1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

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

3,710 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,710
Reviews: 1,298
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 11.69%
Wants: 147
Gots: 247 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Brown Shugga' Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,710 | Reviews: 1,298 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Mebuzzard
4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A nice bright copper/burgundy pour. Hints of red and brown along the rim. Good head, dense foam with some clumping and lacing as it went down.
Aroma of malt and caramel. Hints of apricot and sugarcane. Hops and some dry pine are faint, towards the back.
Tastes rich in malt, but not overpowering. Some pumpkin pie spices are available but hard to find. Definite maple/brown sugar influence, but only if you think about it.
Smooth. Doesn't stick, seems kinda light. The alcohol sneaks up on you. I was feeling good.
The aftertaste is a bit much for me. Too sweet for my dry tastes.

Mebuzzard, Dec 06, 2006
Photo of pjwilson
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: pours a very clear, see through copper color. tons and tons of carbination which forms a very nice head.

smell: burnt caramal and lots of brown suggah. a bit of that lagunitas hoppiness.

taste: a tasty beer. they seemed to have upped the hops this year and I'm not complaining. mixed in there are sweet caramal and warm brown sugger. just a trace of alcohol that you feel in the gut

mouthfeel: drinks super light as you would expect from all the sugar.

drinkability: drinks like a beer half it's strength. i'll have to be carefull because i could put a few back before i knew what hit me.

This is a very good winter beer.

pjwilson, Dec 02, 2006
Photo of msubulldog25
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a couple singles at Beaumont Market. Poured this 12 oz. to a standard pint glass.

A: Clear bronze with 1/2 finger of creamy ivory head. Carbonation bubbles swirl up through the glass.

S: Sweet initially but with a spiced hop presence that's tingly in the nose. A little bit minty, with the hoppy herbalness of a nice tea.

T:Mellow sugary flavors with toasty malts. Has the spiciness of a strong Belgian ale, the caramel of a balanced IPA and a plethora of juicy citrus hops. Becomes sweeter as it warms, a delicious beer.

M: Viscous, thick mouthfeel. Laden with hops this beer's mouthfeel comes off as slightly syrupy, and slightly nutty and sour in the finish. A medium body with light carbonation.

D: Definitely a strong ale but good enough for seconds . Pleasing, well-balanced (sweet with a potent hop kick) and a high gravity. Try one - you may find yourself having another.

msubulldog25, Nov 30, 2006
Photo of scruffwhor
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance- A light mix of honey and an IPA like amber. Like Wonderbread crust color. No carbonation visible. Not an impressive head, but a lingering skim of foam, and some decent lacing to boot.

Smell- A little bland or muted. But some definite sugary sweet malts of a darker character are picked up though.

Taste- This is a great balance of bland malts sweetness, brown sugar sweetness, and hop bitterness.Starts with a caramel malt sweetness blended with light hops leading to the middle and finish of solid brown sugar sweetness.

Mouthfeel- Easy palate and very well incorporated alcohol.

scruffwhor, Nov 29, 2006
Photo of maundythirsty
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber beer. No bubbling. Thin, off-white hea ... Hey, where'd the head go? The smell is a busy combination of dark sugars and malt and delicate floral and citrus hops.

That malt taste is talking to me, but it's hard to hear over a very bitter dose of hops compounded by the nearly 10 percent ABV. It's thick and smooth. Very dry.

Brown Shugga could take some getting used to, but I think I could really like this stuff. The alcohol comes across with such a heavy vodka-esque bite.

maundythirsty, Nov 26, 2006
Photo of Toddv29424
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One of the things I get most excited for during the holidays is the release of this beer. Such a good flavor, and at 10% it leaves you feeling terrific. Pours a light copper color with a light head and seemingly endless bubbles. The smell is malty, with a hint of nut and some fruit as well (although nothing distinct). The taste is big and warm. Mostly the best parts of a brown ale with lots of candied sugars, and the alcohol is nowhere to be found. You can tell this beer is made with care. The aftertaste is pleasant, but very monolithic and leaves something to be desired in terms of variability. Overall a terrific beer.

Toddv29424, Nov 24, 2006
Photo of indy169
3.63/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Lagunitas Brown Sugga' pours a cloudy deep copper, with nice lacing. The initial mouthfeel is rather thick with a peculiar and odd feel. The smell is cleaner than the taste, and there is a melon-like flavor hidden within the heavy alcohol content. There is also a pronounced sticky, sweetness, which is reminded on the lips when dry.
I find this brew pretty decent, but lacking heart. The alcohol is too high for the flavors expressed.

indy169, Nov 24, 2006
Photo of hopsaplenty
3.2/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz. brown bottle, no obvious date information but 263D10423 was inkjetted near the bottom label, and 11142721115 was inkjetted on the neck.

Hazy seared caramel. Thick, dense soft tan head of mixed size bubbles that stands steady and is topped with a fine cream-like layer. Eventually it starts to fall leaving thick pock marked lace on the glass and coming to rest at a thin collar with some dust. Minimal sluggish carbonation streams rise. Sweet brown sugar, pine sap, and prickly alcohol aromas. Piney hop resin washes across the tongue dropping sweet brown sugar bombs before fading into the back behind warm alcohol. The hops come to fill out all aspects of the flavor and when coupled with the alcohol, it attains an almost pine-sol like solvency. Not particularly smooth, the pine adds a rough-cut texture to the medium-full body. The fine carbonation eases the drinkability somewhat. The finish comes to be filled out with an almost medicinal alcohol flavor laced with pine that leaves me wondering where the brown sugar sweetness went. This was an okay beer, but I probably won’t be revisiting in the future.

hopsaplenty, Nov 20, 2006
Photo of Winter
3.3/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear dark copper with a light khaki head. Aroma primarily consists of caramel, malt and brown sugar. The mouthfeel is medium in body. This was a lot hoppier than I was expecting from a beer made with raw sugar. It's not really that sweet at all. Piney, floral hoppiness is in the forefront of the flavor profile. The maltiness leaves a somewhat sticky mouthfeel. The hops impart a drying finish toward the back. Alchohol is hardly noticeable.

I'm a little underwhelmed after trying this one. I guess i was expecting something a little sweeter under the guise of a brown ale made with raw (brown)sugar. This one disappoints.

Winter, Nov 20, 2006
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.63/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(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.

rhoadsrage, Nov 19, 2006
Photo of jclzony
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

jclzony, Nov 16, 2006
Photo of IntriqKen
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Surprise!
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.

IntriqKen, Nov 16, 2006
Photo of athensbeermaster
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

athensbeermaster, Nov 15, 2006
Photo of shivtim
3.58/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

shivtim, Nov 15, 2006
Photo of strattor
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

strattor, Nov 13, 2006
Photo of brewcrew76
3.45/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

brewcrew76, Nov 13, 2006
Photo of rsyberg01
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

rsyberg01, Nov 11, 2006
Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

11/8/06
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!

FLAbeergutinMASS, Nov 08, 2006
Photo of aforbes10
3.15/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

aforbes10, Nov 08, 2006
Photo of hckyfn9999
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

hckyfn9999, Nov 08, 2006
Photo of Beerzebub
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Beerzebub, Nov 07, 2006
Photo of nortmand
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

nortmand, Nov 06, 2006
Photo of Blakaeris
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Blakaeris, Nov 05, 2006
Photo of bashiba
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

bashiba, Nov 05, 2006
Photo of ElGordo
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

ElGordo, Nov 04, 2006
Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,710 ratings.