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Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

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

3,769 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,769
Reviews: 1,301
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 11.69%
Wants: 156
Gots: 261 | FT: 12
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: 3,769 | Reviews: 1,301 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dgallina
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1 pint, 9 fluid ounce brown bottle without clear freshness date.

Pours clear reddish-orange with a quick-to-vanish tan head and thin lacing. The aroma suggests caramel and brown sugar (duh) with and hint of nuts and a dash of nutmeg. Alcohol vapors rise from the glass. In the mouth, the beer displays an artful balance between the combined leafy / piney hops and brown-sugar malts. Finishes quite green and dry with a big pine hop bite. Body is medium-thick and slick; fairly strongly carbonated for something this big. An eclectic take on the american imperial pale ale.

dgallina, Feb 13, 2007
Photo of RedChrome
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Body was a clear light amber color. Three quarter inch cream head faded rapidly. Good amount of carbonation meandering to the top. Sticky lacing clings in bunches.

Very nice combination of aromas. A sweet malt and a hops bitter share the nose. There is an aroma very similar but not exactly brown sugar in the scent. Floral hops finish strong.

Sweet flavors balance out a notable alcohol presence. Hops bitterness is also fairly aggressive on the back of the tongue. Nice strong flavors in a decent balance.

Average thickness with a decent burst of carbonation to move the flavors around the surface of the tongue.

Not the all time best, but a beer worth checking out. This is a great choice to wash down a cheeseburger. Another fine selection from the brewers in Petaluma. Worth the try.

RedChrome, Feb 12, 2007
Photo of williamherbert
3.08/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Deep reddish-orange color with a massive, fluffy head. Very clear. lace ain't gonna be happenin'. Slight haze.

Has a sweet malt -- almost German -- smell, that almost smells like a good ol' fashioned taffy pull. Very sugary sweet with smells of chocolate and toffee. An unreal sweet, sugary malt.

An interesting sweet malt beverage. It's far too sugary and malty sweet for this hophead. Reminds me of Goya Malta with almost a winter ale flavor thrown in. Good for that style. The sweetness could be described as "insane."

As it warms up, thickens up. This is such an odd beer. The brown sugar of the name is almost palpable. It's not a repeat beer. It's way too sweet for me.

williamherbert, Feb 10, 2007
Photo of Franchise
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This offering from Lagunitas pours a rusty brown leaving a thick frothy tan head that sticks with this brew. The aroma is toffee, caramel, brown sugar, leafy citrus hops. The taste is smooth on the palate, it hits you with some alcohal heat upfront, but it is not overwhelming it actually is pretty hidden for almost 10%. The beer then takes you to a sweet brown sugary feel that is offset by pungent citrus rind hops, medicinal in feel, that finishes with a cooked sugar, cookies, sweetness in the end this is another great offering from Lagunitas, one that is made for winter sipping.

Franchise, Feb 09, 2007
Photo of sleazo
3.73/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a beautiful amber with a big three inch head into my weizen glass. almost got the whole bomber in. The smell is caramel malt with a minor hop backbone. Taste this was sweet at first but as i have consumed my palatte has become accustomed to it. There is a decent ammount of hops to balance the sweet. You usually do not see this ammount of sugar in a non Belgian beer. i fear the hangover. Due to the sweetness which borders on cloying and the fact that im drunk off of one bomber limits the drinkability.

sleazo, Feb 05, 2007
Photo of auxiliary
4.68/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pour was light brown color, pretty clear. Nice foamy head, and some lacing.

Smell - Malts, brown sugar, hops and alcohol.

Taste - Brown sugar, malts, alcohol taste to it

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied and malt taste.

Drinkability - Alcohol is high at 9.9, bery nice beer. i enjoyed this one, slow drinking beer.

auxiliary, Feb 04, 2007
Photo of beerphan
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle -> imperialPint
no date

Pours clear, a deep orange with a sandy 2inch white head, that slowly recedes to a blanket of white and sticks around till the bittersweet end. Some nice spiderweb lacing from top to bottom. Carbonation appears aggressive.

Nose: Hoppy and caramelly. Sweet brown sugar candy.

Taste: Sweet caramelized malts, sugar, citrus. Finishes with the bitter finish fighting with the abundant sweetness. Never quite in balance but never too unbalanced. Dry and slighly cloying but quite enjoyable.

