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Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,440 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3440
Reviews: 1291
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 11.69%

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
Ratings: 3,440 | Reviews: 1,291 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of reebtaerG


4.11/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a 16oz pint glass at Lures

A-deep amber color with a one finger tan white head

S-aromas of citrus caramel brown sugar toasted grain and orange with hops

T-taste similar to the aroma with the addition of sweet malt

M-medium body with medium carbonation silky to the tongue

O-great strong ale perfect for the winter months to warm you up with the 10 ABV

Serving type: on-tap

12-12-2013 01:00:00 | More by reebtaerG
Photo of dalahodson


4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

In the glass this was a very nice looking brew. A dark amber color with a nice full head the color of dirty straw. The lacing on the glass was very solid. A very strong smell of Carmel and malt hints of pine and herbs. The mouth feel was very creamy and sweet with a nice bitter on the back. The flavors are of carmel pine and dark fruits, the brown sugar is by far the most noticeable of the flavors but very well balanced. Even with an ABV of 9 this is a very easy drinkable brew. Went well with my lamb stew.

Serving type: on-tap

12-08-2013 16:49:07 | More by dalahodson
Photo of PieOhMy


3.74/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A. Dark transparent amber. Thick foamy slow fading khaki head.

S. Sweet toffee and malts. Floral and grassy.

T. Caramel. Brown sugar. Burnt sugar. Heavy malt flavor. Tangy weediness.

M. Medium. A bit sticky. Finishes a little hot.

O. This is a Lagunitas brew for s sure. Big backbone and hoppy. This one gets a little too sweet and not quite enough hop punch for me though.

Serving type: on-tap

11-22-2013 01:42:56 | More by PieOhMy
Photo of GreesyFizeek

New York

4.43/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-29-2013 20:22:59 | More by GreesyFizeek
Photo of TheDinger

South Carolina

4.04/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Growler fill at GBX. Poured into snifter and it's a nice copper/amber pour with a huge 3+ finger pillow head. Smell is unique and a bit unexpected. Getting the hop bomb of citrus and pine mixed with some sweet malts. Not getting much shugga, but it smell quite good. Taste is just as interesting. Part barleywine, part IPA, part SA. Not sure, but it's sweeter that I thought it would be. The hops are actually a great finish and don't overpower it. A quite complex brew that was tough to sit down. Lots of carbonation, perhaps too much as this was quite dry and a bit metalic. Overall- A pretty good effort and a nice blend of sweet malts and american hops. Weird to explain and put into a category, but a must try and one I will hit out of the bottle to see what may be different. Enjoy-

Serving type: growler

02-24-2013 23:04:39 | More by TheDinger
Photo of beergoot


3.71/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On-tap at Trinity Brewing in Colorado Springs...

Honey-colored body with a thick head. Malt aroma mixed with pine and citrus hops. Malt sweetness blended with caramel notes; good hop bitterness throughout. The mouthfeel was medium; dry yet a bit syrupy.

I found this to be a very good beer overall. There was a nice combination of the sweet and bitter throughout my tasting experience, producing nice layers of flavoring with every sip.

Serving type: on-tap

02-17-2013 17:02:18 | More by beergoot
Photo of Bernardkowalski

5/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Absolutely one of my favorite beers!! honestly can go good with anything, but you are better off enjoying this beer by itself. it has so much too offer, such great combination between the yeast and malt's making this an outstanding brew. you can put this on my list of top beers.

Serving type: on-tap

02-16-2013 23:20:21 | More by Bernardkowalski
Photo of mick303

Ontario (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- great frothy lacing and film, clear reddish amber colour.

S- very fresh herbal hops, alcohol, some almond/marizipan fruitiness.

T- strong piney resin hops, lingering malty sweetness, sticky bitter caramel finish.

M- moderate carbonation, big body, quite thick, feels a bit heavy.

A bit hoppy ale, it is pretty well done, maybe not the most sessionable drinkable beer but packs a ton of flavour.

Serving type: on-tap

01-03-2013 19:15:10 | More by mick303
Photo of tryemdad


4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Been lusting for this for a while - since last year's fiasco/ marketing ploy. It almost lived up to the hype....

Great color - bright caramel. Not much in the nose....expected more signature Lagunitas scent up front. Once I taste the first sip though, I can see instantly that the lack of a heavy hop nose is indicative of the GREAT balance exhibited in this brew. Just enough hop bite, mellowed by a perfect malt sweetness.

