Brown Shugga' | Lagunitas Brewing Company

5,685 Ratings
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.80%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 12-13-2001

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,685 |  Reviews: 1,591
Photo of caburdette51
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of 40ontarget
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sometimes labels can be deceiving. I assumed this was an over-alcoholed brown ale, not the case. What it is is an amazingly different strong ale, that tastes like a brown ale...sort of.

What is truly amazing about this beer is how it is able to disguise its characteristics. Is this really a %9.9? Sure it's warming, but not overly offensive with the alcohol. It comes across as very bready, almost like a cinnamon bun, it's that sweet. Hops don't have a place here.

A truly unique offering, glad I bought two bottles.

Drink as quickly as possible. I pulled my cellared version from just about a year ago. Way too sweet, malts have virutally disappeared. Just a sugary mess that is hot to drink.

Consume fresh!

 731 characters

Photo of iamjuanvaldez
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nose - Mulling spices, citrus peel, cedar, raisin, faint alcohol

Color - clean, deep amber

Faint thickhead forming from a quick pour, disappeared quickly.

Heavy, viscous mouth-feel, slightly oily. Very drinkable for a 10% brew.

Carmel, bright citrus, alcohol and a clean hoppy aftertaste to balance out the sweetness.

Picked up a 6 pack at BevMo for $9. Excellent for the price.

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Photo of IronDjinn
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 22 oz. brown "Sweet Release" bottle, I actually like the little blurb on the side of the bottle this time. This pseudo barleywhine pours out a very appetizing ruddy copper hue, hazed with suspended particles when held up to the light. Thick and creamy off-white head with good retention, and some massive sticky lacing. The nose is sweet with light malt and fruit, with some nut and dried fruit notes in it. And mango. Weird, I smell mango. Nice touch! This is also one very tasty mistake Lagunitas has on their hands. Boozy from the start, but mild, the malt blends very nicely with the hops, dancing cheek to cheek the whole way through. Sweet caramel malt coils itself around a refreshing fruity hop character, and they are both hepped up on a good dose of brown sugar, which helps them tango the whole night long. The sugar makes itself more apparent on the finish where it takes on a nutty flavour, and then recedes into a mild citrusy sunset of an aftertaste. The mouthfeel is light and very drinkable, but not watery, it holds its own over the palate. This Brown Shugga is deceptively drinkable, you have to know where you're going to stop before even going in, or suffer a high abv% brown sugar hangover catastrophe the next day. Not that I know anything about that, some guys told me about it once, no fooling. This Brown Shugga should definitely be chalked up to being what we call in the hot shop one of those "happy accidents", that should henceforth be repeated time and again. A shame that it's only a seasonal, but happy to have it available even as far north as Calgary.

 1,593 characters

Photo of Sebas
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of NMMcCune
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap 2/17/08 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light brown color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malt, brown sugar, dark fruits and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste is sweet and malty up front, with flavors of caramel, brown sugar and dark fruit, but quickly becomes very well-balanced as a strong hops presence comes in with a slight alcohol bite. The after-taste is hoppy and sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down dangerously easily, not too filling, strong kick, this is a very good beer to drink over the course of an evening until the ABV catches up with you.

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Photo of Ghenna
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz Bottle, purchased from Total Wines in Roseville, into a DFH pint glass

A: Pours a light brown with a white/cream head ~3 fingers. There is a little of bit of lacing of the head from top to bottom.

S: Brown sugar primarily, with a mild hop aroma and hints of its alcohol content

T: Simply put, a hopped gnarleywine. The heavy sugar/malt taste is evident, though it is balanced with not too subtle (though not too heavy) hops.

M: slightly sticky and a little heavy, though not at all unenjoyable

D: A sipper for sure, it is a regular staple in my fridge door when I can get it.

 586 characters

Photo of DaveHS
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- Pours chestnut amber with 1/2 inch of bubbly light khaki head. Fades slowly, leaving lots of sticky lacing.

S-Sweet, piney hoppiness, tangerines.

