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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

3,677 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,677
Reviews: 1,297
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 11.69%
Wants: 142
Gots: 235 | FT: 14
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Brown Shugga' Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,677 | Reviews: 1,297 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of billybob
3.53/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a redish amber color with a two finger beige head that settled to a half inch tight bubbled head to the finish with lots of lacing. smell of brown shugga, slight citrus and floral aromas and alcohol. taste is very sweet sugar and toffee and some citrus maybe oranges on the back of the palate. mouthfeel is thick, syrupy and weak on carbonation. the 9.90 abv limits the drinkability but i would buy it again for a high test pick me up.

billybob, Feb 24, 2007
Photo of mcallister
2.33/5  rDev -42%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Brightly clear shade of scarlet/mahagony. Very large off white head is overly thick and fluffy with spectacular retention and lace.

Hard too really tell what's going on in the nose. Dried fruity esters, with hints of toffee, and distracting phenols.

Not really what I was expecting. This beer leaves a metal odd finish in your mouth that really takes away from everything. I was expecting a sweeter beer also and this is very dry. There are some toffee, and fruit flavors that are hard to fit. I'm not sure I'll be trying this beer again.

mcallister, Feb 21, 2007
Photo of Kudashov
1.9/5  rDev -52.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

22 oz Brown bottle poured in a pint glass .
we have Ian Brown on the Hi-Fi with some golf on the TV . Bottle has dog on label and cap and it looks like " Pete " from Our Gang . Aroma is instant as cap is taken off . My sense of smell is not that good but I could smell this before cap was put down . I smell raisins , sugar , & molasses . Like treacle bread . My first gulp is pleasant and nice lacing present on glass . Slick mouthfeel and sweet on the end . Just not sweet enough ( which I already am but ..) . I like sweet but this was not my type . This brew is not what I was looking for .

Kudashov, Feb 21, 2007
Photo of granite
2.68/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into pint glass.

A---It poured a murky copper with a thin beige head.

S---Maple, molasses, burnt sugar, nutmeg and phenols.

T---Burning hot alcohol shifting to sweet caramelized sugar. It finished dry and salty. Tongue numbing and unpleasant tasting in my opinion.

M---Thin-Medium bodied.

D---A little less then average is the best way I can describe this.

granite, Feb 20, 2007
Photo of DrJay
3.58/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reddish brown beer, not quite clear, topped by a short, light tan head. Fine bubbles formed some lacing, foam reduced quickly to a solid ring. Caramel, toffee, and grapefruit aromas hit the nose first, with notes of orange and alcohol becoming more apparent as it warmed. There were also some tropical fruit/fruit punch aromas as well. Solid bitterness with sweet toffee and grassy hops. Fruit character was much more restrained and was mostly citrus. Light molasses flavour towards the end, but it finished strongly bitter with a little alcohol warmth. Medium bodied, medium/low carbonation that resulted in a creamy texture. Some dryness. A decent beer, but the high bitterness doesn't really let the malt character show very well.

DrJay, Feb 18, 2007
Photo of Gavage
3.13/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: pours a hazy amber color with a 2" head that falls pretty quickly.

Smell: pumpernickel bread, brown sugar and caramel candy sweetness are easy to detect by the nose well outside the glass, but is only partially pleasant.

Taste: sweetness abounds here. Big brown sugar tones, caramel, ripe plums, and a balancing piney bitterness are the up front flavors. Some alcohol and bread-like tones round it out.

Mouthfeel: smooth from start to finish. Medium bodied beer. Long sweet sugary aftertaste.

Drinkability: this beer got a bit annoying as the bottle emptied. The sweetness just got tiring. A 10 oz glass was enjoyable, but goes downhill during the refill.

Gavage, Feb 15, 2007
Photo of rayjay
2.05/5  rDev -49%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Clear brown ale with a creamy head. Very hoppy nose, full of high-alpha oils, and sweet carmelly malts. Volitile nose, and very appealing smelling, me being a hop-head and all...

The taste is another story. This beer is a total train wreck. Major alcohol burn, astringent malts, bitter hops. Very out of balance, and none of the flavors work well together. I couldn't give it a full out aweful, but I definately wasn't impressed. Nothing spoiled or oxidized or offensive, but just plain unfocused and pointless.

