1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

3,670 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,670
Reviews: 1,297
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 11.44%
Wants: 141
Gots: 235 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 12-13-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Brown Shugga' Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,670 | Reviews: 1,297 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MmmIPA
2.03/5  rDev -49.5%

Brown sap color body with a off white head that dont last long.Some bubbles coming up from the bottem.

Malt and some Shugga.

Booze and some shugga and the bitternes comes through but the malt keeps it subdued.

I dont really know how I feel about the mouthful,I would give more points if the taste wasnt full of booze but its a strong ale.The carbonation is easy going.

I plan on having a few of these and leaving the rest for some other time.I dont thik i have gotten a taste for these types of beers yet.The booze taste really takes away from the enjoyment of drinking this stuff.This is nothing new, just to me it taste alot like ABA. Ill try some more of it later on.

MmmIPA, Jan 01, 2007
Photo of xare
2.05/5  rDev -49%

Appearance was fine - head lasted a bit, brown appearance, nothing really that would distinguish it from another strong ale.

Smell was of alcohol... Nothing else. Maybe some malt.

Taste was of malt and alcohol. No brown sugar whatsoever. What a letdown. I love brown sugar and was hoping that there'd be the taste of brown sugar at least. Instead, I get malt-flavored rubbing alcohol. While a hit on the streets, according to One-Tooth Willie, it isn't a hit in my books.

Mouthfeel had a bit of bitterness from the hops... and a lot of heat. Too much heat. Wasn't crisp and clean.

Hops weren't excessive and in fact, were the only thing that made this brew drinkable. I finished the bottle but after half of it was gone, I was struggling. Glad that I had this at the bar, because there is no way I could've finished a 6 pack of this. Far too hot for my tastes and no brown sugar flavors that I can discern. Mainly, it's just a malty strong ale with nothing that makes it drinkable. Not a drain-pour but it isn't that much better.

xare, Dec 29, 2008
Photo of rayjay
2.05/5  rDev -49%

Clear brown ale with a creamy head. Very hoppy nose, full of high-alpha oils, and sweet carmelly malts. Volitile nose, and very appealing smelling, me being a hop-head and all...

The taste is another story. This beer is a total train wreck. Major alcohol burn, astringent malts, bitter hops. Very out of balance, and none of the flavors work well together. I couldn't give it a full out aweful, but I definately wasn't impressed. Nothing spoiled or oxidized or offensive, but just plain unfocused and pointless.

Lagunitas, I'm with you: this beer is a mistake. Not to be repeated. Other offerings from this brewery are much better. My 2 cent review. Cheers!

rayjay, Feb 14, 2007
Photo of theBubba
2.05/5  rDev -49%

Nice head that lasts, nice amber color, nice lace afterwards.

Smell? Hops! Anyone who says "Smells like oatmeal with butter" is eating some pretty strange oatmeal or maybe good oatmeal on another planet. Beam me up Scotty.

Taste? Hops.

Mouthfeel? Okay if yer brain can filter out the hops.

Overall this beer doesn't do it for me. I've still got that shitty bitter hop taste in my mouth. Gotta go and brush up. I suppose I was mislead by the label. I expected something more of sweet malts and less hops. But of course I should have known better. West coast beers= HOPS. I guess I slipped up.

theBubba, Dec 01, 2013
Photo of Katahdin
2.1/5  rDev -47.8%

Wow something must have blown up here with the recipe. Not sure if they were going for a Barlewyine or an IPA but it definitely has the hoppiness of an IPA and the chewiness of a barleywine. The result ... a gnarly beer that fights with you every sip and refuses to go down easily. A rare misstep for Laguinitas but a misstep indeed.

Katahdin, Feb 02, 2010
Photo of Beaver13
2.17/5  rDev -46%

12 oz bottle. Pours a reddish orange with a thin white head that quickly dissipates to a small collar.

The aroma is sweet brown sugar with pine, fruit and paint thinner-like alcohol.

The flavor is sweet sugary caramel malts initially with a metallic bitter alcoholic finish. Fruit and cola some out as it warms. The mouthfeel is medium and kind of watery.

Overall, I was not too impressed. The flavors did not balance well, rather harsh and raw and too sweet for my tastes. I didn't much enjoy it.

Beaver13, Jan 10, 2006
Photo of Dukeofearl
2.17/5  rDev -46%

Original Review 1/23/05. Bought a six pack at LaBodega in Riverside (price not known) on recommendation of staff.

Pours a clear reddish brown with a small head that quickly goes to nothing. Aroma- duh, brown sugar! Molassas, honey & flowers. Slight date fruit. Flavor rich and full, sweet with a hops bite at the end. But the alcohol presence in this is huge, and it severely overpowers everything else, and ruins what otherwise is fairly nice. I also noted a metallic aftertaste. Because of the alcohol, the drinkability is low. In fact, I bought a sixer of this, and am waiting to give the other 5 away to a friend of mine that might like it better.

UPDATE: 7 months later, I have a few bottles left, and I decided to try another. Did it need to age a bit? Well, it's not as rough as I first noted, but it still has way too strong of an alcohol profile to be something I really like. Sweetness is up there still, but the flavor profile has improved somewhat. Still not something I want to return to.

UPDATE: 1 Year and 1 day from original review. My last bottle from the original six pack; it's aged a year- that should help, right? Still heavy sweetness and alcohol burn. I do not like this, and I don't know why I keep trying. Drain pour. Scores adjusted accordingly.

