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Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

3,587 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,587
Reviews: 1,294
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 11.44%
Wants: 121
Gots: 211 | 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: 3,587 | Reviews: 1,294 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Murchmac
Murchmac

California

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

As sunset approaches this beer blends in with the environment. Pours like the sun going down over the ocean.

Alcohol smell, sweet malts, west coast hops.

Big alcohol taste, dark sugar, molasses, some hops. Delicioso! It slowly coats your tongue and rocks you to sleep.

Aftertaste finishes big, sticky, and long.

Buy this one when you can.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2007 04:02:49 | More by Murchmac
Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
SammyDavisJrJrJr

Illinois

2.78/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Got word that I was being released at three bars in my area on the same night, some sort of "release party..." Got there right around 8:30, and the bartender said I was the first one to try it. So the ice cold beer went into the shaker...

A - Amber body, decent head, pretty standard.

T - Fruity citrus hops stuck out, with some barleywine-like alcohol notes. Again, not very exciting...

T - Entry seemed to focus on the sweet alcohol. Cherry and orange flavors seemed off in the dry finish.

M - Very full and smooth mouthfeel. First thing about this beer I liked...

D - I don't know what it is about this beer, but it has never seemed to impress me. I love Lagunitas, and I want to like this beer, but no... Also, I get a little tired of bartenders asking me if there is something wrong with my beer when I am just waiting for it to warm up to something other than 38 F....

Serving type: on-tap

11-12-2007 02:42:18 | More by SammyDavisJrJrJr
Photo of kajerm
kajerm

Illinois

3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Map Room, last beer of pretty solid night. Pours translucent red with a finger or so of fine lacing carbonation.

The aroma is piney, West Coast hops. My girlfriend insists they're floral, but I insist she's wrong (she knows her hops; this is a rare occurrence.) Big toffee malts. I definitely know where they're getting the whole brown sugar thing from.

The flavor is very similar with, malt becoming a dominant presence mid-to-late palate. Hops are big throughout.

The mouthfeel is velvety-smooth-- very nice.

Overall, a very strong offering. The fact that this thing is almost 10% ABV and I thought it was a "nice, light, drinkable beer" at the time gives me more perspective on just how thoroughly I have become the stereotypical American craft beer drinker. I really do love those barrel-aged Brett-infected Imperial Double Bourbon Coffee Breakfast Stouts, and I make no apology for it.

But enough with the stupid, pointless stream-of-consciousness BS. I liked this beer, and you should too.

also: what the hell is an American Strong Ale, anyway?

Serving type: on-tap

11-11-2007 09:06:10 | More by kajerm
Photo of eatdrinknbmerry
eatdrinknbmerry

California

3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2007 12-oz bottle.

Fell in love with this beer when i saw the name of it. Very cool. Of all the x'mas ale labels, this is one of the more appealing ones. Nothing is more ugly than Pizza Port's Santa's Little Helper label. Anyway, to the beer.

Head: About 3/4" thick. Nice, stayed up for quite a long time.

A: caramel color.

S: A nice subtle tone of apricots, which I think smell great in beer. Gets the tongue ready for a deep-tasting ale.

T: A deliberate taste of brown sugar and slight undertone of honey or molasses. Maybe more on the molasses side since it's dark/bitter.

M: Very nice and smooth.

D: This one is much easier to drink than strong-flavored beers like Anderson Valley's Winter Solstice (2007). But I think the heavy molasses taste will make this less appealing to drink through the night.

Good beer overall, would definitely buy another 6er.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2007 03:53:50 | More by eatdrinknbmerry
Photo of hero27
hero27

Minnesota

3.73/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle
9.9% abv

Pours a dark amber with an orange tint.
Rich caramel, sweet roasted malts, (the obvious brown sugar) with a slightly hoppy pine finish.. slightly medicinal & peppery as well.
This is a meal in a bottle...very sweet & rich. Plenty of alcohol burn..maybe a little over the top. But overall, a good offering from Lagunitas that does not disappoint.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2007 03:51:40 | More by hero27
Photo of DIM
DIM

Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

a: Very hazy caramel color. Minimal head which dissipated pretty quickly. The haze cleared up as this beer warmed.

