Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

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

4,992 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,992
Reviews: 1,512
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 227
Gots: 845 | 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: 4,992 | Reviews: 1,512
Photo of BeerBelcher
3/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I thought this was a brassy big brown ale. I enjoyed the fact that it really wasn’t boring like many brown ales can be, but its very evident alcohol content (9.9% and it shows) and lots of graininess give me some reservations regarding giving it a superior rating.

After pouring, the beer had a moderate amount of head. The body was tan, clear and brilliant. Aroma was grainy, with some cereal-ness, but also with a serious amount of hoppiness. Flavor was bitter and hoppy, with a lot of copper metallic-ness and also with a significant amount of malted-milk-ball cereal flavor. The alcohol presence in this beer is substantial, and definitely not concealed by any of this beers other attributes. Mouthfeel was pretty harsh…between the alcohol presence and cereal-ness.

Still, despite all this, this beer is interesting, and I’d recommend it.
I got this 12 oz bottle from 3 Cellars in Franklin, WI.

Photo of trelihan462
3.01/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours a clear, dark-brownish red with a thin, off-white head. Decent amount of lacing sticks around.

Smell - Very hoppy and spicy, but a little sweetness to it as well.

Taste - Super hoppy, but has a really sweet aftertaste. Interesting combo.

Mouthfeel - Pretty spicy right away, burns on the way down.

Drinkability - Overall, it's not a -bad- beer, but I can't say I'm a fan of it. It's a little over-hopped and I don't think brown sugar works very well in an I.P.A., I was expecting a stout or a brown ale for this one.

Photo of Onenote81
3.01/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep copper color with a very small off-white head on top. This disappears to a ring around the edge which surprisingly leaves decent sip rings sticking to the glass. Smells of strong pineapple, lemon, pineapple, and pineapple. Extreme citrus going on here.

Mouthfeel is crisp, but a tad spritzy. Flavor is of sweet molasses, brown sugar, tart apples, and finishes bitter. A dull bitter this one is. Reminds me of a barleywine for sure. Drinkability is low, because this is just too sweet and too weird. This is a strange strong ale. Glad I tried it, but I won't be back anytime soon.

Photo of lurpy1
3.03/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bought sixer of this. You really can't beat Lagunitas on price. I really enjoyed the first one, but 3 bottles later I've pretty much lost my taste for this beer. It's the sugar, by the end of the bottle it's just a bit much. And sugar in food covers up a lot of things, in this situation it seems to be covering up the exact same hop profile Lagunitas uses in so many other beers.

I wouldn't discourage others from trying it. I just don't find it to be particularly artful and I've worn out on it.

Photo of nelson4
3.03/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A- Very deep color, reddish brown. Head disappeared slowly with significant lacing.
S- Not a real impressive smell, caramel with a hint of sweetness
T- Hoppy with a caramel and malty sweetness, slightly bitter after
M- Slightly carbonated with relatively smooth mouthfeel
D- Warm 9.9 only allows for small sips to enjoy

Overall, I was not very impressed with the balance of the hops to the sweetness. Good mouthfeel and appearance still make this beer worth while.

Photo of Knapp85
3.03/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This one pours out as an amberish colored brew with a white head on it. The head settles but leaves a nice lacing. The smell of the beer is semi sweet, not as sweet as I expected it to be from the name. There was a little bit of a roasted smell in there and some hops as well. The taste wasn't overly sweet, I guess I took the name of the beer too literally... The flavors were decent in my opinion. After finishing it off I found myself saying that it wasn't the best beer out there but I suppose it'd be worth another try.

Photo of CaptainIPA
3.04/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy bronze color with a prodigious head and notable lacing. Fine appearance.

Aromas of burnt toffee, scorched caramel and toasted brown sugar, followed by residual odors of sour fruit, overripe melon and rotten veggies. Not all that pleasant.

Chewy and rather syrupy mouthfeel. Opens with sweet (and I mean, SWEET) waves of brown cane sugar before moving into assertions of burnt toffee and toasted caramel. Hints of malted barley surface and are quickly blasted away by suggestions of spun-sugar cotton candy. As Brown Shugga' warms, the heat of alcohol becomes perceptible.

Too cloyingly sweet for my tastes; overwhelmingly so to the exclusion of any other background flavors. If you lived on Capn' Crunch as a kid, give this one a try.

