Brown Shugga' | Lagunitas Brewing Company

1,583 Reviews
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 Reviews
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Reviews: 1,583 | Ratings: 5,644
Photo of JSauer
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A really good beer overall. Nice head and color on the pour. I'm not a beer expert, but I smelled a nice sweetness and a citrus biterness and hoppiness. Taste is almost identical to the smell; starts with a nice sweetness, but then the bitterness and hops hit you and it all mixes.

You can definitely taste the alcohol, but for it being 9.8%, it doesn't have a high alcohol taste.

I'm not a huge fan of some of Lagunitas beers, but this is one their better ones. This is definitely a I grab if I'm in a pinch and I'm looking for a "go to" beer.

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Photo of Mickeyp2814
3.54/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

If you like beers with a high bitter factor this is for you. I was expect something totally different. I should have read the description. However I like this beer. It's definitely not a beer you drink after yard work or even one you simply chug. It's a beer to be appreciated. Take your time and enjoy the bitter and boozy notes.

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Photo of kdevore
3.27/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

6-pack bottles

Look: caramel/amber, not as dark as I was expecting.
Smell:Floral, hoppy
Taste: Very bitter (didn't read the IBU until after purchase, my fault), not much brown sugar like I was expecting although it came through a little once my taste got a little numb to the bitterness. Higher ABV was not real noticeable.
Feel: Nothing special to note, good or bad.

Overall: I didn't really care for it. I'm not into the overly hopped beer trend and this one is very hop forward. I think I would have liked it if the bitterness was dialed back. I wouldn't have bought it had I seen the IBU rating prior to purchase, but the name threw me off. Was expecting more of a sweeter malty beer. Not so much.That being said, I did drink the whole 6 (over a few days). I'm sure I would have rated it higher if I was into the bitter beers.

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Photo of ahentz
3.31/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Flavor is good and there is some fruitiness, but overall very bitter. That's not my things, but I can appreciate that it is a good beer. ABV is high but there wasn't too much of the boozy taste. It's a nice beer if you like the bitter.

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Photo of CountryRebel001
3.69/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pour a clear, amber color with a white head. Smell us very hop forward, citrus, tropical, and alcohol. The smell through me off, was expecting a brown ale by the name but more like a ipa. Taste very bitter, off balance. Bitter and sweetness with some fruity notes and then nasty bitterness to finish. Horrible finishing taste of a bad ipa, not like the other Lagunitas if tried. Has a nice carbonation, very thin. Overall I did not like, and wouldn't recommend or buy again. Maybe I was thrown off by the name expecting more a dark beer, just was not very good to me. The balance was just very off to me, too sweet and bitter combined not good. I have another bottle I'll keep and try again just incase my taste was off tonight.

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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.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle marked 281 5 2 0735 1043 at 42 degrees into a snifter
Aroma of - flowers and some pine
Head large (Six cm, aggressive pour), light tan, frothy, diminishing to four mm ring and heaped partial layer
Lacing good – lacy curtains of tiny to medium bubbles
Body medium amber, clear
Flavor sweet, brown sugar, alcohol, some hoppiness in aftertaste; no diacetyl
Palate full, syrupy, soft carbonation

Appearance 4.25, Aroma 4, Flavor 4, Palate 4.25, Overall 4

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Photo of AdamAlway
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful amber color with a large white head that sticks around for quite a long time. Great hops and grapefruit smell. Wow, what a great combination of grapefruit, citrus and hops. The hops and grapefruit hit upfront with a nice citrus finish. Nice full, smooth body. Great IPA all the way around. Great trade from Pieper34.

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Photo of laketang
4.16/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours out a deep caramel with a nice mocha head

I pick up banana and pineapple notes.

very big malt sweetness . a big beer with aggressive sweetness. caramel.

chewy, fruity finish.

for me, one is enough of this style in one sitting, but very tasty imo. nice treat.

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Photo of daringer
4.57/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Wasn't sure what to expect, really. I've had the Lagunitas Sucks, which was a decent enough IPA. Now this is the "Sweet" version of the Brown Shugga...How many different incarnations of the same beer do you really need? Well, I haven't tried to the original Brown Shugga', sadly, but after this beer, I'm more than willing to give it a go.
A: Rather nice ruby/amber color. Surprising. For some reason I was expecting something more golden. Deeper and livelier than I had anticipated.
S: Hops front, which is misleading later on. However, I'm getting nice grapefruit and citrus right off the bat.
M: Full, to medium...which is a weird way to put it, I guess. It's more filling than I would have presumed. This beer is full of surprises!
T: Jeez. Blown away. There are dark fruit immediately. Plum, even a bit of dried apple. Sweet. Finish with a nice dry hoppiness alluded to in the aroma.
O: A sweeter beer than I was expecting, but with all the IPA running rampant in today's market, something a little sweeter doesn't go amiss. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer and would recommend it to anyone who likes something a little more complex--something a little sweeter than the average flight set.

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Photo of Dragginballs76
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours deep copper color with about a two inch off white head, good lacing head stays around for awhile.
Smell sweet piney nose fruity citrus notes
taste is a little surprising little citrus and orange peel up front slightly sweet just enough hoppy flavor little tang on the back end.
Feel is very smooth clean easy drinking.
Overall a very good beer i enjoyed drinking very much.

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Photo of DenverHopHead
3.43/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.
Appearance - deep goldish brown, little carbonation with a fairly thick white head. Lacing is coarse and sticky along back of glass!
Smell - sweet brown sugar and hops!
Taste - the sweetness from the nose is far more profound in the taste; the syrupy sweetness drowns the hops.
Feel - medium body with overt sweetness throughout.
Overall - does not come across as a barley wine or a strong ale.

