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Brown Shugga' | Lagunitas Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
90
outstanding
1,517 Reviews
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.99%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 12-13-2001

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,517
Ratings:
5,390
Avg:
4
pDev:
11.25%
 
 
Wants:
283
Gots:
1,175
For Trade:
13
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,517 | Ratings: 5,390
Photo of cfrobrew
3.64/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into my jester king stem glass.

Appearance: nice clear amber color with a thick creamy head and bubbles clinging to the glass.
Smell: hoppy with a strong malt and floral background
Taste: much hoppyer than I thought it would be. I'm a little disappointed about the hoppy ness but it does tone down the alcohol of the beer.
Mouthfeel: smooth but nicely carbonated
Overall: I enjoyed this beer a good bit but I wouldn't go seek it out. If I was somewhere and it was on the menu I would order it though.

 525 characters

Photo of Jonoesh5
3.64/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A beautiful deep orange/amber body with a hefty 2 finger tan head. Nice lacing on the glass as the head dissipates. Smells hoppy like an IPA, but without as much citrus. I'm getting mostly brown sugar and hops. Mouthfeel is bitter and dry. Definite alcohol warmth and a numbing mouthfeel as beer warms. Overall, looks can be deceiving. Expected something more with this one, but certainly worth the $2 from a local Ohio grocer.

 427 characters

Photo of dbatch
3.64/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dub deuce purchased some time ago, not too long though...

A: Pours a reddish orange color with little head retention and few carbonation bubbles floating. I dont know exactly what I was expecting, but the color was not this. It is clear, I expected it to be a bit cloudier, but c'est la vie.

S: Sweet, malty goodness abounds here. Definitely caramel and brown sugar (NSS) Its not too sweet either, offset by the malt and a faint aroma of citrus in the back.

T: This beer tastes just as it smells - brown sugar sweetness up front is matched by the strong maltiness. A little hop bitterness in the back, but very nice.

M: Very light mouthfeel, smooth, not too carbonated.

D: A little too sweet for an everyday beer, but not bad once in a while.

 748 characters

Photo of Heinens11
3.64/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

New beer to hit the Cleveland market.

12oz. bottle that pours slightly more reddish than copper and quite clear. The head is simply average in size with a color that's no more than off white. Though average size, it does hold it's shape very well.

The aroma is not complex with citrusy hops being the most notable, though caramel is evident as the name would suggest. Difficult to get a good whiff.

The palate has moderate sugar, moderate malt, a good bit of hops, and a touch of smoke. When lumped together the malt and hops provided a bitter-sweet finish that seems to last for quite awhile.

Medium-bodied with average carbonation. Easily drinkable.
I ended up pairing this beer with a Widmer 4-year old Cheddar. The sugar from the beer rounded out the sharpness of the cheddar leaving a much creamier cheese.

Cheers!

 836 characters

Photo of BeerandWhiskeyHQ
3.64/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance
Dark brown with a copper hue
Smell
Malty, pine and fruit come off with some gusto
Taste
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
Overall
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

-BeerandWHiskeyHQ.com

 660 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.63/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer has a warm light brown body with a light tan head that fades to a ring pretty quickly. No sign of carbonation because the body is a bit to dense.

S- This beer has a light toasted malt note with a sweetness and a note of dark sugar and white sugar hint as well.

T- The slight sweet caramel malt flavor has a note of dry spice and dark rum that adds its own sweetness. There is a hint of darker sugar that comes through just a hint as it warms. The finish is a nice herbal citrus hops but the sweetness still lingers after the sip.

M- This beer has a medium light mouthfeel with no real alcohol heat. At the finish when it is really warm there is a slight alcohol heat that is a nice contrast to the sweetness.

D- This beer has an interesting flavor and I can see where it gets its name. It would be nice to have some big flavors that balance with the sweetness.

 913 characters

Photo of ImusBeer
3.63/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured up a dark orange/red with an off white head of only about a finger.

The aroma of molasses and honey with no real hint of the 9+ percent alcohol content. the taste was dominated by malt & molasses, a very complex beer. Hints of oak and leather are also present.

The mouthfeel is heavy and sugary (Brown Shugga, duh) some alcohol hints but not too harsh. Overall a smooth tasting and complex beer.

 404 characters

Photo of gregshead
3.63/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours deep red with a finger of fizzy head.

S: Sugar and spice smell

T: Almost a toffee taste mixed with a sweet but subtle brown sugar. Reminds me of a red ale with a brown sugar and

M: Looks more carbonated than it tastes to me. A little bit on the syrupy side.

D: How in the world is this 9.99%? A little on the sweet side but enjoyable.

