Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

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BA SCORE
89
very good

1,443 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

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Reviews: 1,443
Hads: 5,004
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 5.78%
Wants: 233
Gots: 853 | 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: 5,004
Photo of goschool
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: The pour is a light brown with orange highlights and a white frothy head. Good retention for the ABV.

Smell: The nose is sweet with lots of brown sugar, maple syrup, toasted malts, caramel malts, west coast hops, and alcohol.

Taste: Loads of brown sugar, maple syrup, toffee, toasted malts, and caramel malts kick this beer off aggressively. Warming alcohol, citrus, and pine join the sweet flavors in before the finish. The alcohol is a little bit too noticeable.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, oily, and a bit rough around the edges.

Drinkability: The alcohol is a bit much for this brew. I could see it benefiting from a year or two in the cellar. (670 characters)

Photo of bruachan
3.33/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

great to see this stuff distributed on the east coast

golden-amber with some decent lacing up top. the head is not huge but persistent. well carbonated

floral hop aromas with a touch of citrus. the malt does sneak in, but it's mostly vegetal. sweet tasting, with a considerable hop character, despite only 51 IBUs. it could use some ageing, as the booze seems a little harsh. the complexity can't compare with hibernation or nosferatu (or even arrogant bastard) and it's surprisingly dry. i suppose that's the reuslt of cane sugar

this is gold to some, but i'm not sure i fit in that category. i'll stick it in the cellar (630 characters)

Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.67/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - burnt orange in color, with a thin dark tan quickly lacing head, scarce small bubles of carbonation wander their way towards the top

S - surprisingly hoppy, more like an IPA than a strong ale, but whatev, a nice and mellow molasses/brown sugar background, surprise surprise

T - hoppy as the aroma had indicated, but stronger, almost DIPA hoppy, with a strong brown sugary sweet-bitter after taste battle
very intriguing

M&D - not quite smooth, but it doenst try to be, bitter and sweet a great battle instead of a blend, a great play on the tongue, very nice, lagunitas brews well (594 characters)

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

The beer pours an orangy-amber color, clear, and with a thin white head. Not much lacing to speak of. There is an aroma of dark fruits and, well, sugar.

The taste is quite big with hops, a huge malt backbone, and a dry, sweet finish. The finish is where this beer gets its name, as it does almost taste like brown sugar. I honestly had no idea this beer was nearly 10%, as you can't taste the alcohol at all. The mouthfeel was clean, and the finish was dry. Overall this is a nice, warming brew with hops and sugars battling it out on your palate for supremecy. (565 characters)

Photo of lackenhauser
3.82/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light, coppery color. Nice small head that leaves some great lacing on down the glass. Hoppy aroma, sweet smelling. Big hoppy flavor blended with a bevvy of malt in the backround. Nice sweet flavor to it. Faint, faint alcohol note to it in the finish. Nice body. The whole package comes together quite well. Have wanted to try this for ages. Got a bottle from beerrun13 in a trade and a bottle from my Secret Santa callenak. Well worth trying on a regular basis. (462 characters)

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

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a US pint glass.

Pours clear amber color with a very small amount of off-white head which dissipates rapidly. The nose is all candy sugar and brown sugar, sort of like a slightly more spicy or American Belgian ale. Not bad. The flavor is very potent brown sugar/candy flavor, with a slightly muted hops presence, all mingled with alcohol, but mostly brown sugar. There are some spicy notes, and the aftertaste is a kind of unpleasant bitter brown sugar/maple taste. The mouthfeel is full, and surprisingly, not very syrupy. Drinkability is decent, but this obviously not something you would ever want more than one of.

Overall, interesting and sweet. Lagunitas never lets me down; that said I don't think I'll be buying it again. (767 characters)

Photo of AltBock
3.6/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I got the 12 oz stubby bottle because I never seen the 22 oz. bottle version of this beer before. It just has a simple yet nice whitish label. The label has to made with some kind of special recycled paper because the label paper feels rough. It's not your regular Average Joe beer paper label. On the label is a red/green square and inside the square is the name of the beer of in big red letters, "Lagunitas" is green letters, the Lagunitas dog that looks oddly familiar like the dog from the Little Rascals in the top right corner, 2 hop plants in the lower right and left hand corner, and the O.G., ABV%, and I.B.U. number at the bottom. If you can see it, outside of the small square is a long sentence about the making of this beer. Don't bother to look for a date or even a batch number on the label because it doesn't exist. If you can find out when they last released their "Sweet Release," then you might be able to determine what month/year it was released. Don't use a bottle opener like I did because it has a twist off cap.