Each sip left a ring of thick lacing. Like a redwood tree, it's easy to count the "sip-age" of this brew. I'm counting thirteen "rings" and I'm almost to the bottom and ready to order another...

Why-oh-why can't I drink this every month of the year?

Overall, this may not be spectacular, or even the best that Lagunitas has to offer...but, I can't imagine a better pour on any given Thursday.

Serving type: on-tap

12-13-2012 19:26:35 | More by tryemdad
Photo of FanofHefe


4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a New Belgium globe glass at Global Brew in O'Fallon, IL. The body is a solid brown color with a red tint. Slightly more than a one-finger head that has good retention and nice lacing along the glass.

Nice aroma that has strong pine and fruity hop notes with a solid caramel malt base.

Very tasty flavor. The hops flavors dominate up front with nice blend that follows the aroma fairly closely featuring both the tasty bitter pine notes and some light tropical fruity notes. The malt flavors are solid and offer a sweet balance to the hops.

Medium mouthfeel in the texture and very little notice of alcohol for the abv. Very drinkable. An execellent beer and I will be seeking this out in bottles soon.

Serving type: on-tap

12-13-2012 03:56:47 | More by FanofHefe
Photo of williamjbauer

West Virginia

4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap served into a pint glass

Rereveiwed on 11 27 12 bottled, in weizen glass

A - Clear dark amber with 3 finger khaki head with excellent lacing and fantastic head retention, poured 20 min and still had 1 finger head.

S - No surprises malty and brown sugar. Caramel and a little coriander spicy notes as well. Loads of fresh piney hops.

T - Nice sweet flavors with earthy saltiness but heavy wheat and caramel. Very sweet on the front palate, great malt profile, really showcasing the sweetness here. Sharp strong bitter piney hops finish that fades rapidly. Bit of warming booze on the back end but pretty well balanced considering the 10% ABV, though this does become a bit too prominent as the beer warms.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation, crisp

O - Very nice beer, captures the brown sugar sweetness while still maintaining that signature Lagunitas hoppy fresh finish. I really love this beer, a great seasonal and I could drink this anytime, though I like the Sucks a bit more.

Serving type: on-tap

11-28-2012 18:55:10 | More by williamjbauer
Photo of BMMillsy


3.7/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Tried this one at Gainesville HOB. Wasnt sure what to call this one. When served, I was told it was a barleywine. But it ended up to highlight huge bitter hops, grapefruit, and then a bit of caramel. Medium slick on the palate. A lot more focus on the bitter with this one, and curious if it ages into a maltier brew. Good brew, but was hoping for more sweetness with a name like brown shugga.

Serving type: on-tap

11-23-2012 18:19:45 | More by BMMillsy
Photo of TheBrewo


4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This brew was poured from the tap at Rattle N’ Hum in New York, NY. It arrived in a stemless, flared pilsner glass. The beer glowed a dark, reddish honey coloring. It held a one and a half finger head of tight, tan bubbles. This retained nicely, leaving a single sheet of lacing down the glass, and a film across the top of the liquid for the entire tasting. Carbonation appeared light, with no haze or sediment noted. The aroma showed caramel and pale malt sweetness, with a bit of muddy grit. Hops were floral and soapy, adding bitterness. There was an industrial plastic sourness with warmth, along with tart yeast, and souring of apple vinegar. Fusel heat wafted off the top. Our first impression was that there was a nice malty back, with a powerful initial sweetness. The flavoring opened with maple sweetness, citric and soapy hops, orange juice sweetness and acidity, with cutting deep sugary malts, and a light roast. The peak came with Styrofoam plastics, unsweetened iced tea dryness, drying toasty caramel malts to cut, and melted caramel sugar to the finish. The latter blended with an equal sweetness and richness of heavy creamer, to help the malts cut the continuous piney hop bitterness. The aftertaste breathed of surprising bitterness of hops and soap, souring yeast, black pepper and booze, warming winter spice, and light caramel sweetness. The body was full, and the carbonation was medium. There was a nice syrupy coating to the mouth, with a final pucker from lemon in the aftertaste. There was soft slurp, sip, cream, and froth, while the lips and fingers are left sticky. The mouth was ultimately cooled and happy, with warmth rumbling up from the tummy. The abv was appropriate, and the beer drank easily.

