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Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

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

3,440 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

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

Illinois

3.78/5  rDev -6%
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?

Serving type: on-tap

11-11-2007 09:06:10 | More by kajerm
Photo of younger35
younger35

Minnesota

3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Drank it on tap from the cask at a local bar. Hand pumped from the barrel into a snifter. Served around 50 degrees. Was impressed from the start!

Appearance- Very deep amber/pale brown color. Broke nicely around the edges to a light almost yellowish amber. Great frothy head. Beer looked very inviting.

Smell- Had a sweet almost candy like smell. Subtle floral tones.

Taste- Sweet brown suger, caramely taste. Hints of vanilla undertone the woodsy sweetness. Big burst of alcohol is very pleasant on the back of the tongue. Nice hop characteristics balance the beer very well. The taste sticks with you.

Mouthfeel- Creamy, alcoholy feel. Very mild cask carbonation, perfect for this beer.

Drinkability- Fantastic. The Alcohol is very pronounced but overall a very tasty beer. This is a very unique beer that I would highly recommend if you ever run into it on tap.

Serving type: cask

02-02-2007 16:42:25 | More by younger35
Photo of UnionMade
UnionMade

Colorado

4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Eli Cannon's a while back. Taken from notes scribbled on the back of a "beer tastin's" flyer.
Served in a snifter glass, at the perfect temperature. 55 degrees or so. Color is hazy, orangey and toffee-like. Very bright and interesting. Whispy white head. The head dies out about halfway through. Minimal lacing. Big, sweet, caramel laden aroma. Hops are definitely present, in a piney, citrusy sort of way. Very barleywine like. Is that what this is supposed to be? Somehow strong ale doesn't seem to fit. This is much closer to Bigfoot, Old Crustacean and the like than it is to UBU ale or Double Bag, to name a couple strong ales. Some alcohol and heady, estery fruit. Prune and apples. Slight vinous notes. I'm not really getting much in the way of brown sugar, unless that's some of that odd caramel sweetness. The flavor opens with big, bold sweetness. Huge amounts of caramel malt, the brown sugar much more present than in the scent. The sweetness rides all the way through the finish, though its well tempered with plenty of hops. Balanced, I'd say. Plenty fruity and "bigbeer-ish". Some red grape and sherry, with healthy doses of apple, pear and plum. Assertive piney hop flavor. Minimal booze, though you don't forget its there. A little bit of a saccharine bite in the end. Huge, syrupy body with modest carbonation levels. All around a pretty hefty feeling brew. One hell of a snifter sipper.
I bet bottles of this would age very well. I'll have to pick a few up next time I see it. I assume the keg on hand was fresh, and its already got a bit of that sherry agedness to it. Very nice. I'd like to buy this by the gallon and watch my entire saturday slip into hazy orange oblivion.

Serving type: on-tap

01-06-2007 10:36:51 | More by UnionMade
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

3.63/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer has a warm light brown body with a light tan head that fades to a ring pretty quickly. No sign of carbonation because the body is a bit to dense.

S- This beer has a light toasted malt note with a sweetness and a note of dark sugar and white sugar hint as well.

T- The slight sweet caramel malt flavor has a note of dry spice and dark rum that adds its own sweetness. There is a hint of darker sugar that comes through just a hint as it warms. The finish is a nice herbal citrus hops but the sweetness still lingers after the sip.

M- This beer has a medium light mouthfeel with no real alcohol heat. At the finish when it is really warm there is a slight alcohol heat that is a nice contrast to the sweetness.

D- This beer has an interesting flavor and I can see where it gets its name. It would be nice to have some big flavors that balance with the sweetness.

Serving type: on-tap

11-19-2006 04:22:07 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of shivtim
shivtim

Georgia

3.58/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clearish brown with a hint of red. A little viscous. Nose is alcohol, some malts, and sweetness. Almost like a malty wine. Taste is like a bitter barley wine. Has hints of smoke, sweetness is there but not too overdone, and hops in the finish. Alcohol is hidden pretty well in the taste (although not in the nose). Not bad.

