Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

4,994 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,994
Reviews: 1,512
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 228
Gots: 849 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,994 | Reviews: 1,512
Photo of alexk307
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

A: Brown, almost ruby red with a thin white head.

S: Hops, citrus, and a little boozy. Sort of smells like lemon pledge.

T: First taste was a wall of hops and it finishes off with a super sweet back end. A little bit too sweet for me in combination with the hops.

M: Super sweet and carbonated

O: A good brew, nothing I'm in love with. Would drink again but probably not a future purchase.

Photo of Sweasty
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown Shugga'pours a nice crystal clear dark copper color. Things are topped off by 2 fingers of light khaki head. The head falls to a ring. Adequate lacing is left down the glass.

The aroma is quite nice. Herbal/citrus hop notes make a strong showing upfront. Brown sugar and light molasis notes follow. Some baked sweet cookie notes round things out.

The taste follows the nose. Hops show up first. Herbal/mint hope notes are at the front. Hop quality turns a bit grapefruity. Cutting through the hops are brown sugar and light molasis notes. Baked sweet bread and sugar cookie notes round things. The finish is dryish with a lingering bitter-sweet note.

The beer is fullbodied. The carbonation is adequate and helps give the beer a velvety smooth mouthfeel.

THis is a tasty brew. The alcohol is quite well hidden, offering a smooth sipper. The nice balance between the bitter hops and the sweet brown sugar work well. This is a wonderful cold weather drink.

Photo of Wolfpack2005
3.49/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours very heavy and syrupy with a deep amber color with a 1 finger off white head.

The aroma has a carmelized sweet smell with a hint of hops and alcohol.

Taste is very sugary. I never tasted a beer brewed with copious amounts of brown sugar (that i know of) but I would imagine this is how it would tastes, a dull syrupy sweetness. However this sweetness is kept in check with an ample amount of earthy hops. The alcohol definately creepys into the flavor as the beer warms.

Very nice thick mouthfeel with an average amount of carbination.

Overall, an decent cool season beer with a unique sweet malty flavor, but dont plan on drinking more than one or two because both the sweetness and the abv creepy up on you.

Photo of DrinkMoreBigBeers
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Note - Bottle says day 270 on the neck in small black print.

A - Poured this down the center and left a massive yellowish off white four finger head with different sized bubbles that left above average odd looking lacing. Nice dark blood orange semi-hazy beer.

S - I pick up some citrusy hops and a definite sweet maltyness from the sugars they used, which remind me of a strong sweet juice of some kind. As the beer warmed more I picked up some mango, peach and more subtle tropical notes.

T - Get the sweetness right up front, almost candy-ish which gets bitter and has a finish that reminds me of a bitter citrus rind off of a orange. The sweetness and bitterness fight one another for domination. Do not pick up on the alcohol on the flavor but can feel it after it goes down.

M - Nice chewy, soft full bodied beer that is slightly oily and is quit pleasant in the mouth. My tongue feels like it has been cleaned by something astringent after drinking for a while (like Listerine.) Would get higher marks if it was not so aggressive on my palate.

O - A really impressive closing beer which packs a lot of sweet flavors, and is not the most drinkable in my book. Gets cloying after half way through. Good luck with this one because it packs a sweet punch, Cheers! After further drinking I found that pairing this with something salty like nuts really helps cut the sweetness and makes this a better brew. Try it, you will not be disappointed.

Photo of SaltofOH
3.25/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 12/31/2014; purchased in December 2014.

Appearance: Pours an extremely dark amber/red with 2 fingers of frothy/foamy khaki head. Nice retention of a thin, yellowish sandy cap. Epic lacing.

Aroma: Markedly hoppy. Tropical and resinous. Really great aroma. Love this smell; tropical & malty.

Taste: Sweet arrival, tart & fruity, extremely bitter finish. I'd put this higher than 51 IBUs. Some alcohol on the finish. A little cloying at the end; slightly off-putting.

Mouthfeel: Lighter than expected; somewhat astringent; a little like Mirror Pond in that respect but not as much; relatively little carbonation and somewhat slick.

Overall: I was about to say I really like this, but the bitterness and alcohol combine at the end [as it warms] to make this just a little unpleasant. Somewhat cloying.

Photo of pershan
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this on-tap at Frisco Grille in Columbia, MD.

The beer poured an orangish-brown with very little head into a chalice. I detected alcoholic esters with a slight citrusy hop aroma. The taste was an enormous explosion of hop flavor and alcoholic esters, blending nicely with a distinct citrusy sweetness. The initial taste dissipated into a long-lasting hop bitterness. A very tasty and drinkable beer - it is definitely one of my favorites from Lagunitas. Nice carbonation and lacing too.

Photo of Beerisheaven
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have long seen this and long passed over it. Consumed at The Flying Pig in Malvern, PA on Friday night past.

