Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

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

1,443 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,443
Hads: 5,003
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.8%
Wants: 232
Gots: 852 | 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
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Reviews: 1,443 | Hads: 5,003
Photo of caddybuyer
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle.

A-Deep ruby red with an thin eggshell white head. Damn..this is one enticing looking beer.

S-Strong sweet malts all the way. Classic Lagunitas nose. Lives up to the name so far.

T-Oh my gosh this is good! Thick syrupy sweet barleywine flavor hits you with heady malts, a punch of alcohol. Midpalate is resinous, deep, sweet marachino cherrys marinated in smokey fine bourbon. More than anything, this reminds me of a well made Manhattan. Awesome.

M-Well balanced creamy mouthfeel with balanced carbonation.

D-Very drinkable, which is scary given the ABV. Give me another, and another!

American strong ale? Hmmm...I'm not sure about that. I'd say it drinks like a barleywine and a well balanced and tasty one at that. If I'm not drinking beer, I am partial to Knob Creek Manhattans, and boy, this bowled me over on the first sip. Boozy? A bit, but it really hides the ABV. A very nice surprise from a brewery that is good at giving pleasant ones. (979 characters)

Photo of 29mikoyan
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A nice solid ale with flavors of honey, brown sugar, malt, and a beautiful spicy and earthy hop feel. The aroma is that of flowers and sweet caramel candy. (155 characters)

Photo of Tdizzle
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased a fresh 6-pack from BevMo Brea. 9.84% ABV. Poured into an Allagash stemmed glass.

A- Brown Shugga' pours a remarkably clear amber color with a sticky head of off-white, almost tan-colored foam that settles to a frothy, silky cap that sticks around for the duration of my review. Each sip leaves a few drapes of lacing behind.

S- Say hello to caramel malts! Notes of brown sugar (shock), toffee and burnt caramel are backed by deliciously resinous tones of hops, particularly pine sap and juicy pineapple. There's a nice presence of boozy heat that's wrapped around the myriad of sweet and hoppy aromas.

T- The sweetness of the smell comes through in the taste. All the sugary and caramely notes of the aroma are present along with a good amount of hop bitterness -- pine and tropical fruits -- that again provides the perfect counterbalance. The finish is mildly dry and a touch watery as it leaves only a trace of hop flavor and passion fruit lingering on the back of the palate. The big alcohol is practically buried within the flavor profile. Great stuff.

M- A full-bodied and slightly viscous feel. Oily and slick with a moderate amount of carbonation.

D- I blasted through a 12oz bottle of this nectar. The massively sweet character of this beer is exceptionally balanced by hops, and the nearly 10% ABV is really well-hidden. This is one of my new favorites from Lagunitas. (1,396 characters)

Photo of mooseo
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
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. (583 characters)

Photo of jclzony
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Copper color with a nice fluffly white head. Aroma is has a nice sweet malt with a bit of hops and alcohol. Flavor is with brown sugar dominance with a bit of molasses and some citrus tones. Alcohol is very noticeable after finishing only one. There is a definite presentation of malt and has a sweet finish. (308 characters)

Photo of jtd1969
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
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! (410 characters)

Photo of Ack9788
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

WOW, i think i;m still buzzed from last night, I go to school in delaware ohio and i had this powerhouse brew on tap at 1808 american bistro where they have something like 27 beers on tap.

This beer is delicious, its the perfect beer to have when you want a good beer...and nothing else, a burger with this beer and your ready to not move. Not a salad beer either, do your self a favor get a friend go to a bar with this on tap order your friend two bud lights pay for them you have a few of these and let him drive home. DO not let him taste it or you'll loose your driver. (575 characters)

Photo of Vanlingleipa
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enough sweetness in one bottle to turn New York into a happy place (just kidding, love NYC).

That's the good and bad. Really enjoy the toasted/burnt malt or whatever is giving this brew that flavor. Kind of like slightly burning your toast then applying a thick layer of brown sugar. After your tongue copes with that first wave of burnt brown sugarness, a nice, not overly bitter, sensation of hops comes in. Seriously high alcohol content is not overly present, but definitely noticeable. Overall, A Wonderful Beer.

The bad: not shocking with a high sugar beer, the 9.99 ABV. It seems quite a bit higher. I can feel the effects from a 12 oz bottle. Two 20 oz tap pours is enough has given me a medium strong buzz, leading to a slight next morning headache. Advise caution when consuming Brown Shugga.

Secondly, they only make it in October, although they obviously started bottling more in 2010 because Brown Shugga went from 'hard to find' in 2009 to being stocked in the local chain supermarket.

I've poured into pint glasses, a Delirium Noel snifter, and, (get ready to shudder BAers) drank it straight from the bottle.

Pretty, dark brown-amber color, medium whitish-brown head. Lacing medium, lasting a minute or two. Scent rises from the glass like lava from a volcano, a sensation only beaten by very, very hopsy beers.

