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Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,703 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,703
Reviews: 1,298
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 11.69%
Wants: 146
Gots: 243 | 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: 3,703 | Reviews: 1,298 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DaveHS
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- Pours chestnut amber with 1/2 inch of bubbly light khaki head. Fades slowly, leaving lots of sticky lacing.

S-Sweet, piney hoppiness, tangerines.

T/M-A very well balanced American strong ale, in a similar vein to Double Bastard. I think I prefer this. Piney hops blend exquisitely with well integrated, subtle sweet maltiness. The body is what sells me on this one. The mouthfeel is soft and pleasant for such a full bodied beer. The alcohol is dangerously well disguised.

D-A little lower because of the high ABV, but still delicious. Pick up a 6 pack if you can.

DaveHS, Dec 10, 2010
Photo of DerrickW
4/5  rDev -0.5%

DerrickW, Nov 03, 2013
Photo of aoampm
4/5  rDev -0.5%

aoampm, Jul 15, 2014
Photo of tzieser
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear copper color with a fluffy white head. fainter than expected nose, some definite sweetness going on, but the hops were definitely there as well. I was expecting a much sweeter taste at first, but then I reminded this is a west coast barley wine, and should be treated as such. very sweet malts up front, the brown sugar is there and the hops take control of the lingering flavor. The mouthfeel is phenomenal on this one. velvety smooth. This was a great beer, but I feel as though it should be cellared for a few years to mull the hop flavor a bit. Definitely pick this one up if you see it.

tzieser, Dec 26, 2009
Photo of xdefeatsy
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

xdefeatsy, Oct 20, 2012
Photo of mikefuski17
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

mikefuski17, Nov 21, 2013
Photo of Kevincredible
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Kevincredible, Oct 27, 2013
Photo of appetiteforparis
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

appetiteforparis, Jan 17, 2013
Photo of Kaveman
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Kaveman, Dec 27, 2013
Photo of jriggins6
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

jriggins6, Oct 11, 2012
Photo of mecmd
4/5  rDev -0.5%

mecmd, Oct 09, 2012
Photo of Mistofminn
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I tried this for the first time last winter, but never got around to reviewing it. I didn't feel that a review that was months after the original tasting were worthy of a review, so I waited patiently until this surfaced again. Fresh 2009 batch, first time I've seen it this year.

Pours a golden brown, amber color with a thick and chunky tan head. Slow laboring carbonation and clear texture, coupled with the brilliant shade of amber and the light tan head give this one a pretty good look.

I already know before I put my nose near the glass that this is going to be sweet. The bottles I had last year were in February or March...not fresh like this. Boom! There is a ton of hops in the nose in this one! Totally wasn't expecting that. I would venture to say that the hops actually out do the sweet brown sugar and malt notes. Intense!

The taste, unfortunately, is no where near as hoppy as the aroma. This is where the sweet brown sugar based malt comes in. Sweet and intensely malty, just like it should be.

Smooth and creamy, with a low carbonation. I would have liked to see a heavier body and a higher carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good.

Overall, another solid offering from Lagunitas. Every beer they make has that "Lagunitas" hoppy feel to it, and this one is no exception. I would be able to peg this as a Lagunitas brew in a blind tasting no problem.

Mistofminn, Dec 14, 2009
Photo of fmccormi
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Straight pour from 12oz pry-off bottle to a 25cl Duvel Single tulip; bottling date of October 9, 2012 printed in black ink on the neck of the bottle in a Julian variant (“28369508,” the 283rd day of 2012 being October 9th). So, a day over four weeks old at the time of consumption.

Appearance (4.5): Just about three fingers of good, light-tan head comes off the pour here, coming off of a ruby-hued, medium- to dark-amber colored body that’s crystal clear. Excellent retention here, as the beer still has a half-centimeter of solid head left a couple minutes after the pour; broad, even lacing all the way around the glass, with a lot of coverage. Thick collars as it goes down. Excellent, appearance, in every aspect.

Smell (4.0): Some very nice, moderately rich (but not overly sweet), bready malt character is most evident here, smells kind of like sweet potato dinner rolls. Which is awesome, because those are delicious. That said, there’s a very bright, aromatic citrus character here, like fresh orange juice with some some fresh-cut flowers. Little bit of toasted grain in the back, à la whole-wheat toast.

Taste (4.0): This is rich and moderately complex, but it’s quite a bit softer than I was expecting—as in, not so aggressive. And that’s okay! Rich, grainy malt with a moderate toast (again, like a toasted multigrain bread with a little spicy rye in it), that really isn’t so sweet as you might think (given the name of the beer). That said, it does have a light brown sugar sweetness built into it, which helps smooth over the toasty and spicy aspects of the malt body. The hops, meanwhile, offer a moderate orange juice sweetness that finishes with a solid red grapefruit zest bitterness that helps dry out the beer toward the finish. No yeast character detected, but some moderate, boozy vapor is definitely in the mix. The finish is very nice, kind of a tangy citrus quality that’s not quite bitter or sweet.

Mouthfeel (3.5): The body is fuller than medium-weight but not heavy-, moderately oily, and has very subdued carbonation. A light tingle as it goes down, a little burn on the back end. In spite of the rich malt body, it doesn’t exactly finish dry but it’s far from syrupy. Good, not great, certainly not excellent mouthfeel—solid but unremarkable.

