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Brown Shugga' | Lagunitas Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
90
outstanding
1,517 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,517
Ratings:
5,383
Avg:
4
pDev:
11.25%
 
 
Wants:
280
Gots:
1,173
For Trade:
13
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.99%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 12-13-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,517 | Ratings: 5,383
Photo of joeskirkie
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

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Photo of Fatduck
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

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Photo of begforme4484
4.2/5  rDev +5%
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.

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Photo of Nietzsches_Horse
4.51/5  rDev +12.8%

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..."

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Photo of BradBLR
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
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!

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Photo of xare
2.06/5  rDev -48.5%
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.

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Photo of mschind
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

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Photo of sjverla
4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

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Photo of Giovacchini
4.2/5  rDev +5%
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.

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Photo of pwlong19
4.13/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Maybe its because its Halloween, but crap this stuff is sweet. But, even with the high ABV, it is still drinkable. Take it slow because it adds up FAST. Poured medium dark amber, orange. Smell was malty sweet. Taste was sugar, like candy at first with malt aftertaste. Feel was very smooth. Overall, 4.2.

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Photo of misterscooter
3/5  rDev -25%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I love Lagunitas and really respect their beers but this one was a bit more than what I prefer. I think it is probably a great beer for some people but I had a hard time getting my preferences out of the way and just rating this beer.

It pours a cloudy gold and brown with a small head that was gone quickly. Quite a bit of stuff floating around in there (normal or bad pour?) and the carbonation keeps it moving and keeps a bit of foam on top the whole time. The smell is very hoppy and a little sweet.

The taste hits me. I appreciate the complexity but it is just a bit too hoppy and sweet for me. There is a straw/grain taste and the high alcohol content is definitely noticeable as well as some yeasty overtones. Again, very carbonated feel in your mouth and hoppy and dry at the end. As it warmed up, it did mellow out so maybe I had it colder than this beer should be.

With the high alcohol content of this guy and how harsh it seemed to me, I doubt I could drink more than one. But I should try it again in case it was just a bad pour.

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Photo of nova009
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter

A- pours a dark brown body reminiscent of brown sugar, when held to light there is a red tint, small khaki head appears and dissipates down to a ring, lacing is okay but kind of spotty in areas

S- caramel hits the nose first, dark fruits like figs, toasted malt, vanilla, a slight nutty scent comes to mind, only a very slight brown sugar smell

T- the mouth gets hit hard by caramel and hops, the hops didn't really come out in the smell but it is definitely present in the flavor, piney notes out of the hops, slightly floral as well, an interesting balance of bitter and sweet, it is almost a strong-ale barleywine hybrid

M- medium body, very creamy and coats the palate nicely without the hops overly attacking it, carbonation is a little high but it seems to work

D- this is a sipper, i couldnt drink too many of these, with that being said it was a very intriguing beer, the combination of the strong ale and barleywine flavors is a nice concept, a nice one to grab in singles during the winter months

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Photo of UPMD_Bill
4.13/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle. Big frothy head, definitely sweet. A little balance from the hops but the added sugar dominates. A little peppery bite from the alcohol, but went down easy for 9.9%.

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Photo of lastmango
3.87/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber. Nice 3 finger creamy head with lots of laving. Mild malt and grass aroma. Big malt flavor with hop bite. Too much for me. This beer has a bit of a heavy oily feel.

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Photo of Umbra
4.38/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased on tap at Jack's in Bmore. Served in a tulip glass, it was a hazy nut brown with half fingered head, lacing and retention was excellent. Caramel, toffee, and brown sugar aromas.
Many of those same aromas came through with a bunch of candied sugars and fruits. Got some cookie dough flavors near the end.
Slightly boozy finish is the only inclination of a heavy hitter. It was not cloying, nor sweet, nor overly bitter, as many American barleywines can be. Perfectly drinkable because of this, though I can't have too many.

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Photo of lester619
3.38/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep orangish bronze/amber. Thick three inch solid white head and big lacing. Very malty and sweet smelling. Caramel, brown sugar and molasses on top of a fresh bread smell. Taste is also malty sweet. Malt, caramel toffee and molasses on top of a thick substantial bicuity body. All this sweetness is cut by a spicy herbal hoppy kick at the finish. It's still more bready and sweet than bitter though. I can feel some alcohol burn on on my lips. The mouthfeel is very satisfying. Thick, creamy and chewy. This is a big beer with good, complex flavors. With the thick sweet bready body combined with the ABV, it doesn't drink very easy. I would have a hard time drinking multiple bottles at the same time. I guess at 10% your not supposed to.

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Photo of Cheesemoose
4.13/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12oz poured into a tulip.

A good finger of pillowy white head. Hazy orange body. Nice solid lacing with a good film that remains throughout.

Sweet on the nose with a good malt base. Caramel, toffee, with a good citrus background.

Strong malt base, with toasted bread and a light caramel flavor to start. Then moves into a rather dry middle taste, but is quickly accentuated by the citrus hop flavors. Hops are rather strong and finish off the flavors. Little sugar in the taste, Could probably use a bit of cellaring to bring out the strong malts and let the hops settle, but that is up to you. As it warms, the sugar comes out a bit more. This is very barleywine-esque.

Thick mouthfeel, almost chewy. No alcohol noticeable, and for 9.99%, that is crazy. Best to stick to one.

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Photo of BevMoAndrew
3.87/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served into a Bruery tulip glass at about 45 degrees.

