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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

3,649 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,649
Reviews: 1,296
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 11.44%
Wants: 132
Gots: 229 | FT: 13
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: 3,649 | Reviews: 1,296 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of johnchen1229
johnchen1229

California

3.96/5  rDev -1.5%

A: Pours a brown, clear liquid. A thin head gives way to occasional lacing along the sides. Good lace retention.

Smell: I accidentally snorted a small amount of beer trying to write this section. Wheaty, malty, sweet tones dominate the somewhat subdued smell. Very little hoppiness or bitterness.

T: Chemicals and sweet malt, boozy finish. A sweet beer with a hoppy, boozy aftertaste.

M: Creamy, slightly fizzy but not much carbonation. Sweetness and alcoholic flavors wrap around the tongue and cover the mouth, leaving a bitter aftertaste.

O: Not a huge fan of the way the hops showed up at the end, giving a bitter aftertaste. Very pleasant beer that is very nice to drink. Not much weaknesses, but could be better.

01-22-2014 05:43:06 | More by johnchen1229
Photo of Darkmagus82
Darkmagus82

Virginia

3.96/5  rDev -1.5%

Poured from bottle into a snifter

Appearance – The beer pours a clear amber color with some hints of ruby red seen shining through. Upon pouring there is a nice one finger of a thick, off white head. The head has a fantastic level of retention, hanging on for quite some time, but eventually fading to leave a bit of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is very sweet with lots of brown sugar and caramel and some big fruit aromas as well. The fruit smells are a mix of light fruit as well as a bit of some darker fruit aromas. The lighter aromas are biggest of a tropical smells with some apple and apricot mixing in, while the darker fruit aromas are mainly a mix of cherry and plum. A hint of a biscuit smell rounds out the aroma, producing an overall sugary and fruity nose to the beer.

Taste – The taste is rather surprising in light of the nose, as it contains a much maltier, slightly less sweet, and more hopped flavor the smells let on. The taste begins with a rather big malty flavor of a bready and doughty nature. There is a good level of sweetness right from the start as well with lots of tropical fruit flavors of tangerine, mango, and papaya as well as tons of caramel flavors. As the taste advances, the tropical fruit flavors lose some potency, being replaced by flavors of brown sugar and a bit of a cherry flavor. As the taste moved on from the middle, some grapefruit and grassy hop tastes come to the tongue. These flavors grow slightly more intense to the end of the taste, where the mix of flavors ends up leaving a moderately hopped, rather fruity and sugary, thick malty flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The beer is on the thicker and creamier side with a carbonation level that is on the average side. A slightly lower carbonation may have been a little better for the big malt and sweeter flavors of the brew, but the thicker feel is very nice for highlighting the hop flavors mixed with the big malty and sweet flavors, really producing a rather nicely blended flavor.

Overall – A good malty and sweet brew with a decent level of hop and a great drinkability even at 9.9 % abv. A rather nice, and easy drinking big brew.

12-02-2013 01:41:18 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of lordofthewiens
lordofthewiens

Maine

3.98/5  rDev -1%

A 22oz bomber poured into a pint glass. Amber color with a very small head. Aroma is mostly caramel, with a little bit of citrus. Taste was caramel/brown sugar, with a strong malt presence, and some grapefruit hoppiness. A fairly robust beer, kind of chewy. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer and will look for it again.

06-30-2007 13:26:45 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of whoneeds8
whoneeds8

Texas

3.98/5  rDev -1%

Poured into a pint glass dark amber with a nice one and a half off white head. Great lacing all the way down the glass. The nose on this is very strong of malted barley, almost compareable to a barley wine in scent. There's also a floral hop scent mixed in with it. The taste is very malt intensive. There's just a slight hint of hops at first but it quickly changes to a very brown sugar and carmel wallop. The mouthfeel is good, no noticable alcohol burn for a 9.8'er. The sugary overload of this beer really does make it's drinkability a little hard to take.

