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Brown Shugga' | Lagunitas Brewing Company

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Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'
BA SCORE
4.03/5
Exceptional
5,733 Ratings
Brown Shugga'Brown Shugga'
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States
lagunitas.com

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 12-13-2001

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#3,013
Reviews:
1,604
Ratings:
5,733
pDev:
11.17%
Bros Score:
4.04
 
 
Wants:
303
Gots:
1,362
Trade:
13
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
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Ratings: 5,733 |  Reviews: 1,604
Photo of Sammy
3.4/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This was OK, nothing special, with an edge of the brown suger in the taste. Initially above average foam, and a bit of colour. Average mouthfeel and drinkability. Of course, on the sweeter side, with sweet characteristics, caramel and the like. A decent beverage, only big in the alcohol.As a barleywine, this is quite smooth.

 326 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of jaydoc
3.86/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A - Pours a nice opaque amber with a 1 inch head that fades into nothing. Lacing is minimal.

S - This beer smells like pineapples and toasty caramelized malt.

T - Slightly bitter citrus to start with sweet brown sugar malty finish. Just like the smell, I get a pineapple essence. The hops might play a role in this.

M - Very smooth and creamy. Carbonation seems to be a bit lacking in this bottle.

D - A sweeter and tasty beer that I can see myself purchasing again in the future. I bought this around Christmas time and to me this seems like a good beer for the holidays.

 616 characters

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a very long time coming... finally! it has a hell of a reputation. it pours a clear dark copper to red color, like an amber, with a two inch off white head that relaxes a little bit in time. the nose is all time, tons of brown sugar and molasses, spice and sweet, but also way more hops than i expected. bitter, a nice contrast to the sweet, nothing offensive here at all. flavor is so complex, nothing like this out there at all. sweet, thick, and boozed out max up front, but it settles into a hoppy, equally boozed, big ipa style. yeast is the same as seemingly all lagunitas beers, which really is my only knock on them, but it works here better than anywhere. feel is full bodied, but not as huge as i thought. its also plenty carbonated, which makes it seem drinkable at a scary rate. excellent beer, worth the hype. it will only get better as the weather gets darker and colder to suit this beer. yum, yum, yum.

 918 characters

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of Knapp85
3.77/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This one pours out as an amberish colored brew with a white head on it. The head settles but leaves a nice lacing. The smell of the beer is semi sweet, not as sweet as I expected it to be from the name. There was a little bit of a roasted smell in there and some hops as well. The taste wasn't overly sweet, I guess I took the name of the beer too literally... The flavors were decent in my opinion. After finishing it off I found myself saying that it wasn't the best beer out there but I suppose it'd be worth another try.

 524 characters

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Always wanted to try this beer and finally my package store decided to start carrying it.. hooray beer!

Pours a nice copper color with a small head. Smell is of (surprise) brown sugar! Taste is very sweet upfront but the alcohol taste is present, but only slightly. Finishes clean and smooth with a nice caramel/sugar touch. Although you can taste the alcohol, it still doesn't feel like a 10% ABV beer.. a solid beer, would love to have it again.

 448 characters

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of metter98
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is crystal clear amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high off white head that gradually died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles on the surface, a collar around the edge, and lots of lacing down the sides.
S: Moderate aromas of citrusy and pine resin hops are present in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of sugary, caramel malts and citrusy hops along with a light amount of bitterness. Notes of pine resin are also noticeable in the finish and aftertaste. No alcohol is perceptible.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. No warming is perceptible.
O: This beer is extremely drinkable for the style, although I would consider this to be more of a hybrid between an IPA and American Strong Ale. In any event, it has a nice balance between malty sweetness and hoppy flavors.

Serving type: bottle

 925 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasty stuff from a Brewery that I am just learning about. Brown Sugga' doesn't have too much actural brown sugar in it, but it does have a serious malt base that hinges on caramel and toffee. An amber / copper color with a fleeting head shows nice lacing. Aromas of nuts, figs, and dates decorate the nose. Similar flavors show more intensely. Lightly licorice-like. Big hop contribution, along with a lighter than usual body, becomes very IPAish. Nevertheless, a tasty brew that's easy on the palate. Thanks Clvand0 for sharing.

 529 characters

Photo of biboergosum
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single bottle, with more nonsensical, bottle-tilting label ramblings from the good (marketing) folks at Lagunitas...gotta love it.

This beer pours a clear, dark brassy amber colour, with two fingers of thickly foamy and chunky pale beige head, which leaves a low wall of unstable lace around the glass as it dutifully recedes.

It smells strongly of grapefruit, blood orange, and lemon drop fruitiness, heady caramel cream, slightly biscuity toffee, overwrought brown sugar (yes), and just a wee bit of warming alcohol (shah, right!). The taste is creamy, sugary caramel malt, more grapefruit and orange citrus fleshiness, free-range dark sugar, weirdly understated leafy and piney hops, and some mild, minding its own damned business boozy-booze.

The carbonation is moderate in its plain and supportive frothiness, the body smooth, syrupy, and creamy, kind of like whipped honey. It finishes sweet and sugary, with a rising, but still tempered alcohol edge - more so as it warms.

