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Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,446 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,446
Hads: 5,031
Avg: 3.99
pDev: 11.28%
Wants: 243
Gots: 883 | 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: 1,446 | Hads: 5,031
Photo of CraigP83
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice amber color, transparent with a thin off-white head. Smells of hops. There is another odor I can't quite pin, possibly grapefruit? Tastes like a slightly sweet IPA. I didn't get the brown sugar taste I was expecting until my glass warmed a bit.

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Photo of cnbrown313
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 Release, 12oz bottle poured into a snifter glass

A - Pours a redish copper color with no haze at all. Generous off white head that lingers for a bit.

S - Smells sweet and... well a little bit like brown sugar. Biscuty smell as well

T - The taste up front is sweet and smooth. You can definitely taste the brown sugar and almost a little bit of a graham cracker taste. The 9.9% ABV is almost completely hidden. It warms you a little as you sip it, but it never tastes boozy at all.

M - I would have liked a little thicker mouth feel, as this one was medium bodied and a little thin. But, all in all it has a nice mouth feel.

O - This is how big fall beers should be done! I'm not a huge Lagunitas fan, but I look forward to this release every year.

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Photo of grdahl
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle,

A- Nice white head, pleasant brown orange color

S- sweet brown sugar and camel, very malty with very little hop aroma

T- The emphasis is on malt, pleasantly sweet with lots of camel and molasses present. The sweetness is not overly done however.

M- chewy but not thick

D- Very drinkable for a beer of it's strength.

Overall- Loved it!! Lagunitas brews are an incredible value and represent all that is great about the American Craft Beer industry. Well done!!!

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 12-29-2009

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Photo of samie85
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Pours a very clear, dark copper with two thick fingers of off white head.

S-Smells of sweet pineapple and some light malt notes with some caramel.

T-Big notes of pineapple with some dark fruit and a touch of bitterness and alcohol on the finish.

M-Pretty rich and full bodied for a hoppy beer. Smooth and slick in the mouth with low to medium carbonation.

D-For the ABV on this one, it's incredibly drinkable and and reminds me a lot of DIPA's like The Oracle

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Photo of s_wit
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - clear orange/amber color nice light colored head with a lot of carbonation. Pretty good lacing.

S - light citrus with a crisp smell that comes later. Good smell, not extremely strong.

T - very strong taste, full of citrusy hops of front and finishes sweet but not as sweet as I thought. Nice and complex with lots of favors going on. This is the best thing about this beer. Some booziness or I would have rated it even higher here.

M - boozy, sticky, good carbonation, decent thickness but not great

O - I'm glad I tried this one as it was a really good beer. It was much better than I expected. Will probably have a couple more and cellar a couple.

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Photo of untitledeuphoria
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%

Fall 2013 batch, drank 9.01.14, poured from a 12oz bottle into a 12oz Stange.

It had been a few years since I last had this beer, and upon coming across it at Good Beer NYC I immediately snatched up whatever I could. Here we go...

A: Pours a clear, glowing red caramel (reminiscent of barleywine coloring), two fingers of light khaki head, excellent head retention, sticky lacing, eventually fades to a moderate cap.

S: Molasses, bitter dark fruits, toasted malt, touch of hop oil, and with all of that sugar I just can't help but smelling some maple syrup too.

T: I swear this beer is a second cousin to a barleywine somewhere... upon first sip I get tastebud deja vu to past nights of drinking big barleys along the Atlantic coast. Anyways... Molasses with a hint of vanilla, caramel, bitter fruit, and fall spicing, most notably clove. Phenomenal taste profile, better than I ever remember it.

M: Smooth, alcohol is completely obscured, light carbonation, thick... leaves a coating well after swallowing, taste lingers well afterwards without any flavor deviation.

