Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

4,288 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,288
Reviews: 1,364
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.66%
Wants: 180
Gots: 457 | FT: 16
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: 4,288 | Reviews: 1,364 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Purduechris13
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear red-orange color with a small head after a pretty aggressive pour. The head falls quickly and there are very few bubbles rising to maintain the head.

Aroma: I initially got a good amount of citrus hops and some spicy notes from the alcohol. There is a little bit of sweetness, but for the most part, the hops and alcohol are in charge.

Taste: The flavor is also hoppy with some evident sweetness from the sugar. The sugar has a slight syrupy impression that is as much mouthfeel as anything. The beer is attenuated, but it certainly isn't dry. The dryness comes from the hop bitterness as anything. The balance is slightly tipped toward the sweetness in the end with the alcohol setting as an evident warming to linger for a little while in the finish.

Opinion: This is a pretty good beer. I like that it is still balanced slightly toward the sweetness. It is not a beer that I would drink a lot of, but it is pretty tasty and this is the last beer that I bought from a 6-pack. I don't regret that purchase, so you may want to try one too.

Photo of seand
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark translucent copper with a small amount of light tan head. Just a bit retains around the edge of the glass, leaving small spots of lacing.

S: Boozy caramel sweetness, with notes of brown sugar as you might expect. There's also a floral touch of hops.

T: Just short of cloyingly sweet, with a fairly big hoppy kick towards the finish. There's some slight nuttiness. The alcohol is fairly noticeable as well.

M: Full body, medium carbonation.

D: Drinkability isn't bad, but it's a little far on the sweet and boozy side.

Photo of jdoncbus
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured bottle into a tulip glass. Heavy lacing with 2-finger head. Pours a dark amber brown. Beer was served around 50'.

Quite malty on the nose and of course, the brown sugar. Can make out some hops but not too much.

The malt sits heavy on the palate and is pretty sweet. Some hops step out which keeps a nice balance along with some sweet caramel & brown sugar. Somewhat chewy mouthfeel which in the usual Lagunitas fashion leaves some bitterness and a slight burn down the back of the throat.

The high alcohol presence is hidden well only really noticable when going down the throat. Snow is on the ground here in Central Ohio and this beer compliments it well, keeps you warm with a nice flavor. Another winner from the brewers in Petaluma.

Photo of MacQ32
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a nice amber/slightly copper color with a solid ginger of caramel colored head, good retention, nice lacing.

S - Lots of sweet malts and caramel, abundant citrusy (grapefruit/orange) hops, brown sugar is prominent. Very surprised with the citrusy hoppyness.

T - Tons of citrusy goodness. Grapefruit/orange i think, not extremely bitter, lots of brown sugar flavors. Basically a citrusy hop burst IPA with some brown sugar. Citrusy hops definitely outweigh the SHUGGA.

M - Medium bodied, appropriate carbonation. Easy to drink.

O - Very good beer, just not at all what I expected. The brown sugar compliments the sweet citrus very well, but it is in no way the main attraction of this brew.

Photo of Hopfenpeter
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured a pretty, clear amber red and produced a two finger high white bubbly head. It dissipates fast into good lacing.
The smell is like with all Lagunitas, a full presence of hops. This one certainly has a good dose of sweetness to it
Tasting the beer, I feel maple syrup, brown sugar, caramel and honey flavors. This sweet start is quickly balanced by a earthy, pine hop character in the middle. The finish is a very balanced bittersweet combination of hop and malt.
Great winter beer!

Photo of SargeC
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep amber with a minimal, light-tan head.

Smell: Sweet quality, fruit juice with underlying hops.

Taste: powerful sweet character dominates. The hops peek through just enough to be interesting.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a syrupy quality. Leaves a sticky film on everything it touches.

Drinkability: Very flavorful and unique. It reminded me of a light Barley Wine.

Photo of homebrewhawk
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle served in a Duvel Tulip. Poured a slightly hazy, reddish gold with less than a finger of off white head. Fair amount of hops in the aroma and plenty of malt. Smelled like a cookie. Full bodied and rich. Lots of malt sweetness but also plenty of hop bitterness to round it out. Some mouth pucker in the finish from the hops.

From hearing people talk, I thought this would be super sweet, but I think it had a pretty good balance. Like a malty barleywine.

Photo of Scotchboy
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes, 1/16/11. Bottle, pint glass.

