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Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,771 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,771
Reviews: 1,302
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 11.69%
Wants: 158
Gots: 261 | FT: 12
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: 3,771 | Reviews: 1,302 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DaveHS
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- Pours chestnut amber with 1/2 inch of bubbly light khaki head. Fades slowly, leaving lots of sticky lacing.

S-Sweet, piney hoppiness, tangerines.

T/M-A very well balanced American strong ale, in a similar vein to Double Bastard. I think I prefer this. Piney hops blend exquisitely with well integrated, subtle sweet maltiness. The body is what sells me on this one. The mouthfeel is soft and pleasant for such a full bodied beer. The alcohol is dangerously well disguised.

D-A little lower because of the high ABV, but still delicious. Pick up a 6 pack if you can.

DaveHS, Dec 10, 2010
Photo of paulozanello
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It poured a clear copper red color with a creamy beige head that lasts for a little leaving lots of lacing. Gorgeous looking beer.

Aroma is of caramel and honey malts, brown sugar and fruity/floral hops.

Taste follows nose and starts a little sweet followed by lots of hop flavors, mainly red fruits and some grapefruit. The finish has some bitterness followed by malty biscuity sweetness. Mild alcohol bite towards the end.

Body is moderate as well as carbonation. Alcohol is very well hidden.

Overall a very nice beer with good balance between malt and hops.

paulozanello, Dec 09, 2010
Photo of avalon07
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a copper color and a clear consistency. There was an inch of creamy, fairly long-lasting head. Excellent lacing.

S: A big, powerful aroma of malt, hops, and above all else, brown sugar.

T: Tasted of malt, hops, and caramel, with some brown sugar present, though not as much as I would have expected. A well rounded flavor.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: A solidly made, drinkable beer.

avalon07, Dec 08, 2010
Photo of bradleyp
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks again to the Bier Stein for stocking this beer. Poured into a 6 oz. glass. Split with GF.

A: Light brown, very see-through.

S: Hops and malts blend exceptionally. Brown-sugar aroma is very pungent.

T: Very hoppy. I could also taste some sugar sweetness.

M: Went down very nicely. Not too spicy.

D: I would surely buy this again, and again, and again.

bradleyp, Dec 07, 2010
Photo of joemcgrath27
4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to andrenaline to sharing a 6er with me
A - clear copper, one finger of white head, respectable lacing
S - sweet brown sugar and caramel, grassy hops and light lemon zest
T - very much like the nose with a stronger hop presence and a light sweet alcohol touch
M - light carbonation, smooth and somewhat creamy, hop bitter finish
D - you would never guess this was a high octane beer, very sweet tastiness with a strong hop balance, i'm convinced that Lagunitas only brew home runs

joemcgrath27, Dec 07, 2010
Photo of bobjonesSD
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into Delirium Noel Tulip. Aggressive pour yields a nice white foam head on light brownish red beer. The aroma is malty and sweet-smelling with some very light dark fruit notes. The taste starts with brown sugar (or is that just the name?!) leading into a sweet maltiness that coats the palette. A little bit of a spicy alcohol burn into the finish. Overall a very nice beer and different from any of Lagunitas's other offerings.

bobjonesSD, Dec 07, 2010
Photo of MBPChead
4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Look: A deep, but transparent amber orange with a thick creamy head. Quite lovely in appearance.

Smell: Thick bready, nut and sugary malt characteristics accompanied by mild spicy floral hops with a hint of apple and pineapple in the nose. Fantastic aroma

Taste: Quite rich in taste, the flavors this beer contains are as such; honey, walnuts, almonds wheat, maple sugar or syrup, fresh bread, hints of apple and pineapple, mild and spicy floral and piney hop characteristics, and a bit of brown sugar. The flavor in this beer is extremely well balanced it has a touch of sweetness that is not overbearing, spicy hops that add a nice kick but are not overpowering, and an excellent malt body that blends with all the other aspects of this brew so well. I honestly wish I could give the flavor of this one a 4.75, but in the interest of my taste buds, it gets a 4.5.

Feel: Thick, viscus, and slightly tingly. Very nice overall

Drinkability: Quite good overall, the thickness and and alcohol are a bit of a deterrent from drinking more than 1 or 2. But, the flavor is wonderful.

