Brown Shugga' | Lagunitas Brewing Company

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
IBU 51.1

User Reviews & Ratings
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 1,660 | Ratings: 5,944
Photo of rudiecantfail
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle poured into a tulip glass.

L---Dark, orangy-brown color. Not clear, but not because it's hazy, just because it's dark. Nice one inch, tan head with ok retention. Lacing is quite nice.

S---Malty & sweet. Brown Shugga, indeed. Lots of caramel & molasses. Goddamn, this smells good.

T---Like the nose, but better & more complex. Very, very caramelly (if that's a word). Brown Shugga shows up in molasses & maple syrup. Very sweet, but not cloying, sweet in every good way possible. Hops are clearly noticeable, but not in an amount to catch up to the maltiness.

F---Pretty heavy feel. No real alcohol noticeable, despite ABV. Almost syrupy.

O---This is really, really good stuff. I'm actually thinking about going back out tomorrow and buying a shitton more.

 791 characters

Photo of Fenderbender0789
5/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Brown Sugga. The name sucks but the the beer is on a playing field waay higher than most if not all!
Hard for me to describe it other than an excellent, top of the line strong american copper red ale that blows away the competition!-Beware tho, a few of these and youll also have a buzz like no other beers. Thanks Lagunitas!-Many Blessings...

 343 characters

Photo of tzbel013
4.68/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

What a sneaky smooth high octane beer this is! Doesn't really conform to a specific style other than malty, sweet, but not too sweet, smooth with only hint of the hops at the end. Hides the the high alcohol contain extremely well without the boozy finish. Too easy to drink and only a seasonal offering!

 307 characters

Photo of SierraNevallagash
4.6/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle - no visible date - poured into a spiegelau at 46F

**Note: This bottle is not dated, however, I have had it in my refrigerator for at least 3 months, so freshness is suspect, and may negatively affect my tasting experience. Any characteristics that I associate with lack of freshness will be noted**

Pours a nearly crystal clear deep reddish copper hue, with a finger of light sandy beige foam that leave some sticky rings of lacing behind. Head slowly dissipates to an irregular island, and a super thick collar. Some constant streams of effervescence nake their way to the top through what looks to be a pretty heavy body.

Nose: They really aptly named this one. Super sweet caramel malt, Manuka honey, brown sugar, toffee, maple syrup, vanilla, sweet bread, a hint of molasses, coconut, and some subtle, but very floral hop notes, presenting as lavender, juniper, lilac, lemon blossom, and satsuma. There's some figgy - almost sherried dried dark fruit notes, like raisin, plum, date, dried cherry, currant, and a hint of apple. There's some cognac and rum-like qualities to the nose. Ultra sweet, decadent, and richly complex. Stellar nose.

Palate: Sweet caramel malt once again leads the way, greeting the palate in an explosion of sweetness, unfurling with notes of soft caramel, wildflower honey, lots of malted barley, brown sugar, coconut sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, buttercream, raisin bread, birch beer, lightly roasted oak, calvados, as well as tons of sweet dried dark fruit character - namely fig, date, and cherry, as well as some plum, currant, raisin, and even some sweet Muscat grape. Massive malt presence. Reminds me of a sweet, mature single malt scotch. Specifically Oban or Dalwhinnie. Not nearly as much hop character as I expected from a brewery like Lagunitas. Under-hopping was a wise choice here. Bittering this up would take away from its drinkability, and remove the attention from the sweetness, which is clearly the star of the show. No hop bitterness at all. Not an IPA. The hops are there, and they provide a beautiful bouquet of springtime fruity, floral notes, like a flower garden, and orchard blossoms, with the faintest hint of citrus, lavender, bergamot, spruce tips, cedar, and fresh cut grass. Finishes sweet, malty, floral, with lots of vanilla, honey, caramel, and just the slightest little hoppy twinge, and a hint of booze. Spectacular.

Mouthfeel/Body: This ale is just a beast. A soft gentle giant. The body is thick, slightly viscous, incredibly chewy, round, and full. Chewy is the word. So much texture and fullness. Sticky, dense, nand heavy. Incredibly full-bodied. A little bit of warmth from the 10% ABV. Big ales like this will always have low levels of effervescence, as the bubbles just can't fight their way through the density of the liquid, but this is a tiny bit more bubbly than I expected, which works wonders in lifting the body up a little, and increasing the drinkability a little - although this is one you want to sip and savour.

