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Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

1,444 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,444
Hads: 5,015
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.8%
Wants: 237
Gots: 868 | 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:
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: 1,444 | Hads: 5,015
Photo of beerfairy
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pourd from a 12oz. bottle

9.9% ABV and a real good taste make for a dangerous concotion....awesome!

A: Pours a nice amber hue with a creamy head that dissipates quickly. Slight lacing, not much.

S: You can smell the hops and fruity prune kind of odor with a sweetness.

T: The hops grabs you at first but doesn't last which is interesting. For a 9.9% beer you can't notice the alcohol.

M: A bit of carbination and a slickness that coats the throat as it goes down.

D: This is a real good beer. I could drink quite a few, with the ABV being high, not sure I could drink a lot....oh, yes I could. (603 characters)

Photo of whisperjet
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a clear, bubbly amber with a nice white head. Laces the glass well. The nose is sweet and sugary, like syrup with a nice malty body underneath. Really inviting. There's a great warmth about this beer. The sweet cane sugar flavors and warmed up by the good alcohol presence. Finishes a little bitter which gives it great balance. A really nice body and finish on the beer. This one is top notch. (409 characters)

Photo of jjanega08
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A= the pour reveals a move amber beer with a nice looking slightly off white head on it. The head holds decent retention and spotty lacing.

S= a really nice smell to it. I would describe it as balanced due to the tremendous amount of hops and sweet malts. I'm not sure if its placebo but I do get some brown sugar. Nice fruity hops to it.

T= the taste is amazing. Such great flavors. I feel like this is a hop heads ber as well as someone who perfers a more malty base. There is a great amount of fruity hops to it and the brown sugar add a lot. A unique beer for sure.

M= a great body to it. Perfect carbonation to it.

D= great beer. Ill be buying a lot of this in the future. Another home run by lagunitas. I could drunk this all day. (741 characters)

Photo of mschind
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured into a pint glass with a one inch creamy head that fades to a thin persistent cap. Brilliant clear copper color.

S- Resinous hops with a big malty molasses blast.

T- Follows the nose with the brown sugar/molasses sweetness dominating but nicely rounded out by the hops which take on a citrus note.

M- Rich medium body, well carbonated which helps to balance the sweetness.

O- I look forward to this every year. I think it would cellar well but I'm not that disciplined. The big malty sweetness the aggressive hops is an unusual combination that really works here. (577 characters)

Photo of barhoc11
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Great beer with a distinctive taste, I would drink again. It is a nice change on the regular double IPA's. The aroma and taste smell of brown sugar and it goes down 'sweet'. If you can get this, give it a try, it's not something you will dislike. (246 characters)

Photo of lnashsig
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can't believe this is the first time I've had this one. Poured from bottle into brooklyn tulip. Pours a transparent dark amber color. Nice fluffy white head, recedes slowly leaving sticky white lacing all over the glass. Not sure what I was expecting here, but this isn't it. It looks and smells like a DIPA. Smell- citrus hops, tea leaves, orange peel (from the hoppy aroma). Taste- hop blast down my throat. Drying citrusy hop oil scorches my throat. Its followed by a tropical fruit backbone. Absolutely zero trace of brown sugar here at all. Is this a DIPA? I'm confused. Was expecting something along the lines of a barleywine, but this is a DIPA, I don't care what they call it. That said, its delicious, wonderful hop profile and great malt backbone. (757 characters)

Photo of bradleyp
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks again to the Bier Stein for stocking this beer. Poured into a 6 oz. glass. Split with GF.

A: Light brown, very see-through.

S: Hops and malts blend exceptionally. Brown-sugar aroma is very pungent.

T: Very hoppy. I could also taste some sugar sweetness.

M: Went down very nicely. Not too spicy.

D: I would surely buy this again, and again, and again. (363 characters)

Photo of dvmin98
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Has a deep amber appearance with a head that sticks around for a little bit, then laces along the glass.

Smells nice and hoppy; more than I expected.

Flavor is hops and biscuit, with some citrus notes

Mouthfeel isn't too sharp. Feels good on the tongue and the carbonation sits there for a few.

Overall, I really like this beer. I've been waiting a long time and I think its better than Holiday Sucks, which replaced it last year, although I did enjoy HS. (459 characters)

Photo of Franchise
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This offering from Lagunitas pours a rusty brown leaving a thick frothy tan head that sticks with this brew. The aroma is toffee, caramel, brown sugar, leafy citrus hops. The taste is smooth on the palate, it hits you with some alcohal heat upfront, but it is not overwhelming it actually is pretty hidden for almost 10%. The beer then takes you to a sweet brown sugary feel that is offset by pungent citrus rind hops, medicinal in feel, that finishes with a cooked sugar, cookies, sweetness in the end this is another great offering from Lagunitas, one that is made for winter sipping. (586 characters)

Photo of Tolnik
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this reddish copper coloration beer into a pint glass. The foam that it gave originally was good and reduced to a good head. Sugary! wow sweet malt with a hoppy aftertaste. It does leave a good warm feeling in your mouth. Great winter beer. The beer has a great carbonation and keeps it up throughout the drink. (318 characters)

Photo of gtermi
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Beer pours a nice golden copper body with a thick white head that quickly fades and leaves tons of lace on the glass.

