Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,504 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,504
Hads: 5,302
Avg: 4
pDev: 21%
Wants: 268
Gots: 1,089 | FT: 14
Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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: 1,504 | Hads: 5,302
Photo of Wasatch
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Re-visited 30 Dec 14

Pours a nice clean/clear amber color, very nice carbonation, nice creamy one-finger plus off-white head, which leaves some sticky lacing around. The nose is malty, hoppy, slight spicy. The taste is kinda sweet, malty, some hop notes, slight spice. The ABV is hidden very well. Medium body, well rounded brew. Very drinkable, this is a good ASA, another great brew from Lagunitas, highly recommended. Glad to see this here in UT!

Thanks goes out to jpm30 for this brew.

Pours a cloudy amber color, nice carbonation, small fizzy off-white head, which leaves some sticky lacing around. The nose is malty, hoppy, slight spicy, and lots of caramel. The taste is sweet, malty, some hops, slight spice, and a good dose of caramel. The alcohol is hidden well. Medium body, well rounded brew. Very drinkable, this is a good ASA, another great brew from Lagunitas, highly recommended.

 899 characters

Photo of akorsak
3.37/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A 650 mL bottle purchased somewhere that I just can't recall.

A: The ale is a lighter than I expected. Rather than a dark brew, the ale is a lighter orange color, reminiscent of an IPA with its lightness. The orange has brown highlights and remains several shades below the amber of the bomber. The head was huge on pour, over three fingers that left thick patches of lace throughout the glass. Only upclose is the incredible amount of sediment visible, to the point that it looks like pulpy orange juice (at least from a pulp perspective).

S: The aroma is heavy on the malts, thick and concentrated like an old ale. There is a definite brown sugar aroma that could easily pass for dark Belgian candi sugars.

T: The ale is all malt and alcohol heat. The malts are as strong as the nose betrayed. The intense flavor dries out the mouth, leaving a scorched earth feeling that normally only comes from a DIPA. The alcohol presence is strong throughout, never afraid to bring the heat. Through the alcohol head, there is some undefined sweetness, but I could not easily tie it back as brown sugar.

M: The mouthfeel is quite intense, making this more of a cold weather beer. I find the alcohol to be a little too much, stripping most of the flavor out of the ale.

D: One bomber is too much. This would be better off in a 12 oz bottle. The brown sugar is a nice touch, lending a hint of Belgian-style to the ale.

 1,411 characters

Photo of franksnbeans
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aged a little over a year. Pours a hazy amber burned orange with 2 fingers of pearl head that dies slow and leaves sheets of lacing. Smells of dried dark fruit, sweet malt, a hint of spice. Taste is sme as smell with a kick of tasty hop at the end. Reminds me a little of a SN Bigfoot. Medium in the mouth with ample carbonation. High drinkability and the ABV is not existant. Delicious brew.

 392 characters

Photo of cdkrenz
3.46/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

$3.99 / 1 Pint 6 Ounce Bottle
Dan's Liquor
Plover, Wisconsin

Appearance - Hazy red and orange with a touch of purple through the light. The head is a pale tan and stands about an 1/8 of an inch tall. There is some obvious yeast in this brew.

Smell - A sweet malty scent and the aroma associated normally with a good Belgian brew.

Taste - It has a pungent flavor complimented with a deep sweetness. It does however finish a little too bitter.

Mouthfeel - It is a smooth brew and the flavor if felt all over my tongue.

~ Interesting. I'd recommend it to my friends based soley on it not being an ordinary brew. This is worth a try.

 635 characters

Photo of WonderfulSam
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a great ale. Strong, complex, interesting, balanced, and overall tasty.

I did the right thing and drank the beer immediately after driving about 20 minutes home from my favorite beer store. This one seemed like a beer that needed to be enjoyed slightly warm. I poured this into a pint glass, getting slightly less than one finger of fairly bubbly tan head that managed to linger quite a while, and which left a moderate to small amount of lacing on the glass as I drank it down. It was a gorgeous beer to behold against the early evening sun. Clear, light copper. Like art, really.

The aroma was fruity, with a strong malt and maybe molasses character, with a somewhat surprising and subtle hint of hops. The flavor matched the aroma almost perfectly. Despite the (fantastically) high alcohol content, the flavor of alcohol on the beer was minimal, and what was there added a nice dimension to the flavor. The flavors were quite strong, but were so well put together that the beer was not overwhelming. It was moderately carbonated and balanced, resulting in a rich, almost sharp mouthfeel. But again, it was so well balanced that it was smooth drinking. And despite the (most wonderfully) high alcohol content, it was very easy to drink.