 350 characters

Photo of jkdrummer
3.63/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a brilliant red amber hue. Firm head at first but fades. Steady carb. Initial taste is sweet sweet sweet, some malty-ness in the background. Gave me sticky lips. Bitterness follows but not that pleasant. After a few sips the obvious alcoholiness takes over, they aren't kidding with the 9% ABV either. A strange brew but a unique taste of sweet brown sugar that isn't found in any other ale that I know of . . . Try it.

 425 characters

Photo of GeoffM
3.63/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours very smoothly with a solid head that retains nicely. Good lacing. A lovely dark amber color.

Smell - Decently malty but also lightly sweet. Must be the brown sugar.

Taste - Gorgeous mouthfeel, nearly sticks to the tongue, but pleasantly so. Bitter with a sweet aftertaste. Hops are more apparent when first tasting, malts noticeable in the finish, which is pretty nice considering the bitterness. Alcohol is hidden pretty nicely.

Overall - Simply solid. A nice little experiment, nothing I'd go crazy over but worth giving a shot.

 552 characters

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.63/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Listening to Pearl Jam..
Poured a copper color with a nice fluffly white head. Nose has a nice sweet malt with a bit of hops and alcohol. Taste is brown sugar dominance with a bit of molasses. Alcohol is very noticeable after finishing only one. There is a definite presentation of malt and has a sweet finish.

 310 characters

Photo of oakbluff
3.63/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby chestnutt. Excellent clariy with a foamy white head. Smell- fruity sweetness. Taste- initial flavours are hops and fruit. Sweet malts come through in the middle and finish is bitter and dry. The extra sugar has fermented down nicely. Not cloying but you definitely know its there. Like liquid caramel. Good sipper on a winter night.

 345 characters

Photo of Donerik
3.62/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was interested in trying Brown Shugga; I can't help feel a little let down

A- clear redish brown, one finger tan head

S- the best part of the beer was the anticipation of the brown shugga flavor, it had a smell, not too over powering, but sweet.

T- Let down here, it was good, It certainly wasn't a drain pour, It just wasn't the brown sugar flavor I was expecting.

M- Par for the course.

D- High ABV hurt my desire for a second one, I'll drink the other five, maybe as a stand alone one beer night, or first on a long day of drinking.

All in all an okay beer.

 569 characters

Photo of mkh012
3.62/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Look- Amber or burnt orange. A lasting, frothy head. Carbonation is visible. A good-looking brew.

Smell- Mainly a fruity hop character. Orange, tangerine, pineapple, tropical fruits. Not getting the brown sugar too much, but it's certainly a sweet aroma.

Taste/Feel- A bit disappointed here. Not a bad beer by any means but perhaps overly hopped. Does a "Brown Shugga" beer really need to be 51 IBU? It does more than balance here. In my opinion, it outshines. Growing on me a bit as I drink it, the more caramel, brown sugar notes becoming slightly more apparent, but hops are the real star here. The alcohol is well-hidden, but this is still a strong beer for a developed palate because the bitterness lingers. I guess I've been spoiled by Belgian beers lately that manage to have a much cleaner aftertaste at this ABV. Not as well-rounded as I had hoped.

Glad I tried it, but probably would not seek this one out again.

 926 characters

Photo of Franz4
3.62/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- a red, dark penny copper colored beer that poured just a thin layer of bubbles on top that disappeared almost immediately.

S- A unique, sweet, dark fruit nose with a pleasant brown sugar note to it.

T- brown sugar sweetness followed by a clove-like finish. Also has a metallic taste to it that's hard to place.

M- Light bodied for the style, nothing that stood out here.

D- A unique take, but not sure that it's making me really want to come back for more, glad I tried it, but that's about as far as it goes.

 516 characters

Photo of Gmann
3.61/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep toasted golden color or a light brown. The pale khaki head is fluffy and slowly settles into a solid cap. Nice webby lacing on the glass.

The aroma seems a bit stunted, not very strong. I pick up some deep caramel notes and some toffee. Pineapple notes from the hops. Sweet aroma.

The flavor has more of a malt presence. Toasted grains with caramel sweetness. Toasted brown bread. A spicy herbal hop flavor, perhaps some pineapple. Fusel alcohol pops through in the finish.

The feel is light with prickly carbonation. Sweet on the palate but the carbonations keeps things fairly crisp though a touch sticky in the finish. The ABV is noticable and not all that pleasant.

A strong toasted ale. It has a nice bready flavor but the alcohol presence dampens the beer for me. Solid.

 798 characters

Photo of Mojo
3.61/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle -> snifter glass

A - tarnished copper color, with fluffy two finger head, awesome retention, and awesome lacing.
S - Kind of a burnt smell, nutty, and some alcohol
T- complex, malty brown sugar upfront with a dry charred boozy flavor on the finish
M - kind of a bitter aftertaste
O- not my cup of tea, but fairly complex flavor.