I'm definitely going to buy at least another 6 pack of this stuff, its WAY too good not to buy more of.

MBPChead, Dec 07, 2010
Photo of spinrsx
3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a clear copper colour with an average size frothy light brown/beige head. There is a low to average amount of carbonation showing and there is a fair amount of lacing on the sides of the glass. The head stuck around for a few minutes before it was gone.

Smell - malts, hops, cookies, caramel, orange, and brown sugar

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation and it has a very creamy and full bodied feel. There is a lot of brow sugar taste mixed with hops an earthy clove/all spice flavour. The alcohol is extremely well hidden and there are also notes of pine, oranges, and lots of malts. The beer finishes with a bitter hop and very sweet brown sugar aftertaste.

Drink - A nice sipper beer that is good for the holidays/colder weather. I'm happy I tried it.

spinrsx, Dec 06, 2010
Photo of dragonWhale
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

We are Lagunauts, all. The Brown Shugga returns, badder than ever.
We walk the woods, searching for chanterelles. Uncertain whether we should open this beer. Finally, we find one! To celebrate we pop the top and walk around aimlessly for another half hour with only a few hedgehogs to show for it. It is hoppier than usual, perhaps just much more fresh? But the citrus hops are big and bold as company to the shugga and carmelized malt sweetness. Finishes very nicely, without the lingering sweetness of years past. The smell is strong alcohol and citrus with the malt. It is distinctively Lagunitas. Definitely excellent. Sexy red in the glass, too.

dragonWhale, Dec 06, 2010
Photo of loren01
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown color nice head with good lace down the glass.
S: Smells sweet. Smells like a fresh caramel roll.
T: Much the same as the smell. Very sweet but with some dark fruit in there.
M: Medium to full bodied, very sticky...goes down smooth.
D: This is a great winter sipper. I would buy this beer again for sure.

loren01, Dec 06, 2010
Photo of BrewCrew2010
3.58/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Bubbly off-white head, about 2 fingers, that last throughout the drink and leaves spotty lacing. A redish amber body with a massive amount of visible carbonation.

S: An extremely sweet caramel malt aroma with strong notes of brown sugar, citrus & tropical fruit, and perhaps a hint of coconut. One of the sweetest strong ales I've ever smelled.

T: Not as bozzy as I expected, but very balanced between the citrus & grapefruit hops and the sweet caramel malts. Not too bitter or too sweet, but very tropical with hints of pine. Reminded me very much of an IPA.

M: Mild carbonation, light body, and oily texture.

D: Very good beer, but not my favorite strong ale. Reminded me too much of an IPA, but I still enjoyed it.

BrewCrew2010, Dec 06, 2010
Photo of stakem
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter, this brew appears a perfectly clear amber color with a finger of yellowish stained head. The cap fades back to just a thin film across the top. Some strings of patchy lace cling to the glass.

This is a malty smelling brew that includes a scent of brown sugar and an overall candied sweetness. Some character of floral hops and alcohol is in the back with a lightly herbal quality.

The taste of this brew is toasted malt with some residual sugar upfront that never gets too sweet because it is countered by herbal hops and alcohol. It leaves a long lingering aftertaste of herbal hops clinging inside the mouth.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is well balanced and more enjoyable than I would have believed considering what some others have said about this brew being sickening sweet. For almost 10% abv the alcohol is hidden fairly well but not completely masked.

stakem, Dec 06, 2010
Photo of Swedes21
3.73/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - beer pours a gorgeous auburn clear colour. There is not a lot of carbonation. The head is a nice off white that disappears quickly then produces some nice island head.

Smell - I am picking up some sweetness that comes from the sugar. The malts are present as well. I also taste some caramel and spice. There is an earthy tone to this beer as well.

Taste - there is a definitely sweet base to this beer that comes through on the pallett. The beer has a nice aftertaste, you can almost pick up some burnt caramel taste here, very nice.

Mouthfeel - the carbonation adds to the earthy tones that really come fwd. The beer has a nice hop presents as well. The caramel as well adds to the palette with a little thickness.

Drinkability - really interesting beer that has a dynamic I've never tasted before. The beer is complex yet simple. One for the sweetness on my charts. Thanks to SpinRSX for the afternoon sampling.