Pours a rich mahogany with a creamy, off-white froth that dissipates somewhat quickly...good lacing. On the nose, I instantly get hop characters of orange, grapefruit, & a touch of pine followed by a toffee, brown sugar, caramel, light cinnamon, grains, & subtle raisin. The beer is rich and creamy (slightly syrupy) on the palate with an uneven balance. For lack of a better term, it's like this beer is bittersweet. What I mean is that there is a definite hop presence and bitterness from beginning to end, but a sweet malt background that doesn't quite fit together. Overall, I really like the beer, but find myself looking for the balance. I think that the problem that I'm having is in the syrupy sweet texture. Oh well....good beer, but nothing to write home about.

definite hop character
sweet malt background

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Photo of cvaypai
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle to oversized snifter.

Appearance - Pours a coppery, orangey crimson brown and is hazy when looked through. Poured with a thin layer of head that dissipates very quickly clinging just to the sides of the glass. The lacing can be seen down the glass.

Smell - Oranges and cherries right up front, this is a different smelling beer. Other dark fruits can be found. Brown sugar and other sweet malts are detected, caramel. Very floral and fruity smelling and tons of smell coming from the hops. Resinous pine and grapefruit can be smelled on the end. Something just a bit off about the nose, can't put my finger on it.

Taste - Incredibly sweet up front, tastes of pears and apples, the sweet malt is right there with the fruit tang, coming in the like of caramel, brown sugar and other sweetness, possibly honey. Fruity bitterness on the end but not as much as I thought there would be, grapefruit and orange can be found. Just tons of flavors going on here. Very sweet almost like jolly ranchers on the end.

Mouthfeel - Carbonated well for the size. Very full bodied and heavy on the palate, it should be for a strong ale though. The sweetness is there biting the tongue, it feels nice in the mouth, almost cream like and smooth.

Drinkability - Not even a hint of alcohol, I could easily consume a few bottles of this and probably get pretty drunk at the abv. I wouldn't care though, it is almost refreshing for it's abv and style and I would definitely reach for another if I had one. I will be getting more.

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Photo of untitledeuphoria
4.4/5  rDev +10%

Fall 2013 batch, drank 9.01.14, poured from a 12oz bottle into a 12oz Stange.

It had been a few years since I last had this beer, and upon coming across it at Good Beer NYC I immediately snatched up whatever I could. Here we go...

A: Pours a clear, glowing red caramel (reminiscent of barleywine coloring), two fingers of light khaki head, excellent head retention, sticky lacing, eventually fades to a moderate cap.

S: Molasses, bitter dark fruits, toasted malt, touch of hop oil, and with all of that sugar I just can't help but smelling some maple syrup too.

T: I swear this beer is a second cousin to a barleywine somewhere... upon first sip I get tastebud deja vu to past nights of drinking big barleys along the Atlantic coast. Anyways... Molasses with a hint of vanilla, caramel, bitter fruit, and fall spicing, most notably clove. Phenomenal taste profile, better than I ever remember it.

M: Smooth, alcohol is completely obscured, light carbonation, thick... leaves a coating well after swallowing, taste lingers well afterwards without any flavor deviation.

O: Absolutely terrific. Big Flavor, super smooth, great mouthfeel, huge ABV. I hate myself for not picking up more than I did.

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Photo of Bisco42
4.38/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

So good. Easy drinking, looks perfect, the carbonation is on point and the aftertaste leaves you yearning for another. This beer is phenomenal for the price/abv with the taste. It also ages well.

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Photo of Baileyuk
3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Mild brown with a slightly red tint. Head was minimal but lacing was one of the best i have seen.

S - Sweet malts with a definate alocohol note.

T - Again sweet malts, hops were more pronounced than the smell would have suggested, although these were well placed. Alcohol flavor definantly present.

MD Mayve a little zippy from the carbonation (just a fraction). Was a good beer for sure although the sweetness and high alcohol limited my enjoyment a little, and the ability for another a lot.

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Photo of mountsnow1010
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Great Van Morrison brown color with a yellowish head that leaves a nice thick lace.
S - Delicious hop notes - really clean grapefruit smell backed up by a bit of a sweet caramel.
T - Hops up front - distinct lack of bitterness - followed by a sweet rich flavor. A bit of grassy hop flavor as well.
MF - Really nice - smooth and perfect carbonation. I'm not sure one could improve much upon this mouthfeel. Slight warming sensation.
D - 9.99% alcohol? I get a bit in the mouthfeel but otherwise this could be fairly low alcohol. High- dangerously high- drinkability.

Really, really enjoying this beer - I would highly recommend it.

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Photo of ElSid
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Beers of California

#24

Freshness Date: None

A: Copper with a bit of haze. A finger of khaki head springs up and sticks around for a bit finally leaving behind generous lacing on the glass

S: Sugary sweet, caramel, fresh, slightly toasted bread come together and are joined with pine and citrus. Quite aromatic, fresh, and stimulating.

T: Brown sugary sweetness up front wrapped with puffed pastry. Some caramel syrup which builds to earthy pine bitterness in the middle with squirts of citrus finally peaking with a stong but warm, balanced alcohol finish.

M: Smooth and even somewhat chewy with resilient linger and ample carbonation.

O: An interesting brew with loads of brown sugary sweetness and also warming alcohol which is well hidden in the aromatic and fresh hoppiness of this brew. Big yet balanced. The penicillin of the Lagunitas line: greatness birthed by happenstance, which speaks for their ingenuity and adaptability.

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Photo of maundythirsty
4.01/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber beer. No bubbling. Thin, off-white hea ... Hey, where'd the head go? The smell is a busy combination of dark sugars and malt and delicate floral and citrus hops.

That malt taste is talking to me, but it's hard to hear over a very bitter dose of hops compounded by the nearly 10 percent ABV. It's thick and smooth. Very dry.

Brown Shugga could take some getting used to, but I think I could really like this stuff. The alcohol comes across with such a heavy vodka-esque bite.

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Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,517 ratings.