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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
91
outstanding

4,241 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,241
Reviews: 1,358
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.66%
Wants: 178
Gots: 435 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 12-13-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,241 | Reviews: 1,358 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ctrevino
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of blmar311
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of JDD419
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of MLaVioletteJr
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of MEW
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of roblund
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of Hamburgers
3.74/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours cloudy dark reddish amber with two finger white head. Head quickly dissipates to thin film leaving some nice lacing. Aroma big on malt, some caramel, piney hops, and brown sugar. Flavor is somewhat sweet balanced by a bitter finish. Medium body with a fair amount of carbonation and just a slight oily texture.

Photo of PieOhMy
3.74/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A. Dark transparent amber. Thick foamy slow fading khaki head.

S. Sweet toffee and malts. Floral and grassy.

T. Caramel. Brown sugar. Burnt sugar. Heavy malt flavor. Tangy weediness.

M. Medium. A bit sticky. Finishes a little hot.

O. This is a Lagunitas brew for s sure. Big backbone and hoppy. This one gets a little too sweet and not quite enough hop punch for me though.

Photo of shapudding
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Ok, so maybe I really was interested in getting this ‘cause I like saying the name! Well, I also have always loooved anything with brown sugar in it too! Poured out amber an semi-unclear with a nice huge froth of milkshakey, creamy colored head with a huge froth and a few bubbles showing and moon crater layer. Tons of lacing that started immediately and went all they way down. Nice malty scents with hoppy bites but not too much going on. Smooth and thick, creamy, but not too heavy. Feel silky with the carbonation coming out and just gliding over your tongue. I was really wondering if this would be too sweet, but nope. You get a taste of dark brown sugar -not as deep as molasses, just caramelly dark, with peppery hops. Twinges of orange rind in the background. This one may be a bit heavy to sit down with as a sesssion, but it is damn nice as a sipper, and for a few in the evening.

Photo of Swedes21
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - beer pours a gorgeous auburn clear colour. There is not a lot of carbonation. The head is a nice off white that disappears quickly then produces some nice island head.

Smell - I am picking up some sweetness that comes from the sugar. The malts are present as well. I also taste some caramel and spice. There is an earthy tone to this beer as well.

Taste - there is a definitely sweet base to this beer that comes through on the pallett. The beer has a nice aftertaste, you can almost pick up some burnt caramel taste here, very nice.

Mouthfeel - the carbonation adds to the earthy tones that really come fwd. The beer has a nice hop presents as well. The caramel as well adds to the palette with a little thickness.

Drinkability - really interesting beer that has a dynamic I've never tasted before. The beer is complex yet simple. One for the sweetness on my charts. Thanks to SpinRSX for the afternoon sampling.

Photo of Goldorak
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Tawny colored, with a head retention that I found superior than in most Beers with this ABV.

Smell: Candi sugar, and those barley sugar lolipops I loved as a kid (sucre d'orge).

Taste: Beyond the obvious malt sweetness and alcohol prickliness, this Beer had a woody, green leaf mouthfeel, it left a acidic sensation that reminds me of an arugula and spinach salad. It canceled out most of the cloying sugars.

Photo of Treyliff
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter

A- pours a dark copper color with a small creamy light-tan head that reduces to just a bit floating on top.

S- sharp piney hops with some grassiness, sweetness from the malt and brown sugar and some booze.

T- piney hops follows the nose with some oily hop resins, the sweetness kicks in afterword which is complemented my the malt. The finish is sweet with a hop linger. I can't actually point out any brown sugar taste but the sweetness can't be missed. This one is definitely a sipper, but the booze is hidden decently considering the high ABV.

M- thick-heavy body, low carbonation, chewy and velvety mouthfeel with a creamy finish.

O- this one was interesting and worth a try. The mix of piney hops and super sweetness seems a little off a bit for me though. An interesting concept.

Photo of jmalex
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Had this on tap on one occasion and loved it. Now to see how it holds up under critique.

APPEARANCE: Pours a hazy red amber with virtually no head at all. Just a weak collar and a few bubbly patches. No idea if this is to style. What style is this anyway?

SMELL: A wacky amalgam of caramel, apricots, raisins, dates, and floral and citrusy hops. Alcohol makes a serious appearance here too. Quite impressive.

TASTE: Again, what style is this? An incredible maltiness hits you first which is dark and sweet (brown sugar!) and has some sort of a Belgian quality to it with the fruit flavors that accompany it. The heat of the alcohol is strong and contributes quite a dry quality to this beer. The hops, not to be outdone, come on strong in the finish leaving a lasting bitterness well after the final swallow. This beer is all over the place which is impressive in its complexity but seems a bit disorganized and haphazard.