s: Reminded me of simple syrup at first. Candied apples, brown sugar and a bit of citric hops are also noticeable. As is warmed the alcohol emerged and brought with some fig along. Almost barleywine like.

t: Sweetness of brown sugar balanced very nicely by the hop finish. Neither is overwhelming. Reminiscent of a barleywine as I got towards the end and fruit began to assert itself. I served this too cold, I should have treated it like a barleywine.

m: A bit thin, some chalkiness at the end

d: I got this one from brandoman63 via trade. I hope I can find this around here because it is superb. I

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2007 16:03:38 | More by DIM
Photo of cokes
cokes

Wisconsin

4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lightly hazy caramel-brown with a short beige pile that recedes towards a collar within a minute.
Honey-nut cereal aroma bathed in pine sap and spiked with brandy.
It begins through the mouth with a graininess that soon fattens towards caramel, cookie dough and, naturally, brown sugar. Some illusory allspice and cinnamon play around the middle, creating an impression of gingerbread. Hops add a slaking (nearly astringent) bitterness foremost, and a flavors of pine needles and rusted cans secondarily. Alcohol is not as noticeable in the mouth as it is in the nose, but it shows up at the close, as this turns lightly vinous.
A slightly-fatter-than-medium-body is crammed into something seeming much smaller by a slimming, tiny-but-persistent CO2. This should be sipped, but seemingly forces quaffs.
This is more or less in the Old Ale realm, or something like an Imperial Brown Ale, though American Strong Ale is an appropriate catch-all.
Whatever the classification, it's decent enough.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2007 05:52:28 | More by cokes
Photo of dbatch
dbatch

New Jersey

3.63/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dub deuce purchased some time ago, not too long though...

A: Pours a reddish orange color with little head retention and few carbonation bubbles floating. I dont know exactly what I was expecting, but the color was not this. It is clear, I expected it to be a bit cloudier, but c'est la vie.

S: Sweet, malty goodness abounds here. Definitely caramel and brown sugar (NSS) Its not too sweet either, offset by the malt and a faint aroma of citrus in the back.

T: This beer tastes just as it smells - brown sugar sweetness up front is matched by the strong maltiness. A little hop bitterness in the back, but very nice.

M: Very light mouthfeel, smooth, not too carbonated.

D: A little too sweet for an everyday beer, but not bad once in a while.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2007 21:16:06 | More by dbatch
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2007 21:30:47 | More by Wasatch
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

3.38/5  rDev -15.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2007 01:49:53 | More by akorsak
Photo of franksnbeans
franksnbeans

Ohio

4.22/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2007 23:22:51 | More by franksnbeans
Photo of cdkrenz
cdkrenz

Wisconsin

3.48/5  rDev -13.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2007 04:08:12 | More by cdkrenz
Photo of WonderfulSam
WonderfulSam

Washington

4/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2007 03:55:01 | More by WonderfulSam
Photo of khiasmus
khiasmus

South Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
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...

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2007 02:46:27 | More by khiasmus
Photo of macster
macster

Florida

4.18/5  rDev +4%
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%!

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2007 04:19:54 | More by macster
Photo of djeffbee
djeffbee

Pennsylvania

3.78/5  rDev -6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2007 02:12:22 | More by djeffbee
Photo of flexabull
flexabull

California

4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2007 04:30:26 | More by flexabull
Photo of Dogbrick
Dogbrick

Ohio

3.63/5  rDev -9.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2007 20:07:49 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of OWSLEY069
OWSLEY069

Pennsylvania

2.83/5  rDev -29.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2007 11:13:26 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of beveragecaptain
beveragecaptain

New Jersey

3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2007 23:54:25 | More by beveragecaptain
Photo of lordofthewiens
lordofthewiens

Maine

3.98/5  rDev -1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2007 13:26:45 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
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

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2007 03:33:03 | More by russpowell
Photo of Duster72
Duster72

Indiana

4.22/5  rDev +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.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2007 18:52:34 | More by Duster72
Photo of Mickelswit
Mickelswit

Ohio

4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2007 21:58:31 | More by Mickelswit
Photo of drseamus
drseamus

New York

3.78/5  rDev -6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2007 01:36:00 | More by drseamus
Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,587 ratings.