Brown Shugga' - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,446 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,446
Hads: 5,027
Avg: 3.99
pDev: 21.05%
Wants: 243
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
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Reviews: 1,446 | Hads: 5,027
Photo of Tone
4.37/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, dark amber color. 1/3 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of hops first, then sweet malt, alcohol, brown sugar, and finally some slight banana aromas. Fits the style of an American Strong Ale. Mouth feel is very smooth and thick with an average carbonation level. Tastes of hops up front, then sweet malt, then brown sugar, strong alcohol throughout, and finally some slight fruit/belgian yeast flavors. Overall, a really smooth brew that packs a punch - good palate and nice blend of flavors.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from 2/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours an attractive medium red brown. Light head leaves a ring of foam and slight lacing. Hoppy, citrus and sweet malt aroma. Crisp intense hops up front. Medium barley wine like body and taste with caramel malt and faint citrus. Light brown sugar background. Like a cross between dark IPA and barley wine. Another hit from Lagunitas. Nice.

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

12oz bottle, very fresh. More in the cellar to see how this one develops. As it is now it’s pretty big and brutal with a lot of booze on the nose and in the flavor. Pours dark reddish amber, with a big cream colored head and a good deal of lacing remaining on the sides of the glass. Sweet, malty aroma, yes brown sugar and toffee; booze as mentioned; piney resinous and grapefruit hops. Flavor follows suit. There’s nothing subtle about this one; it’s sweet and sugary; lots of bitter pine and grapefruit hops that linger quite a bit in the aftertaste; sweet and sticky finish; up front alcohol, big time toasty bread and caramel malt character.

Medium-full body; medium carbonation; very smooth, rich and creamy feel. I guess I don’t get the excitement over this one that much; it felt like a chore to drink; way hot and heavy-handed. It’s obviously well-made and somewhat tasty, it just struck me as unnecessarily massive, even on a cold night. Very much a cross between a highly hopped barleywine and a big DIPA.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle obtained as part of BIF XMas from wezil. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/8" tan head over the cloudy dark amber brew. Head fades to an uneven layer of bubbles pretty quickly, but exhibits average lacing. Aroma is whoa, all about sweetness and powerful alcohol. Taste actually throws me for a loop, showing sweet malts as expected, but then fruitiness, and nary a taste of the distracting ethanol-laden nose. Mouthfeel and drinkability are very nice for the style. For a slow start this one came on as the experience went on. Worth a try, almost too drinkable...

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Photo of flagmantho
3.82/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. My bottle reads 9.5% ABV rather than the above-mentioned 9.84%.

Appearance: nice true amber color with a finger of compact tan head. Appetizing.

Smell: bright, tart, hoppy. Hops are citrusy, floral and a little funky. Hints of tart cherry, apple and raspberry. I'm quite intrigued.

Taste: big malt flavor forms a substrate on which the hops play. Some of the nice fruit subtleties are drowned in more staid strong-ale flavors like plum and raisin. Hops provide some bite; overall, a pretty good beer.

Mouthfeel: on the heavy side of medium body with a moderate level of carbonation. I feel like this beer could easily go both ways -- higher carbonation for a creamier Belgian-ey feel, or lower for an old ale/barleywine type situation -- and be better for it. Still not bad.

Drinkability: well, I like it, but with its malt-bombiness and its high ABV, it's definitely not a session one for me. I might split a sixpack three ways, though.

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

A: Poured a clear ruby-orange with a thin, cinnamon tan foamy layering that didn't stick around long. There was a slight rim lacing at best as it receded.

S: The nose was big and sweet with burnt molasses, maple syrup and sweet toffee which was followed by a lingering dried grapefruit hopping.

T: sweet up front with caramelized malt and dark molasses. There is a noticeable alcohol presence that sneaks in the middle of the palate as well some dried fruit (prunes), sugar plums, and raisins. The beer finishes out bitter with some dried grapefruit compliments of the Chinook hops.

M: sticky, dry, with a nice medium thick viscosity. Sweet, syrupy with a nice feel to it.

D: Very nicely done with a sweet start and bitter finish that compliment each other for a great overall experience. Alcohol was very well hidden for 9.0% and makes for a good drinkable beer, though comes off a tad sweet at times which may limit multiples.

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Photo of beertunes
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a straight pint glass. Minimal head leaves light but sticky lacing. A very pretty reddish-brown. Sweet aroma with nice hop touches. Flavor matches aroma closely. Smoothly sweet at the front with a balancing hop tang at the finish. Faint alcohol taste, but not in a bothersome way. Body is just a little lighter than full. Very drinkable, but this beer will sneak up on you. Because it's smooth, sweet and easy to drink you might not notice it preparing to pop you. Very enjoyable, becoming a yearly favorite.