 348 characters

Photo of Stoneman78
3.61/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Clear orange hue, tan foamy head that is mostly sustained, moderate lacing
S- Boozey aroma, tones of molasses and brown "shugga", some fruity sweetness too
T- Sweet roast and caramel malts, sugary molasses, bitter coffee, finishes bitter with a stiff alcohol warming
M- Full-bodied, oily texture, mild carbonation
D- A unique brown/strong ale with flashes of flavor, a bit too cloying and boozey for my tastes, I would probably not go out of my way for a second tasting

 472 characters

Photo of Joeyphunk
3.61/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Rubbing alcohol notes In the taste, not sure the malts were balanced correctly. A weird brown to be sure, not sure it represents the style. Did the bartender give me an ipa on accident? I think this is an ok strong beer but not the best example. I am glad i drank it, but i won't seek another.

When I had it the second time ( cause I forgot I tried it) It was a different beer - leading me to believe that Scotty's brew house had a bad keg

 441 characters

Photo of Billolick
3.6/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

on tap at the BTAH in NYC, Poured copper, nose of dried fruit and some caramel. More caramel and sweet notes of brown sugar and cookie dough. Yes, this is a fairly sweet barley wine. Some drying elements come in late and as it warms, Smooth, medium bodied brew. Some warming alcohol also present. Too sweet for me. When I ordered this one somebody asked if I had diabitis

 371 characters

Photo of prototypic
3.6/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: It's a hazy, dark copper color with a one and a half finger head. Nice and creamy, though it vanished pretty quickly and left pretty light lacing down the glass.

Smell: It smells sweet. Definitely a nice blend of malt and hops in the nose. There are some fruity citrus notes to the smell. I'm picking up hints of raisins in there as well.

Taste: Initially it tastes sweet, but not in an overbearing way. The fruit and raisin tastes are apparent. It's got a nice malty body to it which balances out a bit of hop kick at the end. It's definitely more bitter than I was expecting, but in a good way.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's somewhere between light and medium bodied. It has a light syrupy feel to it. At nearly 10% ABV, I probably won't be drinking more than one. But, I'm enjoying it. Overall, it's a good beer. Actually better than I was expecting. Definitely worth checking out.

 904 characters

Photo of Shumista
3.6/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle into my beer mug.

A- Brown Shugga pours a translucent copper color with a small off white head. A thick looking beer with lots of lacing left on the sides of the glass after each sip.
S- Sweet caramel, molasses and ,surprise, brown sugar. Some hops and alcohol as well.
T- One of the sweetest strong ale/barleywines I have had. I guess I should have expected that from the name, but the sweetness still surprised me. Most of the sweetness comes from a caramel/brown sugar taste. The bitterness is pretty high as well but plays second fiddle to the sweetness.
M- Thick, moderate carbonation. The warmth you would expect from such a high alcohol beer.
D- I think I'll switch to a different beer for the rest of the night. I don't ever see myself drinking more than one or two of these.

 799 characters

Photo of jeffjeff1
3.6/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was pretty good.

Appearance- dark reddish color, transparent

Smell- brown sugar, molasses

Taste- brown sugar, molasses

Mouthfeel- medium to full bodied

Drinkability- It was a pretty good beer. Definitely a winter beer , will drink it again most likely in winter

 271 characters

Photo of marc77
3.6/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Slightly hazy ruby hue, topped by an off white, thick, creamy well retained head. Mellow, mint laced citrusy hop nose with a dominant note of underripe tangerine. Medium caramel malt aroma with hints of biscuit and butter. Mellow impression of berryish fruitiness rounds the aroma out. Baked biscuit mild sweetness is perceived at first, then is ensued by a pronounced, almost syrupy well caramelized sugar note, which persists throughout. Hop bitterness provides meager contrast, leaving the overall flavor profile quite sweet. Hop flavor manages to eek in, lending a brown sugar smothered grapefruit impression mid palate. A bit lightly bodied, and a touch over attenuated, yet residual sweetness remains assertive. Finishes with a lingering suggestion of warming butterscotch schnapps. Brown Shugga is quite an odd brew. The sweetness is only a hair shy of cloying, and seemingly overshadowed malt nuances. That being said, the sheer uniqueness and dearth of alcohol character (until the finish) warrant a try. With a greater hop presence this could be a fine barleywine. It's quite tasty, nonetheless. This would make a delicious, supremely calorically dense vanilla ice cream float. Thanks to TXhops for sending the bomber.

 1,228 characters

Photo of BeerBuckeye
3.6/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a clear dark amber/mahogany color with puffy, 3 finger head.

S- Smell is sweet and holly. Dark fruits, burnt sugar, and grassy hops.

T- Taste is pretty strong, quite hoppy, but also incredibly malty. Again, some dark fruits and burnt sugar as well.

M- A little on the thin side, but it's also incredibly drinkable.

Overall- Pretty solid brew. I feel it's a Little hot, and so a bit of the taste gets muddled, but still very good.

 443 characters

Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,517 ratings.
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