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Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

4,908 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,908
Reviews: 1,495
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 215
Gots: 807 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,908 | Reviews: 1,495
Photo of Nedjimb0sTavern
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pint @ Taco Mac

this was a surprising brew, mainly because it hides its gravity so well. I found myself asking if the 9.9% abv was a typo on the menu.

Aside from the drinkability it tasted about how I thought it would. Sweet and thick. Not a bad sweet though, it was a rich nutty kind of sweet.

Still though, the sweetness is kind of overpowering and I definitely would have trouble polishing of a few of these back to back (aside from the fact that I would be stone cold hammered if I did). Otherwise, a great beer.

Photo of Dodo2step
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P- Pittsburgh Bottle Shop

A- dark caramel amber color with a 2 finer head that has some stayng power. 5 minutes later and it is still there. Nice spiderweb lacing.

S- pine hops with caramel hints. i also get some wafts of alcohol coming through.

F- strong pine on the mouth with hints of citrus. I also get some of the brown sugar coming through when the alcohol hits.

M- A chewy feel and the alcohol comes out as it goes down the throat. Smooth though with a punch.

O- Not a bad beer but after a while the alcohol overtakes the flavors and it becomes more of a grain beer. Very good though for the most part.

Photo of jws6w7
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of tzieser
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear copper color with a fluffy white head. fainter than expected nose, some definite sweetness going on, but the hops were definitely there as well. I was expecting a much sweeter taste at first, but then I reminded this is a west coast barley wine, and should be treated as such. very sweet malts up front, the brown sugar is there and the hops take control of the lingering flavor. The mouthfeel is phenomenal on this one. velvety smooth. This was a great beer, but I feel as though it should be cellared for a few years to mull the hop flavor a bit. Definitely pick this one up if you see it.

Photo of MasterfulIdiot
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into an Ikea brandy snifter. Appearance is translucent amber with a surprisingly thick brown head - especially for being in a snifter! There's lots of lace for the first few minutes, although that's mostly gone towards the end of it.

Smell is citrusy hops, with some alcohol burn. I was really surprised, since I was expecting more of a toasty brown ale, but this actually smells like it could be an IPA.

Taste hits you up front with lots of citrusy hops. Little bit of resin in there too. Swallow is nice and malty, and that's where the brown sugar taste comes in. Finish is pretty sweet from the brown sugar, with some well-incorporated booziness.

Mouthfeel is moderately thick, with some nice prickly carbonation that does well to cut through some of the maltiness and booziness.

Overall, this is definitely an interesting beer, although I'm really not sure what to make of it. I feel like they could have definitely gotten away with calling this a DIPA, although I guess they did a little better not attributing it to a style at all. I tend to like hoppy beers better when they're a little bit lower-ABV, and the brown sugar mixed with the booziness can make it seem a little sickly sweet occasionally, so I do have some problems with it. But the hop flavors are really nice, and the brown sugar is a nice addition, and it's definitely unusual and interesting, so I did really enjoy it!

Photo of Murchmac
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As sunset approaches this beer blends in with the environment. Pours like the sun going down over the ocean.

Alcohol smell, sweet malts, west coast hops.

Big alcohol taste, dark sugar, molasses, some hops. Delicioso! It slowly coats your tongue and rocks you to sleep.

Aftertaste finishes big, sticky, and long.

Buy this one when you can.

Photo of justjonas
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of bob3701
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams glass. Great clear copper color with a big off white fluffy head that quickly goes into a thin film with minor lacing. Aroma of cotton candy and caramel malt. The taste took me by surprise, I was expecting a super sweet brew and the first mouthful was sweet like toffee. As I progressed it did not seem as sweet and I was starting to feel the burn of alcohol. It really goes down easy though and that could be dangerous considering the ABV for me.

Photo of JamesMN
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Crystal clear burgundy/copper color with a ton of thick lacing from a three finger off-white head that has since become about a third of the size. Really doesn't get much better than this in the appearance department.

Aroma: Piney sugar-coated citrus hops and definite caramel malt undertones.

Taste: Damn that's a lot of flavor. Lets talk hop character; immense pine, dankness, bitter grapefruit, and a lot of bitterness packed into 51.1 IBUs. Really wakes up the palate. The malt is noticeably sweet with caramel and just a hint of brown sugar, and helps to support all of the bitter hops without overpowering them. Finish is surprisingly tame given the huge flavor build up but the aftertaste leaves the palate aching with echoing bitterness and burnt caramel. The 9.9% ABV is all but hidden in the flavor but leaves a nice warmth in the throat.

Mouthfeel: Between medium and full in body with too much carbonation and average drinkability.

Final Thoughts: Brown Shugga' is exactly what the style implies. The hop character of an imperial IPA with the malt presence of a barleywine. At $9.99 a sixer it's pretty hard to pass up. Would I drink it again? Yes.

Photo of vkv822
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz : tulip

Clear, burnt orange/amber red color with a foamy, off white head.

Big resiny, juicy hops upfront, really pleasant, as expected from Lagunitas. These blend very well with a strong backing of sweet, caramel malts. Has a faint boozy warming finish.

Medium body, mild carbonation.

A very enjoyable strong/festive/winter ale. Nothing too fancy, just a very tasty hop profile matched well with a solid malt backbone.

