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Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

Educational use only; do not reuse.

4,851 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,851
Reviews: 1,485
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 208
Gots: 778 | FT: 18
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,851 | Reviews: 1,485 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TubaDan
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of scotorum
3.87/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams nonick.

a: Clear deep amber with a huge beige head which receded slowly to heavy surface foam and very dense lacing.

s: Pine. Later, some vinegar. Uh oh.

t: Funky spoiled fruit under sharp hops. Fortunately the flavor does not linger through the dry finish. OK it's almost 10% ABV and does not burn the back of the throat much. But really. that and its sexy good looks are about all it has going for it.

m: Moderate with great body,.

o: Maybe I got a bad batch. Just not going for the funky dirty feet vinegar aroma and flavor. An isovaleric acid in the hops issue? Whatever it is, it's the first bad Lagunitas I have had. Reminiscent of my first Brooklyn Monster barleywine, which was like drinking liquid dirty gym socks (fortunately later bottles of that were better).

Not the expected "sweet release" the bottle label promised by a longshot. Love the appearance, which screamed quality. All downhill from there. If it was any worse it would have been a drain pour. Actually, it may be very soon.

If the others in the sixpack are better, I'll be back to re-review.

UPDATE 11/13/13: Had a second bottle tonight and fortunately it lacked the offending vinegar aroma and taste which caused me to drainpour the last few ounces of the first. However I did still get a dirty socks odor, and yet much more caramel malt and brown sugar in the flavor. Consequently upgrading my rating, which was a: 4.75 s: 3.25 t: 2.75 m: 4.0 and overall 2.75, ave. 3.08, to the above.

UPDATE 11/21/13: Third bottle from the sixpack lacked the vinegar and sock odor. Not sure what to make of that except the added sugar may result in some instability remaining in the bottle? Anyway this was even better but I won't bother raising the rating again unless the rest of the lot proves to be as good or better than this one. Hoppier but almost as malty as slightly cheaper ales I enjoy such as Shipyard Chamberlain and Geary's Pale Ale, but the higher ABV and somewhat meatier body makes the extra couple of bucks per sixpack for Shugga worth it as a nightcap.

UPDATE 12/19/13: Can't believe I waited this long to have another from the sixpack, but unfortunately this one is similar to the first, except the vinegar/dirty feet smell and taste are subdued enough that it is not as close to being a drain pour. Still, far from the promised "Sweet release." Funny how one bottle can be ok and yet another from the very same sixpack can be so much worse.

Photo of gleemonger
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of BeastLU
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of BJasny
4.8/5  rDev +19.1%

Photo of Rihup
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of csustar001
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of BillHilly
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of mscudder
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Into a globe.

A - Ruby, copper hue with an two-finger ivory head. Good retention and lacing.

S - Booze, dark fruit, a bit of brown sugar and some molasses.

T - An interesting blend of a number of tastes: some hops like a DIPA, alcohol warmth of a barleywine and a touch (I stress, a touch) of sweetness from the sugar and caramel malts. I cannot help but feel this is just a bit overwhelming, with the weight of the alcohol trumping the underlying flavors.

M - Medium body with average carbonation. Heat from the alcohol.

O - Lots of things going on here. I would be interested to see how this one aged... It has all the ingredients to become outstanding given the test of time.

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

Poured in Delirium snifter

A- Very dark amber in color. When poured aggressively, a couple fingers of off-white head developed atop the brew. The lacing is clinging to every inch of this glass when tilted.

S- Really strong up front with a sweet sugar, hoppy blast. Underneath the hop scent lies the beastly 10% ABV begging for you to sip.

T- Very sweet and hoppy with balance well achieved. Grassy hops mixed with sweet brown sugar bellow throughout each sip. The high potency of this brew is well masked.

M- Full smooth feel that's barely bitter on the end and is rich in flavor. Good carbonation makes for a super smooth flow when sipped. Great balance!