Serving type: on-tap

11-15-2006 04:50:52 | More by shivtim
Photo of strattor
strattor

Idaho

3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served at the Map Room in Chicago in a 10 oz chalice. An opaque golden brown with a very light cream-colored head.

A very rich, malty aroma with some fruity noted coming through, perhaps plum or raisin.

A very full bodied flavor, and not the syrupy sweetness I was expecting from a beer made with such massive amounts of brown sugar. It's a very dense, malt and fruit flavor, with a little warmth but not much spiciness coming from the alcohol.

A reall nice, full mouthfeel. Not chewy, but the beer lets you know it's there.

While strong, I would definietly order this up again. I nice beer to sip after dinner, perhaps.

Serving type: on-tap

11-13-2006 20:55:48 | More by strattor
Photo of aforbes10
aforbes10

Iowa

3.15/5  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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-08-2006 13:49:43 | More by aforbes10
Photo of nortmand
nortmand

Virginia

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

On tap at Sheffields in Chicago.

Ruby-brown pour with a withstanding tan head.

Molasses and caramel smells dominate the nose, also some supportive hops, though not overly assertive.

Fairly sweet flavor. Dark ripe fruits mingle with somewhat brighter fruity esters. Ends with a pleasant bitterness.

Fullbodied and somewhat drinkable. A bit sweet, but not cloying.

Serving type: on-tap

11-06-2006 16:51:50 | More by nortmand
Photo of jmz62565
jmz62565

Connecticut

4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a cloudy dark brownish red amber with a nice lacy head. The smell has a fruity,molasses and alcohol scent to it. The taste is like the smell,but I could taste a very strong alcohol presence. The m/f is heavy with all the flavors being well balanced. This is a damn good beer and I'm really glad I had a chance to have it on tap at Eli Cannon's.

Serving type: on-tap

02-07-2006 01:42:51 | More by jmz62565
Photo of ybnorml
ybnorml

Rhode Island

3.63/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A hazey dark amber beer with orange highlights. Has a big creamy off white head and a touch of lace. There is a piney hop character to the aroma right up front. Then in the background is a sweet malty note. The flavor starts with a big rush of brown sugar sweetness on the tip of your tongue. Followed by a nice piney hop bite along the sides of your tongue and into the back of your throat. But it is that sweet sugar character that stays with you.

Serving type: on-tap

01-22-2006 17:06:00 | More by ybnorml
Photo of Foxman
Foxman

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It came to me a crisp, coppery amber, the hue of long-aged Scotch, with the ever so slightest haze. A frothy film of light tan head laid long on the surface. Frills of lacing draped the inside of the glass.

The aroma brought a draft of leathery, toasted malt, fruity with raisins and figs. The duscky sweetness of brown sugar hlped buoy a mild but present pine floral hops note. A peep of alcohol slid forward briefly.

Upon tasting, the maturity of toasty malt accented the maple syrup and molasses sweetness that plunged forth. A snaky current of dark dried fruits slithered among a more citrus driven hops character and accompanying bitterness. A brief cameo of alcohol stepped in toward the close before the sugary sweetness and residual bitterness laid claim to linger ling at the close. Heavily slanted toward malt and sweetness, it had just enough hops presence to keep it from tumbling overboard.

Pretty much heavy of body, the malt and sugar imparted a chewy, lip-smacking sweetness on the palate, and the flashes of hoppy bitterness lent a mild lingering glow.

From the first the malt and sugar flexed their muscles, but never overdid the workout, steering clear of ever cloying and ruining the mood, a well-timed directional shift enabled by the sufficient and tasty hops profile. Granted, you might want to be in the mood for the syrupy sucrose sensation it creates, but combined with the hefty but never obnoxious ABV, it makes for a nice warmer in the colder times. But make note- that ABV is sneaky because of just how masked it seems, so caution is recommended. Still, we're all big kids here, so one or two seems a pleasant way to spend some time in front of the fire. Brown Sugga...how come you taste so good?

