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Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,445 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,445
Hads: 5,018
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.8%
Wants: 238
Gots: 868 | FT: 14
Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

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
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Reviews: 1,445 | Hads: 5,018
Photo of veinless
3.66/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brownish amber with a half-finger white head that was gone before I knew it. At least it left some lacing to let me know it was there at all.

Smell is of clean leafy hops with some generic malty sweetness. If you put a gun to my head telling me to be specific I'd say caramel and brown sugar, but don't hold me to it.

This beer is really REALLY sweet and I love it. TONS of malt at the outset, with a jaggery sweetness I haven't experienced since North Coast's PranQster. I'm getting just the faintest bit of hops at all, barely any really. No balance to this, but as a specialty beer this is great for the price. Tons of different malt sweeteners like the jaggery mentioned earlier, and brown sugar, honey, and regular generic sweetness. That's all there is to it (in my palate's view at least).

Mouthfeel is good due to the unique level of stickiness in the finish, and drinkability is just ok, as I can see the sweetness getting overpowering fast. Good experiment-turned-staple from Lagunitas. (1,015 characters)

Photo of kingcrowing
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz stubby bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. Big thanks to my buddy UA8 for the hookup!

Pours a nice dark ruby red with a very small light bien head. The nose is very nice, it's sweet like brown sugar as well as dark fruits.

Very unique, the brown sugar flavor is there, it's sweet and a bit chewy. Nice layers of spices and maltiness come through a it warms. The carbonation is a bit low, but it is well done and smooth drinking. Overall another slam dunk for Lagunitas. (474 characters)

Photo of mscudder
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Into a globe.

A - Ruby, copper hue with an two-finger ivory head. Good retention and lacing.

S - Booze, dark fruit, a bit of brown sugar and some molasses.

T - An interesting blend of a number of tastes: some hops like a DIPA, alcohol warmth of a barleywine and a touch (I stress, a touch) of sweetness from the sugar and caramel malts. I cannot help but feel this is just a bit overwhelming, with the weight of the alcohol trumping the underlying flavors.

M - Medium body with average carbonation. Heat from the alcohol.

O - Lots of things going on here. I would be interested to see how this one aged... It has all the ingredients to become outstanding given the test of time. (683 characters)

Photo of gatornation
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

had this on tap at old chicago in uptown..and also have had it from bottle reviews is from tap serving which i preferred ..it came a beautiful auburn brown color with a minimal head and a beige ring with some sticky lacing..i had to let this ale warm as it was served to cold..as it warmed i could smell molasses and caramel and hops some brown sugar of course..the taste was not as good as the smell ..i got to much of an alcohol hit first then the citrus and molasses and all the b4 mentioned taste played to much of a secondary role..the ale was still solid ..maybe i drank it to cold to get all the layers of flavor ..again still a solid offering from langunitas.i just like maximus and hop stoopid better (709 characters)

Photo of auntfloyd
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a US pint glass.

Pours clear amber color with a very small amount of off-white head which dissipates rapidly. The nose is all candy sugar and brown sugar, sort of like a slightly more spicy or American Belgian ale. Not bad. The flavor is very potent brown sugar/candy flavor, with a slightly muted hops presence, all mingled with alcohol, but mostly brown sugar. There are some spicy notes, and the aftertaste is a kind of unpleasant bitter brown sugar/maple taste. The mouthfeel is full, and surprisingly, not very syrupy. Drinkability is decent, but this obviously not something you would ever want more than one of.

Overall, interesting and sweet. Lagunitas never lets me down; that said I don't think I'll be buying it again. (767 characters)

Photo of indy169
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
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. (437 characters)

Photo of ybnorml
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A hazey dark amber beer with orange highlights. Has a big creamy off white head and a touch of lace. There is a piney hop character to the aroma right up front. Then in the background is a sweet malty note. The flavor starts with a big rush of brown sugar sweetness on the tip of your tongue. Followed by a nice piney hop bite along the sides of your tongue and into the back of your throat. But it is that sweet sugar character that stays with you. (449 characters)

Photo of Mdog
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Clear dark amber, good head.

Smell: Caramel sweetness and a touch of citrus.