Photo of chris657
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%

Photo of beerguy101
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Medium brown color, medium head. Brown ale brewed by feeding brown sugar cane to the brewery yeast. There are suspended solids in this beer. Malty and sweet. Full flavored ale. Malty and hoppy. Brown sugar gives the beer somewhat of a Belgian Ale flavor. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is a little crisp. Aftertaste slightly harsh. Some bottle aging would help this beer a lot. Still a nice taste and a very interesting idea.

Photo of WKyle
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of HOPPYKC
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle in to a pint glass. No bottled on or bb date.

The look of pouring this is great. Orange to a slightly dark copper color. Not a lot of head on this pour. Slightly hard to see through so not completely transparent.

The smell is that of sugar and hops. It smells surprisingly like an IPA which i am very fond of. I i like having the hops character and the malt so balanced but i think the sugar is great. Also a bit of fruit from the zest of lemon.This all goes for the taste as well.

This is a bit thinker than most of the IPA's iv'e had and thats not a bad thing. I definitely have to say that as iv'e had a few drink i begin to taste the alcohol a bit more. I am still surprised by the fact that this is ABV 9.99% and its so easy to drink . Good for Lagunitas.

Photo of riversider76
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber brown with a thin tan head.Decent retention,and nice lacing. This beer looks thick.Aroma is sweet,and bready. Body is thick,with a good amount of carbonation. Taste is of malty brown sugar,and spice.Nice bit of hops,and a good burn in the finish.

Photo of clvand0
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Been looking forward to trying this one. Pours an amber color with a moderate head that has excellent retention and leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. The aroma was of caramel malts, but nothing much more. I expected maybe some brown shugga... The flavor is somewhat caramel-like. Alcohol is apparent and there is a lot of sugar in the taste. Too much sugar. Slightly thin. Not a bad beer, but too sweet and thin.

Photo of seeswo
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I honestly don't know how to classify this beer, as American strong ale is starting to just mean beer to me. So my classification would be a junior version of a pretty fresh American barley wine - and not all that junior. Pours amber with a finger and a half of fast dissipating tan head. Smells of bready sugar sweet hops, however you might interpret that. The taste is pretty good - again, think American barleywine, that is fresh and hoppy, but not. In that sense that some American barley wines are so over hopped that they taste excessive when drank fresh. There is also a nice sweetness behind it. Not perfect, but this beer was <$2, so I'm impressed. The mouthfeel is pretty sweet, but not overly thick. It sits on the tongue with that sweet bitterness, but it doesn't coat it. Pretty drinkable for a 10% American barleywine junior.

Photo of clayrock81
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a one-finger tan head that dies quickly with minor lace sticking to the glass. A very hoppy aroma for a borwn ale with hints of minor fruit and an alright malt base. Smooth and creamy with a great hop bite and malt sweetness. There are plenty of malts in this. I swear I can taste toasted malt, chocolate, toffee, caramel, peppermint, butterscotch, and maybe hints of roasted and/or coffee malts (anything with sugar, and yes, brown sugar). Not thin, not overly thick though, wouldn't necessarily say bready but a little viscous. A good beer that I recommend and look forward to having again.

Photo of mklinger
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter. Nice copper brown color with small white head that left good lacing behind. Somewhat hazy beer.

Aroma was malty and full of caramelized sugar. Rich but somewhat one dimensional. Flavor was more complex -- malty, sweet, some balancing bitterness, slightly floral, earthy hop flavors with some slight hints of the 9.8% abv.

Mouthfeel was thinner than expected for such a big beer. Nice & easy to drink. It would be dangerous to drink a few of these, but they would go down quite easy.

Photo of steinlifter
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a clear caramel color, tannish head with nice spidery lacing that hugged the sides.
smell was brown-sugarish, with ghost hop whiff.
taste was rather sweet and malty, interesting flavor, I can detect the sugar, bit of floral hop, a little spicy as well, alcohol presence. full bodied mouthfeel, with a bit of chewiness, creamy tongue coating.
drinkability is great!...I would'nt recommend having too many of these in one sitting though, it is quite high in abv.

Photo of RedwoodGeorge
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

So is adding brown sugar to your recipe considered cheating?

The beer pours a nice mahogany brown with a thick off-white head... The head dies off in time leaving some clumpy foam at the top of the brew and lots of lacing on the glass.

The nose is entirely malt and alcohol with some fruity esters thrown in to keep things lively. Flavor is like a mega-amber with plenty of sweet grain notes, caramel sugars, apricot and plum fruit notes and a pretty severe alcohol bite. Hopping is pretty bold and balances the mega-malt approach with pine and citrus notes.

Mouthfeel is good - a bit of an oily note but just enough carbonation and bittering to end each sip well. Final note isn't hop bittering but alcohol burn.

Lagunitas' Imperial Red is one of my favorite brews and this is pretty much a "Double Imperial Red" with all the flavors amp'ed up. While it's quite tasty and very drinkable, the high ABV does detract a bit from the beer - first because you get pretty useless pretty damn fast but also because they didn't really tame the alcohol burn very well - it's a bit too obvious in the flavor mix..

Photo of Baileyuk
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Mild brown with a slightly red tint. Head was minimal but lacing was one of the best i have seen.

S - Sweet malts with a definate alocohol note.

T - Again sweet malts, hops were more pronounced than the smell would have suggested, although these were well placed. Alcohol flavor definantly present.

MD Mayve a little zippy from the carbonation (just a fraction). Was a good beer for sure although the sweetness and high alcohol limited my enjoyment a little, and the ability for another a lot.

Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
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 jdoncbus
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
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
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

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Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 4,908 ratings.