Overall (4.0): This is a nicely crafted beer, and the fact that Lagunitas will happily put out something of this size and character for $10-12/ sixer is fantastic. This beer’s category is so broad that you grade them as much on overall satisfaction as anything else, and as far as that goes this is a very nice beer and an excellent value. Say what you will, but that counts. And beyond that, it’s just tasty and satisfying for a broad range of (admittedly American-biased) palates. Yummo.

fmccormi, Nov 03, 2012
Photo of Samp01
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark orange amber with a medium off white slowly fading head with good lacing. Aroma of sweet caramel malt, yeast and some citrus and pine as well. Taste has some good caramel malt, yeast mild orange and bitter hops. Palate is a medium to full body, carbonation is good and a smooth mouth feel. Finishes with a good caramel malt and yeast flavor followed by citrus, orange notes and bitter ending for balance. Considering this is a barley wine it is not as strong, reminds me more of an DIPA, but it is still good. Overall very good, smooth, balanced and flavorful brew.

Samp01, Sep 29, 2014
Photo of carln26
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a bright copper to amber color, very clear with a nice cream colored head. Very dense for a barley wine. The aroma has the distinctive doughy character I find in all the offerings from Lagunitas (it must be the yeast). The nose also has some malt candy and figs from the malt and a light citrus/grapefruit character from the hops. The head settles nicely to a thick lace. The taste has a wonderful malty sweetness. More of the figs and hard candy character along with the doughy hints I detected on the nose. Mild hop bite, and just a hint of alcohol warming. Denser mouth feel than I anticipated. Nicely drinkable. Unusual, yet pleasing version of the barley wine style.

carln26, Feb 09, 2005
Photo of imyourhero21
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

imyourhero21, Mar 18, 2014
Photo of ChipMurray
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

ChipMurray, Nov 18, 2013
Photo of Murchmac
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As sunset approaches this beer blends in with the environment. Pours like the sun going down over the ocean.

Alcohol smell, sweet malts, west coast hops.

Big alcohol taste, dark sugar, molasses, some hops. Delicioso! It slowly coats your tongue and rocks you to sleep.

Aftertaste finishes big, sticky, and long.

Buy this one when you can.

Murchmac, Nov 20, 2007
Photo of leroybrown10
2.75/5  rDev -31.6%

leroybrown10, Jul 16, 2013
Photo of Hopheadhiker
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Hopheadhiker, Feb 06, 2014
Photo of Dodo2step
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P- Pittsburgh Bottle Shop

A- dark caramel amber color with a 2 finer head that has some stayng power. 5 minutes later and it is still there. Nice spiderweb lacing.

S- pine hops with caramel hints. i also get some wafts of alcohol coming through.

F- strong pine on the mouth with hints of citrus. I also get some of the brown sugar coming through when the alcohol hits.

M- A chewy feel and the alcohol comes out as it goes down the throat. Smooth though with a punch.

O- Not a bad beer but after a while the alcohol overtakes the flavors and it becomes more of a grain beer. Very good though for the most part.

Dodo2step, Jan 04, 2013
Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottled poured into a Duvel Tulip style glass. Kind of an orange copper color, almost hazy, when held up to the light you can see small particles. Speaking of held up to the light, it just glows. I guess a more simple way to put it is that it doesn't quite look like any American Strong Ale that I've had (even though it varies so much), it seems lighter. There's a good sized head that's an orange color, decent lacing.

Smell is good, hoppier than I expected, but based on all the beer I've had from Laguniatas, that's how they role. There is certainly a big malt presence, smells very sweet, brown sugar detected, hence the name. Hops smell like citrus. Overall kind of a sweet boozy smell.

Tastes very good, loving it. A unique, but good blend of both sweet and bitter. Sweetness right off the bat, call it power of suggestion but brown sugar detected, overall a good malt presence. Very Hoppy, citrus zest, and a little bit of pine. Very good tasting overall.

Full bodied, as mentioned a good, unique balance of bitter and sweet. Good carbonation level and a strong bitter finish. Very drinkable. Had it in the past, my buddy and I killed a growler in a short evening, so I'd say dangerously drinkable, really enjoyed this bottle this time.

AndyAvalanche, Feb 20, 2011
Photo of bundy462
4/5  rDev -0.5%

bundy462, Dec 14, 2013
Photo of SpAiReArGsEonNE
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

SpAiReArGsEonNE, Dec 01, 2013
Photo of jackndan
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brown Shugga': And here I was all ready to assert that this was a barley wine, it absolutely has that same creamy, melted butterscotch flavor, with a sharp snap of sweet and hops toward the end that I've tasted in other BW's. I peeked at their description on the site though, and I'll be damned if two hundred pounds of brown sugar does not make for one fine brew. Pours a barely hazy golden amber, with a nice initial head that leaves a thin skin on the top throughout, and a bit of lacing. Definite sweetness and sugars in the aroma. As already suggested, smooth and buttery mouthfeel, very nice. I'm half way through and the beer gets a wee bit cloying, this is not a beer that you'd have several of in an evening. I'd have another one tomorrow, and more than one any night between October 15 and April 15, so I'll not be too harsh on the drinkability.

Nice taste, but I'm not convinced that this is an Strong/Old Ale.

jackndan, May 22, 2004
Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,703 ratings.