D- Due to it's potency I wouldn't recommend slammin' a sixer in a night's session but it is definitely a great occasion beer that is my favorite from Lagunitas.

Also, I will be cellar-aging a few to look for developments over the next year and a half

Photo of Hophead717
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of suckaj
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of adam42381
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass. Bottled on October 4, 2010 per Julian dating code printed on bottle.

Appearance: Pours a clear dark amber color with ruby red highlights and a 1 finger foamy off-white head. Good head retention and nice lacing throughout.

Smell: Floral and citrus hops with hints of pineapple and black pepper.

Taste: Spices including brown sugar and black pepper up front followed by mildly sweet citrus and caramel malt in the middle and ending with pine and grapefruit at the finish. Aftertaste is bitter and somewhat peppery. Flavor is very well balanced and the spices are apparent throughout.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Hops are pretty oily.

Drinkability: High drinkability. The alcohol is extremely well hidden which could cause some issues considering it is 9.99% ABV.

Overall: Excellent beer overall. I would highly recommend this one. This is yet another great beer from Lagunitas. I'm starting to think that they can do no wrong.

Photo of johntfox
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of standardcherry
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of justinm4bama
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of DrFunkenstein
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of leroybrown10
2.9/5  rDev -28%

Photo of chcfan
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of edchicma
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An exceptional brew! Rich caramel in appearance with a small head. Beautifully sweet maly aroma with hops undertones. Taste Sweet malt presence blends into a mid-hop burst..finsihing in a hop finish with a tad of sweetness remaining. Alcohol was present but by no means overpowering. Smoooth with a great dry finish. Mouthfeeel was excellent for such a high abv.

Photo of cnbrown313
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 Release, 12oz bottle poured into a snifter glass

A - Pours a redish copper color with no haze at all. Generous off white head that lingers for a bit.

S - Smells sweet and... well a little bit like brown sugar. Biscuty smell as well

T - The taste up front is sweet and smooth. You can definitely taste the brown sugar and almost a little bit of a graham cracker taste. The 9.9% ABV is almost completely hidden. It warms you a little as you sip it, but it never tastes boozy at all.

M - I would have liked a little thicker mouth feel, as this one was medium bodied and a little thin. But, all in all it has a nice mouth feel.

O - This is how big fall beers should be done! I'm not a huge Lagunitas fan, but I look forward to this release every year.

Photo of GreenMind
3.99/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of deadonhisfeet
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Dogfish Head snifter. Pours out a murky brownish-orange color with a nice 2 fingers of foam head. Average retention but considerable lacing. On the nose I get sweet, over-ripe peaches and grapefruit.

The beer is full-bodied with a firm feel. Very sweet on the front of the palate with malty flavors of toast and marmalade. Hops contribute a lemony note at mid-palate that is not overly powerful, but well-balanced. Finish is very citrusy with flavors of lemon, grapefruit, and pineapple and just a whiff of warming alcohol (much less than I expected at this strength).

Overall, an excellent American Strong Ale and a definite must-try for those who love Stone's ``Bastard'' beers. This one is very much in the same tradition. It's a big bruiser of a beer with huge sweet notes, a good dose of citrusy hops, and a fair amount of complexity.

Photo of Troville1990
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
3.89/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is a review for the 2010 release. I have had last years as well and decided to give it another go. 9.99% ABV.
It pours a very deep amber with about a finger of head. I got no lace. The smell is pretty light for a strong ale. Toasted brown sugar, toffee and citrus drift into my nose holes. The taste starts shockingly sweet. Very malty, very sweet. It is almost balanced by citrus and pine hop flavor but not quite. A bit better than last years cola taste. It is still far too sticky and leaves a mouth coat for days. I get that its thick, strong and sugary but it becomes a bit much by the end. On the drinkability scale, eh, always an interesting beer to sample each year, but the ABV and sweetness scream hangover, even if you're careful. Still, pretty tasty if you are in the mood for sweet and heavy.

Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 4,851 ratings.