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Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

Educational use only; do not reuse.

4,678 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,678
Reviews: 1,446
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.41%
Wants: 199
Gots: 679 | FT: 17
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: 4,678 | Reviews: 1,446 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of OStrungT
3.87/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a cloudy orange brown with a lot of sediment. The off white head fades a little fast, leaving a good lacing. It smells slightly of alcohol. It has a sweet aroma. I can smell a good toasted malt scent. It has a slight raisin like aroma. This beer has a malty taste. Quite malty. I can only detect the alcohol a bit. It warms my throat slightly as it goes down. It has a sweet caramel taste. Not too much for hop flavor though. I can also taste some brown sugar, hence the name Brown Shugga'. This beer is full bodied. It goes down smooth leaving a malty sweet aftertaste. I dont think this beer would make the greatest session beer. It is higher in alcohol, and the flavor is sort of aggressive, and might wear thin after a little while. As for just one, this beer is pretty good. I am glad that I tried it. If you see it, it is worth a try.

Photo of Prospero
3.25/5  rDev -19.4%

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

My Brown Shugga poured without much head and has an orange amber colour. The smell is hoppy and slightly sweet: nice. The taste is quite hoppy but develops some sweet maltiness through the middle and the aftertaste wasn't really bitter for me. The texture is slightly thick and carbonated. This is a very nice beer.

Photo of BKBassist
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Vogt52
4.24/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of NODAK
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Smells deeply sweet...the brown sugar and molasses are certainly noticeable. However, I get somewhat of a floral hoppiness in there as well, leading me to believe this won't be just a sugar bomb.

Pours an amber color with a fair sized, but somewhat loose head.

The taste doesn't surprise at all, with a high level of brown sugar sweetness come across right away in the body. However, a somewhat strong (nearly IPA level, really) bitterness comes across and cuts through the sweetness and even lingers a little while after the swallow, along with the sticky sweetness. As it warms, the alcohol does come out a bit but for the ABV it isn't bad at all.

It isn't all that complex or interesting, in my opinion. Basically a sugary beer with a fairly high hop character. It's different, I'll certainly give it that. At the end of the day though, I'm not sure I'd seek it out.

Photo of PGVG
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of unclekeith
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of NJB145
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of psoriasaurus
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of TheMultiYeast
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of OldhouseRecs
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of hayesjw
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Birdlegs
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of meanmutt
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of danthehopslamman
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of inspektor
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of ToasterChef
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to smakawhat for trading this bottle to me. A 12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass. A good sized light brown head rests atop the liquid. It is clear and colored reddish brown. Some small carbonation bubbles can be seen within. Good lacing is left behind.

Some malty sweetness and some brown crystal sugar aromas are easily detected. A little bit of hop bitterness can be detected. There is no indication that this is a strong ale.

Some sweet roasted malts and sugars make up the majority of the flavor profile--but I wouldn't call this beer too sweet. Some alcohol and prune juice are present in the finish and aftertaste; after they subside, brown sugars are left. That taste will stay with you until your next sip. Hop flavors are present throughout, but never get too bitter.

All the sugar in this beer causes it to be quite sticky. A sweet coating covers my tongue. Flavors of alcohol and brown sugar are present. There are no alcoholic vapors present, which I often find in strong ales such as this one.

Considering how strong and sweet this beer is, I find it to be very drinkable. Neither the alcohol or the sugars are limiting factors (the alcohol would be if I were driving). I could easily see myself buying this beer by the 6 pack if it were available to me locally. I'll have to buy some next time I'm in Lagunitas' distribution area. This is an interesting and recommended beer.

Photo of damndirtyape
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle (no date) poured into a milkshake pilsner glass.

Appearance: Bright amber-red clear colored beer with plenty of small bubbles slowly moving up through the beer. Dense light tan 1/8" persistent foam with sheets and strands of lacing all over the place. Nice looking beer.

Smell: Very hoppy. Pine and floral hops dominate, but there is some hint of mango and grapefruit.

Taste: The nickname of "Sweet Release" fits with this beer nicely. The pine and floral hops start off, but then quickly merge into a sweet malt profile with a definite brown sugar flavor to it. This sweetness is released, but then ends with a tart bitter hop finish. It's a sharp finish, but not a lingering one. The alcohol is not at all present, despite the higher ABV. I've had beers with lower ABV where the alcohol was more obvious. Really an impressive beer.