Photo of Keystone
3.05/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I don't know if I am drinking the same beer as some people? I was not sold on this one. Good feel to the beer and nice light carbonation as others have pointed out. However that was about it for me. Didn't smell good, too sweet on the front and the after taste is as if someone poured cheap vodka in my beer.

Photo of jbertsch
3.05/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A solid amber in appearance. Reddish hues. Head is very minor...almost a film from the get go. Decent lacing

Aroma is of faint funky malt up front. Caramel is defintely there. Earthy sugar-in-the-raw type sweetness is there, too. But not as strongly as I expected. The hops, while moderately notceable at first, definitely takeover as this warms. Hops are also present and balance the aroma nicely.

Taste - Sweetness up front transfers to very noticeable caramel malts in the middle. The malt holds ground for a few seconds before the alcohol shows up and makes some noticeable elbow room on the finish, reminding you this is a 9.9% abv offering. slight medicinal notes on the finish. Almost reminds me of a barleywine.

Mouthfeel is carbonated at first, but it thins out quickly. Fairly appropriate for something with this ABV.

Drinkability is ok. The sweetness fades too much when this warms and the hops become king of the mountain. Tough to plow through it, not that your supposed to. But I don't yearn for each sip quickly.

Photo of ssuraci
3.06/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Just a touch of mediciney aftertaste deters from an otherwise pretty nice beer.

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.06/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle. Pours a deep clear amber with hardly any head. Aroma of sweet malt, crystal malt, light fruits (grapes?). Flavor is mostly sweet and syrupy, some lemon, and bitter hops in the finish (although I wouldn't say that this was a hoppy beer...). Heavy and slightly harsh palate. Certainly drinkable, but I wasn't really a fan.
6/4/6/3/14 (3.3/5)

Photo of Traquairlover
3.11/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12-oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A = Very clear, coppery amber liquid with small quarter inch yellowish off white head comprised of small bubbles that settles fairly quickly into light foam covering on surface and a thicker solid ring of bubbles around edge of glass.

S = Fairly strong up front smells of hops with some citrus peel and some light pine, there is an almost acrid quality to it which I do not find particularly pleasing, I had hoped for some more brown sugar, maple syrup type scents, but they just don't seem to be there.

T = Slight metallic quality to it with some citrus rind, uncooked whole wheat bread dough, perhaps a small amount of cinnamon crackers, but still the almost battery acid like metallic bitter taste that hits up front and then comes back in the finish just detracts from the flavors in the middle. Not that impressed.

M = Medium to medium-light body, surprisingly thin for the OG, still, it does have good mouthcoating and the carbonation level seems just about right, not quite as soft as I tend to like, but not a high stinging level either.

D = I don't know about this one, I do not find either the taste or the smell overly enticing and the ABV while not too strong is present. I really didn't particularly want to finish the whole glass and don't really want another. That said, it is not really hard to drink either, just not my cup of tea.

Photo of supercolter
3.11/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This to me was only slightly better than the Hairy Eyeball Ale. In fact I would say these to beers are nearly identical except for two things. The Brown Shugga has higher alcohol content but it is hidden better with the flavor and so it is not as offputting. Also, there seems to be a bit more molasses or brown sugar used and a bit less dried fruit which makes it slightly more balanced.

Photo of champ103
3.11/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear dark ruby/brown color. A two finger white head forms, and recedes after a minute. Tons of sticky lace is left behind.
S: Sweet malt, yeast, some spice as well. Plenty of alcohol.
T: Follows the nose with lots of sweet malt. Dark fruits of raisins and plums. A big, kind of Belgian yeast flavor as well. Lots of alcohol.
M/D: A medium to full body. Syrupy and sticky. Lots of alcohol makes this hard to finish.

Not bad, but the alcohol really shows here. Other than that, just some sweetness, and not a lot of depth. Another overly alcoholic beer with no nuance. Not something I would recommend.

Photo of rvescandon
3.11/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Not too bad in my opinion

Photo of williamherbert
3.12/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Deep reddish-orange color with a massive, fluffy head. Very clear. lace ain't gonna be happenin'. Slight haze.

Has a sweet malt -- almost German -- smell, that almost smells like a good ol' fashioned taffy pull. Very sugary sweet with smells of chocolate and toffee. An unreal sweet, sugary malt.

An interesting sweet malt beverage. It's far too sugary and malty sweet for this hophead. Reminds me of Goya Malta with almost a winter ale flavor thrown in. Good for that style. The sweetness could be described as "insane."

