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Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,651 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,651
Reviews: 1,296
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 11.44%
Wants: 134
Gots: 231 | 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: 3,651 | Reviews: 1,296 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rhoadsrage


3.63/5  rDev -9.7%

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer has a warm light brown body with a light tan head that fades to a ring pretty quickly. No sign of carbonation because the body is a bit to dense.

S- This beer has a light toasted malt note with a sweetness and a note of dark sugar and white sugar hint as well.

T- The slight sweet caramel malt flavor has a note of dry spice and dark rum that adds its own sweetness. There is a hint of darker sugar that comes through just a hint as it warms. The finish is a nice herbal citrus hops but the sweetness still lingers after the sip.

M- This beer has a medium light mouthfeel with no real alcohol heat. At the finish when it is really warm there is a slight alcohol heat that is a nice contrast to the sweetness.

D- This beer has an interesting flavor and I can see where it gets its name. It would be nice to have some big flavors that balance with the sweetness.

11-19-2006 04:22:07 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of jclzony


4.35/5  rDev +8.2%

Copper color with a nice fluffly white head. Aroma is has a nice sweet malt with a bit of hops and alcohol. Flavor is with brown sugar dominance with a bit of molasses and some citrus tones. Alcohol is very noticeable after finishing only one. There is a definite presentation of malt and has a sweet finish.

11-16-2006 23:47:37 | More by jclzony
Photo of IntriqKen


4.3/5  rDev +7%

Light golden amber with a thick white head that melts to very thick sticky lacing.
Aroma is amber malt and brown sugar...yeah, it really is brown sugar.
Hmmm...flavor is sweet amber malt with the candied sugars but a finish of citrus malts that keeps everything in check and nothing becomes sticky or cloying. A little alcohol on the end.
Aftertaste stays clean due to the finish of citrus hops.
The ABV stays totally hidden so this one will not only sneak up on you...it will probably run up your ass.
I like it.

11-16-2006 03:31:29 | More by IntriqKen
Photo of athensbeermaster


3.95/5  rDev -1.7%

Deep reddish brown on the color. Small head retention, light hazy tan with minor lacing on the glass. The carbonation was good and gave the brew vibrance. I may have poured the beer to slow and would explain the small head. Sweet apples on the nose. The mouthfeel was full body with the carmel producing a sliky quality and a little spicy from the brown sugar that tingles on the tongue.
When this beer reaches warmer temp. is has a good bourbon flavor.
mixed with a splash of brown sugar. All the desciptions sound like this beer would be very sweet but the 55.1 ibu (hops) keep this in check. The big magic trick is how well the 9.9 abv. doesn't overwelm this well balanced Strong Ale.

11-15-2006 17:20:32 | More by athensbeermaster
Photo of shivtim


3.58/5  rDev -10.9%

Clearish brown with a hint of red. A little viscous. Nose is alcohol, some malts, and sweetness. Almost like a malty wine. Taste is like a bitter barley wine. Has hints of smoke, sweetness is there but not too overdone, and hops in the finish. Alcohol is hidden pretty well in the taste (although not in the nose). Not bad.

11-15-2006 04:50:52 | More by shivtim
Photo of strattor


3.88/5  rDev -3.5%

Served at the Map Room in Chicago in a 10 oz chalice. An opaque golden brown with a very light cream-colored head.

A very rich, malty aroma with some fruity noted coming through, perhaps plum or raisin.

A very full bodied flavor, and not the syrupy sweetness I was expecting from a beer made with such massive amounts of brown sugar. It's a very dense, malt and fruit flavor, with a little warmth but not much spiciness coming from the alcohol.

A reall nice, full mouthfeel. Not chewy, but the beer lets you know it's there.

While strong, I would definietly order this up again. I nice beer to sip after dinner, perhaps.

11-13-2006 20:55:48 | More by strattor
Photo of brewcrew76


3.45/5  rDev -14.2%

A - Pours a clear ruby copper with a thin head that disappears with no lacing.

S - Sweet caramel malt with some citrus hops and a strong molasses/brown sugar. Very DIPA like with some brown sugar sweetness added in.

T - Sweet molasses and brown sugar, rum soaked raisins and some bitter citrus hops. The alcohol is very present in this beer. I would like to give the taste a higher score but I found it to be cloyingly sweet at times and very boozy.