T/M-A very well balanced American strong ale, in a similar vein to Double Bastard. I think I prefer this. Piney hops blend exquisitely with well integrated, subtle sweet maltiness. The body is what sells me on this one. The mouthfeel is soft and pleasant for such a full bodied beer. The alcohol is dangerously well disguised.

D-A little lower because of the high ABV, but still delicious. Pick up a 6 pack if you can.

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Photo of mxsummar
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of kwakwhore
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reddish brown pour into a tulip. Small cream colored head which doesn't last very long.
Aromas consist of something a little bit musty, some sweet malts with a molasses component. and a bit of bread malt.
Surprising bit of hop in the flavor. The aroma gave no hint of this sort of hop presence. Still on the malty side for sure with a large amount of sweet malt, but this is one of the hoppier beers I've had from Lagunitas, including their IPA. Bit of an alcohol burn in this one, not surprising at 9.9% abv.
Mouthfeel is full of carbonation, another surprise for such a strong beer. Alcohol burn actually moderates a bit after the beer gets warmer.
Very drinkable beer for its strength. A sipper, but a really good one.
My favorite offering to date from Lagunitas and one I'll seek out again.

 795 characters

Photo of mikeg67
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. Pours clear amber with tall, long-lasting, foamy white head and nice lacing. Aroma is citrusy hops, bready malt, caramel and ripe fruit. Body is medium and slightly crisp. Bready, caramel malt, sugar candy, ripe fruit, herbal, citrusy hops and alcohol nicely balanced on the palate. Finish is long and dry. Delicious, dangerously easy to drink brew.

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Photo of Morey
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful reddish brown color when held up to the light. Brilliant clarity. Nice cream colored head that's leaving behind sticky lace all over the glass.

Smells is a bit hop-forward for a Barleywine which is fine by me. I can also detect some caramelized brown sugar. Not as much malts as one expects from the style.

I love the taste! Especially for it basically being 10%. The alcohol is hidden well beneath the sticky hops and caramel sweetness. The hops linger a bit, but not overly so, allowing for one to enjoy the other flavors in the beer.

Medium to full body with a nice hoppy stickiness.

Very drinkable for what this is.

Morey's Bottom Line: Reminds me of Bigfoot a bit. I was not at all let down by this beer. A fantastic Barleywine that is a solid winter seasonal for hopheads to snag a sixer of.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

75th review on BA
Bottle to pint

App- Deep dark amber with a mild carbonation and a very thin head.

Smell- Very sweet indeed, a nice touch of candied scent with sugar.

Taste- A sweet beer on the first taste with the bulk of the balance being on being a smooth drinking beer. It lends well to the darker sugars well.

Mouth- To me it's a lighter mouthfeel but leaves the palate with a great finish.

Drink- Would be a good session beer on a cold day while camping around the fire.

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Photo of WakeandBake
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A clear bronze/amber color with a moderate sized tan head , light carbonation , spotty lacing. Aroma of caramel malt , brown shuggar , floral and citrus hops and a pale malt of some kind . Flavor is quite sweet up front with some nice floral, pine and citrus hops , medium bitterness some caramel, burnt shuggar and broun shugger , full body with a slightly oily mouthfeel , a slightly alcoholic finish , very drinkable and good , a very good value and a good brew all around .

 477 characters

Photo of cosmicevan
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

FINALLY found a 6'er of this locally after the supply was mostly destroyed by hurricane sandy. enjoyed from a snifter.

a - brew poured a transparent amber brown with a finger of bubbly head that slowly bubbled away leaving fairly chunky streaks of lacing on the side of the glass.

s - hops n candy. some citrus, some dark purple fruit.

t - hip hop horay...wonderful holiday candied sweetness. this is candy in a glass. nice citricu hops, but the malt balance really rounds things out. good caramel notes. just happiness in a glass. CANDY!

m - medium bodied, easy drinker. the abv is well integrated into the flavor and sweetness.

o - its a christmas miracle. having overlooked this one and gotten hooked on lagunitas sucks last year, i couldn't understand anyone who was dissapointed that sucks took the place of this beer, until now. HELL of a beer! look forward to the other 5 i have. simply delicious.