Swedes21, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of andrenaline
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice copper colour with a reddish hue, thin layer of head with little retention and no real lacing.

S - Sweet brown sugar with lemon iced tea hops and some barky cedar and spruce on the finish.

T - The sweetness is definitely prominent with caramelized and buttered brown sugar with the sweet lemon iced tea hops coming through on the ifnish. The caramel malts continue to linger on the finish with some leafy hops. ABV is incredibly well hidden and it is somewhat reminiscent of a DIPA.

M - Nice medium bodied ale that goes down smooth and finishes nicely, leaving you craving more.

D - This high octane ale is incredibly drinkable, with the ABV very nicely hidden. Nice bold flavours with the hops and malts nicely balanced. I have yet to be disappointed by these guys, and this is yet another winner. Scrumptious indeed!

andrenaline, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of kayaeye
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just poured this into my Terminator stout pint glass that is the keeper of all my ales.

A - Great caramel color in the glass, with less than a finger head. Fizzes out quickly.

S - Earthy at times, with a sweet aroma to start. A little sense of citrus tickling the nose hairs.

T - At first it was a bit much. the warmer it got the more I wanted. The high ABV is subtle and unassuming. The sweetness lingers on the lips and back of the tongue. Good balancing with the malts.

M - Very easy on the way down. Carbonation is mild.

D - For me the warmer it got the better it seemed. It seemed to expand in the mouth and the heat of the ABV came through. I could drink this all night!

kayaeye, Dec 04, 2010
Photo of industrialswill
4.97/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My Oh My !!!

This is some good stuff!
Dark brown with a thick tan colored head.
Powerfull smell with the promise of a strong beer up ahead.
Tastes exactly like what I had hoped, a full boogey ale full of rich roasted malt and a nice hop balance. The heat from the 10% ABV is so nice. This is practically the perfect beer for me. Hope these are available in Heaven.

industrialswill, Dec 04, 2010
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.43/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Lagunitas Brown Shugga on cask at mighty Max's in B'more, MD, served in a pint.

Appearance: Huge fluffy head, almost three fingers. Persistent too. Enormous lacing, bigger than in a Guinness or other creamy stouts.

Smell: Pound cake, sugars, some coconut and other sweet tropical fruits. Strawberry and orange juice. Reminds me of a cask IPA, like Lagunitas's own Hop Stoopid. The aroma is a tad too sweet overall, but enticing.

Taste: More of the same. Tropical feel, dessert. Very sweet and juicy (as in juice-like, not full-bodied). Some ice-cream flavors. Vanilla and creme brulee. A pleasant but pungent, lip-smacking bitterness at the end.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, medium body. As expected from a cask. Finishes dry, nice coating, a bit sticky. Incredibly sweet overall.

Drinkability: A sipper. I struggled. Too sweet and nourishing. Feels like a whole meal (dessert, in fact). As it warmed up, it became unbearably hot and sweet. Not like a huge barleywine, but just unpleasant, like hot-and-cooked orange juice. I left one quarter of my pint. Not a big fan of this one...

DoubleSimcoe, Dec 03, 2010
Photo of OnThenIn
3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Tiny golden head that doesn't stay very long on top of an amber colored beer.

S: The aroma is citrus and grapefruit entangled with some caramel.

T: Nice flavor. Starts with caramel and the citrus notes. A bit of dark fruit flavor as well. The bitterness comes in and rides out the rest of the drink with a grassy, pine flavor along with it. Definitely an inherent sweetness to the beer.

M: Good carbonation and medium body. Pretty smooth.

D: The higher abv is not very upfront at all, which really adds to the drinkability, but the bitterness seems to linger for a bit, hurting drinkability. Overall, it is pretty smooth and definitely tasty. The sweetness does eventually catch up with this beer.

OnThenIn, Dec 03, 2010
Photo of stimulus
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter (from a 6 pack).

A: Pours a clear amber with a light tan head.
S: VERY sweet and malty.
T: Big brown sugar flavors with some toffee notes on the finish, yet no trace of alcohol and not cloying at all.
M: Smooth, well carbonated, and medium bodied, but a bit sticky on the finish.
D: Easy to drink and quite affordable (10.99/6 pack). Lagunitas, you've done it again! However, if you aren't a fan of sweet beers or barleywines, you may want to avoid this.