M - Thick and chewy but still creamy at the same time. Moderate carbonation.

D - I enjoyed this beer but the sweetness that lingers on the tongue makes it tough for me to give it a better score. I don't think I could drink more than 1 of these in a sitting.

11-13-2006 03:22:55 | More by brewcrew76
Photo of rsyberg01


3.8/5  rDev -5.5%

S - 12 oz bottle, no freshness date.

A - Pours a deep clear copper with an offwhite sticky head. Looks are inviting and certainly delicious looking

S - Molasses, citrus, pine, malty. Hops are big, not in your face big, but still big. A little bit off balance.

T -Brown sugar, piney notes as well, little bit nutty, fresh citrus, good warming in my chest which is the only alcohol hint.

M - Very smooth with a bite of dryness from the hop. Balance is good.

D - I wouldnt say its a session brew, but its still decent.

11-11-2006 21:49:41 | More by rsyberg01
Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS


4.33/5  rDev +7.7%

Sometimes labels can be deceiving. I assumed this was an over-alcoholed brown ale, not the case. What it is is an amazingly different strong ale, that tastes like a brown ale...sort of.

What is truly amazing about this beer is how it is able to disguise its characteristics. Is this really a %9.9? Sure it's warming, but not overly offensive with the alcohol. It comes across as very bready, almost like a cinnamon bun, it's that sweet. Hops don't have a place here.

A truly unique offering, glad I bought two bottles.

Drink as quickly as possible. I pulled my cellared version from just about a year ago. Way too sweet, malts have virutally disappeared. Just a sugary mess that is hot to drink.

Consume fresh!

11-08-2006 14:15:33 | More by FLAbeergutinMASS
Photo of aforbes10


3.15/5  rDev -21.6%

Had this on tap at the Map Room in Chicago. It was their "featured" tap when i visited. Poured with really no head, just a ring of bubbles. looks fairly barley-wine-y, which is what the map room described the beer as being. brown, syrupy look to it. smell is sweet...they served it cold so that's all i got at virst and when it warmed up...still just sweet, maybe some brown sugar specific sweetness coming through. Taste is first just like sugar water and alcohol. Sweet and mildly fruity and very dry on the finish after every sip. Mouthfeel becomes, as a result, very sticky. almost like liquified sugar in vodka. overall, it was ok, but a bit sweet and dry. I might like it if it was aged and the flavor profile become a bit more complex.

11-08-2006 13:49:43 | More by aforbes10
Photo of hckyfn9999


3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Pours a slightly hazy dark copper color with some red hues. Small white head. Doesn't last too long and leaves a little lacing.

Smell is fruity yeast, nutty, carmel, and appropriately enough... brown sugar. Also some alcohol as the beer warms, actually it begins to dominate the smell.

Taste is sweet initially some carmel, followed by some sweet fruit, and then some citrusy hops bitterness. A lot more hoppy than you would want from something called sugar.

Mouthfeel is pretty good and they hide the 10%abv well making this pretty drinkable.

Pretty good brew.

11-08-2006 03:44:19 | More by hckyfn9999
Photo of Beerzebub


4.2/5  rDev +4.5%

Red amber, negligable egg shell head. Not much lacing.

Smells like caramel, brown sugar, dark fruity esters. Sweet and good.

Tastes somewhat sweet, with some moderate hop bitterness kicking in and balancing it out well. Brown sugar, prunes, raisins, very nice.

Drinkable. Slightly sticky.

Good, interesting big beer. Went well with some Roquefort.

11-07-2006 08:02:28 | More by Beerzebub
Photo of nortmand


4.1/5  rDev +2%

On tap at Sheffields in Chicago.

Ruby-brown pour with a withstanding tan head.

Molasses and caramel smells dominate the nose, also some supportive hops, though not overly assertive.

Fairly sweet flavor. Dark ripe fruits mingle with somewhat brighter fruity esters. Ends with a pleasant bitterness.

Fullbodied and somewhat drinkable. A bit sweet, but not cloying.

11-06-2006 16:51:50 | More by nortmand
Photo of Blakaeris


4.33/5  rDev +7.7%

Pours clear copper brown with a fluffy white head that leaves nice lacing.

