Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

1,443 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,443
Hads: 5,003
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.8%
Wants: 232
Gots: 851 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Brown Shugga' Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,443 | Hads: 5,003
Photo of mastodonj
4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Has a large although short-lived head, light beige with huge lacing.
Exceptional nose, complex. Sweet but not cloying. Malty.
A warming taste with tart-sweet and adult flavors, read: bold alcohol but not astringent.
Overall, a great ale. Perfect for a cold evening. (265 characters)

Photo of specksnreds
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass which revealed the beer's dark amber color. Not much head, and a velvety carbonation. Malt, malt, malt. Surprisingly little hoppiness, but I don't care. This malt bomb's ABV adds the right counter point. The booze isn't hidden, and it's upfront to say the least. A little sweet and heavy on the mouthfeel, and it lends this beer to sipping. Warms up nicely on the tongue. The malt wallop is quite heavy, but this one may benefit from some shelf time. (475 characters)

Photo of BabyBastard
3.51/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a great deep brown with slight reddish hues. Small tan head leaves nice laces around the glass. Looks delicious. Whiff pre-pour is surprisingly filled with hops, not so much after in the glass. Once in the glass, it's pretty much all sweet brown sugar in the nose. Taste on this is an almost overwhelming sweetness, nice malty backbone that has a slight hop bitterness lingering in the background. Feel is slick and oily. Not heavy at all for such a "big beer". Dangerously drinkable, especially if you happen to have a sweet tooth. (538 characters)

Photo of jlb307
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this in a trade from gorby10826 (Thanks, Mike). Not sure the age, but the label on my bottle looks different from the one on the picture above.

A: Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Amber color with a reddish hue. Only developed about a 1/4" head which didn't last long at all. Not much lacing, either. Looked like a little bit of sediment was present. Very nice looking.

S: Smelled like an aged IPA. Citrus and pine coming from the hops, but an underlying sweetness that compliments it a lot. Little bit of alcohol smell to it, but not a lot. Sugary to be sure.

T: Pretty much like it smells, so not very complex. Still tasted very good but was hoping for a little more. Don't get me wrong, this is a great tasting beer. Taste of caramel and vanilla hung around for a while. Little bit of alcohol twinge.

M: Could have been better. Was a little thin for my tastes when compared to the flavor.

D: Very good beer and dangerously easy to drink. That 9.5% hit me sooner than I thought. Would happily have it again, and hope to have it again soon. (1,065 characters)

Photo of Rezzin
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured into a pint glass. Brownish red with not much head to speak of.

S - Sweet, almost smells a little sour too. Malty. You smell the brown sugerness and just a tiny bit of hops.

T - Rich and sweet. Not bitter at all but you can taste the hops. Seemed a little bit sour to me but I drank this one almost at room temperature.

M - Smooth but in a light way. I know this thing is 9.9% ABV but it's masked fairly well. Alcohol kick.

D - This is the 2nd time I've had this from the bottle and it seemed much better the first time I had it. My judgement may be a little skewed since I drank it fairly warm. Not a bad beer. My first barelywine and definitely not the last. (685 characters)

Photo of busterwhite
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark golden/amber color with a 2 finger head. Nice lacing on the glass.

Aroma of pine, citrus and some sweetness.

Nice full flavor with citrus and pine up front followed by a good balanced sweetness. Finished with mix of bitter and sweet in the aftertaste.

Medium to full body, a little slick with good carbonation.

Overall this is a fantastic beer. (362 characters)

Photo of bradleyp
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks again to the Bier Stein for stocking this beer. Poured into a 6 oz. glass. Split with GF.

A: Light brown, very see-through.

S: Hops and malts blend exceptionally. Brown-sugar aroma is very pungent.

T: Very hoppy. I could also taste some sugar sweetness.

M: Went down very nicely. Not too spicy.

D: I would surely buy this again, and again, and again. (363 characters)

Photo of blindtiger24
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Slightly hazy copper with good carbonation. Great lacing on the sides of the glass from the sticky head.

