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Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,504 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,504
Hads: 5,303
Avg: 4
pDev: 11.25%
Wants: 268
Gots: 1,091 | FT: 14
Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale | 9.99% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 12-13-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Brown Shugga' Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,504 | Hads: 5,303
Photo of fscottkey
3.66/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: [4.50] The beer is a rust to brown color. It pours out with a full finger of dense white head. The head recedes slowly and leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. The beer has a date code that says it was born on 12/12/14. The bottle lists the ABV at 9.9%.

S: [3.50] Maybe candied raisins. I am not getting a strong nose on this beer. As it warms I am getting more brown sugar - but I can't tell if that is just the power of suggestion.

T: [3.50] I get a hint of smokiness early. Then there is a flush of sweet caramel flavor.

M: [4.00] The mouthfeel is great. It feels heavy like you might expect at almost 10% but there is no sense of the alcohol. The finish is short and a little dry.

O: [3.75] This beer looks great in a glass. It leaves tremendous lacing as it is enjoyed. The nose is just weak. I can't zero in on anything to hold on to. The flavor is sweet and delicious - not like other beers that I can think of. This might be a nice dessert beer (typically a role filled by stouts). I can't imagine drinking more than 1-2 of these at a time. There is a lot of sweetness happening it might pile up.

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Photo of TeamMathis
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful reddish amber. Roasted malt, pepper, and fruit on the news. The taste is much the same with lots of sweetness and alcoholic bite. It's great. I'd get it again.

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Photo of founddrama
2.35/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Holy tap-dancing Christ that's sweet. Like almost too sweet.

Yeah. Brown sugar sweet. Like cough syrup or something. Cloying. I can see why some might like it. But not for me. How did this get legendary?

(Retrospect: maybe it's the slightly sweet-cum-boozy undertone that makes people go nuts for it? I don't know; I couldn't get into it.)

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Photo of mactrail
2.94/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

An elegant pile of foam on the coppery orange brew poured in the New Belgium snifter. Interesting woody and herbal aroma.

Flavor is sweet, inappropriately bitter, murky, and sticky. It tastes like an Old Ale with the candied yams, sweet vermouth, and rust, all followed by a crunch of the aspirin tablet. Aside from the flavor, it's a well-made beer like everything from Lagunitas.

This used to be one of my favorite beers. There was the mystery of them stopping production for a few years-- maybe it was just too good. Why anybody stops making a successful beer needs an answer. It's just unfortunate it seems to be lost forever. From the 12 oz bottle in a six pack tha has been tough to get through. But when you need a bedtime beer with the right punch, you can overlook the taste.

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Photo of 57md
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark copper in color. The nose is hoppy. The flavor profile has a blend of subtle malty sweetness and hop bitterness – the hop bitterness comes out on top.

I’m probably giving in to the marketing too much but I swear that I can catch the faint essence of brown sugar. This beer certainly paired well with baked ham and potatoes for a classic Sunday dinner with the family.

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Photo of Sunn
4.48/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Despite Lagunitas being one of my favorite breweries, I always looked over this one since I'm not a huge fan of barley wines. I saw one 6 pack left and figured I would give it a go. I'd like to formally apologize to Lagunitas for doubting them because this beer was great.

I figured it would be a malt bomb barley wine. After smelling it I was nervous I was right. I could smell those Lagunitas' hops, but the smell was dominated by a malty smell. The taste, however, is different in a good way.

The malt flavor is still there, but the Lagunitas' hops run the show while the malt compliments the hops. Easily drinkable at 9.9 percent and a fantastic beer.

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Photo of Waggman
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great dessert beer on it's own or pared with something. Beautiful colour and very nice nose. Taste is a little too malty for my taste but it masks the high abv pretty well. Nice sweet caramel flavour. Lagunitas just make great beers no matter style.

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Photo of JLaw55
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

If Lagunitas Sucks! is the hop forward DIPA of their line, then this is the malt forward version. I would say Hop Stoopid is the tropical flavored version. This is an exceptional malt balanced DIPA that is quite worthy of it's name.

Would Drink Again: Yes
Would Purchase Again: Yes

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Photo of craftbeersweden
4.14/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Clear, dark amber beer with a high yellow-biege, fluffy head that leaves a LOT of lacing on the glass!

Nose: Caramel malt, butter, dried fruit, alcohol, orange, clementine, marmelade and syrup.
Taste: Syrup, caramel, dried fruit, pine, tropical fruit, wood and resin. A special "Lagunitas" taste that I've recognised before...
Body: Full body with medium carbonation. Oily, smooth taste with a lot of components. Great dry finish. A bitter taste that stays and even increase at the end.

