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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

3,680 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,680
Reviews: 1,297
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 11.69%
Wants: 142
Gots: 236 | FT: 13
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Brown Shugga' Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,680 | Reviews: 1,297 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of chinchill
3.96/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

coded but undated 12oz 2012 bottle.
Deep amber color with large and sudsy tan head. The head is moderately durable and leaves lots of sticky lacing.

Aroma: rich and surprisingly hoppy; West Coast IPA hoppy, with mainly piney and earthy/herbal tones. The high ABV is partly apparent but in a rather attractive way suggestive of rum barrel aging.

T: Excellent bitter-sweet flavor with well proportioned sweet malts and aromatic hops, leaving a long lasting aftertaste. This brown "shugga" is not really sweet overall, but seems to have a brown sugar component.

M: Medium-full body with near perfect medium carbonation; a bit syrupy.

O: this exceptional ale should appeal to those would like barleywines, IPAs and brown ales and are willing to try a mix of all three. Good as this is, it is not quite up to the level of the replacement Lagunitas Sucks ale.

chinchill, Jan 10, 2013
Photo of Bighuge
3.33/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear burgandy. Thick, dense off-white head. The froth coats the glass heavily as I drink. Aroma is sweet. Very sweet. Caramel sweet. And there's a whiff of alcohol as well. And some tropical fruits. Rummy alcohol notes are noticed up front on the palate. And the alcoholic bitterness lingers long after the sip. The flavor is pretty sweet, but not quite to the cloying extent. Sweet and alcoholic sum up this beer quite well. And there's some estery goodness in the mix as well. Passion fruit tones and such. Medium bodied and lightly carbonated. Decent enough, but not really noteworthy.

Here's a shout out to the LBB for the sample. Thanks bud.

Bighuge, Jan 06, 2006
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

What a pleasant beer. And talk about unique. . . if BA had a originality category, this would get a 5.

Pours out a reddish brown color. Beige head, about 5/8". Good lace. Aroma is sweet, like brown shugga!

The alcohol is extremely well hidden. You get a hop blast somehow, which I didn't expect in a beer with so much "brown shugga" in it. But it isn't over the top sweet that is a turn off. Had some bitterness to pair with it.

Easily Lagunitas's most original work. A great brewery, a real good beer.

Its not as good as Hop Stoopid or their Pale, but its in good company with all their others. . .

Beerandraiderfan, Nov 23, 2009
Photo of dmorgan310
4/5  rDev -0.5%

dmorgan310, Nov 30, 2012
Photo of DrJay
3.58/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reddish brown beer, not quite clear, topped by a short, light tan head. Fine bubbles formed some lacing, foam reduced quickly to a solid ring. Caramel, toffee, and grapefruit aromas hit the nose first, with notes of orange and alcohol becoming more apparent as it warmed. There were also some tropical fruit/fruit punch aromas as well. Solid bitterness with sweet toffee and grassy hops. Fruit character was much more restrained and was mostly citrus. Light molasses flavour towards the end, but it finished strongly bitter with a little alcohol warmth. Medium bodied, medium/low carbonation that resulted in a creamy texture. Some dryness. A decent beer, but the high bitterness doesn't really let the malt character show very well.

DrJay, Feb 18, 2007
Photo of Zaphog
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Zaphog, Mar 23, 2012
Photo of JohnGalt1
4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Edit: I am reviewing the Brown Shugga as a Barleywine.. there is no way this is the same recipe as the last couple years.

Current batch 12oz.. picked up on Friday at Albertsons for $1.29 (they charged me the wrong price for sure).. poured into my Delirium tulip.

Good 2" head that leaves rings of lace atop a very clear cherry wood color brew.

Aroma is waay hoppier than I remember last years Brown Shugga.. piney hops are at the front and leave little room for much else.. but there is a big background of caramel malts ... this really reminds me of a PNW barleywine.

Flavor is an American barleywine.. Deep bitterness and solid caramel/toasted malt backbone with a nice pine hop flavor that melds well with fruity (fresh black cherry) yeasty flavors. Fairly thick body is expected with a nice prickly/yet creamy carbonation... long lingering hop and lite toffee finish.

Brown Shugga is a BW in '07/'08 .. Where's the Gnarleywine? I think I have a little left in my glass.

JohnGalt1, Jan 29, 2008
Photo of PEIhop
4/5  rDev -0.5%

PEIhop, Dec 05, 2011
Photo of Tone
4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, dark amber color. 1/3 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of hops first, then sweet malt, alcohol, brown sugar, and finally some slight banana aromas. Fits the style of an American Strong Ale. Mouth feel is very smooth and thick with an average carbonation level. Tastes of hops up front, then sweet malt, then brown sugar, strong alcohol throughout, and finally some slight fruit/belgian yeast flavors. Overall, a really smooth brew that packs a punch - good palate and nice blend of flavors.

Tone, Mar 23, 2009
Photo of rolltide8425
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

rolltide8425, Dec 01, 2012
Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at Thinking Man's in Atlanta.

Pours a clear dark amber color with a one-finger off-white head that quickly fades into a wispy layer of bubbles on top and a thin ring around the glass. Decent lacing.

Smells much hoppier than I'd anticipated. Lots of citrus aromas joined by a mild spicy sweetness.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Again, I wasn't expecting a whole lot of hops here but that's what I got. Large hits of grapefruit joined by sweet caramel malts and a small spice kick at the end. The flavor profile took some getting used to, but I liked it more near the end of the beer than I did in the beginning. I would never have guessed this was almost 10% ABV.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a good wet feel with good thickness and carbonation.

