Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

1,443 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,443
Hads: 5,003
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.8%
Wants: 232
Gots: 850 | 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
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Reviews: 1,443 | Hads: 5,003
Photo of NitroGen
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

P: 12 oz. short brown bottle, O.G. 1.100 Alc. 9.99% by Vol.. I.B.U. 51.1

A: Amber pour with a finger of light brown foanm head that slowly fades to a scant cover and lacing.

S: Citrus pith, roasted grains and sight sweetness

T: Burst of bitter hops then a rush of sweet roasted malt and a slight oily tongue with sweetness, roasted and hops fighting it out….all in the blink of an eye.
This is a great exercise for the mouth! No obvious alcohol vapor,fumes lurking in any of the taste.

M: A great treat for the mouth! This one is a keeper and will get more to see how it ages and compare it too next years release.

D: Could drink a number of these but would have to try and keep in mind the ABV level! (708 characters)

Photo of cjgator3
4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark brownish red color with an off-white head. The aroma is a lot of sweet malt and piney hops. The taste much like the aroma features a good dose of malt followed by a nice hoppy finish. There is a good dose of hops in the taste, but there is a sufficient amount of malt to make this a well balanced brew. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and very smooth. The drinkability is pretty high considering it's high ABV, the full malt and hop flavors mask the alcohol pretty well. Overall, this is a very good beer that is recommended. (575 characters)

Photo of tjkurz
2.84/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served out of bottle in pint glass. Nice but lighter brown was expecting darker - a few fingers of head that held nicely. Smelled boozey and hoppy for a brown. I was expecting at least a hint of brown sugar and a lot more maltiness. Felt decently carbonated but not too much so, great mouthfeel when warmer. Tasted boozey and hoppy for a brown. Drinkability - I really hadn't read the abv, a little boozey for me. (413 characters)

Photo of Atron67
3.84/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- poured a poured a rubyish tinged light brown that looked pretty damn hazy, I had a medium head build, and left even more on the second pour, up but it did fade pretty quickly down to a thin film with light lacing where the thick head had been. at the end of the 750 ml it left a huge amount of white flaky particulate.

S- pretty damn malty smelling, actually reminds me of Stones old guardian in its first scents, pretty complex, the brown sugar notes are pretty low compared to what i was expecting, and there are slight fruit notes.

T- very smooth for a 10 % 'er, a solid malt body which is smoothened by the brown sugar without making it cidery or light in flavor. the brown sugar gives it some dark fruit notes and gives a solid ale flavor throughout, some nice hoppy backing but not overpowering, more balanced than anything else from the hop role

M- a medium/full body, light for a 10% er but it I would guess there is a lot of brown sugar present

D- a pretty solid ale, better than i was expecting from the reviews, but hey thats the name of the game. (1,065 characters)

Photo of Floydster
3.13/5  rDev -21.4%
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 (1,034 characters)

Photo of Drew966
3.48/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brown Shugga' pours a light brown with an off white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. There is a very mild malty aroma. The flavor is quite strong on hops like an American IPA, bright and floral, but the malt bill is quite different. There is a sweet flavor, but I'm not sure I can attribute it to the brown sugar though. Not bad, but it didn't really do it for me. (370 characters)

Photo of Murchmac
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As sunset approaches this beer blends in with the environment. Pours like the sun going down over the ocean.

Alcohol smell, sweet malts, west coast hops.

Big alcohol taste, dark sugar, molasses, some hops. Delicioso! It slowly coats your tongue and rocks you to sleep.

Aftertaste finishes big, sticky, and long.

Buy this one when you can. (344 characters)

Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
2.8/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Got word that I was being released at three bars in my area on the same night, some sort of "release party..." Got there right around 8:30, and the bartender said I was the first one to try it. So the ice cold beer went into the shaker...

A - Amber body, decent head, pretty standard.

T - Fruity citrus hops stuck out, with some barleywine-like alcohol notes. Again, not very exciting...

T - Entry seemed to focus on the sweet alcohol. Cherry and orange flavors seemed off in the dry finish.

M - Very full and smooth mouthfeel. First thing about this beer I liked...

D - I don't know what it is about this beer, but it has never seemed to impress me. I love Lagunitas, and I want to like this beer, but no... Also, I get a little tired of bartenders asking me if there is something wrong with my beer when I am just waiting for it to warm up to something other than 38 F.... (879 characters)

Photo of kajerm
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Map Room, last beer of pretty solid night. Pours translucent red with a finger or so of fine lacing carbonation.