This is a ****ing great beer! I think it's a little too sweet for a dinner but great after a good meal, skip the desert!

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Photo of emyers
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a Founders snifter

Appearance: Pours a clear medium amber color with a half-inch off-white head dissipating quickly into a thin lacing.

Smell: Sweet caramel malt up front with a surprisingly strong tropical/citrus hop presence strikes an interesting balance.

Taste: Similar to the smell - mix of sweet caramel and tropical hops. The hops accentuate the malt backbone very well. No real alcohol heat.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full-bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall: It's fairly difficult to classify this beer - doesn't really come off like a typical American barleywine, but it's very good.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.86/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 FLUID OZ bottle
Served in a snifter

It is rust colored with burnt orange highlights. It has a few inches of tan head topping it off.

It has a sweet alcohol smell. There is also a slight citrus aroma.

The taste is just like it smells. It starts out sweet. Then the alcohol comes into play. The finish is citrus.

The mouthfeel is medium.

It has been several years since I have had this beer. It is pretty darn good. I actually pretty much like all Lagunitas beers, but I typically buy Ohio and Michigan beers since I'm a homer.

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Photo of DeepBrew
4.27/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass.

A: Clear caramel color with big off-white foam and long retention, leaving behind a great looking foam.

S: Hoppy , fruity and floral smell

T: Starts with nice maltiness, followed by the fruit taste, the bitterness comes toward the end. Piny stickiness in the aftertaste.

M: Medium mouthfeel, belies the almost 10 ABV

O: Very nice balance between tastes and aromatics.

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Photo of ONUMello
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Slightly hazy orange color with a one-finger lingering head
S: Pine, citrus, sweet malt and brandied cherries
T: Toffee, pine, citrus, sweet malt and tropical fruit
M: Medium-bodied, fairly bitter, sweet, the alcohol is a bit noticeable but balanced overall
O: A nice blend of bitter and sweet. A solid beer from a solid brewery

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Photo of micromaniac129
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The look of the beer has a nice contrast of deep orange russet brown and a light tan head.
The beer is clear but there is some suspended particules in there too. A well formed head with lacing to boot.
Nicely aromatic like most Lagunitas beer. Plenty of piney and citrusy hops in the nose, but this one also has some sweet malts. Candied malts. Smells nice.
The taste is equally up to par with a smooth easy drinking feel. No bitterness at all.
A slightly sweet beer with a big hop taste. I get some bright citrus hops like grapefruits and some sweet malts.
Drinks very smooth and one doesn't notice the 10% abv.
A very good beer that firing on all cylinders,

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Photo of RyanK252
4.24/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into a Lagunitas mason jar

A: Pours deep reddish amber copper with a frothy tan head that hangs around a while before settling down and lacing quite well.

S: Dark sugar sweetness, light citrus, tropical fruit and pine hops, some caramel malt, maybe a bit spicy, with a little alcohol.

T: Caramel toffee brown sugar sweetness, pine bitterness, tropical fruit and citrus hops, a bit spicy and woodsy, with a little alcohol.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation, a little alcohol warmth.

O: Big, rich, sticky sweet, and delicious. Rarely do I buy a 6ers, but in this case it was a very wise investment. The more I drink it, the more I love it.

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
4.29/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle to pint glass. Three fingers of thick, fluffy, off-white head with large bubbles. Settles slowly leaving thick lacing. Produces a steady carbonation stream. Color is a clear copper. The brew is attractively translucent.
Smells like sweet toast, some malt, caramel, a little bit of booze.
Taste is tropical fruit, fruit syrup, a little dry hop, but not bitter. Sweet grapefruit. Sour, but more than balanced by sweet. Really smooth mouthfeel, especially for something that's supposed to be 10% ABV. Although I'm halfway through the bottle and I can feel it.
This one is rich in feel, which is fitting since I've just recently polished off a paczki (a rich, donut-like fruit or cream filled pastry eaten on Fat Tuesday). Sip this one, savor it.

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Photo of infinitebruner
3.94/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

February 10, 2015

12 oz bottle, snifter

A – Medium amber and very clear. It has a thin layer of off-white, pinkish foam, with low retention.

S – A ton of resiny, woodsy, and tropical fruits, mango and papaya, with a touch of pear. Some bready malt with an impression of caramel, and some residual… (wait for it) brown sugar.

T – Malty, bread crust and a touch of caramel. Resiny hop flavor, some earthy, woodsy notes, and a bit of papaya. Light residual sweetness and fairly high hop bitterness.