Overall: I'm disappointed in myself for not trying this sooner. This is a homerun if I've ever seen one. It's deliciously sweet and decadent, with an astonishing level of complexity that melds aspects of several different styles together. There's a little bit of scotch ale, old English ale, Amber ale, pale ale, and even some characteristics that are usually achieved via barrel aging - all blended together, with a commendable restraint on the level of hops used, by a brewery known for their heavy-handed hopping. This is a phenomenal dessert sipper, with remarkable balance, complexity, drinkability, and satisfaction. A unqiue and truly world-class American strong ale that I would even dare say rivals Founder's BA Curmudgeon's Better Half, and at a fraction of the cost. Amazing stuff. Seek this one out.

 3,829 characters

Photo of harrypowers
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish brown with a quickly disappearing head.

Hoppy and sweet. Hides its 10% ABV well.

I like this year's release better than 2018's if my recollection is good. It seems lighter and less sweet.

 207 characters

Photo of Mugman8
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a reddish brown color with thin head, but nice lacing. The aroma is of sweet fruit and malt and taste is smooth but complex, and you know there's big kick (10% ABV). Like this one a lot!

 193 characters

Photo of HellsRanger
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This pours a nice rich brown/bourbony color with minimal foam that leaves the show quickly, but yet nice show while it lasts.
The aroma is sweet in a sense of fruits and maybe some malt to it, but very pleasant with the ABV not really present.
As for the is wonderful to me, as the aroma shines thru and for me it comes thru as a smooth belgian all day...which is what I love about this brew. A perfect winter wonderland, and the ABV has yet to show its face...really not to the extent of 10% which is very pleasant to savor this brew.
The feel follows the taste... smooth, rich, and full of pleasant not in your face ABV, but does warm the belly nicely.
This is A-1 in my book for a winter time must try brew.

 722 characters

Photo of Calarice
3.17/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Aroma is hoppy with a hint of citus. Tastes hop forward but subdued by the brown sugar. There's this little twang in beween the hops and malt flavor that I'm personally not digging. Mouth feel is a little bit syrupy. Warms the throat, High Abv is noticable. The second one is more enjoyable than the first.

 306 characters

Photo of Buckeye55
4.14/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a bourbon brown color without much head.
Has a sweet kinda smell, which follows to the taste. Very smooth going down and through the aftertaste.
Just a hint of a punch to it, probably due to the high abv

 210 characters

Photo of penguinsgoboom
4.34/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice one finger head. Color is a nice darkish amber, like maple syrup

S: Hoppy and caramel. Some maltiness.

T: Sweetness definitely shines through. Hop forward with a good malt backbone. Top of my mouth is bitter while my tongue is sweet. Definitely a new sensation. Finishes with an interesting taste. Pine nuts?

O: Quality brew with an interesting twist. The name is well deserved. Alcohol is undetectable for a 10% beer. So smooth.

 448 characters

Photo of beersampler6
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Quite a nice strong ale with some well-balanced malt and hoppy notes. Pours a honeyed caramel-amber color with a little bit of head and lingering lacing. Smells mainly of brown sugar, malt, caramel and a little trace of herbal hops. Taste follows the nose, in addition to some brown sugar, molasses and raisin. Almost reminded me of a stronger version of a barleywine. Smooth, mild, slightly thinner mouthfeel with decent carbonation. Higher ABV was fairly well-hidden.

 469 characters

Photo of CuddlyREDRUM
4.71/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Surprising the taste they got with such a monster ABV. Just delicious. Has a bit of a tang once it sits on your taste buds for about ten seconds, but nearly flawless.

 166 characters

Photo of RockHop
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A bourbon hue without much head and dissipates quickly. Caramel brown sugar nose. Hits with hops first, then you get the caramel sweetness, then a bitter finish. Well-balanced but also not that complex. Pretty easy and tasty to drink for a strong ale. Could spend an evening with this.

 285 characters

Photo of Mandpasbury
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden honey color, with a eggshell / very light brown foam head of 1-2 fingers. It has a sweet aroma with a heavy malty biscuit flscor with moderate caramel and pine overtones. Despite being 10% APV, it does not have an overwhelming alcohol taste but is very intense with malt and caramel. It is somewhat fik yet does not set too heavy. Overall it is a another good seasonal offering from Lagunitas.

 409 characters

Photo of Beerfogle
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Normally, I don't like sweet high alcohol beers. This is an exception. It pours with a nice thick and persistent head. The color is a nice deep amber. The head laces nicely as it settles. Nose is nothing special. The mouth feel is thick and smooth. It is sweet but there is enough alcohol and hops bite to balance it.