A pretty enjoyable DIPA analogue, with the brown sugar just adding to the war effort against the big West Coast hops - the sort of attrition we can all appreciate. In the end, however, the sweetness wins out, in the sense of deadening the palate even more than the near 10 points of ABV do.

 1,281 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.33/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Heard the hype; grabbed a bottle at Whole Foods. Expectations are high; I like this brewery and some knowledgeable beer folk seem to dig this brew. 9.9% according to my bottle; I don't see 9.99% as currently listed on the site. 51.1 IBU. O.G. 1.100. I always like their labels; they're entertaining and well laid out. So that's a plus on presentation. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Uinta pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live.

Served straight from the fridge and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a plump five finger khaki colour head of beautiful smooth rolling frothy cream, good thickness, and great retention. Body colour is a rich vibrant copper with an amber hue. Transparent and translucent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. I'd estimate the retention time at about five minutes. Really looking good so far. A gorgeous brew. I'm very impressed at the retention at this high an ABV. You'd think it was maybe 5% off the retention alone.

Sm: Brown sugar, certainly - but not to the extent I expected. It's actually somewhat understated. Floral hops, toasty caramelized malts, caramel, and biscuit malt. Even a hint of toffee. Slightly musty. A mild strength aroma. It's not real bold or expressive, but I'm excited to try it. Besides, there's a respectability to an understated mellow aroma. I don't detect any yeast or boozy alcohol.

T: Heavy on the brown sugar, indeed. I'm going to have to adjust to its assertive flavour. I do get floral hops - which seem to complement the flavour profile nicely. The sugar mellows on the climax, which is probably my favourite aspect of the brew. Caramel. Some toasty malts. No alcohol or yeast comes through. I do get some biting hop bitterness, especially in the second act. Feels too preserved and over-hopped. The floral hops swallow up the sugary flavour, making it lopsided. It's certainly full bodied. Too bitter on the finish, a stark contrast to the sugary character that precedes it. I find it imbalanced, and it's not getting much better as it warms.

In the final sip, I got a wonderful brown sugar sweetness, and even a hint of ginger spice. I wish the whole beer tasted like that.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with a rounded malty crispness that I really dig. I've noticed this characteristic in many Lagunitas brews; it's inflated and smooth, aiding the drinkability. Somewhat chewy. Good carbonation and thickness. A scratchy hop coarseness emerges on the climax; it's an annoyance. Independent of the frustrating flavours, the mouthfeel is for the most part well executed.

Dr: Drinkable, especially for the ABV, but it falls short of my expectations given what people have said about it. I'd certainly try it on draught, but I think it needs time for the hops to mellow out a bit and for the malts to take the forefront - along with the shockingly understated brown sugar. Needs serious aging. It's tasty but a bit misguided. I'll have to revisit this one, but I'm unimpressed with it currently - and it shouldn't be my job to age it. Well-priced for the quality, and I'm sure most drinkers will be satisfied with it. I find its key flaws (major bitterness in the second half caused by overhopping, and a lack of presence of the titular brown sugar) prevent me from really liking it. That said, it's pretty impressive how little the alcohol comes through.

C+

It does get better as it warms. Be sure to let her rest after you take her out of the fridge.

---
12.20.14: Truncated impressions.

Pours a healthy 7 finger wide head of off-white colour. Retains superbly for its high ABV.

Body colour is a translucent copper.

Aromatics are primarily hoppy, with a pale malt backbone and no traces of obvious brown sugar. Balanced in terms of bitterness/sweetness. The hop profile is attractive.

Taste is off copper malts, a pleasant hop profile inclusive primarily of floral hops, noticeable brown sugar, pale malts, and hints of sweetbread.

Smooth, wet, medium to full-bodied, thick, well-carbonated, unrefreshing, and crisp.

It's drinkable - highly so - for the ABV, but the alcohol isn't unnoticeable. I quite like it - and it's better than I remember, but it remains far from world-class. Worth trying, sure. But not excellent.

Low B-

 4,408 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of brentk56
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a fairly clear medium amber color with a rocky beige head that leaves plenty of splashy lacing

Smell: Caramelized brown sugar, some piney hops and a touch of fruit; plenty of alcohol in the aroma as well

Taste: Burnt caramel and a distinct fusel alcohol flavor appear as I swirl it around my mouth; after the swallow a good presence of piney hop bitterness makes its presence known; the alcohol reappears on the finish as does the brown sugar sweetness

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and syrupy; moderate carbonation

Drinkability: While the sweetness is not cloying, it does limit the amount of this beer you will want to consume; otherwise, quite intriguing

 672 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Unclemattie: Poured a cloudy medium brown color ale with a good size head with good retention and some minimal lacing. Aroma of sweet caramel malt with some notes of toffee. Taste is a very interesting mix between some toffee, caramel and butterscotch malt with a light hoppy finish that is well balance. Full body with limited filtration and some great carbonation with no apparent alcohol.

 410 characters

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Brown Shugga' from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 5,733 ratings
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