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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

3,789 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,789
Reviews: 1,305
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 11.69%
Wants: 159
Gots: 270 | 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: 3,789 | Reviews: 1,305 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeerManDan
3.13/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a thick hazy amber color with very little foam and had not lace. The smell was of a citrus nature with a hoppy/malty aroma. The taste was of bitter hops and could not find any trace of brown sugar at all. It was thick and brown, but the bitterness over powered the sweetness. To me, this was not a well balanced or complex beer.

BeerManDan, Jan 05, 2003
Photo of Traquairlover
3.1/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12-oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A = Very clear, coppery amber liquid with small quarter inch yellowish off white head comprised of small bubbles that settles fairly quickly into light foam covering on surface and a thicker solid ring of bubbles around edge of glass.

S = Fairly strong up front smells of hops with some citrus peel and some light pine, there is an almost acrid quality to it which I do not find particularly pleasing, I had hoped for some more brown sugar, maple syrup type scents, but they just don't seem to be there.

T = Slight metallic quality to it with some citrus rind, uncooked whole wheat bread dough, perhaps a small amount of cinnamon crackers, but still the almost battery acid like metallic bitter taste that hits up front and then comes back in the finish just detracts from the flavors in the middle. Not that impressed.

M = Medium to medium-light body, surprisingly thin for the OG, still, it does have good mouthcoating and the carbonation level seems just about right, not quite as soft as I tend to like, but not a high stinging level either.

D = I don't know about this one, I do not find either the taste or the smell overly enticing and the ABV while not too strong is present. I really didn't particularly want to finish the whole glass and don't really want another. That said, it is not really hard to drink either, just not my cup of tea.

Traquairlover, Dec 12, 2009
Photo of supercolter
3.1/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This to me was only slightly better than the Hairy Eyeball Ale. In fact I would say these to beers are nearly identical except for two things. The Brown Shugga has higher alcohol content but it is hidden better with the flavor and so it is not as offputting. Also, there seems to be a bit more molasses or brown sugar used and a bit less dried fruit which makes it slightly more balanced.

supercolter, Jan 18, 2009
Photo of geexploitation
3.1/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a crystal clear ruby-brown with gorgeous, jewel-like highlights. Thick but small head that fades to a dusting and collar. Aromas of pears and yeast, along with a bit of zesty sweetness. On the palate, bitterness and brisk carbonation start things off, followed by thick, sugary sweetness and a touch of bitterness at the back of the tongue. Some chocolatey sweetness at the very end. Not very complex, however -- it's mostly just varying levels and characteristics of sweetness. Mouthfeel is marked by slick malts, alcholic heat, and prickly carbonation, with the alcoholic detracting signficiantly. Overall, this beer is nothing to shout about. It's curious to see what this much brown sugar does to a beer, but it's not necessarily pleasing. It needs more balance and a bit more complexity to be truly compelling.

geexploitation, Jan 07, 2007
Photo of champ103
3.1/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear dark ruby/brown color. A two finger white head forms, and recedes after a minute. Tons of sticky lace is left behind.
S: Sweet malt, yeast, some spice as well. Plenty of alcohol.
T: Follows the nose with lots of sweet malt. Dark fruits of raisins and plums. A big, kind of Belgian yeast flavor as well. Lots of alcohol.
M/D: A medium to full body. Syrupy and sticky. Lots of alcohol makes this hard to finish.

Not bad, but the alcohol really shows here. Other than that, just some sweetness, and not a lot of depth. Another overly alcoholic beer with no nuance. Not something I would recommend.

champ103, Jan 06, 2011
Photo of jbertsch
3.1/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A solid amber in appearance. Reddish hues. Head is very minor...almost a film from the get go. Decent lacing

Aroma is of faint funky malt up front. Caramel is defintely there. Earthy sugar-in-the-raw type sweetness is there, too. But not as strongly as I expected. The hops, while moderately notceable at first, definitely takeover as this warms. Hops are also present and balance the aroma nicely.

Taste - Sweetness up front transfers to very noticeable caramel malts in the middle. The malt holds ground for a few seconds before the alcohol shows up and makes some noticeable elbow room on the finish, reminding you this is a 9.9% abv offering. slight medicinal notes on the finish. Almost reminds me of a barleywine.

Mouthfeel is carbonated at first, but it thins out quickly. Fairly appropriate for something with this ABV.

Drinkability is ok. The sweetness fades too much when this warms and the hops become king of the mountain. Tough to plow through it, not that your supposed to. But I don't yearn for each sip quickly.

jbertsch, Feb 16, 2011
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 CaptainIPA
3.05/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy bronze color with a prodigious head and notable lacing. Fine appearance.

Aromas of burnt toffee, scorched caramel and toasted brown sugar, followed by residual odors of sour fruit, overripe melon and rotten veggies. Not all that pleasant.