Note: this review is from notes from 11/29/10.

stimulus, Dec 03, 2010
Photo of u2carew
3.53/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz stubby poured into a chalice.
A) Pours with a finger thick head then settles to some big bubbled lacing on top, and thin, tight, and creamy on the sides of the glass. Some haze. Ruby in color.
S) Caramel. Orange. Floral. A bit earthy.
T) Powerful malt blast up front mixed with some hop bite, but not too intense. Finishes nutty, with some citrus sweet/sour and a slight bitterness.
M) Full body feel. Fizzy. Fairly smooth. A touch of dryness in the finish.
D) A decent brew. I might consider another if it's the first beer of the night - the ABV is up there!

u2carew, Dec 03, 2010
Photo of BB1313
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. I've always been a big fan of this one. Pours a nice hazy copper w/ light fluffy head and decent lacing. This beer smells so good! The hops are fruity and balanced perfectly w/ the sweetness from the sugars; slightly malty w/ bread notes. This one gets better as it warms up a little.. the flavors are more pronounced that way. Mouthfeel is superb.. carbonated and creamy.. goes down great. Drinkabilty is dangerously good.. makes a great sipper.. savor this beer!

This is a great, unique, hoppy beer that really doesn't know what style it wants to be, but it's awesome. Lagunitas says it's a "Barleywine gone wrong".. works for me!

BB1313, Dec 02, 2010
Photo of sjantiflow
4.43/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass...

The smell is fabulous. There's hops, caramel and citrus, accented by a malty sweetness. The use of brown sugar is definitely noticed.

This is my first strong ale, so it's probably obvious that it tastes like an IPA but without the hoppy bitterness (assuming it's cut by the sugar). But it's still a powerful, warming brew. The 10% abv. lends itself to the the rich, smooth and thick mouthfeel.

On a final note, the beer pairs very well with butternut squash soup.

Perfect for the fall season!

sjantiflow, Dec 02, 2010
Photo of Cheesemoose
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12oz poured into a tulip.

A good finger of pillowy white head. Hazy orange body. Nice solid lacing with a good film that remains throughout.

Sweet on the nose with a good malt base. Caramel, toffee, with a good citrus background.

Strong malt base, with toasted bread and a light caramel flavor to start. Then moves into a rather dry middle taste, but is quickly accentuated by the citrus hop flavors. Hops are rather strong and finish off the flavors. Little sugar in the taste, Could probably use a bit of cellaring to bring out the strong malts and let the hops settle, but that is up to you. As it warms, the sugar comes out a bit more. This is very barleywine-esque.

Thick mouthfeel, almost chewy. No alcohol noticeable, and for 9.99%, that is crazy. Best to stick to one.

Cheesemoose, Dec 02, 2010
Photo of ChugginOil
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured in Delirium snifter

A- Very dark amber in color. When poured aggressively, a couple fingers of off-white head developed atop the brew. The lacing is clinging to every inch of this glass when tilted.

S- Really strong up front with a sweet sugar, hoppy blast. Underneath the hop scent lies the beastly 10% ABV begging for you to sip.

T- Very sweet and hoppy with balance well achieved. Grassy hops mixed with sweet brown sugar bellow throughout each sip. The high potency of this brew is well masked.

M- Full smooth feel that's barely bitter on the end and is rich in flavor. Good carbonation makes for a super smooth flow when sipped. Great balance!

D- Due to it's potency I wouldn't recommend slammin' a sixer in a night's session but it is definitely a great occasion beer that is my favorite from Lagunitas.

Also, I will be cellar-aging a few to look for developments over the next year and a half

ChugginOil, Dec 01, 2010
Photo of FosterJM
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

75th review on BA
Bottle to pint

App- Deep dark amber with a mild carbonation and a very thin head.

Smell- Very sweet indeed, a nice touch of candied scent with sugar.

Taste- A sweet beer on the first taste with the bulk of the balance being on being a smooth drinking beer. It lends well to the darker sugars well.

Mouth- To me it's a lighter mouthfeel but leaves the palate with a great finish.

Drink- Would be a good session beer on a cold day while camping around the fire.

FosterJM, Dec 01, 2010
Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,771 ratings.