11-19-2009 02:02:57 | More by whoneeds8
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
AKBelgianBeast

Alaska

3.98/5  rDev -1%

Brown shugga pours a clear brown amber with good fluffy head. head dissipates but lace remains quite thick. The nose has subtle hop notes and some light malt. The taste is predominantly smooth hop flavors with less bitterness than an IPA but it is still there. A wierd sugar malt taste makes up a decent backbone. Hop flavors on the finish leave a slight bitterness in the mouth. A good brew, but nothing particularly special. Mouthfeel is good, chewy but not terribly thick. Drinkability is the highlight of this strong ale as the 9.9 does not show up at all. A great strong ale for session drinking which makes no sense but it is what it is.

01-12-2008 08:16:40 | More by AKBelgianBeast
Photo of SpdKilz
SpdKilz

Illinois

3.98/5  rDev -1%

Appearance - Pours a light chocolate brown with about a finger of tan colored head that recedes relatively fast leaving decent looking lacing.

Smell - "Shugga" sweet smell - it honestly smells like the brown sugar my mother use to use to bake growing up. This is followed by a nice hoppy/piney smell.

Taste - A very interesting taste - the brown sugar is prominently present along with caramel and toffee but then melds immediately with an amazing hop/piney profile followed by grapefruit citrus. It is sweet, but honestly not overly sweet. I am really enjoying letting this warm up and allowing other tastes to present themselves.

Mouthfeel - Nice and creamy. Smooth, decently carbonated, and overall a bit oily on the tongue. This mouthfeel is quite nice.

Drinkability - Extremely. I was very surprised this was an almost 10% ABV beer because coming into it I did not look. The taste masks the alcohol extremely well and the only reason I looked was for the fact I felt warming after drinking it but did not taste the actual alcohol. This is a very delicious beer and is not overly sweet and comes together quite nicely. Very balanced. I only bought a single but will for sure be going back and getting a few more.

[edit] Not sure what happened here but after the first beer of this I have not liked the beer since.

11-18-2009 03:49:54 | More by SpdKilz
Photo of CRJMellor
CRJMellor

Arkansas

3.98/5  rDev -1%

Pours hazy copper color, with a 1/2 inch white head. Sticky patches of lace left on the glass.
Aroma has definitive brown sugar and caramel notes with some light dark citrus fruit notes.
Flavor starts with caramel and brown sugar. Finishes with herbal hop notes which accentuate the sugary notes.
Mouthfeel is smooth and and little bit oversweet. Finish is light herbal and spciy hops that cut just enough sweetness off this one.
Drinkability is pretty high. Had no idea what to expect with this one and it really was a pleasant surprise.

11-21-2004 22:56:16 | More by CRJMellor
Photo of Beer-A-Lot
Beer-A-Lot

Virginia

3.98/5  rDev -1%

Poured into a pint.

A - Nice amber-copper color, clear, huge 3-finger head.
S - Pretty bold aroma, citrusy, almost dry.
T - Very hoppy, citrusy flavors. Not as sweet as I feared. Yet fairly smooth. Does not burn, but you feel the alocohol as you get maybe halfway through the beer. Reminds me a bit of a mild barleywine.
M - Medium to full bodied. would be better IMO if malts were more forward.
O - A well done beer that just isn't my favorite style. I'll drink the remaining from my six (I might even experiment with mixing, who knows), but I can handle just one at a time. not because of the ABV but because of the hops.

11-03-2012 16:13:32 | More by Beer-A-Lot
Photo of fmccormi
fmccormi

New York

3.98/5  rDev -1%

Straight pour from 12oz pry-off bottle to a 25cl Duvel Single tulip; bottling date of October 9, 2012 printed in black ink on the neck of the bottle in a Julian variant (“28369508,” the 283rd day of 2012 being October 9th). So, a day over four weeks old at the time of consumption.