The aroma is piney, West Coast hops. My girlfriend insists they're floral, but I insist she's wrong (she knows her hops; this is a rare occurrence.) Big toffee malts. I definitely know where they're getting the whole brown sugar thing from.

The flavor is very similar with, malt becoming a dominant presence mid-to-late palate. Hops are big throughout.

The mouthfeel is velvety-smooth-- very nice.

Overall, a very strong offering. The fact that this thing is almost 10% ABV and I thought it was a "nice, light, drinkable beer" at the time gives me more perspective on just how thoroughly I have become the stereotypical American craft beer drinker. I really do love those barrel-aged Brett-infected Imperial Double Bourbon Coffee Breakfast Stouts, and I make no apology for it.

But enough with the stupid, pointless stream-of-consciousness BS. I liked this beer, and you should too.

also: what the hell is an American Strong Ale, anyway? (1,067 characters)

Photo of eatdrinknbmerry
3.84/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2007 12-oz bottle.

Fell in love with this beer when i saw the name of it. Very cool. Of all the x'mas ale labels, this is one of the more appealing ones. Nothing is more ugly than Pizza Port's Santa's Little Helper label. Anyway, to the beer.

Head: About 3/4" thick. Nice, stayed up for quite a long time.

A: caramel color.

S: A nice subtle tone of apricots, which I think smell great in beer. Gets the tongue ready for a deep-tasting ale.

T: A deliberate taste of brown sugar and slight undertone of honey or molasses. Maybe more on the molasses side since it's dark/bitter.

M: Very nice and smooth.

D: This one is much easier to drink than strong-flavored beers like Anderson Valley's Winter Solstice (2007). But I think the heavy molasses taste will make this less appealing to drink through the night.

Good beer overall, would definitely buy another 6er. (868 characters)

Photo of hero27
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle
9.9% abv

Pours a dark amber with an orange tint.
Rich caramel, sweet roasted malts, (the obvious brown sugar) with a slightly hoppy pine finish.. slightly medicinal & peppery as well.
This is a meal in a bottle...very sweet & rich. Plenty of alcohol burn..maybe a little over the top. But overall, a good offering from Lagunitas that does not disappoint. (368 characters)

Photo of DIM
4.14/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

a: Very hazy caramel color. Minimal head which dissipated pretty quickly. The haze cleared up as this beer warmed.

s: Reminded me of simple syrup at first. Candied apples, brown sugar and a bit of citric hops are also noticeable. As is warmed the alcohol emerged and brought with some fig along. Almost barleywine like.

t: Sweetness of brown sugar balanced very nicely by the hop finish. Neither is overwhelming. Reminiscent of a barleywine as I got towards the end and fruit began to assert itself. I served this too cold, I should have treated it like a barleywine.

m: A bit thin, some chalkiness at the end

d: I got this one from brandoman63 via trade. I hope I can find this around here because it is superb. I (718 characters)

Photo of cokes
4.07/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lightly hazy caramel-brown with a short beige pile that recedes towards a collar within a minute.
Honey-nut cereal aroma bathed in pine sap and spiked with brandy.
It begins through the mouth with a graininess that soon fattens towards caramel, cookie dough and, naturally, brown sugar. Some illusory allspice and cinnamon play around the middle, creating an impression of gingerbread. Hops add a slaking (nearly astringent) bitterness foremost, and a flavors of pine needles and rusted cans secondarily. Alcohol is not as noticeable in the mouth as it is in the nose, but it shows up at the close, as this turns lightly vinous.
A slightly-fatter-than-medium-body is crammed into something seeming much smaller by a slimming, tiny-but-persistent CO2. This should be sipped, but seemingly forces quaffs.
This is more or less in the Old Ale realm, or something like an Imperial Brown Ale, though American Strong Ale is an appropriate catch-all.
Whatever the classification, it's decent enough. (995 characters)

Photo of dbatch
3.64/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dub deuce purchased some time ago, not too long though...

A: Pours a reddish orange color with little head retention and few carbonation bubbles floating. I dont know exactly what I was expecting, but the color was not this. It is clear, I expected it to be a bit cloudier, but c'est la vie.

S: Sweet, malty goodness abounds here. Definitely caramel and brown sugar (NSS) Its not too sweet either, offset by the malt and a faint aroma of citrus in the back.

T: This beer tastes just as it smells - brown sugar sweetness up front is matched by the strong maltiness. A little hop bitterness in the back, but very nice.

M: Very light mouthfeel, smooth, not too carbonated.

