Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

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4,307 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,307
Reviews: 1,365
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.66%
Wants: 179
Gots: 472 | FT: 16
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: 4,307 | Reviews: 1,365 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of daledeee
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my large wine glass(aka La Binchoise) The head was great with nice lacing and dark clear brown body.

Nose is spicy hoppy and floral.

Taste is malty, sweet and some good hops. Very creamy on the tongue and really a nice beer to drink. Somehow this came across as a little watery. Overall, it is a good refreshing beer.

Photo of Franz4
3.6/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- a red, dark penny copper colored beer that poured just a thin layer of bubbles on top that disappeared almost immediately.

S- A unique, sweet, dark fruit nose with a pleasant brown sugar note to it.

T- brown sugar sweetness followed by a clove-like finish. Also has a metallic taste to it that's hard to place.

M- Light bodied for the style, nothing that stood out here.

D- A unique take, but not sure that it's making me really want to come back for more, glad I tried it, but that's about as far as it goes.

Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a rich clear amber in color with about one finger on light brown head. Moderate retention and nice lacing.

S - Sweet caramel malts, vanilla, floral citrus hops, brown sugar and maybe a hint of spice.

T - Sweet caramelized sugar attacks the palate, hops are close behind making for a really great balance. Some vanilla and dark fruit notes are also present. Finishes with just the slightest bit of bitterness and alcohol.

M - Medium to full in body, really coats the mouth nicely, carbonation is a little too much for me, kind of prickly on the palate.

D - Very drinkable, especially for the ABV! Once again, another beer I love from Lagunitas, I have yet to be disappointed!

Photo of nkersten
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pours a reddish orange with a thin off white head that settles to a ring. Smell is sugar, cinnamon, cough syrup/alcohol, fruity hops. Taste is very sweet off the bat, red licorice and boozy sugars. Has an artificial candy sweetness that has a bit of bitterness in the finish. The sweetness of the beer really masks most of the other elements. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a medium carbonation, not too sticky and a bit coating. As far as American Strong Ales go, this is one of the most drinkable. I think i would prefer to put this in an imperial red category. Very tasty and smooth.

Photo of adam42381
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass. Bottled on October 4, 2010 per Julian dating code printed on bottle.

Appearance: Pours a clear dark amber color with ruby red highlights and a 1 finger foamy off-white head. Good head retention and nice lacing throughout.

Smell: Floral and citrus hops with hints of pineapple and black pepper.

Taste: Spices including brown sugar and black pepper up front followed by mildly sweet citrus and caramel malt in the middle and ending with pine and grapefruit at the finish. Aftertaste is bitter and somewhat peppery. Flavor is very well balanced and the spices are apparent throughout.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Hops are pretty oily.

Drinkability: High drinkability. The alcohol is extremely well hidden which could cause some issues considering it is 9.99% ABV.

Overall: Excellent beer overall. I would highly recommend this one. This is yet another great beer from Lagunitas. I'm starting to think that they can do no wrong.

Photo of gregshead
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours deep red with a finger of fizzy head.

S: Sugar and spice smell

T: Almost a toffee taste mixed with a sweet but subtle brown sugar. Reminds me of a red ale with a brown sugar and

M: Looks more carbonated than it tastes to me. A little bit on the syrupy side.

D: How in the world is this 9.99%? A little on the sweet side but enjoyable.

Photo of JohnnyChicago
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint.

A: Beautiful rosy amber with a nice head and a ridiculous amount of lacing.

S: Smell's like a sweet IPA. Candied fruits, alcohol and yeast.

T: Follows the smell: hops, brown sugar, and fermented fruit.

D: Drinkability is great! Its a big beer and there's no attempt to cover the nearly 10% ABV, but the alcohol has a refreshing warming feeling.

Overall: This a tasty beer and although its a bit unbalanced, its a must try. Its original and refreshing and a great autumn beer.

