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Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,555 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,555
Reviews: 1,294
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 11.44%
Wants: 118
Gots: 206 | 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: 3,555 | Reviews: 1,294 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ujsplace


4.43/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Pours a frothy, two finger off white head that leaves ample sticky lace clinging to the sides of the glass.

Smells of brown sugar, caramel and citrus hops.

Tases of big malty sweetness up front with a nice brown sugar flavor that goes with a toasty caramel malt. Finishes with a nice bit of oily, citrus-like hop twang. Pretty much like it smells. Good stuff.

Medium, well carbonated and leaves a coating on the tongue.

In spite of the high abv, a rather drinkable brew - Lagunitas has not disappointed me yet - and this is no exception.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2011 00:51:03 | More by ujsplace
Photo of heebes

Ontario (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle.

Pours a ruby mahongany with little to no head. Nose is surprisingly citrus and grapefruit hops, very sweet smell dominated by the hops. Taste is balanced moreso with a strong malt profile. Still sweet with caramel and brown sugar notes, added by resiny hops. Some light and dark fruit characteristics appear in the middle. Mouthfeel is light to medium. The high abv is apparant once this breathes a little. Sipper. One bottle in a session is plenty. Decent idea for a beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2011 00:22:34 | More by heebes
Photo of obrike


4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

At just under 10 bucks a six pack at Spec's in Round rock...quite a bargain.

I like the look of this beer...reddish-brown hue, almost a ruby color. Very pretty in my Chimay goblet. Light spotty lacing.

An extra sweet, malty scent...almost barleywine-esque. Some sugary carmel notes. Certainly no sharp hop bite that I've come to expect from a lot of Lagunitas brews. Gets a bit more boozy as it warms...not a problem though.

Very creamy...sticky...low to moderate carbonation...wanting another sip as i type.

Just a tad too sweet and strong for me to have more than 1 per sitting though. Will be buying more for sure. Another solid effort from Lagunitas.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2011 02:07:59 | More by obrike
Photo of titosupertramp


4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to 67couple for the chance to try this.

A: Pours an dark orange/copper color with a finger of off white head. Fades pretty quickly to a thin cap. Decent lacing.

S: Sweet malts, raisins, brown sugar, potent citrus hops. Smell on this is pretty different. I like it.

T: Follows the nose for the most part. The hops are present in the taste and add a bitterness quality that doesn't let the sweetness completely dominate. There's a spicy quality that I like towards the end.

M: Medium bodied, well carbonated with a semi-dry finish.

D: Wouldn't have guessed that Brown Shugga' is 10%ABV. Alcohol barely present in taste and nose. Good tasting beer, but may be a little too sweet for me to have more than one in a sitting.

Good beer. I'd like to see what this tastes like with a year or two in the cellar. Thanks Jon.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2011 01:43:28 | More by titosupertramp
Photo of drinkiusmaximus

New York

3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Sam Adams sensory pint glass.

A - Deep copper color with a two fingered head nice retention and ample lacing.

S - loads of of sweet malt, clove, vanilla and a little pine. strong hop scent.

T - Sweeter than I normally like, but makes a nice change of pace. Full flavored, brown sugar and hop prominent, bitter hoppiness. Vanilla, a little spiciness and boozy finish.

M - Full bodied with a good degree of carbonation and sticky sweetness left on the tongue slightly cloying.

D- Very tasty strong ale if you're only having one. Otherwise it's on the sweet side and, oddly for a strong ale...strong alcohol. Great to warm on any cold night.


Serving type: bottle

03-07-2011 00:17:52 | More by drinkiusmaximus
Photo of Arithmeticus


4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into tall ale glass.

A: great head; dark copper color; moderate carbonation beads; ok lacing at the end
S: piney, hoppy, buoyant
T: Wow. Outstanding flavor. Brown sugar flavor is strong, but the hops are an equalizing force; thus, it turns out to be both very bitter and sweet, quite complex; the sweetness would make it ideal as a dessert beer.
M: silky, smooth

A very high quality, fine beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2011 16:17:02 | More by Arithmeticus
Photo of UHRHAN


3.25/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 12-ounce bottle in a Sam Adams Glass.

-Poured a translucent brown/amber with a reddish hue. 3/4 of an inch head, that was pouring out of the bottle the second I popped the cap.
-Not much on the aromatic side, but small hints of flowered aroma. Small touches of alcohol, but not overpowering by any means.
-Taste caramelized fruits with a hint of brown sugar.
-Good mouth feel, and not heavy.
-Very drinkable and didn't really notice the high ABV content.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2011 05:18:25 | More by UHRHAN
Photo of Aiptasia


4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. longneck into an absinthe glass.