D: A little too sweet for an everyday beer, but not bad once in a while. (748 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Re-visited 30 Dec 14

Pours a nice clean/clear amber color, very nice carbonation, nice creamy one-finger plus off-white head, which leaves some sticky lacing around. The nose is malty, hoppy, slight spicy. The taste is kinda sweet, malty, some hop notes, slight spice. The ABV is hidden very well. Medium body, well rounded brew. Very drinkable, this is a good ASA, another great brew from Lagunitas, highly recommended. Glad to see this here in UT!


Thanks goes out to jpm30 for this brew.

Pours a cloudy amber color, nice carbonation, small fizzy off-white head, which leaves some sticky lacing around. The nose is malty, hoppy, slight spicy, and lots of caramel. The taste is sweet, malty, some hops, slight spice, and a good dose of caramel. The alcohol is hidden well. Medium body, well rounded brew. Very drinkable, this is a good ASA, another great brew from Lagunitas, highly recommended. (899 characters)

Photo of akorsak
3.37/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A 650 mL bottle purchased somewhere that I just can't recall.

A: The ale is a lighter than I expected. Rather than a dark brew, the ale is a lighter orange color, reminiscent of an IPA with its lightness. The orange has brown highlights and remains several shades below the amber of the bomber. The head was huge on pour, over three fingers that left thick patches of lace throughout the glass. Only upclose is the incredible amount of sediment visible, to the point that it looks like pulpy orange juice (at least from a pulp perspective).

S: The aroma is heavy on the malts, thick and concentrated like an old ale. There is a definite brown sugar aroma that could easily pass for dark Belgian candi sugars.

T: The ale is all malt and alcohol heat. The malts are as strong as the nose betrayed. The intense flavor dries out the mouth, leaving a scorched earth feeling that normally only comes from a DIPA. The alcohol presence is strong throughout, never afraid to bring the heat. Through the alcohol head, there is some undefined sweetness, but I could not easily tie it back as brown sugar.

M: The mouthfeel is quite intense, making this more of a cold weather beer. I find the alcohol to be a little too much, stripping most of the flavor out of the ale.

D: One bomber is too much. This would be better off in a 12 oz bottle. The brown sugar is a nice touch, lending a hint of Belgian-style to the ale. (1,411 characters)

Photo of franksnbeans
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aged a little over a year. Pours a hazy amber burned orange with 2 fingers of pearl head that dies slow and leaves sheets of lacing. Smells of dried dark fruit, sweet malt, a hint of spice. Taste is sme as smell with a kick of tasty hop at the end. Reminds me a little of a SN Bigfoot. Medium in the mouth with ample carbonation. High drinkability and the ABV is not existant. Delicious brew. (392 characters)

Photo of cdkrenz
3.46/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

$3.99 / 1 Pint 6 Ounce Bottle
Dan's Liquor
Plover, Wisconsin

Appearance - Hazy red and orange with a touch of purple through the light. The head is a pale tan and stands about an 1/8 of an inch tall. There is some obvious yeast in this brew.

Smell - A sweet malty scent and the aroma associated normally with a good Belgian brew.

Taste - It has a pungent flavor complimented with a deep sweetness. It does however finish a little too bitter.

Mouthfeel - It is a smooth brew and the flavor if felt all over my tongue.

~ Interesting. I'd recommend it to my friends based soley on it not being an ordinary brew. This is worth a try. (635 characters)

Photo of WonderfulSam
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a great ale. Strong, complex, interesting, balanced, and overall tasty.

I did the right thing and drank the beer immediately after driving about 20 minutes home from my favorite beer store. This one seemed like a beer that needed to be enjoyed slightly warm. I poured this into a pint glass, getting slightly less than one finger of fairly bubbly tan head that managed to linger quite a while, and which left a moderate to small amount of lacing on the glass as I drank it down. It was a gorgeous beer to behold against the early evening sun. Clear, light copper. Like art, really.

The aroma was fruity, with a strong malt and maybe molasses character, with a somewhat surprising and subtle hint of hops. The flavor matched the aroma almost perfectly. Despite the (fantastically) high alcohol content, the flavor of alcohol on the beer was minimal, and what was there added a nice dimension to the flavor. The flavors were quite strong, but were so well put together that the beer was not overwhelming. It was moderately carbonated and balanced, resulting in a rich, almost sharp mouthfeel. But again, it was so well balanced that it was smooth drinking. And despite the (most wonderfully) high alcohol content, it was very easy to drink.