Mouthfeel: Nice carbonation on the tongue - just on the right side of spicy. Just right level of thickness - smooth and slick but there is some lingering film and sensation on the teeth.

Drinkability: With an ABV this high, this is a sipping and savoring beer for me, but it did go well with a roast beef burrito for dinner. While I can feel the alcohol a bit about halfway down the glass, this beer is so smooth and tasty I could see myself fooled into another one if I didn't know it was this high of an ABV content. A dangerously drinkable beer.

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

This beer pours a very nice reddish brown that has a nice fluffy white head that dissipates quickly leaving some lacing on the glass. There is a nice transparency to this beer that I didn't really expect. It looks greath in the light though. It smells like brown sugar, molasses, caramel, and some citrus fruit notes like lemon and orange. There is also a very nice hoppy smell to this, mmmm gotta love it. the taste is nice and hoppy up front with a definite alcohol kick. It is also cut by a nice brown sugary sweetness that works very well. There are also notes of Molasses, caramel, butterscotch, and some subtle citrus notes. This has a good mouthfeel, Goes down smooth, and has a good amount of carbonation. Nice medium body on this that gives it almost a creamy texture. I think the drinkability is good on this one. I would love to have a bunch of these around to break out whenever I wanted. The alcohol kick was more than I expected, but I think it was a pleasant surprise. I also thought that it was going to be much sweeter than it was, and I'm glad I was wrong. I think this was perfect the way that they did it. Good job Lagunitas. Cheers.

Photo of Arithmeticus
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into tall ale glass.

A: great head; dark copper color; moderate carbonation beads; ok lacing at the end
S: piney, hoppy, buoyant
T: Wow. Outstanding flavor. Brown sugar flavor is strong, but the hops are an equalizing force; thus, it turns out to be both very bitter and sweet, quite complex; the sweetness would make it ideal as a dessert beer.
M: silky, smooth

A very high quality, fine beer.

Photo of timmy2b
3/5  rDev -25.6%

Photo of PatrickJR
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Beautiful rust colored with a slight haze. Massive 4+ fingers of tan colored head almost spill over the edge of the glass. Retention is great and the lacing is abundant; sheets of it on the glass.

S - Brown sugar, as the name implies, certainly jumps out at me but I also get a lot of vanilla with an almost banana-like element. Lots of custard/pie associations. There's also an interesting wave of fruitiness mixed in, tangerines and peaches first come to mind. Some pine pulls through as well. With all the maltiness Lagunitas still lets me know that this brew has it's fair share of hops mixed in.

T - Things start off fairly sweet with lots of caramel and vanilla and just a smidge of butteriness. Apple-like fruitiness provides the segue into hoppy flavors. Pine dominates here with hints of earth and suggestions of citrus peel. Alcohol sweeps the floor leaving a linger bittersweet flavor. While unique and tasty, it feels like there's something missing. I can't put my finger on it, but it seems like the beer is striving for a flavor that never fully manifests. As soon as the malt builds up the hops takeover, and as the hops crescendo the alcohol cleans the slate.

M - Full bodied, but not as sticky and syrupy as I would have thought. Very creamy. Carbonation is extremely low rendering this brew nearly still. Much like a fine barleywine in this respect. Fantastic.

D - A superb offering from Lagunitas. Ultimately I could've used a little more complexity and coherence with the taste (and a little more hidden alcohol) but overall this is a unique and more than worthy brew.

Photo of GRPunk
2.97/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle poured into an imperial pint glass.

A- It poured a deep amber color with light-medium carbonation. There was a 1/2" tan head that quickly turned to a lace that left a nice stick on the side of the glass.

S- It had a really nice aroma. It was big in both sweet-bread malt and pine-citrus hop scents. Just a hint of alcohol lets you know this beer means business.

T- A bready malt character is initially balanced with some citrus-like hops. However, there is an overwhelmingly sweet finish that came across and didn't sit well with me. The alcohol became more evident as the beer warmed.

M- The initial mouthfeel was really nice. It was smooth and lightly carbonated. However, there was a lingering thickness that allowed the sweet flavor to hang around.

D- Not great. I saw this beer was a definite sipper near the 10% abv mark, but something about the sweetness is a turnoff for me.

Overall- A great beer if you're into sweet. I'm going through a phase of really enjoying malty beers, but this one seems to go too far in the brown sugar direction. There were good things about this beer, but not enough to compensate for the negative for me.

Photo of Segelstrom
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%

Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 4,678 ratings.