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Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

1,504 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(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 BostonHops
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

originally reviewed: 10-31-2010

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a CCB pint glass.

A: Pours a glowing deep copper in color, almost clear. Forms a one finger white head over the top of a good amount of visible carbonation.

S: Sweet malts, roasted caramel, and some pine hop bitterness. Overall a little boozy on the nose.

T: Sweet caramel, some fruitiness, brown sugar, and sweet roasted malt. A bit boozy, although this is balanced with pine & citrus pith hops on the tongue.

M: Medium to slightly heavy body. Alcohol heat is certainly present. A bit lower carbonation sensation than I would prefer.

O: A good winter beer. I enjoyed this very much. Recommended.

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Photo of JamesS
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a rich dark copper with good head, little lacing, and a lot of sediment. Very ruch and malty scent, extremely sweet. A wonderful taste, very reminiscent of a scotch ale/wee heavy without the peat. It's fantastically smooth for a 9.9% ABV beer. A wonderful brew.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Damn, seems I missed out by one on being the 1000th review of this beer. Purchased in San Francisco, and brought back to Australia to share with @LaitueGonflable.

Pours a lovely burnished copper-red hue, surprisingly bright and clear, with a full and solid head of beige foam. Looks gorgeous. Lacing is a little reticent to appear, but otherwise, it looks gorgeous.

Nose is also very special, with a pungent citric crispness blended beautifully on top of a pineapple sweetness. Lashings of pepper and spice add exclamation points. Very nice.

Taste is also extremely good, giving a lovely crisp fruit entry that quickly descends into the "sweet release" promised on the label. Loads of sticky toffee, barley sugar and caramel, that is allways just leavened and supported by enough hops to ensure it doesn't get sickly. It's quite exceptional, and exceptionally good. The lingering, slightly fruity, but toffee-sweet aftertaste is delectable. Mmm, I want more.

Feel is a little light, but this also probably assists in keeping it from heavy, brutish sweetness.

A lovely brew from Lagunitas, and a truly American-styled one—the hops, the body, the sweetness all blending together into a raucous, opinionated and brash whole. Hell yeah.

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Photo of hopflyer
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Update. 2015 version. Seems way off. Overly sweet and hops are nearly non existent. Still really good, but not what I remember this to be.

Pours deep orange with great clarity. Thick frothy head that stays atop the brew the whole time. Certainly not what I was expecting for "brown shugga" but I'm liking it.

Earthy hops and some alcohol in there. Not picking up any malts as I was expecting. Again duped by the name of this one

Hops definitely but now I get the title of this one a little bit. Neither the burnt caramel maltiness or citrus hops overpower one another. Really, really goes nice together. I'm usually looking for hops, hops, and more hops but I'm pleasantly enjoying this one. Was really fooled in many ways with this beer but in no way disappointed. Really no detection of the 9.99% in this one. Scary. Haven't had Sucks yet and looking forward to it if it's the "substitute" for this one.

Again, seemingly perfect carbonation for the combo of these hops and malts. Feels like a cascade of toasted sugar on the back of the palate with tanginess on the tongue.

Have had a few of beers from these guys and liked all of them but never blown away by any of them. This one almost gets there for me but not quite. It was a great small change of pace from the DIPA kick ive been on lately and still gets me my hop fix. Certainly the best lagunitas I've had. Looking fwd to the other 5 I have and will seek out more soon.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color is a slightly chill hazen copper color, slow and separated carbonation bubbles, finger high cap of firm froth, starts whitish but becomes more yellow as it fades. A thin broken skim remains on top after the head completely wisks away and a solid amount of frothy bubbles collar the rim and lacing in intricately woven strings and broken sheets.

Aroma is bit sugary and malty sweet with some nice caramel factions and very dull fruitiness, albiet, its not a strong wiffer, it seems to come and go in its strength. A bit of warmth seeps into the nose as well.

Taste is quite nice, mellow and smooth start, very mellow caramel and cookie sugars and of course some very nice brown sugar start it out as it glides right down. The finish is the clincher, at least for me it is, very late intermingling hops and spices breath up back across the palate with some warming attributes to give it that extra boost of oomff. Then the lips feel as if its been eating pancakes with butter and brown sugar after a long while later. Hmmm...I must want some breakfast foods or something.

Feel is glidingly smooth and sugary upfront, good slick feel on the way down thats extremely easy goin'. Yum! Body seems about medium, quite creamy on top, late is whole 'nother beast here. It settles in with the sugars fading off and turning to some nice hopped spiced of grass and herbs with a happy warming that soothes the soul.

Ahhh....the karma worked its magic with this one. What a nice surprise and then some.

Super special note: Always check your boxes when a trade has made its way to your door! Thanks xlperro!