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Photo of tone77
3.23/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has an amber color with a small head. Smell is of hops and alcohol. Taste is very hoppy, some notes of sugar and alcohol. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall this is a fairly decent brew.

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Photo of DrJay
3.58/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reddish brown beer, not quite clear, topped by a short, light tan head. Fine bubbles formed some lacing, foam reduced quickly to a solid ring. Caramel, toffee, and grapefruit aromas hit the nose first, with notes of orange and alcohol becoming more apparent as it warmed. There were also some tropical fruit/fruit punch aromas as well. Solid bitterness with sweet toffee and grassy hops. Fruit character was much more restrained and was mostly citrus. Light molasses flavour towards the end, but it finished strongly bitter with a little alcohol warmth. Medium bodied, medium/low carbonation that resulted in a creamy texture. Some dryness. A decent beer, but the high bitterness doesn't really let the malt character show very well.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.23/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark brownish red color with an off-white head. The aroma is a lot of sweet malt and piney hops. The taste much like the aroma features a good dose of malt followed by a nice hoppy finish. There is a good dose of hops in the taste, but there is a sufficient amount of malt to make this a well balanced brew. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and very smooth. The drinkability is pretty high considering it's high ABV, the full malt and hop flavors mask the alcohol pretty well. Overall, this is a very good beer that is recommended.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I got this bottle from russpowell. Thanks Russ!

It pours from 12oz bottle a hazy amber colour with a slight tinge of orange and a 1 finger head of off-white foam. Lots of lacing and the head retention is quite good. It's a fine looking brew in the glass.

Taking a few whiffs, I get a lot of sweet caramel and sugar with an almost equal amount of citrus hops. Nice. I'm also getting a touch of fruitiness.

The taste is just as impressive. Super sweet notes of caramel and brown sugar that seem to be heading to beyond what I like but....there's that citrus doing a fine balancing act and bringing the tastes back in order. Very tasty. The finish has just the slightest bitterness to it and that works fine for me.

The body is on the light side and the carbonation is medium light. The alcohol is *very* well hidden and because of that, the contents of my glass are disappearing at an alarming rate. Oh well. That's a problem I'll deal with and I give a salute to Lagunitas for brewing a fine American Strong Ale. I'd drink this again, no problem.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into pint glass jan18 2010

A clear amber with only a few bubbles floating up to a dense fingers worth of tan head that falls fairly quickly leaving a few patches of lace

S pine, grapefruit, lots of caramel/burnt sugar and some vanilla

T quite sweet with a little earthy citrus to go along with a good amount of hops, sweet malt and some booze

M a little flat but thick and syrupy

D a little different, but I would drink this again just not many of them in a row

I think I may throw one of these under the stairs and see how it ages. that being said this is a good beer if your not afraid of something on the sweeter side, worth trying for sure

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Photo of puboflyons
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on December 7, 2014.

It is an attractive looking deep amber pour with a long lasting off-white head. A lot of lacing.

Sweet aroma of malts and brown sugar with a muted hop sensation.

Medium to better than medium body.

The taste begins with the sweet malty goodness and the brown sugar but there is a fascinating moderate bitterness at the finish.

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Photo of Haybeerman
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep, clear caramel color; orange highlights. Poured a 2 finger caramel colored head with good retention to a half finger. Lacing combined rings and sticky webs.

S: Sweet molassas and roasted malt. Plent of floral hols, orange rind, grapefruit an pine.

T: Sweet caramel-flovored bread. Resiny floral and piney hops in the middle. Residual sugar lingers through the bitter. Some warming alcohol. Nicley balanced for the style.

M: Medium body. Moderate carbonation. Resiny and dry. The abv presents little influence on the feel.

D: Easily drinkable despite the abv; well disguised in the beer. Surprisingly well-balanced and not as one-dimensional as many.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.38/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear burgandy. Thick, dense off-white head. The froth coats the glass heavily as I drink. Aroma is sweet. Very sweet. Caramel sweet. And there's a whiff of alcohol as well. And some tropical fruits. Rummy alcohol notes are noticed up front on the palate. And the alcoholic bitterness lingers long after the sip. The flavor is pretty sweet, but not quite to the cloying extent. Sweet and alcoholic sum up this beer quite well. And there's some estery goodness in the mix as well. Passion fruit tones and such. Medium bodied and lightly carbonated. Decent enough, but not really noteworthy.

Here's a shout out to the LBB for the sample. Thanks bud.

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

Bottle opened on 10.26.12.

A - Pours a clear orange-brown with a one inch light tan, foamy head with good retention.

S - Hoppy pine mostly and some sweetness.

T - Hoppy pine, then some sweet candy, carmel malts and brown sugar.

D - Good carbonation and a medium body, a very sweet finish.

O - Hoppy up front with a sweet brown sugar finish.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

What a pleasant beer. And talk about unique. . . if BA had a originality category, this would get a 5.