This beer pours a very attractive and rich copper color. There was a significant head, which I wasn't really expecting.

Immediately this smelled of hops on the nose. I can't tell if the hops are citrus or pine forward, I pick up some grapefruit but there are earthy/grainy undertones as well. The sweetness of the brown sugar is there as well, almost 50/50 with the hops.

The taste is what you would expect after smelling this beer, hop bitterness and sweetness on the tongue. Brown sugar and carmel malts as well. Very full bodied and strong, with a little alcohol kick.

MF: Full bodied, drying.

Drinkability: Not bad, not great. I finished the bottle and wasn't looking for another one, so probably typical for the style. I'll say above average.

Photo of RexBanner
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%

Dark amber in appearance. Pillowy head that settles to a sticky ring leaving spider web like lacing on the glass.

Piney hop forward nose. Malt background, light maple syrup and whole wheat bread aromas.

Not as sweet as I thought it'd be. Malt body with a very, very light brown sugar taste. Everything is washed away by the piney, resiny hops.

Light to medium body. Lightly carbonated, finishes semi dry.

I must say I was a bit disappointed with this brew. Reading the reviews I imagined I was in for a unique malt forward, perfectly balanced strong ale. Instead I got something closer to an American barleywine. Overly hopped, out of balanced and one dimensional. One reviewer compared this to hairy eyeball. I disagree, as I feel that hairy eyeball is much more balanced and tastier than brown shugga. But as with everything else; if you've enjoyed this in the past then that's all that matters. Cheers!

Photo of Goofyfootsurf
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of invalid665
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of DerwinWentworth
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of GrayWolf1766
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of JLB025
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of Rjp2345
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of kpantz
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Executive Summary: Since "American Strong Ale" is a bit of a catch-all, I didn't really know what to expect. Reading the label, I figured I could count on some aggressive sweetness (OG 1.10) and not too much in the way of hoppiness (51 IBU). Wrong. Totally wrong. But in a good way. This is actually pretty tasty.

Appearance: Reddish-amber, somewhat cloudy with a cream-colored head, about a finger thick, but quickly reducing to a film. Moderate lacing.

Smell: Largely this smells like a cross between a green barleywine and a weak-nosed imperial IPA. Some hops in the nose as well as some weak malt and yeast notes. As the beer warms, the brown sugar finally starts to emerge.

Taste: Definitely sweet right at the beginning, but a "dirty" flavor moves in, followed by a pretty nice hop flavor (with associated bitterness in the back-end). I'm actually pretty surprised how prominently hops figure in this beer. I was expecting a sweet mess, but instead I feel like I'm drinking an over-balanced imperial IPA. Kinda strange. As with the aroma, a bit of warming and a lot of swirling gently coaxes some of the brown sugar out of hiding, but not enough to change the overall impression.

Mouthfeel: Not bad. A little sticky, but the body itself is pretty light. Carbonation level is on the high side of just right.

Drinkability: Actually pretty drinkable given the shock factor here. Even though I didn't get anything I expected to out of this beer, it's pretty enjoyable. Goes down smoothly, and even the belches taste pretty good ;)

Photo of russpowell
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an effervescent amber/orange with 2 fingers of sand-colored head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Slight pine& herbal hops

T: Huge pine hops, cakeyness, & brown suggah up front. Earthy & grapefruit hops & some honey dryness follow as this warms. Finishes with subtle booze warmth, rough grapefruitty hops, a little caramel & yes, brown sugar, works for me!

MF: Chewy with low carbonation, but a little thin for the style

Drinks damn easy for the abv, an almost great take on the style

Photo of DavidSeanNJ
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a standard pint glass. Appearance is a copper color with a tan/caramel color tin when held to the light. There wasn't much head on this one, possibly less than an inch. Mouthfeel was warm and the alcohol notes were highly detectable. Sugary sweet tastes were prevalent, lots of malts- dessert flavors. This one drank very easily for such a high ABV at 9.9%. I would absolutely buy this one again- enjoyed best on a cold winter night.

Photo of Greywulfken
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: center-pour into tulip glass didn't kick up more than a modest off-white head froth; the beer itself was a beautiful deep amber with strong ruby highlighting

S: smell was straightforward brown sugar; some suggestion of dates and candied fruit

T: much crisper on the palate than the nose - has a heartier malt character that gets away from the "possibly barleywine"-like aroma. Some of the alcohol slips into the taste (this is a 45-ish degree beer I'm drinking). The brown sugar is more subdued and you're left with an almost (whiskey/bourbon) barrel-aged flavor.

