownish amber body.

The aroma I'm picking up with Brown Shugga' is, yes brown sugar, along with roasted malts, and more feisty hops. This is not overpowering or astringent to the senses. I've got a feeling this will taste quite good.

I taste basically the same components as the scent, the hops are pinier more so than a grapefruit flavor. As bold as this tastes, it's not too sharp or tart. Brown shugga' smoove, lol.

Overall, I'll give Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company a 4.5. I was lovin it and will purchase this beer again

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Photo of timontheroad
4.21/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured a nice clear reddish Amber color with a great fluffy off-white three finger head. Great head retention and beautiful lacing all the way to the bottom of the glass. The smell is fruity and floral, with citrus and piney notes, and just a bit of malty sweetness. The taste is fantastic, with some sweet malty flavors, some wonderful fruity and grassy flavors- just great! The mouthfeel is thick and creamy with just a light touch of prickly carbonation. Overall, this is one great beer- what I've come to expect from Lagunitas.

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Photo of PeterParker
3.58/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

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Photo of TylerKitchens
4.67/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is one of my favorite Holiday Seasonal brews. I've had Sucks now for a long time and this is the first time I've seen Brown Shugga' and I was blown away!

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Photo of Mikus
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

This was a pleasant surprise (and only a 9.99 sixer), and lives up to the rep. Beautiful pour. Nice clean piney aromas and notes, as well as a healthy malt presence. Love the brown sugar addition. Pine keeps it clean. Evolves and changes in the glass. I will buy this again.

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Photo of PacNWDad
4.2/5  rDev +5%

Pours with a frothy white head that takes a long time to dissipate. Tons of lace on the sides of the glass. Color is copper and clear. Smells of passion fruit and honey. As it warms, this becomes something of a hop bomb, with citrus and piney notes. Sweet on the tongue, with a fairly abrupt, bitter finish. A complex, lovely beer.

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Photo of RickS95
3.99/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium ruby brown. Despite a relatively dark color, it's very clear and bordering on translucent. The head is gorgeous. A finger and a half thick of offwhite bubbles. Retention is lasting and as the head sits there, it's lightens to an almost white color, giving it a creamy look. Lacing is thick and attractive.

The scent is aggressive with floral notes of tropical flowers. The look and smell both very much resemble a pale ale or an India pale ale. Eventually brown sugar notes evolve.

It's got an almost strange taste, like a combination of a pale ale and brown sugar. The high alcohol is well-masked but gathers steam in the swallow and lingers til the next sip.

Once again, the resemblance to a pale ale or IPA is unmistakable. The only difference is a larger malt bill, with caramel malt highlighted. Sugary sweet up front with orange rind bitterness building into the finish. A medicinal feel walks hand in hand with the bitterness unleashing an assault on the palate. Medium bodied despite the high ABV. Very warming.

I don't think this is as good as Sucks, but it's an interesting beer. Still tastes IPAish to me. A good beer.

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Photo of hophugger
4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

My first one of these. Found a couple at the back of the shelf at my beer store. Pours a nice caramel clear color with a big bad head and really nice lacing. Aroma is of hops and sweetness, kinda nice. The hop bitterness and the brown sugar hit at the same time, providing a very pleasant blend of flavors. They are balanced so well that they are fighting each other to be on top. Sugar leaves a little in the aftertaste, leaving a nice cool hop bitterness with a touch of citrus rind, not bad. Overall, I am happy with this brew, as I am with everything Lagunitas has put out !!!!!

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Photo of threeviews
4.74/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle (Julian Bottled On Date: 315 = Nov. 11, 2014) into a 13.5oz Libbey, Belgian Tulip/Snifter glass.

Not much more to add than what has already been stated, but here goes:

A- Pours a beautifully clear, deep orange/copper color with a healthy, 1-finger, white, frothy head. Despite the elevated ABV, the head retention was quite strong. (5.0)

S- Heady aromas of sweet caramel malt and hops in the form of pine and citrus (lemon/lime, ruby red grapefruit) notes compete with beautiful results. Ultimately, the victory (with a slight margin) would be given to the malt backbone. (4.75)

T- A sweet and fruity pop of bitterness at the front of the tongue is followed by a palate-coating cherry/caramel sweetness. Never to play 2nd fiddle, the hops come back and deliver a dry, citrus-rind finish. (4.75)

M- Due to the almost 10% ABV, the body is surprisingly light and falls squarely into the category of 'medium.' In addition to the heavy-handed hop load, a good dose of carbonation keeps this heavy weight far from feeling heavy and/or syrupy. That being said, however, I do not see myself ever drinking more than (1) bottle at a sitting. (4.5)

O- Brown Shugga is a highly anticipated seasonal for many and with good reason. Although I have never composed a formal review, this is my 3rd year enjoying it and Lagunitas' consistency is phenomenal. (4.75)

Side Note: Those that are familiar with Stone's Lukcy Basartd will find a strong correlation with regards to the flavor and aroma profile of each. Thankfully, Brown Shugga is an seasonal release and the other is way more limited.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.27/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a balloon glass.