Medium-full mouthfeel, that is syrupy,dry and lingering.

A uniquely flavored brew for sure. I was gonna rate the drinkability lower because of the sweetness and the high abv, but come to think of it, this is one tastey brew that is a little too easy to drink.

beerphan, Feb 04, 2007
Photo of younger35
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.

younger35, Feb 02, 2007
Photo of cbl2
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1/29/2007 $3.59 22 oz. 9.90% No best by date.

Appearance:

Startingly amber/ruby in color with a clarity I rarely see in beers. A faint haze of tan foam wisps around my goblet.

Aroma:

Ripe tropical fruit notes come through with a burst of sweetness imparted by the brown sugar. Aromas are indicative of a Belgian double, namely the belgian candied sugar, which I suppose comes from the brown sugar.

Taste/Mouthfeel:

Smooth, yet simple mouthfeel opens up this sweet brew. Notes of the tropics (pineapple, fig and starfruit) couple with a tinge of warm alcohol. Sugar is apparent, though whether brown, or candied is difficult to discern. Finish is slightly bitter, though not to the extent of the 51.1 IBU's the bottle promises. It is nice to have the sweet balanced by the mild bitterness.

cbl2, Jan 29, 2007
Photo of NJpadreFan
3.18/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Lagunitas- Brown Sugga'

Appearance- Hazy orange brown with a thick, creamy, heavy lacing head.
Smell- Strong alcohol with hints of molasses/ brown sugar and oak.
Taste- Sweet molasses/ brown sugar with a HUGE dose of alcohol. Slight woodsy flavors; oak, oak leaves, and mild cherry, raisin, and prune notes.
Mouthfeel- Sweet and slighty cloying up front with a strong alcohol and bitterness finish.

Overall- Alcohol is too dominent. Maybe age it to mellow out the flavors.

NJpadreFan, Jan 25, 2007
Photo of mentor
4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pulled from my cellar where it has been kept cool and dark. 2005 written on the cap and the label says "Sweet Release".

Sediment retained in the bottle. Pours almost a half finger of light-brown tan head over a cloudy brown-orange liquid. Smells wicked piney and soured caramel. Oxidized malt galore. Woody dryness and hop oranges. Prominent acetone (some people call it solventy), but comes across in an enticing way. Kind of like how tar roofing or diesel exhaust can be stimulating. Two or three years and this beer will smell crystalized-caramel age-ed delicious. Damn, I opened this one too soon.

Tastes creamy delicious. Oxidized caramel is somewhat sour, but supported by malt sweet and light esters (strawberries!). Toffee that's been scorched. Piney and green apple hop flavored is delicious...likely turning better in the future. The late alcohol sting is clean and aromatic rising. There is a deep darker malt character, which I will guess is from the brown sugar. What a stunning treat.

Thick creamy mouthfeel and mild carbonation. Smooth silky mouthfeel is lucious. Killer beer all around. OMG, top priority on my beer 'pick-up' list is to get more of this into my cellar.

Sweeter and smoother than the 2004 Bigfoot I drank a couple months ago in a vertical tasting, but with many of the pine hop and oxidized malt characteristics.

Very complex, deep and dark, with sweet dark character. Wonderful.

mentor, Jan 23, 2007
Photo of Heinens11
3.7/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

New beer to hit the Cleveland market.

12oz. bottle that pours slightly more reddish than copper and quite clear. The head is simply average in size with a color that's no more than off white. Though average size, it does hold it's shape very well.

The aroma is not complex with citrusy hops being the most notable, though caramel is evident as the name would suggest. Difficult to get a good whiff.

The palate has moderate sugar, moderate malt, a good bit of hops, and a touch of smoke. When lumped together the malt and hops provided a bitter-sweet finish that seems to last for quite awhile.

Medium-bodied with average carbonation. Easily drinkable.
I ended up pairing this beer with a Widmer 4-year old Cheddar. The sugar from the beer rounded out the sharpness of the cheddar leaving a much creamier cheese.

Cheers!

