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Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,651 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,651
Reviews: 1,296
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 11.44%
Wants: 134
Gots: 231 | FT: 13
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: 3,651 | Reviews: 1,296 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of danoble1


4/5  rDev -0.5%

11-11-2012 14:59:04 | More by danoble1
Photo of PeterNeilsonPMN

Ontario (Canada)

5/5  rDev +24.4%

Just had this on tap tonight in Marcella's Restaurant in Columbus Ohio. Very fresh, fruity smell and taste. Deep dark golden brown, clear. Lovely color. Very hoppy. It was perfect with the Italian appetizers we had while waiting for the main course. One of the nicest beers I've had in a while. Impressive. The restaurant is awesome too. Highly recommended.

11-11-2012 05:10:59 | More by PeterNeilsonPMN
Photo of Brown120


4/5  rDev -0.5%

11-11-2012 04:23:49 | More by Brown120
Photo of RandyBoBandy


4/5  rDev -0.5%

11-11-2012 03:47:18 | More by RandyBoBandy
Photo of kojevergas


3.25/5  rDev -19.2%

Heard the hype; grabbed a bottle at Whole Foods. Expectations are high; I like this brewery and some knowledgeable beer folk seem to dig this brew. 9.9% according to my bottle; I don't see 9.99% as currently listed on the site. 51.1 IBU. O.G. 1.100. I always like their labels; they're entertaining and well laid out. So that's a plus on presentation. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Uinta pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live.

Served straight from the fridge and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a plump five finger khaki colour head of beautiful smooth rolling frothy cream, good thickness, and great retention. Body colour is a rich vibrant copper with an amber hue. Transparent and translucent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. I'd estimate the retention time at about five minutes. Really looking good so far. A gorgeous brew. I'm very impressed at the retention at this high an ABV. You'd think it was maybe 5% off the retention alone.

Sm: Brown sugar, certainly - but not to the extent I expected. It's actually somewhat understated. Floral hops, toasty caramelized malts, caramel, and biscuit malt. Even a hint of toffee. Slightly musty. A mild strength aroma. It's not real bold or expressive, but I'm excited to try it. Besides, there's a respectability to an understated mellow aroma. I don't detect any yeast or boozy alcohol.

T: Heavy on the brown sugar, indeed. I'm going to have to adjust to its assertive flavour. I do get floral hops - which seem to complement the flavour profile nicely. The sugar mellows on the climax, which is probably my favourite aspect of the brew. Caramel. Some toasty malts. No alcohol or yeast comes through. I do get some biting hop bitterness, especially in the second act. Feels too preserved and over-hopped. The floral hops swallow up the sugary flavour, making it lopsided. It's certainly full bodied. Too bitter on the finish, a stark contrast to the sugary character that precedes it. I find it imbalanced, and it's not getting much better as it warms.

In the final sip, I got a wonderful brown sugar sweetness, and even a hint of ginger spice. I wish the whole beer tasted like that.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with a rounded malty crispness that I really dig. I've noticed this characteristic in many Lagunitas brews; it's inflated and smooth, aiding the drinkability. Somewhat chewy. Good carbonation and thickness. A scratchy hop coarseness emerges on the climax; it's an annoyance. Independent of the frustrating flavours, the mouthfeel is for the most part well executed.

Dr: Drinkable, especially for the ABV, but it falls short of my expectations given what people have said about it. I'd certainly try it on draught, but I think it needs time for the hops to mellow out a bit and for the malts to take the forefront - along with the shockingly understated brown sugar. Needs serious aging. It's tasty but a bit misguided. I'll have to revisit this one, but I'm unimpressed with it currently - and it shouldn't be my job to age it. Well-priced for the quality, and I'm sure most drinkers will be satisfied with it. I find its key flaws (major bitterness in the second half caused by overhopping, and a lack of presence of the titular brown sugar) prevent me from really liking it. That said, it's pretty impressive how little the alcohol comes through.


It does get better as it warms. Be sure to let her rest after you take her out of the fridge.

11-11-2012 03:31:20 | More by kojevergas


3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

11-11-2012 02:51:38 | More by IMSPEAKNOENGLISH
Photo of Mordhaus


4/5  rDev -0.5%

11-11-2012 02:51:28 | More by Mordhaus
Photo of beerman207


4.43/5  rDev +10.2%

a: pours a nice orange color with a nice lace and head retention. Beer is very inviting

S: pine hops, malt, pungent but in a good way

T: wow This is a Delicious beer. Taste is bitter but sweet; hops come through and linger for a while with a nice balance of malt

M: best mouthfeel in a strong ale I've had. It is very refreshing and does not dry the palate

O: very pleased with this offering. Looking forward to having more.

11-11-2012 02:35:21 | More by beerman207
Photo of stonermouse


4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Poured into a goblet.

Pours a beautiful, clear amber with a thin head. Looks close to ruby-colored. Very nice look.

Huge aroma, but mostly generic malts and a bit o booze. Just a small bite of rum and cherry, almost like a mai tai.

The flavor is super-complex- tons going on here. Starts sweet, with a sharp caramel bite. The hops join in, and add a second layer of sharp piney flavor. It finishes with an earthy and bread-like softness, but leaves a lot of flavor behind. There's a bit of booze here, but the 10% is mostly well-hidden. Surprisingly not as sweet as I expected, but much more complex.

Finishes sticky, with a lot of flavor on the palate.

This brew does a lot of flavors, and it does them well. It's kind of like the Italian sandwich of beers- it has everything in it, and somehow they all seem to work together.

