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Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,435 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3435
Reviews: 1291
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 11.69%

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: 3,435 | Reviews: 1,291 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of jtd1969

North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Orange golden,fairly clear, with a tint of red. Slighty cloudy mainly due to abv... Good carbonation. Good lacing

S - Pleasant sweet citrus smell, some slight sugary malt
T - Lots of burnt sugar with caramel... Throw in some clean citrusy/grassy/spicy hops... A treat... Big and Bold at 9.9

M - Big smooth beer that lingers with hops, good carbonation

O - WOW, It is so good! I really enjoyed this beer!

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2012 00:46:09 | More by jtd1969
Photo of RoamingGnome


4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 11/2/12 Tasting Notes. Poured fom 12oz bottle into pint glass. Served chilled...

A) Nice looking bronze brew with good clarity. There was 2 fingers of creamy looking light tan head. Good retention, as this slowly settled to a dusting. Ample lacing...

S) Graham cracker crust and fresh juicy grapefruit with a sprinkling of sugar.

T) Quite malty and very hoppy... What a nice balance we have here. Sweet caramel and melting brown sugar, in perfect harmony with light pine, grapefruit and champagne mango. The alcohol on this was very well hidden. I picked it up just a little as this warmed up.

M) Full body with moderate carbonation, which kept this easy on the palate. It is slightly syrupy, but really very smooth. Nice aftertaste...

O) Thanks Lagunitas, what an excellent beer. Reminded me a bit of a few barleywines I've had recently. This was a pleasure to drink, and really hard to believe the ABV is nearly 10%. Glad to recommend this beer...

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2012 19:08:52 | More by RoamingGnome
Photo of Chris_Cali_2o9

4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Sam Adams cup

A- Amber, 1 1/2" off white head

S- Dank hops, apple, spices tingle the nose

T- Burnt sugar, dank signature lagunitas flavor, alcohol

M- Medium body, normal carbonation, alcohol heat, bitterness tingles the tongue,

O- A freak, a deformity brought on to us, when a recipe went wrong. The flacholent musk from this beast is offensive, the obscene flavor is out right blasphemy. This autrosity. I will hide it from the world, for they will never understand, and love it as my own, and drink this abomination, until i cannot stand.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2012 05:58:07 | More by Chris_Cali_2o9
Photo of facundoCNB

New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a clean copper/amber pour with a slight amount of head that quickly fizzed away into oblivion.

smells of fresh piney hops up front, a slight chipotle pepper smokiness overtone, very sweet scents of figs, and grassy/earthy hops again.

such a sweet malty overtone it's hard to not fall in love with this. a mix of hops with the malt profile, and i'm guessing what would be the million pounds of brown sugar that went into this makes this pretty balanced for the most part.. seconds after you take the first sip you get the sweetness of the sugar come at you and a smile appears.

full body with low carbonation makes this a good sipper. you feel the 9.9% abv in the chest as a nice warm feeling (perfect for these cold days) ut you don't really taste it.

i haven't had this one since winter of '09/'10.... almost 2 years. this is one of those instances where i'm glad they took the beer away for a while.. because i't better than i even remember it. for a beer in general, it's a personal favorite.. nothing all that excellent about it, it's just delicious and i'm glad it's back.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2012 11:43:29 | More by facundoCNB
Photo of mooseo


4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into tulip.

A - Pretty bright amber with a large frothy white head.

S - Sweet bready caramel malt, brown sugar, juicy grapefruit, pine.

T - Citrus and grapefruit hops burst onto the palate, followed by sweet burnt caramel, brown sugar and a light breadiness. Finishes with piney hops, herbal spice, and lingering toasted grains.

M - Medium bodied, smooth, creamy and a little sticky. Dry finish.

O - A delicious strong ale, and very hoppy. The sweet malts do lend some balance but the hops are on full display here. Easy drinking with a slow building alcohol warmth.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2012 04:41:03 | More by mooseo
Photo of downeyj4


4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

It has an good copper color, but seemed to have some haziness about it. There is a large amount of hops, but has an aftertaste of brown sugar. It is a good mix, but not a beer you would want to drink a whole six pack of. This was my first Lagunitas, so I am sure that I will have more.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2013 05:03:22 | More by downeyj4
Photo of MattyBones

New York

4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a pack of this today...couldn't wait to try it out.

appearance: pores a dark copper with a frothy brownish white head.

smell: caramel and hops, mostly hops.

taste: Caramel, citrus from the hops, some brown sugar mixed with a lightly malty/smokey backbone that balances it out nicely. Very well balanced with a slight hint of alcohol. I think I prefer this over SUCKS. I wish I had a bottle to make a full side by side comparison.