Heinens11, Jan 22, 2007
Photo of jjayjaye
3.4/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is kicking my butt! I'm not even sure that we're reviewing the same beer. I'm looking at a much shorter/squat 12oz bottle with a much smaller pup on the label. This beer is pouring a more middle of the road golden amber. You can smell a distinct sweetness, but it's very floral. Almost IPA-like. I had to stop and ask my son to try it because this is not the 'sweet mellow " beer that i was expecting. Maybe this is a consistency issue; anyway, this ain't your Daddy's brown anything.

Disregard for now; notes to self.

Peace.

jjayjaye, Jan 20, 2007
Photo of Phatz
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a big big super sweet beer. I think it will do well with a year or so under the belt.

Appearance: Pours a deep burgundy orange, translucent, with a fluffy white head.

Smell: Sugary sweet with brown sugar galore, caramelized malts hints of fruit and alcohol.

Taste & Mouthfeel: This is the epitome of a sipping night cap. The sweet sugar borders on but doesn't not cross too sweet. The alcohol shows through and with a nip of hops Brown Shugga' drinks more like a brandy than a beer.

Drinkability: Perfect for a night cap.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

Phatz, Jan 19, 2007
Photo of joe1510
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. Bottle
$7.99 6-Pack
Liquor World

I've been kind of anxious to try this beer just for the uniqueness of it. Poured with a dark mildly hazed copper body into my pint glass. 1+ finger slightly off white head on the pour that dropped to a solid cap of frothiness. Looks good and leaves moderate lacing that eventually falls back into the body.

I really don't pick up a whole lot in the scent. There is zero hops which I didn't expect anyway. There is a very solid doughiness along with the namesake brown sugar. The thing I'm surprised about is I'm picking up some white grape tartness in there as well. Not much but it's there. Interesting but nothing spectacular.

The flavor is fairly easy to describe. It's entirely like the aroma. There is a strong (in a good way) showing of bread dough and brown sugar. Lots of brown sugar. I'm getting the white grape tartness in the finish. Just a little though. Sweet but not too sweet to enjoy.

The mouthfeel is sticky but the body is medium. The stickiness can be expected considering what this beer is. Coats the mouth until the next sip, then that one coats.

It's an enjoyable and unique beer. The drinkability is good for the simple fact that it tastes good. The stickiness and sweetness holds me back from enjoying more than a couple at a time.

The alcohol is pretty solid in here but unnoticeable. I can feel my cheeks getting a little warm but nothing in the taste. I like the idea behind this beer and for a matter of fact I like this beer. It's a fun thing to try and something I don't really see other breweries trying.

Slainte!

joe1510, Jan 16, 2007
Photo of mmcave
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased at local liquor store unknowingly poured into chalice. Nice fluffy slightly off white head, with muffy lacing, head lingers about a centimeter from the surface. The body is a deep red with lots of dark sort of purply tones. Smells of malty sweetness, this doesn't really emanate a very thick malt rather a sweet malt with nice toast notes, the hops are not too over powering but provide a nice balance. Flavor is slightly thin and sort of a sharp sweet bitterness, which I'm sort of indifferent to. The mouthful is sort of flat and through that the sweet, sort of cough spryness gets a little not so tasty, but I have to give it props for a yummy hop burps. Honesty this could be useful, but I'm not sure I'll buy again worth a try though.

mmcave, Jan 15, 2007
Photo of dstc
3.73/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A friend in California always gives me a box of mixed beers for Christmas and this was one of them.

A: Reddish/brown. Real nice head that faded slowly leaving a nice off-white lace on the tulip glass I poured it into.

S: Rich but a little metallically.

T: Good! I loved Dark Belgium Ales and was interested to see how this would compare and was pleasenlty suprised. Left a bit of a bitter aftertaste that I found somewhat unpleasent but that didn't stop me from enjoying this beer.

M: Warm and tasty. I can feel the 9.9% abv on this beer but like it.

D: Yes indeed. Well done America! A fine dark ale that satisfies my Belguim cravings.

dstc, Jan 09, 2007
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an orange amber with a moderate head that fades quickly. Smell is quite alcoholic and with strong aromas of honey, some apricot, malt, and faint hops. The taste is very warming and with carmelized brown sugar flavors balanced by lots of hops.Its just a little bit sweet, not at all overwhelmingly so. The alcohol is very well hidden. Absolutely delicious balance between sweet and bitter. Mouthfeel is full bodied but not thick. Not sticky. Good carbonation. Very drinkable- perilously so.