As it warms up, thickens up. This is such an odd beer. The brown sugar of the name is almost palpable. It's not a repeat beer. It's way too sweet for me.

Photo of geexploitation
3.13/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a crystal clear ruby-brown with gorgeous, jewel-like highlights. Thick but small head that fades to a dusting and collar. Aromas of pears and yeast, along with a bit of zesty sweetness. On the palate, bitterness and brisk carbonation start things off, followed by thick, sugary sweetness and a touch of bitterness at the back of the tongue. Some chocolatey sweetness at the very end. Not very complex, however -- it's mostly just varying levels and characteristics of sweetness. Mouthfeel is marked by slick malts, alcholic heat, and prickly carbonation, with the alcoholic detracting signficiantly. Overall, this beer is nothing to shout about. It's curious to see what this much brown sugar does to a beer, but it's not necessarily pleasing. It needs more balance and a bit more complexity to be truly compelling.

Photo of Floydster
3.13/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottle purchased from Beverage Warehouse for about two dollars, split with my dad tonight

Poured into a Stone pint glass with a medium brown color and super small white head. maybe an eighth of an inch, left no real lacing

Smell was strong and some cherries and oranges, could tell this one packed a punch from its aroma

Taste was hoppy, I was expecting lots of sugar and malt based on its name and message on the side of the bottle but I was wrong, as dry as an IPA at times because of the hoppiness, some oranges are also in the taste, sweeter when it gets to room temperature, hint of molasses in the aftertaste

Could not drink much of this at all, the five or six ounces I had wasw enough, strong taste and near ten percent alcohol will keep me away

Not the best from Lagunitas but not bad at the same time, wish this one was a little sweeter which is odd because most of their beers are typically, cool idea for brewing this one though but the sugar cane is barely distinguishable, recommended if curious like I was

Photo of MrMonotone69
3.15/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

It was alright. nice strong ale.

Photo of david18
3.15/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A little too sweet for my tastes this is an ok winter sipper but there are numerous beers of the style that I would drink first. It was recently cloned on Jamil's show, which got me interested agian, but it is really too sticky a beer to drink too often.

Photo of Gavage
3.15/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: pours a hazy amber color with a 2" head that falls pretty quickly.

Smell: pumpernickel bread, brown sugar and caramel candy sweetness are easy to detect by the nose well outside the glass, but is only partially pleasant.

Taste: sweetness abounds here. Big brown sugar tones, caramel, ripe plums, and a balancing piney bitterness are the up front flavors. Some alcohol and bread-like tones round it out.

Mouthfeel: smooth from start to finish. Medium bodied beer. Long sweet sugary aftertaste.

Drinkability: this beer got a bit annoying as the bottle emptied. The sweetness just got tiring. A 10 oz glass was enjoyable, but goes downhill during the refill.

Photo of BeerManDan
3.15/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a thick hazy amber color with very little foam and had not lace. The smell was of a citrus nature with a hoppy/malty aroma. The taste was of bitter hops and could not find any trace of brown sugar at all. It was thick and brown, but the bitterness over powered the sweetness. To me, this was not a well balanced or complex beer.

Photo of aforbes10
3.16/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at the Map Room in Chicago. It was their "featured" tap when i visited. Poured with really no head, just a ring of bubbles. looks fairly barley-wine-y, which is what the map room described the beer as being. brown, syrupy look to it. smell is sweet...they served it cold so that's all i got at virst and when it warmed up...still just sweet, maybe some brown sugar specific sweetness coming through. Taste is first just like sugar water and alcohol. Sweet and mildly fruity and very dry on the finish after every sip. Mouthfeel becomes, as a result, very sticky. almost like liquified sugar in vodka. overall, it was ok, but a bit sweet and dry. I might like it if it was aged and the flavor profile become a bit more complex.

Photo of Kgoldsbe
3.17/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Strong piney finish. I am not convinced that the "shugga" and the hops balance one another.

Photo of TruePerception
3.18/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

(Previous review, transferred from beer journal)

Lagunitas' Brown Shugga' Ale: 9.9% ABV; Appearance: medium amber, a finger of fluffy head, good retention and lacing; Smell: lots of pine; Taste/Mouthfeel: pine!, faint sweetness, decent/pretty good, long finish.

Poured into a pint glass.

Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 4,992 ratings.