Mouthfeel: slick, sticky mouthfeel but doesn't linger for too long.

Overall: I'm highly pleased with this and looking forward to breaking out the next bottle. Another solid brew from Lagunitas.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2013 00:12:16 | More by MattyBones
Photo of tillmac62

South Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear medium amber with a full frothy head that laces very well. Full nose of pine and citrus hops against a sweet dark malt background. Medium carbonation and a medium heavy mouthfeel. An excellent taste is achieved with a balance towards the hops against a strong malt bill sweetness. Hop flavor is balanced but tilted slightly to the piney side but finishes with a grapefruit citrus note. Bitterness is noticeable on the clean finish and lingers with that 9.9% alcohol pleasant burn. An outstanding beer that shows what flavor is all about. All are there, but none predominates, making this a complex work of brewer art.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2013 21:18:44 | More by tillmac62
Photo of ShamasUVA


4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, reading "Feeding brown sugar to otherwise cultured brewery yeast is akin to feeding raw shark to your gerbil. It is unlikely to ever occur in nature without human intervention. And it looks weird besides. But it has happened now, and it is too late." No date, but I suspect this is fresh.

Color: 4. Deep red, slightest tinge of brown. off white head, decent retention.

Smell: 4 Cherry, Candy, Leather and Beer. A little bit of spice or licorice.

Taste: 4.5 Extremely assertive, and I don't trust the 51.1 IBU on the label, this seems much more bitter than that. I would guess Chinook hops since it lingers. Some alcohol heat. Great sweet rich fruity flavor. Not a complex maltiness but a powerful one.

Mouthfeel 4.5 Rich but not thick. This is one area where "American Strong Ale" can really run the gamut. Good.

Drinkability: 4 It's so dang tasty, you keep wanting more. .Overall a very good beer but the bitterness lingers for a solid 60 seconds so it is hard to call this "drinkable." I think this is still a little young. I would like to give it 6-12 months to see how the bitterness gets sanded down and the alcohol heat mellows. Will probably be exceptional.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2007 01:55:07 | More by ShamasUVA
Photo of jaxon53


4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served at just about cellar temperature, into a pint glass, from a twelve ounce brown bottle. Poured a deep copper amber color that had great clarity. Two fingers of thick, frothy, beige colored head formed from a somewhat vigorous pour. Head faded pretty quickly into a fluffy ring of foam atop the beer. Some sticky, glass coating lace was left behind on the glass. Smell had some plum, rum soaked cherries, thick sweet malt, and a small amount of alcohol. Tons of dark dried fruits in the flavor, some pineapple, some sweet brown sugar, and plenty of body warming alcohol stacked on a sweet malty base. Finishes smooth and just a bit boozy. Mouthfeel is thick, almost syrupy, with a medium to full body. Great drinkability. This has got to be one of my favorites.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2008 16:36:06 | More by jaxon53
Photo of WesWes

New York

4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark amber/red color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice balanced aroma of malts and hops. It's warming to the nose, but also enticing with loads of hop smells. The malt aroma is composed of lots of pale malts and a wonderful array of specialty malts, which provide the "Brown Shugga" element. The taste is great. It has an incredibly smooth malty taste that weighs heavy on burnt toffee flavors. It goes down easy and finishes silky smooth with a nice hop blast that lingers. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a tremendous beer. It packs a bundle of flavor; a fine drinker.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2008 23:28:54 | More by WesWes
Photo of pershan


4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this on-tap at Frisco Grille in Columbia, MD.

The beer poured an orangish-brown with very little head into a chalice. I detected alcoholic esters with a slight citrusy hop aroma. The taste was an enormous explosion of hop flavor and alcoholic esters, blending nicely with a distinct citrusy sweetness. The initial taste dissipated into a long-lasting hop bitterness. A very tasty and drinkable beer - it is definitely one of my favorites from Lagunitas. Nice carbonation and lacing too.

Serving type: on-tap

03-12-2008 16:14:00 | More by pershan
Photo of Lexluthor33

New York

4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Amber colored with a decent sized head and a respectable lace.

The aroma of sweet sugar,malts and some fruit.

The taste started off sweet,sugar like but heavy on malts, Some hops in the back and subtle amount of alcohol warmth.

The feel was medium carbonation,smooth and creamy with medium body feel and some oils in the finish.