This is a great ale.

 1,271 characters

Photo of khiasmus
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had a dream last night. I was trapped, held hostage in a monstrous gold and porcelain castle. The front steps were like the steps of the state house, overlooking the long slope of a grassy hill upon which the mansion was set. I'm not sure why I was trapped there or what the obese, burly owner wanted... His face was emblazoned with a deep red scar in the shape of a supernova over his right eye, and the stain seemed to drip down his barrel-chest and form another explosion, almost as if he was being slowly consumed by some burning evil, despite his cordiality and joviality. My friends and I ate meats and cheeses at the banquet table and drank a wonderful nectar, I even took precise notes (which I will recall here in order to satisfy the estimable reader's curiosity):

"Dark amber with two fingers of light tan head that laces a little. Perfectly clear, quite pretty.
Tons of brown sugar, molasses, alcohol. Sweet malts and sticky pine resin hops meld to form the aroma...
The flavour opens up with more caramel-molasses sweetness, but the hops certainly come in to balance with a big piney-grapefruit-bitter wallop.
Chewy, warming, medium carbonation and a good, slick, mouth-filling presence."

He's throwing a party tonight, and I thought it may afford me a chance to escape, but the party was so huge that he had to have security stationed at every doorway, whether in the grand ballroom that had woods as a back wall, or at the top of the front steps where one stepped into the next layer, as it were, of the house... set up almost like an onion, I recall it to have been... and the last thing I remember is searching down a hallway that seemed to be constantly shrinking, with strange artwork on the walls and guards at the ends... Many, many colours here, not just the porcelain and gold, and the desperation was setting in as I remembered the ghastly scars that covered his grotesque upper body and he smiled and acted as though he were a benevolent father, but I knew that though I could have all the fun I wanted within those walls, there would never be any escape... and I had yet to discover a good reason why he wanted to keep me...

 2,155 characters

Photo of macster
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Although I consider myself a hophead I can be a sucker for a tasty sweet Strong Ale and ths was a good one.

Pours a deep brown color with amber-orange hues. Props up a creamy and thick beige head with superb retention.

As expected the aromas lean toward a sweet molasses and brown sugar presentation with the addition of some subdued notes of dried dark fruits, toffee, caramel and some faint hop spiciness.

Mouthfeel was average with a moderately creamy and chewy body but seems to finish a touch on the thin side.

Flavors were admirably balanced and fairly assertive. Notes of sweet dark sugars, figs, raisins and roasted malts were nicely combined with a slightly tamer hop spice and bitterness. This saves the beer from becoming too cloyingly sweet.

The big alcohol is hardly perceptible and this is easy goin’ down for 9.9%!

 850 characters

Photo of djeffbee
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

 415 characters

Photo of flexabull
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This bottle has been aged for a while... since January 07. I've seen some people mention that this shouldn't be aged, so I figured I'd open this and see what a few months have done to it.

Pours a clear amber color with a nice tall sturdy head. Looks great.

Aromas are muted but still pleasant. Some tea like like aromas, and a bit of sweet hard candies.

Beer follows the aromas. Tastes slightly sweet, tea like, and a bit tart. There is an underlying malty sweetness. While the finish is of cereal grains, and a hop bitterness that mineral like, and still there.

Mouthfeel is good. Very full, and with a nice long finish.

Drinkability is still good. I think I prefer this fresh, but it's still a nice beer and the age has not ruined it in my opinion.

 765 characters

Photo of Dogbrick
3.65/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Murky brown-amber pour with a thin and foamy off-white head. Thin spotty lacing as well. The aroma is sharply hoppy with sweet fruit and molasses coming through more as it warms. The labeling on this one really threw me off as I was expecting more of a sweet brown ale. Once my taste buds told me it was actually a Barley Wine I was able to recover. Very hoppy on the front end, along with some peppery alcohol. The flavor mellows a bit as malt and fruits start to seep in. The finish is round and fruity with an alcohol burn leftover. Above average, and kind of unique to boot.