M – Malty sweet at first then overridden by hop bitterness. Carbonation is fairly high, body is medium-light.

O – This definitely falls between an American Barleywine and a Double IPA, nice malt and hop presence.

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Photo of danh53
3.74/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

At first taste I thought this was a unique and complex beer, but when it was finished I don't really know where to go with this one. The nose and taste starts with carmalized citrus and ends dry and hoppy with an alcohol bite. Its a mix between an IPA and a barley wine, and I don't think it pulls off that balance in the end. I'm glad I was able to try it.

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Photo of oldirtycaffrey
4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a solid dark amber with a slight foamy off-white head. Smell is sweet and hoppy - brown sugar, caramel, honey. Beautiful. Taste is also sweet with a relatively mild kick considering it's (!) 9.9 ABV %. I honestly can't believe it has a 9.9 ABV % -- this is a VERY easy beer to drink. One of the most impressive beers I've had in a very long time.

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Photo of Raisingfable
4.66/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Crystal clear, bready, harmonious caramel/brown sugar and hops, with perfect (not-over-the -top) stickiness to compliment its flavor profile. I love savoring this beer and letting the hops build up, sip after sip. May not be for everyone, but the fresher the better in my book!

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Photo of 29mikoyan
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A nice solid ale with flavors of honey, brown sugar, malt, and a beautiful spicy and earthy hop feel. The aroma is that of flowers and sweet caramel candy.

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - Copper-red, clear, and off-white head. Very full. Lacing.

S - Pine, with a slight citrus bit, and a honeyed maltiness.

T - Follows the nose, but flips what is out front. The first hit is sweet, the honey-like sugars and a bread flavor like a rich dinner roll, followed quickly with a big punch of pine, a touch of lemon, grapefruit, orange, as well as a bit of floral. The close is pretty bitter, but the malt backbone keeps it rounded.

M - Big time beer, almost no alcohol on the tongue. Slick, full, a touch crunchy with hop oils in the close.

O - This is one of the better strong ales I've enjoyed, handles the combination of bitterness and sweetness well, making it a pleasure to drink. With a 10% ABV, this is one that I'm glad comes as a 12 oz. (wish more beers did). Excellent.

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Photo of Mooslerfitness
4.62/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

first off I love stouts but this might be my favorite beer thus my craft journey
L : dark copper amber hugh 4 finger Creamy off white head lots of lacing poured in wide mouth goblet at 45`
S: grapefruit (cutties) slight hop and little spice
T: kinda weird but smells of citrus grapefruit mainly with caramelized brown shugga:-) this is f n delicious does have slight alcohol finish but to expect with almost 10%
F lite carbonation that coats your mouth
O : I love this beer kinda taste little like stone ipa but 100 times better and it has brown sugar come on who dont love brown shugga

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Photo of MaximalC
3.42/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a translucent amber color with a modest cap of off-white foam. Peculiarly sweet and tropical aroma consists of grapefruit, toffee, passion fruit, toasted bread, and brown sugar.

The taste features grapefruit up front, along with a bready malt base. Sweetness seeps through more on the back end than anywhere else, but even then there’s piney residue to compete with. The body is more substantive than the appearance would suggest, which, along with moderate carbonation, creates a tingly, creamy mouthfeel that is the finest aspect of this brew.

I don’t know if it’s age, undiagnosed brain damage, or happenstance, but this is the second beer in a row that tastes nothing like the prior incarnation I recall from years prior. I remember this as a sweet, brown brew (you know, kinda like the name “Brown Shugga” would suggest), not the amber hop bomb I have before me. As far as a pale ale goes, this isn’t half bad, but it’s not at all what I was expecting.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2013 release. Year old bottle, poured into snifter.

A: Pours a clear, dark, caramel color with a couple fingers of very greasy looking light tan head. Rings of sticky lace were left down the glass.
S: Smells of thick caramel, brown sugar, leather and leafy, sticky, hop resin. I get notes of candied orange peel, chocolate, and spice as well.
T: Follows the nose. Sticky sweet flavors of brown sugar, caramel, toffee, candied dates, and resinous hops. The finish is still extremely bitter and full of tree sap. The aftertaste is warming with booze and lingering leather, leafy tobacco, and chocolate covered raisins.
M: Thick body with a slick, sticky, bitter, and slightly sharp mouthfeel. The carbonation is soft, creamy, and very smooth.
O: Even after a year is beer is still intense. Tastes like a hoppier and less thick Barleywine. I preferred this over the fresh bottles, and I believe this will hold up for even more years in the cellar.

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Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,504 ratings.