Lagunitas, I'm with you: this beer is a mistake. Not to be repeated. Other offerings from this brewery are much better. My 2 cent review. Cheers!

rayjay, Feb 14, 2007
Photo of JDK
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a beautiful clear amber color with a 3 finger head that reduced 1/8" for the rest of the drink.
Medium lacing that sticks to the sides throughout the drink
Smells sweet, very caramel with slight hoppy tones
Medium mouthfeel with nice carbonation.
Nice sweet taste, which was expected from the brown suger. Not over the top, well balanced with the hops.
Much better than I expected and I could feel the 9.9% ABV pretty quick.

JDK, Feb 13, 2007
Photo of dgallina
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1 pint, 9 fluid ounce brown bottle without clear freshness date.

Pours clear reddish-orange with a quick-to-vanish tan head and thin lacing. The aroma suggests caramel and brown sugar (duh) with and hint of nuts and a dash of nutmeg. Alcohol vapors rise from the glass. In the mouth, the beer displays an artful balance between the combined leafy / piney hops and brown-sugar malts. Finishes quite green and dry with a big pine hop bite. Body is medium-thick and slick; fairly strongly carbonated for something this big. An eclectic take on the american imperial pale ale.

dgallina, Feb 13, 2007
Photo of RedChrome
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Body was a clear light amber color. Three quarter inch cream head faded rapidly. Good amount of carbonation meandering to the top. Sticky lacing clings in bunches.

Very nice combination of aromas. A sweet malt and a hops bitter share the nose. There is an aroma very similar but not exactly brown sugar in the scent. Floral hops finish strong.

Sweet flavors balance out a notable alcohol presence. Hops bitterness is also fairly aggressive on the back of the tongue. Nice strong flavors in a decent balance.

Average thickness with a decent burst of carbonation to move the flavors around the surface of the tongue.

Not the all time best, but a beer worth checking out. This is a great choice to wash down a cheeseburger. Another fine selection from the brewers in Petaluma. Worth the try.

RedChrome, Feb 12, 2007
Photo of williamherbert
3.08/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Deep reddish-orange color with a massive, fluffy head. Very clear. lace ain't gonna be happenin'. Slight haze.

Has a sweet malt -- almost German -- smell, that almost smells like a good ol' fashioned taffy pull. Very sugary sweet with smells of chocolate and toffee. An unreal sweet, sugary malt.

An interesting sweet malt beverage. It's far too sugary and malty sweet for this hophead. Reminds me of Goya Malta with almost a winter ale flavor thrown in. Good for that style. The sweetness could be described as "insane."

As it warms up, thickens up. This is such an odd beer. The brown sugar of the name is almost palpable. It's not a repeat beer. It's way too sweet for me.

williamherbert, Feb 10, 2007
Photo of Franchise
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This offering from Lagunitas pours a rusty brown leaving a thick frothy tan head that sticks with this brew. The aroma is toffee, caramel, brown sugar, leafy citrus hops. The taste is smooth on the palate, it hits you with some alcohal heat upfront, but it is not overwhelming it actually is pretty hidden for almost 10%. The beer then takes you to a sweet brown sugary feel that is offset by pungent citrus rind hops, medicinal in feel, that finishes with a cooked sugar, cookies, sweetness in the end this is another great offering from Lagunitas, one that is made for winter sipping.

Franchise, Feb 09, 2007
Photo of sleazo
3.73/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a beautiful amber with a big three inch head into my weizen glass. almost got the whole bomber in. The smell is caramel malt with a minor hop backbone. Taste this was sweet at first but as i have consumed my palatte has become accustomed to it. There is a decent ammount of hops to balance the sweet. You usually do not see this ammount of sugar in a non Belgian beer. i fear the hangover. Due to the sweetness which borders on cloying and the fact that im drunk off of one bomber limits the drinkability.

sleazo, Feb 05, 2007
Photo of auxiliary
4.68/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pour was light brown color, pretty clear. Nice foamy head, and some lacing.

Smell - Malts, brown sugar, hops and alcohol.

Taste - Brown sugar, malts, alcohol taste to it

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied and malt taste.

Drinkability - Alcohol is high at 9.9, bery nice beer. i enjoyed this one, slow drinking beer.

auxiliary, Feb 04, 2007
Photo of beerphan
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle -> imperialPint
no date

Pours clear, a deep orange with a sandy 2inch white head, that slowly recedes to a blanket of white and sticks around till the bittersweet end. Some nice spiderweb lacing from top to bottom. Carbonation appears aggressive.

Nose: Hoppy and caramelly. Sweet brown sugar candy.

Taste: Sweet caramelized malts, sugar, citrus. Finishes with the bitter finish fighting with the abundant sweetness. Never quite in balance but never too unbalanced. Dry and slighly cloying but quite enjoyable.