 578 characters

Photo of OWSLEY069
2.82/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep orange/ light brownish color, with a light tan head. In the aroma a caramel sweetness and malty. In the taste, caramel, sugary sweet and a dry end. Huge sweetness with a dry end, an aftertaste of brown sugar. It is a bit too sweet for me, but it does hide the alcohol very well.

 291 characters

Photo of beveragecaptain
3.67/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Lagunitas Brown Shugga' pours out a reddish brown color topped with a small head. The aroma is sweet and malty. The brown sugar is quite noticeable in the nose. The flavor is sweet, but not syrupy. I taste raisins and brown sugar. Emphasis is on the malt, but hops come in at the finish, and the bitter hoppiness seems to build up as I work my way through this 22 ounce bottle. Alcohol is high, and that combined with the large bottle size makes for a beer to sip over several hours, if you're going at it alone.

 512 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.97/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 22oz bomber poured into a pint glass. Amber color with a very small head. Aroma is mostly caramel, with a little bit of citrus. Taste was caramel/brown sugar, with a strong malt presence, and some grapefruit hoppiness. A fairly robust beer, kind of chewy. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer and will look for it again.

 316 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an effervescent amber/orange with 2 fingers of sand-colored head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Slight pine& herbal hops

T: Huge pine hops, cakeyness, & brown suggah up front. Earthy & grapefruit hops & some honey dryness follow as this warms. Finishes with subtle booze warmth, rough grapefruitty hops, a little caramel & yes, brown sugar, works for me!

MF: Chewy with low carbonation, but a little thin for the style

Drinks damn easy for the abv, an almost great take on the style

 504 characters

Photo of Duster72
4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark ruby/amber color with very little head. Smell is malts, brown sugar, molasses, piney hops, and alcohol. Taste is primarily sweet matls and brown sugar/carmel. Surprisingly not too sweet or cloying. Perfect balance of sweet flavors and alcohol. Mouthfeel is on the heavy side, which is fine for the style. Crazy drinkable at ABV. Another excellent beer from Lagunitas, as I have grown accustomed to.

 411 characters

Photo of Mickelswit
4.13/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a very clear, ruby-amber brew with a thick, sticky, white head that leaves a lot of lacing. Smell is very enticing, with sweet malts (Munich?), sugar, ripe cherries, and assertive hops.

Taste is not what I expected. The initial flavors are caramel, cherry slushie, and a faint earthy/smoky note. Instead of being sickly, though, the warm and spicy hops balance the flavor, creating a slight and lingering sweetness. There is just a bit of alcoholic warmth in the finish, though I would never guess this was 9.9%.

Mouthfeel and drinkability are also surprising. Clearly there are lots of sugars in the brew, because after a few sips my lips were sticking to the pint glass. But the body is not syrupy. It drinks like a lighter Vienna-style lager. It is way too drinkable for being so huge, so definitely nurse this one or split it with a friend.

 858 characters

Photo of drseamus
3.82/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: This pours a very nice red color with a pretty decent off white head. It looks like a barleywine to me, but I have no specific reasons why i think that.

S: Heavy malt is the dominant aroma in this. There are some hints of brown sugar, molasses, caramel, and dark fruits in there as well. It is a good smelling beer and makes me think it will taste awesome.

T: The amount of hoppy bitterness in there is really surprising. From the smell, I expected it to be sweeter and maltier but it is almost a hop dominated flavor initially. After the bitterness some of that sweetness does poke it's head through. I can't specifically taste any brown sugar in there but I can get some of the alcohol it produced.

M: This is a very smooth beer even with the initial bite from the hops. It is medium bodied which is nice given it's ABV.

D: A bit strong in both the alcohol and bitterness department to get a great drinkability rating, but it is good.

 952 characters

Photo of Westsidethreat
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Hazy brew the color cider. Head is nice, with a good half inch of creamy sourdough colored bubbles.

S: Orangesickle, caramel crème, butterscotch and minty hops.

T: Begins with copius amounts of caramel and brown sugar across the front of the tongue. Condensed and sweetened marmalade with streaks of vanilla and candied orange fold in well against the toffee flavors. Some bitterness takes shape around this point in the process, leaning towards the pine bark side…but less on the pine and more on the earthy side. Butterscotch, marshmallow and applesauce follow suit, allowing all flavors to meld. Finishes a bit alcoholic with musty citrus and lingering bitterness.