O: Absolutely terrific. Big Flavor, super smooth, great mouthfeel, huge ABV. I hate myself for not picking up more than I did.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A nice bright copper/burgundy pour. Hints of red and brown along the rim. Good head, dense foam with some clumping and lacing as it went down.
Aroma of malt and caramel. Hints of apricot and sugarcane. Hops and some dry pine are faint, towards the back.
Tastes rich in malt, but not overpowering. Some pumpkin pie spices are available but hard to find. Definite maple/brown sugar influence, but only if you think about it.
Smooth. Doesn't stick, seems kinda light. The alcohol sneaks up on you. I was feeling good.
The aftertaste is a bit much for me. Too sweet for my dry tastes.

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Photo of MBPChead
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Look: A deep, but transparent amber orange with a thick creamy head. Quite lovely in appearance.

Smell: Thick bready, nut and sugary malt characteristics accompanied by mild spicy floral hops with a hint of apple and pineapple in the nose. Fantastic aroma

Taste: Quite rich in taste, the flavors this beer contains are as such; honey, walnuts, almonds wheat, maple sugar or syrup, fresh bread, hints of apple and pineapple, mild and spicy floral and piney hop characteristics, and a bit of brown sugar. The flavor in this beer is extremely well balanced it has a touch of sweetness that is not overbearing, spicy hops that add a nice kick but are not overpowering, and an excellent malt body that blends with all the other aspects of this brew so well. I honestly wish I could give the flavor of this one a 4.75, but in the interest of my taste buds, it gets a 4.5.

Feel: Thick, viscus, and slightly tingly. Very nice overall

Drinkability: Quite good overall, the thickness and and alcohol are a bit of a deterrent from drinking more than 1 or 2. But, the flavor is wonderful.

I'm definitely going to buy at least another 6 pack of this stuff, its WAY too good not to buy more of.

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Photo of marv3mania
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

!2 oz. bottle in a snifter. Pours a clear amber with a moderate off-white head. Aroma is mango, grapefruit, orange, pine, and a bit of sugary sweetness. I don’t think any brewery creates such beautiful smelling beers as Lagunitas. Taste mostly follows the nose, with a slight malty taste at the back of the throat. That aftertaste is about the only thing reminding me that this is a barley wine. As usual, Lagunitas has created a superb brew.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beauty fits the name. Sweet and nasty, how come you taste so good. Being a Stones fan (and it said "how come you taste so good" on the package) I grabbed a six of these and opened one up while I was cooking lunch. It immediately impressed me with its' fullness. It is sweet, but there is so much going on with it that you wouldn't call it too sweet. After two thirds of a glass I figured I better check the label for alcohol content (for safety's sake).

It's a unique taste and very drinkable, and I will buy again. Yes, it is sure to kick your butt if you drink more than a couple (which I probably will).

It totally fits the song! You shoulda heard him just around midnight!

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Photo of stimulus
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter (from a 6 pack).

A: Pours a clear amber with a light tan head.
S: VERY sweet and malty.
T: Big brown sugar flavors with some toffee notes on the finish, yet no trace of alcohol and not cloying at all.
M: Smooth, well carbonated, and medium bodied, but a bit sticky on the finish.
D: Easy to drink and quite affordable (10.99/6 pack). Lagunitas, you've done it again! However, if you aren't a fan of sweet beers or barleywines, you may want to avoid this.

Note: this review is from notes from 11/29/10.

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Photo of DoctorDog
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

A- Deep ruby / amber, and quite clear. Pours with >1 finger of tan head, which fades fairly quickly to a thin island of bubbles.

S- Piney/citrusy hops are quite prominent upon pouring, and then fade out as the head dies...allowing the sugary sweet (brown sugar?) and caramel malty notes take over. Hints of dark fruit.

T- Unsurprisingly, this brew is quite sweet. A blend of fruity, caramel, sugar sweetness, countered by a sturdy citrusy bitterness,

M- Moderate to slightly low carbonation with a medium-full feel. Slightly syrupy.

D- Very good. An all around interesting and enjoyable brew that is an incredibly easy drinker for it's 9.99% ABV.

Future outlook: More please. Need to designate a few of these for cellaring as well...

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Photo of mcflypie
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Rich copper in hue. Not much lacing.

S: Hop, sweetness, slight lime.

T: Big hoppy taste in general with a little sweetness in the beginning as well. Malt and brown sugar in the background.

