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Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,446 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,446
Hads: 5,027
Avg: 3.99
pDev: 21.05%
Wants: 242
Gots: 885 | 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: 1,446 | Hads: 5,027
Photo of UPMD_Bill
4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
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 Rjhami
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 12 oz into NB globe. No freshness date that I could see.

Red-orange amber color with a thin head that leaves spotty lace. Rings within the creamy head simmer around the glass.

Malty sugar balances a hoppy tone that finishes with a little yeast. Can not detect hardly any alcohol in the nose. Big malty flavor with earthy, sweet notes and a touch of peppery spice. The sweetness ensues but not too much at all.

Medium-heavy bodied and slightly chewy. Nice carbonation, not too prickly yet less than syrupy.

This beer is well balanced in every facet. It is hard to believe that this is 9.99%, it could certainly sneak up on you. It really reminds of a Belgian Strong PA. The sugar makes it different but is not overdone. An excellent value here.

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Photo of Duttonic
4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes 12/21/10. Had on-tap at the Dancing Bear. Served in a Victory Golden Monkey snifter.

A- Brownish-red/amber, hazy, one finger off-white head, nice lacing.

S- Cherries, cranberries, faint brown sugar.

T/M- Silky, carbonated tinge(like champagne), slightly bitter finish.

D- Awesome. I could drink a lot of this. The alcohol is integrated very well. Great texture, nice finish, extremely well balanced from start to finish.

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Photo of blindtiger24
4.03/5  rDev +1%
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.

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Photo of BobJude
4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Ok, I had my 2nd one tonight and truly appreciated this beer. I am not sure what an American Strong Ale is, but to me, this was a very good double IPA with a great sweet undertone that really balanced the hop bitterness and flavor.

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Photo of Kakaraht
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Amber in color with a thumb of thin white head.

S: It smells like an American IPA, very floral and citrusy. Really it smells like every other beer they produce.

T: I don't taste anything that could be brown sugar, mostly a light caramel flavor being overpowered by hops. The hops go through a wide range of citrus and floral flavors changing as the beer warms.

M: Medium body, the bitterness lingers quite long.

D: I was hoping for something more sweet with less of that very common American IPA flavor. It is a good beer other than that, just not what I was looking for.

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Photo of BurpingtonDC
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into an imperial pint glass. It's no secret that Laguinitas makes a mighty fine ale, so without further adieu...

A - This is a beautiful brew indeed. Deep copper color with a three fingered head and ample lacing.

S - great smell, hints of sweet malt, clove, vanilla and a little pine. strong hop scent.

T - Sweeter than I normally like, but makes a nice change of pace. Full flavored, brown sugar and hop interplay--sweet at the fore then finishes with a prominent bitter hoppiness. Vanilla, a little spiciness and boozy finish.

M - Full bodied with a good degree of carbonation and sticky sweetness left on the tongue.

D- Very tasty strong ale if you're only having one. Otherwise it's on the sweet side and, oddly for a strong ale...strong alcohol. Great on a cold winter night.

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Photo of Kudashov
1.9/5  rDev -52.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

22 oz Brown bottle poured in a pint glass .
we have Ian Brown on the Hi-Fi with some golf on the TV . Bottle has dog on label and cap and it looks like " Pete " from Our Gang . Aroma is instant as cap is taken off . My sense of smell is not that good but I could smell this before cap was put down . I smell raisins , sugar , & molasses . Like treacle bread . My first gulp is pleasant and nice lacing present on glass . Slick mouthfeel and sweet on the end . Just not sweet enough ( which I already am but ..) . I like sweet but this was not my type . This brew is not what I was looking for .

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Photo of mastodonj
4.47/5  rDev +12%
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.

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Photo of specksnreds
4.27/5  rDev +7%
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.

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Photo of BabyBastard
3.51/5  rDev -12%
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.

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Photo of jlb307
4.15/5  rDev +4%
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.

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Photo of OrangeMen
4.01/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of RexBanner
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%

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!

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Photo of Rezzin
3.58/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

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Photo of busterwhite
4.35/5  rDev +9%
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.

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Photo of bradleyp
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

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Photo of BeerandWhiskeyHQ
3.64/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown with a copper hue
Malty, pine and fruit come off with some gusto
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
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


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Photo of untitledeuphoria
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%

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 Lothar666
3.51/5  rDev -12%
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.

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Photo of Lillenk
4.04/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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Photo of Keystone
3.05/5  rDev -23.6%
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.

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Photo of halo21
4.52/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

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Photo of wangbruins
4.6/5  rDev +15.3%
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

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Photo of teovaldi
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
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%+?

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Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,446 ratings.