Drinkability is good. It's an interesting mash-up of styles that's easy to drink once you get used to it.

Overall this is a very interesting beer that's certainly worth a shot.

glid02, Dec 09, 2008
Photo of ShanePB
4/5  rDev -0.5%

ShanePB, Nov 25, 2013
Photo of harpus
4/5  rDev -0.5%

harpus, Sep 30, 2013
Photo of beertunes
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a straight pint glass. Minimal head leaves light but sticky lacing. A very pretty reddish-brown. Sweet aroma with nice hop touches. Flavor matches aroma closely. Smoothly sweet at the front with a balancing hop tang at the finish. Faint alcohol taste, but not in a bothersome way. Body is just a little lighter than full. Very drinkable, but this beer will sneak up on you. Because it's smooth, sweet and easy to drink you might not notice it preparing to pop you. Very enjoyable, becoming a yearly favorite.

beertunes, Jan 09, 2009
Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle opened on 10.26.12.

A - Pours a clear orange-brown with a one inch light tan, foamy head with good retention.

S - Hoppy pine mostly and some sweetness.

T - Hoppy pine, then some sweet candy, carmel malts and brown sugar.

D - Good carbonation and a medium body, a very sweet finish.

O - Hoppy up front with a sweet brown sugar finish.

HuskyinPDX, Nov 06, 2012
Photo of GarthDanielson
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer is a cloudy auburn-brown coloring that is almost opaque, with a slight haze to it. No head on the pour at all. The beer has a bold, round aroma, which is a smooth blend of supersweet sugar and caramel, with a decent balance of hoppiness. Flavors are sharp and heavy, with a good foundation of wet, deep hops riding strong under a boozey highlight and malty sweetness reminiscent of molasses and caramel. There is a sweet theme to this brew. The aftertaste is a slick, rich, almost syrupy sweetness, but refrains from being cloying, with a good hops presence once again. Impressive. The finish is slightly bitter, which keeps it light, and the crispness from the carbonation makes it quick.

GarthDanielson, Jun 27, 2011
Photo of johnnnniee
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from Bert's
Pours a crystal clear medium copper color with a huge yellow white head that slowly dissipates to a cap and lots of leggy lace. Earthy and piney hop aromas mixed with a fair amount of caramel light fruit and candy and darker sugar. There's a solid shot of ethanol in the aroma that reminds you this is a big beer, but it never seems harsh. The flavor is big and sweet up front with lots of candied and darker sugars. Solid earth and resinous hop flavors with barely any harsh edges. A bit of warming alcohol lingers long after each sip. Medium body with a light to moderate level of carbonation and a sweet almost syrupy mouthfeel. This is a really nice big beer, I really enjoyed it.

johnnnniee, Oct 26, 2012
Photo of Gusler
4.43/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The pour an obscure amber color, the head is exorbitant in size, the consistency frothy with enormous sticky sheets of lace clinging to the glass. Also must say, the sediment is suspended much as the definition of obscure states. Nose is malt, floral, hints of fusel alcohol, caramel, a “Top Notch Sniffer” for the old proboscis. Front is malt and thickly sweet, the top full-bodied, the finish is medial on the carbonation, medicinal in its hop spicy bite, dry, alcohol bitter aftertaste “OOOHAAAAA”, how I love these “Bad Boys”.

Gusler, Nov 21, 2002
Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

iL0VEbeer, Nov 16, 2012
Photo of tobelerone
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, very fresh. More in the cellar to see how this one develops. As it is now it’s pretty big and brutal with a lot of booze on the nose and in the flavor. Pours dark reddish amber, with a big cream colored head and a good deal of lacing remaining on the sides of the glass. Sweet, malty aroma, yes brown sugar and toffee; booze as mentioned; piney resinous and grapefruit hops. Flavor follows suit. There’s nothing subtle about this one; it’s sweet and sugary; lots of bitter pine and grapefruit hops that linger quite a bit in the aftertaste; sweet and sticky finish; up front alcohol, big time toasty bread and caramel malt character.

Medium-full body; medium carbonation; very smooth, rich and creamy feel. I guess I don’t get the excitement over this one that much; it felt like a chore to drink; way hot and heavy-handed. It’s obviously well-made and somewhat tasty, it just struck me as unnecessarily massive, even on a cold night. Very much a cross between a highly hopped barleywine and a big DIPA.

tobelerone, Nov 28, 2012
Photo of wordemupg
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into pint glass jan18 2010

A clear amber with only a few bubbles floating up to a dense fingers worth of tan head that falls fairly quickly leaving a few patches of lace

S pine, grapefruit, lots of caramel/burnt sugar and some vanilla

T quite sweet with a little earthy citrus to go along with a good amount of hops, sweet malt and some booze

M a little flat but thick and syrupy

D a little different, but I would drink this again just not many of them in a row

I think I may throw one of these under the stairs and see how it ages. that being said this is a good beer if your not afraid of something on the sweeter side, worth trying for sure

wordemupg, Jan 19, 2010
Photo of drummermattie02
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

drummermattie02, Jul 10, 2014
Photo of scruffwhor
4/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

scruffwhor, Nov 29, 2006
Photo of LiquidAmber
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from 2/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours an attractive medium red brown. Light head leaves a ring of foam and slight lacing. Hoppy, citrus and sweet malt aroma. Crisp intense hops up front. Medium barley wine like body and taste with caramel malt and faint citrus. Light brown sugar background. Like a cross between dark IPA and barley wine. Another hit from Lagunitas. Nice.

LiquidAmber, Aug 07, 2012
Photo of xnicknj
4/5  rDev -0.5%

xnicknj, Dec 05, 2011
Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,680 ratings.