Notes: A very fine beer and something to savor. I really felt this one was very deceiving. At this ABV it really was easy to drink and while I will not ever session this one I will have at least two.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2009 22:44:14 | More by Lexluthor33
Photo of Tone


4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, dark amber color. 1/3 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of hops first, then sweet malt, alcohol, brown sugar, and finally some slight banana aromas. Fits the style of an American Strong Ale. Mouth feel is very smooth and thick with an average carbonation level. Tastes of hops up front, then sweet malt, then brown sugar, strong alcohol throughout, and finally some slight fruit/belgian yeast flavors. Overall, a really smooth brew that packs a punch - good palate and nice blend of flavors.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2009 03:23:23 | More by Tone
Photo of northaustin


4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into a schnifter. pours a very nice red with a finger of even off white head which has long retention and a good amount of spotty stringy lacing.

smell is awesome. has alot of that same old lagunitas hop extract smell goin on but backed by a strong very sweet malt bill. alot of fruity type smells and an almost dessert like quality

taste is very powerful with the hops and some caramely type flavor goin on. very nicely masked high abv. i wont lie. theres alot of things in this beer i just cant put my finger on as i have not studied the style enough. fairly complex and enjoyable nonetheless.

mouthfeel: doesnt leave anything behind in a good way. no over syrupy sweetness or hop oilyness as is the problem with a few other lagunitas.

drinkability: very flavorful and a well masked high abv. this one is very sessionable for 10 bucks a six pack.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2009 02:50:01 | More by northaustin
Photo of GPHarris


4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a - poured a one finger thick tan head into a snifter that left a thin ring and sheet throughout. the body was brown and hazy.
s - brown sugar! some toasted malt and light hop aromas.
t - syrupy and sweet.
m - thick.
d - great and definitely a one of a kind beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2009 21:22:07 | More by GPHarris
Photo of rrski198


4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: dark amber almost red hue. Big off white color head, disapated quickly.

S: Malty, carmel, earthy, wood, pine, Big hops in this beer but they are not overpowering in the nose. Alcohol is hid quite nicely.

T: Big bold beer. All sorts of malty sweetness going on. Balanced nicely by quite a bit of hops. Alcohol bites a little in the finish

M: Very sweet and coats the mouth. Like simple syrup. Hops bite at the back of the tounge and alcohol burns a little.

D: Overall an excellent full bodied beer. Very complex. Big time malty sweetness, balanced by a heafty dose of hops. A quality offering for sure and I will try and pick some up next winter.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2010 01:27:45 | More by rrski198
Photo of LairdChisholm


4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a clear copper color with a less than one finger, off white head very little lacing to speak of. There are many small streams of carbonation bubbles going to the top.

S - Strong smells of sweet malts with brown sugar and molasses and citrus malts. Good balance.

T - Incredible balance here. There is a mixture of brown sugar/caramel malts with citrus/grapefruit hops. There is a semi sweet after taste that makes you want to take another sip.

M - Good amount of carbaonation with medium to light mouthfeel.

D - Considering the ABV, this drinkability is dangerous.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2010 01:10:49 | More by LairdChisholm
Photo of eclaycamp


4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. Pours a very clear amber with minimal head and no lacing, though the beer is so syrupy it sticks to the sides of the glass. Has a barleywine style smell, with dark fruits like raisins, to begin with. This aroma is chased by loads of brown sugar notes. Tasting the beer for the first time you immediately notice the thick mouthfeel, though it's not unpleasant. Brown Shugga is full bodied with minimal carbonation. Alcohol is cleverly hidden, save for a little bit of a burn down in your chest after you drink it. The taste has a lot of different things going on. There are some minor fruit notes, but for me this is a lot like waffles and maple syrup. Mild citrus hops help lend balance to the beer. Oddly enough, even with all of the sugary notes this finishes quite dry, which leaves you wanting more. Despite the heavy body, it's really easy drinking. Call it the perfect fall beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2010 04:18:38 | More by eclaycamp
Photo of BB1313


4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. I've always been a big fan of this one. Pours a nice hazy copper w/ light fluffy head and decent lacing. This beer smells so good! The hops are fruity and balanced perfectly w/ the sweetness from the sugars; slightly malty w/ bread notes. This one gets better as it warms up a little.. the flavors are more pronounced that way. Mouthfeel is superb.. carbonated and creamy.. goes down great. Drinkabilty is dangerously good.. makes a great sipper.. savor this beer!

This is a great, unique, hoppy beer that really doesn't know what style it wants to be, but it's awesome. Lagunitas says it's a "Barleywine gone wrong".. works for me!

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2010 15:48:02 | More by BB1313
Photo of RCStout


4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Appearance is appreciated as every time it appears I want it. Gold to Amber Orange.

Smell- Gloriously Sweet to a Southerners Nose. (NC loves Brown Sugar.)

