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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

3,642 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,642
Reviews: 1,296
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 11.44%
Wants: 130
Gots: 226 | 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: 3,642 | Reviews: 1,296 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JohnGalt1
JohnGalt1

Idaho

4.28/5  rDev +6.5%

Edit: I am reviewing the Brown Shugga as a Barleywine.. there is no way this is the same recipe as the last couple years.

Current batch 12oz.. picked up on Friday at Albertsons for $1.29 (they charged me the wrong price for sure).. poured into my Delirium tulip.

Good 2" head that leaves rings of lace atop a very clear cherry wood color brew.

Aroma is waay hoppier than I remember last years Brown Shugga.. piney hops are at the front and leave little room for much else.. but there is a big background of caramel malts ... this really reminds me of a PNW barleywine.

Flavor is an American barleywine.. Deep bitterness and solid caramel/toasted malt backbone with a nice pine hop flavor that melds well with fruity (fresh black cherry) yeasty flavors. Fairly thick body is expected with a nice prickly/yet creamy carbonation... long lingering hop and lite toffee finish.

Brown Shugga is a BW in '07/'08 .. Where's the Gnarleywine? I think I have a little left in my glass.

01-29-2008 08:59:13 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

4.38/5  rDev +9%

The beer pours a dark amber/red color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice balanced aroma of malts and hops. It's warming to the nose, but also enticing with loads of hop smells. The malt aroma is composed of lots of pale malts and a wonderful array of specialty malts, which provide the "Brown Shugga" element. The taste is great. It has an incredibly smooth malty taste that weighs heavy on burnt toffee flavors. It goes down easy and finishes silky smooth with a nice hop blast that lingers. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a tremendous beer. It packs a bundle of flavor; a fine drinker.

01-28-2008 23:28:54 | More by WesWes
Photo of Hojaminbag
Hojaminbag

Colorado

3.15/5  rDev -21.6%

12oz bottle poured into a pint.

It's a prettydark orange. A little head, no lacing.

Smells of hops and sugar/caramel.

This beer is sweet. Really sweet. After the sugar taste, you notice the bite of hops. Actually for almost 10% ABV it is not bad, but too sweet. however, the more you drink the less you will be bothered by the sweetness.

It is a little syrupy (maybe the sweetness makes me feel liek this?)

Way to sweet to drink too much of, but an interesting beer for sure.

01-28-2008 01:23:02 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of nbrown
nbrown

Oregon

4/5  rDev -0.5%

poured a 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass.

Pours a nice dark copper with hints of red and orange. There wasn't much of a head but there was nice lacing. Smells like sweet caramel. There is a good brown sugar taste and it balances nicely with the hops. Good mouthfeel and great drinkability for a 9.9$ ABV beer. This beer is wonderful on a cold rainy day.

01-27-2008 19:39:34 | More by nbrown
Photo of nelson4
nelson4

Illinois

3.03/5  rDev -24.6%

A- Very deep color, reddish brown. Head disappeared slowly with significant lacing.
S- Not a real impressive smell, caramel with a hint of sweetness
T- Hoppy with a caramel and malty sweetness, slightly bitter after
M- Slightly carbonated with relatively smooth mouthfeel
D- Warm 9.9 only allows for small sips to enjoy

Overall, I was not very impressed with the balance of the hops to the sweetness. Good mouthfeel and appearance still make this beer worth while.

01-27-2008 00:34:13 | More by nelson4
Photo of tonistruth
tonistruth

Nevada

4.1/5  rDev +2%

A- copper in color, no head produced but a white ring of foams constantly crowns the brew

S- toasted malts, citrus, and toffee

T- brown sugar, toffee, caramel, and toasted malts make up the overall sweetness, while citrus from the hops and subtle alcohol level it off. hops really rock at finish

M- creamy with some alcoholic heat, hops bite hard

D- delicious brew with wonderful complexity and balance, and fantastic mouthfeel. Recommended, I'll be looking forward to this

01-26-2008 22:06:58 | More by tonistruth
Photo of joeskirkie
joeskirkie

New Jersey

3.93/5  rDev -2.2%

I went for a snifter and poured a beautiful copper brew with a nice head which developed and laced well.

Smelled sugary sweet, with grassy hop hints and just a touch of citrus.

The taste balances very well, the refreshing citrus hop bite goes hand-in-hand with the sweet sugars. A hop finish has a slight linger to it.

It's not too heavy, I'd ask for another, I definitely dig it.

01-23-2008 22:16:37 | More by joeskirkie
Photo of MarkSCCOT
MarkSCCOT

South Carolina

4.68/5  rDev +16.4%

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle purchased at Green's in Atlanta into a pint glass.

