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Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,677 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,677
Reviews: 1,297
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 11.69%
Wants: 142
Gots: 235 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 12-13-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,677 | Reviews: 1,297 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kirkse
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

kirkse, Nov 21, 2012
Photo of swaghawk
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%

swaghawk, Nov 21, 2012
Photo of Davit
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Davit, Nov 21, 2012
Photo of rickyleepotts
3.58/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Living in Indiana, we couldn't get Lagunitas beers. I have had their IPA, and since moving, have fallen in love with their Czech Pilsner. When this hit the shelves, I was excited to see what it tasted like. I grabbed a bottle only to learn they had it available at the tasting bar at my local Total Wine & More. So I headed over there, and tried it. I tried it ice cold, so that might have something to do with it. That, and I expected a beer called Brown Shugga' to taste like… well, brown sugar. It didn't. It was almost a pale ale flavor. But that was then and this is now. So hopefully, since I am reviewing the beer, I will have a better/deeper understanding of the beer and the flavors. I am excited to try this again. Hopefully a few weeks in the bottle really brought out the sugars. I doubt it, but here's hoping!

In the Glass: The beer looks nice in the glass. It also has a really nice, thick head. Not a deep head, but a nice, frothy head that reminds me of winter/seasonal beers. The beer is also cloudy in the glass, but is inviting. The color is inviting… that is what I meant.

Nose: I pulled this right from the fridge… I am tempted to let it sit for 15-20 minutes before I even write this. Never mind. Let's drink. Or smell. This beer, being called Brown Shugga' should taste like… you guessed it. BROWN SUGAR! But it doesn't. It smells like an IPA. There is a hint of sweetness toward the back of the aroma, but that's it. Nothing to write home about. For a beer that uses this much sugar, I had much higher expectations with the aroma.

Flavor: I will say, this has more sugar flavor than I remember. I am also letting this warm up a little bit. It is not as sweet as I expected, but it does have some sweetness to it that I don't remember from the first time I tried it. Actually, leading to the aftertaste (that I will speak about in a minute) I am almost impressed with this beer. Rarely do I find a beer that tastes better than it smells. This is one of them.The Widmer Brothers Marionberry Hibiscus Gose is like that.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is nice. It is thick, not creamy… but leaves a nice texture on the tongue. Not many, if any bubbles which is nice. Also, you don't notice (at least on the palate) the 9.9% ABV. Bigger beers like this tend to leave booze on the nose or on the palate, but not this one. They hid the alcohol well.

Aftertaste: This might be my favorite part of the beer. Imagine taking a spoon full of sugar. Eat it. Then spit it out. Now that flavor is what this beer leaves on your palate. The first time I had this beer, I left it a 2/5 on Untappd. Not this time. I am very impressed with this beer, and am going to have a hard time not giving this a big rating.

Like I said, I am impressed. I always say, anything worth trying is worth trying twice. I am glad that I had this one twice. I am going to let what is left in the glass sit for a little bit and see how much it changes as it climbs closer to room temperature. I am sure it will get better, as most beers do. I pretty much love everything that Lagunitas makes… and this one will join that list. If you can get your hands on this limited release, grab some. It's worth it.

Lagunitas Brown Shugga' - The bottle says: "NA"

rickyleepotts, Nov 21, 2012
Photo of baker2gs
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

baker2gs, Nov 21, 2012
Photo of Hopfenpeter
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured a pretty, clear amber red and produced a two finger high white bubbly head. It dissipates fast into good lacing.
The smell is like with all Lagunitas, a full presence of hops. This one certainly has a good dose of sweetness to it
Tasting the beer, I feel maple syrup, brown sugar, caramel and honey flavors. This sweet start is quickly balanced by a earthy, pine hop character in the middle. The finish is a very balanced bittersweet combination of hop and malt.
Great winter beer!

Hopfenpeter, Nov 21, 2012
Photo of 2dogbrew
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

2dogbrew, Nov 21, 2012
Photo of phishsihq
3.63/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown Shugga by Lagunitas pours a mahogany-amber color and is capped by a good amount of beige head that likes to stick to the glass. As w
ith nearly every Lagunitas brew I have tried, hops are noticeable in the nose. Sweet and nutty, piney hop aromas dance over a hint of brown sugar and molasses. Caramel malty sweetness dominate on the palate, but not overly so. The malt richness is complemented nicely with some earthy yeast notes, as well as tangerine and piney hop flavors, a touch of alcohol, and a well rounded bitterness. Medium-full in body, this American Strong Ale is lower in carbonation but high in alcohol (9.9%). How come you taste so good!


phishsihq, Nov 21, 2012
Photo of ExtraStout
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear ruby-brown with gorgeous, jewel-like highlights. Thick but small head that fades to a dusting and collar. Aromas of citrus, pears and yeast, along with a bit of zesty sweetness. On the palate, bitterness and brisk carbonation start things off, followed by thick, sugary sweetness and a touch of bitterness at the back of the tongue.