Appearance: When poured into a Snifter, the beer's color almost looked like the color of the big red letters on the label. Except that the color of the beer had a little more orange/amber coloring in it. It had nice white 1 finger head of foam on it. It had good retention that left behind a minimum amount of white rings and white lace around the glass. It was nice that the appearance wasn't like the paper the label was made out of, Rough.

Smell: The beginning of the aroma started off with candy sugar, brown sugar, and even maple sugar. They don't call it a "Sweet Release" for nothing. Behind the different varieties of sugar was some pine, piney hops, sweet citrus fruits, and maybe a flutter of sweet roasted malt and caramel at the end. If I describe the smell in one word, I would have to use the word "Sweet." That's what it is.

Taste: Was the taste the complete opposite of the smell? Hell No! It was almost identical to the aroma, give or take a few items from the aroma. Like the aroma, it stared off with the candy sugar, brown sugar (or should I say Brown Shugga) and maple sugar. I didn't taste much pine, but what did happen was that the hops mixed into the sweet citrus fruits making a nice size taste of super citrus hops! Then when you think you're done with the taste of sugar, it comes back again. But this time it brought it's friend with them, the caramel. I don't think I got any taste of malts, but then again the sweet varieties of sugar could have beat the malt up and dumped it in Lagunitas's sewer. Believe them when they say it's a sweet release!

Mouthfeel: It was medium bodied with nice size amount of carbonation to it. I thought that after the taste of sweet sugars that there would be a strong aftertaste of sweetness. Not this time sugar! This is where the bitter citrus hops shined through the blanket of sugar.

Drinkability: Brown Shugga', how come you taste so sweet? Do that line in the tune of the Rolling Stones classic. This is another one of those beers that would only be good once in a while. It is good, but it's a bit too sweet for my taste buds. It you adore sweet beers, then by all means pick this one up immediately. (3,224 characters)

Photo of foureyedgeek
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, received in a trade from santoslhalper, I'm assuming this beer has some age on it, because thats what he does with most of his beers.

I let this one warm on the counter for a good ten minutes.

Pours a dark amber brown, with some orange highlights and a slight haze after the pour. A puffy two-finger head rises and falls in short time to a ring of foam, with some small islands within. Soon after, the haze disipates and its quite clear. Nice lacing persists.

Smells s sweet, obviously full of brown sugar and molasses character, a little raisiny, too. This smells like a malt bomb, but the aroma is rather one-sided. No notable hoppiness. Definite hints of alohol

Taste is full of that brown sugar sweetness, with the same fruit notes in the nose, although more plum-like in the mouth. Really though, the dominant flavor is that massive, dying-to-be complex syrupiness. There's a hop presence here, but its quite muted, appearing only as a slight palate smack as I swallow, accompanied by a building flavor of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is full and warming, but also somewhat reminiscent of cough syrup. I think thats probably due to the fusion of sweet and ABV.

Drinkabilty is pretty good, but at this ABV, with such an obvious presence, this is a definite sipper.

Overall I found this to be a tasty that creates an _obvious_ warmth when you drink, from mouth the whole way down to stomach, lingering. I can feel it warming my head as well. This is a hefty brew that is somewhat overwhelming, its strength seeming to play out more so than its depth of flavor. (1,587 characters)

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.4/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A nice bright copper/burgundy pour. Hints of red and brown along the rim. Good head, dense foam with some clumping and lacing as it went down.
Aroma of malt and caramel. Hints of apricot and sugarcane. Hops and some dry pine are faint, towards the back.
Tastes rich in malt, but not overpowering. Some pumpkin pie spices are available but hard to find. Definite maple/brown sugar influence, but only if you think about it.
Smooth. Doesn't stick, seems kinda light. The alcohol sneaks up on you. I was feeling good.
The aftertaste is a bit much for me. Too sweet for my dry tastes. (586 characters)

