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 stumac
3.29/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a reddish copper color with a nice off white head with decent lacing. the nose is shugga, sweet malts, caramel, molasses. the taste is sweet malts up front followed directly with bitter hops, shugga, caramel, subtle dark fruits like dark cherries, subtle red apple. Light to medium bodied, medium to low carbo. American Barleywine? I think so...

Photo of Shumista
3.6/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle into my beer mug.

A- Brown Shugga pours a translucent copper color with a small off white head. A thick looking beer with lots of lacing left on the sides of the glass after each sip.
S- Sweet caramel, molasses and ,surprise, brown sugar. Some hops and alcohol as well.
T- One of the sweetest strong ale/barleywines I have had. I guess I should have expected that from the name, but the sweetness still surprised me. Most of the sweetness comes from a caramel/brown sugar taste. The bitterness is pretty high as well but plays second fiddle to the sweetness.
M- Thick, moderate carbonation. The warmth you would expect from such a high alcohol beer.
D- I think I'll switch to a different beer for the rest of the night. I don't ever see myself drinking more than one or two of these.

Photo of itcomesnpints
3.28/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a translucent copper with a medium-sized head of clean white foam. Retention isn't spectacular.

Smell of sweet caramel malt, raisins and alcohol can be detected. You really have to strain your nostrils to find it though.

Sweet malt, then bitterness, then more bitterness, then some alcohol. Nothing complex here.

Mouthfeel is fine. Hides the high abv well.

I had one of these and that was enough. For such a big beer you would like to find comparatively large flavors. Personally they just weren't there for me. It's not likely that I'll come back to this one.

Photo of xpimptastikx
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a coca cola stream with off white head. Smell is pretty strong of hops, with lots of malt, and a sugar sweetness. There is a tinge of alcohol in the smell. Taste is well balanced between hops and malt, with a good aftertaste. Carbonation is high and is highly drinkable for 9.9%abv. I drank the first warm semi warm and it's still delicious.

Photo of magictrokini
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sweetest ASA in town. Pours clear mahogany with a minimal tan head. Aroma is all brown sugar with some hops. The taste is different from anything I've ever had. Very malty up front, with some hops that moves quickly into the brown sugar finish. Alcohol is completely hidden in the taste. Based upon the taste, you would think this a sweet stout over a barleywine any day.

Photo of MPLS
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My third Lagunitas brew, decided to buy a 6 pack and give er a shot in this cold December.

A: Hazy orange-brown, carbonation evident, small 1/4 foam.

S: Smells sweet, hint of alcohol and really trying to imagine brown sugar and molasses.

T: I liked pulling out the sweetness, the sugar, but didn't appreciate the alcohol

M: Medium bodied, pleasant, gladly stain my teeth.

D: Drinkable when served cold in cold weather, wouldn't be pleasant warm.

Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at Thinking Man's in Atlanta.

Pours a clear dark amber color with a one-finger off-white head that quickly fades into a wispy layer of bubbles on top and a thin ring around the glass. Decent lacing.

Smells much hoppier than I'd anticipated. Lots of citrus aromas joined by a mild spicy sweetness.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Again, I wasn't expecting a whole lot of hops here but that's what I got. Large hits of grapefruit joined by sweet caramel malts and a small spice kick at the end. The flavor profile took some getting used to, but I liked it more near the end of the beer than I did in the beginning. I would never have guessed this was almost 10% ABV.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a good wet feel with good thickness and carbonation.

Drinkability is good. It's an interesting mash-up of styles that's easy to drink once you get used to it.

Overall this is a very interesting beer that's certainly worth a shot.

Photo of TrevorGW
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a six pack of this the other night. I didn't even realize it was a Holiday beer until I read the ridiculous prose on the bottom of the six pack case. A bit verbose, Lagunitas! But I forgive ye, for ye maketh delicious hoppy beers.

Pours a transparent crimson amber color with a one and a half finger head that is respectably retained. Lacing is sparse.

Smells of bright and fresh Willamette hops with a sharp maple coming through shortly after.

Interesting and entertaining taste. It first hits you with a hop explosion which quickly fades into a splash of bready sweetness (cranberry muffin comes to mind). Yum yum.

Full-bodied all the way, without being syrupy or chewy.

Dangerous at nearly 10% ABV. I drank this down pretty quickly and felt the buzz.

You have got to try this beer. I was happy to find it in a sixer for only $10.

Photo of drpimento
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ah truly gets a sweet release with this here fine, fine product. Yessir. Ah surely does. Poured only a small sample so didn't get much of a head. But, what's there lasts. No lace. Lovely deep red tinged amber color. Dark ripe fruit, malts, caramels, brandies in flavors. Booze in the mouth with good carbonation. Very good mouth. Quite rich. Maybe a bit heavy for a session beer. Nice finish.