Photo of chickenflea
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle pours a clear reddish amber. Medium off-white head, fine bubbles, low carbonation, with attractive lacing. Sweet fermented orange aroma with some strange mustiness. The flavor is initially bitter (which I like) but quickly dissolves into a candy-like syrupy blend of flavors, the hops come on strong at the end. Texture is thick and heavy. Good body, decent mouthfeel. Just a bit too sugary sweet IMHO. I should have taken a clue from the name, huh?

Photo of Transatlantic
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass at about 45 degrees

A - A clear caramel like brown with a purplish tint to it. Head is quite creamy and sticks around long enough to leave a pretty good lacing.

S - Oh man, first thing I get is a kick of vanilla and followed by a floral yet citrusy hop character. The ending smell seems to be molasses but it's very light.

T - This is very interesting! The first thing I notice is how syrupy sweet and bitter it is. The next thing I notice is how pronounced the molasses taste is right next to the ever strong citrusy hop note. The taste is quite amazingly blended if I do say so myself. I'm wanting to say it's a lemon/orange like citrus that i'm getting, which is quite unusual considering the beer is named "Brown Shugga"

M - Very syrupy and creamy. Quite a strong medium bodied beer.

D - You can drink one of these down no problem, but one is going to do it for you, unless you're aiming to get drunk.

Photo of Rayek
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

A: Straight up copper with a very light haze. A small cream cap is slow to form and quickly falls to a patchwork film. Leaves bits of lace.

S: Pine and citrus hops dominate. The brown sugar from the name brings up the rear. It's joined by a slight whiff of alcohol.

T: Brown sugar and bittersweet toffee get things going. They're quickly pushed aside by a moderate pine and lemon bitterness. The bitterness lasts into the finish. Although it adds a nice warmth going down, the alcohol's flavor is well masked.

M: The medium body is slight sticky and feels rather light for this much alcohol.

D: This is a nice beer. The brown sugar is obviously meant to compliment the flavor rather than define it. A good accompaniment to a chilly fall night.

Photo of 1759Girl
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance> What a BEAUTY. Lovely mahogany color with a big thick vanilla head. Lacing for days and amazing retention. Clear with low to medium liveliness. Gorgeous. I'm incredibly thirsty.

Smell>hops to the maximum... and a smidge sweet.

Taste> Hmmm... Don't get me wrong. This strong ale is really great in some points, but somethings just not quite right. There is just something between the midtaste hop punch, right after it gets this delicious brown sugar sweetening where it almost goes a little metallic before it moves to the nice mellow resin hang.

mouf> easy, good, just right

Drinability> in spite of the odd little i-don't-know-what... this is still a rather drinkable beer

Photo of boomer31
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Burnt orange and transparent. Nice white head, perhaps a slight tan head. Barely sticks to the glass

S - Caramel malt and hints of floral hops.

T - Sweet malt hits right up front then the grassy hops. A dry piney finish . I remember this beer being more sweet last time I had it but the bitterness is plesant. Perhaps a touch of sugar in the taste as well.

M - A nice balance of rich malts make this stick to your tongue just like the glass

D - Pretty good balance between big hop and malt. Again I recall this being more sweet in past releases but the bitterness is nice

Overall a solid brew especially for the price point...not surprising for a Lagunitas brew. A month or so might do this wonders but fresh is a nice balance of hop and malt

Photo of LairdChisholm
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a clear copper color with a less than one finger, off white head very little lacing to speak of. There are many small streams of carbonation bubbles going to the top.

S - Strong smells of sweet malts with brown sugar and molasses and citrus malts. Good balance.

T - Incredible balance here. There is a mixture of brown sugar/caramel malts with citrus/grapefruit hops. There is a semi sweet after taste that makes you want to take another sip.

M - Good amount of carbaonation with medium to light mouthfeel.

D - Considering the ABV, this drinkability is dangerous.

Photo of matjack85
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I found a 6pk of these at Sal's in Addison, IL for $10.99. Short, squatty, brown bottles with no freshness date, but with that unique printing style that lets you know this is a Lagunitas beer.