S: Dank, woodsy hops jump right off the first pour. Smells like many other Lagunitas IPA varieties.

T: Big, tangy, sticky, citrus and pine hop flavors. Definitely some biscuity, bready notes as well. Melds with a nice, sugary, malt, candied nut flavor at the end.

M: Boozy, warming, sticky from those hop oils and lip smacking malt sweetness.

O: An enjoyable beer, but I would prefer a little less intensity of the hop flavors in favor of more malt or spice complexity. Overall, enjoyable, but seems more a true IPA our double IPA than a strong ale. (665 characters)

Photo of MoorBeerPlz
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 12oz. bottle into my usual New Belgium globe glass...

A: Poured a clear, bubbly copper/brown with gold tints. Beautiful light brown, foamy, 2 finger head that dropped off to a thin layer on the top and light lacing along the sides of the glass.

S: Bringing the glass close brought the aromas of hops, malt, pine and a sweet smell not unlike brown sugar as it's cooking. Maybe some citrus in there too.

T: Hops, followed by a molasses sweetness and ending with a sweetened hop finish. I detected some warmth at the very end of the swallow from the alcohol but it didn't detract from the overall taste.

M: Smooth, creamy feeling that slowly runs around your mouth. Dry finish but with a little residual on the tongue. I like how another reviewer called it; "stickiness".

O: Overall a solid, very drinkable brew. The anticipated sweetness is not nearly as bad as your mind expects from the name. I didn't really pick up on a brown sugar like flavor but that's beside the point. While the ABV is up there a ways, I wouldn't hesitate to buy this again. Good job Lagunitas.

Cheers! (1,095 characters)

Photo of BeerandWhiskeyHQ
3.64/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance
Dark brown with a copper hue
Smell
Malty, pine and fruit come off with some gusto
Taste
There was a malt/hop presence that came through a lot stronger than I expected- but it was welcome. For some reason I was expecting something different. But the flavor was bold and lingering as I’ve come to expect from Lagunitas
Overall
I have to give this one a try again, I may have had something else to clog my senses, but I wasn’t entirely impressed which was disappointing because I was quite looking forward to it. Hold on – I’ll be right back I’m going to go buy some more and re-edit this later icon smile Beer reviews

-BeerandWHiskeyHQ.com (660 characters)

Photo of ParnellJoseph1138
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-Enticing deep copper color

S-Readily apparent floral hop aroma and sweet smell

T-A fine malt presence but you really taste the sweetness of the sugar and then the orange, grapefruit character of the hops come through. A lot of complexity and character in this beer.

M-A rich full mouth feel

O-A fascinating beer with a unique combination of hops, malt, sugar. The malt presence becomes apparent first, the sweetness comes through next, and then it finishes with a hop bitterness. (486 characters)

Photo of Lillenk
4.04/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Grill One Eleven.

Appearance was a little lacking. Light brown in color with a creamy head, but a little foggy.

Smell was nice. Lots of sweet smells like you would expect from the name but also lots of other things going on as well.

Taste was fantastic. So much happening with layers of sweetness and hops and a huge lasting stay with you for a while finish.

Mouthfeel was huge but in a good way with all the layers of flavors. The higher ABV would make it hard to drink a bunch, but the taste makes you want to. (530 characters)

Photo of RexBanner
3.9/5  rDev -2%

Dark amber in appearance. Pillowy head that settles to a sticky ring leaving spider web like lacing on the glass.

Piney hop forward nose. Malt background, light maple syrup and whole wheat bread aromas.

Not as sweet as I thought it'd be. Malt body with a very, very light brown sugar taste. Everything is washed away by the piney, resiny hops.

Light to medium body. Lightly carbonated, finishes semi dry.