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Photo of emmasdad
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of the great 6 pack values out there, less than 11 bucks. Poured a copper color with a nice tan head. Aromas of piney hops, alcohol, raisins and brown sugar. Medium bodied, with flavors of booze, pine, citrus, sugar and caramel. A fortuitous and delicious mistake by the brewers.

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Photo of TheVolk23
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of Blitzstyle
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a SA glass from a 12 oz bottle. Nice 2 fingers of creamy head, some decent retention that blankets the brew when it fades. Redish amber in color.

Sweet caramell malts, brown sugar, piney and orange hop aromas.

Very sweet and sticky, brown sugar and caramell malts right up front, balanced with a good amount of piney hop bite! Alcohol in the after taste but it is hidden well.

Sugar sweet with a hop bite to keep this from being to surupy, thick and rich. Alcohol is hidden very well I was suprised to see it at such a high abv. Could pound several of these if I wasn't being carfull.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz fresh bottle into a Stella Artois glass late at night by myself. It's been about two years since i've had this offering.

Deep rich amber with some copper and brown spots throughout. A steep pour yielded a nice somewhat frothy beige head that lasted for a bit before dying a horrible death. It eventually went around the glass but it left some window streak lacing which while not great, at least it's something for this strong ale.

Smelling funky fresh with a deep sweetness, could it be from brown shugga, yeah, i guess so. Big brown sugar with caramel/toffee and a bit of toasted malt. Just smelling this you can tell it's big and might be hiding something. Getting just a outline of dark fruit including some plum. The hops don't show up at least for me, but believe me, they are in there.

And the hops show up in true Lagunitas fashion mixing very well with this sweet brew. The malts win, but the hops make a good citrusy appearance. Shugga is malt forward with the sweetness that goes along with that and a big brown sugar taste. Caramel/toffee and just the faintest hint of roasted coffee in the background. Finishes sweet and somewhat fruity with mo brown shugga...

The body is big malty and sweet. I would say a good step above medium bodied. The alcohol is not present at all and that's a feat considering this is near 10%, Perhaps it's all that sweet sugar. No hotness what so ever. A nice hop feel with some small bitterness enhancing the feel on this. This is a fresh bottle, I believe that if the hops were not so charged, this would taste like shit. The hops are keeping this one together, drink up.

I thought this stuff was seven percent when I had it last. I think ten percent is a bit high for this sweet style of beer but Lagunitas pulls it off making this very easy to drink and not a chore. The sweetness while big is settled nicely by a nice west coast hop blasting. I drank it much faster than I thought I would.

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Photo of tgbljb
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a crystal clear deep amber color with moderate off-white head.
Smell is a bit sweet, with some subtle tones of caramel present.
Taste is nice. The sweet malt (and brown sugar) combine nicely with a firm hop presence to form a truly enjoyable beer.
The hops show throught more at the finish.
This is the scariest beer I every drank. The alcohol is completely hidden in the taste (but I can feel it). A nice winter beer.

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Photo of WJVII
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Special thanks to Cdkrenz as holiday sampler...
Poured into a pint glass this brew has a deep amber color with nice red tints when held to the light along with an off white 2 finger creamy head that left great lacing down the glass as I drank it. The aroma is heavy hop handed with some sweet caramel and brown sugar (as the title supports). The taste is knock your socks off good. I mean the balance of hops and sweet malt along with a thick consistency and mild warmth of alcohol in the finish. It starts with a slight citrus and pine hops but then the sweetness hits the back of your mouth. The finish is nice and bitter with the slight hint of alcohol on the tongue. This brew is something I am going to seek out again as all I had was the one sample. This one will not disappoint.

 785 characters

Photo of Steve_Trick
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of instinct2
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4 out of 5 based on 5,685 ratings.
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