Dukeofearl, Jan 25, 2006
Photo of surfmeister
2.17/5  rDev -46%

Interesting, and yet, undrinkable.
Pretty deep red/brown color, murkiness undercuts the appearance though, thick head with cascades of brown bubbles with an aggressive pour, caramel, sweet, nutty fragrance, taste was a cloying, sick molasses-like sweetness coupled with an overbearing alcohol punch, all other tastes were basically blotted out, mouthfeel was slimy and alcoholic, this beer ended up in the drain half way through, you shouldn't have to try this hard to like a beer

surfmeister, Nov 06, 2004
Photo of MonicaC
2.25/5  rDev -44%

MonicaC, Dec 25, 2012
Photo of DrBass
2.25/5  rDev -44%

DrBass, Nov 29, 2013
Photo of mcallister
2.33/5  rDev -42%

Brightly clear shade of scarlet/mahagony. Very large off white head is overly thick and fluffy with spectacular retention and lace.

Hard too really tell what's going on in the nose. Dried fruity esters, with hints of toffee, and distracting phenols.

Not really what I was expecting. This beer leaves a metal odd finish in your mouth that really takes away from everything. I was expecting a sweeter beer also and this is very dry. There are some toffee, and fruit flavors that are hard to fit. I'm not sure I'll be trying this beer again.

mcallister, Feb 21, 2007
Photo of KarlHungus
2.38/5  rDev -40.8%

This beer pours a ruby color with a one inch reddish white hear. The aroma is of grapefruit and pine. It is a strong, but rather uninteresting aroma. The taste is similar with a sharp alcohol presence that distracts from the rest of the beer. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Overall, this is a decent beer at best. The only other beers I've had that I can recall having such an in your face alcohol presence were all malt liquors, and to be honest I think I could easily describe this beer as being a hoppy malt liquor.

KarlHungus, Jan 16, 2011
Photo of SWMeyer4141
2.42/5  rDev -39.8%

Appearance-Copper, with an off white head with some alcohol legs. Head was about 1-1/2 fingers

Smell-Booze, I get alot booze and sweetness. Lots of sweet malts and sweet caramels. Mainly get some booze.

Taste-Once again, I'm getting a ton of booze, and i'm not enjoying it. Sweet and sticky. Some fruits coming through, but am just getting punched in the face with an unpleasant booziness.

Mouthfeel-Light to Medium bodied, feels kinda water down with too much carbonation.

Overall-I had one of these Saturday night, and hated it. I drank alot that night and didn't know if it was an accurate assumption. I was fortunate to get a single and it was an enormous dissapointment. I'm not going to let this beer change my view on Lagunitas, still a top 5 brewery, maybe Brown Shugga just needs some age.

SWMeyer4141, May 04, 2011
Photo of elricorico
2.48/5  rDev -38.3%

Poured reddish brown, like sweetened ice tea that had food colouring in it. There was a thin off white(almost a touch yellow) head that faded but left lacing and a ring around the glass.

The smell has some hop bitterness to it, with a sweet molasses smell and a warning liquor odor as well. The smell isn't a real turn on yet, but I'll be keeping my nose in there as the beer warms.

As the beer warms some of the bitter smell fades and more of the sweetness stands out.

The taste is sweet. Too sweet really. There is a faint bitterness to the finish but nothing near enough to balance out the big sticky sugary front. It is far too candy like and becomes overpowering.

On the other hand mouthfeel is good. Has a thickness to it and a light carbonation that makes it comfortable in the mouth.

Drinkability suffers due to the taste. I can't drink this for too long. Though the alcohol doesn't show up much in the flavour, the high percentage also means drinking much of this would be trouble.

I won't be able to finish this big bottle. Doubt I'll even get through the first pint I poured out of it. Not what I'm looking for in a beer.

elricorico, Apr 29, 2005
Photo of MTBruce
2.48/5  rDev -38.3%

MTBruce, Tuesday at 05:12 PM
Photo of Travisnin
2.5/5  rDev -37.8%

Travisnin, Jan 14, 2012
Photo of dasunder
2.5/5  rDev -37.8%

dasunder, Nov 23, 2012
Photo of mwbrady12
2.5/5  rDev -37.8%

mwbrady12, Jul 21, 2013
Photo of OleDixie
2.5/5  rDev -37.8%

OleDixie, Aug 01, 2014
Photo of ChicagoNick
2.5/5  rDev -37.8%

ChicagoNick, Dec 28, 2012
Photo of beersvh23
2.5/5  rDev -37.8%

beersvh23, Nov 30, 2012
Photo of heytomcat
2.5/5  rDev -37.8%

heytomcat, Aug 22, 2013
Photo of Hoshymoto
2.5/5  rDev -37.8%

Hoshymoto, Jan 16, 2013
Photo of jvillefan
2.5/5  rDev -37.8%

jvillefan, Feb 16, 2013
Photo of cheers2beers
2.6/5  rDev -35.3%

Thanks to Boolshot for a great trade.

Served in a wiezen glass:

Appearance: Pours a very clear and clean shade of orangey brown. A steady and unexpected bead is found as well. Minimal head that died down quick.

Smell: Smells of citrus and a strange malty funk. Profuse alcohol is also noted. This overall aroma is just off, I cant explain it.

Taste: The tip of my tongue felt an alcohol sting right off the bat. I then detect that weird malty funk followed immediatly by citrusy then bitter hops. Alcohol blazes a trail from the back of my throat down to my gut. This tastes like a poor homebrew. This one is also getting cloying as it warms. Its just tastes like counterfiet malt sweetness. Please skip the brown sugar and introduce "natural malt."

Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel with a mild carbonation that dies out all too fast. Leaving a flat liquid. The hops do add a descent amount of oily slickness.

Drinkability: Please dont get me wrong, I am a huge fan of big ales but this train wreck is horribly disgusting. Not one of my favorites and I suggest that this beer should be avoided at all cost unless your looking for a buzz free of flavor. I love this brewery but this offering is just way off base.

cheers2beers, May 24, 2006
Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,670 ratings.