Taste: Follows the smell, caramel and pithy citrus. Surprisingly a little more bitterness than sweetness.

Drinkability: Tasty enough but kind of strong.

I was expecting a little more sweetness and brown sugar flavor in this beer, considering its name. It was still pretty good, maybe with a year or two of age on it to let the hops settle down it would fit its moniker a little better. (478 characters)

Photo of jera1350
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

My first beer from Lagunitas. Very interesting.

Nice deep copper brown color. One finger head, good amount of lacing.

Very unique smell, like nothing I've experienced before. Molasses, brown sugar, buttery with some malt and a slight hop aroma. Very sweet smelling, like brittle or toffee.

Very sweet upfront- brown sugar indeed. Home made caramel with real butter tasting. Some strong hop presence to finish. This is interesting to say the least.

Very smooth, thick and creamy mouthfeel. This is what I would expect a "cream ale" to feel like. Very velvety and soft on the tongue. Nice hop bite to finish.

Drinkability is only average. I couldn't do more than one or two of these in a night. The sweetness really stands out. There is a big hop presence but it still can't balance out the strong brown sugar taste.

Interesting beer. Glad I tried it. This would be a great holiday beer to share with others. (912 characters)

Photo of HopBomb515
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Deep copper color, off white to cream head that's 2 fingers, nice lacing on the glass.

S - Burnt caramel, toffee, brown sugar, citrus and pine.

T - Up front a hit of brown sugar sweetness laced with pine. Before it gets out of control a wave of hops cut through bringing citrus and pine notes. All of this plays out on a wave of caramel flavor in the background. Sweet battles bitter and sweet wins out in the end.

M - Surprisingly sharp carbonation with a full body and slightly sticky mouthfeel.

O - Lagunitas makes a sweet beer taste great. Well done and different. This beer has sweetness and bitterness and is in no way balanced, as if both sides are bringing all they have to the ring. Love it. (712 characters)

Photo of Dogbrick
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Murky brown-amber pour with a thin and foamy off-white head. Thin spotty lacing as well. The aroma is sharply hoppy with sweet 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 recover. Very hoppy on the front end, along with some peppery alcohol. The flavor mellows a bit as malt and fruits start to seep in. The finish is round and fruity with an alcohol burn leftover. Above average, and kind of unique to boot. (578 characters)

Photo of cfrobrew
3.64/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into my jester king stem glass.

Appearance: nice clear amber color with a thick creamy head and bubbles clinging to the glass.
Smell: hoppy with a strong malt and floral background
Taste: much hoppyer than I thought it would be. I'm a little disappointed about the hoppy ness but it does tone down the alcohol of the beer.
Mouthfeel: smooth but nicely carbonated
Overall: I enjoyed this beer a good bit but I wouldn't go seek it out. If I was somewhere and it was on the menu I would order it though. (525 characters)

Photo of Jonoesh5
3.64/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A beautiful deep orange/amber body with a hefty 2 finger tan head. Nice lacing on the glass as the head dissipates. Smells hoppy like an IPA, but without as much citrus. I'm getting mostly brown sugar and hops. Mouthfeel is bitter and dry. Definite alcohol warmth and a numbing mouthfeel as beer warms. Overall, looks can be deceiving. Expected something more with this one, but certainly worth the $2 from a local Ohio grocer. (427 characters)

Photo of dbatch
3.64/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dub deuce purchased some time ago, not too long though...

A: Pours a reddish orange color with little head retention and few carbonation bubbles floating. I dont know exactly what I was expecting, but the color was not this. It is clear, I expected it to be a bit cloudier, but c'est la vie.

S: Sweet, malty goodness abounds here. Definitely caramel and brown sugar (NSS) Its not too sweet either, offset by the malt and a faint aroma of citrus in the back.

T: This beer tastes just as it smells - brown sugar sweetness up front is matched by the strong maltiness. A little hop bitterness in the back, but very nice.

M: Very light mouthfeel, smooth, not too carbonated.

D: A little too sweet for an everyday beer, but not bad once in a while. (748 characters)

Photo of Heinens11
3.64/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

New beer to hit the Cleveland market.