Appearance (4.5): Just about three fingers of good, light-tan head comes off the pour here, coming off of a ruby-hued, medium- to dark-amber colored body that’s crystal clear. Excellent retention here, as the beer still has a half-centimeter of solid head left a couple minutes after the pour; broad, even lacing all the way around the glass, with a lot of coverage. Thick collars as it goes down. Excellent, appearance, in every aspect.

Smell (4.0): Some very nice, moderately rich (but not overly sweet), bready malt character is most evident here, smells kind of like sweet potato dinner rolls. Which is awesome, because those are delicious. That said, there’s a very bright, aromatic citrus character here, like fresh orange juice with some some fresh-cut flowers. Little bit of toasted grain in the back, à la whole-wheat toast.

Taste (4.0): This is rich and moderately complex, but it’s quite a bit softer than I was expecting—as in, not so aggressive. And that’s okay! Rich, grainy malt with a moderate toast (again, like a toasted multigrain bread with a little spicy rye in it), that really isn’t so sweet as you might think (given the name of the beer). That said, it does have a light brown sugar sweetness built into it, which helps smooth over the toasty and spicy aspects of the malt body. The hops, meanwhile, offer a moderate orange juice sweetness that finishes with a solid red grapefruit zest bitterness that helps dry out the beer toward the finish. No yeast character detected, but some moderate, boozy vapor is definitely in the mix. The finish is very nice, kind of a tangy citrus quality that’s not quite bitter or sweet.

Mouthfeel (3.5): The body is fuller than medium-weight but not heavy-, moderately oily, and has very subdued carbonation. A light tingle as it goes down, a little burn on the back end. In spite of the rich malt body, it doesn’t exactly finish dry but it’s far from syrupy. Good, not great, certainly not excellent mouthfeel—solid but unremarkable.

Overall (4.0): This is a nicely crafted beer, and the fact that Lagunitas will happily put out something of this size and character for $10-12/ sixer is fantastic. This beer’s category is so broad that you grade them as much on overall satisfaction as anything else, and as far as that goes this is a very nice beer and an excellent value. Say what you will, but that counts. And beyond that, it’s just tasty and satisfying for a broad range of (admittedly American-biased) palates. Yummo.

11-03-2012 20:15:52 | More by fmccormi
Photo of Pegasus
Pegasus

Texas

3.98/5  rDev -1%

Appearance: Hazy medium amber color with an abundance of suspended sediment and small slow-rising bubbles. The off-white head pours fairly small and soon fades to a paper-thin layer. The lace coats the glass well in broken sheets.

Aroma: Prominent citrus hops, biscuit malts, and molasses yield a strong and pleasantly lingering aroma.

Taste: Opens with strong citrus and pine hops, beneath which is a strong undercurrent of caramel malt. Towards the middle of the taste, the sweet caramel malts and brown sugar notes assert themselves strongly. Sweet alcohol notes are also present. The finish is dominated by bitter and lingering citrus and pine hops. The alcohol is quite warming.

Mouth feel: Rich, full, and very smooth, more like cognac than a beer.

Drinkability/notes: Simply excellent, rich, full, and flavorful; a spectacular beer. Would be most pleasant on a cold and rainy day. Cellared for approximately nine months.

02-01-2004 01:05:16 | More by Pegasus
Photo of drtth
drtth

Pennsylvania

3.98/5  rDev -1%

Served in a shaker pint glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer is a clear, rich copper color with a ¼" light tan color. The head looks like it could be much fuller and richer with a pour designed to enhance the head as well as fill the glass.

Smell: The hop aromas are primarily citric and floral and they are nicely mingled in with the caramel malt (that does indeed seem to have a definite brown sugar character).

Taste: The flavors include a nice caramel malt backbone with some nice hints of brown sugar and toffee. However, the purpose of the flavors from the malt and added sugar is clearly to support the hops and to compliment them. The hops are predominantly citric and piney in character but also seem to have a nice floral component as well.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium to full bodied with light, creamy smooth carbonation. The finish is reasonably long and has a nice hop character showing as the sweetness fades away to leave behind a nice lingering dry bitterness.