Chewy and rather syrupy mouthfeel. Opens with sweet (and I mean, SWEET) waves of brown cane sugar before moving into assertions of burnt toffee and toasted caramel. Hints of malted barley surface and are quickly blasted away by suggestions of spun-sugar cotton candy. As Brown Shugga' warms, the heat of alcohol becomes perceptible.

Too cloyingly sweet for my tastes; overwhelmingly so to the exclusion of any other background flavors. If you lived on Capn' Crunch as a kid, give this one a try.

CaptainIPA, Sep 12, 2010
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.05/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle. Pours a deep clear amber with hardly any head. Aroma of sweet malt, crystal malt, light fruits (grapes?). Flavor is mostly sweet and syrupy, some lemon, and bitter hops in the finish (although I wouldn't say that this was a hoppy beer...). Heavy and slightly harsh palate. Certainly drinkable, but I wasn't really a fan.
6/4/6/3/14 (3.3/5)

LilBeerDoctor, Feb 01, 2009
Photo of nelson4
3.03/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A- Very deep color, reddish brown. Head disappeared slowly with significant lacing.
S- Not a real impressive smell, caramel with a hint of sweetness
T- Hoppy with a caramel and malty sweetness, slightly bitter after
M- Slightly carbonated with relatively smooth mouthfeel
D- Warm 9.9 only allows for small sips to enjoy

Overall, I was not very impressed with the balance of the hops to the sweetness. Good mouthfeel and appearance still make this beer worth while.

nelson4, Jan 27, 2008
Photo of NilocRellim
3/5  rDev -25.4%

NilocRellim, Sep 29, 2012
Photo of mjtiernan
3/5  rDev -25.4%

mjtiernan, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of HeyJim
3/5  rDev -25.4%

HeyJim, Mar 24, 2013
Photo of Aeromaximus
3/5  rDev -25.4%

Aeromaximus, Nov 25, 2012
Photo of jtierney89
3/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear deep copper color. 2 finger super sticky and fluffy off white head.

Very abrasive nose. Solvent alcohol hop resin tropical fruit burnt sugars and a bit of sour milk? Nose calms down a bit as the beer breathes.

Milder than the nose but nothing too special. Lots of burnt caramel sugar. Big malty monster really. Pretty smooth and only a touch of alcohol heat. Subtle underlying bitterness that balances the malt. Smooth with pretty good flavors but really nothing special. I like it but its not my first choice.

jtierney89, Nov 27, 2012
Photo of jwmarcum
3/5  rDev -25.4%

jwmarcum, Feb 15, 2012
Photo of Another6Pack
3/5  rDev -25.4%

Another6Pack, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of Sakura99
3/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

So, as another poster stated, I'm not a "fancy" reviewer; I just drink the beer and tell you what I think of it. I waited a LONG time to try this beer, and I have to say, I was disappointed. It's not a bad beer, but it didn't taste the way I expected it to. The name doesn't describe the taste IMO, but I can't really get mad about that since it wasn't made to taste like brown sugar (this was a woopsy-daisy barleywine to which they added a poop-ton of brown sugar in an effort to salvage the product...they liked it and decided to bottle it as a beer), and the lingering aftertaste is remarkably brown sugary if you wait a minute or two, and you're looking for it. The immediate impression I got upon first swig was a bit of a watered-down Sierra Nevada, taste-wise. It's got more of a bitter taste than I expected. And it WILL mess you up, consider yourself warned. I drank three and I was so toasted that I got sick, and that doesn't normally happen with me. It's not bad, but it's not something I really think that I'll buy again. I'm more of a Lil Sumpin' kinda girl. If you're looking to get schmammered, I think any Lagunitas beer will do the trick for ya lol, but this one will have you on your ayse for sure.

Sakura99, Nov 22, 2012
Photo of ninaturner
3/5  rDev -25.4%

ninaturner, May 18, 2013
Photo of BeccaH
3/5  rDev -25.4%

BeccaH, Sep 12, 2014
Photo of BGsWo22
3/5  rDev -25.4%

BGsWo22, Feb 17, 2013
Photo of carlitos92
3/5  rDev -25.4%

carlitos92, Jan 18, 2014
Photo of trelihan462
3/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours a clear, dark-brownish red with a thin, off-white head. Decent amount of lacing sticks around.

Smell - Very hoppy and spicy, but a little sweetness to it as well.

Taste - Super hoppy, but has a really sweet aftertaste. Interesting combo.

Mouthfeel - Pretty spicy right away, burns on the way down.

Drinkability - Overall, it's not a -bad- beer, but I can't say I'm a fan of it. It's a little over-hopped and I don't think brown sugar works very well in an I.P.A., I was expecting a stout or a brown ale for this one.

trelihan462, Jan 05, 2011
Photo of AWS2111
3/5  rDev -25.4%

AWS2111, Jan 04, 2012
Photo of rypkr
3/5  rDev -25.4%

rypkr, Jan 26, 2013
Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,789 ratings.