Photo of waldoiverson
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into imperial pint

A: fluffy offwhite head of about 2 fingers with an agressive pour, body is burnt orange and quite handsome

S: Sour citrus with some crystallized sweetness, almost like a very dry cider.

T: Sweetness of grapefruit and then it rounds out to a sour tang

M: smooth, not bitter and minimal carbonation

D: the ABV is sneaky on this so by flavor i could have many but by tolerance one or two max

Photo of hoplover82
3.4/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Hmmm... This "American Strong Ale" pours a clear dark red color with no head at all. There is no retention at all. Thin and delicate lacing.

The aroma is of dark fruits. Brown shugga comes through. No hops. Some alcohol.

The flavor is a lot more alcohol with dark fruits. Even some bright friuts like peaches. Grapes are there. It reminds me of some raisin cookies or something. ALcohol comes through even more as it warms.

The mouthfeel is full bodied with a little dryness in the end.

Can't have more than one maybe two of this one.

Photo of jasonjlewis
3.18/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a nice 1 finger head with excellent retention and a clear brown color.

Smell is of some fruity phenols with some fusel alcohols. There seems to be some crystal malt, brown malt, biscuit malt, and chocolate malt underneath. However, this is a stretch of a guess as the alcohol is a bit dominant. That's what will be yielded with that much brown sugar though. There is also a big whiff of hops.

The beer is a little too dry from the amount of sugar. There is some crystal malt sweetness and perhaps some brown malt and what not. However, the amount of sugar dries this beer out and takes away the body and flavor of the other malts. There is a bit of hop bitterness and flavoring to balance everything out.

The mouthfeel suffers because of the abundance of sugar to get the ABV up.

This isn't way too strong for 9.9% abv beer. But it is a little astringent. Cut back on the sugar and boost the malts up a little, and I'll like it more.

As the beer warms it becomes more astringent and boozy.

A friend and I split a sixer. I'm not mad that I have two more, it's a strong beer for a cheap price it will knock me on my ass.

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.69/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wiseman Jorge brought home a sixer and decided to share. Damn, 9.5%!

Appearance: A ruby red body when held to the light. Thin khaki cap drags decent lacing. Very gentle carbonation within.

Smell: Cherry pie feeling, brown sugar (duh), and maybe some maple syrup. Getting some barley too (weird). Smell is all sweet - not getting much of anything else out of it.

Taste: Well, I must say that they've masked the alcohol pretty well. A lot of sugar in this one, but not so much as to make it unpleasant. Tons of brown sugar, molasses, red berries, some oak and a touch of bourbon.

Mouthfeel: Syrupy and heavy with tons of mouth-numbing and warming effects. Medium carbonation tickles me mouth.

Drinkability: A little too sweet and too alcoholic to drink very many. Alcohol actually starts to burn after a while. Still, this is kind of expected from a strong ale. Worth a try, but don't go searching for it.

Photo of cindiwindi1025
3.31/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Burnt orange color, no head or lacing

S: Nothing on the nose

T: Tastes like a mixture of bitter, burnt molasses and pine needles with astringent. Not diggin this taste at all.

M: Hot on the mouth due to the ABV, not much in the way of carbonation.

D: Not very. The taste in my mouth is bad from this, though the buzz is damn good. I won't ever get this again.

Photo of benclimbs
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had to drink from the bottle since i enjoyed it outside during an evening bouldering session couple hours ago...so I can't say much about the nose. I thought there were some really interesting heavy malt characteristics, and some trippy yeast flavors especially at the finish. Wasn't boozy tasting at all, and I enjoyed the moderate hopping, added a little bitterness but not much. It is definitely unique and a pretty solid beer. I thought it compared with Double Dog, though much less intense, less hoppy and far easier to drink...so maybe i'm on crack and it doesn't compare at all, its a solid brew though.

Photo of drxandy
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz to ale glass, pours a coppery orange shade with a creamy off white head eventually fading

smells of sweet biscuity, super grapefruit hop bomb creaminess, yum

taste is creamy and sweet, syrupy, great hop presence leaning on the grapefruit kind, molasses, biscuit, caramel, toffee, bitterness wrestles with the sweetness and balances out but bitterness prevails in the end

mouthfeel is of lingering hop astringent dryness, sweet and sassy, heavy weight, alcohol is masked professionally, an amazing beer overall!
delicious!

Photo of RunDWP
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a golden brown into a tulip with a light orange, fluffy head. Plenty of sheeting on the glass as I sipped. Sweet, molasses aroma. Flavor is dominated by brown sugar (surprise!) and malt, with a tea-like bitternsess at the finish. Thick and rich mouthfeel. It's rather sweet, not that complex, or balanced, but somehow it's a bit addictive, and I couldn't smell or taste the alcohol. Enjoyable, change of pace brew.

Photo of corby112
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving type: on-tap at Mad 4 Mex in Philadelphia, PA.