MOUTHFEEL: Little to no carbonation, but in this beer, it would make it really harsh. The texture is fairly smooth, if not quite dry.

DRINKABILITY: Suffers from the dryness and alcohol content. Perhaps this beer would benefit from some aging to round it out - much like a barleywine. It could be considered such a beer anyway, and would probably be better if the hops were toned down allowing the subtle brown sugar flavors to shine more. An impressive creation, but perhaps trying to be too much.

When I first had this beer, the hops did not stand out as much as they do in the bottle. The beer was harsh, but not like I'm experiencing now. I'm certainly willing to give it another chance (it's not bad at all to begin with), but I'd like to try it with some age on it.

Photo of dstc
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A friend in California always gives me a box of mixed beers for Christmas and this was one of them.

A: Reddish/brown. Real nice head that faded slowly leaving a nice off-white lace on the tulip glass I poured it into.

S: Rich but a little metallically.

T: Good! I loved Dark Belgium Ales and was interested to see how this would compare and was pleasenlty suprised. Left a bit of a bitter aftertaste that I found somewhat unpleasent but that didn't stop me from enjoying this beer.

M: Warm and tasty. I can feel the 9.9% abv on this beer but like it.

D: Yes indeed. Well done America! A fine dark ale that satisfies my Belguim cravings.

Photo of LeRose
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle, no date.

Poured deep copper color with not much head. What head there was hung around and laced nicely. Visually looked like good maple syrup with a bit if foam on top.

Aroma was subdued. Some resinous pine notes, blended tropical fruit, malt, a bit of rum raisin, sweet.

Taste was much bolder. Sweetness initial, but some bitter resin at out the same time, then tropical. Didn't immediately think pineapple. More of a mango and papaya flavor. Bitterness hits at the end, and the I get pineapple syrup flavor in the aftertaste. Body had some raisiny notes, slight brown sugar or caramelized sugar taste.

Mouthfeel was smooth and sticky, but aftertaste lingers and gives some tingle from the alcohol. A bit of astringency makes it dry out some.

Overall enjoyable to drink. Not what I was expecting. Nice balance, but the lingering aftertaste takes it down tick for me.

Photo of jczn
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

A: Cloudy, orange color. Light, off-white head. The beer actually cleared after it warmed up a bit. Surely Lagunitas wouldn't make a beer with Chill haze? (2.5)

S: Rich aroma of brown sugar and raisins, along with the smell of sweet wort. The aroma suggests a fairly high final gravity, which should be expected given the original gravity of 1.100. No hop aroma. (4.0)

F: Surprising level of bitterness given the listed 51 IBU and high gravity. The hops hit you first, followed by the residual sweetness. The brown sugar is apparent, as is the alcoholic warmth. I would have expected the sugar to attenuate better. (4.0)

M: The high FG helps to fill out the body of the beer. It's thick and full with a bit of bite from the carbonation. (4.0)

D: The residual sugar and the alcohol make this a sipping beer, while the sweetness makes it hard for me to finish. Overall, while an interesting beer, it's probably not something I would buy again. It's worth a try and it's a great experiment, but the finished product just doesn't fit together well. (3.0)

Photo of demitriustown
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle: Nice sweet malt aroma, definite big hop characteristic as well, maybe some brown sugar scent but subtle. Appearance is amber/red with a thin tan head. Taste has definitely got some caramel malt in this, citrus hops, sweet, and alcohol is present on the back end. Palate is somewhat sweet on the lips, very tongue coating, and aftertaste has a lingering caramel maltiness and a bit of alcohol. Overall, it's good but not great kind of like most of the Lugunitas that I've had. Maybe it's too young. Will check back on this one in a year.

Photo of Drk93TT
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep copper color with a good 1 finger head. The lace just screams sugar and sweetness..sticky lace all on the glass.
S: Smells of big pine up front with some sugary sweetness on the nose.
T: Very sweet and sticky on the palate right away... an IPA-like snappy crispness to boot. Can definitely taste the sugar in this one... wow.
M: Well carbonated indeed, the flavors really come out in this one.. citrus, even a peach like crisp bite to it.
O: Solid, the 9.99% will really sneak up on you though! A must try !

Photo of HeyItsChili
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured from a growler into a pint glass. Pours semiopaque amber with a yellow/tan colored thin head that sticks around for a while.

S - Bitter hops tickle the nose, sweet sugary roasted malts mingle behind, there's a raw alcohol scent too.

T - There is a strong and up front alcohol taste that I don't mind as much as some reviewers. Bitter hops and some, but not quite enough sweetness take a little edge off.