Poured from tap with a beautiful amber, ruby color. Nice white head sitting on top which made it look very appealing and enticing. A real good looking beer in a glass.

The aroma and taste were very enjoyable. Hard to not say the word sugar in the description but the beer melds the malt and hops in fine fashion with a nice sweet candy taste lurking in there as well. I really enjoyed it.

The mouthfeel was clean, crisp, and enjoying while this is one that you enjoy so much you would consider staying with this one all night long.

I really enjoyed this beer and will have to try it again on a more regular basis. I really think that they did a nice job here.

Photo of tekstr1der
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep red mahogany color. Pine, alcohol and cooked sugar aroma translates into similar flavors, somehow masking the alcohol somewhat. Syrupy and smooth feel makes this surprisingly drinkable. A bit dangerous.

Photo of shaebs99
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Large off white head forms that leaves plenty of sticky lacing as the head diminishes. Clear deep amber color.

S: The aroma is a nice combination of malt (with brown sugar notes) and citrusy hops. The result reminds me of something like ruby red grapefruit. Sweet and citrusy. Though I would say the malt wins by a nose.

T & M: pretty much what you would expect. Large malt base accentuated by brown sugar, but the hops are present enough to keep this in check.

D: Very enjoyable. Reminded me of why I enjoyed the 06 Double Bastard. I feel that the hops were more present than some reviewers would lead you to believe. In the one I had I didn't really notice the alcohol in the taste and only slightly in the nose

I am considering picking up another 6-pack of this so I can enjoy it throughout the winter. Not a beer you would drink all night, but definitely one I am going to return to

Photo of ImusBeer
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured up a dark orange/red with an off white head of only about a finger.

The aroma of molasses and honey with no real hint of the 9+ percent alcohol content. the taste was dominated by malt & molasses, a very complex beer. Hints of oak and leather are also present.

The mouthfeel is heavy and sugary (Brown Shugga, duh) some alcohol hints but not too harsh. Overall a smooth tasting and complex beer.

Photo of MaineBrewing
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a clear dark amber with a little chill haze, slight red hue to the color. Head was thick and frothy a mix of medium bubbles and lots of fine suds.

S - Aroma is a dark complex amalgam of sweet malt. A candied cherry fruitness. tons and tons of molasses, rum like. Burnt sugar.

T - I have had this 6 pack for a few months, upon first release it was very hoppy. Its only probably been 3 months tops? the hops have fallen off completely to let the beautiful malt shine. This is certainly unique from other barleywine style ales as it is very rum like. SO I guess its less of a malt character and more of a candy, sugar. Lots of toffee. Although the aroma hops have faded, the finish is very hoppy, not so much bitter but just a nice bite, very quenching, and balances the malt sweetness well. Without this it would be way too cloying, but that is not the case. This beer is great.

M - Mouthfeel is par for the course, thick, just enough carbonation to keep it lively. finishes sweet but the bitter hops as mentioned above quell the sweetness.

O - This beer is probably my favorite from Lagunitas. If your looking for a traditional barleywine this might be a little too sweet and rummy, but it tastes great to me, just a unique flavor. Also I try not to make a review about price and value as I feel a beer should be judged on what it is over economics... but man, 9.99 for a 6 pack of this??? In a sea of 11.99 4 packs, such a great beer for 9.99 a sixer gets me everytime.

Photo of PlaywrightSam
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from Wine Gallery in Brookline, MA. A: Amber, very clear, moderate amount of tan head that goes down to a caked on layer. Lots of lacing. S: Brown sugar of course, lots of dark fruit and some citrus as well (orange especially). Some boozey spice and roasted malts. T: Syrupy sweet up front with a nice bitter finish. Much more hoppy than I expected, which is very nice. M: Very thick, chewy, moderate to low carbonation. D: I was really surprised by the hop profile on this one--it's sort of like a cross between a barleywine and a DIPA. Really fantastic, unique beer. I'll definitely pick this up again if I see it.

Photo of Roybert
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

no, I would not buy again

Photo of joeskirkie
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I went for a snifter and poured a beautiful copper brew with a nice head which developed and laced well.

Smelled sugary sweet, with grassy hop hints and just a touch of citrus.

The taste balances very well, the refreshing citrus hop bite goes hand-in-hand with the sweet sugars. A hop finish has a slight linger to it.

It's not too heavy, I'd ask for another, I definitely dig it.

Photo of Fatduck
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ive been very fond of the Lagunitas brew's that I've had so far, so when I saw the brown shugga I had to try it.

Pours a ruddy copper color with a fluffy tan head. It leaves little lacing. Smells like spicy hops and a bit of sweet malt. Feels good on the way down, refreshing and easy drinking. I think this is one dangerous beer. 9.9% alcohol and goes down fast and easy.