A. Rod copper amber with a wispy white head that leaves generous wispy lacing. Good bubbles.

S. A sweet brown sugar smell, almost cloying, but altogethr pleasing. I can sense the malt, it is not overwhelmed but there is still a healthy hoppiness.

T. Oh god! This beer works. The brown sugar compliments the over hop/malt perfectly. I didn't think they could pull it off but they did,

M. A very creamy finish, but sweet to the point where the anv is well hidden. This does not taste like 9.9%!!

D. This is a timebomb!! It drinks like a session beer, but after 2 or 3 of these (and I mean the 12 ouncer's, not a bomber!!) you are hammered! This is a beer that should not be so easy to drink.

Summary: buy a 6 pack of this, hide the keys and enjoy!!

01-19-2008 01:41:46 | More by MarkSCCOT
Photo of thewho
thewho

Washington

4.65/5  rDev +15.7%

Where to start with my favorite beer...Great sweetness with a hop finish, all on top of an outrageous 9.9% abv.

A: Gorgeous red copper color, with a white head that quickly settles down.

S: MMmmm...Sweet brown shugga! Nice malty smell to complement the sugary sweetness. Slight hop smell buried under the sweetness.

T: Definately sweet brown sugar flavor upon first hitting the mouth, but that gives way to a great slighty hopped finish. I've found this more noticeable on tap than out of the bottle.

M: Nice syrupy and warming feeling due to the high ABV. The last bit of hop flavor at the end is what keeps me coming back to how much I love this beer.

D: Well, don't have too many (3+) otherwise you will be on your way to drunkenness. More than 5 or 6 makes for a bad, bad night. Good idea to keep tabs on how much you've had, so be forewarned. Although its strong, its very very tasty.

Congratulations Brown Shugga, you are my favorite beer, and have inspired me to write my first BA review!

01-18-2008 02:50:13 | More by thewho
Photo of Atlas1
Atlas1

Texas

4.3/5  rDev +7%

Stopped off at the Brickskeller on my way home from work tonight. I don't stop in there as often as I used to, but it's still a good place for beer. Ah, nostalgia....

The Brown Shugga was poured from the bottle (12 oz.) into a standard pint glass for me. It was a bronze/amber color, with lots of carbonation, and a thin, but firm, creamy head on top. The foam was long-lasting and left an excellent lace in its wake. Really, this was a fine looking beer. The nose was rich and sweet, with a malty spice that dominated, although there were some noticeable hops in the aroma as well. Taste was super sweet in the intake, and that sweetness lasted on through to the finish. It had a nice hop bite to it at the end. An interesting flavor, for sure, but a good balance of super sweet with bitter hops. Also, there were noticeable traces of brown sugar (obviously), vanilla, molasses, and maple. Mouthfeel was smooth and creamy.

This is a great beer, in my opinion. I am not want to drink malt-monster all the time, but this appeals to me as much as the Oskar Blues Old Chub, which I love. But the Shugga has more of a hop kick to it, which I think I ultimately prefer. It's boozy, but not over-wrought with alcohol in either the aroma or the taste. Would go well with a hearty beef or game stew as well as a rich dessert, like a cheesecake. Enjoy this beer.

01-17-2008 01:00:09 | More by Atlas1
Photo of morebeergood
morebeergood

Massachusetts

3.63/5  rDev -9.7%

Grabbed a six pack for the Pats - Jax game last Saturday. Pours a brownish orange color with some good head that lasted a good amount of time. The smell was of malt and sugar. This beer has a wonderful brown ale flavor, with an added aspect of (brown) sugar that helps it stand out from others in the style. Very tasty. The one thing I noticed with this beer is the high ABV. The beer has such a nice taste to it, and they go down fairly easily. But if you want a few, be careful. After only three (we split the sixer), I really started to feel it. Make sure you remember this is not your typical brown ale.

01-15-2008 00:13:35 | More by morebeergood
Photo of irishkyle21
irishkyle21

Ontario (Canada)

4.22/5  rDev +5%

Starts off with an eye catching orange/red color. Not the best head retention but it still sticks around and leaves some lacing on the glass.

The hops come in strong on the nose (grapefruit and citrus mostly). Followed by a sweet caramel malt and what seems to be brown sugar (not positive but its something sugary).

Tastes somewhat like Arrogant Bastard but sweeter (IMO of course). Citrus, tropical fruits, caramel, thick sweet malt. I cant really say I noticed the brown sugar but it is sweet.

01-14-2008 23:56:27 | More by irishkyle21
Photo of bluegrassbrew
bluegrassbrew

Georgia

3.9/5  rDev -3%

12oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours a deep copper/bronze with a decent head and leaves some nice lacing.