11-11-2012 00:52:42 | More by stonermouse
Photo of TheSpecialK

4/5  rDev -0.5%

11-11-2012 00:44:02 | More by TheSpecialK
Photo of chefduff2


4/5  rDev -0.5%

11-10-2012 19:39:55 | More by chefduff2
Photo of SadMachine

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

11-10-2012 18:28:22 | More by SadMachine
Photo of adamant1912


4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

11-10-2012 17:20:59 | More by adamant1912
Photo of TequilaTom


4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

11-10-2012 13:26:42 | More by TequilaTom
Photo of Lang44


4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

11-10-2012 13:25:07 | More by Lang44
Photo of MattyG85


4.43/5  rDev +10.2%

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep brownish amber red with a moderate amount of bubbles. Solid three finger off white head with decent retention. Leaves a lot of lacing sticking to the glass.

Smell: A hop forward aroma with a big sweet malt presence. Upfront are some ripe citrus hops with hints of grapefruit, orange, mango, tangerine, and lemon. Earthy hops with a little pine resin. Big malt presence with hints of sweet caramel, toffee, biscuit, and toast. Brown sugar adds some sweetness. A scent of alcohol is also pretty noticeable. A very juicy aroma.

Taste: Like the scent gives off, a strong taste that starts out hop forward and ends in malty sweetness. Big burst of bitter citrus up front with notes of grapefruit, mango, orange, tangerine, and lemon. Some earthy hops and resin in the mix. Midway the hops give way to a big bready taste. Toasted malts with notes of caramel, toffee, and biscuit. The brown sugar is tasted towards the finish. A very good full flavor.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Juicy, chewy, and slightly syrupy. A little of the alcohol heat is felt.

Overall: A very good Strong Ale. Strong flavors but balanced between the hops and malts. The sugar adds a nice kick and doesn't go overboard with the sweetness.

11-10-2012 07:30:17 | More by MattyG85
Photo of BFick


4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

11-10-2012 05:49:15 | More by BFick
Photo of jegross2


4.15/5  rDev +3.2%

Reviewing the Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company out of California. This is one of Lagunitas' better regarded beers.
Score: 92

Bottle stamp code is 26365315, meaning it was bottled on or around 09/20/12. Served in a Minneapolis Town Hall Belgian-style tulip and enjoyed on 11/09/12.

Appearance: Pours a nice copper color with three fingers of foamy beige head that takes forever to settle. Leaves a thick lacing on the side of the glass as it recedes. Amazing lacing, unreal retention. 5/5

Smell: Caramel malt, grapefruit, grassy hops and molasses/brown sugar. Reminds me of six-month old Three Floyd's Behemoth with some brown sugar added. Citrusy pine as well. Faint alcohol esters tingle the nose towards the back end of a whiff. Bold and balanced. 4.5/5

Taste: Not quite as smooth or balanced as the nose led on. The alcohol is much more present than it was in the nose, and the flavor is much more malt-forward that the nose led on. Lemony caramel malt and a touch of earthy, slightly spicy hops that remind me a little bit of hop profile of Oskar Blues' Deviant Dales. The hoppy bitterness lingers on the middle of the tongue in the finish. There is some brown sugar on the mid-palate, but to a lesser degree than was present in the nose. The alcohol tingles the palate slightly. I am not quite sure I would call this one "boozy," but it is apparent this beer is not of a low ABV (it is 10%). As the beer layers, the IPA-like qualities of tend to wash over the palate more and give it a more consistent citrusy bitterness throughout. Though the above taste description may sound like I did not enjoy this beer, that could not be less the case. I found this brew quite tasty. The disappointment comes from an aroma that built me up for a flavor that the beer did not deliver. Nonetheless, this is a really solid brew. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Just shy of full bodied with below average carbonation. Oily, but dense on the palate. The beer's viscosity and low carbonation allow it's bitterness to sit and layer on the tongue. 4/5

Overall: Labels are overrated, but I was shocked to find out that this one was a strong ale. I thought it was an IPA and would have guessed American barleywine in a blind tasting. The nose is excellent, and the appearance is great, while the taste is merely "good." I would certainly drink this one again -- especially at the price.

Recommendation: Seek a bottle of this out, particularly if you like IPA or American-style barleywines. Casual beer drinkers may be put off by the bitterness.

Pairings: Glazed ham.

Cost: $9.99 for a six pack.

11-10-2012 05:46:56 | More by jegross2
Photo of laxer8811

New York

3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

11-10-2012 03:07:52 | More by laxer8811
Photo of kawilliams81


3.78/5  rDev -6%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- Pours a light amber with a 2 finger light beige head. Huge clumps and trails of lacing litter that glass.

S- caramel, dark fruits, biscuit, citrus, and pine.

T- sweet caramel, citrus rind, toasted malts, and bitter pine and citrus at the finish.

M- Medium body and carbonation. Nice and creamy with slightly dry finish from the bitterness.

O- First time trying this beer and a very tasty strong ale. Almost a hoppy imperial red ale that has some dark fruit notes along more sweetness. Glad I picked up a 6 pack.

11-10-2012 02:16:58 | More by kawilliams81
Photo of ctrevino


3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

11-10-2012 02:11:49 | More by ctrevino
Photo of Cadusk


4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

11-10-2012 02:06:47 | More by Cadusk
Photo of rudy0908


3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

11-10-2012 01:33:32 | More by rudy0908
Photo of visualmartyr


4/5  rDev -0.5%

11-10-2012 01:03:39 | More by visualmartyr
Photo of Hanzo


4/5  rDev -0.5%

11-09-2012 23:30:46 | More by Hanzo
Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,651 ratings.