M - Crisp, almost biting, medium carbonation, medium/thin body.

D - Powerful and tasty, but hoppier than the name would, I think, suggest.

Photo of Kakaraht
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Amber in color with a thumb of thin white head.

S: It smells like an American IPA, very floral and citrusy. Really it smells like every other beer they produce.

T: I don't taste anything that could be brown sugar, mostly a light caramel flavor being overpowered by hops. The hops go through a wide range of citrus and floral flavors changing as the beer warms.

M: Medium body, the bitterness lingers quite long.

D: I was hoping for something more sweet with less of that very common American IPA flavor. It is a good beer other than that, just not what I was looking for.

Photo of CRichardsMN
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance:
Pours a cloudy amber brown with floaties (my bad, poured out the whole bottle). There is no head and just a ring of white around the edge of the glass which leaves spotty residue. Pretty dense looking brew.

Smell:
Has a tart, sweet, mildly hoppy nose with a thrust of caramelized malts. Light whiff of alcohol.

Taste:
Very interesting. Nice full body of caramelized malts and a bite of citrusy hops up front. After that, all bets are off with a very sweet molasses (brown sugar, duh) and some strong alcohol roll around. Finishes warm and slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel:
Heavier carbonation than is expected from the appearance but still a medium to medium-heavy body. Finishes only a little dry.

Drinkability:
Had a sample 1/4oz taster a the liquor store and didn't think I liked this one. Turns out, if poured into a real glass and allowed to breathe a little, this is a pretty good beer. Not for quantity (9.84% ABV) but to sit and think about.

Comment:
Another surprise brew and this time for the positive. Nice!

Photo of Redwood21
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: I am digging the color of this beer, think liquid brown sugar...go figure. the head is decent, but prevents this beer from being any higher
S: decent sweetness with some citrus like aroma, kinda a weird combo
T: the weird combo gets sidetracked here. the sweetness and hoppyness sorta blend and sorta dont. its not bad but im not sure its as balanced as it could be,

a good beer jury is still out though.

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wiseman Jorge brought home a sixer and decided to share. Damn, 9.5%!

Appearance: A ruby red body when held to the light. Thin khaki cap drags decent lacing. Very gentle carbonation within.

Smell: Cherry pie feeling, brown sugar (duh), and maybe some maple syrup. Getting some barley too (weird). Smell is all sweet - not getting much of anything else out of it.

Taste: Well, I must say that they've masked the alcohol pretty well. A lot of sugar in this one, but not so much as to make it unpleasant. Tons of brown sugar, molasses, red berries, some oak and a touch of bourbon.

Mouthfeel: Syrupy and heavy with tons of mouth-numbing and warming effects. Medium carbonation tickles me mouth.

Drinkability: A little too sweet and too alcoholic to drink very many. Alcohol actually starts to burn after a while. Still, this is kind of expected from a strong ale. Worth a try, but don't go searching for it.

Photo of lokieman
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into glass:

A: Pours caramel brown with a 2 inch off white frothy head that dissipates quickly

S: I'm first hit with Lagunitas' typical hop profile...followed by a sweet, caramel malt aroma. Smells like an extra malty barley wine with a ton of west coast hops. Not bad...

T: Very similar to the nose...hop forward with a malty finish. Hoppier than one would guess from the description but enough sugary malt flavor to balance out the finish. Don't necessarily get the brown sugar but a definite sweetness comes into play. Good...not great.

M: Nice, sticky mouthfeel typical of most barley wines. Viscous enough to layer the mouth with flavor but only slightly cloying.

O: I love Lagunitas and their approach to brewing. They make affordable, tasty beers with a great abv to price ratio. Brown Shugga falls behind Sucks and Stoopid for me but a very good offering that I certainly look forward to. I have a six pack hanging out in my pantry that I'm going to sit on for a while...curious to see if age will mellow this one out.

Photo of jamie2dope
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Lagunitas Brown Shugga was recommended to me by Nate over at Martys in Newton. For some reason the name of this beer always struck me as gimmicky, but oh well. The color is copper, and has a small amount of mildly tan head. The nose is a good bit hoppier than I was expecting. I do get a bit of brown sugar in the smell, along with some caramel and grain. Taste is again, hoppy, with some mint leaf, and a really raw earth character. Body is medium to heavy, and leaves a very bitter aftertaste. Drinkability is hindered a bit simply by the fact that this beer is complicated. As I was told at the store, this is a challenging one. On the bright side, the 9.84 ABV can barely be detected. Maybe not among the best from Lagunitas, but certainly interesting and worth a shot. Cheers

Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 4,241 ratings.