Smell is some alcohol surrounded by caramel and some toffee notes.

Taste is a bit of caramel on top of a slight fruitiness. Heat from the alcohol is only slightly noticable. I get a touch of brown sugar in the finish.

I feel it is a tad thin as are all the Lagunitas offerings I've tried. Could use a fuller body.

Overall, a tasty treat. Very good, but with some more body could be fantastic.

01-14-2008 03:09:07 | More by bluegrassbrew
Photo of MisterClean
MisterClean

California

3.85/5  rDev -4.2%

On Tap at Vino's Wine & Cheese in Roseville, CA.

A - Deep tan, heavy/foamy white head.

S - Raisin, cinnamon, w/ light, florar hops.

T - Cardamom, allspice, curry. Yes curry, can't describe the other pungent spice, so it's a curry. Very spicy tasting beer, very unique.

M - Very spicy tasting beer, very unique. No alcohol in taste. Are we sure this is a 9.9% ABV?

D - This is a slow-sipper and would balance best with a bland meal or appetizers.

01-13-2008 19:59:37 | More by MisterClean
Photo of riversider76
riversider76

New York

3.9/5  rDev -3%

Pours amber brown with a thin tan head.Decent retention,and nice lacing. This beer looks thick.Aroma is sweet,and bready. Body is thick,with a good amount of carbonation. Taste is of malty brown sugar,and spice.Nice bit of hops,and a good burn in the finish.

01-13-2008 00:14:03 | More by riversider76
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
AKBelgianBeast

Alaska

3.98/5  rDev -1%

Brown shugga pours a clear brown amber with good fluffy head. head dissipates but lace remains quite thick. The nose has subtle hop notes and some light malt. The taste is predominantly smooth hop flavors with less bitterness than an IPA but it is still there. A wierd sugar malt taste makes up a decent backbone. Hop flavors on the finish leave a slight bitterness in the mouth. A good brew, but nothing particularly special. Mouthfeel is good, chewy but not terribly thick. Drinkability is the highlight of this strong ale as the 9.9 does not show up at all. A great strong ale for session drinking which makes no sense but it is what it is.

01-12-2008 08:16:40 | More by AKBelgianBeast
Photo of saintwarrick
saintwarrick

South Carolina

4.7/5  rDev +16.9%

On name alone, I had to give this brew a try. This brew pours a light brown/bronze with a nice creamy head that looks like hot cocoa. With brown sugar in the ingredients, that and caramel stand out the most in the aroma, reminds me of this caramel coffee creamer I have had before; also toffee and butter rum candy are very prevalent -- this beer is a damn candy store.

It smells sweeter than it tastes, which isn't bad at all. Subdued caramel and cocoa taste but not super sweet; very chewy and really damn smooth, that's the biggest thing that stands out. Little more nougat-like sweetness at the end with a big creamy rum note that shows through as it goes down. Only the tiniest bit of warming alcohol.

Wow, this is a dangerous, evil brew. That 9.9 abv is nowhere to be found, more like a 4.5. Well balanced and a delight to drink. Go grab some now.

01-11-2008 07:43:58 | More by saintwarrick
Photo of IPAcraig
IPAcraig

Tennessee

4.15/5  rDev +3.2%

Enjoying this beer after my last class of my first week of my last semester of law school. Woohoo!

This beer is a bold neon orange with shades of red. After a hefty pour only a minimal head sat atop the body, but surprisingly one quick swirl produced a nice one inch white topping.

A big aroma. A balanced aroma. Malt, caramel and sugar up front followed by a nice dose of hops; both working in harmony.

This reminds me of a barleywine, specifically Bigfoot, with a bit more sweetness and slightly less hops. Yeah, I would say that short description is spot on. A bit of alcohol is present as well.

A light body, yet a slightly syrupy feel on the tounge. Slightly lessthan medium carbonation.

At 9.9% alcohol, this beer drinks very easy. Lots of flavor but good balance. A very fine beer, and a bargain if I do say so.

01-10-2008 22:14:55 | More by IPAcraig
Photo of shaebs99
shaebs99

New York

4.13/5  rDev +2.7%

A: Poured from 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Large off white head forms that leaves plenty of sticky lacing as the head diminishes. Clear deep amber color.

S: The aroma is a nice combination of malt (with brown sugar notes) and citrusy hops. The result reminds me of something like ruby red grapefruit. Sweet and citrusy. Though I would say the malt wins by a nose.

T & M: pretty much what you would expect. Large malt base accentuated by brown sugar, but the hops are present enough to keep this in check.