Smell is toasted caramel malt, massive brown sugar, and hints of fruit. There is also a bit of yeasty funk aroma.

Taste is more of the impressive balanced malt and brown sugar. There is also generous mollasses and earthy hop bitterness. Finish reveals hints of the high ABV.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a bit of hop oilyness. Very smooth.

Overall a balanced flavorful brew. The high ABV is dangerously concealed. A tasty treat that I will be returning to.

11-05-2006 18:25:12 | More by Blakaeris
Photo of bashiba


4.15/5  rDev +3.2%

Poured a nice dark hazy copper color with a light thin ring of a head.

Smell has a complex mixture of hops, caramel malts, maple, brown shugga, and a touch of alcohol coming through with a touch of funk as it warms.

Has a nice blend of Strong woody malt flavors with hints of maple and molasses with a potent hop bitterness, very balanced for a beer this big. The alcohol which was noticeable in the smell is completely hidden in the taste.

Mouthfeel is thick and oily, really seems to travel slowly warming its way to your belly.

Very drinkable Strong Ale, Lagunitas is quickly becoming one of my new favorites breweries.

11-05-2006 18:22:24 | More by bashiba
Photo of ElGordo


3.8/5  rDev -5.5%

Pours a pretty burnt orange color topped by a half-inch of creamy ecru head that sticks around for the duration. Aroma of crisp floral hops, sweet caramel malt, and a touch of brown sugar. Palate is initially sweet, with caramel malt and a considerable amount of brown sugar intensifying mid-palate. A light spiciness comes through right before the swallow, finishing with a good amount of warming alcohol. Body is smooth and creamy, quite enjoyable. On the whole a good beer, but be careful - the well-masked alcohol can sneak up on you.

11-04-2006 07:52:17 | More by ElGordo
Photo of rajendra82


3.98/5  rDev -1%

The beer poured out orange amber in color, with a remarkable clarity. The head was very minimal in size, but a slow and steady stream of carbonation kept in alive for a while. The handsome looks were quite nice, but the smell was simply outstanding. Sweet, citric, and soft, the nose only gave a slightest hint of the hidden potency in the form of rose oil like fusels.

The taste was quite bitter which came as a surprise to me. The hops were herbal an assertive, and the fusel alcohols carried them right to the throat. This made the beer taste quite dry and reminded me of scalded milk. The sweetness was there underlying the hops, but the appearance of it was only fleeting.

The mouthfeel was light and drinkability high. This is quite a feat considering the strength. I do see a promise of improvement here with some aging, although I am not sure this will hold up for the really long haul.

10-27-2006 02:52:59 | More by rajendra82
Photo of uberabr


4.45/5  rDev +10.7%

Legend has it that Lagunitas pulled this one out of their hats as a last-ditch effort to salvage a dying batch of fermenting ale. “Why not add Brown sugar?” The rest is history. I’m not sure if I believe it, but it’s a nice story, and a pleasant beer.

A: Poured from the 22 into a Belgian abbey glass. Definitely unconventional. A rosy, brown color with little to no head but some lace.

S: This brew was described to me as the perfect mix of hops and malt. I didn't notice it at first, but there is definitely a very subtle but notable woodsy, even minty pine hop, which delicately masks a floral, orange malt backbone. Although it seems more serindipidous than intentional, it's very charming, and unique. Smells strongly of apples, and…duh…sugar. There are some more subtle fruity and citrusy notes; a little plum, some bananas, caramel and maple syrup.

T: Taste is pleasant, almost like a Dubbel. Sugary with a twist of orange and some caramel apples. Almost no alcohol is present at all, although I can definitely feel it. A definite but subtle malt. Very pleasant.

Mouthfeel is good. A little parched, but an adequate body and good carbonation. Drinkability is perhaps the most notable part of this brew. Can’t taste the booze. Simple, trashy, and lovely.

10-14-2006 06:49:24 | More by uberabr
Photo of BeerIsland


3.18/5  rDev -20.9%

Fairly cloudy in the glass, orangy, with a decent head that melted away fairly quickly. The nose is nice and sweet; smells like spent grain. The taste is not real exciting, complex but transitions through a sort of medicinal phase before finishing with a fruity tang. The mouthfeel is good but too heavy to be very drinkable. I'm not sure where I got this but I know it wasn't recently; perhaps this bottle is a little old.