Photo of pjwilson
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: pours a very clear, see through copper color. tons and tons of carbination which forms a very nice head.

smell: burnt caramal and lots of brown suggah. a bit of that lagunitas hoppiness.

taste: a tasty beer. they seemed to have upped the hops this year and I'm not complaining. mixed in there are sweet caramal and warm brown sugger. just a trace of alcohol that you feel in the gut

mouthfeel: drinks super light as you would expect from all the sugar.

drinkability: drinks like a beer half it's strength. i'll have to be carefull because i could put a few back before i knew what hit me.

This is a very good winter beer. (650 characters)

Photo of msubulldog25
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a couple singles at Beaumont Market. Poured this 12 oz. to a standard pint glass.

A: Clear bronze with 1/2 finger of creamy ivory head. Carbonation bubbles swirl up through the glass.

S: Sweet initially but with a spiced hop presence that's tingly in the nose. A little bit minty, with the hoppy herbalness of a nice tea.

T:Mellow sugary flavors with toasty malts. Has the spiciness of a strong Belgian ale, the caramel of a balanced IPA and a plethora of juicy citrus hops. Becomes sweeter as it warms, a delicious beer.

M: Viscous, thick mouthfeel. Laden with hops this beer's mouthfeel comes off as slightly syrupy, and slightly nutty and sour in the finish. A medium body with light carbonation.

D: Definitely a strong ale but good enough for seconds . Pleasing, well-balanced (sweet with a potent hop kick) and a high gravity. Try one - you may find yourself having another. (904 characters)

Photo of scruffwhor
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance- A light mix of honey and an IPA like amber. Like Wonderbread crust color. No carbonation visible. Not an impressive head, but a lingering skim of foam, and some decent lacing to boot.

Smell- A little bland or muted. But some definite sugary sweet malts of a darker character are picked up though.

Taste- This is a great balance of bland malts sweetness, brown sugar sweetness, and hop bitterness.Starts with a caramel malt sweetness blended with light hops leading to the middle and finish of solid brown sugar sweetness.

Mouthfeel- Easy palate and very well incorporated alcohol. (604 characters)

Photo of maundythirsty
4.01/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber beer. No bubbling. Thin, off-white hea ... Hey, where'd the head go? The smell is a busy combination of dark sugars and malt and delicate floral and citrus hops.

That malt taste is talking to me, but it's hard to hear over a very bitter dose of hops compounded by the nearly 10 percent ABV. It's thick and smooth. Very dry.

Brown Shugga could take some getting used to, but I think I could really like this stuff. The alcohol comes across with such a heavy vodka-esque bite. (492 characters)

Photo of Toddv29424
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One of the things I get most excited for during the holidays is the release of this beer. Such a good flavor, and at 10% it leaves you feeling terrific. Pours a light copper color with a light head and seemingly endless bubbles. The smell is malty, with a hint of nut and some fruit as well (although nothing distinct). The taste is big and warm. Mostly the best parts of a brown ale with lots of candied sugars, and the alcohol is nowhere to be found. You can tell this beer is made with care. The aftertaste is pleasant, but very monolithic and leaves something to be desired in terms of variability. Overall a terrific beer. (627 characters)

Photo of indy169
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Lagunitas Brown Sugga' pours a cloudy deep copper, with nice lacing. The initial mouthfeel is rather thick with a peculiar and odd feel. The smell is cleaner than the taste, and there is a melon-like flavor hidden within the heavy alcohol content. There is also a pronounced sticky, sweetness, which is reminded on the lips when dry.
I find this brew pretty decent, but lacking heart. The alcohol is too high for the flavors expressed. (437 characters)

Photo of hopsaplenty
3.23/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz. brown bottle, no obvious date information but 263D10423 was inkjetted near the bottom label, and 11142721115 was inkjetted on the neck.