M: the woodsiness of this beer also creates a thinning feel on the tongue; some bitter astringence from the alcohol, some from the hops - chewier/maltier feeling up front, a drying finish... modest carbonation.

O: I was really expecting to be sugar-slammed here, or maybe a suggestion of a barleywine-like beer, but all that was mostly on the nose; the beer itself reminded me a little of the Innis & Gunn Rum Cask Oak Aged beer I'd sampled once. I would say this is a good but not exceptional beer for my tastes.

Photo of rallison
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a Delirium Tremens goblet.

A: Dark red brown with a 2 finger off white head that sticks around nicely and leaves lots of lacing.

S: Caramelized brown sugar. Alcohol. Toffee. Yummy.

T: Not ridiculously complex, but very tasty. More of the brown sugar (surprise, surprise!) with a nice bit of caramel and toffee flavors. A bit of an alcohol bite actually works to nicely counter the sweetness. Maybe some plum or date in there too. Dark fruits at the very least. Also kind of reminds of Belgian Candi sugar.

M: Nice and full with a slight alcohol burn. Overall, a good mouthfeel.

D: Not the most drinkable strong ale, but drinkable enough.

Recommended. Nice after dinner beer.

Photo of scottoale
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Looks to be another beauty from Lagunitas with an O.G. of 1.100 and the bittering of 51.1I.B.U with a fairly hefty 9.9ABV...sweet !! Out pours 12oz. of a deep copper colored, 2 finger of off-white headed ale of beauty, as I thought. Nice sticky lacing...ooh la la!

Smells malty and brown sugary with a hint of hop bringing up the rear. Let's taste it. Sweet and malty with nary a hop finish. A little sweet at first but as it warms just a hair, the hops start to kick in nicely as well as the alcohol starts to warm the finish. Full rich mouthfeel and flavor, this beers got some body and some legs as well.

Very tasty stuff that goes down easy but be warned, this is a truly strong ale, one of a kind in it's style! Try it, you'll never know till you do...I recommend this one.

Photo of blivingston1985
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a clear reddish-orange. Some Particles visible. Creamy off-white head that reduces down to a good lace that lasts the whole glass. Very good.

The smell is sweet. Caramel, brown sugar...some hops.

Very smooth drinker. Easy to wind up on the floor with this one. Nice light carbonation that complaments the texture of the beer well. Very big taste. Very sweet. Not very much to it in the way of complexity. Brown sugar, a little citrus-orange, and a nice bitterness.

Photo of joeskirkie
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I went for a snifter and poured a beautiful copper brew with a nice head which developed and laced well.

Smelled sugary sweet, with grassy hop hints and just a touch of citrus.

The taste balances very well, the refreshing citrus hop bite goes hand-in-hand with the sweet sugars. A hop finish has a slight linger to it.

It's not too heavy, I'd ask for another, I definitely dig it.

Photo of DrinkMoreBigBeers
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Note - Bottle says day 270 on the neck in small black print.

A - Poured this down the center and left a massive yellowish off white four finger head with different sized bubbles that left above average odd looking lacing. Nice dark blood orange semi-hazy beer.

S - I pick up some citrusy hops and a definite sweet maltyness from the sugars they used, which remind me of a strong sweet juice of some kind. As the beer warmed more I picked up some mango, peach and more subtle tropical notes.

T - Get the sweetness right up front, almost candy-ish which gets bitter and has a finish that reminds me of a bitter citrus rind off of a orange. The sweetness and bitterness fight one another for domination. Do not pick up on the alcohol on the flavor but can feel it after it goes down.

M - Nice chewy, soft full bodied beer that is slightly oily and is quit pleasant in the mouth. My tongue feels like it has been cleaned by something astringent after drinking for a while (like Listerine.) Would get higher marks if it was not so aggressive on my palate.

O - A really impressive closing beer which packs a lot of sweet flavors, and is not the most drinkable in my book. Gets cloying after half way through. Good luck with this one because it packs a sweet punch, Cheers! After further drinking I found that pairing this with something salty like nuts really helps cut the sweetness and makes this a better brew. Try it, you will not be disappointed.

Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 4,288 ratings.