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Photo of Dools9
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 bottle poured into a snifter glass.

A: Pours a dark amber red color, very nice. Two fingers worth of white head, creamy, recedes to a nice skim and leaves lots of lace, big legs.

S: Sweet sugary malt, caramel, citrus, light pine, moderate amount of signature Laggy tropical fruits.

T: Excellent blend of caramel, maple syrup, toffee, sweet molasses and big, juicy, sticky tropical fruits in the way of pineapple, grapefruit and overripe peaches. Bitterness is medium and finishes sweet, big residual sweetness, sticky, and slightly hoppy.

M: Light to medium feel, smooth, medium carbonation. Alcohol is pretty well masked, slight warmth on the finish.

O: I've had quite a few Lagunitas beers and they all taste very similar to me, which isn't a bad thing at all. This one is tasty, and does a great act between the caramel, brown sugar sweetness, and juicy tropical fruity hops. Really nice stuff.

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Photo of perrymarcus
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

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Photo of NolaHopHead
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle. Clear bright orange amber color with two finger head, great retention, coating lace. Sugary sweet aroma. Sweet syrupy taste immediately countered by dank piney and citrus rind hop bitterness, powerful. This brew is strong and a bit boozy but so drinkable, it's weird, just kept tasting and it was gone. The flavors just work well together, dangerous. Finish is dry and the hops stick around just long enough. Medium to full soft mouthfeel, glides down. Had this one awhile back and don't recall it being this tasty. Great brew, gonna get some more.

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Photo of nsheaxc
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Overall this brew is a hard to miss for the winter time. For sure a best "bang for your buck" beer when it comes to hoppy strong beers that you can get almost anywhere.

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Photo of drxandy
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz to ale glass, pours a coppery orange shade with a creamy off white head eventually fading

smells of sweet biscuity, super grapefruit hop bomb creaminess, yum

taste is creamy and sweet, syrupy, great hop presence leaning on the grapefruit kind, molasses, biscuit, caramel, toffee, bitterness wrestles with the sweetness and balances out but bitterness prevails in the end

mouthfeel is of lingering hop astringent dryness, sweet and sassy, heavy weight, alcohol is masked professionally, an amazing beer overall!
delicious!

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Photo of stonermouse
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a goblet.

Pours a beautiful, clear amber with a thin head. Looks close to ruby-colored. Very nice look.

Huge aroma, but mostly generic malts and a bit o booze. Just a small bite of rum and cherry, almost like a mai tai.

The flavor is super-complex- tons going on here. Starts sweet, with a sharp caramel bite. The hops join in, and add a second layer of sharp piney flavor. It finishes with an earthy and bread-like softness, but leaves a lot of flavor behind. There's a bit of booze here, but the 10% is mostly well-hidden. Surprisingly not as sweet as I expected, but much more complex.

Finishes sticky, with a lot of flavor on the palate.

This brew does a lot of flavors, and it does them well. It's kind of like the Italian sandwich of beers- it has everything in it, and somehow they all seem to work together.

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Photo of bonesTdog
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is a really tasty brew that threatens to make a strong ale fan out of me. Grapefruit, malt and hops with a softening base of light roast and toffee. As others have said, the high alcohol is almost not even noticeable. It is not the most complex beer I have had, but the blend of flavors is very well balanced and the long finish calls you for another sip.

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Photo of JRed
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright reddish ruby in body topped by thick, off-white head that leaves a ring of lacing. Strong aroma of pineapple, some citrus, candy sugar, toffee, and molasses. A warming drink: molasses, toffee, citrus, booze, hop resin, some bitterness, some spice, finishes dry. Thick in body with medium carbonation. A tasty, surprisingly drinkable strong ale.

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Photo of generalnotsew
4.24/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice body on this one. Dark mahogany that is consistent with barleywines. The head and lacing however is a bit thin. Smell is sweet caramel, boozy, sugary malts with a strong odor of bittering hops. And yes I would say it does have a brown sugar smell. Even being served a bit too cold it smell is powerful. Taste is all over the place. Somewhat tropical notes lead the way with the sugary sweetness of the caramel and candy sugar blasting it's way in. I have had 2 lagunitas beers before this and the aftertaste was plauged with a watered down sameness. I detect nothing like that here. It is quite flavorful thru and thru. Mouthfeel is extremely oily and thick with a bit of heat on the throat. I am really glad to have picked this up. Much preferred to Olde Gnarleywine.