I'll be returning to this brew.

Photo of blivingston1985
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a clear reddish-orange. Some Particles visible. Creamy off-white head that reduces down to a good lace that lasts the whole glass. Very good.

The smell is sweet. Caramel, brown sugar...some hops.

Very smooth drinker. Easy to wind up on the floor with this one. Nice light carbonation that complaments the texture of the beer well. Very big taste. Very sweet. Not very much to it in the way of complexity. Brown sugar, a little citrus-orange, and a nice bitterness.

Photo of begforme4484
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice brown coloring. Smells great. The taste was what got me on this beer. Mouthfeel was right on par.

Not much needs to be said for this beer except, if you see it on tap, TRY IT.

I've had it before and knew it was good. But I had a friend with me who liked to dabble a bit in craft beer. So he had me suggest a drink for him, and he loved it.

Photo of Nietzsches_Horse
4.51/5  rDev +11.9%

If you combined a nice American Barleywine, with a nice DIPA, and added a touch of brown sugar sweetness, you might end up with something like this. And if you also priced it very generously, and only released it during the long dark days of winter--when a nice, sweet, cheap and strong beer is most welcome--you'd probably be pretty close to answering the conundrum, "How come you taste so good..."

Photo of BradBLR
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a wonderful beer. First was the smell of the beer, it was great smelling a little sweet. The first taste was a little shocking, a lot stronger that I was expecting. But after the intial shock, this beer was great. A very strong taste, with a nice hop flavor. Also the slite sweetness that accompanied was excellent. Try this beer, it's seasonal so keep your eyes open for this one!

Photo of xare
2.06/5  rDev -48.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance was fine - head lasted a bit, brown appearance, nothing really that would distinguish it from another strong ale.

Smell was of alcohol... Nothing else. Maybe some malt.

Taste was of malt and alcohol. No brown sugar whatsoever. What a letdown. I love brown sugar and was hoping that there'd be the taste of brown sugar at least. Instead, I get malt-flavored rubbing alcohol. While a hit on the streets, according to One-Tooth Willie, it isn't a hit in my books.

Mouthfeel had a bit of bitterness from the hops... and a lot of heat. Too much heat. Wasn't crisp and clean.

Hops weren't excessive and in fact, were the only thing that made this brew drinkable. I finished the bottle but after half of it was gone, I was struggling. Glad that I had this at the bar, because there is no way I could've finished a 6 pack of this. Far too hot for my tastes and no brown sugar flavors that I can discern. Mainly, it's just a malty strong ale with nothing that makes it drinkable. Not a drain-pour but it isn't that much better.

Photo of mschind
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured into a pint glass with a one inch creamy head that fades to a thin persistent cap. Brilliant clear copper color.

S- Resinous hops with a big malty molasses blast.

T- Follows the nose with the brown sugar/molasses sweetness dominating but nicely rounded out by the hops which take on a citrus note.

M- Rich medium body, well carbonated which helps to balance the sweetness.

O- I look forward to this every year. I think it would cellar well but I'm not that disciplined. The big malty sweetness the aggressive hops is an unusual combination that really works here.

Photo of Mrbseward
3.55/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours nice dark copper color with thick, long lasting head. Very aromatic smell, decent taste, overall ok beer

Photo of Contra
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is probably one of the most cloudy beers I've ever had. Minimal head, with a dark amber hue. Quite tasty, as it reminds me of a thick I.P.A. with less of the floral qualities, yet sweeter. It also reminds me of barely-wine, but not overtly so.

The beauty of this beer is how cheap it is. I paid $3.50 for a 22 oz. bottle. Lagunitas is quickly becoming one of my favorite breweries, especially for how inexpensive they tend to be.

Photo of sjverla
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Nose: Alcohol and dark fruit. Sugary and oddly savory. Mild, mellow grass notes. Excellent balance.

Appearance: About half-inch of caramel head dissipates quickly and laces nicely. Pours a hazy ruby globe into a snifter.

Taste: Alcohol heat and tartness mix with rich, fruity sweetness. Grapes give way to burnt caramel. Gives way to strong hops. Nice complexity. A little heat lingers on the gums. The feel is smooth and slick. Very drinkable.

Overall: Excellent beer. Easy drinking and delicious. Almost too easy to drink at 9.99% ABV.

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

2010 bottle enjoyed at Olde Sonoma.

A- dark copper, with a thin tan head.

S- brown sugar, toffee, caramel, and some spice.

T- toffee, toasted malt, caramel, mild fruitiness, and brown sugar.

M- creamy mouthfeel with mild carbonation.

O- I liked this brew a lot. It has a really nice flavor and is very drinkable. I have another 2010 bottle of this and I'm gonna save it and compare it side by side to the new batch.

Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 4,994 ratings.