A: Pours a rich amber color with a great 1" head. Excellent long retention with a brown cotton candy color with excellent cling on the lacing. Color is a rich, clear frosty rootbeer.

S: Amazing florals immediately eminate when uncapped. Cloves, anise and lime citrus on the nose.

T: Sugar malts with hints of liquorice and plum. The lime carries over into the flavor in the middle with a grapefruit rind and pine hops finish.

M: Full bodied and delicious with sugar sweetness. Heavy micro carbonation. Well balanced alcohols almost undetectable until the warming kicks in the belly.

D: An excellent assertive beer. Very drinkable with a food pairing due to the alcohol content. Chicago style pizza and most Mexican food comes to mind.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2011 01:19:51 | More by Aiptasia
Photo of BurpingtonDC


4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into an imperial pint glass. It's no secret that Laguinitas makes a mighty fine ale, so without further adieu...

A - This is a beautiful brew indeed. Deep copper color with a three fingered head and ample lacing.

S - great smell, hints of sweet malt, clove, vanilla and a little pine. strong hop scent.

T - Sweeter than I normally like, but makes a nice change of pace. Full flavored, brown sugar and hop interplay--sweet at the fore then finishes with a prominent bitter hoppiness. Vanilla, a little spiciness and boozy finish.

M - Full bodied with a good degree of carbonation and sticky sweetness left on the tongue.

D- Very tasty strong ale if you're only having one. Otherwise it's on the sweet side and, oddly for a strong ale...strong alcohol. Great on a cold winter night.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2011 00:03:37 | More by BurpingtonDC
Photo of PDXHops

South Carolina

4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap in a shaker pint, an unfortunate vessel for a fairly badass brew. A generous off-white head sticks around impressively, leaving sticky rings and streaks of lace all around. Body is a deep amber.

Loads of malt and brown sugar in the nose, but also a heaping helping of fresh grapefruit. I'm surprised by the intensity of the hops; it smells rather like a big malty DIPA.

The body is thick and viscous with very modest carbonation, but a ton of juicy grapefruit a substantial bitter streak make a valiant effort to cut through it. Loads of caramel and toffee turn creamy in the warming finish. This is certainly a different animal fresh, but it's quite enjoyable.

Serving type: on-tap

03-03-2011 00:00:27 | More by PDXHops
Photo of seeswo


3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I honestly don't know how to classify this beer, as American strong ale is starting to just mean beer to me. So my classification would be a junior version of a pretty fresh American barley wine - and not all that junior. Pours amber with a finger and a half of fast dissipating tan head. Smells of bready sugar sweet hops, however you might interpret that. The taste is pretty good - again, think American barleywine, that is fresh and hoppy, but not. In that sense that some American barley wines are so over hopped that they taste excessive when drank fresh. There is also a nice sweetness behind it. Not perfect, but this beer was <$2, so I'm impressed. The mouthfeel is pretty sweet, but not overly thick. It sits on the tongue with that sweet bitterness, but it doesn't coat it. Pretty drinkable for a 10% American barleywine junior.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2011 05:30:15 | More by seeswo
Photo of vandemonian


4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My Brown Shugga poured without much head and has an orange amber colour. The smell is hoppy and slightly sweet: nice. The taste is quite hoppy but develops some sweet maltiness through the middle and the aftertaste wasn't really bitter for me. The texture is slightly thick and carbonated. This is a very nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2011 04:57:54 | More by vandemonian
Photo of RockyTopHeel

North Carolina

4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice, bright amber color with a sticky light brown head. Aroma of caramelized fruit and brown sugar. Taste is more sugar and fruit, with a light bit of hops that really brings balance to the beer. Sweet and sticky, but not cloying.

Pretty delicious.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2011 15:43:27 | More by RockyTopHeel
Photo of Fenris244


3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark red with an off white 1 finger head, decent retention, carbonation looks thin.

really fruity, grapes and raisins come through well, which is weird because the first time i had this beer it smelled totally different. Some brown sugar notes as well as almost a short bread like aroma tucked away behind everything else.

Way different from the first one i had in flavors as well... Fruity in flavor grapes and cherry coming through well, hops are surprisingly strong and balance out the sweetness from the fruit flavors well. Shortbread like malty finish and the bitterness last for a while after the sip. The alcohol tries to hide but after the 4th or 5th sip the warming lets you know it there.