Drinkability: This is one of those beers that falls into the "dangerously drinkable" category. It sips so easily that it would quite possible to forget the high ABV until it sneaks up on you. So I put it in the category of a one a night beer. That said, I did enjoy this beer and have added it to my shopping list for the future.

01-09-2011 11:38:53 | More by drtth
Photo of granger10
granger10

Wisconsin

3.98/5  rDev -1%

The last of the Lagunitas bottles I was able to buy while down in Dayton. Pours a semi murky burgundy color, sort of brown in the middle and red along the sides. Smaller but compact off white head sits atop. Good lacing.

Aroma is definitely sugary along with molasses and caramel but there's also a fruitiness I wasn't expecting. Reminiscent of red delicious apples and also maybe tangerines. A bit of alcohol warmth accompanies the fruits.

Taste is similar. Begins really sweet. I knew it had brown sugar in it, obviously, but I think I could tell fairly easily even if I didn't know. Caramel goes away but there's more of a sweet cinnamon roll flavor. Lots of yeasty esters seem to take hand towards the middle but they soon give way to the hops and alcohol. I think these go hand in hand here. Alcohol warmth is noticeable to me even through the thicker body. Finish is residually sweet yet also bitter and I feel this one go all the way down my belly.

As said before, the body is really thick and vicious. The flavors come out but are sometimes dominated by the shear weight of this liquid. This is definitely a sipper. Take time, relax, and enjoy this during the colder times of the year.

01-09-2006 21:19:21 | More by granger10
Photo of GarthDanielson
GarthDanielson

North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev -1%

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer is a cloudy auburn-brown coloring that is almost opaque, with a slight haze to it. No head on the pour at all. The beer has a bold, round aroma, which is a smooth blend of supersweet sugar and caramel, with a decent balance of hoppiness. Flavors are sharp and heavy, with a good foundation of wet, deep hops riding strong under a boozey highlight and malty sweetness reminiscent of molasses and caramel. There is a sweet theme to this brew. The aftertaste is a slick, rich, almost syrupy sweetness, but refrains from being cloying, with a good hops presence once again. Impressive. The finish is slightly bitter, which keeps it light, and the crispness from the carbonation makes it quick.

06-26-2011 23:42:09 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of johnnnniee
johnnnniee

New Hampshire

3.98/5  rDev -1%

12 oz bottle from Bert's
Pours a crystal clear medium copper color with a huge yellow white head that slowly dissipates to a cap and lots of leggy lace. Earthy and piney hop aromas mixed with a fair amount of caramel light fruit and candy and darker sugar. There's a solid shot of ethanol in the aroma that reminds you this is a big beer, but it never seems harsh. The flavor is big and sweet up front with lots of candied and darker sugars. Solid earth and resinous hop flavors with barely any harsh edges. A bit of warming alcohol lingers long after each sip. Medium body with a light to moderate level of carbonation and a sweet almost syrupy mouthfeel. This is a really nice big beer, I really enjoyed it.

10-25-2012 23:43:12 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of Kmat10
Kmat10

Alberta (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev -1%

A- Dark amber, one finger of head, lacing all over the glass

S- Caramel, citrus hops, can smell the alcohol

T- Nutty flavors, little bit of sweetness, fair amount of hops

M- Full bodied, moderate carbonation, you can notice the alcohol, dry finish and very bitter

O- Very good American strong, Very hoppy and bitter, good amount of malts

05-20-2013 04:51:21 | More by Kmat10
Photo of BretSikkink
BretSikkink

Mexico

3.98/5  rDev -1%

Dark orange-copper color, looks really nice. The head is a slightly darker than tan color, the lacing is impeccable.