Medium-full mouthfeel, that is syrupy,dry and lingering.

A uniquely flavored brew for sure. I was gonna rate the drinkability lower because of the sweetness and the high abv, but come to think of it, this is one tastey brew that is a little too easy to drink.

beerphan, Feb 04, 2007
Photo of younger35
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Drank it on tap from the cask at a local bar. Hand pumped from the barrel into a snifter. Served around 50 degrees. Was impressed from the start!

Appearance- Very deep amber/pale brown color. Broke nicely around the edges to a light almost yellowish amber. Great frothy head. Beer looked very inviting.

Smell- Had a sweet almost candy like smell. Subtle floral tones.

Taste- Sweet brown suger, caramely taste. Hints of vanilla undertone the woodsy sweetness. Big burst of alcohol is very pleasant on the back of the tongue. Nice hop characteristics balance the beer very well. The taste sticks with you.

Mouthfeel- Creamy, alcoholy feel. Very mild cask carbonation, perfect for this beer.

Drinkability- Fantastic. The Alcohol is very pronounced but overall a very tasty beer. This is a very unique beer that I would highly recommend if you ever run into it on tap.

younger35, Feb 02, 2007
Photo of cbl2
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1/29/2007 $3.59 22 oz. 9.90% No best by date.

Appearance:

Startingly amber/ruby in color with a clarity I rarely see in beers. A faint haze of tan foam wisps around my goblet.

Aroma:

Ripe tropical fruit notes come through with a burst of sweetness imparted by the brown sugar. Aromas are indicative of a Belgian double, namely the belgian candied sugar, which I suppose comes from the brown sugar.

Taste/Mouthfeel:

Smooth, yet simple mouthfeel opens up this sweet brew. Notes of the tropics (pineapple, fig and starfruit) couple with a tinge of warm alcohol. Sugar is apparent, though whether brown, or candied is difficult to discern. Finish is slightly bitter, though not to the extent of the 51.1 IBU's the bottle promises. It is nice to have the sweet balanced by the mild bitterness.

cbl2, Jan 29, 2007
Photo of NJpadreFan
3.18/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Lagunitas- Brown Sugga'

Appearance- Hazy orange brown with a thick, creamy, heavy lacing head.
Smell- Strong alcohol with hints of molasses/ brown sugar and oak.
Taste- Sweet molasses/ brown sugar with a HUGE dose of alcohol. Slight woodsy flavors; oak, oak leaves, and mild cherry, raisin, and prune notes.
Mouthfeel- Sweet and slighty cloying up front with a strong alcohol and bitterness finish.

Overall- Alcohol is too dominent. Maybe age it to mellow out the flavors.

NJpadreFan, Jan 25, 2007
Photo of mentor
4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pulled from my cellar where it has been kept cool and dark. 2005 written on the cap and the label says "Sweet Release".

Sediment retained in the bottle. Pours almost a half finger of light-brown tan head over a cloudy brown-orange liquid. Smells wicked piney and soured caramel. Oxidized malt galore. Woody dryness and hop oranges. Prominent acetone (some people call it solventy), but comes across in an enticing way. Kind of like how tar roofing or diesel exhaust can be stimulating. Two or three years and this beer will smell crystalized-caramel age-ed delicious. Damn, I opened this one too soon.

Tastes creamy delicious. Oxidized caramel is somewhat sour, but supported by malt sweet and light esters (strawberries!). Toffee that's been scorched. Piney and green apple hop flavored is delicious...likely turning better in the future. The late alcohol sting is clean and aromatic rising. There is a deep darker malt character, which I will guess is from the brown sugar. What a stunning treat.

Thick creamy mouthfeel and mild carbonation. Smooth silky mouthfeel is lucious. Killer beer all around. OMG, top priority on my beer 'pick-up' list is to get more of this into my cellar.

Sweeter and smoother than the 2004 Bigfoot I drank a couple months ago in a vertical tasting, but with many of the pine hop and oxidized malt characteristics.

Very complex, deep and dark, with sweet dark character. Wonderful.

mentor, Jan 23, 2007
Photo of Heinens11
3.7/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

New beer to hit the Cleveland market.

12oz. bottle that pours slightly more reddish than copper and quite clear. The head is simply average in size with a color that's no more than off white. Though average size, it does hold it's shape very well.

The aroma is not complex with citrusy hops being the most notable, though caramel is evident as the name would suggest. Difficult to get a good whiff.