M: A robustly hoppy feeling that lingers like a strong ale should.

O: A classic. More hoppy then brown, this strong ale delivers a wallop and will keep you warm on a cold eve.

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Photo of ggroller
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received from Callenak in HBIF3

A great looking beer in the glass. Murky brown beer with a rich and creamy tan head. Plenty of lacing although the head does dissipate to almost nothing as I drink.

Smells and tastes like brown sugar. No, really. It does. Notes of sherry, vanilla, and bourbon as it warms.

Rich mouthfeel. Smooth and creamy and a bit chewy.

A fairly drinkable beer although it does get a bit hot as it warms.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into tall ale glass.

A: great head; dark copper color; moderate carbonation beads; ok lacing at the end
S: piney, hoppy, buoyant
T: Wow. Outstanding flavor. Brown sugar flavor is strong, but the hops are an equalizing force; thus, it turns out to be both very bitter and sweet, quite complex; the sweetness would make it ideal as a dessert beer.
M: silky, smooth

A very high quality, fine beer.

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Photo of beerman207
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

a: pours a nice orange color with a nice lace and head retention. Beer is very inviting

S: pine hops, malt, pungent but in a good way

T: wow This is a Delicious beer. Taste is bitter but sweet; hops come through and linger for a while with a nice balance of malt

M: best mouthfeel in a strong ale I've had. It is very refreshing and does not dry the palate

O: very pleased with this offering. Looking forward to having more.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.41/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Prohibition Pig in Waterbury, VT.

Pours a hazy nearly opaque amber from the tap, one inch head, not much lacing.

The aromas include brown sugar (oh really?), caramel, toffee, grapefruit, and pineapple.

The flavors are pretty similar. Malty front end, with strong rick brown sugar and caramel flavors, just thick, silky and wonderful, backed up by a strong hop kick lending grapefruit, pine, and pineapple to the mix. Excellent mix of flavors. Very sweet, but the hops dry the beer out nicely.

Full body, creamy mouthfeel, starts sweet, finishes dry.

Lagunitas strikes again. A warming strong ale with great brown sugar sweetness and some nice hop character.

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Photo of albern
4.41/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the easiest 9.9% ABV beer you will find. It pours a thick, syrupy, relatively clear ruby amber color with a slight off white head. Not much lacing or retention. The nose on the beer is very sweet brown sugars, sweet malts, a liqueur like cherry flavor, and estery and oily hops. The nose is quite amazing.

This is a thick, full bodied beer, very sweet, very sticky, but loaded with very nice oily and estery hops that are delightful. There is a very thick, sweet, caramelized maltiness, there is a warming booziness, but liqueur like sweet. The joy in this beer is that the piney and estery hop balances so well against the sweet, but slightly boozy caramel and candied malts. The two complement each other so well that this is not a harsh hop biting beer nor is it a over the top ABV beer with a throaty burn. The beer is a sipper, but this is well worth seeking out.

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Photo of nickapalooza86
4.41/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a amberish copper with a finger of off white head, a lot clearer then last years offering.

Smell is, well it smells like a DIPA, Date is 297 3 which is crazy fresh, about 10 days old... Pine, Citrus, tropical notes, kind of a green earthy hop finish.

Taste is just super good and unique, citrusy and piney hops, huge bready malt backing, toffee, caramel, a lot of sweetness from the brown sugar, a little bit of alcohol on the finish.

Mouthfeel is full and syrupy, light carbonation, wetish finish. Works nice.

A great beer, Lagunitas is one of those breweries that I can buy anything from and know I am going to at the very least like it.... Not many breweries out there I can say that about, I like this one fresh, it is also great aged. At its price you are almost required to pick up a 6 if not more!

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Photo of MadScientist
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A medium copper with excellent clarity. A persistent, light-tan head made of small, creamy bubbles. Leaves some lacing on the galss.

S: A strong hops aroma with lot citrus, pineapple, some pine and a some tropical fruit. Blindfolded, think I was about to get into a very nice Double IPA. There is a light malt sweetness and a moderately-strong, flowery alcohol aroma.