Feel- Nice body, it could be one of those thick leggy models.

Taste- Sweet right off with a midtaste of citrus. Some say Grapefruit I says Pumelo. Warm in the tummy.

Drinkability- Highly drinkable despite high ABV. I have never had more than 6 in a row, seemed like 2 too many.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2010 21:08:20 | More by RCStout
Photo of samie85


4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Pours a very clear, dark copper with two thick fingers of off white head.

S-Smells of sweet pineapple and some light malt notes with some caramel.

T-Big notes of pineapple with some dark fruit and a touch of bitterness and alcohol on the finish.

M-Pretty rich and full bodied for a hoppy beer. Smooth and slick in the mouth with low to medium carbonation.

D-For the ABV on this one, it's incredibly drinkable and and reminds me a lot of DIPA's like The Oracle

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2011 02:56:58 | More by samie85
Photo of 4000qtrap


4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Source/Serving: 12oz. Bottle (fresh)

Smell: Intense, complex hop character (pine, floral, and citrus) layers over everything and leans this towards an IPA, but there is more than enough sweet brown sugar, dark caramel, toffee, light ripe fruit, red grape to stand up to it. Reminiscent of a great IPA with a solid malt backbone. Tons of intensity and well rounded. A little boozy and slightly metallic at it warms.

Taste: An sweet explosion of syrupy fruit, dark caramel, piney and floral hops. Slick, oily, and irresistible. Followed by a slow, paced crescendo of bitterness that abolishes the prior flavors but still feels restrained and is far from astringent. Tons of citrus/lemon peel and oils with a solid resiny snap. Hides the 10% ABV alcohol very well, but I think it helps to ever so slightly dry the beer out here and add a nice counter-point the sweetness up front. Finish is slightly sweet, reminiscent of dark red fruits and maple syrup, with plenty of complex, oily hop character and a touch of pepper. One of those syrupy, lip-smacking beers.

Notes: Tremendous. Lagunitas really shines on this one, but it's a heavy, thick brew. Modulates the sweet-bitter axis well, has great hop and malt flavors and excellent mouthfeel. What more can you ask for?
cellent mouthfeel. What more can you ask for?

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2011 01:04:20 | More by 4000qtrap
Photo of AndyAvalanche


4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottled poured into a Duvel Tulip style glass. Kind of an orange copper color, almost hazy, when held up to the light you can see small particles. Speaking of held up to the light, it just glows. I guess a more simple way to put it is that it doesn't quite look like any American Strong Ale that I've had (even though it varies so much), it seems lighter. There's a good sized head that's an orange color, decent lacing.

Smell is good, hoppier than I expected, but based on all the beer I've had from Laguniatas, that's how they role. There is certainly a big malt presence, smells very sweet, brown sugar detected, hence the name. Hops smell like citrus. Overall kind of a sweet boozy smell.

Tastes very good, loving it. A unique, but good blend of both sweet and bitter. Sweetness right off the bat, call it power of suggestion but brown sugar detected, overall a good malt presence. Very Hoppy, citrus zest, and a little bit of pine. Very good tasting overall.

Full bodied, as mentioned a good, unique balance of bitter and sweet. Good carbonation level and a strong bitter finish. Very drinkable. Had it in the past, my buddy and I killed a growler in a short evening, so I'd say dangerously drinkable, really enjoyed this bottle this time.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2011 01:17:05 | More by AndyAvalanche
Photo of mattjv


4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark translucent copper color, coaxed about a finger of head out which didn't stay long, not surprising given 9.99%. Lots of lacing.

Heavy sweetness on the aroma, with strong hoppy notes. Orange citrus and resinous pine. Alcohol fumes notable on the aroma, becoming more prominent as it warms.

The taste is dominated up front by a huge, rich, thick caramel malt presence. Loads of sweetness here, although it's balanced by the hops and alcohol. Brown sugar nicely complements the malt with slightly burnt notes. Big time hop presence makes for a strong finish. Lots of orange citrus and thick, resinous pine that coats the tongue. Bitterness is present but not high. Assertive alcohol stings the back of the throat on finish and pleasantly warms. Sweet, sticky aftertaste.

Full bodied, thick and chewy on the mouthfeel. Carbonation is not high but sufficient to keep the alcohol in check.

Overall: A very unique brew, and one that I thoroughly enjoy. Pity that I'm reviewing the last one I'll get till next fall. Definitely not for everyone, this is a thick, rich, boozy beer that is best enjoyed sipping over an hour or more. If you like big beers, give this one a try.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2011 05:39:28 | More by mattjv
Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,435 ratings.