09-14-2006 01:24:21 | More by BeerIsland
Photo of arizcards


4.22/5  rDev +5%

I picked up a 22 oz bomber back at the end of May from Sportsman's Fine Wines for $3.39.

Beer poured a reddish brown with a surprisingly nice head that is leaving a good lacing behind. Nose is of sweet malts with hints of dark fruits. Taste is very interesting. There is a big presence of sweet malts, dark fruits, and a fair amount of hops. Mouthfeel is full and very smooth. Drinkability is good. This is one of the most interesting beers I have tried in awhile. It is a combination of Arrogant Bastard, Belgian Strong Ale, and Barleywine. The abv is huge. One is enough for me even though a second one would be mighty tasty.

09-09-2006 01:50:36 | More by arizcards
Photo of hoppymeal


4/5  rDev -0.5%

Pours a nice dark amber and copper color, clear, with a good size cream-yellow head. Aroma is sweet honey and a little caramel, cereal and a hint of booze. Hops are more evident in the taste but heavier on the malt side with some sweet grapey-ness, and rich caramel malts. A nice spicy alcohol bite in the finish. I have really been enjoying some high alcohol malt bombs recently so this beer is going down quite easily.

09-08-2006 21:55:01 | More by hoppymeal
Photo of stephendr


4.8/5  rDev +19.4%

red copper hue , nose of light hops , sweet and clean, taste is chewy with a sweet/ sour and metallic thing going on, sweet shugga finish, on of my personal favorites red copper hue , nose of light hops , sweet and clean, taste is chewy with a sweet/ sour and metallic thing going on, sweet shugga finish, on of my personal favorites

08-19-2006 05:47:49 | More by stephendr
Photo of far333


4.03/5  rDev +0.2%

Clear but darkly copper colored. A thick half inch of orangey-beige head of varying size bubbles rises up and lasts long. A foamy bowl is created as the center slowly lowers and the sides cling high to the sides of the glass.

Strong aroma of cinnamon, cotton candy, and ripe pear. Also some grainy light brown sugar coming through.

Flavor is intially rich malts with a piney and peppery bite in the background. Some citrus hops emerge in the finish, followed by a subtle brown sugar flourish. Not as sweet as the name might imply, and a good mixture of an unexpected hop presence (51 IBU). ABV is mellow on the pallette, but warms the throat and stomach.

Mouthfeel is full and creamy, just the right amount of carbonation.

Scarily drinkable, I think my taste buds could handle one more bomber, but the brain cells might be ready for a break after that.

08-02-2006 12:04:59 | More by far333
Photo of NEhophead


4.03/5  rDev +0.2%

1pt 6fl oz brown bomber.

A bright mahogany color under a foamy, lightly tan head that gives way to pools of bubbles and a whispy sheet. Trails of scattered, thin lacing.

Sweet caramelized notes of tea. Ripe, vinous fruit: plum, cherry, apple. The aromas are more sweet and almost rich than tart. Faint hjints of nutmeg and brown sugar.

Sweet, dried dark fruit: plum, fig, and grape. Complex alcohol flavors; hints of tame bourbon. Caramelized brown sugar, a touch of molasses, and vanilla. Hints of alcohol-soaked fruit in the aftertaste. The sweetness overshadows the complexities of the fruit and alcohol.

Medium in body; smooth and creamy on the palate. Velvety and quite flattering for the style and alcohol presence.

A sweet, strong ale, but not overdone. The brown sugar, nutmeg profile is the focal point which draws from the ale's other flavor aspects, but the abv % is remarkably well hidden.

06-20-2006 01:31:43 | More by NEhophead
Photo of ggroller


4.4/5  rDev +9.5%

Received from Callenak in HBIF3

A great looking beer in the glass. Murky brown beer with a rich and creamy tan head. Plenty of lacing although the head does dissipate to almost nothing as I drink.

Smells and tastes like brown sugar. No, really. It does. Notes of sherry, vanilla, and bourbon as it warms.

Rich mouthfeel. Smooth and creamy and a bit chewy.

A fairly drinkable beer although it does get a bit hot as it warms.

06-15-2006 14:21:08 | More by ggroller
Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,651 ratings.