The palate has moderate sugar, moderate malt, a good bit of hops, and a touch of smoke. When lumped together the malt and hops provided a bitter-sweet finish that seems to last for quite awhile.

Medium-bodied with average carbonation. Easily drinkable.
I ended up pairing this beer with a Widmer 4-year old Cheddar. The sugar from the beer rounded out the sharpness of the cheddar leaving a much creamier cheese.

Cheers!

Heinens11, Jan 22, 2007
Photo of jjayjaye
3.4/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is kicking my butt! I'm not even sure that we're reviewing the same beer. I'm looking at a much shorter/squat 12oz bottle with a much smaller pup on the label. This beer is pouring a more middle of the road golden amber. You can smell a distinct sweetness, but it's very floral. Almost IPA-like. I had to stop and ask my son to try it because this is not the 'sweet mellow " beer that i was expecting. Maybe this is a consistency issue; anyway, this ain't your Daddy's brown anything.

Disregard for now; notes to self.

Peace.

jjayjaye, Jan 20, 2007
Photo of Phatz
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a big big super sweet beer. I think it will do well with a year or so under the belt.

Appearance: Pours a deep burgundy orange, translucent, with a fluffy white head.

Smell: Sugary sweet with brown sugar galore, caramelized malts hints of fruit and alcohol.

Taste & Mouthfeel: This is the epitome of a sipping night cap. The sweet sugar borders on but doesn't not cross too sweet. The alcohol shows through and with a nip of hops Brown Shugga' drinks more like a brandy than a beer.

Drinkability: Perfect for a night cap.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

Phatz, Jan 19, 2007
Photo of joe1510
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. Bottle
$7.99 6-Pack
Liquor World

I've been kind of anxious to try this beer just for the uniqueness of it. Poured with a dark mildly hazed copper body into my pint glass. 1+ finger slightly off white head on the pour that dropped to a solid cap of frothiness. Looks good and leaves moderate lacing that eventually falls back into the body.

I really don't pick up a whole lot in the scent. There is zero hops which I didn't expect anyway. There is a very solid doughiness along with the namesake brown sugar. The thing I'm surprised about is I'm picking up some white grape tartness in there as well. Not much but it's there. Interesting but nothing spectacular.

The flavor is fairly easy to describe. It's entirely like the aroma. There is a strong (in a good way) showing of bread dough and brown sugar. Lots of brown sugar. I'm getting the white grape tartness in the finish. Just a little though. Sweet but not too sweet to enjoy.

The mouthfeel is sticky but the body is medium. The stickiness can be expected considering what this beer is. Coats the mouth until the next sip, then that one coats.

It's an enjoyable and unique beer. The drinkability is good for the simple fact that it tastes good. The stickiness and sweetness holds me back from enjoying more than a couple at a time.

The alcohol is pretty solid in here but unnoticeable. I can feel my cheeks getting a little warm but nothing in the taste. I like the idea behind this beer and for a matter of fact I like this beer. It's a fun thing to try and something I don't really see other breweries trying.

Slainte!

joe1510, Jan 16, 2007
Photo of mmcave
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased at local liquor store unknowingly poured into chalice. Nice fluffy slightly off white head, with muffy lacing, head lingers about a centimeter from the surface. The body is a deep red with lots of dark sort of purply tones. Smells of malty sweetness, this doesn't really emanate a very thick malt rather a sweet malt with nice toast notes, the hops are not too over powering but provide a nice balance. Flavor is slightly thin and sort of a sharp sweet bitterness, which I'm sort of indifferent to. The mouthful is sort of flat and through that the sweet, sort of cough spryness gets a little not so tasty, but I have to give it props for a yummy hop burps. Honesty this could be useful, but I'm not sure I'll buy again worth a try though.

mmcave, Jan 15, 2007
Photo of dstc
3.73/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A friend in California always gives me a box of mixed beers for Christmas and this was one of them.

A: Reddish/brown. Real nice head that faded slowly leaving a nice off-white lace on the tulip glass I poured it into.

S: Rich but a little metallically.

T: Good! I loved Dark Belgium Ales and was interested to see how this would compare and was pleasenlty suprised. Left a bit of a bitter aftertaste that I found somewhat unpleasent but that didn't stop me from enjoying this beer.

M: Warm and tasty. I can feel the 9.9% abv on this beer but like it.

D: Yes indeed. Well done America! A fine dark ale that satisfies my Belguim cravings.

dstc, Jan 09, 2007
Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,677 ratings.