12oz. bottle that pours slightly more reddish than copper and quite clear. The head is simply average in size with a color that's no more than off white. Though average size, it does hold it's shape very well.

The aroma is not complex with citrusy hops being the most notable, though caramel is evident as the name would suggest. Difficult to get a good whiff.

The palate has moderate sugar, moderate malt, a good bit of hops, and a touch of smoke. When lumped together the malt and hops provided a bitter-sweet finish that seems to last for quite awhile.

Medium-bodied with average carbonation. Easily drinkable.
I ended up pairing this beer with a Widmer 4-year old Cheddar. The sugar from the beer rounded out the sharpness of the cheddar leaving a much creamier cheese.

Cheers! (836 characters)

Photo of BeerandWhiskeyHQ
3.64/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown with a copper hue
Malty, pine and fruit come off with some gusto
There was a malt/hop presence that came through a lot stronger than I expected- but it was welcome. For some reason I was expecting something different. But the flavor was bold and lingering as I’ve come to expect from Lagunitas
I have to give this one a try again, I may have had something else to clog my senses, but I wasn’t entirely impressed which was disappointing because I was quite looking forward to it. Hold on – I’ll be right back I’m going to go buy some more and re-edit this later icon smile Beer reviews

-BeerandWHiskeyHQ.com (660 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
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. (913 characters)

Photo of ImusBeer
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured up a dark orange/red with an off white head of only about a finger.

The aroma of molasses and honey with no real hint of the 9+ percent alcohol content. the taste was dominated by malt & molasses, a very complex beer. Hints of oak and leather are also present.

The mouthfeel is heavy and sugary (Brown Shugga, duh) some alcohol hints but not too harsh. Overall a smooth tasting and complex beer. (404 characters)

Photo of gregshead
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
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. (350 characters)

Photo of jkdrummer
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a brilliant red amber hue. Firm head at first but fades. Steady carb. Initial taste is sweet sweet sweet, some malty-ness in the background. Gave me sticky lips. Bitterness follows but not that pleasant. After a few sips the obvious alcoholiness takes over, they aren't kidding with the 9% ABV either. A strange brew but a unique taste of sweet brown sugar that isn't found in any other ale that I know of . . . Try it. (425 characters)

Photo of GeoffM
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours very smoothly with a solid head that retains nicely. Good lacing. A lovely dark amber color.

Smell - Decently malty but also lightly sweet. Must be the brown sugar.

Taste - Gorgeous mouthfeel, nearly sticks to the tongue, but pleasantly so. Bitter with a sweet aftertaste. Hops are more apparent when first tasting, malts noticeable in the finish, which is pretty nice considering the bitterness. Alcohol is hidden pretty nicely.

Overall - Simply solid. A nice little experiment, nothing I'd go crazy over but worth giving a shot. (552 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Listening to Pearl Jam..
Poured a copper color with a nice fluffly white head. Nose has a nice sweet malt with a bit of hops and alcohol. Taste is brown sugar dominance with a bit of molasses. Alcohol is very noticeable after finishing only one. There is a definite presentation of malt and has a sweet finish. (310 characters)

Photo of oakbluff
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby chestnutt. Excellent clariy with a foamy white head. Smell- fruity sweetness. Taste- initial flavours are hops and fruit. Sweet malts come through in the middle and finish is bitter and dry. The extra sugar has fermented down nicely. Not cloying but you definitely know its there. Like liquid caramel. Good sipper on a winter night. (345 characters)

Photo of Donerik
3.62/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was interested in trying Brown Shugga; I can't help feel a little let down

A- clear redish brown, one finger tan head

S- the best part of the beer was the anticipation of the brown shugga flavor, it had a smell, not too over powering, but sweet.

T- Let down here, it was good, It certainly wasn't a drain pour, It just wasn't the brown sugar flavor I was expecting.

M- Par for the course.

D- High ABV hurt my desire for a second one, I'll drink the other five, maybe as a stand alone one beer night, or first on a long day of drinking.

All in all an okay beer. (569 characters)

Photo of Franz4
3.62/5  rDev -9%
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. (516 characters)

Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,445 ratings.