Pours a dark copper/ brown color with a thin off white head. Aroma is brown sugar, cinamon, hazelnut and hops. Flavor is similar to aroma with a nice balance of brown sugar, cinamon and a strong hop presence. Finishes sweet and bitter.

Photo of Buebie
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz brown twist off bottle. Poured into an oversized snifter. Transparent reddish copper with a nice off white 2 finger head. Leaving assorted bubbles of retention. Drapes of thin lace.

Grapefruity hops at the nose with a wonderful sweet malty aroma. Touch of vanilla, orange peel, and piney hops.

Thick and creamy with a mild dose of carbonation. Sweet up front with modest amounts of grapefruity hops. Citric orange peelish flavors, burnt caramel and toffee pizza crust like doughy flavors.
Fish is sweet and smooth with a great big hop linger. Some warming at the swallow, but not enough to say, hey this is a 10% abv beer.

Delicious!

Photo of gearbike
3.4/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hazy brown pour from tap. Duh. I get the name after drinking this one. Strong sugar taste as in tasting the brown sugar when baking. Has a smooth malty background. A medium to thick body and the high alcohol make this a nice warmer. Even though the flavors are complex the overall result seems a bit flat. So not really exterordanry and at the same time it would not work as a session beer do to the high sugar and alcohol.

Photo of bbothen
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into standard pint glass. Episode of 1981 Memphis Championship Wrestling playing in background. ~!

Pours a hazy caramel like color with a thick & fluffy 2 finger deep off white head.

Smells of sweet burnt sugar, huge sugar, fruity, boozy, maltiness.

Sweet malt overload, toasted malts & sweet caramel malt, slightly fruity, vanilla, sweet sugar.

Thick, chewy, moderate carbonation, slick, smooth, warming.

The sweetness & ABV makes this a 2 bottle max for me. Mostly from the sweetness.

An interesting brew right here. I remember enjoying it more before I reviewed it. Something to learn there? Will gladly have again.

Photo of optiontwo
3.51/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 Oz. poured into generic pint glass

Appearance: Ruby Red/Brown color, decent carbonation and lacing, one inch head.

Smell: Smells like a nut brown to me but I know it's not. Sweet caramel and nuts in the aroma.

Taste: That's more like it. The description of this beer is right on. A good American strong ale with the sweetness of cane sugar. Sweet brown sugar flavor upfront with slight alcohol heat towards the end and finally a nice crisp hop bite. I feel as if the sweetness would be a bit cloying if it weren't for the amount of hops used. Ultimately the taste is quite nice.

Mouthfeel: Thicker than most strong ales I've tried but that's not a bad thing. Carbonation feels right.

Drinkability: Taste is sweet and crisp, mouthfeel is thick so these kind of contradict each other when it comes to drinkability, but with it being 9.5% I'd have to say that it's not very high.

Overall: Another great brew from Lagunitas that I'll definitely be picking up again.

Photo of Morbo
3/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours copper with about an inch of fluffy almost-white head. The head lingers for a while and leaves plenty of lacing behind.

I am shocked and delighted by the hop presence in the nose. Lots of sweet pineapple, and an instant mental association is good pot. ...And I know this sounds crazy, but I get some ketchup from it as well.

Well, it is about as sweet as I had expected, considering the name. Thankfully, the hop bitterness almost balances things out. Not too complex, maple syrup and molasses pitted against citric/piney hops.

It is fairly heavy and lacking in carbonation, so it comes off as pretty syrupy. It's not quite on the level of Super Troopers maple syrup chugging, but I am definitely not running to the fridge to grab another bottle.

Booze isn't present in the flavor, but you definitely get a nice warming sensation from this one. An interesting beer, even if it isn't very complex, but it is too sweet and syrupy to be anywhere near sessionable.

Photo of largadeer
2.79/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Clear amber-red in my tulip, nicely colored with an off-white head that dissipates quickly.

Smell: Rich, sweet and fruity. I suppose there's a trace of brown sugar, but this is more fruity and boozy than anything. Faint sourness as well, along with a bit of leafy hops.

Taste & mouthfeel: As the aroma implies, this borders on being cloyingly sweet. Heavy on the palate but somewhat muddled, the faint fruity sourness doesn't gel right with the spicy sweetness and leafy hop bite. Somewhat thin in body despite the sweetness, with a surprisingly bitter finish. Can't say that I'm a fan of this one.

Photo of mjryan
3.52/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Deep amber coloured, with a simple white head. Good retention and some lace. Aroma is very sweet and fruity. Flavour is very sweet, with a large hop presence. Bitterness tries to balance the sweetness, but loses in the end. Has a very full body with a moderate carbonation level. This is an intensely sweet beer, which is no supprise considering its called brown sugga and says something about sweet release on the label. The large hop presence was unexpected and really this beers saving grace for me. The hops, although muted by the huge amount of residual sugar in this beer, added another layer, that kept things from getting boring or nausiating. One is good in a night. Would make a great dessert beer.

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