Heavier in body but keeps from being syrupy, the light carbonation is just enough to give it a lighter feel on the palate.

Tasty, different and pretty drinkable, i couldnt finish a six pack in a night or anything but i could definitely have a few.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2011 02:42:58 | More by Fenris244
Photo of ToasterChef


4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to smakawhat for trading this bottle to me. A 12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass. A good sized light brown head rests atop the liquid. It is clear and colored reddish brown. Some small carbonation bubbles can be seen within. Good lacing is left behind.

Some malty sweetness and some brown crystal sugar aromas are easily detected. A little bit of hop bitterness can be detected. There is no indication that this is a strong ale.

Some sweet roasted malts and sugars make up the majority of the flavor profile--but I wouldn't call this beer too sweet. Some alcohol and prune juice are present in the finish and aftertaste; after they subside, brown sugars are left. That taste will stay with you until your next sip. Hop flavors are present throughout, but never get too bitter.

All the sugar in this beer causes it to be quite sticky. A sweet coating covers my tongue. Flavors of alcohol and brown sugar are present. There are no alcoholic vapors present, which I often find in strong ales such as this one.

Considering how strong and sweet this beer is, I find it to be very drinkable. Neither the alcohol or the sugars are limiting factors (the alcohol would be if I were driving). I could easily see myself buying this beer by the 6 pack if it were available to me locally. I'll have to buy some next time I'm in Lagunitas' distribution area. This is an interesting and recommended beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2011 00:41:42 | More by ToasterChef
Photo of whisperjet


4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a clear, bubbly amber with a nice white head. Laces the glass well. The nose is sweet and sugary, like syrup with a nice malty body underneath. Really inviting. There's a great warmth about this beer. The sweet cane sugar flavors and warmed up by the good alcohol presence. Finishes a little bitter which gives it great balance. A really nice body and finish on the beer. This one is top notch.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2011 23:04:36 | More by whisperjet
Photo of Floyd12


4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poored from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass

A- Dark but translucent caramel brown. With a large off white fluffy head. The head had excellent retention and left nice lacing all down the side of the glass.

S- Very sweet smelling do to the large ammounts of brown sugar used in the brewing of this beer. But als a warm toasty smell of malt and hops.

T- While there is a lot of sweetness to this beer, it is kept in check by the malts, hops, and toasted aroma of the beer. There is also a faint fruity/floral presence in the aftertaste. But at 9.99% ABV it does posses a taste of alcohol

M- Thick full-bodied beer. But very smooth and very creamy.

D- While there are so many wonderfull atributes to this beer, it still has a somewhat overly "boozy" taste to it. Enjoyed much better with a salty snack to balance out the both the alcohol and sweet tastes

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2011 21:01:28 | More by Floyd12
Photo of wvsabbath

West Virginia

4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving Type - Bottle

APpearance - Dark ruby brown, 1/4 head, some lacing.

Smell - Fruits, hops, plenty of sugars and spices. Some alcohol sneaks out also.

Taste - Very sweet first drink with some bitter hops mixed in. Plently of spices mixed in with the malts also adding some flavor. The alcohol is actually masked well, but the warmer it got, the more i tasted. The yeast add some floral flavor, and yes, some more sweetness.

Mouthfeel - Its rather thin but a real treat. Since its so sweet it kicks up your tastebuds. A minor sour bitter aftertaste is left on the palette. Very fun to drink.

Drinkabilty - Very easy to drink, and if it wasnt so high in alcohol id be ranked higher. A fun take on a strong ale. Very good for a treat, maybe a little to sweet for some but worth a drink for sure.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2011 07:58:03 | More by wvsabbath
Photo of sjverla


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

Nose: Alcohol and dark fruit. Sugary and oddly savory. Mild, mellow grass notes. Excellent balance.

Appearance: About half-inch of caramel head dissipates quickly and laces nicely. Pours a hazy ruby globe into a snifter.

Taste: Alcohol heat and tartness mix with rich, fruity sweetness. Grapes give way to burnt caramel. Gives way to strong hops. Nice complexity. A little heat lingers on the gums. The feel is smooth and slick. Very drinkable.

Overall: Excellent beer. Easy drinking and delicious. Almost too easy to drink at 9.99% ABV.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2011 02:11:29 | More by sjverla
Photo of JMad


3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass...