T: Tastes like hops candy with an aggressive hops bitterness countered by a moderate malt sweetness and a strong citrus hops flavor. The hops have the same citrus, pineapple and resinous pine flavor noted in the aroma. The malt has a little caramel flavor. All of this is blended with a moderate alcohol that is somewhat sweet. The balance is bitter with a big malt support. The finish is somewhat dry and the aftertaste is of lingering bitterness.

M: Medium-full bodied with a moderately-strong level of carbonation.

O: Lagunitas has always been a true and constant friend of the hophead and this is a good example of their generosity. An assertively bitter American Barelywine with a huge hops bill in the nose, flavor and bittering. bit more sweetness than the average American Imperial IPA.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep brownish amber red with a moderate amount of bubbles. Solid three finger off white head with decent retention. Leaves a lot of lacing sticking to the glass.

Smell: A hop forward aroma with a big sweet malt presence. Upfront are some ripe citrus hops with hints of grapefruit, orange, mango, tangerine, and lemon. Earthy hops with a little pine resin. Big malt presence with hints of sweet caramel, toffee, biscuit, and toast. Brown sugar adds some sweetness. A scent of alcohol is also pretty noticeable. A very juicy aroma.

Taste: Like the scent gives off, a strong taste that starts out hop forward and ends in malty sweetness. Big burst of bitter citrus up front with notes of grapefruit, mango, orange, tangerine, and lemon. Some earthy hops and resin in the mix. Midway the hops give way to a big bready taste. Toasted malts with notes of caramel, toffee, and biscuit. The brown sugar is tasted towards the finish. A very good full flavor.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Juicy, chewy, and slightly syrupy. A little of the alcohol heat is felt.

Overall: A very good Strong Ale. Strong flavors but balanced between the hops and malts. The sugar adds a nice kick and doesn't go overboard with the sweetness.

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Photo of jacobseyb
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a tumbler. Pours a reddish-brown-copper with little head that dissipates quickly to crown the beer. Definite sweet aromas of malts and sugar with some hoppy citrus (grapefruit) aromas as well. Taste is very sweet and the citrus flavors along with pine dominate the flavors. Feels rather light really compared to my expectation and the carbonation is rather light as well. A good drinking beer that could be pretty sessionable if not for the alcohol content.

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Photo of Gusler
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The pour an obscure amber color, the head is exorbitant in size, the consistency frothy with enormous sticky sheets of lace clinging to the glass. Also must say, the sediment is suspended much as the definition of obscure states. Nose is malt, floral, hints of fusel alcohol, caramel, a “Top Notch Sniffer” for the old proboscis. Front is malt and thickly sweet, the top full-bodied, the finish is medial on the carbonation, medicinal in its hop spicy bite, dry, alcohol bitter aftertaste “OOOHAAAAA”, how I love these “Bad Boys”.

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Photo of ISmith87
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - 4.5 - Perfect copper color. Clear as day. Off white head that leaves great lacing on my BJ's brewhouse glass.
S - 4.25 - Caramel malt, brown sugar, citrusy hops, orange
T - 4.5 - God damn, nice citusy hop taste (orange, citrus zest, bitterness) perfectly balanced by a sweet caramel malt background. You can taste brown sugar in the best possible way. It's good, really good.
M - 4.25 - Bitter, but sweet at the same time. Very well balanced. Light-medium feel. Alc covered. Aftertaste is a nice pleasant hop bitterness.
O - 4.5 - Probably the best american strong ale I've had. I'm definitely going to need a 6 pack of this. So good.

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Photo of oelergud
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stubby 12oz brown glass bottle with a twist-off cap. Large red letters on the label.
Translucent copper mahogany body with low carbonation. Creamy tan head with small bubbles.
Scent of caramel, grassy hops, flower, hay and of course, brown sugar.
Rough hops swirling in caramel and brown sugar with nutskin and vegetable, well balanced. The aftertaste is a hoppy long lived malty rush, quite strong and very tasty.
Medium-full body, some coating and a rough feel.
Highly drinkable, delicious and warming.


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Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,446 ratings.