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Photo of CraigP83
4.24/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice amber color, transparent with a thin off-white head. Smells of hops. There is another odor I can't quite pin, possibly grapefruit? Tastes like a slightly sweet IPA. I didn't get the brown sugar taste I was expecting until my glass warmed a bit. Drinks hot, perceived alcohol and cane sugar

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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 Born_Beerknurd
4.24/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Favorite brew from Lagunitas so far. 12oz bottle into pint glass

A - coppery orange/amber color. Fluffy three finger white head.
of spicy yeast notes backed up by molasses/brown sugat sweetness and some subtle citrusy hops.

T - Strong spicy yeast and alcohol flavors up front. Brown sugar and molasses in the middle. Finishes with lot of malty sweetness. Hops are present but hidden well behind the alcohol and matlyness

M - What makes this brew for me. Warming alcohol, smooth sweetness that is just crisp enough to remain highly drinkable but still malty and warming true to style.

O - An excellect strong ale. Another excellent brew from Lagunitas. Extremely drinkable for such high ABV at 9.9%. My new template for what an american strong ale should be. Well balanced, strong, smooth and drinkable.

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Photo of surfer4life
4.24/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle

A - Hazy golden brown with a thick off color white head. Some sediment and good lacing.

S - Very sweet malt, almost reminds me of how a belgian quad smells. lots of spice in it, raisins and obviously, brown sugar.

T - Not a sweet as the you would think, actually some hop bitterness to it. The front is sweet, I get vanilla and caramel. Hoppy in the middle and sweet brown shugga on the end!

M - Full bodied with medium carbonation. Coats the mouth perfectly and leaves it wanting so much more.

D - Far to drinkable, I will look for it again and should like to have it on tap.

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Photo of bnes09
4.24/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Orange amber ale. Mostly transparent. Pours a thin head with fairly poor retention and minimal lacing, which is probably pretty common for a beer of this strength.

Huge aroma of pine and citrus hops, nutmeg and caramel.

Taste follows with a surprisingly assertive hop providing flavors of pine and grapefruit. Big caramel malt with a maple sweetness. Lots of spices, nutmeg and a hint of cinammon. Highly complex flavor profile and well balanced.

Medium-bodied and slightly sticky on the lips. Finish is dry due to the hops.

Overall, I was very impressed with this brew not knowing what to expect. Tons of solid flavors and the alcohol is masked very well.

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Photo of 312HopBomb
4.24/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep amber color with a slight white cap. This is nice and clear.

The nose is sweet with prominent brown sugar. The hops peak through to mix it up.

The taste is sweet but not too much. A nice malty and brown sugga sweetness with a good dose of hops.

Mouthfeel is medium full with moderate carbonation.

I really liked this one. Had been wanting to try it but hard to find. Thanks to Jose for sharing!

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

A - Orange / cherry glow, slightly hazy produced a towering fluffy head that reduces to a ring around the glass with a bubbly pillow in the center. Heavy lace and stick after each drink. Wonderful looking beer.

S - Citrus notes - Pineapple?, orange zest, resinous, oily, caramel.

T - Citrus and piney hop punch to the mouth - wonderful. This is followed by a sweet malty presence - caramel, brown shugga that balances really well. The mouthfeel is somewhat chewy, but it is amazingly drinkable considering type of brew and ABV.

O - WOW - glad I snagged this one off the shelf, I will definitely be going back for more perhaps to lay a few down. This is a DAMN good brew.

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

On tap served into a pint glass

Rereveiwed on 11 27 12 bottled, in weizen glass

A - Clear dark amber with 3 finger khaki head with excellent lacing and fantastic head retention, poured 20 min and still had 1 finger head.

S - No surprises malty and brown sugar. Caramel and a little coriander spicy notes as well. Loads of fresh piney hops.

T - Nice sweet flavors with earthy saltiness but heavy wheat and caramel. Very sweet on the front palate, great malt profile, really showcasing the sweetness here. Sharp strong bitter piney hops finish that fades rapidly. Bit of warming booze on the back end but pretty well balanced considering the 10% ABV, though this does become a bit too prominent as the beer warms.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation, crisp

O - Very nice beer, captures the brown sugar sweetness while still maintaining that signature Lagunitas hoppy fresh finish. I really love this beer, a great seasonal and I could drink this anytime, though I like the Sucks a bit more.

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

Nice, bright amber color with a sticky light brown head. Aroma of caramelized fruit and brown sugar. Taste is more sugar and fruit, with a light bit of hops that really brings balance to the beer. Sweet and sticky, but not cloying.

Pretty delicious.

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

Beautiful red amber color with a healthy thick white head that laced and stuck to the glass. A nice citrus hop that i mplies a little sweetness. The taste was malty, without being as hoppy as some of the other Lagunitas seasonals. Since this comes out every other year, I almost forgot how good this beer is. It is smoother than wild, and has more fruit flavors -orange - than any other Lagunitas in my opinion. The alcohol is well hidden, and this is one of the best offerings from this brewery.

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