 333 characters

Photo of brewerang
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This is a good beer, but not as much of a sugar bomb as I expected based on the marketing hype. The hops (51 IBUs) mask the sweetness somewhat and the alcohol is very well hidden. This beer tastes like a barleywine/American strong ale that leans sweet. I would have preferred lower hop bitterness so that the sweet malt could shine through more, but this is a pretty good offering and a great value for the price.

 413 characters

Photo of H-TownMcBuck
3.77/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Nice clear, light brown color with beige head. Lacing was decent. Smell is a little sweet and definitely displays alcohol content. Flavor is malty, sweet, and boozie and finishes bitter and crisp.

 196 characters

Photo of mothmanscott
4.11/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From notes 10/29/12: Pours a clear, coppery amber producing 2+ fingers of frothy, variously bubbled, beige, moderately lasting head that leaves beautiful webs and bubbles of lace. The degree of lace left behind is variable from purchase to purchase. Aroma is biscuit and toasted malt, brown sugar, figs and hints of caramel, fruity candied apple, yeast, alcohol, pine and citrus hops. Taste is similar to the nose with the fruit being vinous throughout; the alcohol more noticeable as warmth and spice form mid-sip into the aftertaste; and more pine resin and citrus hop flavors especially in the finish and aftertaste. Mouthfeel is full bodied with moderate carbonation, thick and warming it has a dry finish.

 710 characters

Photo of Samlover55
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into hop rastal glass
Bottled on day #295 of 2018 10/22/18
Pours clear copper with tan head
Sweet sticky aroma, resin, citrus pith
Big hefty caramel malt, loads of booze, grapefruit bitterness, with a resin-y finish
Medium bodied,  big hefty, syrupy
Overall a unique beer that is big and hefty that has some drinkability, and also nicely balanced between malt hops and booze

 390 characters

Photo of Livyatan1996
4.01/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

bottle dumped into a snifter as a probably regrettable decision at about 1 am. amber beer with an off white, finger or two head that left a single line of lace and nothing else left. nose is a sweet mess, lots of the obvious brown sugar, caramel and a smack of earthy, almost musty hops. taste is straight sweet malt, bitter hops and a certain booziness. drinks almost hot but the sweetness numbed my taste buds enough to not really notice anymore. full bodied and quite drinkable. considering the price of these things they're pretty solid.

 541 characters

Photo of PMakowski
4.24/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 Oz Bottle poured into glass
Look - Golden amber color, lots of bubbles, medium foam head has decent retention and thick glass lacing
Smell - like a very sweet IPA...can pick up hops but the overall aroma is sweet like a sugary syrup
Taste - It's certainly sweet no doubt about that. Initial strong bitter hop flavor turns into a sugar rush and heavy malts. Body is medium-high. Carbonation is medium. High ABV is mostly disguised as this feels like a simple IPA with a fuller body.
The kind of beer that is easy to drink but I'm not sure I would want more than one..

Overall, it's better than the rating suggests. It really packs a punch in both flavor and ABV. I liked it even though it is super sweet and will look for it again as a single, not something i need to buy a six pack of. Grade is an A-

 804 characters

Photo of C3Longmire11
2.87/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

just taste like an average IPA, way too much hopes.... Overall not a bad beer if you’re going for an IPA but I was expecting more of a Strong Christmas ale or a Strong Amber Ale

 179 characters

Photo of Nass
3.67/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Color: Dark red
Aroma: Hops, faint malt
Taste: Hops with a nice malt backbone. I like it
Conclusion: 10% abv is well hidden, great balance of malts & hops. It taste better than I expected. Cheers! B

 198 characters

Photo of ViggieMech
4.99/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a chilled 12oz glass. Dark amber with a thin lacing head. Nose is is spicy and aromatic. Mouth feel is full and creamy. Taste is WOW, sweet, lingering with a very malty aftertaste. Definitely in current parlance a definite "do over"!

 251 characters

Photo of cardfan212
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had a pint at Stub & Herbs in Minneapolis.

Look - Vibrant clear brown amber body with a lively long-lasting white head.

Smell - Weak notes of the titular brown sugar, sweet caramel malt, peanut butter. A very weak smell, but a pleasant one.

Taste - Short bread cookies is the flavor of the day here. Sweet, malty, and refreshing.

Feel - A medium chunky body with with a decently appropriate carbonation. A smooth drinker.

Overall - This is a malt lover's dream. Full of sweet bready flavors and incredibly drinkable, I almost wish it was weaker so I could drink more.

 572 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 5,944 ratings