Not very complex, however -- it's mostly just varying levels and characteristics of sweetness. Mouthfeel is marked by slick malts, alcholic heat, and prickly carbonation, with the alcoholic detracting signficiantly. Overall, this beer is nothing exceptional but it does exude the quality this brewer is known for. It's curious to see what this much brown sugar does to a beer. It needs more balance and a bit more complexity to be truly compelling.

ExtraStout, Nov 21, 2012
Photo of nUgZ
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a fairly dark amber color with a 2 finger head and very nice lacing.

S: Extremely sweet hoppy smell. It's hard to identify anything other than sugar and hops in the nose. Somewhat fruity the more I smell it.

T: Not nearly as sweet as the nose suggests. Much better balance of sweet hops and malts. The alcohol is detectable, but pretty well hidden.

M: Fairly heavy mouthfeel...almost chewy. Smooth and easy to drink with moderate carbonation.

O: This is a very tasty beer. I'm glad I tried it. The nose is a little sweeter than I prefer, but other than that it's great.

nUgZ, Nov 20, 2012
Photo of MarioM
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

MarioM, Nov 20, 2012
Photo of TMoney2591
3.55/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a (512) anniversary glass.

Finishing my day off with some Rolling Stones tribute beer. It is one, right...? In any case, this stuff pours a clear russet topped by a finger of off-cream foam. The nose comprises brown sugar (no way!), light maple syrup, pine needles, and the essence of grapefruit peel in the background. The taste brings in more of the same, with some brown-sugary maple taking control up front, and some bright grapefruit and mild pine needles getting the back half. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Overall, a nice beer, one that marries two distinctive flavor combinations and doesn't try to force them to live dysfunctionally together.

TMoney2591, Nov 20, 2012
Photo of WDJersey
4/5  rDev -0.5%

WDJersey, Nov 20, 2012
Photo of fitz284
4/5  rDev -0.5%

fitz284, Nov 20, 2012
Photo of brotherloco
4/5  rDev -0.5%

brotherloco, Nov 20, 2012
Photo of kuhndog
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

kuhndog, Nov 20, 2012
Photo of jackrodgers77
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

jackrodgers77, Nov 20, 2012
Photo of random846
4/5  rDev -0.5%

random846, Nov 20, 2012
Photo of jdhasse
4/5  rDev -0.5%

jdhasse, Nov 20, 2012
Photo of yoitsarch
4/5  rDev -0.5%

yoitsarch, Nov 19, 2012
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -0.5%

t0rin0, Nov 19, 2012
Photo of JayDub667
5/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

As I said in my profile, I'm a simple beer lover. Don't care about the lace, head, color... I will say it looks beautiful in a frosty mug. Nice amber with not too much of a head. The taste is amazing. Hoppy, spicy, and sweet all at the same time. Goes down smooth and leaves your taste buds begging for more. You can taste the alcohol but, even at 9.9%, it's nowhere near as prominent as a lot of beers near this potency. Great tasting beer that packs one hell of a punch. I drank 3 last night and felt like I downed 7 or 8 MGD's. I would HIGHLY recommend this incredible, delicious beer.

JayDub667, Nov 19, 2012
Photo of ZBerkeleyan
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

ZBerkeleyan, Nov 19, 2012
Photo of thecheapies
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The return of Brown Shugga. Scored me a sixer. 12oz bottle emptied into a squeaky clean snifter glass.

An auburn red beer with a slow-soaring bone head that peaked at almost three fingers' height. What a delicious looking brew! Fluffy head with great lacing and big spotty bubble pop-marks on the surface and along the glass walls. 4.5

Balanced aroma with a dry brown sugar malt and grapefruity hops. Has that signature Lagunitas hop appeal with earthy pine notes. Lightly roasted-smelling with a touch of fruitiness and a steeping alcohol tone.

Bursting with booze heat. It takes a bit away from a rich malt composition of brown sugar, toasted bread, and burnt caramel. The hops are similar to those found in most imperial red ales; grapefruit, pine, with a slight floral quality. Mostly sweet from the alcohol, but finishes bitter and a bit hoppy. Mineral notes detected. A simple and delicious ale.

Drinks smooth, but with big-time warmth. Hefty in the body, but not chunky. Evenly distributed feel with a rougher-than-gentle carbonation. Above-average.

I didn't miss this one last year, but that's partly because Sucks put it out of my mind. I'm enjoying this one more than I had in past years. Brown Shugga is a good brew and, hopefully, here to stay.

thecheapies, Nov 19, 2012
Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,677 ratings.