The beer pours a clear bronze color that takes on a reddish/orange sunset hue when held to the light. I only got a ½ finger of off-white head with my pour. It had good retention but left only minimal lacing.

I was expecting this huge brown sugar smell, but what I got was a big whiff of hops up front with the caramel and brown sugar lurking underneath.

When you get to the taste however, here comes the brown sugar - boatloads of it! Sweet brown sugar and caramel make this syrupy thick, but there are enough citrus (grapefruit) and earthy hops in here to keep the sweetness in check - well, sort of anyway. There is no effort to hide the alcohol here either, so in addition to the brown sugar and hops flavors, you also get a decent warming alcohol kick.

Thick, syrupy, full bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation.

The high alcohol and sugary taste makes this more of a sipper for me, despite what the label says to the contrary - "Life is uncertain. Don't sip." One at a time is enough for me.

Photo of jjanega08
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A= the pour reveals a move amber beer with a nice looking slightly off white head on it. The head holds decent retention and spotty lacing.

S= a really nice smell to it. I would describe it as balanced due to the tremendous amount of hops and sweet malts. I'm not sure if its placebo but I do get some brown sugar. Nice fruity hops to it.

T= the taste is amazing. Such great flavors. I feel like this is a hop heads ber as well as someone who perfers a more malty base. There is a great amount of fruity hops to it and the brown sugar add a lot. A unique beer for sure.

M= a great body to it. Perfect carbonation to it.

D= great beer. Ill be buying a lot of this in the future. Another home run by lagunitas. I could drunk this all day.

Photo of WestValleyIPA
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle, from the motherland Lagunitas, into my Zatec fluted glass. Nice firm 2 fingers of tan head. Good retention and nice sticky icky lacing. Smells floral, sweet malt, a bit of Duncan Hines brownies. Sweet up front on the palate. Finishes earthy and bitter. Dangerous 10% beer. Johnny Dangerous.

Photo of JizackFH
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a very nice reddish brown that has a nice fluffy white head that dissipates quickly leaving some lacing on the glass. There is a nice transparency to this beer that I didn't really expect. It looks greath in the light though. It smells like brown sugar, molasses, caramel, and some citrus fruit notes like lemon and orange. There is also a very nice hoppy smell to this, mmmm gotta love it. the taste is nice and hoppy up front with a definite alcohol kick. It is also cut by a nice brown sugary sweetness that works very well. There are also notes of Molasses, caramel, butterscotch, and some subtle citrus notes. This has a good mouthfeel, Goes down smooth, and has a good amount of carbonation. Nice medium body on this that gives it almost a creamy texture. I think the drinkability is good on this one. I would love to have a bunch of these around to break out whenever I wanted. The alcohol kick was more than I expected, but I think it was a pleasant surprise. I also thought that it was going to be much sweeter than it was, and I'm glad I was wrong. I think this was perfect the way that they did it. Good job Lagunitas. Cheers.

Photo of mklinger
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter. Nice copper brown color with small white head that left good lacing behind. Somewhat hazy beer.

Aroma was malty and full of caramelized sugar. Rich but somewhat one dimensional. Flavor was more complex -- malty, sweet, some balancing bitterness, slightly floral, earthy hop flavors with some slight hints of the 9.8% abv.

Mouthfeel was thinner than expected for such a big beer. Nice & easy to drink. It would be dangerous to drink a few of these, but they would go down quite easy.

Photo of beergod1
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy brown-amber pour with a thin and foamy off-white head. Thin spotty lacing as well. The aroma is hoppy with sweet dark fruit and molasses coming through more as it warms. The labeling on this one really threw me off as I was expecting more of a sweet brown ale. Once my taste buds told me it was actually a Barley Wine I was able to accept the flavor. Very hoppy on the front end, along with some alcohol burn. The flavor mellows a bit as sweet malt start to seep in. The finish is round and fruity with an alcohol burn leftover. Above average, and kind of unique.