I must say I was a bit disappointed with this brew. Reading the reviews I imagined I was in for a unique malt forward, perfectly balanced strong ale. Instead I got something closer to an American barleywine. Overly hopped, out of balanced and one dimensional. One reviewer compared this to hairy eyeball. I disagree, as I feel that hairy eyeball is much more balanced and tastier than brown shugga. But as with everything else; if you've enjoyed this in the past then that's all that matters. Cheers! (911 characters)

Photo of Keystone
3.05/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I don't know if I am drinking the same beer as some people? I was not sold on this one. Good feel to the beer and nice light carbonation as others have pointed out. However that was about it for me. Didn't smell good, too sweet on the front and the after taste is as if someone poured cheap vodka in my beer. (310 characters)

Photo of halo21
4.52/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured nicely into a smaller pilsner glass (poured a third of a bottle and was able to get my nose in the glass)

Appearance: A beautiful orange and red with a chunky white head that left lacing all over the inside of the glass. Very clear with fine carbonation.

Smell: Apples. Bold, citrus with floral, and sweet malts. This beer has a ton of aroma coming off of it representing the size of this beer.

Taste: Amazing flavors, of fruit, brown sugar sweetness, and a huge hop finish: bitter and dying, but extremely complex. This heavy brew is a great desert in and of itself.

Mouthfeel: Refreshing but still very strong presence. The story shown above behind this beer - the Old GnarlyWine Ale gone awry - is very present in this beer in that it is strong and feels big.

Drinkability/Palitability: Medium to low; this is a slow sipping - next time out of a sniffer and I will write the notes up on here - after meal beer. You could drink a few of these if it was not for the teamwork of such a high ABV and weight.

Notes: I love everything this beer is, and have never been let down by Lagunitas. This brew has a very 'fall season' feel; particularly the North East, where I live. It's apple smell mixed with the sweetness brings to mind Autumn. Next time I drink this - in the sniffer - I will be trying this beer with sliced apple and some sharp cheddar cheese. (1,378 characters)

Photo of Lothar666
3.51/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Poured an opaque dark brown amber body with hints of orange around the edges of the glass. Head was bone white and very creamy, a full two fingers thick and displayed excellent retention. Lacing was thick, sticky and white and just as creamy as the head.

S- Candy and brown sugar with a bit of strong alcohol and something quite tart in the background... Caramel Apples perhaps?

T- Raw fermented brown sugars and strong alcohol dominate the pallet, over a backbone of sweet dark malts and dark bread. A bit more of the caramel apple in the background but quite muted compared to the odor- hops make their presence felt a bit in the finish but even they are subdued by the overwhelming sugar flavor. Drinking this reminds me of drinking chinese tea the way I used to as a kid- with half the glass filled with honey and brown sugar.

M- Thick, viscous and a bit sticky and chewy... The burn in the back of the throat is a cross between what one would expect from a strong barleywine and from drinking a straight glass of high fructose corn syrup. For some this would be unpleasant, but I am a sweets junkie as well as a beer geek so the two go together surprisingly well.

D- Surprisingly drinkable for such a sweet, sticky and strong brew, but my opinion may be a bit biased due to my predilection for sweets. Still, I think that this one would get tiring after the first was done and I would probably move on to something a but more tame. However, this one definitely succeeds at being a unique beer. (1,505 characters)

Photo of wangbruins
4.6/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Very thick looking dark caramel color with a very small head, but the color definately fits the name

S- Strong sugar smell as well as a flower scent and some earth tones laced in

T- Very earthy with a lot of caramel overtones and a sweet, sugary aftertaste

M- It's like my coffee, smooth and sweet, very easy with a slight after bite. It's a very, very pleasant feel on the palate

D- This beer is phenomenal for a sweet lover, which I am. It's very surprisingly drinkable and tasty (488 characters)

Photo of untitledeuphoria
4.4/5  rDev +10.6%

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. (1,200 characters)

Photo of teovaldi
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange-amber with a big off-white head.

Smells of sweetness, toasty malts a hint of hop and some dark fruit as it warms up.

Lots of hops up front followed by a sweet malty middle where you can really start to taste the brown sugar. Nothing over powers anything in the taste and it all comes together to be wonderfully balanced.