Hazy seared caramel. Thick, dense soft tan head of mixed size bubbles that stands steady and is topped with a fine cream-like layer. Eventually it starts to fall leaving thick pock marked lace on the glass and coming to rest at a thin collar with some dust. Minimal sluggish carbonation streams rise. Sweet brown sugar, pine sap, and prickly alcohol aromas. Piney hop resin washes across the tongue dropping sweet brown sugar bombs before fading into the back behind warm alcohol. The hops come to fill out all aspects of the flavor and when coupled with the alcohol, it attains an almost pine-sol like solvency. Not particularly smooth, the pine adds a rough-cut texture to the medium-full body. The fine carbonation eases the drinkability somewhat. The finish comes to be filled out with an almost medicinal alcohol flavor laced with pine that leaves me wondering where the brown sugar sweetness went. This was an okay beer, but I probably won’t be revisiting in the future. (1,122 characters)

Photo of Winter
3.33/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear dark copper with a light khaki head. Aroma primarily consists of caramel, malt and brown sugar. The mouthfeel is medium in body. This was a lot hoppier than I was expecting from a beer made with raw sugar. It's not really that sweet at all. Piney, floral hoppiness is in the forefront of the flavor profile. The maltiness leaves a somewhat sticky mouthfeel. The hops impart a drying finish toward the back. Alchohol is hardly noticeable.

I'm a little underwhelmed after trying this one. I guess i was expecting something a little sweeter under the guise of a brown ale made with raw (brown)sugar. This one disappoints. (636 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
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. (913 characters)

Photo of jclzony
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Copper color with a nice fluffly white head. Aroma is has a nice sweet malt with a bit of hops and alcohol. Flavor is with brown sugar dominance with a bit of molasses and some citrus tones. Alcohol is very noticeable after finishing only one. There is a definite presentation of malt and has a sweet finish. (308 characters)

Photo of IntriqKen
4.26/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Surprise!
Light golden amber with a thick white head that melts to very thick sticky lacing.
Aroma is amber malt and brown sugar...yeah, it really is brown sugar.
Hmmm...flavor is sweet amber malt with the candied sugars but a finish of citrus malts that keeps everything in check and nothing becomes sticky or cloying. A little alcohol on the end.
Aftertaste stays clean due to the finish of citrus hops.
The ABV stays totally hidden so this one will not only sneak up on you...it will probably run up your ass.
I like it. (529 characters)

Photo of athensbeermaster
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep reddish brown on the color. Small head retention, light hazy tan with minor lacing on the glass. The carbonation was good and gave the brew vibrance. I may have poured the beer to slow and would explain the small head. Sweet apples on the nose. The mouthfeel was full body with the carmel producing a sliky quality and a little spicy from the brown sugar that tingles on the tongue.
When this beer reaches warmer temp. is has a good bourbon flavor.
mixed with a splash of brown sugar. All the desciptions sound like this beer would be very sweet but the 55.1 ibu (hops) keep this in check. The big magic trick is how well the 9.9 abv. doesn't overwelm this well balanced Strong Ale. (689 characters)

Photo of shivtim
3.6/5  rDev -9.5%
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. (323 characters)

Photo of strattor
3.87/5  rDev -2.8%
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. (632 characters)

Photo of brewcrew76
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a clear ruby copper with a thin head that disappears with no lacing.

S - Sweet caramel malt with some citrus hops and a strong molasses/brown sugar. Very DIPA like with some brown sugar sweetness added in.

T - Sweet molasses and brown sugar, rum soaked raisins and some bitter citrus hops. The alcohol is very present in this beer. I would like to give the taste a higher score but I found it to be cloyingly sweet at times and very boozy.

M - Thick and chewy but still creamy at the same time. Moderate carbonation.

D - I enjoyed this beer but the sweetness that lingers on the tongue makes it tough for me to give it a better score. I don't think I could drink more than 1 of these in a sitting. (719 characters)

Photo of rsyberg01
3.78/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

S - 12 oz bottle, no freshness date.

A - Pours a deep clear copper with an offwhite sticky head. Looks are inviting and certainly delicious looking

S - Molasses, citrus, pine, malty. Hops are big, not in your face big, but still big. A little bit off balance.

T -Brown sugar, piney notes as well, little bit nutty, fresh citrus, good warming in my chest which is the only alcohol hint.

M - Very smooth with a bite of dryness from the hop. Balance is good.

D - I wouldnt say its a session brew, but its still decent. (530 characters)

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