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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

3,783 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,783
Reviews: 1,304
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 11.69%
Wants: 160
Gots: 269 | FT: 12
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: 3,783 | Reviews: 1,304 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BrewDrinkRepeat
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a brilliant red copper. Tall off-white head that lingers a long time.

S: Strong malt aroma, with a definite nose of brown sugar as expected. No discernable hop aroma (which would be out of place for this beer anyway).

T: Tastes big and sweet, slightly cloying. No forward hop bitterness, but a definite tingle at the back of my throat so I know they're there. The impression of brown sugar lingers after the swallow.

M: This is a rich beer -- not thick like as tout, but definitely a big mouthfeel. Very similar to other beers where sugar is added to boost the fermentables. Pleasant alcohol warmth that get somewhat less pleasant as the beer warms up.

D: Considering the sweetness this is a surprisingly drinkable beer. That been said, I probably would not buy another one -- not so much because of any real faults in this beer, but this style doesn't appeal to me that much. I found myself not wanting to finish it after I poured the second half of the 22oz. bomber. (I might like it more in a 12oz. bottle.)

BrewDrinkRepeat, Mar 06, 2007
Photo of smcolw
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Light brown color, clear. Long-lasting head that leaves ample amount of lace on the glass.

Very low aromas--some molasses/candy sugar; no discernable hop

Caramel flavors--more sweet than bitter, but the hop is present and balances this beer just enough. Very full bodied. Good carbonation. The aftertaste brings out the hop. Interesting journey through the flavor profile.

Regardless of the complexity, this is an easy to drink beer. It is VERY deceptive given the alcohol content (9.9%!!). I could not note the usual oiliness or aftertaste of alcohol. Drink this one with some caution.

smcolw, Mar 04, 2007
Photo of ZAP
3.38/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-orangish amber color....nice frothy vanilla head.

S-Sweet sugary malt...a hint of maple...Ok but doesn't grab you by the throat and scream "drink me mother fucker"...decent but not great.

T-Very sweet flavored...heavy molassses, brown sugar, maple malt backbone....there is also a unique piney hop bitterness.

M-Very full bodied and thick...this is a big boy no doubt.

D-I like sweet beers and I like this to a point. Here's my problems with this....it feels too sweet and the hops used just do not blend nicely at all with the malt...kind of a muddled drinking experience that isn't bad but isn't great either...some bitterness on the long finish really confuses the hell out of my buds after the almost sickening onslaught of sticky sweetness at the start..

I'd still say it's worth a try and I'd rate it a little above average overall...

ZAP, Feb 27, 2007
Photo of Contra
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is probably one of the most cloudy beers I've ever had. Minimal head, with a dark amber hue. Quite tasty, as it reminds me of a thick I.P.A. with less of the floral qualities, yet sweeter. It also reminds me of barely-wine, but not overtly so.

The beauty of this beer is how cheap it is. I paid $3.50 for a 22 oz. bottle. Lagunitas is quickly becoming one of my favorite breweries, especially for how inexpensive they tend to be.

Contra, Feb 26, 2007
Photo of chilidog
4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lagunitas, Wow, not what I expected, this is a very good, well enjoyed beer!

It poured a nice dark copper, rich clear color. Nice full head, slight tan with a good lace path left glass-side. (I was expecting, well something brown)

The aroma was sweet toasted malts, an aroma of good crusty bread.

The taste says it all. Toasted malts with a good sweet layer of well carmalized brown sugar. Kinda like brown-sugar cinnamon toast.
This full bodied beer is thick but a great blended hop does'nt allow it to get to sweet. The 9.9% stay's in check as well. Only a slight alcohol hint is noticed in the taste. This allows this beer to be very drinkable. Caution; that also allows that 9.9% to sneak up on ya.

Overall; very drinkable with a good, clean mouthfeel. The mouth is left with a slight oil feel but with a sugar sweet finish.

chilidog, Feb 25, 2007
Photo of Hampton73
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pretty clear amber with some head.

Smell is brown sugar with American hops. Kind of nice.

The hops really are at the forefront in the flavor, with the brown sugar coming through. Not a lot of malt flavor in there.

Mouthfeel is thin with carbonation.

Hampton73, Feb 25, 2007
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
Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,783 ratings.