Mouthfeel is slick creamy and perfectly carbonated.

Drinkability is way to easy for this monster. Where is the 9%+? (460 characters)

Photo of tjkurz
2.84/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served out of bottle in pint glass. Nice but lighter brown was expecting darker - a few fingers of head that held nicely. Smelled boozey and hoppy for a brown. I was expecting at least a hint of brown sugar and a lot more maltiness. Felt decently carbonated but not too much so, great mouthfeel when warmer. Tasted boozey and hoppy for a brown. Drinkability - I really hadn't read the abv, a little boozey for me. (413 characters)

Photo of jman42
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

A = Crystal clear copper color. The head was moderate but the lacing is still sitting at the top of my glass even though it is half gone.

S = Sweet and malty

T = Definitely taste the alcohol in this. One of those beers that I didn't realize it was 9.9% until I took a taste. Taste the sweetness of the brown sugar too.

M = Smooth on my tongue. Combination of a lingering malty and bitterness taste after I swallow.

O = A nice beer to age probably. A great beer to have on a cold Autumn/Winter night after a hard day of fun. Pour into a snifter and drink in front of the fire. (585 characters)

Photo of OrangeMen
4.01/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance- Bright amber, orangish hues, glistens when held to light, very transparent and clean. Pours two finger thick, soapy/bubbly white head. Sticky lacing on sides of glass.
Aroma- Sweet sugary malts, slighty toasty, rich. Bright pine, sweet citrus hops, slightly floral, sweet and sticky bitterness.
Taste- Bright and fruity bitter hop profile, piney, citrus oranges, and slight pineapple. Rich underbelly of sweet and sugary malts, toasty/bready. Finishes with a wonderful balance of sweet and bitter.
Mouthfeel- Lighter to medium mouthfeel, very sticky and slightly creamy. Moderate carbonation.
Overall- Wonderful balance to this beer, sweet sugary malts and bitter hops. A rather good marriage than a contrast of styles, both aspects blend well together. A very sticky feel, bright and fruity. (804 characters)

Photo of CRichardsMN
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance:
Pours a cloudy amber brown with floaties (my bad, poured out the whole bottle). There is no head and just a ring of white around the edge of the glass which leaves spotty residue. Pretty dense looking brew.

Smell:
Has a tart, sweet, mildly hoppy nose with a thrust of caramelized malts. Light whiff of alcohol.

Taste:
Very interesting. Nice full body of caramelized malts and a bite of citrusy hops up front. After that, all bets are off with a very sweet molasses (brown sugar, duh) and some strong alcohol roll around. Finishes warm and slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel:
Heavier carbonation than is expected from the appearance but still a medium to medium-heavy body. Finishes only a little dry.

Drinkability:
Had a sample 1/4oz taster a the liquor store and didn't think I liked this one. Turns out, if poured into a real glass and allowed to breathe a little, this is a pretty good beer. Not for quantity (9.84% ABV) but to sit and think about.

Comment:
Another surprise brew and this time for the positive. Nice! (1,030 characters)

Photo of Tifore
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Tremont Tap House. Poured into a small tasteing glass.

A - Light brown in color, almost maple syrupy looking. Clear with no haze at all. Looks refreshing. Has a small one finger head on it that has pretty good retention. Small lacing on the glass after I finish.

S - Smells of sweet malts and molasses with loads of citrusy hops backing it up. Some smokey and roasted malts are also present. A nice balance of hops and malts. The IBU's definitely suprise me here because at 50 or so, it smells like theres way more.

T - Taste is very hop forward. Loads of piney and citrusy hops with some spicey and sweet tones as well. A all around great ale, the 10% alcohol isn't present in the mouth at all.

M - Mouthfeel is medium with a big bitter finish due to the hops.

D - A nice all around great ale from Lagunitas. Very balance and tasty. I'd get this again for sure. (878 characters)

Photo of UPMD_Bill
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
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%. (188 characters)

Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,443 ratings.