Serving type: on-tap

12-20-2005 19:49:15 | More by Foxman
Photo of weeare138
weeare138

Pennsylvania

3.53/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appears a dark reddish brown with a solid one finger beige head that sticks around. Very little lacing in this one.
Smell is of caramel malts, brown sugar, molasses, and warming alcohol.
Taste is a bit hard to figure out as this beer wants to be sweet but the balance is a bit wacky. It's a little less than good because there is an odd cough syrup like taste that is standing out in this concoction. Caramel and lots of sugar with an off balance of bitter hops thrown into the mix makes it kind of odd as if it were candied plantains served atop broccoli rabe that is really odd but slightly intriguing.
Mouthfeel, again, is odd. A bit of a rollercoster from sweetness to odd bitterness.
I really took my time with this but I don't know if it was because of the strangeness, the alcohol, or just the way it tasted.

It's ok, dog.

Serving type: on-tap

07-08-2005 02:59:42 | More by weeare138
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

3.58/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

on tap at the BTAH in NYC, Poured copper, nose of dried fruit and some caramel. More caramel and sweet notes of brown sugar and cookie dough. Yes, this is a fairly sweet barley wine. Some drying elements come in late and as it warms, Smooth, medium bodied brew. Some warming alcohol also present. Too sweet for me. When I ordered this one somebody asked if I had diabitis

Serving type: on-tap

03-13-2005 13:18:20 | More by Billolick
Photo of Truh
Truh

New Hampshire

3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had the neighbor come over to borrow some with this one on 12/29/2004. 16-oz. pour at the Sunset in a pint glass.

1/4-inch creamy, tight head at start. Brown hue, but light, verging on a copper tone with a touch of haze to the whole affair. Candy corn, raspberry jelly roll sweetness on nose with a determined alcohol hot tone. Woody, oak on mouth, with a covering of some fruity esters that consisted of orange, kiwi, and some tart lemon. Finishes with just a flavor of alcohol bite and a faint, mossy remainder.

Serving type: on-tap

01-01-2005 23:06:54 | More by Truh
Photo of PopeJonPaul
PopeJonPaul

Oregon

4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

So I get this almost-red amber 20oz. beer with a super-fat head and crazy lacing that smells a little like cookies (not much smell though.) I taste it and it's got a definite sugary caramel malt flavor, with a bit of hops on the top to cut out the sweeteness. Pretty tasty, I notice a tiny alcohol sweetness that throws it off a bit but not much, so I figure hey, it's about 8% but it's pretty drinkable. Then Joe tells me he's thinking of serving it in smaller glasses 'cuz he's afraid the 10% will creep up on people. Ten percent?? What?

Yeah, it has a definite alcohol flavor but there's a heckuva lot more sweeter barleywines out there. I, for one, could drink a lot of these. I wonder if the bottle is sweeter though...will find out in 2 weeks, when it hits the shelves in NYC.

Serving type: on-tap

09-21-2004 01:40:55 | More by PopeJonPaul
Photo of MuddyFeet
MuddyFeet

North Carolina

3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very rich. Very sweet. The brown sugar added during the brewing permeates every aspect of this beer. It poured a color only of what I could describe as liquified brown sugar. A foamy head formed, and as I drank a sticky lace was on the glass. The aroma was of brown sugar. The flavor was of brown sugar. By the way, I like brown sugar. I used to sneak it out of the bowl as a kid when my Mom would bake. There were other tones in this beer: the malt was a nice backdrop flavor to the brown sugar. The only negative was that it was so rich and the alcohol was pretty strong I am not sure I could drink too many of these. My palate would be worn down.

Serving type: on-tap

08-07-2004 14:01:37 | More by MuddyFeet
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Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,440 ratings.