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Photo of NolaHopHead
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle. Clear bright orange amber color with two finger head, great retention, coating lace. Sugary sweet aroma. Sweet syrupy taste immediately countered by dank piney and citrus rind hop bitterness, powerful. This brew is strong and a bit boozy but so drinkable, it's weird, just kept tasting and it was gone. The flavors just work well together, dangerous. Finish is dry and the hops stick around just long enough. Medium to full soft mouthfeel, glides down. Had this one awhile back and don't recall it being this tasty. Great brew, gonna get some more.

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Photo of Tank880
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Crisp and flavorful. The ac is there but not at all overwhelming. Having this now on a damp cold night. This is one of the better beers I have had of late. I wish the bouquet were better however I feel my novice nose is to blame. Will be looking for it again.

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Photo of 20holmbrew
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I don't have much experience with this style but STRONG Ale is fitting for this one. It is definitely unusual but am trying to expand my horizons to the different styles. Huge sweet aroma and taste. Boozy too. The more I sip it the more I think it is growing on me. I only picked up 1 bottle in a mixed sixer so will definitely try again.

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Photo of imstimpy
3.69/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Look: It pours a redish cider color with a decent and persistent head.
Smell: It smells sweet! Apples and other subtle fruit.
Taste: 9.8%!? It tastes full of hoppy nectar. It is sweet, but delicately so, balanced with malt.
Feel: It is deceivingly thick with a long aftertaste.

Overall, it is a good beer. I'm a little concerned the sweetness will get old but the first half glass went down easily.

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Photo of Jeffsta1
3.86/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very pretty red color, tall, persistent head.

Mild smell, clean, hoppy.

Intense taste - bitter hops, some sweetness - burnt peaches.

Mouthfeel is very rich.

Finish is >>super<< long, intense, well integrated with the beer.

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Photo of SmashAdams
2.75/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

I was a bit disappointed by this beer. The smell is alcohol, brown sugar, some spicy Lagunitas style hops. The taste is sweet and strong. I prefer Undercover Shutdown. nb

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Photo of CNoj012
4.34/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours a beautiful crystal clear dark amber color with a 2 finger off white head. The retention is very good and lasts all the way through. There are also huge sheets of lacing. The smell is brown sugar and sweet caramel malts with a hint of grapefruit and pine. Taste is the same, but also getting some orange and a touch of alcohol. Feel is light side of medium, but suprisingly light for the abv. Overall this beer is fantastic and a winter seasonal that I patiently wait all year for.

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Photo of puck1225
4.44/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter from a bottle. Beautiful dark brown with creamy head and great lacing. Pleasant pungent smell. Great hoppy sweetness with the right amount of bitterness. A very enjoyable beer.

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Photo of RozzieBoy
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

First review here. So here goes:
Look: Very nice head with great lacing all the way to the last sip
Smell: Smells a lot like a Lagunitas beer, and that is a good thing (to me at least)
Taste: Different than most I've had but tasty. Good hop snap to it
Feel : Pretty smooth is the best way I can explain this
Overall: Wow. Really like this beer. So impressed with the drinkability at this abv

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Photo of Ernie_The_Dude
4.65/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours nice into a tulip glass, nice color with a substantial head. I am sure there are more descript ratings of this beer then mine but, I can say that Lagunitas has contently put out great beer and never disappointed.

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Photo of do_ob
3.87/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into a New Belgium snifter. Pours a dark, hazy gold and settles a very clear, yet dense amber in the glass. Beautiful 2 finger head of sticky, off-white foam on top. The nose is very sweet - strong notes of, get this, brown sugar along with caramel, toasted malt, and some sweet fruit (peaches maybe). The taste follows fairly precisely bringing lots of caramel and sugary sweetness to the taste buds. Again, there are notes of fruit - banana, peach - that are good, but don't mesh perfectly with the other stuff this beer has going on. Very hoppy, also, to the point where this reminds me of an old IIPA. Luckily the other flavors mingle enough to make it taste pretty good. Expectedly dense on the palate, almost syrupy. No alcohol burn at all. It's actually quite creamy and smooth.

Overall, interesting but good. This one would definitely benefit from a few months in the cellar, unless you like your strong ales and barleywines overly hoppy, which I do not. Not bad, though.

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Photo of kalosjakar
4.29/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a beautiful amber color from bottle into pint glass.

Very sweet scent but not your typical heavy malt presence. Im sure there is a boat load of malt, but I smell candy up front instead. Caramel. Some fruitiness too, maybe mangos or apricot.

Tastes nowhere near 9.8%. Hoppy, sweet. Great balance but the sweetness nudges its way up front a bit.

I wish i bought more than just a single bottle.

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Photo of OKbrew89
3.97/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap. Pours a hazy light brown color with a two finger head that leaves a small ring of lacing at the top of the glass. Aroma of alcohol and caramel malts, with the alcohol being the dominant smell. Taste is caramel, brown sugar, and a slight nuttiness before an acidic, boozy finish. Medium body and medium carbonation with a very boozy finish and minimal alcohol aftertaste. Kinda shocks the tongue.
The taste isn't over-run with alcohol and the alcohol is actually decently hidden until the after taste. Nice sweet body to make it very drinkable. Body is a little light, but still doesn't feel too off. Another solid one from Lagunitas.

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Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4 out of 5 based on 5,644 ratings.
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