The beer was bright and clear, the color was a dark amber, copper with a thick, off-white bubbly head that left some good lacing. The smell has lots of brown sugar, a good helping of grapefruit and a hint of vinegar. I first tasted alcohol in the back of my mouth, then there was an overwhelmng brown sugar taste. In the background you could barely taste a hint of bitter, citrusy hops, the beer finishes sweet. This is a very thick brew, it has low carbonation and every sip leaves you wanting more. At first the taste is kind of strong but after awhile it smooths out and this became a very enjoyable drink.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2011 01:17:25 | More by JMad
Photo of Brooks44


4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A. Poured from the bottle came a beautiful copper-amber color with a very light tan head that retained so so.

S. The nose was ofcourse sweet with the aromas of caramel, towards the end you can smell floral hops and from what u might be able to tell from the bottle Brown Shugga

T. This beer really surprised me. I find when beers use sugar they can become far to sweet but this was very well balanced. Sweet at the start and then as u swallow u get the hop character to balance it out. The 9.99% ABV was very well hidden.

M. I found it to be on the fuller side but dont want to use the word thick really. Had a good carbonation that wasnt flat thank god.

D. I found this to be very drinkable. Wasnt complex to where youd want to sip it and you'd never guess it was a 10 abv beer. I bought a six pack and in the same week i found myself going back for another. Highly Recommended very well balanced tasty beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2011 17:25:05 | More by Brooks44
Photo of claspada

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aromas are not surprisingly barley wine oriented with some, no surprise, brown sugar, molasses, vinous apple, dark caramels. Once you get past the sweetness you get the hop end with citrus and lemon and a little earthiness.

The taste is extremely well balanced with waves of dark caramel malts and brown sugar with dark vinous fruit notes again. The aroma and taste complement each other very well. The hop bitterness helps to balance out the sweet nature of the brew preventing it from being cloying.

The mouthfeel if full and thick, deserves to be sipped and savored. Balanced carbonation also helps to keep the higher ABV and sweetness in check. Overall a great full flavored unique offering from the brewery I usually pass on because of their aggressive Pacific hop tendencies but this is perfectly balanced and delicious.

Serving type: on-tap

02-20-2011 02:32:10 | More by claspada
Photo of seand


3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark translucent copper with a small amount of light tan head. Just a bit retains around the edge of the glass, leaving small spots of lacing.

S: Boozy caramel sweetness, with notes of brown sugar as you might expect. There's also a floral touch of hops.

T: Just short of cloyingly sweet, with a fairly big hoppy kick towards the finish. There's some slight nuttiness. The alcohol is fairly noticeable as well.

M: Full body, medium carbonation.

D: Drinkability isn't bad, but it's a little far on the sweet and boozy side.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2011 02:11:34 | More by seand
Photo of AndyAvalanche


4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottled poured into a Duvel Tulip style glass. Kind of an orange copper color, almost hazy, when held up to the light you can see small particles. Speaking of held up to the light, it just glows. I guess a more simple way to put it is that it doesn't quite look like any American Strong Ale that I've had (even though it varies so much), it seems lighter. There's a good sized head that's an orange color, decent lacing.

Smell is good, hoppier than I expected, but based on all the beer I've had from Laguniatas, that's how they role. There is certainly a big malt presence, smells very sweet, brown sugar detected, hence the name. Hops smell like citrus. Overall kind of a sweet boozy smell.

Tastes very good, loving it. A unique, but good blend of both sweet and bitter. Sweetness right off the bat, call it power of suggestion but brown sugar detected, overall a good malt presence. Very Hoppy, citrus zest, and a little bit of pine. Very good tasting overall.

Full bodied, as mentioned a good, unique balance of bitter and sweet. Good carbonation level and a strong bitter finish. Very drinkable. Had it in the past, my buddy and I killed a growler in a short evening, so I'd say dangerously drinkable, really enjoyed this bottle this time.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2011 01:17:05 | More by AndyAvalanche
Photo of Rjhami


4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 12 oz into NB globe. No freshness date that I could see.

Red-orange amber color with a thin head that leaves spotty lace. Rings within the creamy head simmer around the glass.

Malty sugar balances a hoppy tone that finishes with a little yeast. Can not detect hardly any alcohol in the nose. Big malty flavor with earthy, sweet notes and a touch of peppery spice. The sweetness ensues but not too much at all.

Medium-heavy bodied and slightly chewy. Nice carbonation, not too prickly yet less than syrupy.

This beer is well balanced in every facet. It is hard to believe that this is 9.99%, it could certainly sneak up on you. It really reminds of a Belgian Strong PA. The sugar makes it different but is not overdone. An excellent value here.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2011 04:23:20 | More by Rjhami
Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,555 ratings.