One of my favorites. (1,354 characters)

Photo of beertunes
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a straight pint glass. Minimal head leaves light but sticky lacing. A very pretty reddish-brown. Sweet aroma with nice hop touches. Flavor matches aroma closely. Smoothly sweet at the front with a balancing hop tang at the finish. Faint alcohol taste, but not in a bothersome way. Body is just a little lighter than full. Very drinkable, but this beer will sneak up on you. Because it's smooth, sweet and easy to drink you might not notice it preparing to pop you. Very enjoyable, becoming a yearly favorite. (520 characters)

Photo of albertjr21
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Into a tulip glass on 3.30.11 this settles a beautiful, very clear cherry wood hued red color under a thin but nicely sustained head. The aroma is much milder than I'd have expected but otherwise an appealing one with notes of toasted sugar, light cherry, and moderate citrus hop. Mouthfeel and taste comes off very similar to a barleywine with a big complex taste. Bright, sweet, but earthy dark fruit, perhaps cherry, dominates the palate with somewhat of a spirit-like warming akin to, again, a barleywine. Finish is dry and sweet. Huge flavor delivered smoothly...Very nice. (578 characters)

Photo of MattyBones
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
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. (641 characters)

Photo of pershan
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
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. (491 characters)

Photo of Fatduck
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ive been very fond of the Lagunitas brew's that I've had so far, so when I saw the brown shugga I had to try it.

Pours a ruddy copper color with a fluffy tan head. It leaves little lacing. Smells like spicy hops and a bit of sweet malt. Feels good on the way down, refreshing and easy drinking. I think this is one dangerous beer. 9.9% alcohol and goes down fast and easy.

I'll be returning to this brew. (406 characters)

Photo of pjwilson
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: pours a very clear, see through copper color. tons and tons of carbination which forms a very nice head.

smell: burnt caramal and lots of brown suggah. a bit of that lagunitas hoppiness.

taste: a tasty beer. they seemed to have upped the hops this year and I'm not complaining. mixed in there are sweet caramal and warm brown sugger. just a trace of alcohol that you feel in the gut

mouthfeel: drinks super light as you would expect from all the sugar.

drinkability: drinks like a beer half it's strength. i'll have to be carefull because i could put a few back before i knew what hit me.

This is a very good winter beer. (650 characters)

Photo of 4000qtrap
4.34/5  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? (1,315 characters)

Photo of Chris_Cali_2o9
4.34/5  rDev +9%
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. (580 characters)

Photo of EricLiPuma
4.34/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great beer. Drank this one from the bottle and i was not disappointed it really does live up to the hype. VERY tropical. A lot of pineapple going on with some mellowed out tropical skittles. Very sweet but what would you expect with a name like brown shugga. It has pretty good bitterness going on in the back too. (314 characters)

Photo of RangerDanger
4.34/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I admit that I'm a Lagunitas fan. That being said, I still think this is a wonderful, full bodied ale. There is an amazing mix of hoppiness and sweet malt that lets neither dominate but allows both to stand forward. The ABV is certainly there so be careful. Even so, you don't really taste it. Another good ale from Lagunitas! (326 characters)

Photo of myelo
4.34/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle

Appearance: Clear orange-copper with enormous off white rocky head and thick lacing. Millions of teeny-tiny bubbles.

Aroma: Prominent caramel malt, earthy, spicy hops

Taste: Moderate to heavy malt sweetness, caramel, and cinnamon followed by piney and floral moderate to high bitterness.

Feel: Moderate to heavy, thick oily body, medium carbonation, moderate ethanol warmth.

Overall: Beautiful appearance, sort of a cross between an imperial IPA and an American barley wine. Unique and wroth trying. (518 characters)

Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.34/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a medium copper brown in color with a lot of red hues mixed in too. A fairly sizable head forms and retains very well with good lacing too. Pretty translucent with just a touch of haze in the body.

S- Some medium hops bitterness right up front before the malts start mixing in. Hops are upfront in the beginning, but take a backseat towards the end, but are very piney in flavor throughout. Malts are somewhat delicate and not as strong as the hops, but caramel and slightly sweet in nature.

T- Once again, moderate to strong hop presence up front, but in the taste, the hops are the dominant flavor throughout. In the middle of the drink, some caramel and pale malt flavors kick in. These are less sweet than in the scent, and display no brown sugar sweetness as the name would suggest. Drink ends with the same hop bitterness it began with, this time lingering a while after the sip ends.

M- Fairly smooth and high in carbonation. Rather easy to drink despite the high alcohol level. This could be dangerous if one were to buy a six pack and was determined to finish it in one go.

Overall, this reminds me a lot of Sierra Nevada Bigfoot with less of a hop presence. The hops are still there and very high in quality flavor-wise. The balance the hops and malts strike in this beer make it one to savor....and then maybe have another. (1,347 characters)

Photo of rrski198
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
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. (652 characters)

Photo of Phatz
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a big big super sweet beer. I think it will do well with a year or so under the belt.

Appearance: Pours a deep burgundy orange, translucent, with a fluffy white head.

Smell: Sugary sweet with brown sugar galore, caramelized malts hints of fruit and alcohol.

Taste & Mouthfeel: This is the epitome of a sipping night cap. The sweet sugar borders on but doesn't not cross too sweet. The alcohol shows through and with a nip of hops Brown Shugga' drinks more like a brandy than a beer.

Drinkability: Perfect for a night cap.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers! (576 characters)

Photo of jaxon53
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
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. (766 characters)

Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
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. (1,255 characters)

Photo of mountsnow1010
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Great Van Morrison brown color with a yellowish head that leaves a nice thick lace.
S - Delicious hop notes - really clean grapefruit smell backed up by a bit of a sweet caramel.
T - Hops up front - distinct lack of bitterness - followed by a sweet rich flavor. A bit of grassy hop flavor as well.
MF - Really nice - smooth and perfect carbonation. I'm not sure one could improve much upon this mouthfeel. Slight warming sensation.
D - 9.99% alcohol? I get a bit in the mouthfeel but otherwise this could be fairly low alcohol. High- dangerously high- drinkability.

Really, really enjoying this beer - I would highly recommend it. (638 characters)

Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,443 ratings.