Photo of StoutCream
2.98/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Just received the 2010 bottling. Probably shouldn't be reviewing this for a few years, but what the hell. People are cracking open Vertical Epic 10's! (not me)

A: Swiss cheese head that falls steady down to a finger, decent lacing. Clear burnt orange, no bubbles.

S: Caramel malt, American hops, permenant marker.

T: Caramalized onion complete with a burnt fond bitterness accentuated by the hop profile. Not appealing, oily, with a touch of ass stink. Sweet, week barleywine with something mechanical about it.

M: Flat and off-putting, hurts my teeth. This could use some chilling to make it more viscous.

D: Like it says on the bottle, "It's like feeding raw shark to your gerbil." This beer was young and could use some aging. Would love to get my hands on some barrel-aged BS, though.

Photo of perrymarcus
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in an oversized wineglass.

pours a beautiful ruddy copper/amber tone with a good degree of clarity to it, maybe a finger of beige head lacking much retention, lapsing into a thin collar; nice lacing.

aromatic nose replete with hops (citrus, some pine) and a notable caramel malt presence, subtle brown sugar notes.

the hop characters lead the way in the flavor, with the malt and brown sugar sweetness opening up more mid-palate and then hops and some alcohol present in the finish. pretty damn tasty. sort of a crossbreed between a DIPA and a barleywine.

full/medium bodied with moderate carbonation. for a beer approaching 10% ABV this drinks pretty well.

Photo of keithmurray
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - bright copper color, tan, fluffy head

smell - Brown sugar, Pine, citrus, honey

taste - not a huge departure from the nose, brown sugar, piney hops, honey

mouthfeel - thick body, really really sweet upfront, bitter hops in the middle and then the sweetness of the brown sugar lingers afterwards, high amount of carbonation

drinkability - this is a sipper for sure, the sweetness prevents me from craving another, but this is a decent beverage worth trying

Photo of telecomz
2.7/5  rDev -33%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Beautiful bronze. Modest head.

The aromas provde more than the taste. Toffee, caramel sweetness.

This is a good beer but there is a significant lack of maltiness to this beer. The sweetness is well done. The hops are welcomed but bit heavy handed. Some bready-yeasty support wopuld do this well.

A good beer. I think it will age well. Thbe hops will subside and perhaps reveal other layers and reduce prevalence of the ABV.

Photo of Wolfpack2005
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours very heavy and syrupy with a deep amber color with a 1 finger off white head.

The aroma has a carmelized sweet smell with a hint of hops and alcohol.

Taste is very sugary. I never tasted a beer brewed with copious amounts of brown sugar (that i know of) but I would imagine this is how it would tastes, a dull syrupy sweetness. However this sweetness is kept in check with an ample amount of earthy hops. The alcohol definately creepys into the flavor as the beer warms.

Very nice thick mouthfeel with an average amount of carbination.

Overall, an decent cool season beer with a unique sweet malty flavor, but dont plan on drinking more than one or two because both the sweetness and the abv creepy up on you.

Photo of Elimination
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love the fact that they dialed the abv to 9.99

Pours a very classy clear looking brown/red, light shines right through, a little bit of a visible white head that falls away to the rim quickly.

Smell is light maple, molasses, faint citrus hops with grapefruit, lemon and orange notes. A wiff of brown sugar when pushing a little air into the nose, very sweet and malty overall. More hops than expected, but a pleasant surprise.

I really was not expecting this, strong up front bitterness those citrus notes do stand out but almost feeled candied. Right away reminds me of orange gummies covered in sugar, but as if they had been caramelized. Strong butterscotch notes, wiffs of pastry like delights, toffee and darkened sugar bring out the backbone. The bitterness and even caramel malt fall quick to a splash of almost super sweet raisin and plum.

Mouthfeel is a very excellent thick, really feels like something that is meant to and does have a lot of rich body. Sharp carbonation, that seems to tickle and play with the mouth.

drinkability is great, this is something meant to be sipped of course despite the very hidden abv, but at the same time a few in a night wouldnt be a bad thing.

Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 4,307 ratings.