Pours out a reddish brown color. Beige head, about 5/8". Good lace. Aroma is sweet, like brown shugga!

The alcohol is extremely well hidden. You get a hop blast somehow, which I didn't expect in a beer with so much "brown shugga" in it. But it isn't over the top sweet that is a turn off. Had some bitterness to pair with it.

Easily Lagunitas's most original work. A great brewery, a real good beer.

Its not as good as Hop Stoopid or their Pale, but its in good company with all their others. . .

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance- A light mix of honey and an IPA like amber. Like Wonderbread crust color. No carbonation visible. Not an impressive head, but a lingering skim of foam, and some decent lacing to boot.

Smell- A little bland or muted. But some definite sugary sweet malts of a darker character are picked up though.

Taste- This is a great balance of bland malts sweetness, brown sugar sweetness, and hop bitterness.Starts with a caramel malt sweetness blended with light hops leading to the middle and finish of solid brown sugar sweetness.

Mouthfeel- Easy palate and very well incorporated alcohol.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours brilliant brown to chestnut under a 1” clingy creamy white foam collar.
S: Malt and light fruit aromas with some spice.
T: Big complex sweet malt up front with traces of dark sugar and fruit culminating in a dry finish with a bitter hop accent.
F: Medium body and carbonation, slight warming.
O: A big, satiating, bold beer for after work

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Photo of spinrsx
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a clear copper colour with an average size frothy light brown/beige head. There is a low to average amount of carbonation showing and there is a fair amount of lacing on the sides of the glass. The head stuck around for a few minutes before it was gone.

Smell - malts, hops, cookies, caramel, orange, and brown sugar

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation and it has a very creamy and full bodied feel. There is a lot of brow sugar taste mixed with hops an earthy clove/all spice flavour. The alcohol is extremely well hidden and there are also notes of pine, oranges, and lots of malts. The beer finishes with a bitter hop and very sweet brown sugar aftertaste.

Drink - A nice sipper beer that is good for the holidays/colder weather. I'm happy I tried it.

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Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at Thinking Man's in Atlanta.

Pours a clear dark amber color with a one-finger off-white head that quickly fades into a wispy layer of bubbles on top and a thin ring around the glass. Decent lacing.

Smells much hoppier than I'd anticipated. Lots of citrus aromas joined by a mild spicy sweetness.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Again, I wasn't expecting a whole lot of hops here but that's what I got. Large hits of grapefruit joined by sweet caramel malts and a small spice kick at the end. The flavor profile took some getting used to, but I liked it more near the end of the beer than I did in the beginning. I would never have guessed this was almost 10% ABV.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a good wet feel with good thickness and carbonation.

Drinkability is good. It's an interesting mash-up of styles that's easy to drink once you get used to it.

Overall this is a very interesting beer that's certainly worth a shot.

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Photo of claspada
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aromas are not surprisingly barley wine oriented with some, no surprise, brown sugar, molasses, vinous apple, dark caramels. Once you get past the sweetness you get the hop end with citrus and lemon and a little earthiness.

The taste is extremely well balanced with waves of dark caramel malts and brown sugar with dark vinous fruit notes again. The aroma and taste complement each other very well. The hop bitterness helps to balance out the sweet nature of the brew preventing it from being cloying.

The mouthfeel if full and thick, deserves to be sipped and savored. Balanced carbonation also helps to keep the higher ABV and sweetness in check. Overall a great full flavored unique offering from the brewery I usually pass on because of their aggressive Pacific hop tendencies but this is perfectly balanced and delicious.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.52/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this a month ago. Review from notes.

A - Pours a nice dark brown in color with fluffy white head.

S - Mostly of brown sugar, caramel, and loads of hops.

T - Hops kind of overpower the palate but finishes with a candy sweetness from the brown sugar. Great.

M - Really strong flavors and ABV. Full Bodied.

D - Man I think I still have a few places around and can get them usually for around 2-3 dollars a bottle. I will see this again next year.

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Photo of Gusler
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The pour an obscure amber color, the head is exorbitant in size, the consistency frothy with enormous sticky sheets of lace clinging to the glass. Also must say, the sediment is suspended much as the definition of obscure states. Nose is malt, floral, hints of fusel alcohol, caramel, a “Top Notch Sniffer” for the old proboscis. Front is malt and thickly sweet, the top full-bodied, the finish is medial on the carbonation, medicinal in its hop spicy bite, dry, alcohol bitter aftertaste “OOOHAAAAA”, how I love these “Bad Boys”.

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Photo of avalon07
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a copper color and a clear consistency. There was an inch of creamy, fairly long-lasting head. Excellent lacing.

S: A big, powerful aroma of malt, hops, and above all else, brown sugar.

T: Tasted of malt, hops, and caramel, with some brown sugar present, though not as much as I would have expected. A well rounded flavor.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: A solidly made, drinkable beer.

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