Aromas of brown sugar and a decent amount of American citric hops jump out of the glass. I don't get a huge amount of complexity but plenty of power.

I found the flavor to be similar to the nose but a little surprising nonetheless. This is a sweet beer, a little different kind of sweet than a big-ass English Barley Wine malt blast though. Very smooth caramel malts, a sprinkle of a toffee flavor, and some dark fruit-cake spicing, like dates. The hops are still present and pungent; leaving a pleasant bitterness at the finish.

Not sure what to say editorially. I thought it came out a little thinner and lighter than an American barleywine; that Old ale might be a good handle for it. I could see age being a factor here, but I will definitely look to try it again.

03-29-2008 03:48:48 | More by BretSikkink
Photo of Duane_Opfer
Duane_Opfer

Virginia

3.98/5  rDev -1%

12 oz bottle with no date. Poured into a pint glass. Consumed on 12/08/13. Review written from notes.

A - Brownish red with a finger of dense small bubble, off-white head. Mostly transparent with moderate carbonation. Head lasts. Distinct bands of carbonation.

S - Not very fragrant. Citrus hops and caramel malts.

T - Clearly a strong ale, but sweet... brown sugar does come through. Almost completely masks ABV. Malt flavors are forward. Some hoppy critrus flavors.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Dry and sticky, likely from the sugars.

O - Despite a lower scoring, very enjoyable and very easy to drink, in fact too easy to drink considering the high ABV.

12-10-2013 14:06:58 | More by Duane_Opfer
Photo of SickPythons
SickPythons

Connecticut

3.98/5  rDev -1%

12oz bottle poured into tulip glass.

Great red-orange color with a small thin head. Not much lacing to be expected per the style.
Semi-strong piney hop aroma.

They've done a good job hiding the 10% ABV in the sweet flavor from the cane sugar and the hop bitterness.

I tried it last year and was happy to see it back on the shelves. I'm sure I'll be happy to see it next year, too.

11-21-2010 20:24:28 | More by SickPythons
Photo of cbl2
cbl2

New York

3.98/5  rDev -1%

1/29/2007 $3.59 22 oz. 9.90% No best by date.

Appearance:

Startingly amber/ruby in color with a clarity I rarely see in beers. A faint haze of tan foam wisps around my goblet.

Aroma:

Ripe tropical fruit notes come through with a burst of sweetness imparted by the brown sugar. Aromas are indicative of a Belgian double, namely the belgian candied sugar, which I suppose comes from the brown sugar.

Taste/Mouthfeel:

Smooth, yet simple mouthfeel opens up this sweet brew. Notes of the tropics (pineapple, fig and starfruit) couple with a tinge of warm alcohol. Sugar is apparent, though whether brown, or candied is difficult to discern. Finish is slightly bitter, though not to the extent of the 51.1 IBU's the bottle promises. It is nice to have the sweet balanced by the mild bitterness.

01-29-2007 20:40:14 | More by cbl2
Photo of Toddv29424
Toddv29424

District of Columbia

3.98/5  rDev -1%

One of the things I get most excited for during the holidays is the release of this beer. Such a good flavor, and at 10% it leaves you feeling terrific. Pours a light copper color with a light head and seemingly endless bubbles. The smell is malty, with a hint of nut and some fruit as well (although nothing distinct). The taste is big and warm. Mostly the best parts of a brown ale with lots of candied sugars, and the alcohol is nowhere to be found. You can tell this beer is made with care. The aftertaste is pleasant, but very monolithic and leaves something to be desired in terms of variability. Overall a terrific beer.