This is a great ale. (1,271 characters)

Photo of khiasmus
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had a dream last night. I was trapped, held hostage in a monstrous gold and porcelain castle. The front steps were like the steps of the state house, overlooking the long slope of a grassy hill upon which the mansion was set. I'm not sure why I was trapped there or what the obese, burly owner wanted... His face was emblazoned with a deep red scar in the shape of a supernova over his right eye, and the stain seemed to drip down his barrel-chest and form another explosion, almost as if he was being slowly consumed by some burning evil, despite his cordiality and joviality. My friends and I ate meats and cheeses at the banquet table and drank a wonderful nectar, I even took precise notes (which I will recall here in order to satisfy the estimable reader's curiosity):

"Dark amber with two fingers of light tan head that laces a little. Perfectly clear, quite pretty.
Tons of brown sugar, molasses, alcohol. Sweet malts and sticky pine resin hops meld to form the aroma...
The flavour opens up with more caramel-molasses sweetness, but the hops certainly come in to balance with a big piney-grapefruit-bitter wallop.
Chewy, warming, medium carbonation and a good, slick, mouth-filling presence."

He's throwing a party tonight, and I thought it may afford me a chance to escape, but the party was so huge that he had to have security stationed at every doorway, whether in the grand ballroom that had woods as a back wall, or at the top of the front steps where one stepped into the next layer, as it were, of the house... set up almost like an onion, I recall it to have been... and the last thing I remember is searching down a hallway that seemed to be constantly shrinking, with strange artwork on the walls and guards at the ends... Many, many colours here, not just the porcelain and gold, and the desperation was setting in as I remembered the ghastly scars that covered his grotesque upper body and he smiled and acted as though he were a benevolent father, but I knew that though I could have all the fun I wanted within those walls, there would never be any escape... and I had yet to discover a good reason why he wanted to keep me... (2,155 characters)

Photo of macster
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Although I consider myself a hophead I can be a sucker for a tasty sweet Strong Ale and ths was a good one.

Pours a deep brown color with amber-orange hues. Props up a creamy and thick beige head with superb retention.

As expected the aromas lean toward a sweet molasses and brown sugar presentation with the addition of some subdued notes of dried dark fruits, toffee, caramel and some faint hop spiciness.

Mouthfeel was average with a moderately creamy and chewy body but seems to finish a touch on the thin side.

Flavors were admirably balanced and fairly assertive. Notes of sweet dark sugars, figs, raisins and roasted malts were nicely combined with a slightly tamer hop spice and bitterness. This saves the beer from becoming too cloyingly sweet.

The big alcohol is hardly perceptible and this is easy goin’ down for 9.9%! (850 characters)

Photo of djeffbee
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: This pours deep amber with a one finger white head with some lacing.

S: Deep malty aroma with a tad of molasses, caramel - nearly resembling a barleywine or doppelbock.

T: I was expecting sweet, but tasted bitterness. The aroma and taste are almost like two different beers.

M: Nice tingly mouthfeel and medium body.

D: At 9.9% ABV, you don't drink too many of these - but they are quite enjoyable. (415 characters)

Photo of flexabull
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This bottle has been aged for a while... since January 07. I've seen some people mention that this shouldn't be aged, so I figured I'd open this and see what a few months have done to it.

Pours a clear amber color with a nice tall sturdy head. Looks great.

Aromas are muted but still pleasant. Some tea like like aromas, and a bit of sweet hard candies.

Beer follows the aromas. Tastes slightly sweet, tea like, and a bit tart. There is an underlying malty sweetness. While the finish is of cereal grains, and a hop bitterness that mineral like, and still there.

Mouthfeel is good. Very full, and with a nice long finish.

Drinkability is still good. I think I prefer this fresh, but it's still a nice beer and the age has not ruined it in my opinion. (765 characters)

Photo of Dogbrick
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Murky brown-amber pour with a thin and foamy off-white head. Thin spotty lacing as well. The aroma is sharply hoppy with sweet fruit and molasses coming through more as it warms. The labeling on this one really threw me off as I was expecting more of a sweet brown ale. Once my taste buds told me it was actually a Barley Wine I was able to recover. Very hoppy on the front end, along with some peppery alcohol. The flavor mellows a bit as malt and fruits start to seep in. The finish is round and fruity with an alcohol burn leftover. Above average, and kind of unique to boot. (578 characters)

Photo of OWSLEY069
2.82/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep orange/ light brownish color, with a light tan head. In the aroma a caramel sweetness and malty. In the taste, caramel, sugary sweet and a dry end. Huge sweetness with a dry end, an aftertaste of brown sugar. It is a bit too sweet for me, but it does hide the alcohol very well. (291 characters)

Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,443 ratings.