S: A nice amount of spicy hops and a little bit of sweet malt. Really smells a lot like other Lagunitas beers. I like it a lot!

T: There is a strong amount of spicy hops and has your typical Lagunitas hop flavor. As the beer lingers, I start to really get a strong sweet malt flavor.

M: The beer has a nice amount of carbonation and has a good amount of crispness on the back of the tongue.

O; This is a delicious beer and I really cant wait to see how this beer ages. I think that itll get better with age. (632 characters)

Photo of drdan21
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance Hard to tell, it was in a bottle.

Smell Very pleasant, sugar smell definitely present with the background of maple syrup

Taste brown sugar definitely present, a bit of spice and slight burnt flavor

Mouthfeel Very comforting and smooth, creamy like

Overall this is an excellent ale. I enjoy beer in both quantity and quality and this is one for quality. Due to the alcoholic content, one or two is enough (418 characters)

Photo of sulldaddy
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another treat from Watermelonman! I am sampling a 22 oz bottle in a tulip glass at room temp. The beer pours a clear copper and mahogany color with a large off white head foaming up easily. Aroma is grassy hops mixing with caramel and brown sugar. Some lite alcohol hits as well. First sip reveals an average carbonationand average body. Flavor starts malty sweet with caramel and brown sugar some raisins too. I find the finish to be very hoppy with pine and grass mixing leaving a dry bitter flavor on my tongue. Very easy drinking for 9.9 %. Quite a tasty brew and one I would track down again. (597 characters)

Photo of CuriousMonk
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into dimpled mug. Aroma is sweet, dates, and nutty with alcohol notes present. Picked up more brown sugar this time around (2010 version). Taste is sweet malt with a residual hop bitterness and a hint of alcohol. Malt flavor is long lasting with a heavy mouthfeel. Mild carbonation. Reminds me of a barley wine mixed in a nut brown ale. A nice winter brew IMO. (384 characters)

Photo of nlmartin
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer was served in a wide mouthed pub glass.

Appearance: The beer pours a clear caramel amber coloration. The head was about two fingers and quickly resolved into a creamy off white ring of foam. Specks of lacing remain on the glass.

Smell: The beer smells of sweet malty brown sugar and molassis. The beer has some excellent fruity esters floating around bannana, citrus and dark dried fruits. The hops and alcohol provide a snappy spicy earthyness.

Taste: This beer has a very sweet malty upfront taste. The beers taste is pretty much as it smells. There is a sugary molassis combo driving the taste. The fruityness comes across like good bannana bread. The hops break up what would have been a unbearably sweet beer. The alcohol participates in the taste providing a boozy companion to the hops.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer is full bodied. The beer is definately a sipper. The alcohol is definately present in the mouthfeel of the beer. If you do not respect this beer it will kick your ass. The beer is definately a beer treat. I cannot see myself drinking more than one of these in a evening. (1,119 characters)

Photo of Bombers4Benedict
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really liked this beer. I first tried it from a tap about a year ago. This time, a bottle, and still the same magic. I do realize my tastes have changed/matured a little in the last year but it still amazes me that they are able to hide 10% ABV so well, lets get to it....

A - Dark Gold/Amber with a tan head. Head is not too thick but still provides a nice lacing.

S - Has characteristics of an IPA including a sweet and sour with tart fruit aspect that I love. Took me by suprise though as I was not expected a sour/fermented fruit smell from something with brown sugar in the title.

T - Dates and figs are immediately present at first taste. Toward the end of the first sip you start to realize the caramel, brown sugar/creme brulee aspect. Great finish. This is a very sweet beer however as the beer gets warmer the alcohol shows its face a little more.

M - Thick coating comes with this as is to be expected. Leaves a film ala DIPA style beers often do in the mouth.

D - Very heavy, and high in alcohol so you might want to stop at 2. I do enjoy this beer so much i think i can drink it all night though. (1,119 characters)

Photo of loren01
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown color nice head with good lace down the glass.
S: Smells sweet. Smells like a fresh caramel roll.
T: Much the same as the smell. Very sweet but with some dark fruit in there.
M: Medium to full bodied, very sticky...goes down smooth.
D: This is a great winter sipper. I would buy this beer again for sure. (328 characters)

Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful deep reddish amber color with small, rapidly fading head that leaves some lace on the glass. Smell is quite sweet, with some of the brown sugar coming to play with citrus hops. Pleasant, though. Taste is not overwhelmingly hoppy or malty, but a nice balance of both. Lightly roasted malt kicks things off here followed by a moderate bitter kick from some hops, fading into a lingering piney and somewhat smokey flavor. Very interesting, not nearly as sweet as I would have expected--was thinking this was gonna be like DFH 90 in the sweetness dept. Very interesting flavor, akin in ways to both English and American Barleywines. Thick and coating, the MF on this one is great, very smooth and full-bodied. It says not to sip this one on the bottle, and I damn well could get away with not sipping this one. Nice work from Lagunitas, I have to explore this brewery further. (890 characters)

Photo of rowew
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz short necked bottle. Label is an interesting read. "We believe this Special Ale is something unique. Feeding brown cane sugar to otherwise cultured brewery yeast is a'kin to feeindg 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 and now it's too late. Also has IBU's (51.1) and O.G. (1.100), as well as ABV.

Appearance: Pours dark orange and very cloudy (actually chunky!). Head is medium sized, but very nice retention. Leaves a lot of lacing.

Smell: Aroma is nice and malty with caramel, and brown sugar. Also has just a hint of hops and alcohol. There are also some toffee smells that open up more as the beer warms.

Taste: Mouthfeel is medium bodied and very smooth. Taste starts out sweet - but it is a nice brown sugar sweetness, almost like a creme brulee flavor in there as well. Finish has just the right level of hops to leave a nice bitter finish.

Overall impression: This is a very interesting twist on a standard barley wine. I definitely enjoyed it, and it is very drinkable considering the ABV. Might be too sweet to drink more than a couple, but at almost 10 % ABV that probably isn't the best idea anyways! (1,251 characters)

Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a fairly clear amber-orange with a finger of frothy white head. The head fades down at a fairly slow pace leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of sweet caramel malts, caramelized malts, brown sugar, grapefruit, citrus, and pine hops, and a bit of booze.

T - Starts off with a mix of grapefruit hops and caramel malts with some caramelized sugars and some bitterness. Through the middle, some pine and grassy hops come through with a bit more bitterness and some brown sugar. The finish is a mix of grapefruit and pine hops, some bitterness, sweet caramel malts and brown sugar, and some booze.

M - Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet, warming, and lightly bitter finish.

D - Very drinkable. Great overall balance with a nice malty profile with brown sugar and hops providing balance. (848 characters)

Photo of facundoCNB
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
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. (1,081 characters)

Photo of downeyj4
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
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. (285 characters)

Photo of Blakaeris
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear copper brown with a fluffy white head that leaves nice lacing.

Smell is toasted caramel malt, massive brown sugar, and hints of fruit. There is also a bit of yeasty funk aroma.

Taste is more of the impressive balanced malt and brown sugar. There is also generous mollasses and earthy hop bitterness. Finish reveals hints of the high ABV.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a bit of hop oilyness. Very smooth.

Overall a balanced flavorful brew. The high ABV is dangerously concealed. A tasty treat that I will be returning to. (546 characters)

Photo of ditch
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a slightly hazy, dark red copper with a one finger off white head that fades slowly to a light covering of the top of the glass. Lacing is thin all the way down the glass.

Smells of sweet caramel and citrus hops. Way more hoppy than I was expecting from an ale called "Brown Shugga'." Also hints of vanilla and oak?

Taste is sweet caramel malts, and a perfect balance if hops. Near perfect balance here. Vanilla, raisins, a little lemon peel. Alcohol finds you in the finish but is not overpowering, considering the ABV.

Mouthfeel is good. Good carbonation to bring the flavors together. Slightly oily from the hops. Good thickness.

Drinkablility is also good here. Almost too good for this kinda alcohol content. Light enough to go down quick, but enough body to make you remember not to chuck this one.

This is a great Holiday beer. Thanks Lagunitas! (869 characters)

Photo of pwsoldier
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this bottle from scarlet, who told me that it has a bit of age on it.

A - Pours a deep ruby-mahogany with a smallish tan head that quickly dissipates into a thin layer of foam. Lacing is fairly light.

S - Good balance despite the weakened hop profile. Citrus and a hint of pine fuse with sweet, complex notes of brown sugar and dark fruit, especially black cherry.

T - As expected, malt sweetness dominates on the palate. Dark fruit and brown sugar carry over from the aroma, joined by notes of anise and just a hint of vanilla. Some wood-like characteristics come through as it warms. There's a noticeable alcohol presence as well that actually compliments the sweet malt notes quite well. Despite the age on this beer, there's still just enough hop bitterness to bring some balance to it.

M - Medium-bodied with a lingering tinge of sweetness on the palate. Carbonation does a good job of staying out of the way while keeping the beer from being too rich.

D - Immensely enjoyable. I'm interested to see what sort of a hop profile this beer has when it's fresh, but as it is it's still very flavorful and complex. The alcohol is fairly conspicuous on the palate, and yet it's still very easy to drink. (1,212 characters)

Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,444 ratings.