11-24-2006 21:58:35 | More by Toddv29424
Photo of dreadnatty08
dreadnatty08

District of Columbia

3.98/5  rDev -1%

Celebrating the beginning of brew day!
Pours a gorgeous clear, copper and ruby color with a well supported tan head. Aromas are quite hoppy, plenty of grapefruit, orange, along with a slight spicy phenolic character with some spicy twang. Very little in the way of malt aroma, just a sweet note, but a good bit of alcohol. On the palate, it just sits on your tongue, one of the heaviest feeling beers I've had in a while. Sitting only at 51 IBUs, it isn't overly bitter, quite balanced actually; but, there's just a ton of hop flavor. Still, the malt character is lacking, just a touch of bready toastiness, crystal sweetness, finishing dry with lots of lingering hops. Overall, it's an interesting ASA (DIPA), though I think the undercarbonation and mouthfeel bring down the drinkability a bit.

03-16-2008 15:41:03 | More by dreadnatty08
Photo of pjs234
pjs234

Connecticut

3.98/5  rDev -1%

A - Very nice amber color. Small white head, but had good lacing.

S - Very sweet smelling, with a hint of fruit aromas.

T - Very sweet at first, almost like a candied apple. That taste gives way to a slightly bitter bite. I do detect some fruity flavors in there. I never really picked up on the brown sugar flavor though. Overall this beer has a very good and interesting flavor. Also, this beer hides its alcohol very well.

M - The mouth feel is thick and syrupy. There is also a fair amount of carbonation.

D - The syrupy mouth feel and its sweetness, I am not sure that i could have more than of these per evening.

01-16-2011 01:03:55 | More by pjs234
Photo of erikm25
erikm25

Washington

3.98/5  rDev -1%

A: Poured a light crimson with nice amber highlights. The head was two plus fingers of off white fluff. Strong retention and lacing that leaves sticky sheets all around the glass.

S: This does live up to the name but also had some pine hops. Caramelized sugars with rounded sweet candy apple aromas. Gently balanced between heavy sweetness and spiced citrus. Some dark cherries toward the back.

T: Amazingly smooth and rich. Brown sugars with caramel and bready malts add some thickness to each sip. There are some nicely textured spices thrown throughout. Little bit of toffee and butterscotch flavored candy. Even with the high ABV they have done an impressive job hiding it. Finish balances out with just the right amount of bitterness.

M: This is full bodied with moderate carbonation.

D: Picked up a six pack of this and the first one was very drinkable. However, I can see how the richness and the alcohol could probably start to sneak up. Regardless, a pretty solid offering.

01-09-2009 00:52:11 | More by erikm25
Photo of Ricochet
Ricochet

Ohio

3.98/5  rDev -1%

Yikes! This smelled like a sugary, yet inviting beverage. I've never really tried a "stong ale" , but this seemed like a run of the mill brown ale as the dark amber appearance and minimal head and lace fortold. The scent told of amber ale but was sweet. Mouth was, unique. Bitter rounded out the palette and sweet made it's presence known, but the chewiness of this beer above all, made it a really decent wash. Taste was all malt, imperial alcoholic properties like a decent bock with a tuned up ABV. There was some raisin but mostly the fruity taste of orange came through. What an exceptional taste.

Hell, I don't know where this will fit, but I want to explore it again. Great stuff. Amber ale like none other. Great!

03-18-2007 09:30:57 | More by Ricochet
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

3.98/5  rDev -1%

Picked up a sixer of this today. This is one of those common brews that I have still yet to try. Poured into a Hair of the Dog tulip because I am not as cool as drabmuh.

The beer has a beautiful appearance. Crystal clear and clean copper, like a brand new penny. The khaki colored head is frothy and dense, coating the glass with lacing.

The aroma bring smalt, alcohol, pine, resin, hops, caramels.

The flavor is big and bold. A strong ale indeed. Nice ratio of hops to malt. Though I know the hop character will fade with age, I am curious to see how well this ale might benefit from some time in the cellar. Sweetness throughout.

Medium to full bodied with ample carbonation. Sticky and resinous on the palate. Alcohol presence is there.

A full flavored beer. One in any given night is plenty for me. Good stuff.

10-31-2012 01:25:22 | More by Huhzubendah
Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,649 ratings.