D: Very enjoyable. Reminded me of why I enjoyed the 06 Double Bastard. I feel that the hops were more present than some reviewers would lead you to believe. In the one I had I didn't really notice the alcohol in the taste and only slightly in the nose

I am considering picking up another 6-pack of this so I can enjoy it throughout the winter. Not a beer you would drink all night, but definitely one I am going to return to

01-08-2008 19:38:32 | More by shaebs99
Photo of garbercury
garbercury

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

A--Clear reddish hue, a little bit of lacing but not much head or retention.

S--Has the smell of a weak barleywine. Almost a medicinal smell to it.

T--Medicinal, bitter, strong alcohol aftertaste to be sure.

M--One of the better things, which is not really the way it should be.

D--This beer is strong to be sure. I like Lagunitas, good brewery. Worth a try if you enjoy strong ales, not a favorite though.

01-08-2008 02:39:19 | More by garbercury
Photo of LeftyBWS
LeftyBWS

Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev -4.2%

Poured from a 12 oz. stumpy brown bottle into a pint glass.
A: Bright amber/brown. Rather fizzy, can hear the carbonation breaching the surface. Thinnish beige head. Carbonation slows quickly, though. Not much head retention or lacing.
S: Sugars and some floral hops. Maybe some cinnamon? A nice malty layering of the nose, overall.
T: Smooth and light malts lead into some brown sugar tastes with some spices too. Tastes of caramel sweetness, as well. Finish is bready but sweet, only lightly bitter at first but this fades quickly. Overall, a good taste but not too exciting.
M: Lightly bitter nip in the finish, but it avoids being sicky-sweet despite the predominant sugar flavors.
D: Pretty good. But it is 10% ABV...

01-07-2008 21:14:57 | More by LeftyBWS
Photo of jaxon53
jaxon53

Connecticut

4.38/5  rDev +9%

Served at just about cellar temperature, into a pint glass, from a twelve ounce brown bottle. Poured a deep copper amber color that had great clarity. Two fingers of thick, frothy, beige colored head formed from a somewhat vigorous pour. Head faded pretty quickly into a fluffy ring of foam atop the beer. Some sticky, glass coating lace was left behind on the glass. Smell had some plum, rum soaked cherries, thick sweet malt, and a small amount of alcohol. Tons of dark dried fruits in the flavor, some pineapple, some sweet brown sugar, and plenty of body warming alcohol stacked on a sweet malty base. Finishes smooth and just a bit boozy. Mouthfeel is thick, almost syrupy, with a medium to full body. Great drinkability. This has got to be one of my favorites.

01-06-2008 16:36:06 | More by jaxon53
Photo of plaztikjezuz
plaztikjezuz

Michigan

4.22/5  rDev +5%

pours a deep amber brilliant when held to the light with some reddish hues, the head is off-white and was about a finger thick, dropped to a thick ring around the edge of the glass.
the aroma malty, citrus, hop sack, toffee, alcohol.
the flavor is malty, with a good hop back bone, citrus, pine, and spices, resinous, toffee and caramelized malt linger.
awesome beer!

01-06-2008 01:01:38 | More by plaztikjezuz
Photo of BeerSox
BeerSox

Virginia

3.3/5  rDev -17.9%

12oz bottle into nonic.

Crystal clear amber hue that has a slightly red tint when held up to the light. A frothy one finger head slowly settles toa thin cap leaving behind a wall of stringy lacing.

The main scent in this one is a thin caramel aroma, or more accurately, brown sugar. The hop aroma is barely detectable, as well as the alcohol.

Overall the flavor of this one is somewhat bitter, with maybe a little bit of a sweet sugary start. A touch of caramel is in there, along with some spicy hops. Full bodied with a good amount of carbonation. The finish is some of the brown sugar and lingering bitterness.

I found this one middle of the road, unique, but not worth getting excited about. It tastes a lot like a mild Scottish Ale, with a little more alcohol. Recommended (barely, and if you like maltier beers).

01-04-2008 23:59:21 | More by BeerSox
Photo of Smartestmonkey
Smartestmonkey

Indiana

3.95/5  rDev -1.7%

12 oz. bottle tried on 1/2/08.

Pours a coppery light brown color. No head but a thin foam that fades to the sides and results in nice lacing as the drink is consumed. There is nice carbonation in the glass, nice bubbles. The aroma is first and foremost sweet strong malt with hints of vanilla, caramel, syrup, and some floral hop. The taste is much the same. Up front it's sweet malt, caramel, some spice, and maple syrup. I agree that the taste reminds me of brown sugar. In the end the taste is distinct bitter hop. This beer is well balanced, simple, and straightforward.

01-03-2008 02:02:36 | More by Smartestmonkey
Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,642 ratings.