Overall, the best thing about this brew was the warming, seasonal feel, with hearty flavoring the whole way through. There was such a nice blend of warming spice, with sweetness of malts and a biting lick of soapy, citric, and piney hop bitterness. This made for a uniform sip throughout. The nose was also certainly stark, and with such fusel booze it can be seen to overwhelm the light of heart with fiery booze. The tea-like lemon flavoring, at times, does tip the flavor’s balance, but this is a very tasty, season-appropriate beverage.

Serving type: on-tap

11-17-2012 15:40:41 | More by TheBrewo
Photo of PeterNeilsonPMN

Ontario (Canada)

5/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Just had this on tap tonight in Marcella's Restaurant in Columbus Ohio. Very fresh, fruity smell and taste. Deep dark golden brown, clear. Lovely color. Very hoppy. It was perfect with the Italian appetizers we had while waiting for the main course. One of the nicest beers I've had in a while. Impressive. The restaurant is awesome too. Highly recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

11-11-2012 05:10:59 | More by PeterNeilsonPMN
Photo of SaisonRichBiere


4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Ashley's in Westland, MI.

Appearance- Pours a beautiful copper color, with a good 3/4 inch head that goes nowhere before drinking. Big creamy lace on the glass as it goes, and leaves a residual 1/4 inch the whole glass. I will be giving this one a swirl to get the leftovers. A ton if bubbles moving in this one makes it an almost picture-perfect beer.

Smell- Big, full, sweet, earthy hop bite on the nose, followed by a big carmelized sugar and marshmallowy sweetness. Smells great.

Taste- Big bitter draw followed by a myriad of flavors. Cane sugar, faint white pineapple, sour creamy persimmon, gingerbread maltiness, grassy funk, balanced earthy hops, hop bitterness that sticks around on the teeth and palate. Complex and sweet the whole time-even with the bitter hops.

Mouthfeel- Milkshake creamy head that hangs up in the mustache, followed by a dense smooth, thick feeling draw. Minimal carbonation in the mouth with a sweet coating afterwards. A bit heavy feeling but nice. No doubt a strong one.

Overall- A great brew. Thrilled that I got a draft offering. One of Lagunitas' strongest brews. Very tasty and complex. I will definitely get this again

Serving type: on-tap

11-09-2012 02:04:08 | More by SaisonRichBiere
Photo of Fanhitter

4.43/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft Pint @ Ashley's Westland 11-7-2012

In the pint glass, this beer holds a deep burnt auburn hue, with impeccable transparency. Even with a broken surface of microscopic bubbles instead of any sort of head, this looks like a serious brew.

Smells mildly sweet at the top of the glass, a bit grapey even. A good hop presence is notable with a nose in the glass.

Tastes surprisingly mild for a sugared up barley wine or whatever this claims to be. You'd never know it was 10 percent based on the malt to hop flavors. An apricot flavor drifts faintly in after swallowing, and a burnt prune flavor unexpectedly follows on the finish.

On the sip, its got a mild bite to it, not unlike a strong Canadian beer. A bit boozy, but nothing outrageous. For a strong beer it's silky and easy to gulp or sip despite being a bit syrupy.

Overall, this beer is great. Halfway through drinking a nice wine texture comes out in it, that some might find unpleasant, but I find it very enjoyable. For a malt and hop lover it may disappoint, but for the whole package, it's pretty solid. In all honesty I wasn't expecting this beer to be as mellow as it is compared to other Lagunitas offerings, but for a strong beer it stands out. I could easily be overserved with this one.

Serving type: on-tap

11-09-2012 01:55:49 | More by Fanhitter
Photo of hopsolutely

Ontario (Canada)

3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From notes taken at brewery yesterday, where it was listed at 9.9% ABV:

Pours a beautiful dark chocolate colour with impressive head and lacing. Thick but not oily mouthfeel, remarkably "normal" given the high ABV. Aroma of sweet, roasted malts with caramel tones and some plum or other fruitcake spices. These aromas translate into the finish, where I did not expect the almost overwhelming sweetness in the finish.

Overall struck me more as a sweet and malty barley wine rather than a strong ale. Glad to have tried it, but did not order a second.

Serving type: on-tap

11-08-2012 16:10:09 | More by hopsolutely
Photo of martyl1000


4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Monks Kettle. Nice looking pour into a goblet, a clear reddish brown, with a thin white head and delicate lacing that slides down the glass

Surprising hop-forward aroma. Perhaps its just too cold, but I'm not getting any of the sugar sweetness in the nose or in the mouth. I'm even wondering if the bartender has given me the wrong beer.