This beer is a beauty. Deep copper with slowly rising bubbles underneath a thick foamy cream colored head.Thick lines of lacing remain. Cedar fills the nose -- earthy, woody, spicy cedar. Some brown sugar sweetness can be found. There is that trademark Lagunitas aroma in it. The palate is washed with dark brown sugar, cedar, cinnamon spiciness, and a spruce finish. It tastes like a Lagunitas beer, which is a good thing. The mouthfeel is surprisingly smooth.

Overall, I was impressed. Scary how easily drinkable this is for the high ABV. Great holiday beer.

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Photo of KYGunner
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%

The nose is filled with a huge caramel maltiness, Graham cracker, barley, pine, hops, grapefruit and citrus.

The flavor is very hop forward for a Strong Ale. This is a fresh beer so the hops stand out. I get a firm malt backbone against grapefruit, oranges, pineapple, cane sugar, brown sugar, lemon, tea leaves, honey, caramel malt and light toffee.

Lagunitas does it again!


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Photo of BobJude
4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Ok, I had my 2nd one tonight and truly appreciated this beer. I am not sure what an American Strong Ale is, but to me, this was a very good double IPA with a great sweet undertone that really balanced the hop bitterness and flavor.

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Photo of jman42
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

A = Crystal clear copper color. The head was moderate but the lacing is still sitting at the top of my glass even though it is half gone.

S = Sweet and malty

T = Definitely taste the alcohol in this. One of those beers that I didn't realize it was 9.9% until I took a taste. Taste the sweetness of the brown sugar too.

M = Smooth on my tongue. Combination of a lingering malty and bitterness taste after I swallow.

O = A nice beer to age probably. A great beer to have on a cold Autumn/Winter night after a hard day of fun. Pour into a snifter and drink in front of the fire.

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Photo of metter98
4.04/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is crystal clear amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high off white head that gradually died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles on the surface, a collar around the edge, and lots of lacing down the sides.
S: Moderate aromas of citrusy and pine resin hops are present in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of sugary, caramel malts and citrusy hops along with a light amount of bitterness. Notes of pine resin are also noticeable in the finish and aftertaste. No alcohol is perceptible.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. No warming is perceptible.
O: This beer is extremely drinkable for the style, although I would consider this to be more of a hybrid between an IPA and American Strong Ale. In any event, it has a nice balance between malty sweetness and hoppy flavors.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of BrewThru_29
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

For some reason I've never tried this one. Poured into a snifter. Nice head. Great dark amber color. Smells of sweet candy, grapefruit, and some dank hops as well. Flavor up front is fairly sweet with candy type flavors and then the fruity hops hit on the back end and balance this brew out nicely. Great flavor for a winter DIPA. Can't detect the near 10% ABV. This will definitely get a repeat visit to my fridge this winter.

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Photo of mr-jj
4.37/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter from a 12 oz bottle.

Color is clear amber with a two-finger white head. Retention and lacing are very good. Smell is candied grapefruit and orange. Very juicy. Flavor is excellent - a big bite of citrus hops with a sweet malt backbone. The sweetness is there, but the hops are the star, as it should be. Finish is crisp with grapefruit rind bitterness. Body is medium, moderate carbonation. The carbonation and hops really hide the big alcohol, although you can feel a bit of the bite.

Overall, it's a great beer. Not sure what style it best fits - probably more of a DIPA than anything else.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on December 7, 2014.

It is an attractive looking deep amber pour with a long lasting off-white head. A lot of lacing.

Sweet aroma of malts and brown sugar with a muted hop sensation.

Medium to better than medium body.

The taste begins with the sweet malty goodness and the brown sugar but there is a fascinating moderate bitterness at the finish.

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4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I easily get 2 fingers of crackling light tan foam with a easy pour. Retention is solid and leaves a considerable wall of lace with consistent holes throughout. Body is a deep red amber in tone. Nose is an interesting balance of both sweet and hoppy. You get both grassy hops and sassafras candy in the smell. Taste is of resin based hops and chewy sassafras candy resembling the nose considerably. Well balanced between the malt and the hops this is scary easy to drink for nearly 10% alcohol. I am really in love with Lagunitas this year, they have been so consistent. I am putting extras of these away in the cellar to see what magic works in a brew that I believe will age spectacularly well.

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Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,470 ratings.