Georgiabeer, Jan 09, 2007
Photo of Sammy
3.4/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This was OK, nothing special, with an edge of the brown suger in the taste. Initially above average foam, and a bit of colour. Average mouthfeel and drinkability. Of course, on the sweeter side, with sweet characteristics, caramel and the like. A decent beverage, only big in the alcohol.As a barleywine, this is quite smooth.

Sammy, Jan 07, 2007
Photo of geexploitation
3.1/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a crystal clear ruby-brown with gorgeous, jewel-like highlights. Thick but small head that fades to a dusting and collar. Aromas of pears and yeast, along with a bit of zesty sweetness. On the palate, bitterness and brisk carbonation start things off, followed by thick, sugary sweetness and a touch of bitterness at the back of the tongue. Some chocolatey sweetness at the very end. Not very complex, however -- it's mostly just varying levels and characteristics of sweetness. Mouthfeel is marked by slick malts, alcholic heat, and prickly carbonation, with the alcoholic detracting signficiantly. Overall, this beer is nothing to shout about. It's curious to see what this much brown sugar does to a beer, but it's not necessarily pleasing. It needs more balance and a bit more complexity to be truly compelling.

geexploitation, Jan 07, 2007
Photo of oberon
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a small tulip glass a clear deep reddish orange with a tight one finger head that stuck nicely to the glass as it settled slowly into a slight off white soapy-like mass.Ahh there are some hops in there and lots of em big and piney in the nose over top ofsweet and caramel and brown sugar with hints of cherry as well.Somewhat sweet at the offset mainly caramel malt and dark fruit with underlying notes of brown sugar these flavors meld very nicely into a viney,sprucey hoppy finish that lingers nicely.A great American strong ale with a nice American hop profile,not as sweet as I had thought it would be and thats ok with me another good one from Lagunitas.

oberon, Jan 07, 2007
Photo of UnionMade
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.

UnionMade, Jan 06, 2007
Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light chestnut in color, there are some orange and amber highlights. A thin, yet creamy off-white head that settles a bit. The nose is coupled with freshly squeezed orange juice, nuts and sweet malts; some caramelized brown sugar is also detected during warming. Very creamy and lip smacking sweet; thick and lucious malts, with a near medicinal hops backbone. Becomes a bit dry, but more flavors emerge in the way of brown sugar, and sticky maple syrup. Traces of alcohol, but they add to the flavor and body. One of the best strong ales that you can find; a nice winter sipper and great tasting beverage!

GeoffRizzo, Jan 02, 2007
Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber. $4.29 at Grapes and Grain Mequon

A-Beautful amber body with a reddish glow. Body was clear with a late-blooming fluffy white head. Moderate lacing.

S-Caramel sweetness followed by a dash of hops. The brown shugga' really seems to make a presence as a flavor as opposed to an alcohol-increasing adjunct. The sugar must have been added late boil or during fermentation.

T-Mollases, sweet malt, and hop bitterness make for a great combination right from the start. A candy-like presence starts at the sip and reappears at the swallow. The aggresive hops come through nicely to offset the sweetness.

M-Soft body with a nice hop harshness to satisfy the hop head in all of us. Extremely warming as it goes down. High abv is there but not a nuisance.

D-Definately a big beer with big flavor. Easy to drink for something of this size and IBUs. Not an everyday'r, but a wonderful example of a neo-american strong ale.

ALESwhatCURESya, Jan 01, 2007
Photo of MmmIPA
2.03/5  rDev -49.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Brown sap color body with a off white head that dont last long.Some bubbles coming up from the bottem.

Malt and some Shugga.

Booze and some shugga and the bitternes comes through but the malt keeps it subdued.

I dont really know how I feel about the mouthful,I would give more points if the taste wasnt full of booze but its a strong ale.The carbonation is easy going.

I plan on having a few of these and leaving the rest for some other time.I dont thik i have gotten a taste for these types of beers yet.The booze taste really takes away from the enjoyment of drinking this stuff.This is nothing new, just to me it taste alot like ABA. Ill try some more of it later on.

MmmIPA, Jan 01, 2007
Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,769 ratings.