Serving type: on-tap

10-29-2012 05:42:34 | More by martyl1000
Photo of mdaschaf


4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Mutiny Hall in Seattle.

A: A nice brown/mahogany color with a one finger khaki colored head on top. Nice head retention with solid lacing all around the glass.

S: Brown sugar, caramelized sugar, some light citrus fruit.

T: Similar to the aroma with a lot of brown sugar. The hops were a bit more prominent with some bolder citrus fruit, grapefruit mostly with a nice amount of pine as well.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Surprisingly smooth and easy to drink for ~10%.

O: Pleasantly surprised, though I shouldn't really be since Lagunitas makes some solid beer. Would drink again.

Serving type: on-tap

10-27-2012 16:37:57 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of socon67

New York

3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours light brown and white a slim white foam. Mild lacing.

S - Smells of... brown sugar. Really, the scent of carmelized sugar is there. Als some slight spicy notes.

T - Solid flsvor, sweet and robust with earthy components. A bit of belgain yaeast is felt on the back end.

M - Honestly not all that well balanced. Could be more subtle. Too much of an "in your face" beer that hits the tongue, and the palate, too heavy.

O - A bit disappointed, but only because I like other Lagunitas beers so much. Worth a try, but not a beer to seek out.

Serving type: on-tap

01-19-2012 04:14:57 | More by socon67
Photo of jmvecchio1


3.53/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown Shugga pours as a clear, hazy, amber color with a touch of orange. A fluffy white head accompanies the pour and sticks around for a while.

The smell is a blend of sweet malts, hops, and a hint of a floral aroma.

On the sip you get hops up front, but those quickly give way to the sweet malty tones brought on by the brown shugga that’s been added to the brew. Once the sweet notes have passed, hop oil lingers but doesn’t overpower.

Serving type: on-tap

07-16-2011 19:38:26 | More by jmvecchio1
Photo of Ack9788

New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

WOW, i think i;m still buzzed from last night, I go to school in delaware ohio and i had this powerhouse brew on tap at 1808 american bistro where they have something like 27 beers on tap.

This beer is delicious, its the perfect beer to have when you want a good beer...and nothing else, a burger with this beer and your ready to not move. Not a salad beer either, do your self a favor get a friend go to a bar with this on tap order your friend two bud lights pay for them you have a few of these and let him drive home. DO not let him taste it or you'll loose your driver.

Serving type: on-tap

06-09-2011 14:23:15 | More by Ack9788
Photo of vfgccp

New York

3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On cask at The Ginger Man in NYC

A – Dark maple syrup. Light, off-white dusting of a head.

S – Huge brown sugar note. Light malt. Molasses.

T – Super soft malt ebbs and weaves through brown sugar, molasses and walnuts. Leaves a trace of pine-like bitterness on the back end.

M – Light body. Bitter / sweet finish.

O – Nice malty complexity, but the profile on whole is overly sweet, which overwhelms the relatively light body.

Serving type: cask

05-31-2011 23:18:10 | More by vfgccp
Photo of rarbring


3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A brown foggy beer, a tan head with no lacing but good curtains.

The smell is citric, with malty bread notes and a dash of sherry.

The taste starts sweet of dark bread, dried fruits, raisins and figs, then the sherry notes and a solid seedy bitterness.

Medium to low carbonation, small fizzy bubbles, a soft, yet complex, body, a long dry finsih.

A strong sensory rewarding beer, a complex character.

Serving type: on-tap

03-26-2011 22:22:48 | More by rarbring
Photo of PDXHops

South Carolina

4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap in a shaker pint, an unfortunate vessel for a fairly badass brew. A generous off-white head sticks around impressively, leaving sticky rings and streaks of lace all around. Body is a deep amber.

Loads of malt and brown sugar in the nose, but also a heaping helping of fresh grapefruit. I'm surprised by the intensity of the hops; it smells rather like a big malty DIPA.

The body is thick and viscous with very modest carbonation, but a ton of juicy grapefruit a substantial bitter streak make a valiant effort to cut through it. Loads of caramel and toffee turn creamy in the warming finish. This is certainly a different animal fresh, but it's quite enjoyable.

Serving type: on-tap

03-03-2011 00:00:27 | More by PDXHops
Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,440 ratings.