M: Medium body, soft with just a touch of a syrupy mouthfeel.

D: Nice flavors going on in here. I think this beer would age well for a couple of years and round out quite nicely. Makes a good after dinner digestif.

 901 characters

Photo of ncvbc
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This one pours an amber/ruby color with little carbonation and a thin off white head. Pretty nice lacing as well. Smell is of sweet malts and decent hop scent. Slight bit of alcohol present in the nose. Taste is of sugary sweet malts but a pretty big hop kick also. It's like a weak DIPA or a BHM after a year. Interesting for sure. Mouthfeel is medium. Little alcohol burn. Hop bite and sugary sweet coating of malts on the tongue. Drinkability is a little lower because I can't drink much of this. Maybe two 12 oz. but one was enough I believe.

I do like the creativity of this brew and thanks goes to czoch75 for this extra.

 631 characters

Photo of bort11
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Recieved from Marvs in the NABBIF

22 oz bottle poured into an imperial pint glass. Tight custard yellow head that leaves a sticky lace. Color is an amber orange with chunks of proteins and sediment floating around.
Smell has a malty sweet presence with a mild hoppy background. Taste seems to switch things up and starts out hoppy and then finishes malty sweet. Additional spices are added to the finish.
Mouthhfeel has a solid medium body. Slightly slick and syrupy, but not cloying. Very nice

 499 characters

Photo of shertz
3.47/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 12 oz bottle into Pint glass. No date.

A- Golden orange with little head. Many small bubbles gladly rising to the top. Lacing throughout during drinking.

S- Sweet, umm...let me guess, brown sugar? Hint of alcohol with some hops thrown in.Nice.

T- Surprisingly very hoppy. Not as sweet as I suspected. Alcohol comes out pretty strong after a couple of sips.

M- Thin and carbonated. Again, I thought it would be a little more thicker with the sugar.

D- With the high alcohol, this wouldn't make a very good sessions beer. However, the alcohol isn't as profound as one may suspect for a 9.9. Very decent brew. Would drink again.


 670 characters

Photo of rkuhnel
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle. Copper orange with a big tan head. Good lacing. Aroma is lovely g with odors of grapefruit, hops, and some caramel, as well as just a touch of alcohol. Lots of flavors. Somewhat sweet. Slick mouthfeel and oily on the back of the tongue. It goes down like cough syrup. Nice hoppy finish. Yum.

 305 characters

Photo of DavidSeanNJ
3.92/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a standard pint glass. Appearance is a copper color with a tan/caramel color tin when held to the light. There wasn't much head on this one, possibly less than an inch. Mouthfeel was warm and the alcohol notes were highly detectable. Sugary sweet tastes were prevalent, lots of malts- dessert flavors. This one drank very easily for such a high ABV at 9.9%. I would absolutely buy this one again- enjoyed best on a cold winter night.

 465 characters

Photo of phisig137
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep reddish brown, with a two finger creamy head. Good retention leaves behind moderate lacing.

Aroma is malt driven, and dominated by caramel, toffee, and brown sugar. Toasted grains pop up towards the rear with some solvent like alcohol.

Flavor is well rounded and fairly mild. Not nearly as sweet as I expected. Brown sugar and burnt caramel flavors blend very nicely with toasted malts and heavy biscuit flavors. No hop flavor, but not cloyingly sweet either. Mouthfeel is sticky and heavy. Drinkability is quite good.... this hides it's almost 10% quite well.

Overall a good beer, but not the best from Lagunitas. I'll definitely buy it again, and it is well worth the $3.99 I paid for the bomber. Definitely worth a try.

 744 characters

Photo of letsgopens
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This American strong ale pours a burnt amber with orange highlights. A tan head that hold well and leaves great lace. A beer than is accentuated greatly by making sure your pour fast and ensure a lot of head.

The aroma is initially sweet that reveals a bit of hops and a bitter pine-like characteristic that compliments the flavor nicely.

The flavor itself is sweet but not obnoxious with subtle hints of brown sugar (obviously), molasses, caramelized malt, toffee, and a refreshing slightly hoppy finish. An alcoholic warmness and smoothness rounds out a sweet and complex flavor; light but decadent.

I expected a dense malty texture but was pleasantly surprised by a bright clean finish. Overall sweet and appetizing but not to heavy to enjoy the entire bottle on a hot day.

 788 characters

Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,504 ratings.